Kodak explores tapping pension fund’s $1.2 billion surplus, Bloomberg reports

By Thomson Reuters Feb 29, 2024 | 4:08 PM

(Reuters) – Eastman Kodak Co is contemplating a move to unlock gains created by its overfunded pension system, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Shares of the company closed about 52.6% higher, after the report.

Kodak was once a key player in the photography and film industry, but was overtaken by the shift to digital. It now focuses on manufacturing advanced materials and chemicals.

The company did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.

Kodak is weighing a so-called pension reversion, which would enable it to take control of the surplus rather than leaving excess capital to current and future retirees, the people said.

The maneuver would involve selling its portfolio of illiquid investments while liquidating other positions, the report added.

The overfunded status soared to about $1.2 billion at the end of 2022, or more than four times Kodak’s market capitalization, Bloomberg said.

Proceeds may be used for purposes such as paying down debt and investing in growth initiatives, according to the people.

The report added no final decision has been made.

(Reporting by Sriparna Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)