NEW YORK (AP) — Viacom Inc.'s nonagenarian founder Sumner Redstone saw his pay jump 77 percent to $36.2 million last year, reflecting a surge in the value of a preferential investment called stock option equivalents.
That's according to an Associated Press review of securities documents filed Friday.
The executive chairman's special investments rose in value by $26 million. They gained $12.9 million in the prior year. Stock option equivalents, like stock options, rise in value when the stock price rises. When they are preferential earnings — as Redstone's are — a company must account for the rise in value as an expense.
Viacom's widely traded Class B shares rose 56 percent over its fiscal year to close at $83.58 at the end of September. A slight uptick in pay TV revenue from networks such as MTV and Comedy Central offset a decline at its movie studio, while the company spent $5.4 billion returning money to shareholders through share buybacks.
Redstone, 90, bought the options in September 2006 using cash from salary he had deferred, the filing said. Executives typically defer salary to put off paying taxes until later years. According to the company, other Viacom executives and employees aren't allowed to invest their deferred salary in stock option equivalents.
Redstone controls 79 percent of the voting stock.
Redstone's salary stayed put at $1.8 million, while his cash bonus rose to $8.5 million from $5.8 million a year ago.
CEO Philippe Dauman's pay package rose 11 percent to $37.2 million, as a higher bonus offset a decrease in the value of newly granted stock and stock options.
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