EX-4.3 2 kbsriiiq42019exhibit43.htm DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT'S SECURITIES Document
DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
As of December 31, 2019, KBS Real Estate Investment Trust III, Inc.’s common stock, $0.01 par value per share, was registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). References in the following discussion to the “Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” mean KBS Real Estate Investment Trust III, Inc., unless the context otherwise requires or otherwise expressly stated, and references to “you” and “your” mean holders of our common stock.
Description of Our Common Stock
The following description of our common stock does not purport to be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to Maryland General Corporation Law and to our charter and bylaws, copies of which are filed as exhibits to the Annual Report on Form 10-K to which this Exhibit 4.3 is a part.
Our charter authorizes the issuance of 1,010,000,000 shares of capital stock, of which 1,000,000,000 shares are designated as common stock with a par value of $0.01 per share and 10,000,000 shares are designated as preferred stock with a par value of $0.01 per share. In addition, our board of directors may amend our charter to increase or decrease the amount of our authorized shares. As of December 31, 2019, we had not issued any shares of preferred stock.
The holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote per share on all matters submitted to a stockholder vote, including the election of our directors. Our charter does not provide for cumulative voting in the election of our directors. Therefore, the holders of a majority of our outstanding shares of common stock can elect our entire board of directors. Unless applicable law requires otherwise, and except as our charter may provide with respect to any series of preferred stock that we may issue in the future, the holders of our common stock will possess exclusive voting power.
Holders of our common stock are entitled to receive such distributions as declared from time to time by our board of directors out of legally available funds, subject to any preferential rights of any preferred stock that we issue in the future. In any liquidation, each outstanding share of common stock entitles its holder to share (based on the percentage of shares held) in the assets that remain after we pay our liabilities and any preferential distributions owed to preferred stockholders. Holders of shares of our common stock do not have preemptive rights, which means that you will not have an automatic option to purchase any new shares that we issue, nor do holders of our shares of common stock have any preference, conversion, exchange, sinking fund, redemption or appraisal rights. Our common stock is non-assessable by us upon our receipt of the consideration for which our board of directors authorized its issuance.
Our board of directors has authorized the issuance of shares of our capital stock without certificates. We do not expect to issue shares in certificated form. Information regarding restrictions on the transferability of our shares that, under Maryland law, would otherwise have been required to appear on our share certificates will instead be furnished to stockholders upon request and without charge.
We maintain a stock ledger that contains the name and address of each stockholder and the number of shares that the stockholder holds. With respect to uncertificated stock, we will continue to treat the stockholder registered on our stock ledger as the owner of the shares until the new owner delivers a properly executed form to us, which form we will provide to any registered holder upon request.
Our charter authorizes our board of directors to designate and issue one or more classes or series of preferred stock without approval of our common stockholders. Our board of directors may determine the relative rights, preferences and privileges of each class or series of preferred stock so issued, which may be more beneficial than the rights, preferences and privileges attributable to our common stock. The issuance of preferred stock could have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control. Our board of directors has no present plans to issue preferred stock but may do so at any time in the future without stockholder approval. A majority of our independent directors who do not have an interest in the transaction must approve any issuance of preferred stock.
Meetings and Special Voting Requirements
An annual meeting of our stockholders will be held each year, at least 30 days after delivery of our annual report. Special meetings of stockholders may be called only upon the request of a majority of our directors, a majority of our independent directors, our chief executive officer, our president or upon the written request of common stockholders holding at least 10% of the votes entitled to be cast on any issue proposed to be considered at the special meeting. Upon receipt of a written request of common stockholders holding at least 10% of the votes entitled to be cast stating the purpose of the special meeting, our secretary, within ten days of receipt of such request, will provide all of our stockholders written notice of the meeting and the purpose of such meeting. The meeting must be held not less than 15 days nor more than 60 days after the distribution of the notice of the meeting. The presence in person or by proxy of stockholders entitled to cast 50% of all the votes entitled to be cast on any matter at any stockholder meeting constitutes a quorum. Unless otherwise provided by the Maryland General Corporation Law or our charter, the affirmative vote of a majority of all votes cast is necessary to take stockholder action. Under our charter, a majority of the shares entitled to vote who are present in person or by proxy at a meeting of stockholders at which a quorum is present is required for the election of the directors at a meeting of stockholders called for that purpose. This means that, of the shares entitled to vote and present in person or by proxy, a director nominee needs to receive affirmative votes from a majority of such shares in order to be elected to our board of directors. Therefore, if a nominee receives fewer “for” votes than “withhold” votes in an election, then the nominee will not be elected.
