Description of Securities
EYEGATE PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES REGISTERED UNDER
SECTION 12 OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
The following description of registered securities of EyeGate Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“us,” “our,” “we” or the “Company”) is intended as a summary only and therefore is not a complete description. This description is based upon, and is qualified by reference to, our restated certificate of incorporation, as amended, our amended and restated bylaws and applicable provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”). You should read our restated certificate of incorporation, as amended, and amended and restated bylaws, which are incorporated by reference as Exhibits 3.1, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 and Exhibit 3.7 to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this Exhibit 4.1 is a part, for the provisions that are important to you.
Our authorized capital stock consists of 120,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, and 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share, of which 3,750 are designated as Series A Convertible Preferred Stock, 10,000 are designated as Series B Convertible Preferred Stock and 10,000 are designated as Series C Convertible Preferred Stock.
Voting Rights. Each holder of common stock is entitled to one vote for each share of common stock held on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders, including the election of directors. Except as otherwise provided by law or our restated certificate of incorporation or amended and restated bylaws, all matters other than the election of directors submitted to the stockholders at any meeting shall be decided by the affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of common stock present in person or represented by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote thereon. Directors are elected by a plurality of the votes cast at the meeting. Our restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws do not provide for cumulative voting rights. Because of this, the holders of a majority of the shares of common stock entitled to vote in any election of directors can elect all of the directors standing for election, if they should so choose.
Dividends. Subject to preferences that may be applicable to any then outstanding preferred stock, the holders of our outstanding shares of common stock are entitled to receive dividends, if any, as may be declared from time to time by our board of directors out of legally available funds. At present, we have no plans to issue dividends. See the section titled “Dividend Policy”.
Liquidation. In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, holders of common stock will be entitled to share ratably in the net assets legally available for distribution to stockholders after the payment of all of our debts and other liabilities, subject to the satisfaction of any liquidation preference granted to the holders of any outstanding shares of preferred stock.
Other Rights and Preferences. Holders of our common stock have no preemptive, conversion or subscription rights, and there are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to our common stock. The rights, preferences and privileges of the holders of common stock are subject to, and may be adversely affected by, the rights of the holders of shares of any series of our preferred stock that we may designate and issue in the future.
Fully Paid and Nonassessable. All of our outstanding shares of common stock are fully paid and nonassessable.
Provisions in our restated certificate of incorporation provide that our board of directors is authorized to issue preferred stock in one or more series, to establish the number of shares to be included in each such series and to fix the designation, powers, preferences and rights of such shares and any qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereof. The issuance of preferred stock may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of our company without further action by the stockholders and may adversely affect the voting and other rights of the holders of common stock. The issuance of preferred stock with voting and conversion rights may adversely affect the voting power of the holders of common stock, including the loss of voting control to others. At present, we have no plans to issue any preferred stock.
In August 2015, we issued warrants to investors in our follow-on public offering of a class of warrants that are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The principal terms of such warrants are described below.
Exercisability. The warrants are exercisable immediately upon issuance and at any time up to the date that is five years from the date of issuance. The warrants will be exercisable, at the option of each holder, in whole or in part by delivering to us a duly executed exercise notice accompanied by payment in full for the number of shares of our common stock purchased upon such exercise (except in the case of a cashless exercise as discussed below). Unless otherwise specified in the warrant, the holder will not have the right to exercise any portion of the warrant if the holder (together with its affiliates) would beneficially own in excess of 4.99% of the number of shares of our common stock outstanding immediately after giving effect to the exercise, as such percentage ownership is determined in accordance with the terms of the warrants.
Cashless Exercise. In the event that a registration statement covering shares of common stock underlying the warrants, or an exemption from registration, is not available for the resale of such shares of common stock underlying the warrants, the holder may, in its sole discretion, exercise the warrant in whole or in part and, in lieu of making the cash payment otherwise contemplated to be made to us upon such exercise in payment of the aggregate exercise price, elect instead to receive upon such exercise the net number of shares of common stock determined according to the formula set forth in the warrant. In no event shall we be required to make any cash payments or net cash settlement to the registered holder in lieu of issuance of common stock underlying the warrants.
Exercise Price. The initial exercise price per share of common stock purchasable upon exercise of the warrants is $159.30. The exercise price is subject to appropriate adjustment in the event of certain stock dividends and distributions, stock splits, stock combinations, reclassifications or similar events affecting our common stock and also upon any distributions of assets, including cash, stock or other property to our stockholders.
Certain Adjustments. The exercise price and the number of shares of common stock purchasable upon the exercise of the warrants are subject to adjustment upon the occurrence of specific events, including stock dividends, stock splits, combinations and reclassifications of our common stock.
Transferability. Subject to applicable laws, the warrants may be transferred at the option of the holders upon surrender of the warrants to us together with the appropriate instruments of transfer.
Fundamental Transaction. If, at any time while the warrants are outstanding, (1) we consolidate or merge with or into another corporation and we are not the surviving corporation, (2) we sell, lease, license, assign, transfer, convey or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets, (3) any purchase offer, tender offer or exchange offer (whether by us or another individual or entity) is completed pursuant to which holders of our shares of common stock are permitted to sell, tender or exchange their shares of common stock for other securities, cash or property and has been accepted by the holders of 50% or more of our outstanding shares of common stock, (4) we effect any reclassification or recapitalization of our shares of common stock or any compulsory share exchange pursuant to which our shares of common stock are converted into or exchanged for other securities, cash or property, or (5) we consummate a stock or share purchase agreement or other business combination with another person or entity whereby such other person or entity acquires more than 50% of our outstanding shares of common stock, each, a ‘Fundamental Transaction,’ then upon any subsequent exercise of the warrants, the holders thereof will have the right to receive the same amount and kind of securities, cash or property as it would have been entitled to receive upon the occurrence of such Fundamental Transaction if it had been, immediately prior to such Fundamental Transaction, the holder of the number of warrant shares then issuable upon exercise of the warrant, and any additional consideration payable as part of the Fundamental Transaction.
Rights as a Stockholder. Except as otherwise provided in the warrants or by virtue of such holder's ownership of shares of our common stock, the holder of a warrant does not have the rights or privileges of a holder of our common stock, including any voting rights, until the holder exercises the warrant.
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 contain provisions that 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 with voting or other rights or preferences as designated by our board of directors could impede the success of any attempt to change control of us. These and other provisions may have the effect of deferring hostile takeovers or delaying changes in control or management of our company.
Stockholder Meetings. Our amended and restated bylaws provide that a special meeting of stockholders may be called only by our chairman of the board or chief executive officer (or president, if there is no 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.
Elimination of Stockholder Action by Written Consent. Our restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws eliminate the right of stockholders to act by written consent without a meeting.
Staggered Board. 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. Our restated certificate of incorporation provides that 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 not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the total voting power of all of our outstanding voting stock then entitled to vote in the election 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 Delaware General Corporation Law, 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.
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, would require approval by holders of at least 66 2/3% of the total voting power of all of our outstanding voting stock.
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.
Transfer and Warrant Agent and Registrar
The transfer and warrant agent and registrar for our common stock and registered warrants is VStock Transfer, LLC.
Our shares of common are quoted on The Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “EYEG.”