Description of the Common Stock, $0.01 par value per share, of Jernigan Capital, Inc
DESCRIPTION OF COMMON STOCK OF JERNIGAN CAPITAL, INC.
The following summary of the material terms of our common stock does not purport to be complete. For a complete description, we refer you to the Maryland General Corporation Law, or the MGCL, and to our Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation as amended and supplemented, or our charter, and our Amended and Restated Bylaws, or our bylaws. For a more complete understanding of our common stock, we encourage you to read our charter and bylaws, each of which is incorporated by reference to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019. References below to “the Company,” “we,” “us,” or “our” refer to Jernigan Capital, Inc.
We are authorized to issue up to 500,000,000 shares of our common stock, $0.01 par value per share. Our charter authorizes our board of directors to amend our charter to increase or decrease the aggregate number of authorized shares of stock or the number of authorized shares of stock of any class or series without stockholder approval. Under Maryland law, stockholders generally are not liable for a corporation’s debts or obligations solely as a result of their status as stockholders.
Subject to the preferential rights of holders of any other class or series of stock, including the rights of holders of our Series A Preferred Stock, $0.01 par value per share, and 7.00% Series B cumulative redeemable perpetual preferred stock, $0.01 par value per share, and to the provisions of our charter regarding restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock, holders of our common stock:
have the right to receive ratably any distributions from funds legally available therefor, when, as and if authorized by our board of directors and declared by us; and
are entitled to share ratably in the assets of our company legally available for distribution to the holders of our common stock in the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up of our affairs.
There are generally no redemption, sinking fund, conversion, preemptive or appraisal rights with respect to our common stock.
Subject to the provisions of our charter regarding restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock and except as may otherwise be specified in the terms of any class or series of stock, each outstanding share of our 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 may be provided with respect to any other class or series of stock, the holders of such shares will possess the exclusive voting power. There is no cumulative voting in the election of our directors, and directors will be elected by a majority of the votes cast in the election of directors. Consequently, a director will be elected to our board of directors if the votes cast for such nominee’s election exceeds the votes withheld from such nominee’s election; provided that if the election is contested, directors shall be elected by a plurality of the votes cast. Any director nominee not elected by the foregoing standard and who is an incumbent director shall promptly tender his or her resignation to our board of directors for consideration. The nominating and corporate governance committee of our board of directors will then make a recommendation to our board of directors as to whether to accept or reject the tendered resignation, or whether other action is recommended. Our board of directors will act on the tendered resignation within 90 days following the certification of the stockholder vote and will promptly disclose its decision and rationale as to whether to accept or reject the resignation.
Power to Reclassify and Issue Stock
Our board of directors may reclassify any unissued shares of common stock into other classes or series of stock, including one or more classes or series of stock that have priority over our common stock with respect to voting rights or distributions or upon liquidation, and authorize us to issue the newly classified shares. Prior to the issuance of shares of each class or series, our board of directors is required by the MGCL and our charter to set, subject to the provisions of our charter regarding the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock, the preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends or other distributions,
qualifications or terms or conditions of redemption for each such class or series. These actions can be taken without stockholder approval, unless stockholder approval is required by applicable law, the terms of any other class or series of our stock or the rules of any stock exchange or automated quotation system on which our stock may be then listed or quoted.
Power to Increase Authorized Stock and Issue Additional Shares of our Common Stock
Our charter authorizes our board of directors, with the approval of a majority of the entire board of directors, to amend our charter to increase or decrease the aggregate number of authorized shares of stock or the number of authorized shares of stock of any class or series without stockholder approval. The additional classes or series, as well as the additional shares of stock, will be available for future issuance without further action by our stockholders, unless such action is required by applicable law, the terms of any other class or series of stock or the rules of any stock exchange or automated quotation system on which our securities may be listed or traded.
Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer
In order to qualify as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”), as amended, our shares of stock must be beneficially owned by 100 or more persons during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months (other than the first year for which an election to be a REIT has been made) or during a proportionate part of a shorter taxable year. Also, not more than 50% of the value of our outstanding shares of capital stock may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Code to include certain entities) during the last half of a taxable year (other than the first year for which an election to be a REIT has been made).