Our charter provides that the concurrence of our board is not required in order for the common stockholders to amend the charter, dissolve the corporation or remove directors. However, we have been advised that the Maryland General Corporation Law does require board approval in order to amend our charter or dissolve. Without the approval of a majority of the shares of common stock entitled to vote on the matter, our board of directors may not:
•amend the charter to adversely affect the rights, preferences and privileges of the common stockholders;
• amend charter provisions relating to director qualifications, fiduciary duties, liability and indemnification, conflicts of interest, investment policies or investment restrictions;
• cause our liquidation or dissolution after our initial investment;
•sell all or substantially all of our assets other than in the ordinary course of business; or
•cause our merger or reorganization.
The term of our advisory agreement with KBS Capital Advisors is one year but may be renewed for an unlimited number of successive one-year periods upon the mutual consent of KBS Capital Advisors and us. Our independent directors annually review our advisory agreement with KBS Capital Advisors. While the stockholders do not have the ability to vote to replace KBS Capital Advisors or to select a new advisor, any director or the entire board of directors may be removed, with or without cause, by a vote of the holders of a majority of the shares then entitled to vote on the election of directors at any meeting of stockholders called expressly for the purpose of removing a director.
Advance Notice for Stockholder Nominations for Directors and Proposals of New Business
In order for a stockholder to nominate a director or propose new business at the annual stockholders’ meeting, our bylaws generally require that the stockholder give notice of the nomination or proposal not less than 90 days prior to the first anniversary of the date of the mailing of the notice for the preceding year’s annual stockholders’ meeting, unless such nomination or proposal is made pursuant to the company’s notice of the meeting or by or at the direction of our board of directors. Our bylaws contain a similar notice requirement in connection with nominations for directors at a special meeting of stockholders called for the purpose of electing one or more directors. Failure to comply with the notice provisions will make stockholders unable to nominate directors or propose new business.
Restriction on Ownership of Shares
To maintain our REIT qualification, not more than 50% in value of our outstanding shares may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals (including certain entities treated as individuals under the Internal Revenue Code) during the last half of each taxable year. In addition, at least 100 persons who are independent of us and each other must beneficially own our outstanding shares for at least 335 days per 12-month taxable year or during a proportionate part of a shorter taxable year. Each of the requirements specified in the two preceding sentences shall not apply to any period prior to the second year for which we elected to be taxed as a REIT. We may prohibit certain acquisitions and transfers of shares so as to ensure our continued qualification as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code. However, we cannot assure you that this prohibition will be effective.
To help ensure that we meet these tests, our charter prohibits any person or group of persons from acquiring, directly or indirectly, beneficial ownership of more than 9.8% of our aggregate outstanding shares unless exempted by our board of directors. Our board of directors may waive this ownership limit with respect to a particular person if our board receives evidence that ownership in excess of the limit will not jeopardize our REIT status. For purposes of this provision, we treat corporations, partnerships and other entities as single persons.
Any attempted transfer of our shares that, if effective, would result in a violation of our ownership limit or would result in our shares being owned by fewer than 100 persons will be null and void and will cause the number of shares causing the violation to be automatically transferred to a trust for the exclusive benefit of one or more charitable beneficiaries. The prohibited transferee will not acquire any rights in the 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 attempted transfer. We will designate a trustee of the trust that will not be affiliated with us or the prohibited transferee. We will also name one or more charitable organizations as a beneficiary of the share trust.
Shares held in trust will remain issued and outstanding shares and will be entitled to the same rights and privileges as all other shares of the same class or series. The prohibited transferee will not benefit economically from any of the shares held in trust, will not have any rights to dividends or distributions and will not have the right to vote or any other rights attributable to the shares held in the trust. The trustee will receive all dividends and distributions on the shares held in trust and will hold such dividends or distributions in trust for the benefit of the charitable beneficiary. The trustee may vote any shares held in trust.
Within 20 days of receiving notice from us that any of our shares have been transferred to the trust for the charitable beneficiary, the trustee will sell those shares to a person designated by the trustee whose ownership of the shares will not violate the above restrictions. Upon the 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 prohibited transferee and to the charitable beneficiary as follows. The prohibited transferee will receive the lesser of (i) the price paid by the prohibited transferee for the shares or, if the prohibited 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 received by the trustee from the sale or other disposition of the shares. Any net sale proceeds in excess of the amount payable to the prohibited transferee will be paid immediately to the charitable beneficiary. If, prior to our discovery that shares have been transferred to the trust, the shares are sold by the prohibited transferee, then (i) the shares shall be deemed to have been sold on behalf of the trust and (ii) to the extent that the prohibited transferee received an amount for the shares that exceeds the amount he was entitled to receive, the excess shall be paid to the trustee upon demand.
