Description of Berkeley Lights Inc.s Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
EX-4.5 2 bli-2020123110kex45.htm EX-4.5 Document
DESCRIPTION OF BERKELEY LIGHT INC.’S SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO
SECTION 12 OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Berkeley Lights, Inc. (“BLI”) has common stock, $0.00005 par value per share, registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and listed on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the trading symbol “BLI.”
The following description of our capital stock is a summary. This summary is subject to the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware (the “DGCL”) and the complete text of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws are summaries of material terms and provisions and are qualified by reference to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, filed as Exhibits 3.1 and 3.2, respectively, to BLI’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed on July 21, 2020. We encourage you to read that law and those documents carefully.
Our authorized capital stock consists of 300,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.00005 per share, and 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.00005 per share.
Holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote for each share held on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders and do not have cumulative voting rights. An election of directors by our stockholders shall be determined by a plurality of the votes cast by the stockholders entitled to vote on the election. Holders of common stock are entitled to receive proportionately any dividends as may be declared by our board of directors, subject to any preferential dividend rights of any series of preferred stock that we may designate and issue in the future.
In the event of our liquidation or dissolution, the holders of common stock are entitled to receive proportionately our net assets available for distribution to stockholders after the payment of all debts and other liabilities and subject to the prior rights of any outstanding preferred stock. Holders of common stock have no preemptive, subscription, redemption or conversion rights and there are no sinking fund provisions applicable to our common stock. Our outstanding shares of common stock are, and the shares offered by us in this offering will be, when issued and paid for, validly issued, fully paid and nonassessable. The rights, preferences and privileges of 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 and issue in the future.
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 shares of any series of our preferred stock that we may designate in the future.
Amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws
Because our stockholders do not have cumulative voting rights, our stockholders holding a majority of the voting power of our shares of common stock outstanding will be able to elect all of our directors. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws provide that all stockholder actions must be effected at a duly called meeting of stockholders and not by consent in writing. A special meeting of stockholders
may be called only by a majority of our board of directors, the chair of our board of directors or our chief executive officer.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation further provides that the affirmative vote of holders of at least sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66-2/3%) of the voting power of all of the then outstanding shares of voting stock, voting as a single class, will be required to amend certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation, including provisions relating to the size of the board, removal of directors, special meetings, actions by written consent and cumulative voting. The affirmative vote of holders of at least sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66-2/3%) of the voting power of all of the then outstanding shares of voting stock, voting as a single class, are required to amend or repeal our bylaws, although our bylaws may be amended by a simple majority vote of our board of directors.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation further provides that our board of directors is divided into three classes, Class I, Class II and Class III, with each class serving staggered terms.
Finally, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for: (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of us; (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or other employees or agents to us or our stockholders; (iii) any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law or our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or amended and restated bylaws; or (iv) any action asserting a claim against us governed by the internal affairs doctrine; provided that, the exclusive forum provision will not apply to suits brought to enforce any liability or duty created by the Exchange Act or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction; and provided further that, if and only if the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware dismisses any such action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, such action may be brought in another state or federal court sitting in the State of Delaware. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation also provide that the federal district courts of the United States of America will be the exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action against us or any of our directors, officers, employees or agents and arising under the Securities Act. There is uncertainty as to whether a court would enforce such provisions, and the enforceability of similar choice of forum provisions in other companies’ charter documents has been challenged in legal proceedings. While the Delaware courts have determined that such choice of forum provisions are facially valid, a stockholder may nevertheless seek to bring a claim in a venue other than those designated in the exclusive forum provisions, and there can be no assurance that such provisions will be enforced by a court in those other jurisdictions. We note that investors cannot waive compliance with the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder.
The foregoing provisions 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 our Company 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 the control of our Company.
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 our Company. 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 rights. However, these 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 control of our Company or our 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.
Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation 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 closing 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 by (1) 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 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 loss, 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.
Limitations on liability and indemnification
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws provide that we will indemnify our directors and officers to the fullest extent permitted under Delaware law, which prohibits our amended and restated certificate of incorporation from limiting the liability of our directors for the following:
|•||any breach of the director’s duty of loyalty to us or our stockholders;|
|•||acts or omissions not in good faith or that involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law;|
|•||unlawful payments of dividends or unlawful stock repurchases or redemptions; or|
|•||any transaction from which the director derived an improper personal benefit.|
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws will also provide that if Delaware law is amended to authorize corporate action further eliminating or limiting the personal liability of a director, then the liability of our directors will be eliminated or limited to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law, as so amended. This limitation of liability does not apply to liabilities arising under the federal securities laws and does not affect the availability of equitable remedies such as injunctive relief or rescission.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws also provide that we shall have the power to indemnify our employees and agents to the fullest extent permitted by law. Our amended and restated bylaws also permit us to secure insurance on behalf of any officer, director, employee or other agent for any liability arising out of his or her actions in this capacity, regardless of whether we would have the power to indemnify such person against such expense, liability or loss under the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware. We have obtained directors’ and officers’ liability insurance.
We have entered into separate indemnification agreements with our directors and executive officers, in addition to indemnification provided for in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws.
These agreements, among other things, provide for indemnification of our directors and executive officers for expenses, judgments, fines and settlement amounts incurred by this person in any action or proceeding arising out of this person’s services as a director or executive officer or at our request. We believe that these provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws and indemnification agreements are necessary to attract and retain qualified persons as directors and executive officers.
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, New York 11219.