Photo caption: George Eastman, left, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, is shown with fellow inventor Thomas Edison, in an undated photograph.
Eastman Kodak Co, which invented the handheld camera and helped bring the world the first pictures from the moon, has filed for bankruptcy protection, capping a prolonged plunge for what remains one of America's best-known companies.
The 130-year-old photographic film pioneer, which had tried to restructure to become a seller of consumer products like cameras, said it had also obtained a $950 million, 18-month credit facility from Citigroup to keep it going.
The loan and bankruptcy protection from U.S. trade creditors may give Kodak the time it needs to find buyers for some of its 1,100 digital patents, the key to its remaining value, and to reshape its business while continuing to pay its 17,000 workers.
"The board of directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak," Chairman and Chief Executive Antonio M. Perez said in a statement.
"Now we must complete the transformation by further addressing our cost structure and effectively monetizing non-core intellectual-property assets. We look forward to working with our stakeholders to emerge a lean, world-class, digital imaging and materials science company," he added.
More on the filing and legendary history of Kodak can be read at Reuters.