When Eastman Kodak announced it would launch a cryptocurrency token by partnering with a photo agency, the stock price rocketed.
Kodak, the imaging company with roots in old-school photography, announced the partnership at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 8 and its share price skyrocketed by nearly 250%, from $3.10 the day before the announcement to a closing price of $10.70 on January 10.
Read: Kodak’s stock doubles after camera and film pioneer boards blockchain bandwagon
The buzz has subsided slightly but the shares are still up over 200% from the beginning of last week.
Now, thanks to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, more is known about the planned partnership between Eastman Kodak Co.
and Wenn Digital, parent company of a paparazzi photo agency Wenn Media.
Read: Opinion: Kodak’s monster gains show there’s a killing to be made by trading blockchain news
Wenn Digital Inc. filed a Form D, the paperwork required for the KodakCoin initial coin offering, or ICO, with the SEC on January 16. Wenn Digital, not Kodak, told the regulator the total offering of $6.75 million, scheduled for Jan. 31, will be available in $50,000 minimum investments to qualified investors only.
Wenn Digital is headquartered in a shared office space in Santa Monica, California, above a smoke products shop and a T-Mobile store, according to a photo on Google Maps.
A phone call to the number listed on the filing was answered by a programmer, who referred calls to the London-based headquarters. A representative from Wenn Digital’s outside public relations firm, Weber Shandwick, emailed that the company had no further statements at this time.
The KodakCoin offering is said to be an “other” category security, a “sale and issuance of agreement to issue tokens” and is being offered under Rule 506(c). That’s an exemption to the Securities Act of 1934 that allows a company to broadly solicit and generally advertise an unlimited dollar amount offering and still comply with securities laws. The company only needs to make sure all the investors in the offering are “accredited” investors and needs to take “reasonable steps to verify that the investors are accredited” such as reviewing W-2s, tax returns, bank and brokerage statements, credit reports and similar income and asset statements.
Companies offering securities, in this case crypto tokens, under Rule 506(c) do not have to register their offering of securities with the SEC in the traditional way such as with an initial public offering via an S-1. All they need to do is electronically file Form D, a brief notice that includes names and addresses of the company’s promoters, executive officers and directors, and some details about the offering, but not much else.
See also: SEC, CFTC warn of risk of virtual currencies and initial coin offerings
Kodak and its officers names are nowhere on Wenn Digital’s Form D, but it does have the names of seven officers, two directors and is signed by an attorney. That team can also be found on the webpage that Kodak, who is licensing its iconic brand name to the initiative, posted to promote the initiative.
The filing says its previous name was Wenn Ryde Holdings. Wenn Media’s New York headquarters directed MarketWatch to email Wenn Digital CEO, Jan Denecke, in Germany. His email address has a Ryde.One extension. A phone message left for outside attorney Christina Gagnier, who signed the filing on behalf of Wenn Digital, was not returned.
A report by ArsTechnica said that KodakCoin seems to be a re-branding of an earlier initial coin offering called Ryde coin that is now defunct. The project had a page on the crowdfunding site Start Engine. Ryde coin was being pitched as late as early January as a way of expanding the licensing business of its creator.