Excessive Private Jet For Pop Star Use at Mylan?

Excessive Private Jet For Pop Star Use at Mylan?

December 18th, 2012 // 3:32 pm @


For the past few years, Mylan ceo Bob Coury has faced scrutiny over his use of corporate jets after racking up rather impressive bills. Last year, the drugmaker paid $500,779 so he could galavant. The year before, it was $535,590, up from $433,387 in 2009 and $348,988 in 2008, according to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commision (see page 21 here).

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What might explain all this activity? Well, The Wall Street Journal suggests looking at the budding singing career of his son, Tino Coury, who had a Top 40 hit in 2010. The paper compared his concert initinerary with travel logs for Mylan (MYL) jets and discovered a wee bit of overlap. “On some occasions, the jet — a Bombardier Global Express the size of a regional airliner — flew directly from one of Tino Coury’s concert locations to the next,” the paper writes.

The paper offers two examples: “On July 3, 2010, Tino Coury performed a late-night gig at a Cincinnati nightclub. At 3:18 a.m., the Mylan jet left Cincinnati for West Palm Beach, Florida, arriving there around 5 a.m. Later that day, Tino Coury performed at a July 4th concert in West Palm Beach. The following week, he performed near Hartford, Connecticut. Shortly afterward, the Mylan jet traveled from Hartford to Las Vegas, where he had his next performance. Based on the aircraft’s estimated hourly operating cost, the tab for the one-way flight was about $22,000.”

Shareholders take note. A Mylan spokeswoman tells the paper that Coury’s employment contracts have allowed outside personal activities, including those related to his son’s career. But she adds that Coury is not required to use the corporate jets but his employment contracts for the past decade have allowed personal use by him and his family.

She goes on to say that Coury family members have “occasionally” been passengers on the corporate aircraft,” but that “no member of his family is permitted to travel on the aircraft unless Mr. Coury himself also is a passenger,” she tells the paper. But she declined to offer specifics about who was aboard which flights and whether these were headed to and from concerts.

As we noted, this is hardly the first time that Coury has generated heat over his flying. When we reported this early last year, Charles Elson, director of John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, told us that “I think its inappropriate. A business jet is supposed to be used for business purposes. The whole notion of using a company jet for personal purposes is problematic” (here are the rest of his remarks).

Last year, GMI Ratings, which tracks executive pay, ranked Mylan poorly for the amount of personal jet usage (read here) and, as the Journal notes, the aircraft perks given Courty in 2011 ranked ninth among executives of Russell 3000 corporations. His annual pay package, by the way, exceeded $20 million in both 2010 and 2011, the paper adds.

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