EASTMAN Kodak has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it attempts to transform the 130-year-old photography pioneer into a digital company.
The company, which invented the hand-held camera, said in statement that it had also obtained a $950m, 18-month credit facility from Citigroup to give it the cash to keep going.
Antonio Perez, the chairman and chief executive, said: “Kodak is taking a significant step toward enabling our enterprise to complete its transformation.”
Kodak has been in the drawn-out process of creating a digital business while getting out of certain traditional operations.Since 2003 it has closed 13 manufacturing plants and 130 processing laboratories, and cut its workforce by 47,000.
While the company is credited with building the first digital camera in 1975, it never realised the potential of the digital revolution.
Kodak's digital focus in recent years has been on consumer and commercial printers, but this has not resolved its financial difficulties or improved profits.
Like other established US companies, Kodak faces huge costs for pension and other benefits for workers and retirees that it is struggling to meet.
Mr Perez said: "Now we must complete the transformation by further addressing our cost structure ... to emerge a lean, world-class, digital imaging and materials science company.”
The Chapter 11 filing covers the company and its US subsidiaries and not subsidiaries abroad.