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Investor urges Kodak to sell itself
(Reuters) - A Eastman Kodak Co EK.N shareholder has urged its board to sell the company due to worries about its financial condition, sending the stock up 5 percent.
Investment Partners Asset Management, which owns Kodak convertible bonds and about 220,000 shares, said on Thursday it wrote to the company's board to ask it to take immediate steps toward a sale.
Kodak did not respond to a request for comment.
The shareholder criticized the company's management and called on large shareholders to push for change. Investment Partners co-principal Gregg Abella told Reuters his firm was gaining some support from other investors.
"I've received messages of support from a number of shareholders, some with large positions," said Abella, who previously criticized Kodak Chief Executive Antonio Perez.
Shareholder Ken Luskin, who said his company Intrinsic Value Asset management holds roughly 4.1 million Kodak shares, also complained about its management.
"I support anything that would remove the current management from managing these assets if it requires selling the company or not. Anything is better than what is currently going on," said Luskin, who added his company had bought the bulk of its Kodak shares in recent months in the hope it could cash in on the value of its technology patents.
The public push came days after Kodak shares hit a 38-year low as investors fled because it drew down a credit line by $160 million, raising concerns about cash flow generation and its ability to compete.
Kodak shares were up 8 cents, or 5 percent, at $1.63 in late afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading. By comparison shares of Kodak, which has not turned a profit since 2007, hovered at around $90 per share in 1997 before it began its steady descent.
(Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Andre Grenon)
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