Description of Companys Common Stock
DESCRIPTION OF THE COMPANYS COMMON STOCK REGISTERED UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
The following description of the Companys Common Stock is based upon the Companys Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation (“Restated Certificate of Incorporation”), the Companys Amended and Restated Bylaws (“Bylaws”) and applicable provisions of law. We have summarized certain portions of the Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws below. The summary is not complete and is subject to, and is qualified in its entirety by express reference to, the provisions of our Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws, each of which is filed as an exhibit to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this Exhibit 4.4 is a part.
Authorized Capital Shares
Our authorized capital shares consist of 45,000,000 shares of Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share (“Common Stock”), and 5,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $0.001 par value per share (“Preferred Stock”). The outstanding shares of our Common Stock are fully paid and nonassessable. No shares of Preferred Stock have been issued or outstanding.
Holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote for each share of Common Stock held of record for the election of directors and on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders.
Holders of our Common Stock are also entitled to receive dividends ratably, if any, as may be declared by our board of directors out of legally available funds, subject to any preferential dividend rights of any Preferred Stock then outstanding.
Upon our dissolution, liquidation or winding up, holders of our Common Stock are entitled to share ratably in our net assets legally available after the payment of all our debts and other liabilities, subject to the preferential rights of any Preferred Stock then outstanding.
Other Rights and Preferences
Holders of our Common Stock have no subscription, preemptive, redemption or conversion rights. The rights, preferences and privileges of holders of 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 and issue in the future.
The Common Stock is traded on The Nasdaq Global Market under the trading symbol “AAOI.”
Provisions of Our Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws and Delaware Anti-Takeover Law
Our Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws include a number of provisions that may have the effect of encouraging persons considering unsolicited tender offers or other unilateral takeover proposals to negotiate with our board of directors rather than pursue non-negotiated takeover attempts. These provisions include the items described below.
Board composition and filling vacancies
In accordance with our Restated Certificate of Incorporation, our board of directors is divided into three classes serving staggered three-year terms, with one class being elected each year. Our Restated certificate of incorporation also provides that directors may be removed only for cause and then only by the affirmative vote of the holders of 66 2/3% or more of the shares then entitled to vote at an election of directors. Furthermore, any vacancy on our board of directors, however occurring, including a vacancy resulting from an increase in the size of our board of directors, may only be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of our directors then in office even if less than a quorum.
No written consent of stockholders
Our Restated Certificate of Incorporation provides that all stockholder actions are required to be taken by a vote of the stockholders at an annual or special meeting, and that stockholders may not take any action by written consent in lieu of a meeting.
Meetings of stockholders
Our Bylaws provide that only a majority of the members of our board of directors then in office, the Chairman of the board of directors or the Chief Executive Officer may call special meetings of stockholders and only those matters set forth in the notice of the special meeting may be considered or acted upon at a special meeting of stockholders. Our Bylaws limit the business that may be conducted at an annual meeting of stockholders to those matters properly brought before the meeting.
Advance notice requirements
Our Bylaws establish advance notice procedures with regard to stockholder proposals relating to the nomination of candidates for election as directors or new business to be brought before meetings of our stockholders. These procedures provide that notice of stockholder proposals must be timely given in writing to our corporate secretary before the meeting at which the action is to be taken. Generally, to be timely, notice must be received at our principal executive offices not less than 90 days or more than 120 days before the first anniversary date of the annual meeting for the preceding year. The notice must contain certain information specified in our Bylaws.
Amendment to bylaws and certificate of incorporation
As required by the Delaware General Corporation Law (the "DGCL"), any amendment of our Restated Certificate of Incorporation must first be approved by a majority of our board of directors and, if required by law or our Restated Certificate of Incorporation, thereafter be approved by a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment, and a majority of the outstanding shares of each class entitled to vote thereon as a class, except that the amendment of the provisions relating to stockholder action, directors, limitation of liability and the amendment of our Bylaws and Restated Certificate of Incorporation must be approved by not less than 66 2/3% of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment, and not less than 66 2/3% of the outstanding shares of each class entitled to vote thereon as a class. Our bylaws may be amended by the affirmative vote of a majority vote of the directors then in office, subject to any limitations set forth in the bylaws; and may also be amended by the affirmative vote of at least 66 2/3% of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment, or, if the board of directors recommends that the stockholders approve the amendment, by the affirmative vote of the majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment, in each case voting together as a single class.
Blank check preferred stock
Our Restated Certificate of Incorporation authorizes 5,000,000 shares of Preferred Stock. The existence of authorized but unissued shares of Preferred Stock may enable our board of directors to render more difficult or to discourage an attempt to obtain control of us by means of a merger, tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise. For example, if in the due exercise of its fiduciary obligations, our board of directors were to determine that a takeover proposal is not in the best interests of us or our stockholders, our board of directors could cause shares of Preferred Stock to be issued without stockholder approval in one or more private offerings or other transactions that might dilute the voting or other rights of the proposed acquirer or insurgent stockholder or stockholder group. In this regard, our Restated Certificate of Incorporation grants our board of directors' broad power to establish the rights and preferences of authorized and unissued shares of Preferred Stock. The issuance of shares of Preferred Stock could decrease the amount of earnings and assets available for distribution to holders of shares of Common Stock. The issuance may also adversely affect the rights and powers, including voting rights, of these holders and may have the effect of delaying, deterring or preventing a change in control of us.
Choice of Forum
Our Restated Certificate of Incorporation provides that, unless the Company consents in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware shall be the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of the Company, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any director, officer or other employee of the Company to the Company or the Company's stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL or the Company's Restated Certificate of Incorporation or Bylaws, or (iv) any action asserting a claim against the Company governed by the internal affairs doctrine. The forum selection provision in our Restated Certificate of Incorporation does not apply to suits arising under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 but does apply to other state and federal law claims including actions arising under the Securities Act of 1933 (although our stockholders will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder). With respect to suits arising under the Securities Act of 1933, the enforceability of forum selection provisions has been challenged in legal proceedings, and it is possible that, in connection with any applicable action brought against the Company, a court could find the choice of forum provisions contained in the Restated Certificate of Incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in such action.
Anti-takeover effects of the Delaware General Corporation Law
We are subject to the provisions of Section 203 of the DGCL, or Section 203. In general, Section 203 prohibits a publicly held Delaware corporation from engaging in a "business combination" with an "interested stockholder" for a 3-year period following the time that this stockholder becomes an interested stockholder, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. A "business combination" includes, among other things, a merger, asset or stock sale or other transaction resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. An "interested stockholder" is a person who, together with affiliates and associates, owns, or did own within the three years before the determination of interested stockholder status, 15% or more of the corporation's voting stock. Under Section 203, a business combination between a corporation and an interested stockholder is prohibited unless it satisfies one of the following conditions:
before the stockholder became interested, the board of directors approved either the business combination or the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder;
upon consummation of the transaction which 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 commenced, excluding for purposes of determining the voting stock outstanding, shares owned by persons who are directors and also officers, and employee stock plans, in some instances; or
at or after the time the stockholder became interested, the business combination was approved by the board of directors of the corporation and authorized at an annual or special meeting of the stockholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting stock which is not owned by the interested stockholder.
Section 203 could delay or prohibit mergers or other takeover or change in control attempts with respect to us and, accordingly, may discourage attempts to acquire us even though such a transaction may offer our stockholders the opportunity to sell their stock at a price above the prevailing market price.