Description of Apollo Investment Corporations
EX-4.6 2 ainv2020q4ex46.htm EX-4.6 Document
DESCRIPTION OF APOLLO INVESTMENT CORPORATION’S REGISTERED SECURITIES
The following description is based on relevant portions of the Maryland General Corporation Law and on our charter and bylaws. This summary is not necessarily complete, and we refer you to the Maryland General Corporation Law and our charter and bylaws for a more detailed description of the provisions summarized below, each of which is incorporated by reference as an exhibit to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this Exhibit is a part.
References herein to “Apollo Investment,” “we,” “us,” “our” and “Company” refer to Apollo Investment Corporation and not to any of its subsidiaries.
Our authorized capital stock consists of 130,000,000 shares of stock, par value $0.001 per share, all of which is currently designated as common stock. Our common stock is quoted on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “AINV.” There are no outstanding options or warrants to purchase our stock, and no stock has been authorized for issuance under any equity compensation plans. Under Maryland law, our stockholders generally are not personally liable for our debts or obligations.
Under our charter, our board of directors (“Board of Directors”) is authorized to classify and reclassify any unissued shares of stock into other classes or series of stock and to authorize the issuance of shares of stock without obtaining stockholder approval. As permitted by the Maryland General Corporation Law, our charter provides that the Board of Directors, without any action by our stockholders, may amend the charter from time to time to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares of stock or the number of shares of stock of any class or series that we have authority to issue.
All shares of our common stock have equal rights as to earnings, assets, dividends and voting and, when they are issued, will be duly authorized, validly issued, fully paid and nonassessable. Distributions may be paid to the holders of our common stock if, as and when authorized by our Board of Directors and declared by us out of funds legally available therefor. Shares of our common stock have no preemptive, exchange, conversion or redemption rights and are freely transferable, except where their transfer is restricted by federal and state securities laws or by contract. In the event of a liquidation, dissolution or winding up of Apollo Investment, each share of our common stock would be entitled to share ratably in all of our assets that are legally available for distribution after we pay all debts and other liabilities and subject to any preferential rights of holders of our preferred stock, if any preferred stock is outstanding at such time. Except as may otherwise be specified in our charter, each share of our common stock is entitled to one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders, including the election of directors. Except as provided with respect to any other class or series of stock, the holders of our common stock will possess exclusive voting power. There is no cumulative voting in the election of directors, which means that, subject to our bylaws, holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of common stock can elect all of our directors, and holders of less than a majority of such shares will be unable to elect any director.
Our charter authorizes our Board of Directors to classify and reclassify any unissued shares of stock into other classes or series of stock, including preferred stock. Prior to issuance of shares of each class or series of preferred stock, the Board of Directors is required by Maryland law and by our charter to set the terms, preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications and terms or conditions of redemption for each class or series. Thus, the Board of Directors could authorize the issuance of shares of preferred stock with terms and conditions which could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium price for holders of our common stock or otherwise be in their best interest. You should note, however, that any issuance of preferred stock must comply with the requirements of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The 1940 Act requires, among other things, that (1) immediately after issuance and before any dividend or other distribution is made with respect to our common stock and before any purchase of common stock is made, such preferred stock together with all other senior securities must not exceed an amount equal to approximately 67% of our total assets after such issuance and after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution or purchase price, as the case may be, and (2) the holders of shares of preferred stock, if any are issued, must be entitled as a class to elect two directors at all times and to elect a majority of the directors if dividends on such preferred stock become in arrears by two years or more until the arrears are eliminated.
Certain matters under the 1940 Act require the separate vote of the holders of any issued and outstanding preferred stock. For example, holders of preferred stock would vote separately from the holders of common stock on a proposal to cease operations as a business development company. We believe that the availability for issuance of preferred stock will provide us with increased flexibility in structuring future financings and acquisitions.
Limitation on Liability of Directors and Officers; Indemnification and Advance of Expenses
Maryland law permits a Maryland corporation to include in its charter a provision limiting the liability of its directors and officers to the corporation and its stockholders for money damages except for liability resulting from (a) actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services or (b) active and deliberate dishonesty that is material to a cause of action resulting in a final judgment adverse to the director. Our charter contains such a provision which eliminates directors’ and officers’ liability to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law, subject to the requirements of the 1940 Act.
