Description of Securities Registered Under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANTS SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
As of December 31, 2019, Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc. (the Company, we or our) had one class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934: our common stock, $0.000001 par value per share. The following summary describes the material terms of our common stock. The description of common stock is qualified by reference to our certificate of incorporation and our bylaws, which are included as exhibits to our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and to the applicable provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law.
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 certificate of incorporation and 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 preferred stock, holders of common stock are entitled to receive ratably those dividends, if any, as may be declared from time to time by the 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
Holders of common stock have no preemptive, conversion or subscription rights and there are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to the common stock. The rights, preferences and privileges of the 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 in the future.
Under our certificate of incorporation, our board of directors is authorized by resolution to divide the authorized preferred stock into series and, with respect to each series, to determine the designations and the powers, preferences and rights, and the qualifications, limitations and restrictions thereof, including the dividend rights, conversion or exchange rights, voting rights, redemption rights and terms, liquidation preferences, sinking fund provisions and the number of shares constituting the series. Our board of directors can, without stockholder approval but subject to the terms of the certificate of incorporation, issue preferred stock with voting and other rights that could adversely affect the voting power of the holders of our common stock and which could have certain anti-takeover effects. Before we may issue any series of preferred stock, our board of directors will be required to adopt resolutions creating and designating such series of preferred stock.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Our Charter Documents and Some Provisions of Delaware Law
We are subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, 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 persons 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.
Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws
Our 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 at least 66 2/3% 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.
Our certificate of incorporation and 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 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.
Our 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 stockholders notice.
Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws provide that the stockholders cannot amend many of the provisions described above except by a vote of 66 2/3% or more of our outstanding common stock. Choice of Forum
Our certificate of incorporation provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the exclusive forum for:
any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf;
any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty; any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law, our certificate of incorporation or our bylaws; or
any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine.
However, several lawsuits involving other companies have been brought challenging the validity of choice of forum provisions in certificates of incorporation, and it is possible that a court could note such provision is inapplicable or unenforceable.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC. The transfer agents address is 6201 15th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11219.
Listing on The Nasdaq Global Market
Our common stock is listed on The Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol NLTX.