Description of Securities
EX-4.4 2 hcft10-k20191231ex4x4.htm EX-4.4 Document
DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES
The following is a summary of (1) the rights and preferences of our common stock and preferred stock and (2) the related provisions of our charter and bylaws. Copies of our charters and bylaws are filed as exhibits to our Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this exhibit is a part.
Our charter provides that we may issue up to 450,000,000 shares of common stock and 50,000,000 shares of preferred stock, both having par value $0.01 per share. As of March 12, 2020, we have 24,938,883 shares of common stock issued and outstanding, and 0 shares of preferred stock issued and outstanding.
Subject to the provisions of our charter restricting the transfer and ownership of shares of our stock and except as may otherwise be specified in the terms of any class or series of stock, each outstanding share of common stock entitles the holder to one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders, including the election of directors, and, except as provided with respect to any other class or series of shares of our stock, the holders of our common stock possess exclusive voting power. There is no cumulative voting in the election of directors, which means that the holders of a plurality of the outstanding shares of common stock, voting as a single class, may elect all of the directors then standing for election.
In accordance with Maryland law, a Maryland corporation generally cannot dissolve, amend its charter, merge, sell all or substantially all of its assets, engage in a share exchange or engage in similar transactions outside the ordinary course of business unless declared advisable by the board of directors and approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, unless a lesser percentage (but not less than a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter) is set forth in the corporation's charter. Our charter provides that such matters may be approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, except for amendments to our charter relating to restrictions on transfer and ownership of shares, removal of directors or the voting requirement relating to these actions which require the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. This may discourage others from entering into such transactions with us and increase the difficulty of consummating any such transaction.
Maryland law permits the merger of a 90% or more owned subsidiary with or into its parent without stockholder approval provided (1) the charter of the successor is not amended other than in certain minor respects (such as the name of the successor) and (2) the contract rights of any stock of the successor issued in the merger in exchange for stock of the other corporation are identical to the contract rights of the stock for which it is exchanged. Also, because Maryland law may not require the stockholders of a parent corporation to approve a merger or sale of all or substantially all of the assets of a subsidiary entity, our subsidiaries may be able to merge or sell all or substantially all of their assets without a vote of our stockholders.
Dividends, liquidation and other rights
All issued and outstanding shares of our common stock are duly authorized, fully paid and non-assessable. Holders of shares of our common stock are entitled to receive dividends or other distributions if and when authorized by our board of directors and declared by us out of assets legally available for the payment of dividends or other distributions. They also are entitled to share ratably in our assets legally available for distribution to our stockholders in the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, after payment of or adequate provision for all of our known debts and liabilities. These rights are subject to the preferential rights of any other class or series of our stock and to the provisions of our charter regarding restrictions on transfer and ownership of our stock.
Holders of shares of our common stock generally have no preference, conversion, exchange, sinking fund or redemption rights and have no preemptive rights to subscribe for any of our securities. As permitted by Maryland law, our charter provides that our stockholders will not be entitled to appraisal rights unless the board of directors determines that such rights will apply to certain transactions. Subject to the restrictions on transfer of capital stock contained in our charter, all shares of our common stock have equal dividend, liquidation and other rights.
Our charter provides that our board of directors has the authority, without action by the stockholders, to designate and issue up to 50,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more classes or series and to fix the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions of each class or series of preferred stock, including dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, terms of redemption, liquidation preferences and the number of shares constituting any class or series, which may be greater than the rights of the holders of the common stock. Any issuance of shares of preferred stock could adversely affect the voting power of holders of common stock, and the likelihood that the holders will receive dividend payments and payments upon liquidation could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control.
Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer of Our Capital Stock
In order to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code for each taxable year, our shares of capital stock must be beneficially owned by 100 or more persons during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months or during a proportionate part of a shorter taxable year. Also, during the second half of each taxable year no more than 50% of the value of our outstanding shares of capital stock may be owned, directly or constructively, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code to include certain entities).
Our charter, subject to certain exceptions, contains restrictions on the number of shares of our capital stock that a person may own and may prohibit certain entities from owning our shares. Our charter provides that (subject to certain exceptions described below) no person may beneficially or constructively own (as defined in our charter), or be deemed to own by virtue of the attribution provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, more than 9.8% in value or in number, whichever is more restrictive, of our outstanding shares of common or capital stock, or the 9.8% ownership limit. Pursuant to our charter, our board of directors has the power to increase or decrease the percentage of common or capital stock that a person may beneficially or constructively own. However, any decreased stock ownership limit will not apply to any person whose percentage ownership of our common or capital stock, as the case may be, is in excess of such decreased stock ownership limit until that person's percentage ownership of our common or capital stock, as the case may be, equals or falls below the decreased stock ownership limit. Until such a person's percentage ownership of our common or capital stock, as the case may be, falls below such decreased stock ownership limit, any further acquisition of common stock will be in violation of the decreased stock ownership limit.
