Friday 23 March 2018

Elan boss has €50m exit clause

Roisin Burke

Pharma giant Elan's chief executive stands to make close to €50m if a sale of the company sees him depart.

Kelly Martin's remuneration deal provides for a range of juicy exit payments that kick in if there is a change of control at the Irish drug firm.

Elan, which is putting itself on the block to fend off a €6bn hostile takeover bid, claims it has received several expressions of interest from mid-size drug companies.

Those known to be closely tracking proceedings include Valeant, GSK and Allergan, Hatteras Venture Partners and Edward's Lifesciences.

If the company is sold and Martin goes, he gets €5m – three times his salary and bonus as a lump sum on exit. Piled on to that are the proceeds of his various generous stock options, which tots up to a €47m total windfall.

Departure payments would be tax free, with any tax being refunded by the company, according to details in Elan's annual report.

Controversy has flared in recent days as respected pharma industry figure Jack Schuler and others slated Elan's rejection of Royalty Pharma's bid for the company.

Elan thinks it can match or top Royalty Pharma's bid price of €11.63 a share, hoping to lure bidders attracted to its €2.4bn cash pile and assets, but others close to the action are not so sure. Tomorrow at the Davenport Hotel in Dublin, this and other matters will be up for vote at an EGM.

Irish Independent

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