Kodak lands more flexible financing as it eyes bankruptcy exit

March 1 Fri Mar 1, 2013 3:50pm GMT

March 1 (Reuters) - Eastman Kodak Inc, the bankrupt photography pioneer, has amended its financing deal to gain flexibility as it prepares to exit Chapter 11.

The company also said on Friday that along with committees of its second-lien lenders and unsecured creditors it will hire a search firm to begin identifying candidates to serve on a new board of directors.

The company expects to emerge from bankruptcy in the middle of this year, focused on its commercial imaging business.

The amended financing agreement requires Kodak to raise at least $600 million from the sale of noncommercial imaging assets, which could include its document imaging and personalized imaging businesses, as well as trademarks.

The previous financing agreement required Kodak to raise $700 million.

The amended financing is expected to close this month, subject to court approval.

Kodak said in a statement it anticipates filing a plan of reorganization in April.

The plan will need to be approved by creditors and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan before Kodak can emerge from Chapter 11.

The company that invented the hand-held camera filed for bankruptcy in January 2012, after it failed to adapt to digitalized photography.

The case is In re: Eastman Kodak Co et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-10202.