Our charter also prohibits any person from beneficially or constructively owning shares of our capital stock that would result in our being "closely held" under Section 856(h) of the Internal Revenue Code or otherwise cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT and from transferring shares of our capital stock if the transfer would result in our capital stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons. Any person who acquires or attempts or intends to acquire beneficial or constructive ownership of shares of our capital stock that may violate any of the foregoing restrictions on transferability and ownership, or who is the intended transferee of shares of our capital stock that are transferred to the trust (as described below), is required to give written notice immediately to us and provide us (or, in the case of such a proposal or attempted transaction, give at least 15 days prior written notice) with such other information as we may request in order to determine the effect of such transfer on our qualification as a REIT. The foregoing restrictions on transferability and ownership will not apply if our board of directors determines that it is no longer in our best interests to attempt to qualify, or to continue to qualify, as a REIT.
Our board of directors, in its sole discretion, may exempt a person from the 9.8% ownership limit. The person seeking an exemption must provide to our board of directors such representations and undertakings and satisfy such conditions, in each case as our board of directors may deem reasonably necessary to conclude that granting the exemption will not cause us to lose our qualification as a REIT. Our board of directors may also require a ruling from the IRS or an opinion of counsel in order to determine or ensure our qualification as a REIT in the context of granting such exemptions. Our board of directors has granted XL Investments an exemption from the 9.8% ownership limit subject to a limit of 98.5%.
Any purported transfer of our capital stock which, if effective, would result in a violation of the foregoing restrictions (other than a transfer that would result in our capital stock being owned by fewer than 100 persons, which shall be void ab initio) will cause the number of shares causing the violation (rounded up to the nearest whole share) to be automatically transferred to a trust for the exclusive benefit of one or more charitable beneficiaries, and the proposed transferee will not acquire any rights in such shares. The automatic transfer will be deemed to be effective as of the close of business on the business day (as defined in our charter) prior to the date of the transfer. If, for any reason, the transfer to the trust does not occur or would not prevent a violation of the restrictions on ownership contained in our charter, our charter provides that the purported transfer will be void ab initio. Shares of our capital stock held in the trust will be issued and outstanding shares. The proposed transferee will not benefit economically from ownership of any shares of our capital stock held in the trust, will have no rights to dividends and no rights to vote or other rights attributable to the shares of capital stock held in the trust. The trustee of the trust will have all voting rights and rights to dividends or other distributions with respect to shares held in the trust. These rights will be exercised for the exclusive benefit of the charitable beneficiary. Any dividend or other distribution paid prior to our discovery that shares of capital stock have been transferred to the trust will be paid by the recipient to the trustee upon demand. Any dividend or other distribution authorized but unpaid will be paid when due to the trustee. Any dividend or distribution paid to the trustee will be held in trust for the charitable beneficiary. Subject to Maryland law, the trustee will have the authority to rescind as void any vote cast by the proposed transferee prior to our discovery that the shares have been transferred to the trust and to recast the vote in accordance with the desires of the trustee acting for the benefit of the charitable beneficiary. However, if we have already taken irreversible corporate action, then the trustee will not have the authority to rescind and recast the vote.
Within 20 days of receiving notice from us that shares of our capital stock have been transferred to the trust, the trustee will sell the shares to a person designated by the trustee, whose ownership of the shares will not violate the above ownership limitations. Upon such sale, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares sold will terminate and the trustee will distribute the net proceeds of the sale to the proposed transferee and to the charitable beneficiary as follows: the proposed transferee will receive the lesser of (1) the price paid by the proposed transferee for the shares or, if the proposed transferee did not give value for the shares in connection with the event causing the shares to be held in the trust (e.g., a gift, devise or other similar transaction), the market price (as defined in our charter) of the shares on the day of the event causing the shares to be held in the trust and (2) the price received by the trustee (net of any commissions and other expenses of sale) from the sale or other disposition of the shares. Any net sale proceeds in excess of the amount payable to the proposed transferee will be paid immediately to the charitable beneficiary. If, prior to our discovery that shares of our capital stock have been transferred to the trust, the shares are sold by the proposed transferee, then (1) the shares shall be deemed to have been sold on behalf of the trust and (2) to the extent that the proposed transferee received an amount for the shares that exceeds the amount the proposed transferee was entitled to receive, the excess shall be paid to the trustee upon demand.
In addition, shares of our capital stock held in the trust will be deemed to have been offered for sale to us, or our designee, at a price per share equal to the lesser of the price per share in the transaction that resulted in the transfer to the trust (or, in the case of a devise or gift, the market price at the time of the devise or gift) and the market price on the date we, or our designee, accept the offer. We will have the right to accept the offer until the trustee has sold the shares. Upon a sale to us, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares sold will terminate and the trustee will distribute the net proceeds of the sale to the proposed transferee.
Every owner of 5% or more (or such lower percentage as required by the Internal Revenue Code or the regulations promulgated thereunder) of the outstanding shares of capital stock, including shares of our common stock, within 30 days after the end of each
taxable year, will be required to give written notice to us stating the name and address of such owner, the number of shares of each class and series of shares of our capital stock that the owner beneficially owns and a description of the manner in which the shares are held. Each owner shall provide to us such additional information as we may request to determine the effect, if any, of the beneficial ownership on our qualification as a REIT and to ensure compliance with the ownership limitations. In addition, each such owner and beneficial or constructive owners shall, upon demand, be required to provide to us such information as we may request, in good faith, to determine our qualification as a REIT and to comply with the requirements of any taxing authority or governmental authority or to determine such compliance.
These ownership limitations could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium price for our common stock or might otherwise be in the best interests of our stockholders.