Our charter, subject to certain exceptions, contains restrictions on the number of our shares of stock that a person may own. Our charter provides that, subject to certain exceptions, no person may beneficially or constructively own more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our capital stock, or the ownership limit.
Our charter also prohibits any person from:
beneficially owning shares of our capital stock to the extent that such beneficial ownership would result in our being “closely held” within the meaning of Section 856(h) of the Code (without regard to whether the ownership interest is held during the last half of the taxable year);
transferring shares of our capital stock to the extent that such transfer would result in our shares of capital stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons (determined under the principles of Section 856(a)(5) of the Code);
beneficially or constructively owning shares of our capital stock to the extent such beneficial or constructive ownership would cause us to constructively own ten percent or more of the ownership interests in a tenant (other than a taxable REIT subsidiary) of our real property within the meaning of Section 856(d)(2)(B) of the Code; or
beneficially or constructively owning or transferring shares of our capital stock if such beneficial or constructive ownership or transfer would otherwise cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT under the Code.
Our board of directors, in its sole discretion, may prospectively or retroactively exempt a person from certain of the limits described above and may establish or increase an excepted holder percentage limit for that person. The person seeking an exemption must provide to our board of directors any representations, covenants and undertakings that our board of directors may deem appropriate in order to conclude that granting the exemption will not cause us to lose our status as a REIT. Our board of directors may not grant an exemption to any person if that exemption would result in our failing to qualify as a REIT. Our board of directors may require a ruling from the IRS or an opinion of counsel, in either case in form and substance satisfactory to our board of directors, in its sole discretion, in order to determine or ensure our status as a REIT.
Notwithstanding the receipt of any ruling or opinion, our board of directors may impose such guidelines or restrictions as it deems appropriate in connection with granting such exemption. In connection with granting a waiver of the ownership limit or creating an exempted holder limit or at any other time, our board of directors from time to time may increase or decrease the ownership limit, subject to certain exceptions.
Any attempted transfer of shares of our common stock which, if effective, would violate any of the restrictions described above will result in the number of shares of our common stock 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, except that any transfer that results in the violation of the restriction relating to shares of our common stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons will be null and void. In either case, the proposed transferee will not acquire any rights in those shares. The automatic transfer will be deemed to be effective as of the close of business on the business day prior to the date of the transfer. If, for any reason, the transfer to the trust would not be effective to prevent the violation of the foregoing restrictions, our articles of incorporation provides that the purported transfer in violation of the restrictions will be void. Shares of our common stock held in the trust will be issued and outstanding shares. The proposed transferee will not benefit economically from ownership of any shares held in the trust, will have no rights to dividends or other distributions and will have no rights to vote or other rights attributable to the shares 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 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 other distribution paid to the trustee will be held in trust for the charitable beneficiary. Subject to Maryland law, the trustee will have the authority (i) 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 (ii) 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 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 and transfer limitations. Upon the sale, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares sold will terminate and the trustee will distribute the net proceeds from the sale to the proposed transferee and to the charitable beneficiary as follows. The proposed transferee will receive the lesser of (i) 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 (ii) the price per share received by the trustee (net of any commission and other expenses of sale) from the sale or other disposition of the shares. The trustee may reduce the amount payable to the proposed transferee by the amount of dividends or other distributions paid to the proposed transferee and owed by the proposed transferee to the trustee. 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 our shares of our stock have been transferred to the trust, the shares are sold by the proposed transferee, then (i) the shares shall be deemed to have been sold on behalf of the trust and (ii) to the extent that the proposed transferee received an amount for the shares that exceeds the amount he or she was entitled to receive, the excess shall be paid to the trustee upon demand.
In addition, shares of our 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 (i) 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 (ii) the market price on the date we, or our designee, accept the offer, which we may reduce by the amount of dividends and distributions paid to the proposed transferee and owed by the proposed transferee to the trustee. 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 from the sale to the proposed transferee.
If a transfer to a charitable trust, as described above, would be ineffective for any reason to prevent a violation of a restriction, the transfer that would have resulted in a violation will be null and void, and the proposed
transferee shall acquire no rights in those shares.
