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Million dollar babies…

Monsanto’s (MON) $1.4 billion deal to acquire seed giant Seminis (SMNS) will be very rewarding for three of Seminis’ top executives. Chairman and CEO Alfonso Romo will receive $10.4 million under a separation agreement, which works out to more than 10 times his salary of $950K last year. According to Seminis’ 8-K, the money will be a lump-sum cash pay payment. CFO Bernardo Jimenez will receive $3.3 million, or more than 6 times his salary. He’ll also wind up with a 15-month consulting contract that will pay him $500K. Senior Vice President Mateo Mazal also gets a 15-month consulting contract for $300K and separation benefits worth $2.05 million. What’s unusual here — in additon to the fat payouts — is that the separation agreements were only signed days before the deal was announced on Jan. 24. Typically, these types of arrangments are often done well in advance of any merger agreeement so that the executives can maintain some sort of plausible deniability and say something like, well, the board insisted that I sign this agreement for a just in case scenario. Not this time around.