BAA chief in line for £3m pay-off from Spanish

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The Independent Online

Mike Clasper, the chief executive of BAA, could walk away with a £3m pay-off if the takeover of the airports group by Ferrovial of Spain goes through.

Mr Clasper could cash in share options worth £2.4m and receive £640,000 in severance payif the agreed £10.3bn bid from the Ferrovial-led consortium succeeds. Although the Ferrovial chairman, Rafael del Pino, has offered to keep BAA's executive management team, Mr Clasper and his colleagues are not expected to stay should the construction giant take over. They are more likely to stay with BAA if the rival bidder Goldman Sachs succeeds in buying the company.

Goldman's said yesterday it was continuing to review its options after the BAA board said on Tuesday it had decided to recommend a 950.25p offer from Ferrovial.

The US investment bank, which is being partnered by Canadian, Australian and American investors, has until a week tomorrow to decide whether to raise its offer from the 955.25p it bid on Monday night.

The BAA board accepted the slightly lower offer from Ferrovial on the grounds that it was deliverable, unconditional and would complete much more quickly.

If Goldman's does decide to increase its bid, it will wait until the Takeover Panel has decided whether to allow BAA and Ferrovial to include a £100m break-fee in their deal. This would increase the cost to Goldman's of any higher bid by 10p a share.

Last night, BAA shares closed at 935p - the price being offered by Ferrovial minus the 15.25p dividend which it has agreed can be paid to shareholders.