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Description of Securities
EX-4.3 3 exhibit43-descriptionofsec.htm EX-4.3 Document
DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES REGISTERED UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE EXCHANGE ACT
The following description of registered securities of Fortive Corporation (“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 (our “Charter”), our amended and restated bylaws (our “Bylaws”) and applicable provisions of Delaware corporate law (the “DGCL”). You should read our Charter and Bylaws, which are incorporated by reference as Exhibit 3.1and Exhibit 3.2, respectively, to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this Exhibit 4.3 is a part, for the provisions that are important to you.
Our authorized capital stock consists of 2 billion shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, and 15,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share. Our common stock is registered under Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act.
Each holder of common stock is entitled to one vote for each share on all matters to be voted upon by the common stockholders, and there are no cumulative voting rights. The holders of common stock entitled to cast a majority of votes at a stockholder meeting constitute a quorum at such meeting. Subject to any preferential rights of any outstanding preferred stock, holders of common stock are entitled to receive ratably the dividends, if any, as may be declared from time to time by our board of directors out of funds legally available for that purpose. If there is a liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company, holders of our common stock would be entitled to ratable distribution of its assets remaining after the payment in full of liabilities and any preferential rights of any then-outstanding preferred stock.
Directors are generally elected by a majority of the votes cast by holders of common stock. However, directors are elected by a plurality of the votes cast by holders of common stock in the case of elections held at a stockholders’ meeting for which (i) the Company’s corporate secretary has received a notice or otherwise has become aware, prior to such meeting, that a holder of common stock has nominated a person for election to our board of directors and (ii) such nomination has not been withdrawn by such stockholder on or before the tenth day before the Company first mails its notice of meeting for such meeting to the stockholders. A majority of the votes cast means that the number of votes cast “for” a director’s election exceeds the number of votes cast “against” that director’s election. Abstentions and broker non-votes are not counted as votes cast either “for” or “against” a director’s election.
Holders of common stock have no preemptive or conversion rights or other subscription rights, and there are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to the common stock. All outstanding shares of common stock are fully paid and non-assessable.
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 preferred stock that the Company may designate and issue. Under the terms of our Charter, our board of directors is authorized, subject to limitations prescribed by the DGCL and by our Charter, to issue preferred stock in one or more series without further action by the holders of common stock. Our board of directors has the discretion, subject to limitations prescribed by the DGCL and by our Charter, 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.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Various Provisions of Delaware Law and Our Charter and Bylaws
Provisions of the DGCL and our Charter and Bylaws could make it more difficult to acquire the Company by means of a tender offer, a proxy contest or otherwise, or to remove incumbent officers and directors. These provisions, summarized below, are expected to discourage certain types of coercive takeover practices and takeover bids that our board of directors may consider inadequate and to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of the
Company to first negotiate with our board of directors. We believe that the benefits of increased protection of our ability to negotiate with the proponent of an unfriendly or unsolicited proposal to acquire or restructure us outweigh the disadvantages of discouraging takeover or acquisition proposals because, among other things, negotiation of these proposals could result in an improvement of their terms.
Delaware Anti-Takeover Statute. We are subject to Section 203 of the DGCL, an anti-takeover statute. In general, Section 203 of the DGCL prohibits a publicly held Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with an “interested stockholder” for a period of three years following the time the person became an interested stockholder, unless (i) prior to such time, the board of directors of such corporation approved either the business combination or the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder; (ii) upon consummation of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of such corporation 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) the voting stock owned by directors who are also officers or held in employee benefit plans in which the employees do not have a confidential right to tender or vote stock held by the plan); or (iii) on or subsequent to such time the business combination is approved by the board of directors of such corporation and authorized at a meeting of stockholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting stock of such corporation not owned by the interested stockholder. Generally, a “business combination” includes a merger, asset or stock sale, or other transaction resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. 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. The existence of this provision would be expected to have an anti-takeover effect with respect to transactions not approved in advance by our board of directors, including discouraging attempts that might result in a premium over the market price for the shares of common stock held by our stockholders.
Proxy Access. Our Bylaws permit a stockholder, or a group of up to 20 stockholders, owning 3% or more of our outstanding common stock continuously for at least three years to nominate and include in the Corporation’s proxy materials directors constituting up to 20% of our board of directors, provided that the nominating stockholder(s) and the nominee(s) satisfy the procedural and eligibility requirements specified in our Bylaws.
Removal of Directors. Our Charter provides that our stockholders may remove our directors at any time with or without cause, by an affirmative vote of holders of at least the majority of our voting stock then outstanding.
Amendments to Certificate of Incorporation. Our Charter provides that the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 80% of our voting stock then outstanding is required to amend certain provisions relating to the number, term, classification, removal and filling of vacancies with respect to our board of directors, the advance notice to be given for nominations for elections of directors, the calling of special meetings of stockholders, cumulative voting, stockholder action by written consent, the ability to amend the Bylaws, the elimination of liability of directors to the extent permitted by Delaware law, director and officer indemnification and any provision relating to the amendment of any of these provisions.
