Bigger than Fresh Kills?

January 3, 2006

As one might expect before the start of a long holiday weekend when practically everyone was already on vacation, the SEC dump that took place late Friday may very well rival Fresh Kills, the infamous 2,200 acre landfill on Staten Island that is in the process of an environmental rebirth. For the sake of brevity, and to avoid creating the blogospheric version of landfill, here’s a quick list that’s more or less in order of my favorites:

Alliance Gaming (AGI) which filed its very late K (fiscal year ended June 30) on Friday disclosed that an informal investigation launched by the SEC back in February had turned into a formal investigation in August. Yet they waited until Dec. 30 to tell investors about this change. Granted SEC investigations aren’t always a smoking gun, but given that most other companies tend to let investors know about this sort of thing and many even put out an 8-K when the SEC launches an informal investigation, it seems more than unfortunate that Alliance would try to bury this.

New Century Financial (NEW) disclosed in an 8-K that it will pay executive vice president Patrick Flanagan over $76K a month during his “personal leave of absence” which lasts through the end of June. If Flanagan decides not to return, he’ll continue on as a highly paid consultant, continuing to draw the same salary through the end of December 2008. Not bad work if you can find it.

Micromuse (MUSE), which agreed to be acquired by IBM (IBM) two weeks ago disclosed late Friday how much some of its executives will wind up with as a result of the deal. Chairman and CEO Lloyd Carney, for example, stands to collect a $3 million transition payment, provided he continues to work at IBM through next December. That’s in addition to the Micromuse options he holds. Not too bad, considering he only joined Micromuse in July 2003.

Speaking of mergers, Archipelago Holdings (AX), which is merging with the New York Stock Exchange, disclosed its own series of hefty payments to top executives late Friday. Archipelago CEO Jerry Putnam, for example, collected nearly $8 million on Friday and six other top executives collected over $10 million collectively.

And this one, which was filed on Thursday, but amused me all the same: Florida Rock Chairman (FRK) Edward Baker’s job responsibilities include running a company-owned hunting lodge. I guess that’s one way to maintain focus.

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