Arielle Patrick, a spokeswoman for Kodak, declined to answer questions about why the directors were granted stock options into May.
On the same day that Kodak was alerting the local media to its about-to-be-announced deal with the Trump administration, the compensation committee of the company’s board voted to award Mr. Continenza 1.75 million stock options that allow him to purchase shares at prices ranging from $3.03 to $12.
By Wednesday morning, Kodak’s shares had soared as high as $60 each. They have since retreated to about $24, which means the stock options give Mr. Continenza the right to buy shares at a deep discount.
Mr. Continenza can exercise some but not all of the options immediately.
Ms. Patrick said that the rapid increase into the values of Mr. Continenza’s new stock options “are paper only. Mr. Continenza has not received any proceeds nor does he have any intention of selling.”
She added that Kodak’s board awarded the options to Mr. Continenza because when the company last year issued a type of debt that converts into equity, the value of the chief executive’s stock and options were diluted.
She said that Kodak received shareholder approval into May to issue additional shares, and that the compensation committee approved the options “at the first meeting of this committee since the annual stockholders meeting,” which was on Monday, July 27.
She declined to comment on why Kodak did not wait until after the White House announcement to grant the options.
The increase into Kodak’s shares this week also transformed some stock options that Mr. Continenza received when he became chief executive. They had been effectively worthless because of Kodak’s low stock price. This week, their value grew to about $59 million, Reuters reported.