Thousands of staff at mobile communications giant Vodafone are to share a £230m windfall this summer.
Some 42,000 employees – seven out of 10 staff – will receive an average of £5,500 each when their share options mature in July.
Vodafone granted 480 million options to shop workers, call centre staff and middle management towards the end of the dotcom slump in 2002, when the price was drifting to a five-year low.
Vodafone has also met earnings growth targets, which means staff can cash in from 1 July or at any point in the next seven years.
The payout is larger than the £106m windfall split earlier this year by Tesco staff who invested in the supermarket chain’s Save As You Earn scheme.