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leistb
12-19-2008, 03:06 PM
Instant photo inventor Polaroid files for bankruptcy

WASHINGTON (AFP) Polaroid Corp., the iconic inventor of the instant photo camera, filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday amid a fraud probe into its parent company, Petters Group Worldwide.

"(Polaroid) has filed voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in order to facilitate the company's ongoing financial restructuring process," the company said in a statement.

"The financial structuring process and the bankruptcy filing are the result of events at Petters Group Worldwide, the company that has owned Polaroid since 2005," Polaroid said.

"The founder of Petters Group and certain associates are currently under investigation for alleged acts of fraud that have compromised the financial condition of Polaroid and other entities owned by Petters Group," it added.

The company stressed that "Polaroid and its leadership team are not subjects of the ongoing investigation involving Petters Group."

Polaroid said the bankruptcy filing "will not impact day-to-day operations for employees, customers, retailers and suppliers."

"We expect to continue our operations as normal during the reorganization and are planning for new product launches in 2009," Polaroid chief executive Mary Jeffries said.

Polaroid said it has ample cash reserves to finance the reorganization under Chapter 11, which protects a company from its creditors while it restructures under court supervision.

Founded in 1937, Polaroid became a household name a decade later with the release of the first instant film camera, invented by the company's founder, Edwin Land.

Polaroid fell into decline as digital photography replaced film and it filed for bankruptcy protection once previously, in 2001.

It discontinued production of its celebrated instant film cameras in February of this year and now produces LCD televisions, digital cameras and other consumer electronics products.

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