A year ago, excited by the prospect of a merger with a key competitor, Sprint distributed stock to employees as incentives. Since then, those shares have lost close to half of their value.
Some 27,000 workers at the Overland Park, Kansas-based telecom company collected a total of nearly $279 million in stocks. Top executives received over $130 million in shares.
The incentives were spurred by a bump in Sprint’s stock price amid rumors of a merger with T-Mobile. Sprint’s parent company, SoftBank, abandoned plans to buy T-Mobile last November, which sent the share price spiraling down.
Today, Sprint stock prices are down from $8 a share last March to around $5 as of Tuesday. The $279 million in shares handed out to Sprint employees are now worth $169 million.
Despite the dip in value, employees could not cash in any of their shares under the terms of the incentive stock deal. Most employees will gain individual control over a third of their stocks this September, another third in September 2019 and the rest in September 2020.
Read more: Kansas City Star