Description of Common Stock
Description of Common Stock
The following summary description of the common stock of Elite Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“we”, “our” or “us”) is based on the provisions of our amended and restated articles of incorporation as amended (“Articles of Incorporation”), as well as our amended and restated bylaws (“Bylaws”), and the applicable provisions of the Nevada Revised Statutes (“Nevada Law”). This information is qualified entirely by reference to the applicable provisions of our Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and Nevada Law. Our Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws have previously been filed as exhibits with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote per share in the election of directors and on all other matters on which shareholders are entitled or permitted to vote. Holders of our common stock are not entitled to cumulative voting rights.
Subject to the terms of any then outstanding series of preferred stock, the holders of our common stock are entitled to dividends in the amounts and at times as may be declared by our board of directors out of funds legally available therefor.
Upon liquidation or dissolution, holders of our common stock are entitled to share ratably in all net assets available, if any, for distribution to shareholders after we have paid, or provided for payment of, all of our debts and liabilities, and after payment of any liquidation preferences to holders of any then outstanding shares of preferred stock.
Holders of our common stock have no redemption, conversion or preemptive rights. There are no sinking fund provisions applicable to our common stock. The rights, preferences and privileges of the holders of our common stock are subject to the rights of the holders of shares of any series of outstanding preferred stock and preferred stock that we may issue in the future.
All of our outstanding shares of common stock are fully paid and nonassessable.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Provisions of Nevada Law, Our Articles of Incorporation,
Our Bylaws and Our Shareholders’ Rights Plan
Nevada Control Share Law
We may be, or in the future we may become, subject to Nevada’s control share law. A corporation is subject to Nevada’s control share law if it has more than 200 shareholders, at least 100 of whom are shareholders of record and residents of Nevada, and if the corporation does business in Nevada, including through an affiliated corporation. This control share law may have the effect of discouraging corporate takeovers. As of June 23, 2020, we have less than 100 shareholders of record who are residents of Nevada.
The control share law focuses on the acquisition of a “controlling interest,” which means the ownership of outstanding voting shares that would be sufficient, but for the operation of the control share law, to enable the acquiring person to exercise the following proportions of the voting power of the corporation in the election of directors: (1) one-fifth or more but less than one-third; (2) one-third or more but less than a majority; or (3) a majority or more. The ability to exercise this voting power may be direct or indirect, as well as individual or in association with others.
The effect of the control share law is that an acquiring person, and those acting in association with that person, will obtain only such voting rights in the control shares as are conferred by a resolution of the shareholders of the corporation, approved at a special or annual meeting of shareholders. The control share law contemplates that voting rights will be considered only once by the other shareholders. Thus, there is no authority to take away voting rights from the control shares of an acquiring person once those rights have been approved. If the shareholders do not grant voting rights to the control shares acquired by an acquiring person, those shares do not become permanent non-voting shares. The acquiring person is free to sell the shares to others. If the buyer or buyers of those shares themselves do not acquire a controlling interest, the shares are not governed by the control share law.
If control shares are accorded full voting rights and the acquiring person has acquired control shares with a majority or more of the voting power, a shareholder of record, other than the acquiring person, who did not vote in favor of approval of voting rights, is entitled to demand fair value for such shareholder’s shares.
In addition to the control share law, Nevada has a business combination law, which prohibits certain business combinations between Nevada publicly traded corporations and “interested shareholders” for two years after the interested shareholder first becomes an interested shareholder, unless the corporation’s board of directors approves the combination in advance. For purposes of Nevada law, an interested shareholder is any person who is: (a) the beneficial owner, directly or indirectly, of 10% or more of the voting power of the outstanding voting shares of the corporation, or (b) an affiliate or associate of the corporation and at any time within the previous two years was the beneficial owner, directly or indirectly, of 10% or more of the voting power of the then-outstanding shares of the corporation. The definition of “business combination” contained in the statute is sufficiently broad to cover virtually any kind of transaction that would allow a potential acquirer to use the corporation’s assets to finance the acquisition or otherwise to benefit its own interests rather than the interests of the corporation and its other shareholders.
The effect of Nevada’s business combination law is to potentially discourage parties interested in taking control of the Company from doing so if it cannot obtain the approval of our board of directors.
Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws
Our Articles of Incorporation and/or Bylaws provide that:
|●||our Bylaws may be amended or repealed by our board of directors or our shareholders;|
|●||our board of directors is authorized to issue, without shareholder approval, preferred stock, the rights of which will be determined at the discretion of our board of directors and that, if issued, could operate as a “poison pill” to dilute the stock ownership of a potential hostile acquirer to prevent an acquisition that our board of directors does not approve;|
|●||our Board of directors is classified into three separate classes of directors with each respective class serving a three-year term;|
|●||our shareholders do not have cumulative voting rights, and therefore shareholders holding a majority of the voting stock outstanding will be able to elect all of our directors; and|
|●||our shareholders must comply with advance notice provisions to bring business before or nominate directors for election at a shareholder meeting.|
Shareholder Rights Plan
On November 15, 2013, we entered into a Shareholder Rights Plan and, under the Rights Plan, our board of directors declared a dividend distribution of one Right for each outstanding share of our common stock and one right for each share of common stock into which any of our outstanding Preferred Stock is convertible, to shareholders of record at the close of business on that date. Each Right entitles the registered holder to purchase from us one “Unit” consisting of one one-millionth (1/1,000,000) of a share of Series H Junior Participating preferred stock, at a purchase price of $2.10 per Unit, subject to adjustment, and may be redeemed prior to November 15, 2023, the expiration date, at $0.000001 per Right, unless earlier redeemed by us. The Rights generally are not transferable apart from the common stock and will not be exercisable unless and until a person or group acquires or commences a tender or exchange offer to acquire, beneficial ownership of 15% or more of our common stock. However, for Mr. Hakim, our Chief Executive Officer, the Rights Plan’s 15% threshold excludes shares beneficially owned by him as of November 15, 2013 and all shares issuable to him pursuant to his employment agreement and the Mikah Note.
The description and terms of the Rights are set forth in the Rights Agreement. The foregoing description of the Rights and the Rights Agreement are qualified in their entire by reference to the disclosure in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A12G [add hyperlink]and the Rights Agreement [add hyperlink]filed therewith, filed with the SEC on November 15, 2013, with such filing and exhibit being herein incorporated by reference.
Potential Effects of Authorized but Unissued Stock
We have shares of common stock and preferred stock available for future issuance without shareholder approval. We may utilize these additional shares for a variety of corporate purposes, including future public offerings to raise additional capital, to facilitate corporate acquisitions or payment as a dividend on the capital stock.
The existence of unissued and unreserved common stock and preferred stock may enable our board of directors to issue shares to persons friendly to current management or to issue preferred stock with terms that could render more difficult or discourage a third-party attempt to obtain control of us by means of a merger, tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise, thereby protecting the continuity of our management. In addition, our board of directors has the discretion to determine designations, rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions, including voting rights, dividend rights, conversion rights, redemption privileges and liquidation preferences of each series of preferred stock, all to the fullest extent permissible under Nevada Law and subject to any limitations set forth in our Articles of Incorporation. The purpose of authorizing our board of directors to issue preferred stock and to determine the rights and preferences applicable to such preferred stock is to eliminate delays associated with a shareholder vote on specific issuances. The issuance of preferred stock, while providing desirable flexibility in connection with possible financings, acquisitions and other corporate purposes, could have the effect of making it more difficult for a third-party to acquire, or could discourage a third-party from acquiring, a majority of our outstanding voting stock.