EXCLUSIVE Orcel payment to Santander reduced to 51.4 million euros – Madrid court document

Italian banker Andrea Orcel and Banco Santander President Ana Patricia Botin attend a trial against Santander over the bank’s withdrawal of a CEO job offer at Orcel, at a High Court in Madrid, Spain, May 19, 2021. REUTERS / Juan Medina

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  • Court reduces Orcel compensation from 16 million to 51.4 million euros
  • The decision follows a request for clarification from both sides
  • Santander says he will resume call in due course
  • The original decision that the letter of offer was a contract is valid

MADRID, Jan 14 (Reuters) – A Madrid court has reduced the compensation paid to banker Andrea Orcel to 51.4 million euros ($58.75 million) from 67.8 million euros following the withdrawal by Santander of a CEO job offer, up from 67.8 million euros initially, according to a court document seen by Reuters. on Friday showed.

Orcel and Santander (SAN.MC) ended up in court after Spain’s biggest bank scrapped plans to make former investment banker UBS (UBSG.S) its CEO over a disagreement over His salary. Orcel had already left UBS to prepare for the new role. Read more

The amended court ruling comes after Orcel and Santander sought clarification from the judge about the 35 million euros originally awarded to the Italian banker by the court on December 10, the document said.

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Neither the court nor Orcel’s legal team were immediately available for comment.

It was not immediately possible to reach Orcel for comment.

A Santander spokesperson said the bank “welcomes this clarification and will resume the appeals process in due course.”

Orcel’s legal team, which originally sought up to 112 million euros from Santander for breach of contract, filed an amended lawsuit on May 17, 2021, reducing the claim after joining Italian lender UniCredit (CRDI. MID).

After the December judgment, Orcel’s legal team asked the judge whether the amount to which the banker was entitled under the release clause was 29 million euros or 18.6 million euros excluding tax equalization .

In the court document seen on Friday, Madrid judge Javier Sanchez Beltran acknowledged there was an error in the December ruling and that Orcel was not entitled to tax equalization under the buyout clause.

“The offer letter never mentioned tax equalization,” Sanchez Beltran added in his written decision.

The rest of the compensation such as the 17 million euros for an opening bonus, the 5.8 million euros for two years’ salary and 10 million euros for damage to morale and reputation, plus interest, remained unchanged.

The cash payment to which Orcel is entitled amounts to 32.8 million euros while the reduced buy-out clause of more than 18 million euros will be paid in shares.

Following the clarification, Santander now has 20 days to appeal the December decision, two sources familiar with the matter said.

In December, Sanchez Beltran said Santander’s job offer letter to Orcel in September 2018 was a binding contract. This decision still stands. Read more

Appeals against the December ruling could delay the final outcome by one or two years if the legal proceedings reach Spain’s Supreme Court, multiple court sources said.

($1 = 0.8745 euros)

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Reporting by Jesús Aguado in Madrid Additional reporting by Emma Pinedo and Valentina Za in Milan Editing Aislinn Laing, Jane Merriman and Matthew Lewis

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