Maryland law requires a corporation (unless its charter provides otherwise, which our charter does not) to indemnify a director or officer who has been successful, on the merits or otherwise, in the defense of any proceeding to which he or she is made, or threatened to be made, a party by reason of his or her service in that capacity. Maryland law permits a corporation to indemnify its present and former directors and officers, among others, against judgments, penalties, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses actually incurred by them in connection with any proceeding to which they may be made, or threatened to be made, a party by reason of their service in those or other capacities unless it is established that (a) the act or omission of the director or officer was material to the matter giving rise to the proceeding and (1) was committed in bad faith or (2) was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty, (b) the director or officer actually received an improper personal benefit in money, property or services or (c) in the case of any criminal proceeding, the director or officer had reasonable cause to believe that the act or omission was unlawful. However, under Maryland law, a Maryland corporation may not indemnify for an adverse judgment in a suit by or in the right of the corporation or for a judgment of liability on the basis that a personal benefit was improperly received, unless in either case a court orders indemnification, and then only for expenses. In addition, Maryland law permits a corporation to advance reasonable expenses to a director or officer upon the corporation’s receipt of (a) a written affirmation by the director or officer of his or her good faith belief that he or she has met the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification by the corporation and (b) a written undertaking by him or her or on his or her behalf to repay the amount paid or reimbursed by the corporation if it is ultimately determined that the standard of conduct was not met.
Our charter authorizes us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law and subject to the requirements of the 1940 Act, to obligate ourselves to indemnify any present or former director or officer or any individual who, while a director or officer and at our request, serves or has served another corporation, real estate investment trust, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise as a director, officer, partner or trustee, from and against any claim or liability to which that person may become subject or which that person may incur by reason of his or her status as a present or former director or officer, and to pay or reimburse their reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding. Our bylaws obligate us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law and subject to the requirements of the 1940 Act, to indemnify and advance expenses to any present or former director or officer or any individual who, while a director or officer and at our request, serves or has served another corporation, real estate investment trust, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise as a director, officer, partner or trustee and who is made, or threatened to be made, a party to the proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity and to pay or reimburse their reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding. Our charter and bylaws also permit us to indemnify and advance expenses to any person who served a predecessor of us in any of the capacities described above and any of our employees or agents or any employees or agents of our predecessor, if any. In accordance with the 1940 Act, we will not indemnify any person for any liability to which such person would be subject by reason of such person’s willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his office.
Provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law and Our Charter and Bylaws
Provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law and of our charter and bylaws could deter takeover attempts and have an adverse impact on the price of our common stock. The Maryland General Corporation Law, our charter and our bylaws contain provisions that may discourage, delay or make more difficult a change in control of Apollo Investment or the removal of our directors. In addition to the matters described below, we have adopted other measures pursuant to the Maryland General Corporation Law that may make it difficult for a third party to obtain control of us, including provisions of our charter authorizing our Board of Directors to classify or reclassify shares of our stock in one or more classes or series, to cause the issuance of additional shares of our stock, and to amend our charter, without stockholder approval, to increase or decrease the number of shares of stock that we have authority to issue. These provisions, as well as other provisions of our charter and bylaws, may delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might otherwise be in the best interests of our stockholders.
Classified Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors is divided into three classes of directors serving staggered three-year terms. At each annual meeting of our stockholders, the successors to the class of directors whose terms expire at such meeting will be elected to hold office for a term expiring at the annual meeting of stockholders held in the third year following the year of their election. Each director holds office for the term to which he or she is elected and until his or her successor is duly elected and qualifies. A classified board of directors may render a change in control of us or removal of our incumbent management more difficult. We believe, however, that the longer time required to elect a majority of a classified board of directors will help to ensure the continuity and stability of our management and policies.
Election of Directors
Our charter provides that the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the shares of stock outstanding and entitled to vote in the election of directors will be required to elect a director, unless our bylaws provide otherwise. Our bylaws provide that a nominee for director shall be elected as a director only if such nominee receives the affirmative vote of a majority of the total votes cast for and affirmatively withheld as to such nominee at a meeting of stockholders duly called and at which a quorum is present, unless there is a contested election, in which case, directors will be elected by a plurality of the votes cast.
