Description of Capital Stock
Contract Categories: Business Finance - Stock Agreements
EX-4.3 2 a12312019exhibit43.htm EXHIBIT 4.3 Exhibit
DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK
The following description of the capital stock of Evelo Biosciences, Inc. (the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our”) is not complete and may not contain all the information you should consider before investing in our capital stock. This description is summarized from, and qualified in its entirety by reference to, our restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws, each of which has been publicly filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).
Our authorized capital stock consists of:
200,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.001 per share; and
10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.001 per share.
Voting Rights. 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. Subject to the supermajority votes for some matters, other matters shall be decided by the affirmative vote of our stockholders having a majority in voting power of the votes cast by the stockholders present or represented and voting on such matter. Our restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws also provide that our directors may be removed only for cause and only by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds in voting power of the outstanding shares of capital stock entitled to vote thereon. In addition, the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds in voting power of the outstanding shares of capital stock entitled to vote thereon is required to amend or repeal, or to adopt any provision inconsistent with, several of the provisions of our restated certificate of incorporation. See below under "-Anti-Takeover Effects of Delaware Law and Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws-Amendment of Charter Provisions."
Rights Upon Liquidation. In the event of our liquidation or dissolution, the holders of common stock are entitled to receive proportionately our net 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.
Other Rights. Holders of common stock have no preemptive, subscription, redemption or conversion rights. Our outstanding shares of common stock are, and the shares offered by us under this prospectus will be, when issued and paid for, validly issued, fully paid and nonassessable. 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.
Holders of common stock are entitled to receive proportionately any dividends as may be declared by our board of directors, subject to any preferential dividend rights of outstanding preferred stock. We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our capital stock. We intend to retain future earnings, if any, to finance the operation and expansion of our business and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination related to our dividend policy will be made at the discretion of our board of directors after considering our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, business prospects and other factors the board of directors deems relevant, and subject to the restrictions contained in any future financing instruments.
Under the terms of our restated certificate of incorporation, our board of directors is authorized to direct us to issue shares of preferred stock in one or more series without stockholder approval. Our board of directors has the discretion to determine the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions, including voting rights, dividend rights, conversion rights, redemption privileges and liquidation preferences, of each series of preferred stock.
The purpose of authorizing our board of directors to issue preferred stock and determine its rights and preferences is to eliminate delays associated with a stockholder vote on specific issuances. The issuance of preferred stock, while providing flexibility in connection with possible acquisitions, future financings 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 seeking to acquire, a majority of our outstanding voting stock.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Delaware Law and Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws
Some provisions of Delaware law, our restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws could make the following transactions more difficult: an acquisition of us by means of a tender offer; an acquisition of us by means of a proxy contest or otherwise; or the removal of our incumbent officers and directors. It is possible that these provisions could make it more difficult to accomplish or could deter transactions that stockholders may otherwise consider to be in their best interest or in our best interests, including transactions which provide for payment of a premium over the market price for our shares.
These provisions, summarized below, are intended 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. We believe that the benefits of the increased protection of our potential ability to negotiate with the proponent of an unfriendly or unsolicited proposal to acquire or restructure us outweigh the disadvantages of discouraging these proposals because negotiation of these proposals could result in an improvement of their terms.
Undesignated Preferred Stock
The ability of our board of directors, without action by the stockholders, to issue up to 10,000,000 shares of undesignated preferred stock, which may include voting or other rights, dividend rights and preferences, rights to convert to common stock or other securities, and liquidation rights and preferences. The existence of authorized but unissued shares of preferred stock may enable our board of directors to render it more difficult or to discourage an attempt to obtain control of us by means of a merger, tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise.
Our amended and restated bylaws provide that a special meeting of stockholders may be called only by our chairman of the board, chief executive officer or president (in the absence of a chief executive officer), or by a resolution adopted by a majority of our board of directors.
Requirements for Advance Notification of Stockholder Nominations and Proposals
Our amended and restated bylaws establish advance notice procedures with respect to stockholder proposals to be brought before a stockholder meeting and the nomination of candidates for election as directors, other than nominations made by or at the direction of the board of directors or a committee of the board of directors. The notice must contain certain information specified in our amended and restated bylaws. These procedures may have the effect of precluding the conduct of certain business at a meeting or the nomination of candidates for election as directors by stockholders if the proper procedures are not followed.
Elimination of Stockholder Action by Written Consent
Our restated certificate of incorporation eliminates the right of stockholders to act by written consent without a meeting.
Our board of directors is divided into three classes. The directors in each class will serve for a three-year term, one class being elected each year by our stockholders. This system of electing and removing directors may tend to discourage a third party from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us, because it generally makes it more difficult for stockholders to replace a majority of the directors.
Removal of Directors and Vacancies
Our restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws provide that, subject to the rights of holders of any series of preferred stock, no member of our board of directors may be removed from office by our stockholders except for cause and, in addition to any other vote required by law, upon the approval of the holders of at least two-thirds in voting power of the outstanding shares of capital stock entitled to vote in the election of directors. Subject to the rights of holders of any series of preferred stock, 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, unless our board of directors determines by resolution that any such vacancy or newly created directorship shall be filled by our stockholders. Our amended and restated bylaws give our board of directors the exclusive right to elect a director to fill a vacancy created by the expansion of the board of directors or the resignation, death or removal of a director, which prevents stockholders from filling vacancies on our board of directors.
Stockholders Not Entitled to Cumulative Voting
Our restated certificate of incorporation does not permit stockholders to cumulate their votes in the election of directors. Accordingly, the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of our common stock entitled to vote in any election of directors can elect all of the directors standing for election, if they choose, other than any directors that holders of our preferred stock may be entitled to elect.
Delaware Anti-Takeover Statute
We are subject to Section 203 of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware, which prohibits persons deemed to be "interested stockholders" from engaging in a "business combination" with a publicly held Delaware corporation for three years following the date these persons become interested stockholders unless the business combination is, or the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder was, approved in a prescribed manner or another prescribed exception applies. Generally, an "interested stockholder" is a person who, together with affiliates and associates, owns, or within three years prior to the determination of interested stockholder status did own, 15% or more of a corporation’s voting stock. Generally, a "business combination" includes a merger, asset or stock sale, or other transaction resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. The existence of this provision may have an anti-takeover effect with respect to transactions not approved in advance by the board of directors.
Choice of Forum
Our restated certificate of incorporation provides that, unless we consent in writing to an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for: (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf; (2) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty or other wrongdoing by any of our directors, officers, employees or agents to us or our stockholders; (3) any action asserting a claim against us 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 governed by the internal affairs doctrine. Our restated certificate of incorporation also provides that any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our capital stock will be deemed to have notice of and to have consented to this choice of forum provision. It is possible that a court of law could rule that the choice of forum provision contained in our restated certificate of incorporation is inapplicable or unenforceable if it is challenged in a proceeding or otherwise.
Amendment of Charter Provisions
The amendment of any of the above provisions, except for the provision making it possible for our board of directors to issue preferred stock and the provision prohibiting cumulative voting, would require approval by holders of at least two-thirds in voting power of the outstanding shares of capital stock entitled to vote thereon.
The provisions of Delaware law, our restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws could have the effect of discouraging others from attempting hostile takeovers and, as a consequence, they may also inhibit temporary fluctuations in the market price of our common stock that often result from actual or rumored hostile takeover attempts. These provisions may also have the effect of preventing changes in the composition of our board and management. It is possible that these provisions could make it more difficult to accomplish transactions that stockholders may otherwise deem to be in their best interests.