Friday, March 23, 2012

Astral execs to get big payout if BCE deal goes through

BCE Inc. could spend at least $21-million on severance pay for five Astral Media executives if the company's deal for the broadcaster closes as expected in April.
The two companies announced details of the $3.2-billion deal last week. BCE gets dozens of radio and television stations as part of the agreement, and strengthens its hand considerably in Quebec.
Astral's management circular outlines who gets paid what in the event of a takeover, and it indicates five of the company's executives are in line for $21-million in payouts. The total dollar amount is a combination of severance pay, stock options and other share plans.
Founder Ian Greenberg, for example, would receive $5.8-million in severance on top of $5.1-million in stock-related compensation for a total of $10.9-million. The final amount is likely to be higher, because the vesting options section of the circular assumes a takeover price $34.35 for the company's Class A shares. BCE has offered $50 for these shares.

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