Description of Common Stock
EX-4.2 2 advm-20201231xexx42.htm EX-4.2 Document
ADVERUM BIOTECHNOLOGIES, INC.
DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK
Our authorized capital stock consists of 300,000,000 shares of common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, and 5,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $0.0001 par value per share. A description of material terms and provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws affecting the rights of holders of our common stock is set forth below. The description is intended as a summary, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to our certificate of incorporation and the bylaws.
Each holder of our common stock is entitled to one vote for each share on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders, including the election of directors. In the election of directors, a plurality of the votes cast at a meeting of stockholders is sufficient to elect a director. Our stockholders do not have cumulative voting rights in the election of directors. Accordingly, holders of a majority of the voting shares are able to elect all of the directors. In all other matters, except as noted below under “—Amendment of our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation or our Amended and Restated Bylaws” and “—Election and Removal of Directors” and except where a higher threshold is required by law, a majority of the votes cast affirmatively or negatively (excluding abstentions and broker non-votes) will decide such matters.
Subject to preferences that may be applicable to any then outstanding preferred stock, holders of our common stock are entitled to receive dividends, if any, as may be declared from time to time by our board of directors out of legally available funds.
In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, holders of our common stock will be entitled to share ratably in the net assets legally available for distribution to stockholders after the payment of all of our debts and other liabilities and the satisfaction of any liquidation preference granted to the holders of any then outstanding shares of preferred stock.
Holders of our common stock have no preemptive, conversion, subscription or other rights, and there are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to our common stock. The rights, preferences and privileges of the holders of our common stock are subject to and may be adversely affected by the rights of the holders of shares of any series of preferred stock that we may designate in the future.
Anti-takeover Effects of Provisions of our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws and Delaware Law
Delaware law and our restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws contain provisions that could have the effect of delaying, deferring or discouraging another party from acquiring control of us. These provisions, which are summarized below, are expected to discourage coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids. These provisions are also designed to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to first negotiate with our board of directors.
Undesignated Preferred Stock
The ability to authorize undesignated preferred stock makes it possible for our board of directors to issue preferred stock with voting or other rights or preferences that could impede the success of any attempt to change control of us. These and other provisions may have the effect of deterring hostile takeovers or delaying changes in control or management of our company.
Our charter documents provide that a special meeting of stockholders may be called only by the secretary of our company at the direction of the board of directors.
Requirements for Advance Notification of Stockholder Nominations and Proposals
Our amended and restated bylaws establish advance notice procedures with respect to stockholder proposals and the nomination of candidates for election as directors, other than nominations made by or at the direction of the board of directors or a committee of the board of directors.
Elimination of Stockholder Action by Written Consent
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation eliminates the right of stockholders to act by written consent without a meeting.
Election and Removal of Directors
Our board of directors is divided into three classes. The directors in each class will serve for a three-year term, one class being elected each year by our stockholders. This system of electing and removing directors may tend to discourage a third party from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us, because it generally makes it more difficult for stockholders to replace a majority of the directors. Our charter documents provide that directors may be removed from office at any time (i) with cause by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the voting power of all the then outstanding shares of our voting stock entitled to vote at an election of directors or (ii) without cause by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66-2/3%) of the voting power of all the then outstanding shares of our voting stock entitled to vote at an election of directors.
Delaware Anti-Takeover Statute
We are subject to Section 203 of the DGCL, which prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in a business combination with any interested stockholder for a period of three years following the date the person became an interested stockholder, with the following exceptions:
|•||before such date, the board of directors of the corporation approved either the business combination or the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested holder;|
|•||upon completion of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of the corporation outstanding at the|
|time the transaction began, excluding for purposes of determining the voting stock outstanding (but not the outstanding voting stock owned by the interested stockholder) those shares owned (a) by persons who are directors and also officers and (b) pursuant to employee stock plans in which employee participants do not have the right to determine confidentially whether shares held subject to the plan will be tendered in a tender or exchange offer; and|
|•||on or after such date, the business combination is approved by the board of directors and authorized at an annual or special meeting of the stockholders, and not by written consent, by the affirmative vote of at least 66 2/3% of the outstanding voting stock that is not owned by the interested stockholder.|
In general, Section 203 of the DGCL defines business combination to include the following:
|•||any merger or consolidation involving the corporation and the interested stockholder;|
|•||any sale, transfer, pledge or other disposition of 10% or more of the assets of the corporation involving the interested stockholder;|
|•||subject to certain exceptions, any transaction that results in the issuance or transfer by the corporation of any stock of the corporation to the interested stockholder;|
|•||any transaction involving the corporation that has the effect of increasing the proportionate share of the stock or any class or series of the corporation beneficially owned by the interested stockholder; and|
|•||the receipt by the interested stockholder of the benefit of any loans, advances, guarantees, pledges or other financial benefits by or through the corporation.|
Section 203 of the DGCL defines an “interested stockholder” as an entity or person who, together with the entity’s or person’s affiliates and associates, beneficially owns, or is an affiliate of the corporation and within three years prior to the time of determination of interested stockholder status did own, 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation. A Delaware corporation may “opt out” of these provisions with an express provision in its certificate of incorporation. We have not opted out of these provisions, which may as a result, discourage or prevent mergers or other takeover or change of control attempts of us.
Amendment of our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation or our Amended and Restated Bylaws
The amendment of any of the above provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, except for the provision making it possible for our board of directors to issue preferred stock, or the amendment of any provision in our amended and restated bylaws (other than by action of the board of directors), would require approval by holders of at least 66 2/3% of our then outstanding voting stock
The provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws could have the effect of discouraging others from attempting hostile takeovers and, as a consequence, they may also inhibit temporary fluctuations in the market price of our common stock that often result from actual or rumored hostile takeover attempts. These provisions may also have the effect of preventing changes in our management. It is possible that these provisions could make it more difficult to accomplish transactions that stockholders may otherwise deem to be in their best interests.
Exclusive Forum Provisions
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws provide that unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of Adverum, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any director, officer or other employee of Adverum to us or our stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law, or (iv) any action asserting a claim governed by the internal affairs doctrine shall be the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, in all cases subject to the court’s having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants. This provision does not apply to actions arising under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, or any claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction.
Our amended and restated bylaws provide that unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the federal district courts of the United States of America shall be the sole and exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
Our amended and restated bylaws further provide that any person or entity holding, owning or otherwise acquiring any interest in any of our securities shall be deemed to have notice of and consented to these exclusive forum provisions.