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Kodak appoints committee to review recent activity around federal loan

Aug 7, 2020

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Eastman Kodak has appointed a special committee of independent members of its Board of Directors to look into recent activity surrounding a $765 million federal loan.

That loan is intended to help Kodak develop a pharmaceutical division to produce ingredients used for generic drugs, to make the U.S. less dependent on foreign sources for those medications.

The company’s stock price shot up the day before the loan from the  U.S. International Development Finance Corporation was officially announced. Besides that timing, some Congressional lawmakers raised questions about stock-option grants issued to executives ahead of the loan announcement.

A brief press release issued on Friday by Kodak said that a committee “will oversee an internal review of recent activity by the Company and related parties,” in connection with the loan. That committee will consist of directors Jason New and William Parrett.

The internal review will be conducted by the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld L.L.P.  Kodak said it does not intend to have further public comment on the committee’s work while the review is going on.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the SEC is looking at the circumstances surrounding the announcement of the federal loan by Kodak, but that the investigation is at an early stage and may not produce allegations of wrongdoing. Kodak issued a statement on Tuesday saying that it intends to fully cooperate with any potential inquiries.