In addition, shares held in the trust for the charitable beneficiary 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. 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 prohibited transferee.
Any person who acquires or attempts to acquire shares in violation of the foregoing restrictions or who would have owned the shares that were transferred to any such trust must give us immediate written notice of such event, and any person who proposes or attempts to acquire or receive shares in violation of the foregoing restrictions must give us at least 15 days’ written notice prior to such transaction. In both cases, such persons shall provide to us such other information as we may request in order to determine the effect, if any, of such transfer on our status as a REIT.
The foregoing restrictions will continue to apply until our board of directors determines it is no longer in our best interest to continue to qualify as a REIT. The ownership limit does not apply to any underwriter in an offering of our shares or to a person or persons exempted from the ownership limit by our board of directors based upon appropriate assurances that our qualification as a REIT would not be jeopardized.
Within 30 days after the end of each taxable year, every owner of 5% or more of our outstanding capital stock will be asked to deliver to us a statement setting forth the number of shares owned directly or indirectly by such person and a description of how such person holds the shares. Each such owner shall also provide us with such additional information as 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 our ownership limit.
These restrictions could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or change in control of our company that might involve a premium price for our shares of common stock or otherwise be in the best interests of our stockholders.
Suitability Standards and Minimum Purchase Requirements
Our charter provides that, until our common stock is listed on a national securities exchange, to purchase our common stock, the purchaser must represent to us:
(i)that such purchaser (or, in the case of sales to fiduciary accounts, that the beneficiary, the fiduciary account or the grantor or donor who directly or indirectly supplies the funds to purchase the shares if the grantor or donor is the fiduciary) has a minimum annual gross income of $70,000 and a net worth (excluding home, home furnishings and automobiles) of not less than $70,000; or
(ii)that such purchaser (or, in the case of sales to fiduciary accounts, that the beneficiary, the fiduciary account or the grantor or donor who directly or indirectly supplies the funds to purchase the shares if the grantor or donor is the fiduciary) has a net worth (excluding home, home furnishings and automobiles) of not less than $250,000.
Each purchase of shares of common stock shall comply with the requirements regarding minimum initial and subsequent cash investment amounts set forth in our then effective registration statement as such registration statement has been amended or supplemented as of the date of such purchase or any higher or lower applicable state requirements with respect to minimum initial and subsequent cash investment amounts in effect as of the date of the issuance or transfer. Subsequent purchasers, i.e., potential purchasers of your shares, must also meet the net worth or income standards, and unless you are transferring all of your shares, you may not transfer your shares in a manner that causes you or your transferee to own fewer than the number of shares required to meet the minimum purchase requirements, except for the following transfers without consideration: transfers by gift, transfers by inheritance, intrafamily transfers, family dissolutions, transfers to affiliates and transfers by operation of law. These suitability and minimum purchase requirements are applicable until our shares of common stock are listed on a national securities exchange, and these requirements may make it more difficult for you to sell your shares.
Inspection of Books and Records
As a part of our books and records, we maintain at our principal office an alphabetical list of the names of our common stockholders, along with their addresses and telephone numbers and the number of shares of common stock held by each of them. We update this stockholder list at least quarterly and it is available for inspection at our principal office by a common stockholder or his or her designated agent upon request of the stockholder. We will also mail this list to any common stockholder within ten days of receipt of his or her request. We may impose a reasonable charge for expenses incurred in reproducing such list. Stockholders, however, may not sell or use this list for commercial purposes. The purposes for which stockholders may request this list include matters relating to their voting rights.
If our advisor or our board of directors neglects or refuses to exhibit, produce or mail a copy of the stockholder list as requested, our advisor and/or board, as the case may be, shall be liable to the common stockholder requesting the list for the costs, including attorneys’ fees, incurred by that stockholder for compelling the production of the stockholder list and any actual damages suffered by any common stockholder for the neglect or refusal to produce the list. It shall be a defense that the actual purpose and reason for the requests for inspection or for a copy of the stockholder list is not for a proper
purpose but is instead for the purpose of securing such list of stockholders or other information for the purpose of selling such list or copies thereof, or of using the same for a commercial purpose other than in the interest of the applicant as a stockholder relative to the affairs of our company. We may require that the stockholder requesting the stockholder list represent that the request is not for a commercial purpose unrelated to the stockholder’s interest in our company. The remedies provided by our charter to stockholders requesting copies of the stockholder list are in addition to, and do not in any way limit, other remedies available to stockholders under federal law, or the law of any state.
