Northern directors set for pounds 100,000 profit

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The Independent Online
Two directors at Northern Electric will reap a pounds 100,000 profit from executive share options issued just three months ago if CalEnergy's pounds 766m bid succeeds, it emerged yesterday.

Several regional electricity companies have abandoned share option schemes in the face of shareholder unhappiness and criticisms from the Greenbury committee.

But in its defence document against the hostile US bid, Northern discloses that its chief executive, Tony Hadfield, and finance director, John Edwards, were granted 95,000 options exercisable at 521p in August. Mr Hadfield received 57,428 new options which are showing a pounds 62,600 profit at CalEnergy's offer price of 630p, while Mr Edwards stands to make nearly pounds 42,000 on his 38,387 options.

The defence document maintains that CalEnergy's bid undervalues Northern. It will add to its defence soon when it produces its half-year results and a forecast for gearing which is expected to show it has more scope to increase future dividend payments.