Description of Securities
EX-4.3 2 exhibit43descriptionofsecu.htm EX-4.3 Document
DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES
The following is a brief description of the securities of Nuveen Churchill Direct Lending Corp. (the “Company,” “we,” “our” or “us”), registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”). As of December 31, 2020 and the date hereof, our common stock is the only class of our securities registered under Section 12 of the 1934 Act. This description of the terms of our common stock does not purport to be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to the applicable provisions of Maryland General Corporation Law (the “MGCL”), and the full text of our charter and bylaws.
The authorized stock of the Company consists of 500,000,000 shares of stock, par value $0.01 per share (the “Shares”), all of which are initially designated as common stock. There are no outstanding options or warrants to purchase our stock. No stock has been authorized for issuance under any equity compensation plans. Under the MGCL, our shareholders generally are not personally liable for our debts or obligations.
Under our Articles of Amendment and Restatement (as amended or supplemented from time to time, the “Charter”), our board of directors (the “Board”) is authorized to classify and reclassify any unissued shares of stock into other classes or series of stock without obtaining shareholder approval. As permitted by the MGCL, our Charter provides that the Board, without any action by our shareholders, may amend the Charter from time to time to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares of stock or the number of shares of stock of any class or series that we have authority to issue.
The following are our outstanding classes of securities as of March 12, 2021:
Title of Class
Amount Held by
Us or for
All Shares have equal rights as to earnings, assets, voting, and dividends and, when they are issued, will be duly authorized, validly issued, fully paid and nonassessable. Distributions may be paid to our shareholders if, as and when authorized by our Board and declared by us out of assets legally available therefor. Our Shares have no preemptive, conversion or redemption rights and may not be transferred without the consent of Nuveen Churchill Advisors LLC, our investment adviser (the “Adviser”), and may not be transferred if restricted by federal and state securities laws or otherwise by contract. In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, each Share would be entitled to share ratably in all of our assets that are legally available for distribution after we pay all debts and other liabilities and subject to any preferential rights of holders of our preferred stock, if any preferred stock is outstanding at such time. Each Share is entitled to one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of shareholders, including the election of directors. Except as provided with respect to any other class or series of stock, the holders of our Shares will possess exclusive voting power.
Limitation on Liability of Directors and Officers; Indemnification and Advance of Expenses
Maryland law permits a Maryland corporation to include in its charter a provision limiting the liability of its directors and officers to the corporation and its shareholders for money damages except for liability resulting from (a) actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services or (b) active and deliberate dishonesty established by a final judgment as being material to the cause of action. Our Charter contains such a provision which eliminates directors’ and officers’ liability to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law, subject to the requirements of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”).
Our Charter authorizes us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law and subject to the requirements of the 1940 Act, to indemnify any present or former director or officer or any individual who, while serving as our director or officer and at our request, serves or has served another corporation, real estate investment trust, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise as a director, officer, partner, trustee, member or manager from and against any claim or liability to which that person may become subject or which that person may incur by reason of his or her service in any such capacity and to pay or reimburse their reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding. Our Charter obligates us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law and subject to the requirements of the 1940 Act, to indemnify any present or former director or officer or any individual who, while serving as our director or officer and at our request, serves or has served another corporation, real estate investment trust, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise as a director, officer, partner, trustee, member or manager and who is made, or threatened to be made, a party to the proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity from and against any claim or liability to which that person may become subject or which that person may incur by reason of his or her service in any such capacity and to pay or reimburse his or her reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding. Our Charter also permits us to indemnify and advance expenses to any person who served a predecessor of us in any of the capacities described above and any of our employees or agents or any employees or agents of our predecessor. In accordance with the 1940 Act, we will not indemnify any person for any liability to which such person would be subject by reason of such person’s willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office.
Maryland law requires a corporation (unless its charter provides otherwise, which our Charter does not) to indemnify a director or officer who has been successful in the defense of any proceeding to which he or she is made, or threatened to be made, a party by reason of his or her service in that capacity. Maryland law permits a corporation to indemnify its present and former directors and officers, among others, against judgments, penalties, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses actually incurred by them in connection with any proceeding to which they may be made, or threatened to be made, a party by reason of their service in those or other capacities unless it is established that (a) the act or omission of the director or officer was material to the matter giving rise to the proceeding and (1) was committed in bad faith or (2) was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty, (b) the director or officer actually received an improper personal benefit in money, property or services or (c) in the case of any criminal proceeding, the director or officer had reasonable cause to believe that the act or omission was unlawful. However, under Maryland law, a Maryland corporation may not indemnify for an adverse judgment in a suit by or in the right of the corporation or for a judgment of liability on the basis that a personal benefit was improperly received unless, in either case a court orders indemnification, and then only for expenses. In addition, Maryland law permits a corporation to advance reasonable expenses to a director or officer in advance of final disposition of a proceeding upon the corporation’s receipt of (a) a written affirmation by the director or officer of his or her good-faith belief that he or she has met the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification by the corporation and (b) a written undertaking by him or her or on his or her behalf to repay the amount paid or reimbursed by the corporation if it is ultimately determined that the standard of conduct was not met.
