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Frasers Group investors approve potential £100m bonus for incoming CEO

Lauretta Roberts
29 September 2021

Shareholders in Mike Ashley's retail empire Frasers Group have approved the firm’s pay deal which could hand incoming CEO, Michael Murray, a £100 million share bonus.

Frasers, which owns brands including Sports Direct, House of Frasers and Flannels, said that just over 15% of shareholder votes were cast against the pay deal. However, it easily passed the 50% threshold needed to gain approval for the package.

The move was expected to pass, particularly given that Ashley, whose daughter is the fiancée of Murray, owns an almost 60% stake in the group.

Influential advisory groups Pirc and Glass Lewis had advised shareholders to vote against the remuneration plan, highlighting “excessive payouts” at the company.

The plan will hand Murray the £100 million bonus if the company’s shares reach £15, roughly double its current share price, for a consecutive 30-day period at any point over the next four years.

Murray, who is currently head of elevation at the group, would receive the large cash reward on top of his £1 million annual salary. He is credited with overhauling the image of the group's main brand Sports Direct with new stores and marketing campaigns, as well as the introduction of the high end Frasers concept to the House of Fraser group and the roll out of luxury fashion chain Flannels.

The move comes months after Ashley announced that the 31-year-old would succeed him in the top job, with the retail veteran set to become an executive director.

The approved pay package could also see Frasers’ finance director Chris Wootton in line for up to £9 million if certain requirements are hit.

Frasers said the new share bonus scheme had targets which were both “stretching and achievable”.

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