March 8, 2018 / 9:56 AM / 10 months ago

Axel Springer managers get 12 million euro bonus from General Atlantic

FILE PHOTO - Mathias Dopfner, CEO of Axel Springer SE, speaks at the 2017 Business Insider Ignition: Future of Media conference in New York, U.S., November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Managers at Axel Springer SE (SPRGn.DE) have shared a 12 million euro (10.71 million pounds)bonus from investor General Atlantic following the profitable sale of an investment in the German publisher’s online classifieds business.

The one-time payment to the Springer executive board came on top of annual compensation totalling 19.7 million euros, bringing total pay to 31.7 million euros, Springer said in its annual report.

Springer did not give a breakdown of compensation paid to its executive board, which is headed by CEO Mathias Doepfner and was recently enlarged to number five members. Doepfner also owns a 2.8 percent stake in the company.

Springer earlier on Thursday announced solid 2017 results and forecast double-digit growth in core earnings this year, yet its shares fell by 10 percent as investors took profits following a period of strong outperformance.

The bonus disclosure comes amid increasing scrutiny of executive pay in Europe’s largest economy that is rising fast but still lags levels in the United States.

General Atlantic entered into a partnership with Springer in 2012, taking a 30 percent stake in the publisher’s online classifieds business as part of a strategy to diversify it internationally.

It later sold down its shares through a series of partial sales, completing the process last year. It made “a voluntary one-time special payment”, enabling the payment of the “recognition bonus” to the executive board, the annual report said.

Bill McDermott, the CEO of business software firm SAP (SAPG.DE), is probably the best-paid executive in Germany, making 21.8 million euros ($27 million) last year according to a company disclosure.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Keith Weir

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