DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES REGISTERED
PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
The following summary describes the common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of Aramark (“Aramark” or the “Company”) which are the only securities of Aramark registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
The following description is a summary of material terms only and does not purport to be complete. It is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by reference to, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our second amended and restated bylaws (which we refer to as our “amended and restated bylaws”), 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, and each of which may be amended from time to time. The terms of these securities also may be affected by the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware (which we refer to below as the “DGCL”).
Authorized Capital Stock
Our authorized capital stock consists of 600,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, and 100,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share. Unless our board of directors determines otherwise, we will issue all shares of our capital stock in uncertificated form.
Holders of shares of our common stock are entitled to one vote for each share held of record on all matters on which stockholders are entitled to vote generally, including the election or removal of directors. The holders of our common stock do not have cumulative voting rights in the election of directors.
The holders of shares of common stock are entitled to receive such dividends, if any, as may be declared from time to time by the Company’s board of directors in its discretion from funds legally available therefor. Declaration and payment of any dividend is subject to the discretion of our board of directors. The time and amount of dividends depends on our financial condition, operations, cash requirements and availability, debt repayment obligations, capital expenditure needs and restrictions in our debt instruments, industry trends, the provisions of Delaware law affecting the payment of distributions to stockholders and any other factors our board of directors may consider relevant.
Upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up and after payment in full of all amounts required to be paid to creditors and to the holders of shares of our preferred stock having liquidation preferences, if any, the holders of shares of our common stock will be entitled to receive pro rata our remaining assets available for distribution. Holders of shares of our common stock do not have preemptive, subscription, redemption or conversion rights. Shares of our common stock will not be subject to further calls or assessment by us. There will be no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to shares of our common stock. All shares of our common stock outstanding are fully paid and non-assessable. The rights, powers, preferences and privileges of holders of shares of our common stock will be subject to those of the holders of any shares of our preferred stock we may authorize and issue in the future. Our board of directors may authorize the issuance of preferred stock with voting, conversion, dividend, liquidation and other rights that may adversely affect the rights of the holder of our common stock.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for shares of our common stock is Computershare Trust Company, N.A.
Our common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “ARMK.”
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes our board of directors to establish one or more series of shares of preferred stock (including shares of convertible preferred stock). Unless required by law or by the NYSE, the authorized shares of preferred stock will be available for issuance without stockholder approval. Our board of directors is able to determine, with respect to any series of shares of preferred stock, the powers (including voting powers), preferences and relative, participating, optional or other special rights, and the qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereof.
As of the date of the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this Exhibit is a part, no shares of preferred stock are outstanding.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws and Certain Provisions of Delaware Law
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, amended and restated bylaws and the DGCL contain provisions, which are summarized in the following paragraphs, that are intended to enhance the likelihood of continuity and stability in the composition of our board of directors. These provisions are intended to avoid costly takeover battles, reduce our vulnerability to a hostile change of control and enhance the ability of our board of directors to maximize stockholder value in connection with any unsolicited offer to acquire us. However, these provisions may have an anti-takeover effect and may delay, deter or prevent a merger or acquisition of the Company by means of a tender offer, a proxy contest or other takeover attempt that a stockholder might consider in its best interest, including those attempts that might result in a premium over the prevailing market price for the shares of common stock held by stockholders.
Authorized but Unissued Capital Stock
Delaware law does not require stockholder approval for any issuance of authorized shares. However, the listing requirements of the NYSE, which apply so long as our common stock remains listed on the NYSE, require stockholder approval of certain issuances equal to or exceeding 20% of the then outstanding voting power or then outstanding number of shares of common stock. Additional shares that may be used in the future may be used for a variety of corporate purposes, including future public offerings, to raise additional capital or to facilitate acquisitions.
Our board of directors may generally issue preferred shares on terms calculated to discourage, delay or prevent a change of control of the Company or the removal of our management. Moreover, our authorized but unissued shares of preferred stock will be available for future issuances without stockholder approval and could be
utilized for a variety of corporate purposes, including future offerings to raise additional capital, to facilitate acquisitions and employee benefit plans.
One of the effects of the existence of unissued and unreserved shares of common stock or preferred stock may be to enable our board of directors to issue shares to persons friendly to current management, which issuance could render more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of the Company by means of a merger, tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise, and thereby protect the continuity of our management and possibly deprive our stockholders of opportunities to sell their shares of common stock at prices higher than prevailing market prices.
Delaware Anti-Takeover Statutes
Certain Delaware law provisions may make it more difficult for someone to acquire us through a tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise.
