Lionsgate CFO James Barge Renews Contract Through 2020

Courtesy of Lionsgate
James Barge

The top exec stands to receive a $1 million cash bonus if the studio secures target synergies from its $4.4 billion merger with Starz.

Lionsgate CFO James Barge has extended his contract with the Hollywood studio through 2020.

Lionsgate revealed in an Securities and Exchange Commission 8K filing on Thursday the new long-term deal, which was approved on Dec. 28, 2016, three days before the current contract expired and after the studio a month earlier completed its $4.4 billion merger with Starz.

Barge arranged financing for the Starz deal, the largest in the studio's history. The new contract, to run to Sept. 30, 2020, sees Barge receive an annual base salary of $1 million and become eligible for a target performance bonus of 100 percent of his base salary.

It also includes a "special bonus opportunity" that offers Barge $1 million in cash if the studio secures "certain synergies in connection with Lionsgate's acquisition of Starz and the integration of the two companies following the transaction."

Lionsgate in earlier SEC filings forecast operating cost synergies to reach $50 million and annual cash tax savings to exceed $150 million through fiscal year 2021. The annual cost savings are expected to come from eliminating jobs and the advantages of scale in production, manufacturing and marketing costs.

Barge as part of the new four-year deal has also been granted 425,000 Lionsgate share appreciation rights priced at $25.22 each, as of Dec. 28, 2016. As the studio looks for management continuity, Barge's contract renewal follows Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and vice-chairman Michael Burns recently re-upping with Lionsgate.