National board set to net pounds 5m windfall

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The Independent Online
The board of National Power could scoop a total profit of nearly pounds 5m from share options if a bid from the Southern Company materialised at last night's closing price of 578p a share.

The windfall would come on top of pay-offs for executive directors of up to pounds 3.12m if the US group decided to clear out the entire board, and profits on existing shareholdings valued at pounds 1.24m.

The biggest winner from the payments, based on figures dating from March 1995, is likely to be Granville Camsey, the managing director of group technology, who stands to gain a pounds 1.14m profit from options and a pay- off of up to pounds 384,000.

John Baker, who moved up from chief executive to chairman a year ago, would make pounds 883,000 from options.

He switched to a fixed-term contract worth pounds 180,000 a year, which expires in December 1997, which means that he could receive a payment of somewhat over pounds 300,000 to buy out the balance of the term.

Colin Webster, managing director of the UK business, would be another big winner. His option profits were valued at pounds 777,000 by last night's share price and his pounds 207,000 salary in 1994 could potentially net him a pay-off of more than pounds 400,000. Meanwhile, his shareholding last year would be worth nearly pounds 622,000.

By contrast, Keith Henry, National Power's new chief executive who joined from the US group Brown & Root last year, would be in line for a pay-off worth twice his pounds 280,000 annual salary or pounds 560,000. He was not offered any share options when he joined, but he used a controversial pounds 100,000 "golden hello" given by the company to buy pounds 60,000 of shares.

National Power Southern Company

Market capitalisation pounds 7.5bn $15.3bn

Turnover pounds 3.95bn $9.1bn

Net profits pounds 705m $1.1bn

Employees 5,500 7,500

Status: Britain's biggest Biggest quoted US

electricity generator electricity utility