Number of Directors; Vacancies; Removal
Our charter provides that the number of directors will be set only by the Board of Directors in accordance with our bylaws. Our bylaws provide that a majority of our entire Board of Directors may at any time increase or decrease the number of directors. However, unless our bylaws are amended, the number of directors may never be less than four nor more than ten. Pursuant to Section 3-802(b) of the Maryland General Corporation Law, we have elected in our charter to be subject to Section 3-804(c) of the Maryland General Corporation Law regarding the filling of vacancies on the Board of Directors. Accordingly, except as may be provided by the Board of Directors in setting the terms of any class or series of preferred stock, any and all vacancies on the Board of Directors may be filled only by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining directors in office, even if the remaining directors do not constitute a quorum, and any director elected to fill a vacancy will serve for the remainder of the full term of the directorship in which the vacancy occurred and until a successor is elected and qualifies, subject to any applicable requirements of the 1940 Act.
Our charter provides that a director may be removed only for cause, as defined in our charter, and then only by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast in the election of directors.
Action by Stockholders
Under the Maryland General Corporation Law, stockholder action can be taken only at an annual or special meeting of stockholders or by unanimous written consent in lieu of a meeting unless the charter provides for a lesser percentage (which our charter does not). These provisions, combined with the requirements of our bylaws regarding the calling of a stockholder-requested special meeting of stockholders discussed below, may have the effect of delaying consideration of a stockholder proposal until the next annual meeting.
Advance Notice Provisions for Stockholder Nominations and Stockholder Proposals
Our bylaws provide that with respect to an annual meeting of stockholders, nominations of persons for election to the Board of Directors and the proposal of business to be considered by stockholders may be made only (1) pursuant to our notice of the meeting, (2) by or at the direction of the Board of Directors or (3) by a stockholder who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has complied with the advance notice procedures of the bylaws. With respect to special meetings of stockholders, only the business specified in our notice of the meeting may be brought before the meeting. Nominations of persons for election to the Board of Directors at a special meeting may be made (1) by or at the direction of the Board of Directors or (2) provided that, the special meeting has been called for the purpose of electing directors, by a stockholder who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has complied with the advance notice provisions of the bylaws.
The purpose of requiring stockholders to give us advance notice of nominations and other business is to afford our Board of Directors a meaningful opportunity to consider the qualifications of the proposed nominees and the advisability of any other proposed business and, to the extent deemed necessary or desirable by our Board of Directors, to inform stockholders and make recommendations about such qualifications or business, as well as to provide a more orderly procedure for conducting meetings of stockholders. Although our bylaws do not give our Board of Directors any power to disapprove stockholder nominations for the election of directors or proposals recommending certain action, they may have the effect of precluding a contest for the election of directors or the consideration of stockholder proposals if proper procedures are not followed and of discouraging or deterring a third party from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect its own slate of directors or to approve its own proposal without regard to whether consideration of such nominees or proposals might be harmful or beneficial to us and our stockholders.
Calling of Special Meetings of Stockholders
Our bylaws provide that special meetings of stockholders may be called by our Board of Directors and certain of our officers. Additionally, our bylaws provide that, subject to the satisfaction of certain procedural and informational requirements by the stockholders requesting the meeting, a special meeting of stockholders will be called by our secretary upon the written request of stockholders entitled to cast not less than a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast at such meeting.
Approval of Extraordinary Corporate Action; Amendment of Charter and Bylaws
Under Maryland law, a Maryland corporation generally cannot dissolve, amend its charter, merge, sell all or substantially all of its assets, engage in a share exchange or engage in similar transactions outside the ordinary course of business, unless approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. However, a Maryland corporation may provide in its charter for approval of these matters by a lesser percentage, but not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our charter generally provides for approval of charter amendments and extraordinary transactions by the stockholders entitled to cast at least a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our charter also provides that certain charter amendments and any proposal for our conversion, whether by merger or otherwise, from a closed-end company to an open-end company or any proposal for our liquidation or dissolution requires the approval of the stockholders entitled to cast at least 80 percent of the votes entitled to be cast on such matter. However, if such amendment or proposal is approved by at least two-thirds of our continuing directors (in addition to approval by our Board of Directors), such amendment or proposal may be approved by a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on such a matter. The “continuing directors” are defined in our charter as our current directors as well as those directors whose nomination for election by the stockholders or whose election by the directors to fill vacancies is approved by a majority of the continuing directors then on the Board of Directors. The holders of any preferred stock outstanding would have a separate class vote on any conversion to an open-end company.
