The CEO made $35.3 million in compensation for the fiscal year that ended in March, up 223% vs 2016, according to a proxy filed at the SEC today. And the Vice Chairman made $26.9 million, up 134%.
The stock price rose 22.4% in the fiscal year, and now hovers around its 52-week high.
Feltheimer’s package includes $1.5 million salary, $5.4 million in stock awards, $16.3 million in option awards, $12.0 million in non-equity incentives, and $149,158 in other compensation. The last category includes $28,503 in club membership dues
and $116,178 for his personal use of company-leased planes.
Much of the increase comes from his agreement last October to stay at least to May 22, 2023. It included a $5 million bonus that he’d only collect if the Starz acquisition closed and then, within three months, Lionsgate saw 20% of $52.3 million in annual “run-rate” operational synergies it anticipated.
Burns, who extended his contract to October 2022, netted an extra $4 million,
The executives also were lucky in their regular bonuses. The board decided that they had done so much in the last year that “it would be appropriate to reward them…with bonus payouts that were greater than bonus payouts in fiscal 2016, but less than bonus payouts in fiscal 2015.”
Feltheimer picked up $7 million in cash, and Burns received $5 million.
And since the company sold its stake in Epix to MGM shortly after the 2018 fiscal year began, “a special bonus opportunity should be awarded.” Feltheimer’s additional $3 million, and Burns’ $2 million, will be included in next year’s tally.
Shareholders will be able to register their opinion about the compensation in an advisory vote at the annual meeting, to be held September 12 in Toronto.
Lionsgate execs can probably look forward to more generous pay terms in the future. These computations are often compared with other companies deemed to be peers. And a compensation consultant tells Lionsgate that it’s time to step up from mid sized companies such as AMC Networks, Scripps Networks Interactive, and Sirius XM to larger entities including NBC Universal, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros.
Although they “may have larger revenues” than Lionsgate, the proxy says, the compensation committee decided that it would be “appropriate to consider” the larger rivals since they are “critical competitors for talent.”