Equals Group reprices executive team options to zero
LSE-AIM listed e-banking and international payments firm Equals Group plc (formerly FairFX) has announced certain changes to its Long-Term Incentive Plan for its senior management team.
The changes appear to have been made because Equals stock (LON:EQLS) has declined by about 75% in the past year, making the original stock option price targets unrealistic, at least in the view of the Board. However, to make good on their repriced options senior management still needs to bring the share price up by about 43% from where it sits now.
Equals Group share price, one year chart. Source: Google Finance.
Equals announced that it has today granted options over ordinary shares in the company to its Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer under a new Long-Term Incentive Plan (‘LTIP’). The company said that these initial awards recognise each of their roles in developing and implementing the company’s strategic plans and are designed to incentivise them appropriately.
This new LTIP follows on from the announcement issued by the Company on 26 September 2019, which detailed the process of establishing a LTIP which would retain and motivate key senior executives over the Group’s next phase of development. The initial grant is for a total of 3,000,000 share options, although, the remuneration committee has agreed that 1,250,000 options granted to both executive directors on 26 September 2019 at an exercise price of £1.01 per share will be cancelled and in their place the following options are granted under the new LTIP:
|Name||Position||Number of shares
subject to awards
|Ian Strafford-Taylor||Chief Executive Officer||2,000,000|
|Richard Cooper||Chief Financial Officer||1,000,000|
The awards will be subject to a combination of the following performance conditions: cash resilience, growth of both revenue and profits, and the maintenance of compliance and risk components.
The options will vest over three years in equal installments triggered on the date the audited annual results have been approved, with the first tranche not vesting until the audited results for 2020 have been released.
The options have a £nil strike price but their exercise is subject to the Company’s prevailing share price being equal to or in excess of £0.40p at the time of exercise.
In addition, Robert Head, non-executive director and Chairman of the Audit Committee has agreed to surrender for £nil consideration, 133,333 share options granted at an exercise price of 30 pence per share.
John Pearson, non-executive director has agreed to surrender 120,000 share options granted at £1.16 and a further 120,000 granted at £1.74.
After the LTIP option awards and the surrender of other options as above, the number of ordinary shares under option will be 9,598,358. The total number of shares in issue currently is 178,602,918, thus the fully diluted share capital will be 188,201,276 ordinary shares of which the share options would represent 5.1%.