Dirk Laukien is leaving the Mother Ship 20 years older and a whole lot richer.
Laukien, 44, the younger brother of Bruker Corp. CEO Frank Laukien and co-president of the company’s Biospin division, will give up his executive responsibilities with the Billerica, Mass.-based manufacturer of laboratory and imaging equipment, effective Feb. 1, 2010.*
The resignations, decided earlier this week, were disclosed in regulatory documents filed Nov. 13 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said Laukien opted to give up his full-time responsibilities at Bruker to “devote more time to personal interests.” He was named, however, to a new position as Senior Scientific Fellow at the company — a job that will pay him $100,000 a year.
An executive with Bruker and several of its subsidiaries dating back to its 1989 launch, Dirk Laukien received a base salary of $300,000 during each of the past two years. He also was eligible under the company’s employee-incentive plans for bonuses based on various performance goals of operations under his control; during 2008, he earned $81,897 from a bonus pool totaling $140,000.
But like several members of his extended family, the real payday for Dirk Laukien in recent years has come from cashing in on his considerable holdings of Bruker stock. He started as an equal co-owner of the company with siblings Frank, Joerg and Marc Laukien, along with their mother, Isolde Laukien-Kliener, each owning a 20 percent stake of the firm. His 9.1 million shares ballooned in value when Bruker Daltronics, as the company was then known, completed its initial public offering in August 2000, pushing his net worth close to $120 million, based on Bruker’s $13-a-share IPO price.
Since then, the company has helped individual members of the Laukien family to become more liquid, with coordinated periodic sales of their stock into the broader market. The family sold a combined 22.4 million shares through a pair of secondary offerings in 2004 and 2007, and again in September, when Marc and Isolde Laukien sold a total of 13 million shares for roughly $130 million. The company’s acquisitions of Bruker BioSpin and Bruker AXS, both former stand-alone firms, also were configured to allow family members to sell stock while boosting their overall holdings.
Based on stock ownership reports, Dirk Laukien to date has sold about 4.2 million shares, generating about $24.3 million in proceeds. He also was set to sell up to 14.2 million shares during the most recent offering of Bruker stock, but withdrew his bid shortly before the deal reached market. He currently owns about 22.2 million Bruker shares, or about 13.6 percent of the company, worth slightly more than $240 million at the stock’s current price of almost $11 each.
*Correction, 11/6/2009: Due to a reporter’s oversight, this article originally reported that Dirk Laukien was resigning from Bruker Corp.’s board of directors. Laukien will remain a member of the board. Return to the corrected sentence.