Any certificate representing shares of our common stock, and any notices delivered in lieu of certificates with respect to the issuance or transfer of uncertificated shares, will bear a legend referring to the restrictions described above.
Any person who acquires or attempts or intends to acquire beneficial or constructive ownership of shares of our common stock that will or may violate any of the foregoing restrictions on transferability and ownership, or any person who would have owned shares of our common stock that resulted in a transfer of shares to a charitable trust, is required to give written notice immediately to us, or in the case of a proposed or attempted transaction, to give at least 15 days’ prior written notice, and provide us with such other information as we may request in order to determine the effect of the transfer on our status 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.
Every owner of more than 5% (or any lower percentage as required by the Code or the regulations promulgated thereunder) in number or value of the outstanding shares of our common stock, within 30 days after the end of each taxable year, is required to give us written notice, stating his or her name and address, the number of shares of each class and series of shares of our common stock that he or she beneficially owns and a description of the manner in which the shares are held. Each of these owners must provide us with additional information that we may request in order to determine the effect, if any, of his or her beneficial ownership on our status as a REIT and to ensure compliance with the ownership limits. In addition, each stockholder will upon demand be required to provide us with information that we may request in good faith in order to determine our status as a REIT and to comply with the requirements of any taxing authority or governmental authority or to determine our compliance.
Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and Our Charter and Bylaws
The statute permits various exemptions from its provisions, including business combinations that are exempted by the board of directors prior to the time that the interested stockholder became an interested stockholder. As permitted by the MGCL, our board of directors has adopted a resolution exempting any business combination between us and any other person from the provisions of this statute, provided that the business combination is first approved by our board of directors (including a majority of directors who are not affiliates or associates of such persons). However, our board of directors may repeal or modify this resolution at any time in the future, in which case the applicable provisions of this statute will become applicable to business combinations between us and interested stockholders.
Control Share Acquisitions
The MGCL provides that holders of “control shares” of a Maryland corporation acquired in a “control share acquisition” have no voting rights with respect to those shares except to the extent approved by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by stockholders entitled to vote generally in the election of directors, excluding votes cast by (1) the person who makes or proposes to make a control share acquisition, (2) an officer of the corporation or (3) an employee of the corporation who is also a director of the corporation. “Control shares” are voting shares of stock which, if aggregated with all other such shares of stock previously acquired by the acquirer or in respect of which the acquirer is able to exercise or direct the exercise of voting power (except solely by virtue of a revocable proxy), would entitle the acquirer to exercise voting power in electing directors within one of the following ranges of voting power: (1) one-tenth or more but less than one-third, (2) one-third or more but less than a majority or (3) a majority or more of all voting power. Control shares do not include shares the acquiring person is then entitled to vote as a result of having previously obtained stockholder approval. A “control share acquisition” means the acquisition of issued and outstanding control shares, subject to certain exceptions.
A person who has made or proposes to make a control share acquisition, upon satisfaction of certain conditions (including an undertaking to pay expenses), may compel the board of directors to call a special meeting of stockholders to be held within 50 days of demand to consider the voting rights of the shares. If no request for a meeting is made, the corporation may itself present the question at any stockholders meeting.
If voting rights are not approved at the meeting or if the acquiring person does not deliver an acquiring person statement as required by the statute, then, subject to certain conditions and limitations, the corporation may redeem any or all of the control shares (except those for which voting rights have previously been approved) for fair value determined, without regard to the absence of voting rights for the control shares, as of the date of the last control share acquisition by the acquirer or of any meeting of stockholders at which the voting rights of such shares are considered and not approved. If voting rights for control shares are approved at a stockholders meeting and the acquirer becomes entitled to vote a majority of the shares entitled to vote, all other stockholders may exercise appraisal rights. The fair value of the shares as determined for purposes of such appraisal rights may not be less than the highest price per share paid by the acquirer in the control share acquisition.
The control share acquisition statute does not apply to, among other things, (1) shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or share exchange if the corporation is a party to the transaction or (2) acquisitions approved or exempted by the charter or bylaws of the corporation.
Our bylaws contain a provision exempting from the control share acquisition statute any acquisition by any person of shares of our stock.
Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “JCAP.”
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company.