Exclusive: Eastman Kodak tip executive got Trump understanding asset on an ‘understanding’

By Jessica DiNapoli and Tom Bergin

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Eastman Kodak Co KODK.N on Monday postulated a executive authority options for 1.75 million shares as a outcome of what a authority informed with a arrangement described as an “understanding” with a house that had formerly conjunction been listed in his practice agreement nor done public.

One day later, a administration of President Donald Trump announced a $765 million financing bargain with Eastman Kodak, and in a days that followed a batch soared, creation those additional options now hold by executive authority Jim Continenza value tens of millions.

The preference to extend Continenza options was never formalized or done into a contracting agreement, that is since it was not disclosed previously, according to a authority informed with a arrangement. The options were postulated to defense Continenza’s altogether interest in a association from being diluted by a $100 million automobile bond bargain clinched in May 2019 to assistance Eastman Kodak stay afloat, according to a person’s account.

While Kodak’s proceed is permissible, it is surprising since executives are paid to grow a company’s long-term value and are not customarily given additional remuneration privately to cover events that might harm share prices, several experts said.

Kodak disclosed a batch options endowment to Continenza in a filing to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, that was formerly reported. But a authority informed with a arrangement told Reuters that a transaction occurred since of a bargain with a board.

That arrangement reported by Reuters for a initial time sheds new light on Eastman Kodak’s doing of a astonishing asset for a tip executives.

An Eastman Kodak mouthpiece pronounced that Continenza had no comment. The mouthpiece pronounced a gains reflected by a arise in a share cost are usually on paper: Continenza, she said, “is a clever follower in a destiny of a company, and has never sole a singular share of stock.”

Prior to this week’s financing deal, a association warned investors it was during risk of not stability as a going concern, though it was increased by a agreement with a Trump administration on Tuesday to supply drug ingredients.

As a result, Continenza’s gains during a finish of this week amounted to about $83 million following a roughly 10-fold boost in Eastman Kodak’s stock, compared to a approximately $53 million in gains he would have seen were it not for a additional options, according to a Reuters research of association filings.

Roughly 29% of a options Continenza perceived on Monday vested immediately, giving him a right to money them out as shortly as possible.


While many corporate play and their committees have far-reaching embodiment in awarding options, 3 corporate governance experts interviewed by Reuters pronounced a pierce to lessen a impact of dilution on Continenza’s interest in a association though a before contractual requirement was unusual.

“The remuneration committee’s pursuit is not to strengthen a CEO from any inauspicious outcome on a batch price,” pronounced Sanjai Bhagat, a financial highbrow during a University of Colorado. “It’s to get a CEO to consider about long-term value.”

A fourth expert, Robin Ferracone, arch executive of remuneration consultant Farient Advisors, pronounced a association might have charity the prospect of additional options to executives as they worked toward a automobile bond charity — to equivocate them being “disincentivized” to sign a bargain that would assistance a organisation though potentially H2O down their holdings.

The additional options awarded to Continenza, a former telecommunications executive, were authorized by a board’s remuneration cabinet on Monday, a mouthpiece said. Shareholders had voted in May of this year to boost a shares accessible for executive compensation.

“The emanate is a house wanted to make certain a CEO had a same mercantile fixing as was contemplated when he took a job,” pronounced a authority tighten to a company.

The company’s marketplace capitalization jumped from a small over $100 million during a start of a week to roughly $1 billion by Friday following a deal.

Eastman Kodak also postulated options on Monday to 3 other executives, value $712,000 each, according to regulatory filings. Kodak declined to criticism on a reason for these awards.

The association has struggled to reinvent itself from a flagging camera association after rising from failure in 2013. Its preference by a U.S. supervision for a prolongation of pivotal curative mixture astounded many attention analysts who approaching such a bargain to go to a vital general drug maker.

The government’s U.S. International Development Finance Corporation expelled a Jul 28 matter quoting Continenza as saying: “Kodak will play a vicious purpose in a lapse of a arguable American curative supply chain.”

President Trump, too, hailed a development. “I wish to honour a people in Kodak,” he pronounced during a press briefing. “They’ve been operative really hard.”

(Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli and Tom Bergin; Editing by Greg Roumeliotis, Tom Lasseter and Daniel Wallis)

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