Description of securities of the Registrant
DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK
The following description summarizes certain important terms of the capital stock of Alector, Inc. (the “company,” “we,” “us” and “our”), as well as certain provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws. This summary does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by the provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, copies of which have been filed as exhibits to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as by the applicable provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law.
Authorized Capital Stock
Our authorized capital stock consists of 200,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, and 20,000,000 shares of convertible preferred stock, par value $0.0001 per share. All of our outstanding shares of common stock are fully paid and non-assessable.
Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) under the symbol “ALEC.” The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC. The transfer agent and registrar’s address is 6201 15th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11219.
Each holder of 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. Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws do not provide for cumulative voting rights. Because of this, the holders of a plurality of the shares of common stock entitled to vote in any election of directors can elect all of the directors standing for election, if they should so choose. With respect to matters other than the election of directors, at any meeting of the stockholders at which a quorum is present or represented, the affirmative vote of a majority of the voting power of the shares present in person or represented by proxy at such meeting and entitled to vote on the subject matter shall be the act of the stockholders, except as otherwise required by law. The holders of a majority of the stock issued and outstanding and entitled to vote, present in person, or represented by proxy, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at all meetings of the stockholders.
Subject to preferences that may be applicable to any then-outstanding convertible 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 convertible preferred stock.
Rights and Preferences
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 our convertible preferred stock that we may designate in the future.
Our board of directors has the authority, without further action by the stockholders, to issue up to 20,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series and to fix the rights, preferences, privileges, and restrictions thereof. These rights, preferences, and privileges could include dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, redemption rights, liquidation preferences, sinking fund terms, and the number of shares constituting any series or the designation of such series, any or all of which may be greater than the rights of common stock. The issuance of preferred stock could adversely affect the voting power of holders of common stock and the likelihood that such holders will receive dividend payments and payments upon liquidation. In addition, the issuance of preferred stock could have the effect of delaying, deferring, or preventing change in our control or other corporate action.
Registration Rights of Certain Stockholders
Under our registration rights agreement, as amended, certain holders of shares of common stock or their transferees have the right to require us to register the offer and sale of their shares, or to include their shares in any registration statement we file, in each case as described below.
Demand Registration Rights
Certain holders of shares of our common stock are entitled to certain demand registration rights. The holders of at least 25% of the shares (or a lesser percent for which the anticipated aggregate offering price would be at least $15 million) having registration rights then outstanding can request that we file a registration statement to register the offer and sale of their shares. We are only obligated to effect up to two such registrations. Each such request for registration must cover securities the anticipated aggregate public offering price of which, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions, is at least $15 million. These demand registration rights are subject to specified conditions and limitations, including the right of the underwriters to limit the number of shares included in any such registration under certain circumstances. If we determine that it would be seriously detrimental to us and our stockholders to effect such a demand registration, we have the right to defer such registration, not more than once in any twelve month period, for a period of up to 60 days.
Form S-3 Registration Rights
Certain holders of shares of our common stock are entitled to certain Form S-3 registration rights. At any time when we are eligible to file a registration statement on Form S-3, the holders of the shares having these rights then outstanding can request that we register the offer and sale of their shares of our common stock on a registration statement on Form S-3 so long as the request covers securities the anticipated aggregate public offering price of which is at least $3 million. These stockholders may make an unlimited number of requests for registration on a registration statement on Form S-3. However, we will not be required to effect a registration
on Form S-3 if we have effected two such registrations within the twelve month period preceding the date of the request. Additionally, if we determine that it would be seriously detrimental to us and our stockholders to effect such a demand registration, we have the right to defer such registration, not more than once in any twelve month period, for a period of up to 60 days.
Piggyback Registration Rights
Certain holders of shares of our common stock are entitled to certain “piggyback” registration rights. If we propose to register the offer and sale of shares of our common stock under the Securities Act, all holders of these shares then outstanding can request that we include their shares in such registration, subject to certain marketing and other limitations, including the right of the underwriters to limit the number of shares included in any such registration statement under certain circumstances. As a result, whenever we propose to file a registration statement under the Securities Act, other than with respect to (1) a registration related to any employee benefit plan or a corporate reorganization or other transaction covered by Rule 145 promulgated under the Securities Act, (2) a registration in which the only stock being registered is common stock issuable upon conversion of debt securities also being registered, or (3) a registration on any form that does not include substantially the same information as would be required to be included in a registration statement covering the sale of our common stock, the holders of these shares are entitled to notice of the registration and have the right, subject to certain limitations, to include their shares in the registration.
Expenses of Registration
We will pay all expenses relating to any demand registrations, Form S-3 registrations, and piggyback registrations, subject to specified exceptions.
The registration rights terminate upon the earliest of (1) the date that is five years after the closing of our initial public offering and (2) a deemed liquidation event (as defined in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, in effect prior to the completion of our initial public offering).
Anti-Takeover Effects of Certain Provisions of Delaware Law, Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Our Amended and Restated Bylaws
Certain provisions of Delaware law and certain provisions that are included in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws summarized below may be deemed to have an anti-takeover effect and may delay, deter, or prevent a tender offer or takeover attempt that a stockholder might consider to be in its best interests, including attempts that might result in a premium being paid over the market price for the shares held by stockholders.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation contains provisions that permit our board of directors to issue, without any further vote or action by the stockholders, shares of preferred stock in one or more series and, with respect to each such series, to fix the number of shares constituting the series and the designation of the series, the voting rights (if any) of the shares of the series and the powers, preferences, or relative, participation, optional, and other special rights, if any, and any qualifications, limitations, or restrictions, of the shares of such series.
