there's another reason to sell ... if execs exercise/sell these options, they'll just grant themselves more! likely on the next big stock price dip.
they risk missing out on a big price jump but likely their next option batch will come out with a strike price in at most the $5-$6 range ... and in the mean time they ensure they have immediate cash for the next 2 years of mortgage payments on barely-right-side-up real estate.
The only reason that an option must be exercised is because it is about to expire - either per the expiration date set in the grant agreement or because employment is being terminated.
I can think of no explanation for why insiders would exercise and sell big chunks of non-expiring options if they had any inkling that a buyout was a real possibility in the near future (0-6 months out).
Wow, I'm really curious what's going on with these guys. The selling is more furious than I've ever seen it. On the one hand they know the buyback will prop up the PPS to some degree (there are limits of course). On the other hand I wonder if they now believe BIRT isn't going anywhere and this is a recognition they are and will remain a niche player at best. They remind me of an ERP software company called Lawson. Good product. Never gone anywhere, never going anywhere.