Financial troubles once more for Ilford Imaging


posted Monday, December 2, 2013 at 4:36 PM EDT


Ilford Imaging Switzerland -- one of two companies that emerged from the ashes of bankrupt British photo film maker Ilford just ten years ago -- is once more faced by financial difficulties, we hear today.

Named after the town of Ilford, Essex where it was founded in 1879, and originally traded as Britannia Works, Ilford found itself faced by bankruptcy in 2004. Post-bankruptcy, the company split in two, with Ilford Imaging focusing on photo inkjet paper and commercial printing media, while Harman Technology -- trading as Ilford Photo -- continued in the photo film and supplies business. Among photographers, Ilford Imaging is best known for its Galerie photo paper line.

Ilford Imaging is best-known by photographers for its Galerie inkjet paper line. It also produces a wide range of different media types for commercial printing.

Perhaps a little surprisingly, it's Ilford Imaging that now finds itself insolvent once more, while its analog sibling continues unaffected. Ilford Imaging's latest woes started when UK-based investment firm Paradigm Global Partners walked away last summer, three years after it acquired the company from Japan's Oji Paper. Since then, it has struggled to find a buyer, despite having had 20 parties show interest. The sole remaining potential investor reportedly withdrew from discussions earlier this week.

An August 2013 restructuring of the company has yet to make an impact on the situation. Nor could the sale of land owned  by the company's real estate arm, Ilford Property, with the funds injected into Ilford Imaging. Ilford's management has informed its employees -- of which there were some 230 as of last summer, mostly in Switzerland -- of the situation, and officially declared its insolvency to the court of Fribourg. They were doubtless already aware of the situation, though, having already been paid late in June and July of this year as the company struggled to find funds to continue, while suppliers withheld raw materials until payment was received.

What all of this means for Ilford's Galerie inkjet paper, we wait to see. The good news, though, is that Ilford Photo's film products are unaffected.

(via Amateur Photographer)