Sirius Minerals boss pocketed £1.3m after agreeing takeover that cost many shareholders their life savings Former chief executive Chris Fraser received £1.3m in bonuses Former finance boss Thomas Staley pocketed a total of nearly £900,000 Fraser and Staley are now running Anglo's new 'crop nutrients' division By JAMIE NIMMO FOR THE FINANCIAL MAIL ON SUNDAY
PUBLISHED: 22:31 BST, 1 August 2020 | UPDATED: 23:07 BST, 1 August 2020
e-mail 9 shares 4
View comments The former boss of Sirius Minerals – whose dramatic fall from grace left thousands of small shareholders with huge losses – pocketed £1.3million in bonuses from the Yorkshire mining company shortly after agreeing to a cut-price takeover.
Just two weeks before the acquisition by FTSE 100 giant Anglo American was completed, the Sirius remuneration committee led by Labour peer Lord Hutton decided that former chief executive Chris Fraser should receive his lucrative long-term bonuses in full.
Meanwhile, Thomas Staley, the former finance director, pocketed a total of nearly £900,000.
Former Sirius Minerals chief executive Chris Fraser received £1.3m in bonuses +2 Former Sirius Minerals chief executive Chris Fraser received £1.3m in bonuses
The revelations are likely to enrage private investors who ploughed millions of pounds of their savings into the company.
Sirius had entered the FTSE 250 and had ambitions to join the prestigious ranks of the FTSE 100. However, it failed to secure the final part of the £2billion funding it needed to build a giant fertiliser mine in the North York Moors National Park.
It was only saved from administration after the board urged shareholders in January to back a £405million takeover by Anglo American at 5.5p per share. Most of Sirius's 85,000 small shareholders had bought their shares at well above that level, with many from the local area investing large sums. The share price had hit 45p in 2016.
Sirius Minerals on a cliff edge as investors wait on...
British Airways pilots back job and pay cuts plan at airline...
Newly launched paint and wallpaper firm Lick Home secures... SHARE THIS ARTICLE Share Yet even after the disastrous conclusion to the company's stock market run, the remuneration committee chaired by former Business Secretary Lord Hutton decided in March that Fraser's share bonuses should pay out in full.
Fraser received payment for his bonus shares, worth nearly £900,000, in April, the company's annual report filed on Companies House reveals. Most of the shares had been awarded to him in 2018 and 2019.
He also received a £417,000 performance bonus for 2019 – 86 per cent of his salary – meaning he raked in a total of £1.3million in bonuses since agreeing to the Anglo deal.
The company said the payment for performance would have been higher but it decided to withhold the part of the annual b