Description of the Companys Common stock
EX-4.311 3 a20191231ex4311.htm DESCRIPTION OF THE COMPANY'S COMMON STOCK Exhibit
DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE SECURITIES
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
DESCRIPTION OF COMMON STOCK
The following summary of the terms of our common stock and capital stock is based upon our Restated Articles of Incorporation (the “Articles of Incorporation”) and our Amended and Restated Bylaws (the “Bylaws”). The summary is not complete, and is qualified by reference to our Articles of Incorporation and our Bylaws, which are filed as exhibits to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this exhibit is a part. We encourage you to read our Articles of Incorporation, our Bylaws and the applicable provisions of the Michigan Business Corporation Act for additional information.
Authorized Capital Stock
The authorized capital stock of DTE Energy consists of 400,000,000 shares of DTE Energy common stock, without par value, and 5,000,000 shares of preferred stock, without par value. All outstanding shares of common stock are fully paid and nonassessable.
Under the DTE Energy amended and restated articles of incorporation, which we refer to as the articles of incorporation, our board of directors may cause the issuance of one or more new series of the authorized shares of preferred stock, determine the number of shares constituting any such new series and fix the voting, distribution, dividend, liquidation and all other rights and limitations of the preferred stock. These rights may be superior to those of the DTE Energy common stock. To the extent any shares of DTE Energy’s preferred stock have voting rights, no share of preferred stock may be entitled to more than one vote per share.
Holders of common stock are entitled to participate equally in respect to dividends as, when and if dividends are declared by our board of directors out of funds legally available for their payment. However, this dividend right is subject to any preferential dividend rights we may grant to future holders of preferred stock and to the prior rights of DTE Energy’s debt holders and other creditors. As a Michigan corporation, we are subject to statutory limitations on the declaration and payment of dividends. Dividends on DTE Energy common stock will depend primarily on the earnings and financial condition of DTE Energy. DTE Energy is a holding company and its assets consist primarily of its investment in its operating subsidiaries. Thus, as a practical matter, dividends on common stock of DTE Energy will depend in the foreseeable future primarily upon the earnings, financial condition and capital requirements of DTE Electric, DTE Gas and our other subsidiaries, and the distribution of such earnings to DTE Energy in the form of dividends. The subsidiaries are separate and distinct legal entities and have no obligation to make payments with respect to any of DTE Energy’s securities, or to pay dividends to or make funds available to DTE Energy so that DTE Energy can make payments on its securities, including its common stock. In addition, existing or future covenants limiting the right of DTE Electric, DTE Gas or our other subsidiaries to pay dividends on or make other distributions with respect to their common stock may affect DTE Energy’s ability to pay dividends on our common stock.
Subject to any special voting rights that may vest in the holders of preferred stock, the holders of DTE Energy common stock are entitled to vote as a class and are entitled to one vote per share for each share held of record on all matters voted on by shareholders. All questions are decided by a majority of the votes cast by the holders of shares entitled to vote on that question, unless a greater or different vote is required by the articles of incorporation or Michigan law. However, if the number of director nominees for any director election exceeds the number of directors to be elected, the nominees receiving a plurality of the votes cast by holders of the shares entitled to vote at any meeting for the election of directors at which a quorum is present will be elected.
We are subject to Chapter 7A of the Michigan Business Corporation Act, which we refer to as the Corporation Act, which provides that business combinations subject to Chapter 7A between a Michigan corporation and a beneficial owner of shares entitled to 10% or more of the voting power of such corporation generally require the affirmative vote of 90% of the votes of each class of stock entitled to vote, and not less than 2/3 of each class of stock entitled to vote (excluding voting shares owned by such 10% owner), voting as a separate class. These requirements do not apply if (1) the corporation’s board of directors approves the transaction prior to the time the 10% owner becomes such or (2) the transaction satisfies certain fairness standards, certain other conditions are met and the 10% owner has been such for at least five years.
Board of Directors
The number of directors is fixed by the board of directors from time to time. Directors are elected annually for terms which expire upon election of their successor at the next year’s annual shareholder meeting.
Amendments to DTE Energy’s Articles of Incorporation
Under Michigan law, our articles of incorporation may be amended by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the proposed amendment (which would include the common stock and any series of preferred stock which, by its terms or applicable law, was so entitled to vote), and, if any class or series of shares is entitled to vote as a class, then the proposed amendment must be approved by the required vote of each class or series of shares entitled to vote as a class.
In the event of a liquidation, dissolution or winding-up of DTE Energy, holders of our common stock have the right to share in DTE Energy’s assets remaining after satisfaction in full of the prior rights of creditors, and all liabilities and the aggregate liquidation preferences of any outstanding shares of DTE Energy preferred stock.
The holders of DTE Energy common stock have no conversion or redemption rights, or any rights to subscribe for or purchase other stock of DTE Energy.
Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “DTE.”
Advance Notice Requirements; Possible Anti-Takeover Effects
Certain provisions of our articles of incorporation and bylaws may have the effect of discouraging unilateral tender offers or other attempts to take over and acquire the business of DTE Energy. Our bylaws provide that shareholders seeking to nominate candidates for election as directors or to bring business before an annual meeting of shareholders or a shareholder-requested special meeting of shareholders must deliver timely notice of their proposal in writing to our principal executive offices. Our bylaws also specify requirements as to the form and content of a shareholder’s notice. These provisions may impede shareholders’ ability to bring matters before an annual meeting of shareholders, a shareholder requested special meeting of shareholders or make nominations for directors. These provisions may limit the ability of individuals to bring matters before shareholder meetings, change the composition of the board of directors and pursue a merger, takeover, business combination or tender offer involving DTE Energy, which, under certain circumstances, could encourage a potentially interested purchaser to negotiate with the board of directors rather than pursue a non-negotiated takeover attempt, including one that shareholders might favor, and could reduce the market value of our common stock.