Section 203 of the DGCL, provides that, subject to certain stated exceptions, an “interested stockholder” is any person (other than the corporation and any direct or indirect majority-owned subsidiary) who owns 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation or is an affiliate or associate of the corporation and was the owner of 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation at any time within the three-year period immediately prior to the date of determination, and the affiliates and associates of such person. A corporation may not engage in a business combination with any interested stockholder for a period of three years following the time that such stockholder became an interested stockholder unless:
prior to such time the board of directors of the corporation approved either the business combination or 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 shares owned by persons who are directors and also officers and employee stock plans in which 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
at or subsequent to such time, the business combination is approved by the board of directors and authorized at an annual or special meeting of stockholders, and not by written consent, by the affirmative vote of 66-2/3% of the outstanding voting stock which is not owned by the interested stockholder.
The effect of these provisions may make a change of control of our business more difficult by delaying, deferring or preventing a tender offer or other takeover attempt that a stockholder might consider in its best interest. This includes attempts that might result in the payment of a premium to stockholders over the market price for their shares. These provisions also may promote the continuity of our management by making it more difficult for a person to remove or change the incumbent members of the board of directors.
Removal of Directors; Vacancies
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that directors may only be removed by the affirmative vote of holders of at least 75% in voting power of all the then-outstanding shares of stock of the Company entitled to vote thereon, voting together as a single class. In addition, our amended and restated certificate
of incorporation also provides that, subject to the rights granted to one or more series of shares of preferred stock then outstanding, any newly created directorship on the board of directors that results from an increase in the number of directors and any vacancy occurring in the board of directors may, unless otherwise required by law or by resolution by the board of directors, only be filled by a majority of the directors then in office, although less than a quorum, or by a sole remaining director (and not by the stockholders).
No Cumulative Voting
Under Delaware law, the right to vote cumulatively does not exist unless the certificate of incorporation specifically authorizes cumulative voting. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation does not authorize cumulative voting. Therefore, stockholders holding a majority in voting power of the shares of our stock entitled to vote generally in the election of directors will be able to elect all our directors.
Special Stockholder Meetings
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that special meetings of our stockholders may be called at any time only by or at the direction of the board of directors or the chairman of the board of directors. Our amended and restated bylaws prohibit the conduct of any business at a special meeting other than as specified in the notice for such meeting. These provisions may have the effect of deferring, delaying or discouraging hostile takeovers, or changes in control or management of the Company.
Requirements for Advance Notification of Director Nominations and Stockholder Proposals
Our amended and restated bylaws establish advance notice procedures with respect to stockholder proposals and the nomination of candidates for election as directors, other than nominations made by or at the direction of the board of directors or a committee of the board of directors. In order for any matter to be “properly brought” before a meeting, a stockholder will have to comply with advance notice requirements and provide us with certain information. Generally, to be timely, a stockholder’s notice must be received at our principal executive offices not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days in advance of the first anniversary of the preceding year’s annual meeting of stockholders. Our amended and restated bylaws also specify requirements as to the form and content of a stockholder’s notice. Our amended and restated bylaws allow the chairman of the meeting at a meeting of the stockholders to adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of meetings which may have the effect of precluding the conduct of certain business at a meeting if the rules and regulations are not followed. These provisions may also defer, delay or discourage a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to influence or obtain control of the Company.
Our amended and restated bylaws contain proxy access provisions that permit, subject to certain conditions and exceptions described therein, a stockholder, or a group of up to 20 stockholders, owning 3% or more of the outstanding shares of stock of the Company entitled to vote generally for the election of directors continuously for at least three years, to nominate and include in our proxy materials candidates for election as directors. Such stockholder or group may nominate up to the greater of two nominees and the largest whole number that does not exceed 20% of our board of directors; provided that the stockholder or group and the nominee(s) satisfy the requirements specified in our amended and restated bylaws. To use the proxy access procedure, a proper notice of proxy access nomination must be received at our principal executive offices not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days in advance of the first anniversary of the preceding year’s annual meeting of stockholders. In no event shall any
adjournment or postponement of an annual meeting of stockholders, the date of which has been announced by the Company, commence a new time period for the giving of a notice of proxy access nomination as described above.
Stockholder Action by Written Consent
Pursuant to Section 228 of the DGCL, any action required to be taken at any annual or special meeting of the stockholders may be taken without a meeting, without prior notice and without a vote if a consent or consents in writing, setting forth the action so taken, is signed by the holders of outstanding shares of stock having not less than the minimum number of votes that would be necessary to authorize or take such action at a meeting at which all shares of our stock entitled to vote thereon were present and voted, unless our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides otherwise. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation precludes stockholder action by written consent.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws provide that the board of directors is expressly authorized to make, alter, amend, change, add to, rescind or repeal, in whole or in part, our bylaws without a stockholder vote in any matter not inconsistent with the laws of the State of Delaware and our amended and restated certificate of incorporation. Any amendment, alteration, rescission or repeal of our bylaws by our stockholders will require the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 75% in voting power of all the then-outstanding shares of stock of the Company entitled to vote thereon, voting together as a single class.
