Melco chair Lawrence Ho to acquire US$6.67 million in shares under employee purchase program

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Melco Chairman and CEO, Lawrence Ho

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Melco Resorts Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho will acquire US$6.7 million worth of shares under a Share Purchase and Award Program announced by the company on Thursday.

The program, running from July 2021 to June 2022, allows eligible management employees to use some of their base salary to purchase shares in the company under the Melco Resorts 2011 Share Incentive Plan, with an aggregate value equal to 200% of the amount of base salary so applied as at the grant date. Eligible employees are those in management positions who took part in Melcos voluntary leave program at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw all Macau casinos closed for 15 days in February 2020.

Melco revealed in a filing that one of the beneficiaries of the program will be Ho, who had agreed to forego part of his salary from February 2020 and his entire salary from May 2020 until 30 June 2021.

The company said its Chairman and CEO has since agreed to continue foregoing his base salary for another 12 months until June 2022 but will participate in the Share Purchase and Award Program to the full extent of his salary.

Based on closing share price of US$16.05 per share, Ho will acquire 416,016 American Depositary Shares, equivalent to 1,248,048 Melco Resorts shares, worth US$6.68 million.

Melco said the salary remittance for all participating employees in the Share Purchase and Award Program will be made on a monthly basis although shares acquired will settle or vest on a quarterly basis.

The program, Melco added, aims to recognize the dedication and commitment of those eligible employees who participated in the Groups voluntary no-paid leave program in 2020/2021, during the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, consistent with the Groups belief that its employees are the single most important ingredient to delivering future success, and to provide eligible employees the opportunity to benefit from the Groups long-term growth.

The total amount of shares available to eligible management employees comprises a maximum 0.50% of Melcos outstanding share capital.