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Chief executive Neil Bruce and three other top executives of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. stand to gain more than $12-million if the company’s stock returns to the levels at which it traded in early October, before it disclosed Ottawa’s refusal to negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement on criminal charges.

To arrive at the figure, The Globe and Mail examined the share holdings of Mr. Bruce and Ian Edwards, the company’s chief operating officer; Sylvain Girard, the company’s chief financial officer; and Hartland Paterson, the company’s general counsel. The Globe excluded other top executives who run specific business units of the company.

Mr. Bruce said in an interview that he has no contractual arrangement that explicitly pays him extra money to secure a DPA that would resolve criminal charges of bribery and fraud against the company. SNC’s proxy circular to shareholders said his 2017 bonus of $1.45-million was based, in part, on the fact that he “made significant progress in resolving past legal issues.” (The company’s 2018 compensation disclosure will be available soon.)

The biggest financial benefit to Mr. Bruce and others, however, is if investors believe the legal clouds have lifted from the company and the shares rise.

SNC shares closed Oct. 9 at $51.85; when it revealed the next day the Public Prosecution Service of Canada had refused the DPA, the shares fell nearly 14 per cent. That uncertainty – coupled with subsequent poor financial results and a reduced dividend – have now cut about one-third of the value from the shares. They closed Thursday at $34.

A return to October levels – which would require a gain of 50 per cent – would elevate the value of the executives’ share holdings. Mr. Bruce and the others hold few to no SNC shares directly; instead they participate in the stock’s gain through a variety of multiyear compensation programs, including restricted shares and performance shares. The gains outlined here aren’t immediately realizable, then, because much of the stock can’t yet be sold on the open market.

The numbers show how much is at stake, however. Mr. Bruce has 367,718 shares with a potential gain of $6.4-million if SNC stock rebounds to $51.85, according to securities filings and The Globe’s calculations. Another 92,000 stock options, unusable at the stock’s current levels, would provide Mr. Bruce with a gain of $1-million if exercised at the October, 2018, market price.

Mr. Edwards has 133,632 shares in various compensation plans with a potential gain of a little more than $2.3-million. Mr. Girard has 87,402 shares with a potential $1.5-million gain. And Mr. Paterson has 53,521 shares with a potential gain of about $936,000.

Only Mr. Bruce, with 23,000 shares, and Mr. Edwards, with 2,000 shares, own SNC stock directly in their own personal accounts, according to filings. None of the company’s five top officers, a list that includes divisional presidents Christian Brown and Sandy Taylor but does not include Mr. Paterson, have met the company’s share ownership requirements. SNC requires executives to own a multiple of their annual salary in stock, with the multiple ranging from five times salary for Mr. Bruce to three times salary for the others.

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