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Kodak in financing deal to leave bankruptcy -source

Kodak workers enter corporate headquarters in Rochester, New York January 22, 2004.
Kodak workers enter corporate headquarters in Rochester, New York January 22, 2004.

By Nick Brown

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Eastman Kodak Co has reached a financing deal with bondholders that could take the one-time photography giant out of bankruptcy, a person close to the matter said Monday.

The deal, which needs bankruptcy court approval, would provide Kodak with $793 million in loans on the condition that it receive at least $500 million for a patent portfolio it has been trying to sell for more than a year, the person said.

The financing is also contingent on the company selling all or a portion of its document imaging and personalized imaging businesses, which were also put up for sale, the person said.

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 .

Disposing of its intellectual property and imaging assets would mean a restructured Kodak would largely be out of the consumer business, focusing instead on its commercial imaging businesses.

Kodak had no immediate comment.

The bondholders funding Kodak's loans, which include Centerbridge Partners and a JPMorgan Chase & Co unit, beat out another contingent of second-lien bondholders that had offered financing, the person said.

Some of those second-lien holders on Monday filed court papers objecting to Kodak's request to keep exclusive control of its bankruptcy process through February 28.

The request, which needs court approval, would bar creditors from pushing competing restructuring plans.

(Reporting By Nick Brown; editing by John Wallace and Kenneth Barry)

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