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By
Reuters
Published
Sep 5, 2011
Reading time
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JJB Sports gives directors incentive to win

By
Reuters
Published
Sep 5, 2011

LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Struggling British retailer JJB Sports has proposed an incentive scheme that could see senior managers end up with 15 percent of the firm's equity if their turnaround plan is a success.

JJB, which counts America's richest man Bill Gates among its major shareholders, said on Monday the proposed equity incentive plan would replace all earlier incentive plans.

It would see chairman Mike McTighe, chief executive Keith Jones, chief financial officer Dave Williams, non-executive director David Adams as well as several senior managers receive 20 percent of the growth in the value of the company in excess of a market capitalisation of 96.5 million pounds ($156.6 million) increasing by 5 percent per annum until vesting.

At an unchanged share price of 20.5 pence JJB had a market capitalisation of 60.1 million pounds. The stock has lost 82 percent of its value over the last year.

JJB, which was rescued by a deal with landlords in March, posted a full-year loss of 181 million pounds in May and warned it could take five years to fix the business.

The firm faces intense competition from larger rival Sports Direct as well as grocers and online retailers.

JJB said the incentive plan was designed to encourage participants to exceed a target market capitalisation of 193 million pounds, double the level of emergency investments made by investors, triggering the award of 7.2 percent of equity.

Equity awards would be capped at 15 percent if JJB's market capitalisation reached 490 million pounds -- 8.2 times its current value.

JJB said the plan was designed "to execute the company's ongoing turnaround plan successfully and share in the value that would be created in the process."

Analysts were, however, sceptical, with Nick Bubb, analyst at Arden Partners, calling it "fanciful". ($1 = 0.617 British Pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Mark Potter)

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