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€6.5bn-valued Elan pays no tax -- but boss got €9.3m

ELAN, the €6.5bn-valued Irish drug giant headed by Kelly Martin, paid no tax in Ireland last year, according to filings.

Elan boss Martin is one of the top paid chief executives in the country. Last year, he bagged a pay deal worth €9.3m. He received €2.16m in salary and bonus as well as a mega-share option and restricted stock unit package.

Mr Martin was awarded 932,134 stock options last year, which have generated paper profits of €5.6m for the former investment banker. He also received around €1.55m in restricted stock units.

Last year, Elan had sales of €940m largely from its blockbuster drug Tysabri. But the listed drug company had racked up close to $2.47bn in losses through various subsidiaries which may be used to offset potential tax exposures.

Elan's losses stem from spending on funding and developing the drug pipeline over the past few years.

Analysts expect the drug company -- set up by nicotine patch inventor Don Panoz -- to make a profit this year. The firm will pay tax once it has become profitable and used up all the allowances related to its historic losses.

Mr Martin was due to step down this year but has decided to extend his stay at the top of the drugmaker. Fellow directors at the firm include Paddy Power CEO Patrick Kennedy, Davy boss Kyran McLaughlin and former IDA chief Kieran McGowan.

Mr Martin has overseen enormous changes at the drug company over the past three years. Elan had been struggling under a massive debt burden and rampant cash burn.

Drug giant Johnson & Johnson bought an 18.4 per cent stake in Elan and agreed to fund a major drug research pipeline. Last year, Mr Martin slimmed down Elan considerably as he offloaded its EDT drug delivery unit to rival drug maker Alkermes in a €720m cash and shares merger deal. Last month, Elan sold €290m worth of shares in Alkermes. It retains a small shareholding in the Irish headquartered company.

Elan's share price has more than doubled over the past year.

Sunday Indo Business