All Business Industries
Description of Guidewire Software, Inc.s Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
EX-4.5 2 gwre-7312021x10kex45.htm EX-4.5 Document
DESCRIPTION OF THE COMPANY’S SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934, AS AMENDED
As of July 31, 2021, Guidewire Software, Inc. (“Guidewire,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our”) had one class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"): our common stock.
DESCRIPTION OF COMMON STOCK
Our authorized capital stock consists of 500,000,000 shares of common stock, $0.0001 par value, and 25,000,000 shares of undesignated preferred stock, $0.0001 par value. The following description of our common stock does not purport to be complete and is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, each of which is incorporated by reference as an exhibit to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended July 31, 2021.
The holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote per share on all matters to be voted on by the stockholders. Subject to preferences that may be applicable to any outstanding shares of preferred stock, holders of common stock are entitled to receive ratably such dividends as may be declared by the board of directors out of funds legally available therefore. In the event we liquidate, dissolve or wind up, holders of common stock are entitled to share ratably in all assets remaining after payment of liabilities and the liquidation preferences of any outstanding shares of preferred stock. Holders of common stock have no preemptive, conversion or subscription rights. There are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to the common stock. All outstanding shares of common stock are fully paid and nonassessable.
Our common stock is listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “GWRE.”
Preferred Stock – Limitations on Rights of Holders of Common Stock
Our board of directors may, without further action by our stockholders, fix the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions of up to an aggregate of 25,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series and authorize their issuance. These rights, preferences and privileges could include dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, terms of redemption, liquidation preferences and the number of shares constituting any series or the designation of such series, any or all of which may be greater than the rights of our common stock. Any issuance of our preferred stock could adversely affect the voting power of holders of our common stock and the likelihood that such holders would receive dividend payments and payments upon liquidation. In addition, the issuance of preferred stock could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change of control or other corporate action.
The transfer agent for our common stock is Computershare Trust Company, N.A.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Delaware Law and Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws
Certain provisions of Delaware law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws could have the effect of delaying, deferring or discouraging another party from acquiring control of us. These provisions, which are summarized below, may have the effect of discouraging coercive takeover practices
and inadequate takeover bids. These provisions are also designed, in part, to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to first negotiate with our board of directors. We believe that the benefits of increased protection of our potential ability to negotiate with an unfriendly or unsolicited acquirer outweigh the disadvantages of discouraging a proposal to acquire us because negotiation of these proposals could result in an improvement of their terms.
Limits on ability of stockholders to call a special meeting. Our amended and restated bylaws provide that special meetings of the stockholders may be called only by a majority of the board of directors then in office. These restrictions may delay the ability of our stockholders to force consideration of a proposal or for holders controlling a majority of our capital stock to take any action, including the removal 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 relating to the nomination of candidates for election as directors or new business to be brought before meetings of our stockholders. These procedures provide that notice of stockholder proposals must be timely given in writing to our corporate secretary prior to the meeting at which the action is to be taken. Generally, to be timely, notice must be received at our principal executive office not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days prior to the first anniversary date of the annual meeting the preceding year. As a result, our amended and restated bylaws may have the effect of precluding the conduct of certain business at a meeting if the proper procedures are not followed. These provisions may also discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of our company.
No cumulative voting. The Delaware General Corporation Law provides that stockholders are not entitled to the right to cumulate votes in the election of directors unless our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides otherwise. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws do not expressly provide for cumulative voting.
Board Composition and Filling Vacancies. Prior to December 17, 2019, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provided for the division of our board of directors into three classes serving staggered three-year terms, with one class being elected each year. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation currently in effect provides for a gradual declassification of our board of directors such that each director shall be elected to hold office for a one-year term expiring at the next annual meeting of stockholders, but no terms in effect prior to the filing of our amended and restated certificate on December 17, 2019 were shortened. Beginning with the 2021 annual meeting, the entire board of directors will stand for election annually for one-year terms. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation also provides that directors may be removed only for cause. Furthermore, any vacancy on our board of directors, however occurring, including a vacancy resulting from an increase in the size of our board, may only be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of our directors then in office even if less than a quorum. The limitations on removal of directors and treatment of vacancies have the effect of making it more difficult for stockholders to change the composition of our board of directors.
