Priceline's Ex-CFO $3 Million Loan Excused

Many are aware of the fact that Priceline has had its share of problems, but the latest news from the Norwalk, CT-online retailer is stunning. The company is forgiving a $3 million loan given to ex-CFO Heidi Miller.

The loan was given a 6.8 percent APR, and the fact that the company won't pursue repayment from Miller is circumspect to her departure. Analysts are quick to comment that a financially stressed company like Priceline normally wouldn't take an action like this, especially since her contract did not require forgiving the loan should she depart.

In a statement, the company says that it has forgiven the loan based on an employment agreement, and could only have done so if there were a change of "control, death, disability, the end of its five-year term, dismissal for other than cause or her departure for a narrowly defined good reason."

The good reasons are defined as "a material reduction of her duties, assignment of responsibilities inconsistent with her position, her removal from an officer’s position or from Priceline’s board, relocation of Priceline’s Connecticut executive offices more than 35 miles away, and exclusion from bonus plans."

Still, it isn't clear that any of the "good reasons" occurred, and certainly none of the other changes outlined happened.


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