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DISCOUNT AND PREMIUM AWARDS IN THE CONTEXT OF PRE-EXISTING ESOP CONDITIONS

Bruce A. Rosser, Jean M. Canil

DOI: 10.22495/cocv3i2p7

Abstract

This study examines interactions between pre-award ESOP restrictive conditions and award discounts/premiums that characterized executive stock option awards in Australia from the mid-1980s to 2000. Shareholder wealth effects at award suggest that (i) shareholders generally do not gain from offering discounts because associated value increments do not exceed the cost of the discount, (ii) premium awards coupled with exercise restrictions appear to be used to ameliorate the risk of CEO opportunism associated with irregular awards, and (iii) shareholders suffer a wealth decrement when premium awards are used to ameliorate the disinvestment incentive of inferior CEO dilution protection. The second of these findings implies risk of CEO opportunism. A major implication is that award discounts/premiums are used to modify the conditions of pre-existing ESOPs that presumably are dated and no longer optimal for addressing current incentive problems. Analyses of the optimality of award discounts/premiums should take this into account.

Keywords: ESOP, Shareholders, Executives

How to cite this paper: Rosser, B. A., & Canil, J. M. (2006). Discount and premium awards in the context of pre-existing ESOP conditions. Corporate Ownership & Control, 3(2), 54-67. http://doi.org/10.22495/cocv3i2p7

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