Classified Board of Directors
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that our board of directors is divided into three classes, designated Class I, Class II, and Class III. Each class is an equal number of directors, as nearly as possible, consisting of one-third of the total number of directors constituting the entire board of directors. The term of initial Class I directors shall terminate on the date of the 2022 annual meeting, the term of the initial Class II directors shall terminate on the date of the 2020 annual meeting, and the term of the initial Class III directors shall terminate on the date of the 2021 annual meeting. At each annual meeting of stockholders, successors to the class of directors whose term expires at that annual meeting will be elected for a three-year term.
Removal of Directors
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that stockholders may only remove a director for cause by a vote of no less than a majority of the shares present in person or by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes only our board of directors to fill vacant directorships.
No Cumulative Voting
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that stockholders do not have the right to cumulate votes in the election of directors.
Special Meetings of Stockholders
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws provides that, except as otherwise required by law, special meetings of the stockholders may be called only by the Chairperson of our board of directors, the Chief Executive Officer, the President, or our board of directors acting pursuant to a resolution adopted by a majority of the board of directors.
Advance Notice Procedures for Director Nominations
Our bylaws provide that stockholders seeking to nominate candidates for election as directors at an annual or special meeting of stockholders must provide timely notice thereof in writing. To be timely, a stockholder’s notice generally will have to be delivered to and received at our principal executive offices before notice of the meeting is issued by the secretary of the company, with such notice being served not less than 90 nor more than 120 days before the meeting. Although the amended and restated bylaws do not give the board of directors the power to approve or disapprove stockholder nominations of candidates to be elected at an annual meeting, the amended and restated bylaws may have the effect of precluding the conduct of certain business at a meeting if the proper procedures are not followed or may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect its own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of the company.
Action by Written Consent
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws provide that any action to be taken by the stockholders must be effected at a duly called annual or special meeting of stockholders and may not be effected by written consent.
Amending our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation may be amended or altered in any manner provided by the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”). Our amended and restated bylaws may be adopted, amended, altered, or repealed by stockholders only upon approval of at least majority of the voting power of all the then outstanding shares of the common stock, except for any amendment of certain provisions set forth in the bylaws, which would require the approval of a two-thirds majority of our then outstanding common stock. Additionally, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that our bylaws may be amended, altered, or repealed by the board of directors.
Authorized but Unissued Shares
Our authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock are available for future issuances without stockholder approval, except as required by the listing standards of Nasdaq, and could be utilized for a variety of corporate purposes, including future offerings to raise additional capital, acquisitions and employee benefit plans. The existence of authorized but unissued and unreserved common stock and preferred stock could render more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of the company by means of a proxy contest, tender offer, merger, or otherwise.
Our amended and restated bylaws provide that, unless we consent to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, or if the Court of Chancery does not have jurisdiction, the federal district court for the District of Delaware, is the exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of us, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any director, officer, or other employee to the us or our stockholders, (iii) any action arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL or our certificate of incorporation or bylaws (as either may be amended from time to time), or (iv) any action asserting a claim governed by the internal affairs doctrine, except, in each case, (A) any claim as to which such court determines that there is an indispensable party not subject to the jurisdiction of such court (and the indispensable party does not consent to the personal jurisdiction of such court within 10 days following such determination), (B) which is vested in the exclusive jurisdiction of a court or forum other than such court, or (C) for which such court does not have subject matter jurisdiction. Although our amended and restated bylaws contain the exclusive of forum provisions described above, it is possible that a court could find that such provision is inapplicable for a particular claim or action or that such provision is unenforceable, and our stockholders will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder.
Business Combinations with Interested Stockholders
We are governed by Section 203 of the DGCL. Subject to certain exceptions, Section 203 of the DGCL prohibits a public Delaware corporation from engaging in a business combination (as defined in such section) with an “interested stockholder” (defined generally as any person who beneficially owns 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of such corporation or any person affiliated with such person) for a period of three
years following the time that such stockholder became an interested stockholder, unless (i) prior to such time the board of directors of such corporation approved either the business combination or the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder; (ii) upon consummation of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of such corporation at the time the transaction commenced (excluding for purposes of determining the voting stock of such corporation outstanding (but not the outstanding voting stock owned by the interested stockholder) those shares owned (A) by persons who are directors and also officers of such corporation and (B) by 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); or (iii) at or subsequent to such time the business combination is approved by the board of directors of such corporation and authorized at a meeting of stockholders (and not by written consent) by the affirmative vote of at least 66 2/3% of the outstanding voting stock of such corporation not owned by the interested stockholder.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws provide that we must indemnify our directors and officers to the fullest extent authorized by the DGCL. We are expressly authorized to, and do, carry directors’ and officers’ insurance providing coverage for our directors, officers and certain employees for some liabilities. We believe that these indemnification provisions and insurance are useful to attract and retain qualified directors and executive directors.
The limitation on liability and indemnification provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws may discourage stockholders from bringing a lawsuit against directors for breach of their fiduciary duty. These provisions may also have the effect of reducing the likelihood of derivative litigation against directors and officers, even though such an action, if successful, might otherwise benefit us and our stockholders. In addition, your investment may be adversely affected to the extent we pay the costs of settlement and damage awards against directors and officers pursuant to these indemnification provisions.