Not That Ilford

(commentary)

I've been getting a lot of folk sending me messages about Ilford declaring bankruptcy. Yes, indeed, Ilford Imaging Switzerland is apparently insolvent. But that's the Ilford that makes mostly Galerie photographic inkjet paper and was bought by an investment firm from Oji Paper of Japan, which was the entity that got the Ilfochrome and inkjet paper business when Ilford originally went through bankruptcy in 2004. The company now in bankruptcy is not the Ilford Photo based in UK that makes the B&W film and developing chemicals.

This is probably a good time to remind people of what happened during the original bankruptcy: the main brand name and the color end of the business went to Oji Paper, the black and white side went to Harman Technology, a company created by former Ilford managers. Harman also made inkjet papers, but those appeared under the Harmon name, not Ilford. Yes, confusing. When brands die it is rarely pretty how things turn out. But the good news is that the film-producing side of Ilford is still in business, and as far as I know, healthy.

We're going to have this same problem with Kodak, too, since Kodak did the same kind of splitting up of various units in bankruptcy, many of which retain the right to use the Kodak brand name. Worse still, the brand name in Kodak's case is also licensed by the main company to others in several cases, such as cameras.  

So be careful when you see the word "bankrupt" associated with these split-up entities that only refer to the brand name. 

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