Benckiser £92m payout

Posted on 8 Apr 2010 by The Manufacturer

The bulk of a £92m share payout to the CEO of British household brands company Reckitt Benckiser has been given to a charitable trust.

Bart Becht, chief executive of the the company responsible for brands such as Cillit Bang, Vanish, Finish, Air Wick and Nurofen last year exercised share options worth more than £70m and performance-based shares valued at around £13 million.

News of the bumper payout comes following this week’s release of the company’s annual report. The stock bonanza, which has been built up over his tenure at the helm, came on top of a pay and bonus package worth nearly £5 million in 2009.

But Mr Becht has decided to transfer the majority of the stock options to a charitable trust, which supports organisations such as Save the Children and Medecins Sans Frontiers.

A small proportion of the shares will be sold to cover costs, with Mr Becht donating three million out of his total 4.1 million in share options to the charitable trust – worth more than £110 million.

The group’s annual report this week revealed he was paid a basic salary last year of just under £1 million and a bonus of £3.5 million and other benefits, including a pension contribution of nearly £400,000. He was also granted new share options worth more than £30 million that he is entitled to in future years.

Mr Becht, who is Dutch, became chief executive in 1999 when Reckitt & Colman merged with Benckiser. Since then, Reckitt’s revenues have more than doubled, with earnings almost quadrupling.
It shrugged off the recession last year to post a 23% hike in annual profits to £1.89 billion and achieved an 8% rise in net revenues at constant exchange rates to £7.75 billion.

Reckitt’s brands also include well-known names such as Nurofen, Strepsils and French’s mustard.