Description of the Registrant's Securities
EX-4.4 2 blue-20191231xexx44.htm EX-4.4 Document
Description of the Company’s Capital Stock
The following is a description of the authorized capital stock of bluebird bio, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“we”, “us”, “our”, or the “Company”). This summary is not complete and is subject to and qualified by reference to the actual provisions of the Company’s Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation (the “Charter”) and Amended and Restated By-laws (the “By-laws”), both of which have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and are incorporated by reference herein.
Pursuant to the Company’s Charter, the Company is authorized to issue up to one hundred twenty-five million (125,000,000) shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share (the “Common Stock”). The Common Stock is registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. As of February 13, 2020, there were 55,611,565 shares of our Common Stock outstanding.
The Common Stock is listed on The Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “BLUE”.
Holders of our Common Stock are entitled to one vote for each share of Common Stock held of record for the election of directors and on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders. Holders of our Common Stock are entitled to receive dividends ratably, if any, as may be declared by our board of directors out of legally available funds, subject to any preferential dividend rights of any preferred stock then outstanding. Upon our dissolution, liquidation or winding up, holders of our common stock are entitled to share ratably in our net assets legally available after the payment of all our debts and other liabilities, subject to the preferential rights of any preferred stock then outstanding. Holders of our common stock have no preemptive, subscription, redemption or conversion rights and there are no sinking fund provisions applicable to our common stock. 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. Except as described below in “Anti-takeover Effects of Delaware Law, our Charter and our By-laws,” a majority vote of common stockholders is generally required to take action under our Charter and By-laws.
Pursuant to the Company’s Charter, our board of directors has the authority, without further action by the stockholders (unless such stockholder action is required by applicable law or Nasdaq rules), to designate and issue up to 5,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series, to establish from time to time the number of shares to be included in each such series, to fix the rights, preferences and privileges of the shares of each wholly unissued series, and any qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereon, and to increase or decrease the number of shares of any such series, but not below the number of shares of such series then outstanding. Currently, there are no shares of preferred stock outstanding.
Though the actual effect of any such issuance on the rights of the holders of common stock will not be known until such time as our board of directors determines the specific rights of the holders of preferred stock, the potential effects of such an issuance include:
•diluting the voting power of the holders of common stock;
•reducing the likelihood that holders of common stock will receive dividend payments;
•reducing the likelihood that holders of common stock will receive payments in the event of our liquidation, dissolution, or winding up; and
•delaying, deterring or preventing a change in control or other corporate takeover.
We will fix the rights, preferences and privileges of each series of preferred stock, as well as any qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereon, in the certificate of designation relating to that series.
Anti-takeover Effects of Delaware Law, our Charter and our By-laws
The Company’s Charter and By-laws include a number of provisions that may have the effect of encouraging persons considering unsolicited tender offers or other unilateral takeover proposals to negotiate with our board of directors rather than pursue non-negotiated takeover attempts. These provisions include the items described below.
Board Composition and Filling Vacancies
In accordance with our Charter, our board is divided into three classes serving three-year terms, with one class being elected each year. Our Charter also provides that directors may be removed only for cause and then only by the affirmative vote of the holders of 75% or more of the shares then entitled to vote at an election of directors. Furthermore, any vacancy on our board of directors, however occurring, including a vacancy resulting from an increase in the size of our board, may only be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of our directors then in office, even if less than a quorum.
No Written Consent of Stockholders
Our Charter provides that all stockholder actions are required to be taken by a vote of the stockholders at an annual or special meeting, and that stockholders may not take any action by written consent in lieu of a meeting.
Meetings of Stockholders
Our By-laws provide that only a majority of the members of our board of directors then in office may call special meetings of stockholders and only those matters set forth in the notice of the special meeting may be considered or acted upon at a special meeting of stockholders. Our By-laws limit the business that may be conducted at an annual meeting of stockholders to those matters properly brought before the meeting.
