Description of Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
As of November 20, 2020, Evoqua Water Technologies Corp., a Delaware corporation, had one class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”): Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share (the “Common Stock”). The following summary includes a brief description of the Common Stock, as well as certain related additional information. Unless the context requires otherwise, references to “we,” “us,” “our” and the “Company” refer to Evoqua Water Technologies Corp.
Our authorized capital stock consists of 1,000,000,000 shares of Common Stock, and 100,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share, the rights and preferences of which the board of directors may establish from time to time. As of October 30, 2020, there were 118,276,418 outstanding shares of Common Stock (excluding shares of our Common Stock issuable upon exercise of outstanding stock options and vesting of outstanding restricted stock units) and no outstanding shares of preferred stock. As of October 30, 2020, we had 59 stockholders of record.
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 present in person or represented by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote on the election. There will be no cumulative voting in the election of directors, which means that holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of Common Stock will be able to elect all of the directors, and holders of less than a majority of such shares will be unable to elect any director. Holders of Common Stock are entitled to be paid ratably any dividends as may be declared by our board of directors (in its sole discretion), subject to any preferential dividend rights of outstanding preferred stock (if any).
In the event of our liquidation or dissolution, the holders of our Common Stock are entitled to receive ratably, in proportion to the number of shares held by them, the assets available for distribution to stockholders after the payment of all debts and other liabilities and subject to the prior rights (if any) of any outstanding preferred stock. Holders of our Common Stock have no preemptive or other rights to subscribe for additional shares. The shares of our outstanding Common Stock are not subject to further calls or assessments by us. There are no conversion or redemption rights or sinking fund provisions applicable to the shares of our Common Stock. The rights, preferences and privileges of holders of our 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.
Limitations on Directors' Liability
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws contain provisions indemnifying our directors and officers to the fullest extent permitted by law. In addition, in connection with our initial public offering, we entered into indemnification agreements with each of our directors which may, in certain cases, be broader than the specific indemnification provisions contained under Delaware law.
In addition, to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that no director will be personally liable to us or our stockholders for monetary damages for breach of fiduciary duty as a director. The effect of this provision is to restrict our rights and the rights of our stockholders in derivative suits to recover monetary damages against a director for breach of fiduciary duty as a director, except that a director will be personally liable for:
• any breach of his or her duty of loyalty to us or our stockholders;
• acts or omissions not in good faith which involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law;
• the payment of dividends or the redemption or purchase of stock in violation of Delaware law; or
• any transaction from which the director derived an improper personal benefit.
This provision does not affect a director's liability under the federal securities laws.
To the extent that our directors, officers and controlling persons are indemnified under the provisions contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, Delaware law or contractual arrangements against liabilities arising under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), we have been advised that in the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is therefore unenforceable.
Provisions of Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, Amended and Restated Bylaws and Delaware Law that May Have an Anti-Takeover Effect
Delaware law, our amended and 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 amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws divide our board of directors into three classes with staggered three-year terms. In addition, a director will be subject to removal by our stockholders only for cause and only by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds in voting power of all of our then outstanding Common Stock. Any vacancy on our board of directors, including a vacancy resulting from an increase in the number of directors, will be filled by vote of a majority of our directors then in office (subject to the rights of holders of any series of preferred stock or rights granted pursuant to the stockholders' agreement). Furthermore, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the total number of directors may be changed only by the resolution of our board of directors (subject to the rights of holders of any series of preferred stock to elect additional directors). The classification of our board of directors and the limitations on the removal of directors, changes to the total number 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 amended and 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 written consent. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws also provide that, except as otherwise required by law, special meetings of our stockholders can only be called by our chairman of the board or our board of directors.
Advance Notice Requirements for Stockholder Proposals
Our amended and restated bylaws establishes 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 will 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 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 stockholder actions that are favored by the holders of a majority of our outstanding voting securities until the next stockholder meeting.
Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law
While we have opted out of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”), our amended and restated certificate of incorporation contains similar provisions providing that we may not engage in certain "business combinations" with any "interested stockholder" for a three-year period following the time that the stockholder became an interested stockholder, unless:
• prior to such time, our board of directors approved either the business combination or the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder;
• upon consummation of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of our voting stock outstanding at the time the transaction commenced, excluding for purposes of determining the voting stock outstanding (but not the outstanding voting stock owned by the interested stockholder) those shares owned (a) by persons who are directors and also officers and (b) pursuant to employee stock plans in which employee participants do not have the right to determine confidentially whether shares held subject to the plan will be tendered in a tender or exchange offer; or
• at or subsequent to that time, the business combination is approved by our board of directors and authorized at an annual of special meeting of our stockholders, and not by written consent, by the affirmative vote of holders of at least two-thirds of our outstanding voting stock that is not owned by the interested stockholder.
Generally, a "business combination" includes a merger, asset or stock sale or other transaction provided for or through our Company resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. Subject to certain exceptions, an "interested stockholder" is a person who owns 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock and the affiliates and associates of such person. For purposes of this provision, "voting stock" means any class or series of stock entitled to vote generally in the election of directors.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that certain affiliates of AEA Investors LP (collectively, “AEA”), their respective affiliates and any of their direct or indirect designated transferees (other than in certain market transfers and gifts) and any group of which such persons are a party do not constitute "interested stockholders" for purposes of this provision.
Amendments to Our Bylaws
The DGCL provides generally that the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares present at any meeting and entitled to vote on a matter is required to amend a corporation's bylaws, unless a corporation's bylaws requires a greater percentage. Our amended and restated bylaws may be amended or repealed by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the voting power of all outstanding stock entitled to vote thereon, voting together as a single class.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed to us or our stockholders by any of our directors, officers or employees, (iii) any action asserting a claim against us arising under the DGCL, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws or (iv) any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. Although we believe this provision benefits us by providing
increased consistency in the application of Delaware law in the types of claims to which it applies, the provision may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers and may limit our stockholders' ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us.
Delaware law permits corporations to adopt provisions renouncing any expectancy in or right to be offered an opportunity to participate in certain transactions or matters that may be investment, corporate or business opportunities and that are presented to a corporation or its officers, directors or stockholders. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that, to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law, neither (1) AEA, any of its directors, principals, officers, employees or other representatives that may serve as our directors, officers or agents, and each of their affiliates (each, an "Excluded AEA Party") nor (2) any of our directors (other than any Excluded AEA Party) who are not Evoqua officers or employees, and each of their affiliates (each, an "Excluded Director"), shall have any duty refrain from (a) directly or indirectly engaging in any opportunity in which we, directly or indirectly, could have an interest or expectancy or (b) otherwise competing with us. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation also renounces, to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law, any interest or expectancy that we have in any opportunity in which any Excluded AEA Party engages, even if the opportunity is one in which we, directly or indirectly, could have had an interest or expectancy. To the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law, in the event that any Excluded AEA Party acquires knowledge of an opportunity that may be an opportunity for itself, himself or herself and for us, such party shall have no duty to communicate or present such opportunity to us and shall not be liable to us or any of our stockholders for breach of any fiduciary duty as our stockholder, director or officer solely for having pursued or acquired such opportunity or for offering or directing such opportunity to another person. Notwithstanding the foregoing, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation does not renounce any interest in any opportunity that is expressly offered to any Excluded Director solely in his or her capacity as one of our directors. To the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law, no business opportunity will be deemed to be a potential corporate opportunity for us unless we would be permitted to undertake the opportunity under our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, we have sufficient financial resources to undertake the opportunity and the opportunity would be in line with our business.
Stock Exchange Listing
Our Common Stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol "AQUA."
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our Common Stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC.
The foregoing summary does not purport to be complete and is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by, the full text of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws. For additional information we encourage you to read: our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws, as well as the Second Amended and Restated Stockholders’ Agreement, dated December 11, 2014, among EWT Holdings I Corp., AEA and certain stockholders, and the Second Amended and Restated Registration Rights Agreement, dated October 16, 2017, among the Company, AEA and certain stockholders (and amendments thereto), all of which are exhibits to our Annual Report on Form 10-K; and applicable provisions of the DGCL, including Section 203.