Big payday for Schmidt if Viterra sells

Viterra CEO Mayo Schmidt will earn millions of dollars if Glencore buys Viterra, according to the Globe and Mail.

Citing security filings the Globe says Mayo Schmidt will be paid an estimated $37.5 million through “a combination of the value of his stock holdings and of the fully vested value of his outstanding options and incentive awards such as restricted and performance share units.”

Under Schmidt’s employment contract with a change in the firm’s control he’s entitled to three times his $1.05-million annual salary and three times the average he has received in short-term incentive payments in the past three years, for another $2.8 million.

According to the Globe three other senior Viterra executives — chief financial officer Rex McLennan, senior vice-president Don Chapman and Francis Malecha, chief operating officer of Viterra’s grain division — will receive $20 million in total. The paper says at least five other senior officers “each stand to cash in more than $1 million in share-unit incentive awards with the sale.”

Schmidt joined what was then Saskat-chewan Wheat Pool in 2000, not long after its previous CEO was fired because of the company’s poor earnings. Under Schmidt’s watch, SaskPool acquired Agricore United in 2007 to form Viterra. The company’s bottom line has improved and it has expanded its holdings, including grain operations in Australia.

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