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A year too late…

Why did it take Cardinal Health (CAH) more than a year to disclose a lucrative retention agreement with David Schlotterbeck, who heads up Cardinal’s Clinical Technologies division? In the K that Cardinal filed yesterday, Cardinal included the contract which was signed last August, about a month after Cardinal acquired Alaris (old ticker: AMI) for $2 billion. Why wasn’t it in the K filed in October 2004 or any of the three Qs it filed over the past year?

Under the contract, Schlotterbeck, whose salary is $580K a year according to Cardinal’s K, is able to start collecting big bucks next June: a “retention bonus” of $2.172 million or two times his base salary and 2006 target bonus. The agreement was apparently in exchange for Schlotterbeck forfeiting his change in control agreement with Alaris, even though that agreement would have paid him significantly less than Cardinal. And still, there’s no reason for Cardinal to take so long to disclose the deal.