It looks like Kodak is ready to emerge from bankruptcy. Kodak has reached a settlement with it's largest creditor, the U.K. Pension plan. In the deal the KPP will own Kodak's personalized imaging and document imaging businesses. This settles claims totaling $2.8 billion.
It still needs a judge's approval. This eliminates one of the biggest obstacles Kodak was facing in bankruptcy.
The move has a lot of local retirees talking. Their U.K. counterparts basically own a part of the company now.
They say "that hurts!"
The men and women who worked to make Eastman Kodak the giant it was in its hay day, say this is a hard pill to swallow. The retirees we talked to say the move narrows Kodak's market and leaves the once photo giant with one, maybe two, tricks left: printing and film.
Retirees Martin Scott and John Larish worked at Kodak 35 and 15 years respectively. Today's settlement with the U.K.Pension Plan reveals a very different picture of the company they once helped to build.
"For those people who thought there still might be a future in the conventional type of photography, that Kodak made such great profits on all those years, if they thought there was some chance for that, maybe what they have learned today will finally wake them up to no, its over. It's gone," said Martin Scott, Kodak Retiree.
Gone is the ability for Kodak to market itself as a multifaceted business.
"Kodak is a one-horse company that used to have several different areas that they could fall into, that would give them additional revenue. But they don't have that anymore. And I think that's going to be their downfall. That they're not going to be able to make it on a single horse product," said John Larish, Kodak Retiree.
Larish and Scott say the once "photo giant" is now scraping by with printing and film.
"Kodak thought, and so did everybody else, that, okay, things are going digital, but at least people are going to want to have prints. Well, there was a change in the sociology. People don't use prints anymore. They share their images with their smart phones. And that hopeful market, never materialized," said Scott.
Hardly taking pictures further.
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