Kodak Alaris has secured a further reprieve from its owner, the UK Pension Protection Fund, which has extended an existing US$50 million line of credit through to 2025.
It appeared that Kodak Alaris would need to put in a phenomenal financial performance to avoid financial collapse following its 20/21 results. Not only the board but auditor KPMG was clearly concerned about the ‘going concern’ status of the group, which now comprises just Kodak Moments (photo kiosks and film) and Alaris (document scanners and software).
While KPMG agreed that up until March 2021 ‘the director’s use of the “going concern” basis of accounting in the preparation of the financial statements is appropriate’ they also noted the following: ‘the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern is dependent on the continued financial support from its ultimate parent company, Kodak Alaris Holding Ltd’. [KAHL is wholly owned by the UK Pensioners Protection Fund.] ‘The financial statements of KAHL include a material uncertainty related to going concern and therefore the availability of support may be in doubt if required. These events and conditions…constitute a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.’
However, the pensioners have come to the party, agreeing in the 21/22 financial year (ending March 31) to commit the US$50 million funding through to 2025. The original ‘senior credit facility’ was due to expire September 2023 but has now been extended a further two years. Provided the UK PPF doesn’t lose patience with Kodak Alaris in the meantime, the real crunch comes in August, 2028, when US$145 million of Tranche B loan notes from the Pension Fund mature. Nonetheless, Kodak Alaris only remains trading due to the financial support of the UK PPF. The CEO of the UK PPF is also a director of Kodak Alaris, and the Chair also represents the interest of the pensioners fund.
One of the provisos for the operational funding – the US$50 million – was that Kodak Alaris does not allow net liabilities to be larger than net assets. Kodak Alaris has been failing on this criterion for years, but the UK pensioners have been waiving their right to pull the pin so far, and dropped this particular covenant in July this year.
‘..The directors have a reasonable expectation that the group and company will have sufficient finds to continue to meet its liabilities as they fall due for at least a year and have therefore prepared the statements on a going concern basis’ states the most recent annual report.
Kodak Alaris made a loss in both 2021 (US$39 mil) and 2022 (US$17 mil), and its cash position dropped from US$79 to US$71 mil. It had net liabilities of US$8 mil in 2021 and US$25 mil in 2022.
In the financial report film is highlighted as a good profit earner, with plans for earnings growth including further increases in film prices into the future. So much for uncontrollable costs forcing management’s hand! Just like the Fujifilm situation, film is Kodak Alaris’ cash cow – but unlike Fujifilm, Kodak Alaris doesn’t have the growth prospects Fujifilm has in its Health and IT businesses.
The Kodak Alaris growth engine was supposed to be its ‘AI Foundry’ business, which was planned to apply AI technology to its otherwise mature document scanning/document management business. This was sold, along with the silver photo paper and photochemical businesse, in 2021.
Kodak Alaris has also shut down operations in seven markets, including Brazil.