Gorgescu, top managers would be multimillionaires

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Regardless of who emerges the victor in the contest for Young & Rubicam, the biggest winners will be Y&R's top managers, who owned big stakes and options at year's end.

Assuming a purchase price of $60 a share, Peter Georgescu, the longtime chief executive who stepped down at the end of 1999 and now serves as chairman emeritus, could receive a whopping $107 million, according to numbers culled from filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Current top managers aren't doing so badly, either. Shares and vested options owned by CEO Thomas Bell could be worth $71 million. Those of Edward Vick, chairman and chief creative officer, could be worth $59 million; Michael Dolan, chief financial officer, $26 million; and Stephanie Abramson, general counsel, $21 million. While executives would have to pay to exercise their options, their personal profits from the company's sale would still be substantial.

Employees, former employees and retirees also will do well: Their collective stake of 19 million shares would translate to more than $1.1 billion at a buyout price of $60 a share. "Some are looking to ride off into the sunset and start a dot-com or open a flower shop," one industry executive said.

Institutional shareholders will do nicely also. The largest, Putnam Investments, a Boston-based mutual fund company, owns 3.5 million shares of Y&R, which would translate to $214 million.

Mr. Keenan is a reporter at Crain's New York Business.

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