Under the Maryland General Corporation Law, business combinations between a Maryland corporation and an interested stockholder or the interested stockholder’s affiliate are prohibited for five years after the most recent date on which the stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. For this purpose, the term “business combination” includes mergers, consolidations, share exchanges, asset transfers and issuances or reclassifications of equity securities. An “interested stockholder” is defined for this purpose as: (i) any person who beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting power of the corporation’s shares or (ii) an affiliate or associate of the corporation who, at any time within the two-year period prior to the date in question, was the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting power of the then outstanding voting shares of the corporation. A person is not an interested stockholder under the statute if the board of directors approved in advance the transaction by which he otherwise would have become an interested stockholder. However, in approving a transaction, the board of directors may provide that its approval is subject to compliance, at or after the time of approval, with any terms and conditions determined by the board.
After the five-year prohibition, any business combination between the corporation and an interested stockholder generally must be recommended by the board of directors of the corporation and approved by the affirmative vote of at least: (i) 80% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding voting shares of the corporation and (ii) two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of voting shares of the corporation other than shares held by the interested stockholder or its affiliate with whom the business combination is to be effected, or held by an affiliate or associate of the interested stockholder.
These super-majority vote requirements do not apply if the corporation’s common stockholders receive a minimum price, as defined under the Maryland General Corporation Law, for their shares in the form of cash or other consideration in the same form as previously paid by the interested stockholder for its shares.
None of these provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law will apply, however, to business combinations that are approved or exempted by the board of directors of the corporation prior to the time that the interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. We have opted out of these provisions by resolution of our board of directors. However, our board of directors may, by resolution, opt in to the business combination statute in the future.
Control Share Acquisitions
The Maryland General Corporation Law provides that control shares of a Maryland corporation acquired in a control share acquisition have no voting rights except to the extent approved by a vote of two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Shares owned by the acquirer, an officer of the corporation or an employee of the corporation who is also a director of the corporation are excluded from the vote on whether to accord voting rights to the control shares. “Control shares” are voting shares that, if aggregated with all other shares owned by the acquirer or with respect to which the acquirer has the
right to vote or to direct the voting of, other than solely by virtue of revocable proxy, would entitle the acquirer to exercise voting power in electing directors within one of the following ranges of voting power:
•one-tenth or more but less than one-third;
• one-third or more but less than a majority; or
•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. Except as otherwise specified in the statute, a “control share acquisition” means the acquisition of control shares.
Once a person who has made or proposes to make a control share acquisition has undertaken to pay expenses and has satisfied other required conditions, the person may compel the board of directors to call a special meeting of stockholders to be held within 50 days of the 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 for the control shares at the meeting or if the acquiring person does not deliver an “acquiring person statement” for the control shares as required by the statute, the corporation may redeem any or all of the control shares for their fair value, except for control shares for which voting rights have previously been approved. Fair value is to be determined for this purpose without regard to the absence of voting rights for the control shares, and is to be determined as of the date of the last control share acquisition or of any meeting of stockholders at which the voting rights for control 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 these appraisal rights may not be less than the highest price per share paid in the control share acquisition. Some of the limitations and restrictions otherwise applicable to the exercise of dissenters’ rights do not apply in the context of a control share acquisition.
The control share acquisition statute does not apply to shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or share exchange if the corporation is a party to the transaction or to 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 and all acquisitions by any person of our stock. There can be no assurance that this provision will not be amended or eliminated at any time in the future.
Subtitle 8 of Title 3 of the Maryland General Corporation Law permits a Maryland corporation with a class of equity securities registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and at least three independent directors to elect to be subject, by provision in its charter or bylaws or a resolution of its board of directors and notwithstanding any contrary provision in the charter or bylaws, to any or all of five provisions:
•a classified board,
•a two-thirds vote requirement for removing a director,
•a requirement that the number of directors be fixed only by vote of the directors,
•a requirement that a vacancy on the board be filled only by the remaining directors and for the remainder of the full term of the directorship in which the vacancy occurred, and
•a majority requirement for the calling of a special meeting of stockholders.
We have added provisions to our charter that prohibit us, until such time that our shares of common stock are listed on a national securities exchange, from electing to be subject to the provisions under Subtitle 8. Through provisions in our bylaws unrelated to Subtitle 8, we already vest in our board of directors the exclusive power to fix the number of directorships. Our bylaws may be amended by our stockholders or our board of directors.
