Description of the Companys securities
DESCRIPTION OF THE COMPANY’S SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
The common stock of First Busey Corporation (the “Company,” which is also referred to herein as “we,” “our” or “us”) is registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The following description of the material terms of the Company’s common stock is only a summary. This summary does not purport to be a complete description of the terms and conditions of the Company’s common stock and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to the Company’s Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation, as amended, which we refer to as the “Articles of Incorporation” and the Company’s Amended and Restated By-laws, which we refer to as the “Bylaws,” as well as the Nevada General Corporation Law, which we refer to as the “NGCL,” and any other documents referenced in the summary and from which the summary is derived.
General. Under our Articles of Incorporation, we have the authority to issue 100,000,000 shares of our common stock, par value $0.001 per share, and 1,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.001 per share. Our common stock is listed for trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “BUSE.” Each share of our common stock has the same relative rights and is identical in all respects to every other share of our common stock. Our shares of common stock are neither redeemable nor convertible, and the holders thereof have no preemptive or subscription rights to purchase any of our securities.
Voting Rights. Each outstanding share of our common stock is entitled to one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders. There is no cumulative voting in the election of directors.
Liquidation Rights. Upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, the holders of our common stock are entitled to receive, pro rata, our assets which are legally available for distribution, after payment of all debts and other liabilities and subject to the prior rights of any holders of preferred stock then outstanding.
Dividends Payable on Shares of Common Stock. In general, the holders of outstanding shares of our common stock are entitled to receive dividends out of assets legally available therefor at such times and in such amounts as our board of directors may from time to time determine. The ability of our board of directors to declare and pay dividends on our common stock may be affected by both general corporate law considerations and policies of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, which we refer to herein as the Federal Reserve, applicable to bank holding companies. As a Nevada corporation, we are subject to the limitations of Nevada law, which allows us to pay dividends unless, after such dividend, we would not be able to pay our debts as they become due in the usual course of business or our total assets would be less than the sum of our total liabilities plus any amount that would be needed if we were to be dissolved at the time of the dividend payment to satisfy the preferential rights of stockholders whose preferential rights are superior to those receiving the dividend. As a bank holding company, our ability to declare and pay dividends is subject to the guidelines of the Federal Reserve regarding capital adequacy and dividends. The Federal Reserve guidelines generally require us to review the effects of the cash payment of dividends on our common stock and other Tier 1 capital instruments (i.e., perpetual preferred stock and trust preferred securities) in light of our earnings, capital adequacy and financial condition. As a general matter, the Federal Reserve indicates that the board of directors of a bank holding company should eliminate, defer or significantly reduce the dividends if: (i) the company’s net income available to stockholders for the past four quarters, net of dividends previously paid during that period, is not sufficient to fully fund the dividends; (ii) the prospective rate of earnings retention is inconsistent with the company’s capital needs and overall current and prospective financial condition; or (iii) the company will not meet, or is in danger of not meeting, its minimum regulatory capital adequacy ratios. The Federal Reserve also possesses enforcement powers over bank holding companies and their nonbank subsidiaries to prevent or remedy actions that represent unsafe or unsound practices or violations of applicable statutes and regulations. Among these powers is the ability to proscribe the payment of dividends by banks and bank holding companies.
Most of our revenues available for the payment of dividends derive from amounts paid to us by Busey Bank. There are various statutory limitations that limit the ability of Busey Bank to pay dividends to us. Busey Bank is a state-charted bank and is subject to the laws and regulations of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and to the regulations of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. If a bank’s primary banking regulator determines that the bank is engaged or is about to engage in an unsafe or unsound banking practice, the regulator may require, after notice and hearing, that the bank cease and desist from such practice. Depending on the financial condition of the bank, an unsafe or unsound practice could include the payment of dividends. In particular, the federal banking agencies have indicated that paying dividends that deplete a bank’s capital base to an inadequate level would be an unsafe and unsound banking practice.
Under the Illinois Banking Act, Busey Bank generally may not pay dividends in excess of its net profits. Further, the payment of dividends by any financial institution is also affected by the requirement to maintain adequate capital pursuant to applicable capital adequacy guidelines and regulations, and a financial institution generally is prohibited from paying any dividends if, following payment thereof, the institution would be undercapitalized. Even notwithstanding the availability of funds for dividends, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation may prohibit the payment of any dividends by an insured bank, such as Busey Bank, if the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation determines such payment would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice. Furthermore, under applicable regulatory requirements, an Illinois state-chartered bank such as Busey Bank may not pay dividends in excess of its net profits.
Preferred Stock. We may issue up to 1,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $0.001 par value per share, from time to time in one or more series. Our board of directors, without further approval of the stockholders, has the authority to fix the dividend rights and terms, conversion rights, voting rights, redemption rights and terms, liquidation preferences, sinking funds and any other rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions applicable to each series of preferred stock. The issuance of preferred stock, while providing flexibility in connection with possible acquisitions and other corporate purposes, could, among other things, adversely affect the voting power of the holders of our common stock.
General. Our Articles of Incorporation and our Bylaws may have the effect of discouraging, delaying or preventing a change in control or an unsolicited acquisition proposal that a stockholder might consider favorable, including a proposal that might result in the payment of a premium over the market price for the shares held by stockholders. These provisions are summarized in the following paragraphs.
Authorized Shares of Capital Stock. Authorized but unissued shares of our common stock and preferred stock under our Articles of Incorporation could (within the limits imposed by applicable law and the rules of The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC) be issued in one or more transactions that could make a change of control of us more difficult, and therefore more unlikely. The additional authorized shares could be used to discourage persons from attempting to gain control of us by diluting the voting power of shares then outstanding or increasing the voting power of persons who would support the board of directors in a potential takeover situation, including by preventing or delaying a proposed business combination that is opposed by the board of directors although perceived to be desirable by some stockholders.
Limitations on Right to Call Special Meetings; Stockholder Proposal Notice Requirements. Under our Bylaws, a special meeting of our stockholders may be called only by the Chairman of our board of directors, our Chief Executive Officer or our President only after receiving the written request to hold a meeting from: (i) a majority of our board of directors; or (ii) stockholders owning at least 50% of the entire capital stock issued and outstanding and entitled to vote. Additionally, our Bylaws require that stockholder proposals meet certain advanced notice and minimum informational requirements. These provisions could have the effect of delaying until the next annual stockholders meeting stockholder actions which are favored by the holders of a majority of our outstanding voting securities.
State Anti-Takeover Laws. Although under our Articles of Incorporation we have opted not to be governed by Nevada’s anti-takeover law known as the “Combination with Interested Stockholders Statute,” we may become subject to this provision in the future. In addition, the NGCL contains a “Control Share Acquisition Statute,” which does not currently apply to us.
The Combination with Interested Stockholders Statute prevents “interested stockholders” and an applicable Nevada corporation from entering into a “combination” unless certain conditions are met. A combination means, among other things, any merger or consolidation with an “interested stockholder,” or any sale, lease, exchange, mortgage, pledge, transfer or other disposition, in one transaction or a series of transactions, with an “interested stockholder” having: (i) an aggregate market value equal to more than 5% of the aggregate market value of the assets of the corporation; (ii) an aggregate market value equal to more than 5% of the aggregate market value of all outstanding voting shares of the corporation; or (iii) representing more than 10% of the earning power or net income of the corporation. An “interested stockholder” means the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting shares of a corporation, or an affiliate or associate of a corporation who at any time within two years immediately prior to the date in question was the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting shares of the corporation. A corporation may not engage in a “combination” within two years after the interested stockholder acquired its shares unless the combination or the purchase of shares made by the interested stockholder is approved by the board of directors before the interested stockholder acquired such shares or the combination is approved by the board of directors and, at or after that time, the combination is approved at an annual or special meeting of the stockholders of the corporation representing at least 60% of the outstanding voting power held by disinterested stockholders.
If such approval is not obtained, then after the expiration of the two-year period, the business combination may be consummated: (i) if the combination or the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder was approved by the board of directors before the person became an interested stockholder; (ii) if the combination is approved at an annual or special meeting of the stockholders of the corporation by a majority of the voting power held by disinterested stockholders; or (iii) if the consideration to be paid by the interested stockholder for disinterested shares of common or preferred stock, as applicable, is at least equal to the highest of: (A) the highest price per share of such stock paid by the interested stockholder within the two years immediately preceding the date of the announcement of the combination or in the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder, whichever is higher, plus interest from that date through the date of consummation of the combination and less any dividends paid during the same period; (B) the market value per share of such stock on the date of the announcement of the combination or the date the interested stockholder acquired the shares, whichever is higher, plus interest from that date through the date of consummation of the combination and less any dividends paid during the same period; or (C) the amount specified in the corporation’s articles of incorporation, including in any certificate of designation for the class or series of shares are entitled upon the consummation of a transaction of a type encompassing the combination.
The Control Share Acquisition Statute prohibits an acquiror, under certain circumstances, from voting shares of a target corporation’s stock after crossing certain threshold ownership percentages, unless the acquiror obtains the approval of the target corporation’s stockholders. The Control Share Acquisition Statute specifies three thresholds: (i) one-fifth or more but less than one-third; (ii) one-third or more but less than a majority; and (iii) a majority or more, of the voting power of the corporation in the election of directors. Once an acquiror crosses one of the above thresholds, those shares acquired in such offer or acquisition and those shares acquired within the preceding ninety days become “Control Shares” and such Control Shares are deprived of the right to vote until disinterested stockholders restore the right. The Control Shares Acquisition Statute also provides that in the event Control Shares are accorded full voting rights and the acquiring person has acquired a majority or more of all voting power, all other stockholders who do not vote in favor of authorizing voting rights to the Control Shares are entitled to demand payment for the fair value of their shares. The board of directors is to notify the stockholders after such an event has occurred that they have the right to receive the fair value of their shares in accordance with statutory procedures established generally for dissenters’ rights. The Control Share Acquisition Statute currently does not apply to us because we do not have 100 or more stockholders of record who are residents of the State of Nevada.