The judge's decision comes as no surprise to many who have watched the entire process unfold.
It's been 20 months since Eastman Kodak filed for Chapter 11 banktruptcy. During that time, the company cut its corporate spending, eliminated hundreds of jobs and reduced its real estate footprint. Now, it has the okay to implement its reorganizational plan as a new and much smaller Kodak.
"The most important thing is the creditors bought into this, so all of the interest holders, except for the shareholders, are basically on board and that makes the court's decision very much easier, and Kodak's had excellent representation. I've said right from the beginning, this was a very efficient and effectively run Chapter 11," said John Ninfo, retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge.
Shareholders argued this plan would leave them with nothing, and it does. Current Kodak stock will now be worthless.
"You've got a situation here where when you break it all down the shareholders are going to get zero and that's a bitter pill to swallow. The unsecured creditors, these would be the bondholders, are going to get a nickle on the dollar. It's a tremendous vaporizing of wealth that's taken place over on State Street," said Michael Francis of Brighton Securities.
There were no issues for retirees at the hearing in New York City. The Eastman Kodak Retirees Association reached final settlements about a year ago on health care and other matters.
EKRA recently had what it calls a mild victory when Kodak and its attorneys agreed to recalculate a more appropriate discount rate and mortality table for its unfunded pension plan.
"The big issue that's there is the Kodak Retirement and Income Plan, that's the pension plan that people have annuities in. As long as Kodak's strong, as long as they continue to support that plan, as long as they continue to fund that, that will continue," said president Art Roberts.