Description of Registrants Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
As of December 31, 2019, Editas Medicine, Inc. (“we” or “us”) had one class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended: our common stock, par value $0.0001 per share.
Description of Capital Stock
The following description of our capital stock is intended as a summary only and therefore is not a complete description of our capital stock. This description is based upon, and is qualified by reference to, our restated certificate of incorporation, our amended and restated by-laws and applicable provisions of Delaware corporate law. You should read our restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated by-laws, which are filed as exhibits to our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Our authorized capital stock consists of 195,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, and 5,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.0001 per share.
Annual Meeting. Annual meetings of our stockholders are held on the date designated in accordance with our amended and restated by-laws. Written notice must be mailed to each stockholder entitled to vote not less than ten nor more than 60 days before the date of the meeting. The presence in person or by proxy of the holders of record of a majority of our issued and outstanding shares entitled to vote at such meeting constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business at meetings of the stockholders. Special meetings of the stockholders may be called for any purpose, and may be called only by the board of directors, the chairman of the board, or the chief executive officer, and business to be transacted at any special meeting is limited to matters related to the purpose or purposes stated in the notice of the meeting. Except as may be otherwise provided by applicable law, our restated certificate of incorporation, or our amended and restated by-laws, all elections of directors shall be decided by a plurality, and all other questions shall be decided by a majority, of the votes cast by stockholders entitled to vote thereon at a duly held meeting of stockholders at which a quorum is present.
Voting Rights. Each holder of common stock is entitled to one vote for each share held on all matters to be voted upon by stockholders.
Dividends. The holders of common stock, after any preferences of holders of any preferred stock, are entitled to proportionately receive dividends when and if declared by the board of directors out of legally available funds, subject to any preferential dividend or other rights of any series of preferred stock that we may designate and issue in the future.
Liquidation and Dissolution. If we are liquidated or dissolved, the holders of the common stock will be entitled to share in our assets available for distribution to stockholders in proportion to the amount of common stock they own. The amount available for common stockholders is calculated after payment of all debts and other liabilities. Holders of any preferred stock will receive a preferential share of our assets before the holders of the common stock receive any assets.
Other Rights. Holders of the common stock have no right to:
convert the stock into any other security;
have the stock redeemed;
purchase additional stock; or
maintain their proportionate ownership interest.
The common stock does not have cumulative voting rights. Holders of shares of the common stock are not required to make additional capital contributions. 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.
Provisions of Our Certificate of Incorporation and By-laws and Delaware Law That May Have Anti-Takeover Effects
Delaware law, our restated certificate of incorporation, and our amended and restated bylaws contain provisions that could have the effect of delaying, deferring or discouraging another party from acquiring control of us. These provisions, which are summarized below, are expected to discourage coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids. These provisions are also designed to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to first negotiate with our board of directors.
Staggered Board; Removal of Directors. Our restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws divide our board of directors into three classes with staggered three‑year terms. In addition, a director may be removed only for cause and only by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 75% of the votes that all of our stockholders would be entitled to cast in an annual election of directors. Any vacancy on our board of directors, including a vacancy resulting from an enlargement of our board of directors, may be filled only by vote of a majority of our directors then in office. The classification of our board of directors and the limitations on the removal of directors and filling of vacancies could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire, or discourage a third party from seeking to acquire, control of our company.
Stockholder Action by Written Consent; Special Meetings. Our restated certificate of incorporation provides that any action required or permitted to be taken by our stockholders must be effected at a duly called annual or special meeting of such holders and may not be effected by any consent in writing by such holders. Our restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws also provide that, except as otherwise required by law, special meetings of our stockholders can only be called by the chairman of our board of directors, our Chief Executive Officer, or our board of directors.
Advance Notice Requirements for Stockholder Proposals. Our amended and restated bylaws establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting of stockholders, including proposed nominations of persons for election to our board of directors. Stockholders at an annual meeting may only consider proposals or nominations specified in the notice of meeting or brought before the meeting by or at the direction of our board of directors or by a stockholder of record on the record date for the meeting who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has delivered timely written notice in proper form to our secretary of the stockholder’s intention to bring such business before the meeting. These provisions could have the effect of delaying until the next stockholder meeting stockholder actions that are favored by the holders of a majority of our outstanding voting securities.
Delaware Business Combination Statute. We are subject to Section 203 of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware. Subject to certain exceptions, Section 203 prevents a publicly held Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with any “interested stockholder” for three years following the date that the person became an interested stockholder, unless the interested stockholder attained such status with the approval of our board of directors or unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. A “business combination” includes, among other things, a merger or consolidation involving us and the “interested stockholder” and the sale of more than 10% of our assets. In general, an “interested stockholder” is any entity or person beneficially owning 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock and any entity or person affiliated with or controlling or controlled by such entity or person.
Amendment of Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws. The General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware provides generally that the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares entitled to vote on any matter is required to amend a corporation’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws, unless a corporation’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws, as the case may be, requires a greater percentage. Our amended and restated bylaws may be amended or repealed by a majority vote of our board of directors or by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 75% of the votes that all of our stockholders would be entitled to cast in any annual election of directors. In addition, the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 75% of the votes that all of our stockholders would be entitled to cast in any annual election of directors is required to amend or repeal or to adopt any provisions inconsistent with any of the provisions of our restated certificate of incorporation described above under “—Staggered Board; Removal of Directors” and “—Stockholder Action by Written Consent; Special Meetings.”
Exclusive Forum Selection. Our restated certificate of incorporation provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware shall be the sole and exclusive forum for (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of our company, (2) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, or other employees to our company or our stockholders, (3) any action asserting a claim against our company arising pursuant to any provision of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware or our restated certificate of incorporation or amended and restated bylaws, or (4) any action asserting a claim against our company governed by the internal affairs doctrine. This exclusive forum provision would not apply to suits brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Exchange Act, which provides for exclusive jurisdiction of the federal courts. It could apply, however, to a suit that falls within one or more of the categories enumerated in the exclusive forum provision and asserts claims under the Securities Act, inasmuch as 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. There is uncertainty as to whether a court would enforce such provision with respect to claims under the Securities Act, and our stockholders will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder.
Blank Check Preferred Stock. Our restated certificate of incorporation 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 our company 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 our company, 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 acquiror or insurgent shareholder or shareholder group. In this regard, our restated 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 such holders and may have the effect of delaying, deterring, or preventing a change in control of the company. Our board of directors currently does not intend to seek shareholder approval prior to any issuance of shares of preferred stock, unless otherwise required by law.
Authorized But Unissued Shares. Our authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock are available for future issuance without stockholder approval, subject to any limitations imposed by the listing standards of the Nasdaq Global Select Market. These additional shares may be used for a variety of corporate finance transactions, acquisitions and employee benefit plans. The existence of authorized but unissued and unreserved common stock and preferred stock could make more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of us by means of a proxy contest, tender offer, merger, or otherwise.