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Better Party Gaming exec perks

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by jetset, Dec 30, 2006.

    Dec 30, 2006
  1. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service

    Rationale for greater rewards is to mitigate effects of loss of US business, and retain top people

    The UK newspaper the Telegraph reports that online gambling group Party Gaming has scrapped the performance targets on options held by its top directors and awarded more shares and multi-million pound bonuses despite the plunging share price in the last few months following the loss of US business.

    Chief executive Mitch Garber's new incentives and bonus package set up is currently worth GBP19 million.

    The Telegraph opines that the awards will be controversial coming after many investors saw the value of their Party Gaming stakes slump by over 60 percent following the US ban on Internet gambling financial transactions which was enacted in October.

    Party Gaming spokesmen defended the decision to award new share options and bonuses as necessary to "...partially mitigate the loss of value on the existing awards and help to retain the group's executive directors and other key employees in these special circumstances".

    CEO Garber has had the shareholder return performance targets scrapped over his options to 20 million shares. These can be awarded next year in eight monthly tranches from May to December.

    He will also be paid GBP 3 million in cash in 30 equal instalments until May 1 2009 and he will receive a minimum bonus of GBP 2 million next year provided he remains with the company on December 1. He has also been granted a new option over another 15 million shares which will vest in 30 equal monthly tranches until May 2009.

    Finance director Martin Weigold's existing options on 8.9 million shares can be vested in nine equal quarterly tranches until December 2008. A new option on another 8.9 million shares will vest over the same period.

    Michael Jackson, chairman of Party Gaming, said: "Party Gaming has the leading executive team in online gaming. Whilst the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act [in the US] changed the business environment, the online gaming sector has remained no less competitive both in terms of attracting and retaining talented individuals."

    The trust which pays out the shares under the incentive scheme has been donated 40 million shares by the founders of Party Gaming to help fund the changes.

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