Advance Notice Requirements
Our By-laws establish advance notice procedures with regard to stockholder proposals relating to the nomination of candidates for election as directors or new business to be brought before meetings of our stockholders. These procedures provide that notice of stockholder proposals must be timely given in writing to our corporate secretary prior to the meeting at which the action is to be taken. Generally, to be timely, notice must be received at our principal executive offices not less than 90 days or more than 120 days prior to the first anniversary date of the annual meeting for the preceding year. The notice must contain certain information specified in the By-laws. These provisions may have the effect of precluding the conduct of certain business at a meeting if the proper procedures are not followed. 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.
Amendment to By-Laws and Charter
As required by the Delaware General Corporation Law, any amendment of our Charter must first be approved by a majority of our board of directors and, if required by law or our Charter, thereafter be approved by a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment, and a majority of the outstanding shares of each class entitled to vote thereon as a class, except that the amendment of the
provisions relating to stockholder action, directors, limitation of liability, exclusive jurisdiction of Delaware Courts and the amendment of our by-laws and certificate of incorporation must be approved by not less than 75% of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment, and not less than 75% of the outstanding shares of each class entitled to vote thereon as a class. Our By-laws may be amended by the affirmative vote of a majority of the directors then in office, subject to any limitations set forth in the by-laws; and may also be amended by the affirmative vote of at least 75% of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment, or, if the board of directors recommends that the stockholders approve the amendment, by the affirmative vote of the majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment, in each case voting together as a single class.
Blank Check Preferred Stock
Our Charter provides for 5,000,000 authorized shares of preferred stock. The existence of authorized but unissued shares of preferred stock may 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 otherwise. For example, if in the due exercise of its fiduciary obligations, our board of directors were to determine that a takeover proposal is not in the best interests of us or our stockholders, our board of directors could cause shares of preferred stock to be issued without stockholder approval in one or more private offerings or other transactions that might dilute the voting or other rights of the proposed acquirer or insurgent stockholder or stockholder group. In this regard, our certificate of incorporation grants our board of directors broad power to establish the rights and preferences of authorized and unissued shares of preferred stock. The issuance of shares of preferred stock could decrease the amount of earnings and assets available for distribution to holders of shares of common stock. The issuance may also adversely affect the rights and powers, including voting rights, of these holders and may have the effect of delaying, deterring or preventing a change in control of us.
Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law
We are subject to the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. In general, Section 203 prohibits a publicly-held Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with an “interested stockholder” for a three-year period following the time that this stockholder becomes an interested stockholder, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. A “business combination” includes, among other things, a merger, asset or stock sale or other transaction resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. An “interested stockholder” is a person who, together with affiliates and associates, owns, or did own within three years prior to the determination of interested stockholder status, 15% or more of the corporation’s voting stock.
Under Section 203, a business combination between a corporation and an interested stockholder is prohibited unless it satisfies one of the following conditions:
• before the stockholder became interested, the board of directors 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, shares owned by persons who are directors and also officers, and employee stock plans, in some instances; or
• at or after the time the stockholder became interested, the business combination was approved by the board of directors of the corporation and authorized at an annual or
special meeting of the stockholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting stock which is not owned by the interested stockholder.
A Delaware corporation may “opt out” of these provisions with an express provision in its original certificate of incorporation or an express provision in its certificate of incorporation or by-laws resulting from a stockholders’ amendment approved by at least a majority of the outstanding voting shares. We have not opted out of these provisions. As a result, mergers or other takeover or change in control attempts of us may be discouraged or prevented.
Exclusive Jurisdiction of Certain Actions
Our Charter requires that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, derivative actions brought in our name, actions against our directors, officers and employees for breach of fiduciary duty and other similar actions may be brought only in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware, unless we otherwise consent. Although we believe this provision benefits us by providing increased consistency in the application of Delaware law in the types of lawsuits to which it applies, the provision may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers.