‘Kodak’s operation in Asia Pacific and India continues in normal course’

-says Evandro Matteucci, vice president,
marketing-Asia Pacific region, Eastman Kodak Company

With Eastman Kodak Company taking tough decision of voluntarily filing petitions for Chapter 11 business reorganization in the US Bankruptcy Court, raised the uncertainty about the impact of this move on their operations in Asia Pacific region including India tend to prevail across the region among the company’s customers or all those having directly or indirectly any interest in Kodak. But according to Evandro Matteucci, vice president marketing - Asia Pacific Region, Eastman Kodak Company, there is no impact as such immediately or in near future and the Kodak’s operations continue in normal course within this region. Recently taking a move which once again (after the recent insolvency initiative of a European press manufacturer) has shaken the graphic arts industry across the world, Eastman Kodak Company announced that it and its US subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 business reorganization. It was also said that Kodak’s subsidiaries outside of the US are not subject to proceedings and will honour all obligations to suppliers, whenever incurred, and Kodak and its US subsidiaries will honour all post-petition obligations to suppliers in the ordinary course. “We have taken the ‘tough decision’ voluntarily to ensure the company’s operations continue effectively, in the long term perspective. It is only ‘rumour’ that we were ‘compelled’ to go under Chapter 11 protection,” stated Evandro, accompanied by Bhalchandra Nikumb, GCG -country head at Kodak India Pvt Ltd, explaining the very purpose of the Chapter 11 protection move, in a brief teleconferance with SK Khurana, editor, Print & Publishing.

Evandro Matteucci“Our manufacturing activities are being run normally and there is no constraint in delivering equipments, solutions and consumables to our valued customers in any market. We would like to thank our customers for their support with continued trust in Kodak. We would also like to assure all that there is no change in our operations in the Asia Pacific region, and will continue focusing on the business growth in this region, having dedicated footprints in the graphic arts market. Continuously growing in Asia and Latin America, we are developing the partnership with customers as ever. Having a strong channel partner, market set up, we expect a great future in Asia, specifically having few very important deals near to close in India,” emphasized Evandro.

And most importantly, while talking about their participation plans in drupa 2012, he added, “We shall also mark our significant presence with 2,500 sq m of display area. We will be participating with a full range of products as usual – as this is the best platform where one expects new offerings from Kodak.” Though, Evandro didn’t inform precisely what Kodak is poised to display a fresh at the industry’s largest event. “However, we will announce all that much prior to the show,” added Evandro. Kodak is known for introducing new products regularly within a short interval of time. The company has made pioneering investments in digital and materials deposition technologies in the recent years, generating approximately 75 percent of its revenue from digital businesses in 2011. “Our digital press NexPress is getting quite good response in the market because of its capacity to produce high quality output,” he informed.

Bhalchandra NikumbOn asking precisely what went wrong with Kodak over the years, ultimately adopting Chapter 11 protection? Is it because of financial mis-planning or too much products in the portfolio? “Nothing went ‘wrong’ as such,” Evandro answered instantly. “Pursuing more, sometimes requires ‘tough decisions’. Our decisions are to make us stronger, ensuring our continued footprints increasing in the graphic arts industry,” he added. Kodak has already conveyed that it took the step to come under Chapter 11 protection after preliminary discussions with key constituencies and intends to work towards a consensual reorganization in the best interests of its stakeholders and expect to complete its US-based restructuring by 2013. Kodak believes that, its business reorganization is intended to bolster liquidity in the US and abroad, monetize non-strategic intellectual property, fairly resolve legacy liabilities, and enable the company to focus on its most valuable business lines. The company has already obtained a fully-committed, $950 million debt-in-possession credit facility with an 18-month maturity from Citigroup to enhance liquidity and working capital, conceives that it has sufficient liquidity to operate its business, and to continue the flow of goods and services to its customers in the ordinary course.

Talking about Indian operations of the company, Bhalchandra Nikumb, also emphasized that Kodak base in India is quite strong and most of the products, i.e CtP devices and plates, for Indian market continue coming from Kodak’s manufacturing facility in China. “And we shall continue informing our customers about the reality of Chapter 11 protection, sharing with them the entire scenario and the benefits lying underneath; the company is also running a dedicated website (www.kodaktransforms.com) to let all update about Kodak’s reorganization initiatives,” concluded Nikumb.

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