Hong Kong-listed casino investor Melco International Development Ltd says it has granted share options to its president and managing director, Evan Winkler, with an aggregate exercise price of just over HKD269.2 million (US$34.4 million). Mr Winkler is also the newly-appointed president of Macau casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd.
The share options arrangement for Melco International – said to be with his consent – was designed to be in place of “the cash portion” of his remuneration, with the aim of incentivising him to boost Melco International’s share price.
Mr Winkler, a former banker, was appointed last week as United States-listed Melco Resorts’ president.
Friday’s filing by Melco International said he had been granted that day 14.2 million share options at an exercise price of HKD18.96 per share. That was also the closing price of the shares on the Hong Kong bourse on the date of the grant.
The award “recognises his valuable contributions to the group’s business since joining and, in the opinion of the board, is better aligned with the company’s objective of incentivising Mr Winkler to drive further significant share price growth,” said Friday’s filing by Melco International.
It added the options and share award to Mr Winkler was a “special hire-on equity grant,” which was “in effect to replace the cash portion of Mr Winkler’s remuneration, including his annual discretionary bonus, and his entitlement to any annual discretional equity grant, for the period from 1 October 2019 to 30 June 2022″.
The validity period for the options runs for 10 years, to September 5, 2029.
Just over 4.7 million of the options may be exercised on or after June 30 next year. Further tranches of circa 4.7 million shares may be exercised on or after, respectively, June 30, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
Friday’s filing said the share options package had been approved by all the independent non-executive directors of Melco International, and that Mr Winkler was not – as of the date of the filing – a substantial shareholder of the company. The award is subject to him continuing in his roles as Melco International’s president and managing director.
Mr Winkler is one of three executive directors at Melco International. The others are Lawrence Yau Lung, the chairman and chief executive, and Clarence Chung Yuk Man.
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