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Troubled Kodak creates new business structure

Staff Report • Jan 10, 2012 at 2:16 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Struggling Kodak is seeking to simplify its structure and cut costs by reducing the number of its business segments from three to two. Shares shot up 34 percent in premarket trading.

Eastman Kodak Co., once a photography pioneer, was pummeled by consumers' switch to digital. Its fortunes deteriorated further last year, and it said in November that it could run out of cash in a year if it couldn't sell a trove of digital-imaging patents.

Kodak said Tuesday that it now has a commercial and a consumer segment. Both units will report to the new chief operating office, which will be led by COO and President Philip Faraci and by Laura Quatela, who was also recently named as president and COO.

Previously, Kodak's business segments were divided into its traditional film and photo paper products, consumer digital imaging and graphic communications, which included printing equipment. No business segments are being cut, just reorganized.

Kodak spokesman Christopher Veronda said the company is not announcing job cuts as part of this reorganization.

"However, we will continue to look for opportunities to streamline operations and properly position the company's portfolio," he said.

Kodak has been reported to be preparing for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing if it can't sell the digital-imaging patents, which could fetch as much as $3 billion according to analysts. No buyers have emerged since the company started shopping the patents around in July.

In November, it reported its ninth quarterly loss in three years and said its cash reserves had fallen 10 percent in three months.

The company's stock rose 14 cents to 54 cents before the market opened on Tuesday. The New York Stock Exchange warned Kodak earlier this month that it would drop the stock if its price remained below $1 per share for the next six months.

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