Kodak’s transfer of its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses—including its photographic film division—to the UK Kodak Pension Plan (KPP) will not affect the production or distribution of photographic film, according to Audrey Jonckheer, Global Communications Director for Kodak’s Personalized Imaging business.
Jonckheer says the Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses are gearing up for what they hope will be a smooth transition. “This whole plan was put together so there would not be any changes in product, services or delivery to our customer base…. All of the manufacturing sites will continue to operate as normal.”
On Monday Eastman Kodak Company announced that it would turn its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses over to KPP in order to settle $2.8 billion in claims KPP made against Kodak in bankruptcy proceedings. Kodak agreed to transfer the businesses to KPP for cash and non-cash consideration of $650 million. If the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the UK Pensions Regulator approve the settlement, it will help pave the way for Kodak to emerge from Chapter 11.
The proposed deal has encouraged optimism, Jonckheer says. Today the KPP chairman, Steven Ross, was in Rochester, where Kodak is based, speaking with Kodak employees and local reporters. According to Jonckheer, “He exuded confidence in the growth prospects for the businesses,” and said that with the proper investment, which Kodak hasn’t been able to make due to their Chapter 11 status, the businesses could grow.
“That’s the part that’s exciting to us, because we are profitable,” Jonckheer says. “The future is looking bright.”
In the immediate aftermath of the announcement the majority of social media chatter was about the future of Kodak film, says Jonckheer. “From a social media perspective, from the immediate media coverage that we saw, it was primarily film. Film was in the headlines,” she told PDN. “No matter what this company does, the reaction is always, ‘How is this going to affect film?’”
“We have been asked that, and we have said what we’ve been saying all along, which is that the lifecycle of film depends on the demand for it, and as long as there is profitable demand there will be film.”