Description of Capital Stock of Aptevo Therapeutics

Contract Categories: Business Finance - Stock Agreements
EX-4.5 2 apvo-ex45_509.htm EX-4.5 apvo-ex45_509.htm


Exhibit 4.5


The following description of the common stock, par value $0.001 per share (the “common stock”), of Aptevo Therapeutics Inc. (“us,” “our,” “we” or the “Company”), which is the only security of the Company registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), summarizes certain information regarding the common stock in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our amended and restated bylaws, applicable provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”) and pursuant to our rights plan, and is qualified by reference to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, amended and restated bylaws and rights agreement, which are incorporated by reference as Exhibit 3.1, Exhibit 3.2, and Exhibit 4.4 respectively, to our Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this Exhibit 4.5 is a part.

Authorized Capital Stock

Our authorized capital stock consists of 500,000,000 shares of common stock and 15,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $0.001 par value per share (the “preferred stock”). Our common stock is registered under Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act and is listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the trading symbol “APVO.”

Common Stock

Voting Rights

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. Under our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, our stockholders do not have cumulative voting rights. Because of this, the holders of a majority 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.


Subject to preferences that may be applicable to any then-outstanding shares of preferred stock, holders of common stock are entitled to receive ratably those 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 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.

Rights and Preferences

Each share of common stock includes an associated right pursuant to and as set forth in the Rights Agreement that we entered into with Broadridge Corporate Issuer Solutions, Inc. on November 8, 2020 (the “rights agreement”). Each right initially represents the right to purchase from us one one-thousandth of a share of our Series A Junior Participating Preferred Stock, par value $0.001 per share. This right is not exercisable until the occurrence of certain events specified in such rights agreement. The value attributable to these rights, if any, is reflected in the value of our common stock. The rights agreement and the rights granted thereunder will expire upon the earliest to occur of (i) the



date on which all of such rights are redeemed, (ii) the date on which such rights are exchanged, and (iii) the close of business on November 8, 2021.

Fully Paid and Nonassessable.

All of our outstanding shares of common stock are fully paid and nonassessable.

Preferred Stock

Pursuant to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our board of directors has the authority, without further action by our stockholders, to designate up to 15,000,000 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, terms of redemption, liquidation preferences, sinking fund terms and the number of shares constituting, or the designation of, such series, any or all of which may be greater than the rights of common stock.

The DGCL provides that the holders of preferred stock will have the right to vote separately as a class on any proposal involving fundamental changes in the rights of holders of that preferred stock. This right is in addition to any voting rights that may be provided for in the applicable certificate of designation.

Certain Anti-Takeover Provisions of Our Certificate of Incorporation, Our Bylaws, the DGCL and our Rights Plan

Delaware Law

We are subject to Section 203 of the DGCL, which prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in any business combination with any interested stockholder for a period of three years after the date that such stockholder 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 stockholder;


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 (1) by persons who are directors and also officers and (2) 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


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 defines a “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; or


the receipt by the interested stockholder of the benefit of any loans, advances, guarantees, pledges or other financial benefits by or through the corporation.



In general, Section 203 defines an “interested stockholder” as an entity or person who, together with the person’s affiliates and associates, beneficially owns, or 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.

Staggered Board; Removal of Directors

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides for our board of directors to be divided into three classes with staggered three-year terms. Only one class of directors is elected at each annual meeting of our stockholders, with the other classes continuing for the remainder of their respective three-year terms. Because our stockholders do not have cumulative voting rights, stockholders holding a majority of the shares of common stock outstanding are able to elect all of our directors. Our certificate of incorporation and our bylaws also provide that directors may be removed by the stockholders only for cause upon the vote of 75% of our outstanding common stock. Furthermore, the authorized number of directors may be changed only by resolution of the board of directors, and vacancies and newly created directorships on the board of directors may, except as otherwise required by law or determined by the board, only be filled by a majority vote of the directors then serving on the board, even though less than a quorum.

Stockholder Action by Written Consent.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws also provide that all stockholder actions must be effected at a duly called meeting of stockholders and eliminates the right of stockholders to act by written consent without a meeting. Our amended and restated bylaws also provide that only our chairman of the board, chief executive officer or the board of directors pursuant to a resolution adopted by a majority of the total number of authorized directors may call a special meeting of stockholders.

Requirements for Advance Notification of Stockholder Nominations, Proposals and Amendments.

Our amended and restated bylaws also provide that stockholders seeking to present proposals before a meeting of stockholders to nominate candidates for election as directors at a meeting of stockholders must provide timely advance notice in writing, and specify requirements as to the form and content of a stockholder’s notice. Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws provide that the stockholders cannot amend many of the provisions described above except by a vote of 75% or more of our outstanding common stock.

Shareholder Rights Plan

On November 8, 2020, our board of directors adopted a rights plan pursuant to our rights agreement. The rights plan works by causing substantial dilution to any person or group that acquires beneficial ownership of ten percent (10%) or more of our common stock without the approval of our board of directors. As a result, the overall effect of the rights plan and the issuance of the rights pursuant to the rights plan may be to render more difficult or discourage a merger, tender or exchange offer or other business combination involving the Company that is not approved by our board of directors. The rights plan is not intended to interfere with any merger, tender or exchange offer or other business combination approved by our board of directors. The rights plan also does not prevent our board of directors from considering any offer that it considers to be in the best interest of our stockholders.

These provisions are intended to enhance the likelihood of continued stability in the composition of our board of directors and its policies and to discourage coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids. These provisions are also designed to reduce our vulnerability to hostile takeovers and to discourage certain tactics that may be used in proxy fights. However, such provisions could have the effect of discouraging others from making tender offers for our shares and may have the effect of delaying changes in our control or management. As a consequence, these provisions may also inhibit fluctuations in the market price of our stock that could result from actual or rumored takeover attempts. We believe that the benefits of these provisions, including increased protection of our potential ability to negotiate with the proponent of an unfriendly or unsolicited proposal to acquire or restructure our company, outweigh the disadvantages of discouraging takeover proposals, because negotiation of takeover proposals could result in an improvement of their terms.