(Bloomberg)-In the months before the Trump administration announced a $765 million loan to the troubled camera company, Eastman Kodak Co. substantially increased its lobbying for the federal government.
According to public disclosure information submitted to Congress, Kodak spent $870,000 on lobbying Congress and federal agencies from April to June. The report shows that the Rochester, New York-based company did not spend any money on lobbying because it spent less than $5,000 in the first quarter of 2019.
The recent lobbying activity may help obtain a letter of intent issued by the US International Development Finance Corp. on July 28, which will provide Kodak with a $765 million loan for the production of pharmaceutical raw materials. When the news of the offer was announced, Kodak’s stock rose sharply, rising by more than 2,000% at one time. This surge in news triggered a federal investigation into possible violations of securities laws and the grant of stock options by Kodak executives.
“Now, all of a sudden, in a particular quarter in which the government is considering this loan, they suddenly spent more money in that quarter than in any calendar year since 2011,” the government regulator, Citizenship and Ethics Policy Advisor Gabe Lezra said that Washington’s lobbying agency marked an increase in the number of lobbyists. “For me, the reason for jumping out is simply because the way they interact with the government has changed dramatically.”
According to reports, in three months, three Kodak executives, including Chief Financial Officer David Bullwinkel, lobbied the Department of Defense, the Food and Drug Administration, the White House and overseas private investment companies. Kodak specifically lobbied for the Covid-19 plan, which is related to “specialty chemicals manufacturing” and the CARES Act and another Coronavirus Mitigation Act.
“Daily Beast” previously reported on Kodak’s lobbying spending.
“With the outbreak of Covid-19, Kodak, like many businesses across the country, explored federal support for the company and our employees, as well as opportunities to provide assistance to the government at the state and federal levels in response to this epidemic. , A company spokesperson said. “This includes our application for a federal loan to support the launch of Kodak Pharmaceuticals, with the aim of enhancing the domestic response to Covid-19. “
After that, the federal agency that provided loans to Kodak put the transaction on hold. Democrats in the House of Representatives have requested all communications about loans.
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