I expect it is because the UK legislation imposes pension obligations on parent companies as well as directly on the employers. I also expect that the size of the UK pension claim was at least partially due to statutory restrictions on the investments that pension plans are able to make.
Originally Posted by RattyMouse
As I understand it, Kodak Limited (the UK employer) was similar to Kodak Canada - a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastman Kodak. That was how Eastman Kodak set up their worldwide businesses. As I understand it, all (or most) of the subsidiaries maintain(ed) their own pension plans.
As far as I know, none of the other international Kodaks are in bankruptcy. Certainly Kodak Canada isn't.
From what I have been able to gather, each of the international Kodaks, as well as Eastman Kodak, invested regularly the funds that their actuarial calculations indicated would be necessary to fund their pension obligations into the future. Most of those funds are held in a trust-like arrangement, and are immune from creditors.
The problems that have arisen are:
1) All the actuarial assumptions were based on normal market returns; and
2) To at least a certain extent, Eastman Kodak (and possibly others) were using current revenues to fund other, non-pension retiree benefits, like health plans.
As we all know, investment markets are far from what was once considered "normal".
I have seen at least one publication that indicated that the entire Kodak Limited pension shortfall is due to the reduction in interest payable on Government Treasury bills and similar, low risk investments.
In the case of the UK, there is a government fund intended to at least partially benefit those whose pension entitlements are not met due to employer shortfalls. That government entity was involved in the negotiations of the settlement, and is of the view that the assets being transferred to the UK pension plan are of considerably greater value than the value of the government's guarantee.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I'd be well happy with this. Leave Fuji as the only big cumbersome company with their fingers in every pie (although if they kill Velvia I'll scream), and turn Kodak more into the vein of Ilford. They may not be as diversified, but they do one thing and do it well, and are fairly healthy because of it. The smaller ones like Efke, Impossible, Foma, Ferrania, and Agfa/Adox/Maco/whoevertheyare are going to be the smaller, but more nimble and more able to listen to customers requests and react accordingly (I suppose Ilford belong in that boat too, eg their ULF-run).
Originally Posted by thegman
It's still not a guarantee of sustainability unfortunately, case-in-point Efke. A tiny change in the market, customers and/or suppliers, or just a big bill for equipment repairs can sink the whole boat.
Maybe (and this is very very wishful thinking), a smaller nimble Kodak will result in them being able to do special runs of classic films or sizes (even 4x5/8x10 and/or ektachrome again), if they can find the chemicals and skills (as has been discussed-to-death in the 'ilford-colour' thread).
Corporate governance is going to be a weird one with this 'run by pension scheme' company. Do they have to just keep plodding along doing what they do? Are they allowed to invest in R&D, or does every spare penny go straight to the retirees? (ie, will we see anything more than Ektar/Portra/TriX/TMax/400CN ever again?) Are they getting the patents to the current films, or all films, or has EK sold the patents and they have to license? (and if so, does that mean that anyone else can also license?)
Also, if the US-based EK is keeping the motion-picture films and the UK-based Pension-fund is taking the consumer 135/120 films, are there any crossovers or are they very distinct production lines? And what's made where in what country?
Last edited by Dr Croubie; 08-20-2013 at 11:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.
f/64 and be there.
Great news for sure, now I think the real work can begin in terms of market identification and marketing for film.
But....I hear a lot of talk of Kodak working to make film at a smaller and sustainable scale. The film is still going to be coated at Building 38 in Rochester, not at a new facility. As far as I know, it takes a huge amount of leader and tail to make the total of one mile of 54" wide un-slit film.....that goes for *each* emulsion type and then all over again for the thicker sheet film versions.
So Ron ( Photo Engineer ) correct me if I am wrong, but as long as KPP has to have the film coated in building 38, there is no smaller scale as is being enthusiastically implied here by several. I hope I am wrong, because a smaller scale would be far more ideal, like Ilford is able to do. But you and I were both in Rochester that rainy day in 2009 and I saw first hand what that complex operation looked like....as I recall, it was not built for short runs, maybe it can be re-tooled? I don't know, but that is the next question really, once Kodak has satisfied the 2015 motion picture film contracts, what happens next and how does that expected drop in the demand for film products overall play into the viability of the films we all love to buy and use if they still need to coat it a mile at a time?
Last edited by PKM-25; 08-21-2013 at 01:28 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~
Un-bankrupt is that something like undead I am happy for Kodak and I hope they can get rid of their Nosferatu who sucks the company dry meaning Count Perez and his Vampire friends. Garlic in the Filmcoating might help :-)
Perez has already been reported as on his way out. That being said, fear any CEO of any type.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
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Then maybe Kodak's employees should stockpile garlic, stakes, crosses, etc.. for future use against corporate Nosferatu.
I don't recall ever reading anything else about this online that I agree with as much as this. Spot on.
Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick
As another poster points out, Efke is not a good example as they are already gone. Of course they were making film with poor QC on equipment basically held together with duct tape and baling wire, but it (and even more so the paper) will be missed none the less.
Originally Posted by thegman
Originally Posted by Dr Croubie
Great news! Long live Tri-X!
Will the whole movie world really stop using film in 2015? I find that impossible to believe. There must be an endless number of movie studios world wide and now that Fuji is out of the business, only Kodak makes film for all these studios. Surely a large percentage will be using film after 2015.