Bombardier's Founding Family Loses Hundreds Of Millions In Share Price Collapse

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MONTREAL — Bombardier's stock price collapse cost its controlling family hundreds of millions of dollars last year even as they collectively spent some $50 million to increase their stake in the embattled transportation company.

Most of the loss was felt by four senior members of the Bombardier and Beaudoin family, who are the company's largest shareholders, according to a regulatory filing issued Friday ahead of Bombardier's annual meeting April 29.

J.R. Andre Bombardier, Janine Bombardier, Claire Bombardier Beaudoin and Huguette Bombardier Fontaine indirectly control 249 million class A multiple voting shares and 30.2 million class B subordinate voting shares.

The Montreal-based company's shares (TSX:BBD.A, BBD.B) lost more than 60 per cent of their value last year, with the A shares ending 2015 at C$1.49 and B shares at C$1.34, down from about C$4.13 and C$4.15 respectively.

Five family members who sit on the board of directors collectively lost US$200 million.

bombardier stock price

Bombardier's stock price over the past five years. (Chart: Bloomberg)

J.R. Andre Bombardier lost US$156.9 million, chairman emeritus Laurent Beaudoin US$30.6 million, chairman Pierre Beaudoin US$2.77 million, Jean-Louis Fontaine US$10.2 million and Joanne Bissonnette US$15,300.

The losses were realized even though they purchased shares as part of the company's equity financing program that raised about $1 billion.

Laurent and J.R. Andre Bombardier each acquired seven million shares as part of the US$50 million the entire family spent on shares offered early last year. Lauren Beaudoin controls his shares jointly with his wife, Claire, through the Beaudier holding company.

"The fact the family bought shares shows their support and confidence in Bombardier," said spokeswoman Isabelle Rondeau.

In the proxy circular, Bombardier said chief executive Alain Bellemare earned more than his predecessor, Pierre Beaudoin.

Bellemare, 54, received US$6.4 million in compensation, including a base salary of US$864,300, US$3.1 million in option-based awards, US$655,200 in share-based awards, a US$1.2 million bonus and US$594,100 in relocation and other expenses.

Beaudoin earned US$3.85 million in total compensation last year, down from US$5.2 million in 2014 and US$6 million in 2013. He was appointed executive chairman Feb. 13, 2015.

Former chief financial officer Pierre Alary received US$2.67 million, including a C$2.2-million lump sum after retiring following 17 years with the company.

The former head of Bombardier Transportation, Lutz Bertling, received about US$8 million, including a US$4-million departure payment as part of his employment contract.

Shareholders will be asked to approve a proposal to allow the board to consolidate the company's shares by Oct. 31 in an attempt to increase their value. The suggested range is one share for every eight to 16 shares, giving the board flexibility to implement the final plan.

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