Somerfield/Kwik Save payoffs

THREE FORMER directors of Somerfield, the supermarket group which announced merger talks with Booker on Monday, received pay-offs totalling pounds 731,000 as a result of the company's merger with Kwik Save earlier this year.

According to the company's annual report, published yesterday, Derek Pretty (left), Kwik Save's former finance director, was the biggest beneficiary with severance pay of pounds 356,800. Philip Coates and David Coles received pounds 194,000 and pounds 180,000 respectively. David Simons, chief executive, was the highest-paid director with pounds 462,000, up from pounds 433,000 the previous year.

Following the rise in Somerfield's share price over the last year, Mr Simons is sitting on shares and options worth pounds 11m. He holds 1.1 million shares worth pounds 4.4m at yesterday's closing price of 398p. He also holds almost two million share options.

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