US loan fuels rise in Kodak shares, job creation

Eastman Kodak Co. shares jumped 203% on Tuesday, following news of its intention to form Kodak Pharmaceuticals in Rochester.

Shares of the company (NYSE: KODK) closed at $ 7.94 per share, up from $ 2.62 on July 27.

Accelerating his move is a $ 765 million loan from US International Development Finance Corp. It will support the start-up costs associated with the reallocation and expansion of Kodak’s facilities here and in St. Paul, Minn. The unit, once operational, will create 360 ​​jobs and 1,200 indirect hires, mainly in Rochester.

A letter of intent for the loan was signed on July 28. It will be followed by due diligence before the funds commission.

Monroe County Manager Adam Bello called it a “new chapter” for Kodak.

“In this time of unprecedented challenge, this opportunity will showcase the best of Monroe County and our ability to quickly adapt to the needs of our new economy, even while responding to the COVID-19 crisis,” he said. he declares. “I am delighted to see Kodak leading this forward thinking initiative and have no doubts that our skilled workforce will make it a success. “

Kodak Pharmaceuticals will produce components for the pharmaceutical industry deemed essential by the United States Food and Drug Administration. According to the DFC, while Americans consume about 40% of the world’s supply of bulk components used to produce generics, only 10% are made in the United States.

“Kodak is proud to help strengthen America’s self-sufficiency in the production of the key pharmaceutical ingredients we need to keep our citizens safe,” Kodak Executive Chairman Jim Continenza said in a statement. . “By leveraging our extensive infrastructure, our deep expertise in chemical manufacturing, and our heritage of innovation and quality, Kodak will play a critical role in the return of a reliable US pharmaceutical supply chain. “

The project marks the first use of a new authority delegated by President Donald Trump’s recent executive order that allows the DFC and the US Department of Defense to work together in support of the national response to COVID-19.

Kodak should coordinate closely with the administration and pharmaceutical manufacturers to identify and prioritize components essential to the American people and the national security of the United States.

Smriti Jacob is editor-in-chief of Rochester Beacon.

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