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CEO Antonio Perez Speaks On Kodak Bankruptcy Emergence

Antonio Perez was upbeat and optimistic with Tuesday's emergence news. He says the new Kodak is poised for profit and they are ready to move beyond bankruptcy.
Antonio Perez was upbeat and optimistic with Tuesday's emergence news. He says the new Kodak is poised for profit and they are ready to move beyond bankruptcy.

It is a new day for Kodak and a new online presence as Kodak announces emergence with a focus on commercial printing business.

"That means a slightly different presentation of the brand and as well all of our communications," Perez said on a conference call with media.

The company's 20-month journey through bankruptcy is not its proudest "Kodak moment," but Perez said there was no choice. He said he was given three ultimatums when he joined- the first being to restructure the film business.

"That was a business that was disappearing; not a matter of bad management but business disappearing completely," he said.

Perez says transitioning to digital and trying to keep up with skyrocketing legacy costs drove the company's decline. He said the board had an intense debate.

"It was made and it was the right decision; as painful as it is, a lot of people, including myself, lost their pension. A lot of people lost their deferred compensation including myself," he said.

Retired U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge John Ninfo watched Kodak's progression.

"If there is a reorganization and a plan that saves jobs and keeps a company operating in a community, then that's something we consider to be a success because alternative would be liquidation presumably," Ninfo said.

Kodak no longer has to jump to court for permission. Perez says all focus can be on a printing business he thinks will compete well in the market.

"There is nothing in the market; I've been in this market for more than 25 years. Nobody's even close to this technology and we'll have an advantage for years to come. In two applications they are large, they are growing and they are profitable," he said.

Perez says the new Kodak is expected to make about $2.5 billion in revenue this year. He plans to meet with the new Kodak board later this month.
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