Xavier Rolet, the chief executive of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), has 15.6 million reasons for Deutsche Boerse to buy it.
The French CEO is likely to see almost £16 million of paper profit crystallise into cash if the likely takeover of London Stock Exchange goes ahead.
Rolet got a £6.3 Million ($8.9 million) salary at the stock exchange operator in 2104, according to the company’s most recent annual report, as well as an award of 560,559 LSE shares as part of a bonus scheme.
As of Monday, they would be worth £15.6 million ($22.1 million). The LSE’s annual report for 2015 has yet to be released, but could reveal he was awarded even more last year.
German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse is currently circling LSE and if a takeover deal goes through, Rolet’s paper interest in the company will likely crystallise into hard cash if he sells his entire holding. In fact, a takeover deal is likely to pay a premium for LSE, meaning Rolet’s shareholding could yield an even greater payout.
The most recent figures state that Rolet has 966,7332 shares in LSE overall, which are currently worth £26.9 million ($38.1 million). But it’s not clear how much of those are shares Rolet has bought himself, as opposed to share awards. What is clear, though, is that the 560,559 he got in 2014 would be a windfall.
The LSE told Business Insider that the bonus rewards “are not related to, nor conditional on the proposed merger. To suggest otherwise is completely wrong and without foundation.”
Rolet is backing the merger with Deutsche Boerse, recently calling the potential tie-up “industry defining.”
Deutsche Boerse’s much-reported interest in a deal — estimated to be worth £20 billion ($28.3 billion) — comes at a great time for the LSE. It recently announced a 72% jump in income to £2.38 billion ($3.37 billion) from 2014 and a 27% jump in profits to £710 million ($1.06 billion).
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), an Atlanta-based company which owns the New York Stock Exchange, has also expressed interest in buying the company.
Under current takeover rules, Deutsche Boerse has until March 22nd to make a firm offer for the LSE, according to The Times. ICE’s time limit is March 29th. It adds that if the latter won out then the LSE would have a tie to the derivatives business Liffe, which ICE also owns, which would be a boon for the LSE.
Rolet recently commented that Britain’s upcoming referendum to leave the EU had nothing to do with any potential buyouts of the LSE, saying the stock exchange was “a global company and we have a global infrastructure. We do not have any geographic policies, we position ourselves for clients in a way we can service them. I’m happy with London’s global reach. The group has international aspirations.”
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