Amendments to Bylaws. Our Charter and Bylaws provide that our Bylaws may be amended by our board of directors or by the affirmative vote of holders of at least 80% of our voting stock then outstanding.
Size of Board and Vacancies. Our Charter provides that the number of directors on our board of directors will be fixed exclusively by our board of directors. Any vacancies created in our board of directors resulting from any increase in the authorized number of directors or the death, resignation, retirement, disqualification, removal from office or other cause will be filled exclusively by a majority of the directors then in office, even if less than a quorum is present, or by a sole remaining director. Any director appointed to fill a vacancy, other than one arising from an increase in the authorized number of directors, will hold office until the earlier of the expiration of the term of office of the director whom he or she has replaced, a successor is duly elected and qualified or the earlier of such director’s death, resignation or removal. Any director appointed to fill a newly created directorship resulting from an increase in the authorized number of directors will hold office until the earlier of the next subsequent annual meeting
of stockholders, a successor is duly elected and qualified or the earlier of such director’s death, resignation or removal.
Special Stockholder Meetings. Our Charter provides that special meetings of stockholders may be called by our secretary upon a written request delivered to the secretary by (a) our board of directors pursuant to a resolution adopted by a majority of the entire board of directors, (b) the chairman of the board of directors, (c) our chief executive officer, and (d) stockholders of record who own at least twenty-five percent of the outstanding shares of common stock and who have complied in full with the requirements set forth in the Bylaws.
Stockholder Action by Written Consent. Our Charter expressly eliminates the right of our stockholders to act by written consent. Stockholder action must take place at the annual or a special meeting of our stockholders.
Requirements for Advance Notification of Stockholder Nominations and Proposals. Our Charter mandates that stockholder nominations for the election of directors will be given in accordance with our Bylaws. Our Bylaws establish advance notice procedures with respect to stockholder proposals and nomination of candidates for election as directors as well as minimum qualification requirements for stockholders making the proposals or nominations. Additionally, our Bylaws require that candidates for election as director disclose their qualifications and make certain representations.
No Cumulative Voting. The DGCL provides that stockholders are denied the right to cumulate votes in the election of directors unless the company’s certificate of incorporation provides otherwise. Our Charter does not provide for cumulative voting.
Undesignated Preferred Stock. The authority that our board of directors possesses to issue preferred stock could potentially be used to discourage attempts by third parties to obtain control of the Company through a merger, tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise by making such attempts more difficult or more costly. Our board of directors may be able to issue preferred stock with voting rights or conversion rights that, if exercised, could adversely affect the voting power of the holders of common stock.
Limitations on Liability, Indemnification of Officers and Directors and Insurance
The DGCL authorizes corporations to limit or eliminate the personal liability of directors to corporations and their stockholders for monetary damages for breaches of directors’ fiduciary duties as directors, and our Charter includes such an exculpation provision. Our Charter and Bylaws include provisions that indemnify, to the fullest extent allowable under the DGCL, the personal liability of directors or officers for monetary damages for actions taken as a director or officer of the Company, or for serving at our request as a director or officer or another position at another corporation or enterprise, as the case may be. Our Charter and Bylaws also provide that we must indemnify and advance reasonable expenses to our directors and, subject to certain exceptions, officers, subject to our receipt of an undertaking from the indemnified party as may be required under the DGCL. Our Charter expressly authorizes us to carry directors’ and officers’ insurance to protect the Company, our directors, officers and certain employees for some liabilities.
The limitation of liability and indemnification provisions that are in our Charter and Bylaws may discourage stockholders from bringing a lawsuit against directors for breach of their fiduciary duty. These provisions may also have the effect of reducing the likelihood of derivative litigation against our directors and officers, even though such an action, if successful, might otherwise benefit the Company and its stockholders. However, these provisions do not limit or eliminate our rights, or those of any stockholder, to seek non-monetary relief such as injunction or rescission in the event of a breach of a director’s duty of care. The provisions do not alter the liability of directors under the federal securities laws. In addition, a stockholder’s investment may be adversely affected to the extent that, in a class action or direct suit, we pay the costs of settlement and damage awards against directors and officers pursuant to these indemnification provisions.
Unless we otherwise consents in writing, the sole and exclusive forum for (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of the Company, (2) any action asserting a claim of breach of fiduciary duty owed by any director or officer of the Company to the Company or our stockholders, (3) any action asserting a claim against the Company or any director or officer of the Company arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL, or (4) any action asserting a claim governed by the internal affairs doctrine shall be the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware or, if the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware does not have jurisdiction, another state or federal court located within the State of Delaware.
Authorized but Unissued Shares
Our authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock are available for future issuance without stockholder approval. We may use additional shares for a variety of purposes, including future public offerings to raise additional capital, to fund acquisitions and as employee compensation. The existence of authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock could render more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of the Company by means of a proxy contest, tender offer, merger or otherwise.