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20 million reasons to smile…

On Jan. 6, Water Pik (PIK), a company best known for cleaning the schmutz from between your teeth, announced that it was being aquired by The Carlyle Group for $27.75 a share, which sent the stock up about 25%. Four weeks later — late Friday, to be specific — WaterPik filed this preliminary merger proxy which shows that CEO Michael Hoopis stands to walk away more than $20 million richer as a result of the deal. Considering that his salary is only around $500K a year, that’s certainly a hefty nest-egg. The payout works like this:

  • –$10.88 million in vested options
  • –$4.07 million in restricted stock
  • — $6.1 million in severance, including a $1.7 million gross-up to cover taxes

Other WaterPik executives also walk away significantly richer. Indeed, as a group, the seven top executives identified in the proxy stand to walk away with $53.59 million, which given that the purchase price is around $380 million, seems like a very rich payout indeed.