Tag: stock-option

BREAKING: RIM settles with OSC for $76 million, Balsillie to step down from board

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Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie

Woah. It looks like the Ontario Securities Commission has made their decision on a possible settlement with RIM over their backdating scandal. The news is fresh as of an hour ago, so I’m just going to quote straight from Reuters:

Research In Motion Co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie will step down from the board and, along with other executives of the company that makes the BlackBerry smartphone, will repay tens of millions of dollars to settle stock-option allegations dating back to 1996.

Under the pact reached with the Ontario Securities Commission and approved on Thursday, Balsillie will pay a penalty of C$5 million ($4.1 million), while Co-Chief Executive Mike Lazaridis will pay a C$1.5 million penalty. The two men also must pay investigation costs to the regulator.

The agreement also stipulates that the two co-CEOs and RIM’s former CFO, Dennis Kavelman, will repay C$38.3 million to the company. They must also repay about C$30 million to cover the costs of a voluntary internal probe into the matter undertaken by RIM earlier.

Balsillie and Lazaridis had already paid C$15 million to offset the costs of the Waterloo, Ontario-based company’s internal review. Balsillie may not serve on RIM’s board for at least 12 months as part of the settlement, and Kavelman must pay a C$1.5 million penalty.

The OSC alleged the executives backdated and repriced stock options using dates on which the market price of RIM’s shares was relatively low. Handing out options at the lower prices had the effect of improperly enriching the recipients and, the OSC alleged, could have deprived RIM of about C$66 million.

It’s a huge chunk of change, but at least RIM can now put this whole affair behind them. You can see statements from Balsillie and the OSC after the jump.

|via Reuters|

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More details on RIM’s internal stock options

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Stock marketSome more details on what’s going on with the new limitations on how RIM handles their own stock has been announced in a glorious fount of financio-babble. The plain English version lays it all out:

The plan lets managers, workers and directors sell shares according to a preset schedule, regardless of any inside information they subsequently receive, the Waterloo, Ontario- based company said in a statement today. Once such a plan is established, the employee can’t change the timing or size of the sales, the company said.

Many of the executives will end up selling or giving away their shares to charity over the next 13 months as a result of their amended insider trader policy.

Full details behind the jump.

RIM settles stock options scandal

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GavelYesterday was the day that RIM was to step up to the Ontario Superior Court to put the stock option issue to bed. Last we heard they had amended their plans and announced the settlement. The whole thing blew up back in March, when Jim Balsillie stepped down as RIM’s chairman because of the unfair way in which executives were receiving stock options. The Ironworkers Ontario Pension Fund demanded upwards of $100 to make reparations, but Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have both forked up just $2.5 million each in order to offset legal costs, in addition to the $5 million already paid. Wow, way to haggle. Under the new agreement, individual directors won’t be able to get stock options so this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.