An industry paper called MassDevice ("New England's one stop source for medical device news and information", they say) has essentially "doubled down", on my most recent Carrie Cox meme, here -- do go read it all -- but a snippet follows:
. . . .Cox left Schering-Plough with a golden parachute estimated at between $36 million and $44 million when her company was acquired by Merck & Co. in November 2009, according to a pharmaceutical industry blog [that's us -- SEE UPDATE, below]. That doesn't include about $11 million in net gains from exercising Schering-Plough stock options in April and May of 2007 — before the release of disappointing study results on the company's Vytorin cholesterol-lowering drug.
Those stock option sales are part of an ongoing class-action shareholder lawsuit that alleges securities misdeeds by Schering-Plough executives. Some posts at a CafePharma message board on the topic were submitted as evidence in the case. In June, a federal district court judge upheld an August 2009 decision to deny defendants' request to dismiss the case. . . .
Very cool. It even links to one of our blog-posts, in the seventh paragraph -- as the definitive estimate of the "all-in" value of Ms. Cox's golden kiss-off. Excellent!
Finally, with the air of mystery in the portion of its narrative about how tight-lipped Humacyte's founder was, on the question of the identity of the latest round investor (a solo-investor -- hmmm!), the MassDevice.com piece can also be read to imply that Ms. Cox may have been that sole investor -- in Humacyte's just completed $12 million private debt offering. I did exactly the same, but more directly, in the comment box to my piece, yesterday. Again, outstanding -- we will let you know if anything definitive turns up, to confirm the investor's identity!
UPDATED @ 9:50 PM EDT: Throughout the above-quoted article, the authors assumed that Ms. Cox's "golden kiss-off" would top out at $44 million. That turns out to be too low, given Merck's recent NYSE trading history. Had old Schering-Plough never risen above $28, pre-close, $44 million would likely have been the top for Ms. Cox.
Actually though -- with New Merck sitting a little above $36 on the NYSE tonight, we need to add another $14.4 million to the value of her haul. When Merck crossed $31.57, another bolus of 400,000 stock options went "in the money" -- i.e., became advantageous to exercise. If memory serves, she has a full year -- from closing to pull the trigger on most of these stock options. And thus, for every dollar increase in the NYSE per share price of New Merck over $31.57, Ms. Cox gains $1.99 million. So, should Merck rise from here -- above $36 -- add $2 million to her haul for every dollar of increase beyond $36.
So as I say, and just to be clear -- and complete -- at a little over $36 on the NYSE close tonight, Ms. Cox's all-in kiss-off package is worth at least $58.4 million (including her tax gross-up payments).