Nasdaq-listed Entertainment Gaming Asia Inc has approved a voluntary stock option exchange programme for its employees, directors and other eligible parties.
“The company believes the option exchange programme will provide valuable incentive to retain certain individuals that are important to its future success,” Entertainment Gaming Asia stated in a press release issued on Monday.
“Further, it serves to motivate the participants to contribute to the attainment of the company’s business and financial objectives and, ultimately, the creation of value for all of the shareholders,” the document said.
“The stock option exchange programme would be effected pursuant to a proposed new 2016 stock incentive plan, which amends the company’s existing 2008 stock incentive plan to bring it more in alignment with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange listing rules,” the company additionally noted.
Entertainment Gaming Asia became in late 2014 a majority-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Ltd.
Entertainment Gaming Asia’s business activities include leasing electronic gaming machines to the gaming industry in Asia. Until recently, it also manufactured and distributed gaming chips, gaming plaques and related products. The firm sold that business in May to Gaming Partners International Corp.
In its Monday release, Entertainment Gaming Asia stated it expected to effect the stock option exchange programme in the third quarter of 2016.
Under the terms of the programme, eligible parties would have the opportunity to cancel their existing ‘underwater’ outstanding stock options – i.e., options with exercise prices that are higher than the current market trading price of the company’s common stock – in exchange for a replacement option grant for an equal number of shares. The latter will have an exercise price of US$1.94 per unit.
The Entertainment Gaming Asia share price stood at US$2.06 at the end of Monday’s trading session in New York.
The firm expects that options amounting to 484,781 shares of common stock of Entertainment Gaming Asia, or approximately 3 percent of total shares outstanding, will be part of the exchange programme, it said.
The number of the company’s shares subject to outstanding options would not change as a result of the new option exchange scheme.
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