Report: Melnyk New Canadian Leader in Compensation

Biovail Corp. chairman and chief executive officer Eugene Melnyk has topped Magna International chairman Frank Stronach in terms of highest compensation in corporate Canada in 2001, the Toronto Globe and Mail reports.

Melnyk cashed in stock options for a profit of $78.6-million in U.S. funds. He exercised 1.62 million options during 2001.

Melnyk, a prominent Thoroughbred owner, received a salary of $552,644 for a total compensation package of $79.1 million, the Globe and Mail reported. That puts him ahead of Stronach ($56.6 million Canadian), and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc. chief executive officer David O'Brien ($53.7million Canadian).

Stronach, also a prominent horse owner whose company, Magna Entertainment, is the leading racetrack company in the U.S. in terms of number of holdings, usually tops the Canadian earnings list.

For much of 2002, Biovail has been involved in a dispute with a suspended analyst atBanc of America Securities, whose two stock downgrades contributed to investors slashing $2.7-billion from Biovail's market value, the newspaper reported.

The Ontario Securities Commission declined to indicate whether it will take any action against Biovail because of reports that the company's executives discussed revenue guidance with some analysts before the information was released publicly.