Tesla shareholders approve CEO Musk’s $2.6 bln compensation plan

FILE- In this Feb. 6, 2018, file photo, Elon Musk, founder, CEO of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla Inc., speaks at a news conference after the Falcon 9 SpaceX heavy rocket launched successfully from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Shareholders of electric car and solar panel maker Tesla Inc. are voting on a pay package for Musk that could net him more than $50 billion if he meets lofty milestones over the next decade that include raising the company's market value tenfold. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
Updated 21 March 2018
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Tesla shareholders approve CEO Musk’s $2.6 bln compensation plan

SAN FRANCISCO/BOSTON: Tesla Inc. shareholders approved a compensation package potentially worth as much as $2.6 billion for Chief Executive Elon Musk on Wednesday in a test of their confidence in the leader of the electric car company.
A Tesla spokesperson confirmed that shareholders had approved the measure at a special shareholder’s meeting in Fremont, California, but did not disclose the number of votes for or against.
The proposed compensation award for the Silicon Valley billionaire, valued at up to $2.6 billion, involves no salary or cash bonus but sets rewards based on Tesla’s market value rising to as much as $650 billion over the next 10 years.
Ahead of the vote, a top investor in Tesla Inc. and a major proxy adviser offered opposing views on whether to support the compensation arrangement, which required majority approval from shareholders.
The vote has been seen as a test of whether big investors are prepared to support such a large payout at the founder-led company.
Musk’s pay plan “is well aligned with shareholders’ long-term interests,” a spokesman for T. Rowe Price Group, Tesla’s fourth-largest investor with about 6 percent of its shares, told Reuters on Wednesday, without saying which way the Baltimore fund firm would vote.
Earlier this month, proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services recommended Tesla stockholders reject the package, saying the “unprecedented” award was too rich.
A smaller investor, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), also said it would oppose the award. CalSTRS is one of the nation’s largest public pension plans but only the 59th largest investor in the car maker, with a 0.13 percent stake.
“Given the size of the award, we believe the potential dilution to shareholders is just too great. In addition, we have concerns about the lack of focus on profitability for the company, and the one profitability metric that is used excludes the cost of stock-based compensation,” CalSTRS’ Director of Corporate Governance, Anne Sheehan, said in a statement before the vote.
Musk could own as much as $55.8 billion in Tesla stock and more than a quarter of the electric car company in the next decade if he hits all targets of the new plan.
Under the proposed award, which involves stock options that vest in 12 tranches, Tesla’s market value must increase to $100 billion for the first tranche to vest and rise in additional $50 billion increments for the remainder.
Tesla was valued at about $52.46 billion at Tuesday’s closing price, according to Thomson Reuters data. Its shares have fallen nearly 12 percent since the pay plan for Musk was announced.


Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

Updated 14 December 2018
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Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

  • Ransom payment would set dangerous precedent
  • NOC declared force majeure on exports on Monday

BENGHAZI: Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp. (NOC) said it was against paying a ransom to an armed group that has halted crude production at the country’s largest oilfield.
“Any attempt to pay a ransom to the armed militia which shut down El Sharara (oilfield) would set a dangerous precedent that would threaten the recovery of the Libyan economy,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement on the company’s website.
NOC on Monday declared force majeure on exports from the 315,000-barrels-per-day oilfield after it was seized at the weekend by a local militia group.
The nearby El-Feel oilfield, which uses the same power supply as El Sharara, was still producing normally, a spokesman for NOC said, without giving an output figure. The field usually pumps around 70,000 bpd.
Since 2013 Libya has faced a wave of blockages of oilfields and export terminals by armed groups and civilians trying to press the country’s weak state into concessions.
Officials have tended to end such action by paying off protesters who demand to be added to the public payroll.
At El Sharara, in southern Libya, a mix of state-paid guards, civilians and tribesmen have occupied the field, camping there since Saturday, protesters and oil workers said. The protesters work in shifts, with some going home at night.
NOC has evacuated some staff by plane, engineers at the oilfield said. A number of sub-stations away from the main field have been vacated and equipment removed.
The occupiers are divided, with members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) indicating they would end the blockade in return for a quick cash payment, oil workers say. The PFG has demanded more men be added to the public payroll.
The tribesmen have asked for long-term development funds, which might take time.
Libya is run by two competing, weak governments. Armed groups, tribesmen and normal Libyans tend to vent their anger about high inflation and a lack of infrastructure on the NOC, which they see as a cash cow booking billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues annually.