May 22, 2014 / 3:45 AM / in 4 years CEO Liu awarded $591 mln share bonus ahead of IPO

(Corrects to say award was worth $891 million in 2nd paragraph, Liu’s compensation equivalent to half of shares in IPO in 5th paragraph)

By Elzio Barreto and Denny Thomas

HONG KONG, May 22 (Reuters) - China’s No.2 e-commerce company, Inc., awarded CEO and founder Richard Liu a one-off share-based bonus of $591 million as the company prepared for its U.S. IPO, according to a securities filing.

The award was actually worth $891 million at the IPO price, nearly half the amount and some of its shareholders raised in the biggest U.S. listing by a Chinese company.

It was granted “in consideration of his past and future services”, according to the prospectus. is the second mainland company to lavish its senior executives with major share-based bonuses ahead of a stock market flotation in the past month.

The deal was priced at $19 per American Depositary Share (ADS), above the $16 to $18 per share marketing range for the IPO. Each ADS represents two ordinary shares.

Billionaire Liu was awarded 93.78 million immediately vesting restricted share units, equivalent to half the number of ADSs in the IPO.

The company itself offered about 69 million ADSs while shareholders, including hedge fund Tiger Global Management and Russian Internet investment group Digital Sky Technologies, sold another 24.68 million ADSs.

The special compensation follows a similar payment to two senior executives of China’s biggest pork producer WH Group Ltd, who last month received a combined $600 million share-based compensation for “recognition and reward” as part of the takeover of U.S.-based Smithfield Foods Inc. (Editing by Stephen Coates)

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