Certain Provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law and Our Charter and Bylaws
The MGCL and our Charter and Bylaws contain provisions that could make it more difficult for a potential acquirer to acquire us by means of a tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise, the material ones of which are discussed below. These provisions are expected to discourage certain coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids and to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to negotiate first with our Board. We expect the benefits of these provisions to outweigh the potential disadvantages of discouraging any such acquisition proposals because, among other things, the negotiation of such proposals may improve their terms.
Classified Board of Directors
Our Board is divided into three classes of directors serving staggered terms currently expiring in 2021, 2022 and 2023. Upon expiration of their terms, directors of each class will be elected to serve for three-year terms and until their respective successors are duly elected and qualify, and each year one class of directors will be elected by the shareholders. A classified board may render a change in control of us or removal of our incumbent management more difficult. We believe, however, that the longer time required to elect a majority of a classified Board will help to ensure the continuity and stability of our management and policies.
Election of Directors
Our bylaws (as amended or supplemented from time to time, the “Bylaws”), as authorized by our Charter, provide that the affirmative vote of the holders of a plurality of all votes cast at a meeting of shareholders duly called, and at which a quorum is present, will be required to elect a director. Pursuant to our Charter, our Board may amend the bylaws to alter the vote required to elect directors.
Number of Directors; Vacancies; Removal
Our Charter provides that the number of directors will be set only by the Board in accordance with our Bylaws. Our Bylaws provide that a majority of our entire Board may at any time increase or decrease the number of directors. However, unless our Bylaws are amended, the number of directors may never be less than one nor more than nine. Our Charter provides that, at such time as we have at least three independent directors and our Shares are registered under the 1934 Act, as amended, we will elect to be subject to the provision of Subtitle 8 of Title 3 of the MGCL regarding the filling of vacancies on the Board. Accordingly, at such time, except as may be provided by the Board in setting the terms of any class or series of preferred stock, any and all vacancies on the Board may be filled only by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining directors in office, even if the remaining directors do not constitute a quorum, and any director elected to fill a vacancy will serve for the remainder of the full term of the directorship in which the vacancy occurred and until a successor is elected and qualifies, subject to any applicable requirements of the 1940 Act.
Our Charter provides that a director may be removed only for cause, as defined in the Charter, and then only by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast in the election of directors.
Action by Shareholders
Under the MGCL, shareholder action can be taken only at an annual or special meeting of shareholders or (unless the charter provides for shareholder action by less than unanimous written consent, which our Charter does not) by unanimous written consent in lieu of a meeting. These provisions, combined with the requirements of our Bylaws regarding the calling of a shareholder-requested special meeting of shareholders discussed below, may have the effect of delaying consideration of a shareholder proposal indefinitely.
Advance Notice Provisions for Shareholder Nominations and Shareholder Proposals
Our Bylaws provide that with respect to an annual meeting of shareholders, nominations of persons for election to the Board and the proposal of business to be considered by shareholders may be made only (1) pursuant to our notice of the meeting, (2) by or at the direction of the Board or (3) by a shareholder of the Company who is a shareholder of record both at the time of giving of notice provided for in our Bylaws and at the time of the annual meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has complied with the advance notice provisions of the Bylaws. With respect to special meetings of shareholders, only the business specified in our notice of the meeting may be brought before the meeting. Nominations of persons for election to the Board at a special meeting may be made only (1) by or at the direction of the Board or (2) provided that the Board has determined that directors will be elected at the meeting, by a shareholder of the Company who is a shareholder of record both at the time of giving of notice provided for in our Bylaws and at the time of the special meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has complied with the advance notice provisions of the Bylaws.
The purpose of requiring shareholders to give us advance notice of nominations and other business is to afford our Board a meaningful opportunity to consider the qualifications of the proposed nominees and the advisability of any other proposed business and, to the extent deemed necessary or desirable by our Board, to inform shareholders and make recommendations about such qualifications or business, as well as to provide a more orderly procedure for conducting meetings of shareholders. Although our bylaws do not give our Board any power to disapprove shareholder nominations for the election of directors or proposals recommending certain action, they may have the effect of precluding a contest for the election of directors or the consideration of shareholder proposals if proper procedures are not followed and of discouraging or deterring a third party from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect its own slate of directors or to approve its own proposal without regard to whether consideration of such nominees or proposals might be harmful or beneficial to us and our shareholders.
Calling of Special Meetings of Shareholders
Our Bylaws provide that special meetings of shareholders may be called by our Board and certain of our officers. Additionally, our Bylaws provide that, subject to the satisfaction of certain procedural and informational requirements by the shareholders requesting the meeting, a special meeting of shareholders will be called by the secretary of the Company upon the written request of shareholders entitled to cast not less than a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast at such meeting.
