Description of H&E Equipment Services, Inc.s Common Stock
Description of H&E Equipment Services, Inc.’s Common Stock
The following description of our common stock is a summary and does not purport to be complete. It is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation (the “certificate of incorporation”) and our Amended and Restated Bylaws (the “bylaws”), each of which are incorporated by reference as an exhibit to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this Exhibit 4.8 is a part. We encourage you to read our certificate of incorporation, our bylaws and the applicable provisions of Delaware General Corporation Law for additional information.
We are authorized to issue up to 175,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, and 25,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share.
The holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote for each share held of record on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders. Our stockholders do not have cumulative voting rights in the election of directors.
Subject to preferences that may be granted to any outstanding shares of preferred stock, holders of our common stock are entitled to receive ratably those dividends as may be declared by our board of directors out of funds legally available therefore, as well as any other distributions made to our stockholders.
Rights Upon Liquidation
In the event of our liquidation, dissolution, or winding up, holders of our common stock are entitled to share ratably in all of our assets remaining after we pay our liabilities and distribute the liquidation preference to holders of our outstanding shares of preferred stock.
Preemptive or Conversion Rights
Holders of our common stock have no preemptive or other subscription or conversion rights. There are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to our common stock.
Our board of directors has the authority, without further action by our stockholders, to issue our preferred stock in one or more series and to fix the rights, preferences, privileges, and restrictions thereof. These rights, preferences, and privileges include dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, terms of redemption, liquidation preferences, sinking fund terms, 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. The issuance of our preferred stock could adversely affect the voting power of our holders of common stock and the likelihood that such holders will receive dividend payments and payments upon liquidation. In addition, the issuance of our preferred stock could have the effect of delaying, deferring, or preventing a change in our control.
In connection with certain transactions involving us and our predecessors (the “Prior Transactions”), a predecessor company (“H&E Holdings”) entered into a registration rights agreement with affiliates of Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co., Inc. (“BRS”), certain members of management and certain other entities. In connection with our initial public offering in February 2006, the parties amended and restated the registration rights agreement to provide that the registration rights agreement thereafter applies to our common stock held by the parties.
In connection with the Prior Transactions, H&E Holdings entered into an investor rights agreement with affiliates of BRS, Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation and other members of H&E Holdings (the “Investors”). In connection with our initial public offering in February 2006, the parties amended and restated the investor rights agreement to, among other things, provide that the investor rights agreement thereafter applies to our common stock held by the parties. Pursuant to the terms of the restated investor rights agreement, subject to certain conditions, Investors holding 33% or more of the equity interests issued to the Investors on the date of the investor rights agreement (or successor securities) have the right on any two occasions to require us to register all or part of such equity interests under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), at our expense. In addition, the Investors are entitled to request the inclusion of any equity interests subject to the investor rights agreement in any registration statement at our
expense whenever we propose to register any of our equity interests under the Securities Act. In connection with all such registrations, we agreed to indemnify the Investors against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act.
Anti-takeover Effects of Provisions of Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws
Certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws could have anti-takeover effects. These provisions are intended to enhance the likelihood of continuity and stability in the composition of our corporate policies formulated by our board of directors. In addition, these provisions also are intended to ensure that our board of directors will have sufficient time to act in what our board of directors believes to be in the best interests of us and our stockholders. These provisions also are designed to reduce our vulnerability to an unsolicited proposal for our takeover that does not contemplate the acquisition of all of our outstanding shares or an unsolicited proposal for the restructuring or sale of all or part of us. The provisions are also intended to discourage certain tactics that may be used in proxy fights. However, these provisions could delay or frustrate the removal of incumbent directors or the assumption of control of us by the holder of a large block of common stock, and could also discourage or make more difficult a merger, tender offer, or proxy contest, even if such event would be favorable to the interest of our stockholders.
Written Consent of Stockholders. Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws provide that any action required or permitted to be taken by our stockholders must be taken at a duly called meeting of stockholders and not by written consent. Elimination of actions by written consent of stockholders may lengthen the amount of time required to take stockholder actions because actions by written consent are not subject to the minimum notice requirement of a stockholder's meeting. The elimination of actions by written consent of the stockholders may deter hostile takeover attempts. Without the availability of actions by written consent of the stockholders, a holder controlling a majority of our capital stock would not be able to amend our bylaws without holding a stockholders meeting. To hold such a meeting, the holder would have to obtain the consent of a majority of the board of directors, the chairman of the board or the chief executive officer to call a stockholders' meeting and satisfy the applicable notice provisions set forth in our bylaws.
Amendment of the Bylaws. Under Delaware law, the power to adopt, amend or repeal a corporation's bylaws is conferred upon the stockholders. A corporation may, however, in its certificate of incorporation also confer upon the board of directors the power to adopt, amend or repeal its bylaws. Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws grant our board the power to alter, amend and repeal our bylaws, or adopt new bylaws, on the affirmative vote of a majority of the directors then in office. Our stockholders may alter, amend or repeal our bylaws, or adopt new bylaws, but only at a regular or special meeting of stockholders by an affirmative vote of not less than 662/3% in voting power of all outstanding shares of our capital stock entitled to vote generally at an election of directors, voting together as a single class.
Amendment of Certificate of Incorporation. The provisions of our certificate of incorporation that could have anti-takeover effects as described above are subject to amendment, alteration, repeal, or rescission either by (i) our board of directors without the assent or vote of our stockholders or (ii) the affirmative vote of not less than 662/3% in voting power of all outstanding shares of our capital stock entitled to vote generally at an election of directors, voting together as a single class, depending on the subject provision. This requirement makes it more difficult for stockholders to make changes to the provisions in our certificate of incorporation which could have anti-takeover effects by allowing the holders of a minority of the voting securities to prevent the holders of a majority of voting securities from amending these provisions.
Special Meetings of Stockholders. Our bylaws preclude our stockholders from calling special meetings of stockholders or requiring the board of directors or any officer to call such a meeting or from proposing business at such a meeting. Our bylaws provide that only a majority of our board of directors, the chairman of the board, the chief executive officer or the president can call a special meeting of stockholders. Because our stockholders do not have the right to call a special meeting, a stockholder cannot force stockholder consideration of a proposal over the opposition of the board of directors by calling a special meeting of stockholders prior to the time a majority of the board of directors, the chairman of the board, the chief executive officer or the president believes the matter should be considered or until the next annual meeting provided that the requestor met the notice requirements. The restriction on the ability of stockholders to call a special meeting means that a proposal to replace board members also can be delayed until the next annual meeting.
Undesignated Preferred Stock. The authority that our board of directors possess to issue preferred stock could potentially be used to discourage attempts by third parties to obtain control of us 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.
Other Limitations on Stockholder Actions. Advance notice is required for stockholders to nominate directors or to submit proposals for consideration at meetings of stockholders. This provision may have the effect of precluding the conduct of certain business at a meeting if the proper notice is not provided and 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. In addition, the ability of our stockholders to remove directors without cause is precluded. Also, the certificate of incorporation does not permit cumulative voting in the election of directors. Instead, any election of directors will be decided by a plurality of the votes cast (in person or by proxy) by holders of our common stock.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for shares of our common stock is Computershare Trust Company, N.A.
Our common stock is listed on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "HEES."