Allied Domecq’s chief executive could receive a windfall of more than £14m if takeover talks lead to the sale of the drinks business.
The company, which makes Beefeater gin, Malibu and Tia Maria, has confirmed it is in the early stages of talks with its French competitor Pernod Ricard, working in tandem with the American group Fortune Brands, which could lead to a bid.
Philip Bowman, who has been chief executive at Allied Domecq since August 1999, has options on more than 2.7 million shares. At an offer price of 650p a share, these would crystallise into £12.4m.
Assuming Bowman would not stay on after a deal, he would also be entitled to compensation for loss of office worth 95% of his annual base salary, contractual benefits and bonuses. Last year he received a pay package worth £2.2m. On top of this £14.6m windfall, Bowman already holds 430,000 shares in Allied Domecq.
Bowman would have been in line for an additional £2.1m had shareholders not pressured Allied Domecq’s remuneration committee into ditching its two-year service contracts for executive directors in October 2003.