GUS chiefs in line for £35m

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The Independent Online

The two GUS executives who will run the pair of businesses the conglomerate is spinning off in October could pocket more than £35m between them over the next five years.

Terry Duddy, who will run the ARG retail group (the Argos and Homebase chains), has been awarded a pay-and-shares deal worth a potential £16.2m if the company meets its goals. Don Robert, the prospective chief executive of Experian, is on a possible £19.4m salary-and-shares deal if the financial services group meets all its targets. Both men already run the businesses, which are being stalked by the private equity groups KKR and Blackstone, as divisions of GUS.

Details of their packages were disclosed in documents outlining the timetable for the demerger, which were posted to shareholders yesterday. The operation, which is set for 10 October, is being treated as a change of control at each company. "GUS thinks it is very important to retain and motivate the senior management team," a company spokesman said.

The documents showed that Mr Duddy, who was paid £1.34m, will be on a base salary of £800,000, which he can double if the retailer outperforms. His potential bonus rises to 150 per cent of his basic salary in the year to March 2008.

Under a new five-year incentive scheme, Mr Duddy could scoop a further £6.6m. To receive the maximum amount from two share-matching schemes Mr Duddy must invest £3.3m of his own money and the group must hit its performance targets.

Mr Robert, who was paid £1.6m last year, will be on a salary of £700,000, which can double in Experian's first year. His maximum bonus rises to 200 per cent of his salary in the second year. He can invest up to £4.8m of his own money in Experian, which could net him a further £9.6m from share-matching schemes.

GUS also said it would give shares worth about £30m to all ARG and Experian employees.

David Tyler, GUS's finance director, who will be out of a job after the demerger, will get a £520,000 pay-off and be a non-executive director with Experian.