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Photo: Thomas Belknap, Rochester NY.
Photo: Thomas Belknap, Rochester NY.

Kodak owes billions

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Rochester-based Eastman Kodak formally filed for bankruptcy yesterday. That gives the company the opportunity to restructure and continue. But the company owes a lot of money to a lot of people. As the Innovation Trail's Zack Seward reports, Kodak has debts of nearly $7 billion.

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Eastman Kodak owes a lot of money to a lot of people.

According to Kodak's bankruptcy filing, the struggling photography pioneer owes tens hundreds of millions to banks and manufacturing firms.

The company also owes tens of millions more to movie studios (Sony, Paramount, Disney), retailers (Walmart, CVS, Staples) and tax collectors (New York State Department of Taxation and Finance).

Kodak also owes $1.7 million to Rochester-based Optimation.

"We're hopeful that we'll see at least a large percentage of the money," Optimation President Bill Pollock* said Thursday morning. "But at this point in time, it's not clear what the court will say and how creditors are going to be paid."

Optimation designs, builds and maintains the machines that make Kodak film, according to Pollock.

He says he's not planning to dwell on Kodak's bankruptcy filing because "there isn't really a lot that we can do right now."

"The percentage of the business that we do with Kodak is going to continue to decline," said Pollock, adding that Kodak will continue to be a client. "We've fully planned for that."

Pollock himself spent 11 years as an engineer at Kodak.

If all goes well, he says he's in line for a small pension. As a current creditor and a future pensioner, Pollock is hoping he doesn't draw a double whammy as Kodak restructures.

"I should be able to go out to dinner twice a month on that pension if I'm careful with what I buy," Pollock said, jokingly.

*(Full disclosure: Bill Pollock sits on partner station WXXI's board of trustees.)

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