Description of Registrants Securities
DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE SECURITIES
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Avinger, Inc. (“Avinger,” “we,” “our,” or “us”) has one class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended: our common stock.
DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK
The following summary of the terms of our capital stock is based upon our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation (as amended by that certain Certificate of Amendment to the Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, the “Certificate of Incorporation”) and our Amended and Restated Bylaws (the “Bylaws”). The summary is not complete, and is qualified by reference to our Certificate of Incorporation and our Bylaws, which are filed as exhibits to this Annual Report on Form 10-K and are incorporated by reference herein. We encourage you to read our Certificate of Incorporation, our Bylaws and the applicable provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law for additional information.
Authorized Shares of Capital Stock
Our authorized capital stock consists of 100,000,000 shares of common stock, $0.001 par value per share, and 5,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $0.001 par value per share. Of our 5,000,000 shares of authorized preferred stock, 60,000 shares have been designated as Series A preferred stock and 178 have been designated as Series B preferred stock.
On December 31, 2019, there were 10,364,663 shares of common stock outstanding, held of record by 126 stockholders. Our board of directors is authorized, without stockholder approval, to issue additional shares of our capital stock. As of December 31, 2019, there were 2,753,999 shares of common stock subject to outstanding warrants and 7,401 shares of common stock subject to outstanding options.
Subject to preferences that may be applicable to any then outstanding preferred stock, holders of our common stock are entitled to receive dividends, if any, as may be declared from time to time by our board of directors out of legally available funds. We have never declared or paid cash dividends on any of our capital stock and currently do not anticipate paying any cash dividends after this offering or in the foreseeable future.
Each holder of our common stock is entitled to one vote for each share on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders; provided, however, that, except as otherwise required by law, holders of our common stock, as such, shall not be entitled to vote on any amendment to our Certificate of Incorporation that relates solely to the terms of one or more outstanding series of preferred stock if the holders of such affected series are entitled, either separately or together with the holders of one or more other such series, to vote thereon. Corporate actions can generally be taken by a majority of our board and/or stockholders holding a majority of our outstanding shares, except as otherwise indicated in the section entitled “Anti-takeover Effects of Delaware Law and Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws,” where certain amendments to our Certificate of incorporation and Bylaws require the vote of at least 66 and 2/3% of our then outstanding voting securities. Additionally, our stockholders do not have cumulative voting rights in the election of directors. Accordingly, holders of a plurality of the votes cast at a meeting of stockholders will be able to elect all of the directors then standing for election.
Right to Receive Liquidation Distributions
In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, holders of our common stock are 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 our common stock have no preemptive, conversion, subscription or other rights, and there are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to our common stock. The rights, preferences and privileges of the holders of our common stock are subject to, and may be adversely affected by, the rights of the holders of our outstanding preferred stock and shares of any series of our preferred stock that we may designate in the future.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC. The transfer agent and registrar’s address is 6201 15th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11219. Our shares of common stock are issued in uncertificated form only, subject to limited circumstances.
Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “AVGR”.
Certain Anti-Takeover Effects
Certain provisions of Delaware law, our Certificate of Incorporation and our Bylaws may have the effect of delaying, deferring or discouraging another person from acquiring control of our company. These provisions, which are summarized below, may have the effect of discouraging takeover bids. They are also designed, in part, to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to negotiate first with our board of directors. We believe that the benefits of increased protection of our potential ability to negotiate with an unfriendly or unsolicited acquirer outweigh the disadvantages of discouraging a proposal to acquire us because negotiation of these proposals could result in an improvement of their terms.
We are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. In general, Section 203 prohibits a public Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with an “interested stockholder” for a period of three years after the date of the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. A “business combination” includes mergers, asset sales or other transactions resulting in a financial benefit to the stockholder. An “interested stockholder” is a person who, together with affiliates and associates, owns, or within three years of the date on which it is sought to be determined whether such person is an “interested stockholder,” did own, 15% or more of the corporation’s outstanding voting stock. These provisions may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in our control.
Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaw Provisions
Our Certificate of Incorporation and our Bylaws include a number of provisions that could deter hostile takeovers or delay or prevent changes in control of our management team, including the following:
● Board of directors vacancies. Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws authorize only our board of directors to fill vacant directorships, including newly created seats. In addition, the number of directors constituting our board of directors is permitted to be set only by a resolution adopted by our board of directors. These provisions prevent a stockholder from increasing the size of our board of directors and then gaining control of our board of directors by filling the resulting vacancies with its own nominees. This makes it more difficult to change the composition of our board of directors but promotes continuity of management.
● Classified board. Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws provide that our board is classified into three classes of directors. A third party may be discouraged from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us as it is more difficult and time consuming for stockholders to replace a majority of the directors on a classified board of directors.
● Stockholder action; special meeting of stockholders. Our Certificate of Incorporation provides that our stockholders may not take action by written consent, but may only take action at annual or special meetings of our stockholders. As a result, a holder controlling a majority of our capital stock may not be able to amend our Bylaws or remove directors without holding a meeting of our stockholders called in accordance with our Bylaws. Our Bylaws further provide that special meetings of our stockholders may be called only by our board of directors, the Chairman of our Board of Directors, our Chief Executive Officer or our President, thus prohibiting a stockholder from calling a special meeting. These provisions might delay the ability of our stockholders to force consideration of a proposal or for stockholders controlling a majority of our capital stock to take any action, including the removal of directors.
● Advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and director nominations. Our Bylaws provide advance notice procedures for stockholders seeking to bring business before our annual meeting of stockholders or to nominate candidates for election as directors at our annual meeting of stockholders. Our amended and restated bylaws also specify certain requirements regarding the form and content of a stockholder’s notice. These provisions might preclude our stockholders from bringing matters before our annual meeting of stockholders or from making nominations for directors at our annual meeting of stockholders if the proper procedures are not followed. We expect that these provisions may also discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of our company.
● No cumulative voting. The Delaware General Corporation Law provides that stockholders are not entitled to the right to cumulate votes in the election of directors unless a corporation’s certificate of incorporation provides otherwise. Our Certificate of Incorporation does not provide for cumulative voting.
● Directors removed only for cause. Our Certificate of Incorporation provides that stockholders may remove directors only for cause.
● Amendment of charter provisions. Any amendment of the above provisions in our Certificate of Incorporation would require approval by holders of at least 66 and 2/3% of the voting power of our then outstanding voting securities.
● Issuance of undesignated preferred stock. Our board of directors will have the authority, without further action by the stockholders, to issue up to 5,000,000 shares of undesignated preferred stock with rights and preferences, including voting rights, designated from time to time by our board of directors. The existence of authorized but unissued shares of preferred stock would 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 other means.