Eastman Kodak has been given the go-ahead to end its bankruptcy protection status.
It filed for bankruptcy at the start of last year, owing the equivalent of five billion euros
Since then, it has restructured and sold much of its business and patents.
Reborn as a much smaller company, it will specialise in high-speed digital printing technology and flexible packaging for consumer goods.
The once mighty photography pioneer was brought down by a failure to embrace digital camera technology.
In bankruptcy, Kodak also failed to obtain significant value for its portfolio of patents, which experts said was a crucial reason it had to sell core businesses and reinvent itself.
But the bankruptcy did resolve a major dispute with retirees over pensions, and it has forged a restructuring plan that, while wiping out shareholders, should pay secured creditors and second-lien noteholders in full.
General unsecured creditors are likely to receive a marginal payout in the neighborhood of 4 cents to 5 cents on the dollar.
US Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper calling Kodak’s collapse a “tragedy of American economic life”.
He said: “This comes on a day when many are losing retirement benefits, and many are finding that their recovery as a creditor is just a minute fraction of what their debt is. But I cannot decree a larger payment for creditors or any payment for shareholders if the value is not there.”
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