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Lions Gate CEO Received a $35.3 Million Pay Package After Starz Deal

Feltheimer, CEO of Lionsgate, takes part in a panel discussion in Beverly HillsFeltheimer, CEO of Lionsgate, takes part in a panel discussion in Beverly Hills
Danny Moloshok—ReutersDanny Moloshok—Reuters

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer received $35.3 million in compensation last fiscal year after acquiring Starz LLC and signing an employment contract that keeps him on the job until May 2023.

Feltheimer, 65, got a $1.5 million salary and a $12 million in cash bonus for the year ended March 31, according to a regulatory filing Friday. He also received 2.3 million stock options with a grant-date value of $16.3 million. His package includes a $5.4 million award of restricted stock that was his bonus for the prior fiscal year.

Lions Gate stock jumped 22 percent in the 12 months ended March 31. The studio is riding high on the success of its December release “La La Land,” which generated $445 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

Half of the CEO’s options have a strike price that’s 25 percent higher than the closing price on the day the contracts were awarded. All of the award vests annually over five years, starting in May.

An executive at the Santa Monica, California-based company typically only receives an equity award in the year a new employment agreement is signed, the board said in the filing, indicating that Feltheimer’s compensation package will likely be smaller in the 12 months that will end March 31.

Of Feltheimer’s bonus, $7 million was tied to adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and other goals. The remaining $5 million was a special payment after Lions Gate completed its acquisition of Starz in December.

Vice Chairman Michael Burns, who entered into a new job contract keeping him until October 2022, received a $26.9 million pay package.