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Melco Resorts and Entertainment has introduced a share purchase and award program in a bid to recognise the “dedication and commitment our colleagues have demonstrated” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group also says that the announcement has not only been made to acknowledge the work of employees during the recent time, but to provide the opportunity for those eligible to benefit from the company’s long-term growth.

The share purchase and award program applies to eligible employees who agreed in 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, to participate in the company’s voluntary leave program, one of a series of measures taken to proactively manage costs in the face of the unprecedented challenges.

Under the share purchase and award program, an eligible employee is invited to use a portion of his or her base salary during its term, which runs from July 2021 to June 2022, to purchase and receive a grant of restricted shares under the Melco Resorts 2011 share incentive plan, with an aggregate value equal to 200 per cent of the amount of base salary so applied as at the grant date.  

The maximum amount of restricted shares which may be issued under the program represents less than 0.50 per cent of the company’s total shares outstanding as of July 8, 2021. 

Lawrence Ho, chairman and CEO of Melco Resorts and Entertainment, said of the introduction: “The share purchase and award program demonstrates our recognition of the dedication and commitment our colleagues have demonstrated during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. 

“As the pandemic gradually subsides, we would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to all our colleagues and ensure they have the chance to capitalise on the long-term growth of the company. Our colleagues are always the single most important ingredient to delivering future success.”