Foster Wheeler Exec Amends His Amendment…

Less than four months ago, we footnoted about how Foster Wheeler AG (FWLT), a contracting company that provides global engineering and construction services and power equipment, had amended the employment agreements for two executives. For one of them, though, the agreement left a little room for improvement.

At the time, the company said it had negotiated the amended agreements for EVP/CFO/Treasurer Franco Baseotto (and another executive) in exchange for them waiving the right to terminate their employment —for Good Reason. (They selflessly agreed to relocate from Clinton, New Jersey to Switzerland for work assignments of up to five years.)

Baseotto’s January, 2010 amended employment agreement provided him with a restricted stock grant of $2.5 million that vests over three years, a —stay bonus of close to $1 million as an incentive to stay with the company through at least June 30, 2011, and generous relocation, traveling, living, and —settling in allowances (just to name a few of his benefits).

That amended agreement also had this curious term: —The Executive shall have the right, and the Company shall have the obligation, to enter into a New Addendum to Employment Agreement no later than June 30, 2012 with terms no less favorable to the Executive than those set forth in this Section A-6.

Baseotto exercised that right, as we discovered in the 8-K that Foster Wheeler filed Monday. That filing discloses a second amendment to Baseotto’s employment agreement, which became effective May 4, 2010.

Although most of the terms appear unchanged, it’s significant that simply executing the amendment accelerated the payment of Baseott’s stay bonus. So rather than Baseotto waiting until June, 2011 to get his money, this paragraph applies:

—The Company shall pay the Executive a stay bonus equal to 175% of the Executive’s Base Salary then in effect within thirty (30) days of the Effective Date. Payment of such bonus shall be made in a single lump sum.

That means that Baseotto will get his stay bonus of $962,500 in a nice, big check no later than June 4, 2010. He does have to stay with the company at least through June 30, 2011, though, or he risks having to repay the stay bonus in full.

Baseotto still gets his $550,000 base salary, and the contract also pays him an extra 28,086 Swiss Francs per month, —payable in advance” to cover housing, transportation, and utility costs, as well as a —cost-of-living allowance while he’s on assignment in Switzerland.

All told, arriving in Europe with nearly an extra million dollars and pre-paid living expenses should be more than enough to keep the Baseotto family well stocked in Swiss chocolate and gourmet cheese.

Image source: amandabhslater via Flickr