No Written Consent of Stockholders. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that all stockholder actions are required to be taken by a vote of the stockholders at an annual or special meeting, and that stockholders may not take any action by written consent in lieu of a meeting. This limit may lengthen the amount of time required to take stockholder actions and would prevent the amendment of our amended and restated bylaws or removal of directors by our stockholders without holding a meeting of stockholders.
Amendment to Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws. Any amendment of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation must first be approved by a majority of our board of directors, and if required by law or our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, must thereafter be approved by a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment and a majority of the outstanding shares of each class entitled to vote thereon as a class, except that the amendment of the provisions relating to stockholder action, board composition, limitation of liability and the amendment of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation must be approved by not less than 66 2/3% of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment, and not less than 66 2/3% of the outstanding shares of each class entitled to vote thereon as a class. Our amended and restated bylaws may be amended by the affirmative vote of a majority of the directors then in office, subject to any limitations set forth in the bylaws; and
may also be amended by the affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment.
Undesignated Preferred Stock. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides for 25,000,000 authorized shares of preferred stock. The existence of authorized but unissued shares of preferred stock may enable our board of directors to render more difficult or to discourage an attempt to obtain control of us by means of a merger, tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise. For example, if in the due exercise of its fiduciary obligations, our board of directors were to determine that a takeover proposal is not in the best interests of our stockholders, our board of directors could cause shares of preferred stock to be issued without stockholder approval in one or more private offerings or other transactions that might dilute the voting or other rights of the proposed acquirer or insurgent stockholder or stockholder group. In this regard, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation grants our board of directors broad power to establish the rights and preferences of authorized and unissued shares of preferred stock. The issuance of shares of preferred stock could decrease the amount of earnings and assets available for distribution to holders of shares of common stock. The issuance may also adversely affect the rights and powers, including voting rights, of these holders and may have the effect of delaying, deterring or preventing a change in control of us.
Exclusive Forum. Our amended and restated bylaws provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for any state law claim for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf; (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers and employees to us or our stockholders; (iii) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws; or (iv) any action asserting a claim that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine (the “Delaware Forum Provision”). The Delaware Forum Provision will not apply to any causes of action arising under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) or the Exchange Act. Further, our amended and restated bylaws provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California will be the sole and exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act (the “Federal Forum Provision”). In addition, our amended and restated bylaws provide that any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our capital stock is deemed to have notice of and consented to the Delaware Forum Provision and the Federal Forum Provision; provided, however, that stockholders cannot and will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder. The Delaware Forum Provision and the Federal Forum Provision may impose additional costs on stockholders, may limit our stockholders’ ability to bring a claim in a forum they find favorable, and the designated courts may reach different judgments or results than other courts. In addition, there is uncertainty as to whether the Federal Forum Provision for Securities Act claims will be enforced, which may impose additional costs on us and our stockholders.
Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law
We are subject to the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. In general, Section 203 prohibits a publicly held Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with an “interested stockholder” for a three-year period following the time that this stockholder becomes an interested stockholder, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. Under Section 203, a business combination between a corporation and an interested stockholder is prohibited unless it satisfies one of the following conditions:
|•||before the stockholder became interested, the board of directors of the corporation approved either the business combination or the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder;|
|•||upon consummation of the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of the corporation outstanding at the time the transaction commenced, excluding for purposes of determining the voting stock outstanding, shares owned by persons who are directors and also officers, and employee stock plans, in some instances, but not the outstanding voting stock owned by the interested stockholder; or|
|•||at or after the time the stockholder became interested, the business combination was approved by the board of directors of the corporation and authorized at an annual or special meeting of the stockholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting stock which is not owned by the interested stockholder.|
Section 203 defines a business combination to include:
|•||any merger or consolidation involving the corporation and the interested stockholder;|
|•||any sale, transfer, lease, pledge or other disposition involving the interested stockholder of 10% or more of the assets of the corporation;|
|•||subject to exceptions, any transaction that results in the issuance of transfer by the corporation of any stock of the corporation to the interested stockholder;|
|•||subject to exceptions, any transaction involving the corporation that has the effect of increasing the proportionate share of the stock of any class or series of the corporation beneficially owned by the interested stockholder; and|
|•||the receipt by the interested stockholder of the benefit of any loans, advances, guarantees, pledges or other financial benefits provided by or through the corporation.|
In general, Section 203 defines an interested stockholder as any entity or person beneficially owning 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation and any entity or person affiliated with or controlling or controlled by the entity or person.