Our charter and bylaws provide that the Board of Directors will have the exclusive power to adopt, alter or repeal any provision of our bylaws and to make new bylaws.
No Appraisal Rights
Except with respect to appraisal rights arising in connection with the Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act discussed below, as permitted by the Maryland General Corporation Law, our charter provides that stockholders will not be entitled to exercise appraisal rights unless the Board of Directors, upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the entire Board of Directors, shall determine that such rights shall apply.
Control Share Acquisitions
We are subject to Subtitle 7 or Title 3 of the Maryland General Corporation Law, the Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act. Our bylaws currently exempt from the Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act acquisitions of our common stock by any person. If we amend our bylaws to repeal the exemption from the Control Share Acquisition Act, the Control Share Acquisition Act may make it more difficult for a third party to obtain control of us and increase the difficulty of consummating such an offer. The Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act provides that control shares of a Maryland corporation acquired in a control share acquisition have no voting rights except to the extent approved by a vote of two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Shares owned by the acquirer, by officers or by directors who are employees of the corporation are excluded from shares entitled to vote on the matter. Control shares are voting shares of stock which, if aggregated with all other shares of stock owned by the acquirer or in respect of which the acquirer is able to exercise or direct the exercise of voting power (except solely by virtue of a revocable proxy), would entitle the acquirer to exercise voting power in electing directors within one of the following ranges of voting power:
•one-tenth or more but less than one-third;
•one-third or more but less than a majority; or
•a majority or more of all voting power
The requisite stockholder approval must be obtained each time an acquirer crosses one of the thresholds of voting power set forth above. Control shares do not include shares the acquiring person is then entitled to vote as a result of having previously obtained stockholder approval. A control share acquisition means the acquisition of control shares, subject to certain exceptions.
A person who has made or proposes to make a control share acquisition may compel the Board of Directors of the corporation to call a special meeting of stockholders to be held within 50 days of demand to consider the voting rights of the shares. The right to compel the calling of a special meeting is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including an undertaking to pay the expenses of the meeting. If no request for a meeting is made, the corporation may itself present the question at any stockholders’ meeting.
If voting rights are not approved at the meeting or if the acquiring person does not deliver an acquiring person statement as required by the statute, then the corporation may repurchase for fair value any or all of the control shares, except those for which voting rights have previously been approved. The right of the corporation to repurchase control shares is subject to certain conditions and limitations, including, as provided in our bylaws, compliance with the 1940 Act. Fair value is determined, without regard to the absence of voting rights for the control shares, as of the date of the last control share acquisition by the acquirer or of any meeting of stockholders at which the voting rights of the shares are considered and not approved. If voting rights for control shares are approved at a stockholders’ meeting and the acquirer becomes entitled to vote a majority of the shares entitled to vote, all other stockholders may exercise appraisal rights. The fair value of the shares as determined for purposes of appraisal rights may not be less than the highest price per share paid by the acquirer in the control share acquisition.
The Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act does not apply (a) to shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or share exchange if the corporation is a party to the transaction or (b) to acquisitions approved or exempted by the charter or bylaws of the corporation.
Our bylaws contain a provision exempting from the Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act any and all acquisitions by any person of our shares of stock. There can be no assurance that such provision will not be amended or eliminated at any time in the future. However, we will amend our bylaws to be subject to the Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act only if the Board of Directors determines that it would be in our best interests based on our determination that our being subject to the Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act does not conflict with the 1940 Act.
We are subject to Subtitle 6 of Title 3 of the Maryland General Corporation Law, the Maryland Business Combination Act, subject to any applicable requirements of the 1940 Act. Pursuant to the Maryland Business Combination Act, “business combinations” between a Maryland corporation and an interested stockholder or an affiliate of an interested stockholder are prohibited for five years after the most recent date on which the interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. “Business combinations” include a merger, consolidation, share exchange or, in circumstances specified in the statute, an asset transfer or issuance or reclassification of equity securities. An interested stockholder is defined as:
•any person who beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting power of the corporation's shares; or
•an affiliate or associate of the corporation who, at any time within the two-year period to the date in question, was the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting power of the then outstanding voting stock of the corporation.
A person is not an interested stockholder under this statute if the Board of Directors approved in advance the transaction by which the person otherwise would have become an interested stockholder. However, in approving a transaction, the Board of Directors may provide that its approval is subject to compliance, at or after the time of approval, with any terms and conditions determined by the board of directors.
After the five-year prohibition, any business combination between the corporation and an interested stockholder generally must be recommended by the Board of Directors of the corporation and approved by the affirmative vote of at least:
•80% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding shares of voting stock of the corporation: and
•two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of voting stock of the corporation other than shares held by the interested stockholder with whom or with whose affiliate the business combination is to be effected or held by an affiliate or associate of the interested stockholder.
These super-majority vote requirements do not apply if the corporation’s common stockholders receive a minimum price, as defined under Maryland law, for their shares in the form of cash or other consideration in the same form as previously paid by the interested stockholder for its shares.
The statute permits various exemptions from its provisions, including business combinations that are exempted by the Board of Directors before the time that the interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. Our Board of Directors has adopted a resolution that any business combination between us and any other person is exempted from the provisions of the Business Combination Act, provided that the business combination is first approved by the Board of Directors, including a majority of the directors who are not interested persons as defined in the 1940 Act. This resolution, however, may be altered or repealed in whole or in part at any time. If this resolution is repealed, or the Board of Directors does not otherwise approve a business combination, the statute may discourage others from trying to acquire control of us and increase the difficulty of consummating any offer.
Subtitle 8 of Title 3 of the Maryland General Corporation Law
We are subject to Subtitle 8 of Title 3 of the Maryland General Corporation Law. Subtitle 8 permits Maryland corporations with a class of equity securities registered under the Exchange Act and at least three independent directors to elect to be subject, by provision in its charter or bylaws or a resolution of its board of directors and notwithstanding any contrary provision in the charter or bylaws, to any or all of the following five provisions: a classified board; a two-thirds stockholder vote requirement for removing a director; a requirement that the number of directors be fixed only by vote of the directors; a requirement that a vacancy on the board be filled only by the remaining directors and for the remainder of the full term of the class of directors in which the vacancy occurred; and a requirement that the request of the holders of at least a majority of all votes entitled to be cast shall be necessary to call a special meeting of stockholders. Through provisions in our charter and bylaws, some unrelated to Subtitle 8, we already include provisions classifying our Board of Directors in three classes serving staggered three-year terms; require the affirmative vote of the holders of not less than two-thirds of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter for the removal of any director from the board, which removal is allowed only for cause; vest in the board the exclusive power to fix the number of directorships, subject to limitations set forth in our charter and bylaws, and fill vacancies; and require the written request of stockholders entitled to cast not less than a majority of all votes entitled to be cast at such meeting to call a stockholder -initiated special meeting.
Conflict with 1940 Act
Our bylaws provide that, if and to the extent that any provision of the Maryland General Corporation Law, including the Control Share Acquisition Act (if we amend our bylaws to be subject to such act) and the Business Combination Act, or any provision of our charter or bylaws conflicts with any provision of the 1940 Act, the applicable provision of the 1940 Act will control.
Sales of Common Stock Below Net Asset Value
If we seek and receive approval from our stockholders authorizing us, in one or more public or private offerings of our common stock, to sell or otherwise issue shares of our common stock at a price below our then current net asset value (“NAV”) per share, such sale would be subject to the following conditions:
•a majority of our independent directors who have no financial interest in the sale have approved the sale;
•a majority of such directors, who are not interested persons of Apollo Investment, in consultation with the underwriter or underwriters of the offering if it is to be underwritten, have determined in good faith, and as of a time immediately prior to the first solicitation by or on behalf of Apollo Investment of firm commitments to purchase such securities or immediately prior to the sale of such securities, that the price at which such securities are to be sold is not less than a price which closely approximates the market value of those securities, less any underwriting commission or discount; and
•the number of shares sold pursuant to such authority does not exceed 25% of our then outstanding common stock immediately prior to each such sale.
If we seek and receive such approval, there will be no maximum level of discount from NAV at which we may sell shares pursuant to such authority.