How’s that for clickbait!!! But trust me there’s a payoff. Plus, this is my shortest post ever so it will be painless!
You may have seen the news about Eastman Kodak (KODK) getting into the pharma manufacturing business. As a result, the stock has leapt from $2 on Friday to as high as $60 today. Why should you care?
Kodak has a very large shareholder who has 15% ownership including 4.4M shares bought last December at $2.50. I know, I know you’re asking, why do I care? What does this have to do with insurance?
That 15% investor, who made at the peak about $400M this week, is none other than George Karfunkel! Wuh wuh what??? Yes, the Karfunkels have left insurance for a dying photography & printing now pharma business.
Wait, did I say left insurance? While I’ll be, they did leave insurance, through a magnificently orchestrated sale of Nat Gen to Allstate at a 70% premium. The Karfunkel family owned 40% of the company.
So in one month the Karfunkels have made a 70% gain on their Nat Gen exit and hundreds of millions of dollars on the cigar stub of Kodak!
Take that, Warren Buffett! George Karfunkel is the new investing king!
UPDATE: Renee Karfunkel, George’s wife, owns an additional 15% so they own 30% of the company!
SECOND UPDATE: The family donated 3M shares at a valuation presumably in the neighborhood of $100M after the stock jumped on the news disclosure. The donation was to a synagogue with no public information available and no address that I can find.
THIRD UPDATE: First, to update the original update…there is conflicting information, but it appears George and Renee together own 15%, not 30%.
More importantly, the deal with the government is unraveling. The original announcement was not a done deal but a “letter of interest”. The DFC – the counterparty to the LOI – has now announced they have suspended the agreement while it investigates behavior at Kodak. Refer back to the second update above to notice the share donation made in between the original press release and this new information.