News Column

Sports Direct Shareholders Back 2015 Bonus Plan, Including Ashley

July 2, 2014

Anthony Tshibangu

LONDON (Alliance News) - Sports Direct International PLC Wednesday said its shareholders have voted in favour of its 2015 Bonus Plan for executives, meaning that founder and Deputy Chairman Mike Ashley will potentially get his first remuneration since the company listed in 2007.

Ashley holds 57.71% of Sports Direct shares, after selling a 4% interest in the company for GBP204 million in April. The company's shareholders have previously voted against paying Ashley any pay or bonus on three separate occasions, most recently in early April when they rejected a GBP72.5 million share bonus package.

Sports Direct in early June proposed including Ashley in the company's overall executive bonus plan for 2015.

However, just under 40% of shareholders still voted against the latest proposal at Wednesday's meeting.

The company had previously said that Ashley's invitation to participate in the scheme reflected the fact that he has received "no remuneration for his substantial contribution to the company since its initial public offering in February 2007" and the fact that he is not participating in the 2011 executive bonus share scheme.

The new share scheme will grant those included in the plan no-cost options over 25 million shares, as long as certain earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation targets are met.

The performance targets are Ebitda of GBP480 million in the financial year 2016, GBP570 million in 2017, GBP650 million in 2018 and GBP750 million in 2019. If these targets are all met, 25% of any award would vest after the company's results in 2019, and 75% after its results in 2021.

In fiscal 2013, the company made Ebitda, excluding exceptional costs and some other charges, including the costs of previous company share bonus schemes, of GBP287.9 million, up from GBP235.7 million in fiscal 2012.

Sports Direct will announce its full year results July 17.

Sports Direct shares were trading down 1.0% at 720.509 pence Wednesday morning.

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Source: Alliance News

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