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.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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