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Eastman Kodak’s top executive reportedly got Trump deal windfall on an ‘understanding’

Eastman Kodak on Monday granted its executive chairman options for 1.75 million shares as the result of what a person familiar with the arrangement described as an “understanding” with its board that had previously neither been listed in his employment contract nor made public.

One day later, the administration of President Donald Trump announced a $765 million financing deal with Eastman Kodak, and in the days that followed the stock soared, making those additional options now held by executive chairman Jim Continenza worth tens of millions.

The decision to grant Continenza options was never formalized or made into a binding agreement, which is why it was not disclosed previously, according to the person familiar with the arrangement. The options were granted to shield Continenza’s overall stake in the company from being diluted by a $100 million convertible bond deal clinched in May 2019 to help Eastman Kodak stay afloat, according to the person’s account.

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