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Kodak Shares Take a Beating After Government Blocks $765 Million Loan

The company was to receive the loan to make drug ingredients for use in potential COVID-19 vaccines, but red flags were raised about securities transactions made by Kodak and its executives.

Image: Screenshot of announcement made July 28 2020. Oops. Source: Eastman Kodak.

(Reuters) – Shares of Eastman Kodak Co fell about 40% in the premarket on Monday and were on track for their worst single-day decline after the U.S. government blocked a $765 million loan to the company, which was going to make drug ingredients for use in possible COVID-19 vaccines, because of “alleged wrongdoing” by executives.

The U.S. International Development Finance Corp (DFC) was slated to grant the loan to Eastman Kodak, which is looking to move deeper into the pharmaceutical arena.

But alarms were raised after senior Democratic lawmakers asked federal regulators to investigate securities transactions made by the company and its executives around the time it learned it could receive the government loan.

U.S. President Donald Trump said last week the government would investigate the circumstances surrounding the announcement of the loan.

“Recent allegations of wrongdoing raise serious concerns,” U.S. International Development Finance Corp (DFC) said late on Friday in a tweet.

The company’s shares have soared more than five-fold, with retail traders on the popular Robinhood trading app piling into the stock since DFC announced it would sign a letter of interest to provide the loan to the company.

More than 900 million shares have exchanged hands since the loan announcement, nearly 12 times the company’s outstanding shares.

The stock is off its lows for the day but still down 27% to $10.87 in mid-afternoon trading Monday.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr.


Source: Reuters

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