* Bondholders, including JPMorgan, to supply $793 mln in
* Deal contingent on Kodak selling IP portfolio for $500 mln
* Kodak hopes to exit bankruptcy in first half of 2013
By Nick Brown
NEW YORK, Nov 12 Eastman Kodak Co
said on Monday it has reached a $793 million financing deal with
bondholders that could take the one-time photography giant out
The deal, which still needs bankruptcy court approval, will
come in the form of new loans from Centerbridge Partners, GSO
Capital Partners, UBS and JPMorgan Chase & Co,
Kodak said in a statement. The financing is contingent on the
company receiving at least $500 million for a patent portfolio
it has been trying to sell for more than a year, Kodak said.
The package should allow Kodak to emerge from bankruptcy in
the first half of 2013, Antonio Perez, Kodak's chief executive,
said in the statement.
"The significance of this agreement for Kodak is that it
establishes a clear path for our emergence as a stronger, more
focused company," Perez said.
Kodak will likely be a different company exiting bankruptcy
than it was going in. In addition to selling its patent
portfolio, Kodak must sell all or part of its document imaging
and personalized imaging businesses in order to convert the loan
into post-bankruptcy financing.
That would mean a restructured Kodak would largely be out of
the consumer business, focused instead on its commercial imaging
Kodak filed for Chapter 11 protection in January in hopes of
selling its intellectual property portfolio, but bids have been
lower than hoped. It remains in talks for a patent sale with
potential buyers, including Apple Inc and Google Inc
. Kodak said in Monday's statement it is "confident" the
patents will fetch the $500 million required under terms of the
The financing package is comprised of $467 million in new
loans and $317 million in a dollar-for-dollar exchange for
amounts outstanding under Kodak's current notes.
The financing group beat out a separate contingent of
second-lien bondholders that had offered financing, a person
close to the matter told Reuters earlier.
Some second-lien holders on Monday filed court papers
objecting to Kodak's request to keep exclusive control of its
bankruptcy process through Feb. 28, a move that would allow it
to seek court approval of the financing deal without other
creditors being able to propose alternative plans.
Kodak said it hopes to gain court approval of the plan at a
hearing sometime in December, but no date has been set.