The DGCL provides generally that the affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote thereon, voting together as a single class, is required to amend a corporation’s certificate of incorporation, unless the certificate of incorporation requires a greater percentage.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the following provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation may be amended, altered, repealed or rescinded only by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 75% in voting power of all the then-outstanding shares of stock of the Company entitled to vote thereon, voting together as a single class:
the provision requiring a 75% supermajority vote for stockholders to amend our amended and restated bylaws;
the provisions regarding resignation and removal of directors;
the provisions regarding competition and corporate opportunities;
the provisions regarding stockholder action by written consent;
the provisions regarding calling special meetings of stockholders;
the provisions regarding filling vacancies on our board of directors and newly created directorships;
the provisions eliminating monetary damages for breaches of fiduciary duty by a director;
the provisions related to the Court of Chancery as the exclusive forum for certain types of actions by stockholders; and
the amendment provision requiring that the above provisions be amended only with a 75% supermajority vote.
The combination of the lack of cumulative voting and the supermajority voting requirements will make it more difficult for our existing stockholders to replace our board of directors as well as for another party to obtain control of us by replacing our board of directors. Because our board of directors has the power to retain and discharge our officers, these provisions could also make it more difficult for existing stockholders or another party to effect a change in management.
These provisions may have the effect of deterring hostile takeovers or delaying or preventing changes in control of our management or the Company, such as a merger, reorganization or tender offer. 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 certain types of transactions that may involve an actual or threatened acquisition of the Company. These provisions are designed to reduce our vulnerability to an unsolicited acquisition proposal. These provisions are also intended 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, as a consequence, they also may inhibit fluctuations in the market price of our shares that could result from actual or rumored takeover attempts.
Dissenters’ Rights of Appraisal and Payment
Under the DGCL, with certain exceptions, our stockholders will have appraisal rights in connection with a merger or consolidation of us. Pursuant to the DGCL, stockholders who properly request and perfect appraisal rights in connection with such merger or consolidation will have the right to receive payment of the fair value of their shares as determined by the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Stockholders’ Derivative Actions
Under the DGCL, any of our stockholders may bring an action in our name to procure a judgment in our favor, also known as a derivative action, provided that the stockholder bringing the action is a holder of shares of our stock at the time of the transaction to which the action relates or such stockholder’s stock thereafter devolved by operation of law.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that unless we consent to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware shall be the sole and exclusive forum for any stockholder (including any beneficial owner) to bring (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 or officer of the Company to the Company or the Company’s stockholders, creditors or other constituents, (iii) any action asserting a claim against the Company or any director or officer of the Company arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL or our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws, or (iv) any action asserting a claim against the Company or any director or officer of the Company governed by the internal affairs doctrine, in each such case subject to said Court of Chancery having subject matter jurisdiction, in certain cases, and having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants therein. Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of capital stock of the Company shall be deemed to have notice of and consented to the forum provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation. However, the enforceability of similar forum provisions in other companies’ certificates of incorporation has been challenged in legal proceedings, and it is possible that a court could find these types of provisions to be unenforceable.
Limitations on Liability and Indemnification of Officers and Directors
The DGCL authorizes corporations to limit or eliminate the personal liability of directors to corporations and their stockholders for monetary damages for breaches of directors’ fiduciary duties, subject to certain exceptions. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation includes a provision that eliminates the personal liability of directors for monetary damages for any breach of fiduciary duty as a director, except to the extent such exemption from liability or limitation thereof is not permitted under the DGCL. The effect of these provisions is to eliminate the rights of us and our stockholders, through stockholders’ derivative suits on our behalf, to recover monetary damages from a director for breach of fiduciary duty as a director, including breaches resulting from grossly negligent behavior. However, exculpation does not apply to any director if the director has acted in bad faith, knowingly or intentionally violated the law, authorized illegal dividends or redemptions or derived an improper benefit from his or her actions as a director.
Our amended and restated bylaws provide that we must indemnify and advance expenses to our directors and officers to the fullest extent authorized by the DGCL. We also are expressly authorized to carry directors’ and officers’ liability insurance providing indemnification for our directors, officers and certain employees for some liabilities. We believe that these indemnification and advancement provisions and insurance are useful to attract and retain qualified directors and executive officers.
The limitation of liability, indemnification and advancement provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws may discourage stockholders from bringing a lawsuit against directors for breach of their fiduciary duty. These provisions also may 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, we may pay the costs of settlement and damage awards against directors and officers pursuant to these indemnification provisions.
We currently are party to indemnification agreements with certain of our directors and officers. These agreements require us to indemnify these individuals to the fullest extent permitted under Delaware law against liabilities that may arise by reason of their service to us, and to advance expenses incurred as a result of any proceeding against them as to which they could be indemnified.