IDFC loan to Kodak for pharma ingredients hits a snag

SEC to probe Kodak insider trading on 28 July 2020

Screenshot via Internet of the Kodak stock price on the NYSE for the past month
Screenshot via Internet of the Kodak stock price on the NYSE for the past month

The US$ 765 loan IDFC loan to Kodak for producing pharma ingredients seems to have hit a snag with allegations being raised by the US senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren. In an open letter to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, senator Warren urged the agency to investigate “potential incidents of insider trading prior to the 28 July 2020, public announcement of the Trump administration’s US$ 765 million loan to Eastman Kodak Co. (Kodak) to support the production of generic drug ingredients in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.”

The International Development Finance Corporation, which was to give the loan tweeted late on Friday 7 August 2020, “On July 28, we signed a Letter of Interest with Eastman Kodak. Recent allegations of wrongdoing raise serious concerns. We will not proceed any further unless these allegations are cleared.”

It is said that Kodak’s stock moved 25% the day before the news was officially disclosed. It is alleged that some stock options were awarded just a day before the loan became public. According to media reports, Kodak shared information on the loan with an agreed-on embargo news embargo with a few media outlets before the public announcement. It is reported that some of the media published the information in violation of the embargo before they were asked to delete it.

Meanwhile, Kodak says it has launched its own investigation by a select committee. The company said, “The committee, comprised of directors Jason New and William G. Parrett, will oversee an internal review of recent activity by the company and related parties in connection with the announcement of a potential loan by the US International Development Finance Corporation to support the launch of Kodak Pharmaceuticals.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here