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Trading of Polaroid Is Halted

From Reuters

Shares of Polaroid Corp., the beleaguered maker of instant film and cameras, did not trade Wednesday as speculation mounted that the company would seek bankruptcy protection from creditors.

A Polaroid spokesman did not know whether the stock would open for trading today.

“The decision not to open trading [Wednesday] was made by the stock exchange in consultation with Polaroid,” spokesman Skip Colcord said. “And we don’t have any more comment on that.”

For now, Cambridge, Mass.-based Polaroid is saying it continues to pursue a number of strategic alternatives to satisfy creditors.

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Besides its well-known instant cameras and film, Polaroid is the No. 1 maker of digital cameras for the mass-merchandising market. But its sales overall have been sliding for years.

Industry analysts have expected Polaroid to seek bankruptcy protection after the firm’s stop-gap measures, such as selling real estate and slashing jobs, failed to free up enough cash to meet debt agreements this summer.

The stock (ticker symbol: PRD), which traded for as much as $60 in 1997, closed at 28 cents Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The price has fallen 98% in the last year. The company was one of the glamour stocks of the late-1960s.

Polaroid owes about $600 million to holders of its bonds and about $350 million to two groups of banks. Polaroid’s management has been pressing for a loan of about $100 million.

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Polaroid missed interest payments in July and August to bondholders and hired investment bankers to explore strategic alternatives, including selling all or part of the company.

Polaroid received waivers from its U.S. and European bank groups through Oct. 12. This allowed the company to proceed with restructuring moves.


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