Nobody can question Eastman Kodak‘s intention in raising some $700 million. Getting a commitment from private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to buy up to $400 million of its debt is also a perfectly logical step for the old-economy stalwart as it lumbers into the digital age. What KKR is thinking is another matter.
KKR says the investment reflects its belief in Kodak’s strategy. They’re also getting warrants in Kodak to purchase up to 53 million shares of its common stock. The Wall Street Journal says KKR could end up owning close to 20 percent of the company.
The 24/7 Wall St blog notes that the fall in Kodak’s share price following the news shows the market isn’t blindly convinced of KKR’s intelligence. But Kodak’s bonds got a boost, if for no other reason than there’s a buyer out there.
Nobody has offered much in the way of explanation as to why KKR sees potential in Kodak. Boosters may say most of the company’s restructuring is behind it, but that doesn’t answer the more important question of what lies ahead. Any bright ideas?