Kodak to stop making digital cameras

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Picture it: Save for a few disposable point-and-shoots, Kodak is exiting the camera business.

Eastman Kodak Co. said Thursday that it will stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames in a move that marks the end of an era for the beleaguered 132-year-old company. Founded by George Eastman in 1880, Kodak was known all over the world for iconic cameras such as the Brownie and the Instamatic. For the past few decades, however, the Rochester, New York-based company has struggled.

The company sought bankruptcy protection from creditors in January in a case that covers $6.7 billion in debt. It has a year to devise a restructuring plan. Citigroup Inc. was approved to lend the company $650 million to continue operating.

Before Thursday’s announcement, Kodak had already been trying to shrink its product line and sell in fewer retail venues, but as sales declines worsened, the company saw no way to make the business profitable.

Kodak said getting out of the digital camera business by June should cut losses by about $100 million a year as it struggles to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Once the digital camera business is phased out, Kodak said its consumer business will focus on printing. It will seek a company to license its EasyShare digital camera brand.


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