BAE Systems has maintained its silence on reports that its chief executive could net a massive £18million windfall from the proposed merger with rival firm EADS.
Ian King, who lives in Portsmouth and is a lifelong Pompey fan, has accumulated lucrative share options which would usually take years to mature. But if the £30billion deal goes through, he would be paid the mulit-million pound lump sum right away, according to the Daily Mail.
A BAE spokesperson declined to comment.
The newspaper claims that after 36 years in the company, Mr King has built up extensive holdings of shares and options through a web of executive reward schemes.
He has more than one million BAE shares in his portfolio, worth more than £3.36million at the current price. In the merger, he would either receive at least that amount in cash or the equivalent value in new shares in the combined group.
Mr King has also amassed options on around 4.5million shares in executive reward schemes which are set to bear fruit over a number of years.
But a deal with EADS may trigger a clause set out in the company’s annual report meaning the shares all pay out at once.
This would hand him an instant jackpot of £14.5million – taking his grand total to £17.8million.
It is not clear at this stage whether any or all of these sums will be paid out.
MPs have launched an inquiry into the merger.