Description of Registrants Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Act of 1934
DESCRIPTION OF REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
The following summary of the terms of the capital stock of CARBO Ceramics Inc. (the “Company,” “our” or “we”) is based upon our restated certificate of incorporation (our “certificate of incorporation”) and third amended and restated by-laws (our “by-laws”), both of which are on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) as exhibits to previous filings, and the applicable provisions the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”). The summary does not purport to be complete and is subject to, and is qualified in its entirety by express reference to, our certificate of incorporation and by-laws and the applicable provisions of the DGCL.
DESCRIPTION OF OUR CAPITAL STOCK
Authorized Capital Stock
Under our certificate of incorporation, the Company’s authorized capital stock consists of 80,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share ( “common stock”), and 5,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share (“preferred stock”).
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 any dividends as may be declared by our board of directors, subject to any preferential dividend rights of outstanding preferred stock.
In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, the holders of common stock are entitled to receive proportionately all 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. 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.
Delaware Anti-Takeover Law and Certain Charter and By-law Provisions
Section 203 of the DGCL
We are subject to the provisions of Section 203 of the DGCL. 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.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Our Certificate of Incorporation and Our By-Laws
Our certificate of incorporation and by-laws contain certain provisions that are intended to enhance the likelihood of continuity and stability in the composition of the board of directors and which may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a future takeover or change in control of the Company unless such takeover or change in control is approved by the board of directors.
These provisions include:
Advance Notice Procedures. Our by-laws establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting of our stockholders, including proposed nominations of persons for election to the board of directors. Stockholders at an annual meeting are only be able to consider proposals or nominations specified in the notice of meeting or brought before the meeting by or at the direction of the board of directors or by a stockholder who was a stockholder of record on the record date for the meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has given our Secretary timely written notice, in proper form, of the stockholder’s intention to bring that business before the meeting. Although the by-laws do not give the board of directors the power to approve or disapprove stockholder nominations of candidates or proposals regarding other business to be conducted at a special or annual meeting, the by-laws may have the effect of precluding the conduct of certain business at a meeting if the proper procedures are not followed or may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect its own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of the Company.
Authorized but Unissued Shares. Our authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock are available for future issuance without stockholder approval. These additional shares may be utilized for a variety of corporate purposes, including future public offerings to raise additional capital, corporate acquisitions and employee benefit plans. The existence of authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock could render more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of a majority of our common stock by means of a proxy contest, tender offer, merger or otherwise.
Our by-laws require, to the fullest extent permitted by law, that unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim or breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, or employees to us or our stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL or (iv) any action asserting a claim against us governed by the internal affairs doctrine, in all cases subject to the court’s having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants, will have to be brought only in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware. 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.
The enforceability of similar exclusive forum provisions in other companies’ certificates of incorporation has been challenged in legal proceedings, and it is possible that, in connection with one or more actions or proceedings described above, a court could rule that this provision in the Company’s certificate of incorporation is inapplicable or unenforceable. The exclusive forum provision would not apply to suits brought to enforce any liability or duty created by the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction. To the extent that any such claims may be based upon federal law claims, Section 27 of the Exchange Act creates exclusive federal jurisdiction over all suits brought to enforce any duty or liability created by the Exchange Act or the rules and regulations thereunder. Furthermore, Section 22 of the Securities Act creates concurrent jurisdiction for federal and state courts over all suits brought to enforce any duty or liability created by the Securities Act or the rules and regulations thereunder.