Even if Brent Saunders does not get the CEO role at Pfizer as a condition of Allergan agreeing to a buyout, which is reportedly being demanded, he will still get a huge payday from the deal. In the short time that he has been CEO of Allergan, Bloomberg figures he has collected shares and options that should allow him to cash out for nearly $190 million.
|Allergan CEO Brent Saunders
Sources have told Bloomberg that the two may announce a deal as early as next week in which Pfizer ($PFE) would buy Allergan ($AGN) for about $380 a share, a price that would make a deal worth roughly $150 billion. And after parsing the public filings, Bloomberg figures Saunders has about $187 million in compensation awards that he potentially could collect if it does happen at that share price.
Saunders, who became CEO of Actavis in July 2014, ahead of its Allergan buyout and name change, has $23 million in direct holdings, Bloomberg says. He also has stock options--some of which are exercisable and some which are not--that would be worth $97 million at the $380 price. Then are unvested restricted shares that would chip another $23 million in the pot as well as performance-based shares Bloomberg says would bring him $44 million at the target price. Add it all up and it comes to $187 million.
And that is if he were to just walk away. But Forbes' John LaMattina reported this week that sources tell him the negotiations were contingent on Saunders getting the top spot in a 'Pfizergan' hook up. As a former R&D chief at Pfizer, LaMattina has good sources.
Of course, a deal has not even been announced, no less completed. It could be upended by new tax rules from the Treasury Department which is trying to stop so-called tax inversion deals, which are costing the U.S. billions and billions of dollars. And there are lots of questions about whether Pfizer CEO Ian Read is ready to step down and how that all might play out. But if Saunders does get the job at what would be the world's largest drugmaker, he could expect to get another really big compensation package.
Read last year was the 10th highest paid pharma exec with compensation of $23.28 million. But Saunders' compensation package at Allergan last year was significantly higher than that. Saunders came in at number 3 with $36.61 million in 2014 compensation.
- read the Bloomberg story
Special Report: The top 20 highest-paid biopharma CEOs - Brent Saunders, Allergan - Ian Read, Pfizer