Description of Capital Stock
EX-4.4 2 nstg-ex44.htm EXHIBIT 4.4 Exhibit
DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
As of December 31, 2019, we had one class of securities, our common stock, registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange act of 1934, as amended. These securities are listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “NSTG.”
Our authorized capital stock consists of 150,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, and 15,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.0001 per share.
The following is a summary of the rights of our capital stock. This summary is not complete. For more detailed information, please see our certificate of incorporation and bylaws, both filed as exhibits to our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2013, as filed on August 8, 2013.
Subject to preferences that may be applicable to any then outstanding preferred stock, holders of common stock are entitled to receive dividends, if any, as may be declared from time to time by the board of directors out of legally available funds.
Each holder of common stock is entitled to one vote for each share on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders, including the election of directors. Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws do not provide for cumulative voting rights. Because of this, the holders of a plurality of the shares of common stock entitled to vote in any election of directors can elect all of the directors standing for election, if they should so choose. With respect to matters other than the election of directors, at any meeting of the stockholders at which a quorum is present or represented, the affirmative vote of a majority of the voting power of the shares present in person or represented by proxy at such meeting and entitled to vote on the subject matter shall be the act of the stockholders, except as otherwise required by law. The holders of a majority of the stock issued and outstanding and entitled to vote, present in person or represented by proxy, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at all meetings of the stockholders.
In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, holders of common stock will be entitled to share ratably in the net assets legally available for distribution to stockholders after the payment of all of our debts and other liabilities and the satisfaction of any liquidation preference granted to the holders of any then outstanding shares of preferred stock.
Rights and Preferences
Holders of common stock have no preemptive, conversion, subscription or other rights, and there are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to the common stock. The rights, preferences and privileges of the holders of common stock are subject to and may be adversely affected by, the rights of the holders of shares of any series of preferred stock that we may designate in the future.
Fully Paid and Nonassessable
All of our outstanding shares of common stock are fully paid and nonassessable.
Our board of directors has the authority, without further action by the stockholders, to issue up to 15,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series and to fix the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions thereof. These rights, preferences and privileges could include dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, redemption rights, 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 common stock. The issuance of preferred stock could adversely affect the voting power of holders of common stock and the likelihood that such holders will receive dividend payments and payments upon liquidation. In addition, the issuance of preferred stock could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing change in our control or other corporate action. We have no present plan to issue any shares of preferred stock.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Delaware and Washington Law and Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws
We are subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. Section 203 generally prohibits a publicly held Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination”
with any “interested stockholder” for a period of three years after the date of the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder, unless:
•prior to the date of the transaction, 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 number of shares outstanding (1) shares owned by persons who are directors and also officers and (2) shares owned by employee stock plans in which employee participants do not have the right to determine confidentially whether shares held subject to the plan will be tendered in a tender or exchange offer; or
•on or subsequent to the date of the transaction, the business combination is approved by the board and authorized at an annual or special meeting of stockholders, and not by written consent, 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, 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 or transfer by the corporation of any stock of the corporation to the interested stockholder;
•any transaction involving the corporation that has the effect of increasing the proportionate share of the stock or 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.
Washington Business Corporation Act
The laws of Washington, where our principal executive offices are located, impose restrictions on certain transactions between certain foreign corporations and significant stockholders. In particular, the Washington Business Corporation Act, or WBCA, prohibits a “target corporation,” with certain exceptions, from engaging in certain “significant business transactions” with a person or group of persons which beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting securities of the target corporation, an “acquiring person,” for a period of five years after such acquisition, unless the transaction or acquisition of shares is approved by a majority of the members of the target corporation’s board of directors prior to the time of acquisition. Such prohibited transactions may include, among other things:
•any merger or consolidation with, disposition of assets to, or issuance or redemption of stock to or from, the acquiring person;
•any termination of 5% or more of the employees of the target corporation as a result of the acquiring person’s acquisition of 10% or more of the shares; and
•allowing the acquiring person to receive any disproportionate benefit as a stockholder.
After the five-year period, a significant business transaction may take place as long as it complies with certain fair price provisions of the statute or is approved at an annual or special meeting of stockholders.
We will be considered a “target corporation” so long as our principal executive office is located in Washington, and: (1) a majority of our employees are residents of the state of Washington or we employ more than one thousand residents of the state of Washington; (2) a majority of our tangible assets, measured by market value, are located in the state of Washington or we have more than $50 million worth of tangible assets located in the state of Washington; and (3) any one of the following: (a) more than 10% of our stockholders of record are resident in the state of Washington; (b) more than 10% of our shares are owned of record by state residents; or (c) 1,000 or more of our stockholders of record are resident in the state.
If we meet the definition of a target corporation, the WBCA may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change of control.
Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws
Provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws may delay or discourage transactions involving an actual or potential change in our control or change in our management, including transactions in which stockholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares, or transactions that our stockholders might otherwise deem to be in their best interests. Therefore, these provisions could adversely affect the price of our common stock. Among other things, our certificate of incorporation and bylaws:
•permit the board of directors to issue up to 15,000,000 shares of preferred stock, with any rights, preferences and privileges as they may designate, including the right to approve an acquisition or other change in our control;
•provide that the authorized number of directors may be changed only by resolution of the board of directors;
•provide that all vacancies, including newly created directorships, may, except as otherwise required by law, be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of directors then in office, even if less than a quorum;
•divide the board of directors into three classes;
•provide that a director may only be removed from the board of directors by the stockholders for cause;
•require that any action to be taken by our stockholders must be effected at a duly called annual or special meeting of stockholders and not be taken by written consent;
•provide that stockholders seeking to present proposals before a meeting of stockholders or to nominate candidates for election as directors at a meeting of stockholders must provide notice in writing in a timely manner, and also meet specific requirements as to the form and content of a stockholder’s notice;
•not provide for cumulative voting rights (therefore allowing the holders of a plurality of the shares of common stock entitled to vote in any election of directors to elect all of the directors standing for election, if they should so choose);
•provide that special meetings of our stockholders may be called only by the chairman of the board, our chief executive officer or by the board of directors pursuant to a resolution adopted by a majority of the total number of authorized directors; and
•provide that stockholders are permitted to amend the bylaws only upon receiving at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of all outstanding shares then entitled to vote generally in the election of directors, voting together as a single class.
The amendment of any of these provisions requires approval by the holders of at least two-thirds of our outstanding common stock, voting as a single class.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC. The transfer agent and registrar’s address is 6201 15th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11219.