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Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer Paid $63.6 Million for Fiscal 2014

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer received $63.6 million in compensation for the fiscal year ending March 31 — about two-thirds of that in stock options.

The studio, which made the disclosure Tuesday in its proxy statement to shareholders, said that the five-fold jump in compensation from $12.6 million in fiscal 2013 stemmed from Feltheimer signing a new contract. Lionsgate announced in June 2013 that it had extended his contract for five years to May 2018.

“Because the company entered into a new employment agreement during fiscal 2014, the compensation for Mr. Feltheimer reported in the table for fiscal 2014 is significantly higher than his compensation reported for prior fiscal years and the compensation we expect will be reported for him in future fiscal years,” Lionsgate said.

The compensation will place Feltheimer, who has been CEO for the past 14 years, at the top tier of compensation for entertainment company execs. Feltheimer was paid $1.46 million in base salary, $11.67 million in stock awards, $41.51 million in option awards, $8.8 million in bonuses and $197,201 in other compensation.

Lionsgate noted in the statement that the stock and option awards cover four fiscal years — but are reported for the year in which they are granted — and that Feltheimer has not yet realized any of those financial benefits.

The calculation of the stock options’ value is based on the stock rising to $41.31 — about $10 over its current price — based on the Black-Scholes pricing model. Should that occur, the value of Lionsgate will have increased by $1.4 billion, based on the current 140 million outstanding shares.

The proxy statement also announced the annual shareholders meeting would be held on its usual time of five days after the opening of the Toronto Film Festival. (This year’s date is September 9).

Vice chairman Michael Burns received compensation of $8.48 million — a sharp decline from last year’s $28.2 million, which was comprised largely of options and stock awards in the wake of the stock price soaring.

Lionsgate has succeeded in establishing itself as a seventh Hollywood studio following its $412 million purchase of Summit Entertainment in 2012. Wall Street has been a strong supporter of Lionsgate, with the stock having quadrupled in value in the past three years due to successes in young-adult franchises such as “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” and a growing TV operation with such shows as shows “Mad Men” and “Nurse Jackie.”

It has finished fifth among the majors in 2012 and 2013 in domestic box office, topping $1 billion both times.

The stock was trading in the $7 range in August 2011 when Feltheimer and Burns worked out a deal to cash out Carl Icahn’s 33% stake, ending three years of battling with the combative billionaire.

Lionsgate reported in May that its fiscal year earnings were $152 million, or $1.11 per share, down 34% from $232.1 million, or $1.73 a share, in the prior year. Fiscal year revenue declined 3% to $2.63 billion from $2.71 billion.

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