Today is a sad day in the photography world. Legendary film maker Kodak has officially bitten the financial dust by filing Chapter 11 today. The company plans a 2013 resurrection and is hedging its bet on a $950 million backing from Citigroup.
Kodak has obtained a fully-committed, $950 million debtor-in-possession credit facility with an 18-month maturity from Citigroup to enhance liquidity and working capital.
Although Kodak will be granted an opportunity to stay afloat for a while, the company needs some crucial restructuring in order to barrel through the digital camera market with gusto. Giants like Canon, Nikon and Olympus are formidable juggernauts to tangle with, so Kodak will need to completely revamp its product vision to stay competitive.
Sadly, this was an inevitable occurrence, given Kodak’s background. The most successful film company in photography history hit a prodigious wall at the turn of the century, and that wall was the flourishing digital camera market that would eventually render film obsolete. Kodak fought hard and continued to make film, but their efforts in the digital camera market were subpar. After all, what do you want from a film maker? Kodak should have teamed up with Canon or Nikon; one of the big guns, so they could ride comfortably on top of the impending digital camera avalanche.
If Kodak is to survive, the company will need new ideas and cutting-edge technology. In a digital age, a brand like Kodak is up a creek without a paddle.