BOSTON (AP) Polaroid Corp. said Wednesday it would explore a merger or sale and said it received a reprieve from lenders, as the the camera and film maker tries to dig out of debt.
The company announced a waiver, good through Oct. 12, on a $363 million line of credit that was set to expire Thursday, but said it would miss payments to bond holders next month. It now faces negotiations with bondholders to restructure that debt.
The company has hired advisers to look into a sale of assets, a merger or sale of the company, and/or a strategic partnership, said Polaroid spokesman Skip Colcord.
The company must now negotiate with bondholders, who after 30 days could use the missed payments to force Polaroid into involuntary bankruptcy, said Buckman, Buckman & Reid analyst Ulysses Yannas.
At this stage Polaroid has no intention of either declaring bankruptcy or going into a prepackaged bankruptcy, he said. At least thats what the statement implies. Its a question of how successful they can be renegotiating these notes.
Polaroid said it would miss an $11 million interest payment due Monday and $16 million due August 15, as well as a $19 million principal payment due in September.
Polaroid, founded in 1937, made its name producing instant cameras and film, but it was caught flat-footed by the recent shift to digital technology.
In May, Polaroid debuted a line of Opal and Onyx digital printers, and unveiled a plan to share the technology with other companies and build kiosks in high-traffic areas like shopping malls.
But while the technology impressed analysts, some said it came too late to make a dent in Polaroids debts, which totaled $860 million last month. The company laid off 950 workers in February and another 2,000 last month.
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