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ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

ICN Skips Stock Options as Executive Pay Plan Awaits OK

May 01, 1996|BARBARA MARSH

COSTA MESA — ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., breaking a company tradition, refrained last year from passing out stock options to its top executives.

In a filing this week, the company also disclosed that it paid $78,960 in legal expenses for its controversial chairman and chief executive, Milan Panic.

The drug company skipped the option grants because it has yet to receive shareholder approval for a new executive compensation plan that would closely tie executive incentives to the company's stock performance, said David C. Watt, the company's executive vice president. Shareholders will be asked to approve the plan at the company's annual meeting on May 29, he said. The company expects to disclose details of the plan in a securities filing within days, he added.

As for Panic's legal concerns, the executive remains a target of sexual harassment and paternity actions brought by a former employee, as well as a federal securities investigation into his 1994 sale of company stock. Panic has denied any wrongdoing.

Watt attributed part of the legal expenses for Panic to the $50,000 a year it allots him for estate and tax planning. Watt declined to specify how much of expenses associated with the lawsuits or securities investigation are paid by the company or Panic personally.

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