DESCRIPTION OF COMMON STOCK
The following description summarizes the most important terms of our common stock. Because it is only a summary, it does not contain all the information that may be important to you. For a complete description of the matters set forth in this “Description of Common Stock,” you should refer to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation (the “Restated Certificate”) and amended and restated bylaws (the “Restated Bylaws”), which are included as exhibits to our Annual Report on Form 10-K, and to the applicable provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”). Our authorized capital stock consists of 40,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, and 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share. Our board of directors has the authority, without stockholder approval, except as required by the listing standards of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, to issue additional shares of our capital stock. In addition, our board of directors has the authority, without further action by our stockholders, to designate the rights, preferences, privileges, qualifications and restrictions of our preferred stock in one or more series.
Our common stock is entitled to one vote for each share held of record on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders, including the election of directors, and does not have cumulative voting rights. Accordingly, the holders of a majority of the shares of our common stock entitled to vote in any election of directors can elect all of the directors standing for election. For most other matters, the approval of a majority of the shares voting at an annual or special meeting of stockholders will be required. Exceptions to this include removing directors for cause and amending our Restated Certificate and Restated Bylaws, each of which will require the approval of the holders of at least 66-2/3% of the voting power of all of our then-outstanding common stock.
Dividends and Distributions
Subject to preferences that may be applicable to any then-outstanding preferred stock, the holders of 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.
Liquidation, Dissolution or Winding Up
In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding-up, holders of our 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, subject to the satisfaction of any liquidation preference granted to the holders of any outstanding shares of preferred stock.
Other Rights and Preferences
Holders of our common stock have no preemptive, conversion or subscription 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 shares of any series of our preferred stock that we may designate and issue in the future.
Board of Directors
Our board of directors is divided into three classes. At each annual meeting of stockholders, the successors to directors whose terms then expire will serve until the third annual meeting following their election and until their successors are duly elected and qualified.
Delaware Anti-Takeover Law
We are subject to Section 203 of the DGCL, which generally prohibits a public Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with an “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 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 (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
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 at least 66-2/3% of the outstanding voting stock which is not owned by the interested stockholder.
Section 203 of the DGCL defines a business combination to include:
any merger or consolidation involving the corporation and the interested stockholder;
any sale, transfer, pledge or other disposition involving the interested stockholder of 10% or more of the assets of the corporation;
subject to exceptions, any transaction that results in the issuance or transfer by the corporation of any stock of the corporation to the interested stockholder;
subject to exceptions, any transaction involving the corporation that has the effect of increasing the proportionate share of the stock of any class or series of the corporation beneficially owned by the interested stockholder; and
the receipt by the interested stockholder of the benefit of any loans, advances, guarantees, pledges or other financial benefits provided by or through the corporation.
In general, Section 203 of the DGCL defines an interested stockholder as any entity or person beneficially owning 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation and any entity or person affiliated with or controlling or controlled by the entity or person.
The statute could prohibit or delay mergers or other takeover or change in control attempts 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.
Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws Provisions
Provisions of the Restated Certificate and the Restated Bylaws may delay or discourage transactions involving an actual or potential change in our control or change in our management, including transactions in which stockholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares or transactions that our stockholders might otherwise deem to be in their best interests. Therefore, these provisions could adversely affect the price of our common stock. Among other things, the Restated Certificate and the Restated Bylaws:
permit our board of directors to issue up to 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, with any rights, preferences and privileges as they may designate;
provide that the authorized number of directors may be changed only by resolution adopted by a majority of the board of directors;
provide that the board of directors or any individual director may only be removed with cause and the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 66 2/3% of the voting power of all of our then outstanding common stock, subject to the rights of any series of preferred stock that may be designated from time to time to elect additional directors under specified circumstances;
provide that all vacancies, including newly created directorships, may, except as otherwise required by law or subject to the rights of holders of preferred stock as designated from time to time, be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of directors then in office, even if less than a quorum;
divide our board of directors into three classes;
require that any action to be taken by our stockholders must be effected at a duly called annual or special meeting of stockholders and not be taken by written consent or electronic transmission;
provide that stockholders seeking to present proposals before a meeting of stockholders or to nominate candidates for election as directors at a meeting of stockholders must provide notice in writing in a timely manner and also specify requirements as to the form and content of a stockholder’s notice;
do not provide for cumulative voting rights (therefore allowing the holders of a majority of the shares of common stock entitled to vote in any election of directors to elect all of the directors standing for election, if they should so choose); and
provide that special meetings of our stockholders may be called only by the chairman of the board, our Chief Executive Officer or by the board of directors pursuant to a resolution adopted by a majority of the total number of authorized directors (whether or not there exists any vacancies).
provide that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (2) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors or officers to us or our stockholders, (3) any action asserting a claim against the us arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL or our certificate of incorporation or bylaws, or (4) any action asserting a claim against us governed by the internal affairs doctrine. The enforceability of similar choice of forum provisions in other companies’ certificates of incorporation and bylaws has been challenged in legal proceedings, and it is possible that a court could find these types of provisions to be inapplicable or unenforceable. This choice of forum provision does not apply to suits brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction.
The amendment of any of these provisions, with the exception of the ability of our board of directors to issue shares of preferred stock and designate any rights, preferences and privileges thereto, would require the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 66-2/3% of the voting power of all of our then outstanding common stock.
The foregoing provisions may 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. Since 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. In addition, the authorization of undesignated preferred stock makes it possible for our board of directors to issue preferred stock with voting or other rights or preferences that could impede the success of any attempt to change our control.
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 us. These provisions are also designed to reduce our vulnerability to an unsolicited acquisition proposal 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 deterring hostile takeovers or delaying changes in our control or management. As a consequence, these provisions also may inhibit fluctuations in the market price of our stock that could result from actual or rumored takeover attempts.