Storehouse contract could give Iverson pounds 420,000 in a takeover

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The Independent Online
ANN IVERSON, the Storehouse director in charge of the Mothercare chain, could receive more than pounds 420,000 if the group is taken over.

A change of control clause in her contract says that she will be paid twice her salary and her pension contributions if the group is subject to a successful hostile bid. Her salary is currently pounds 210,000.

A spokesman for the group said the clause was put in her contract when she came from the US to join Storehouse at the beginning of 1990. The group was then a constant subject of bid speculation. It had fought off one takeover attempt by Peter Earl, the financier, and there were constant rumours that Mountleigh, the property company now in receivership, was about to launch a bid. Asher Edleman, the American corporate raider, also had a 9 per cent stake.

No other directors' contracts have a change of control clause. But David Dworkin, who resigned as chief executive earlier this year to return to the US - and who brought Ms Iverson into the group - also had the clause.

Ms Iverson's contract also reveals that her bonus has been increased from a maximum of 100 per cent of salary to 150 per cent of salary for 1992/93. The terms of the bonus scheme are not described in the contract, but the full 150 per cent would be payable if the division made pounds 10m or more. Mothercare made pounds 5m profit in the year to March.

In June last year Ms Iverson moved to Mothercare from BhS, where she helped boost profits from pounds 27.5m in the year before she joined to pounds 44.1m last year.

Storehouse pays the cost of Ms Iverson's daughter's schooling at the American School in London and funds one return trip a year to the east coast of the US for the two of them.

The contracts, displayed at the group's offices ahead of today's annual meeting, also reveal that at least two directors could take their share options with them if they leave the group.

The group was criticised earlier this year when it revealed that it was letting Mr Dworkin keep options worth more than pounds 1m when he left the group. Institutional guidelines stipulate that options should lapse when directors leave.

Steven Bedford, group development director, and Graham Rider, group finance director, may exercise their options up to 12 months after they leave, if the board agrees.