Tender Offers by Stockholders
Our charter provides that any tender offer made by a stockholder, including any “mini-tender” offer, must comply with certain notice and disclosure requirements. These procedural requirements with respect to tender offers apply to any widespread solicitation for shares of our stock at firm prices for a limited time period.
In order for one of our stockholders to conduct a tender offer to another stockholder, our charter requires that the stockholder comply with Regulation 14D of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and provide us notice of such tender offer at least 10 business days before initiating the tender offer. Pursuant to our charter, Regulation 14D would require any stockholder initiating a tender offer to provide:
•Specific disclosure to stockholders focusing on the terms of the offer and information about the bidder;
•The ability to allow stockholders to withdraw tendered shares while the offer remains open;
•The right to have tendered shares accepted on a pro rata basis throughout the term of the offer if the offer is for less than all of our shares; and
•That all stockholders of the subject class of shares be treated equally.
In addition to the foregoing, there are certain ramifications to stockholders should they attempt to conduct a noncompliant tender offer. If any stockholder initiates a tender offer without complying with the provisions set forth above, in our sole discretion, we shall have the right to redeem such noncompliant stockholder’s shares and any shares acquired in such tender offer. The noncomplying stockholder shall also be responsible for all of our expenses in connection with that stockholder’s noncompliance.
Forum for Certain Litigation
Our bylaws provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland, shall be the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any director, officer or other employee of the Company to us or to our stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the Maryland General Corporation Law, or (iv) any action asserting a claim that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine, and any record or beneficial stockholder of the Company who commences such an action shall cooperate in a request that the action be assigned to the court’s Business and Technology Case Management Program.
Registrar and Transfer Agent
We have engaged DST Systems, Inc. to serve as the registrar and transfer agent for our common stock.
Restrictions on Roll-Up Transactions
A Roll-up Transaction is a transaction involving the acquisition, merger, conversion or consolidation, directly or indirectly, of us and the issuance of securities of an entity that is created or would survive after the successful completion of a Roll-up Transaction, which we refer to as a Roll-up Entity. This term does not include:
•a transaction involving our securities that have been for at least 12 months listed on a national securities exchange or traded through the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation National Market System; or
•a transaction involving only our conversion into a trust or association if, as a consequence of the transaction, there will be no significant adverse change in the voting rights of our common stockholders, the term of our existence, the compensation to our advisor or our investment objectives.
In connection with any proposed Roll-up Transaction, an appraisal of all our assets will be obtained from a competent independent appraiser. Our assets will be appraised on a consistent basis, and the appraisal will be based on an evaluation of all relevant information and will indicate the value of our assets as of a date immediately preceding the announcement of the proposed Roll-up Transaction. If the appraisal will be included in a prospectus used to offer the securities of a Roll-Up Entity, the appraisal will be filed with the SEC and, if applicable, the states in which registration of such securities is sought, as an exhibit to the registration statement for the offering. The appraisal will assume an orderly liquidation of assets over a 12-month period. The terms of the engagement of the independent appraiser will clearly state that the engagement is for our benefit and the benefit of our stockholders. A summary of the appraisal, indicating all material assumptions underlying the appraisal, will be included in a report to our stockholders in connection with any proposed Roll-up Transaction.
In connection with a proposed Roll-up Transaction, the person sponsoring the Roll-up Transaction must offer to our common stockholders who vote “no” on the proposal the choice of:
(1)accepting the securities of the Roll-up Entity offered in the proposed Roll-up Transaction; or
(2)one of the following:
(A)remaining as common stockholders of us and preserving their interests in us on the same terms and conditions as existed previously; or
(B)receiving cash in an amount equal to the stockholders’ pro rata share of the appraised value of our net assets.
We are prohibited from participating in any proposed Roll-up Transaction:
•that would result in our common stockholders having democracy rights in a Roll-up Entity that are less than those provided in our charter and bylaws with respect to the election and removal of directors and the other voting rights of our common stockholders, annual reports, annual and special meetings of common stockholders, the amendment of our charter and our dissolution;
• that includes provisions that would operate to materially impede or frustrate the accumulation of shares by any purchaser of the securities of the Roll-up Entity, except to the
minimum extent necessary to preserve the tax status of the Roll-up Entity, or that would limit the ability of an investor to exercise the voting rights of its securities of the Roll-up Entity on the basis of the number of shares of common stock that such investor had held in us;
• in which investors’ rights of access to the records of the Roll-up Entity would be less than those provided in our charter and described above under “Description of Shares—Meetings and Special Voting Requirements”; or
•in which any of the costs of the Roll-up Transaction would be borne by us if the Roll-up Transaction would not be approved by our common stockholders.