Approval of Extraordinary Corporate Action; Amendment of Charter and Bylaws
Under 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 approved by the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. However, a Maryland corporation may provide in its charter for approval of these matters by a lesser percentage, but not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our Charter generally provides for approval of charter amendments and extraordinary transactions by the shareholders entitled to cast at least a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our Charter also provides that certain charter amendments, any proposal for our conversion, whether by charter amendment, merger or otherwise, from a closed-end company to an open-end company and any proposal for our liquidation or dissolution requires the approval of the shareholders entitled to cast at least 75% of the votes entitled to be cast on such matter (provided, however, that in connection with subscribing to purchase Shares prior to any listing of our Shares on a national securities exchange (an “Exchange Listing”), each shareholder will grant an irrevocable proxy to our Board to vote their Shares in favor of liquidating or dissolving the Company if the Company does not effectuate an Exchange Listing within 5 years of the initial closing of the Company’s private offering, subject to up to two 1-year extensions in the discretion of the Board). However, if such amendment or proposal is approved by a majority of our continuing directors (in addition to approval by our Board), such amendment or proposal may be approved by a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on such a matter. The “continuing directors” are defined in our charter as (1) our current directors, (2) those directors whose nomination for election by the shareholders or whose election by the directors to fill vacancies is approved by a majority of our current directors then on the Board or (3) any successor directors whose nomination for election by the shareholders or whose election by the directors to fill vacancies is approved by a majority of continuing directors or the successor continuing directors then in office.
Our Charter and Bylaws provide that the Board will have the exclusive power to make, alter, amend or repeal any provision of our Bylaws.
No Appraisal Rights
Except with respect to appraisal rights arising in connection with the Control Share Act (as defined and discussed below), as permitted by the MGCL, our Charter provides that shareholders will not be entitled to exercise appraisal rights unless a majority of the Board determines such rights apply.
Control Share Acquisitions
The MGCL 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 (the “Control Share Act”). Shares owned by the acquirer, by officers or by directors who are employees of the corporation are excluded from shares entitled to vote on the matter. Control shares are voting shares of stock which, if aggregated with all other shares of stock owned 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:
•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.
The requisite shareholder approval must be obtained each time an acquirer crosses one of the thresholds of voting power set forth above. Control shares do not include shares the acquiring person is then entitled to vote as a result of having previously obtained shareholder approval. A control share acquisition means the acquisition of control shares, subject to certain exceptions.
A person who has made or proposes to make a control share acquisition may compel the Board of the corporation to call a special meeting of shareholders to be held within 50 days of demand to consider the voting rights of the shares. The right to compel the calling of a special meeting is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including an undertaking to pay the expenses of the meeting. If no request for a meeting is made, the corporation may itself present the question at any shareholders 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 the corporation may redeem for fair value any or all of the control shares, except those for which voting rights have previously been approved. The right of the corporation to redeem control shares is subject to certain conditions and limitations, including, as provided in our bylaws compliance with the 1940 Act. Fair value is 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 shareholders at which the voting rights of the shares are considered and not approved. If voting rights for control shares are approved at a shareholders meeting and the acquirer becomes entitled to vote a majority of the shares entitled to vote, all other shareholders may exercise appraisal rights. The fair value of the shares as determined for purposes of appraisal rights may not be less than the highest price per share paid by the acquirer in the control share acquisition.
The Control Share Act does not apply (a) to shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or share exchange if the corporation is a party to the transaction or (b) to acquisitions approved or exempted by the charter or bylaws of the corporation. Our Bylaws contain a provision exempting from the Control Share Act any and all acquisitions by any person of our shares of stock. There can be no assurance that such provision will not be amended or eliminated at any time in the future. However, we will amend our Bylaws to be subject to the Control Share Act only if the Board determines that it would be in our best interests to do so.
Under Maryland law, “business combinations” between a Maryland corporation and an interested shareholder or an affiliate of an interested shareholder are prohibited for five years after the most recent date on which the interested shareholder becomes an interested shareholder (the “Business Combination Act”). These business combinations include a merger, consolidation, share exchange or, in circumstances specified in the statute, an asset transfer or issuance or reclassification of equity securities. An interested shareholder is defined as:
•any person who beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting power of the corporation’s outstanding voting stock; or
•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 stock of the corporation.
A person is not an interested shareholder under this statute if the Board approved in advance the transaction by which the shareholder otherwise would have become an interested shareholder. However, in approving a transaction, the Board 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 Maryland corporation and an interested shareholder generally must be recommended by the Board of the corporation and approved by the affirmative vote of at least:
•80% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding shares of voting stock of the corporation; and
•two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of voting stock of the corporation other than shares held by the interested shareholder with whom or with whose affiliate the business combination is to be effected or held by an affiliate or associate of the interested shareholder.
These super-majority vote requirements do not apply if the corporation’s common shareholders receive a minimum price, as defined under Maryland law, for their shares in the form of cash or other consideration in the same form as previously paid by the interested shareholder for its shares.
The statute permits various exemptions from its provisions, including business combinations that are exempted by the Board before the time that the interested shareholder becomes an interested shareholder. We expect our Board to adopt a resolution that any business combination between us and any other person is exempted from the provisions of the Business Combination Act, provided that the business combination is first approved by the Board, including a majority of the directors who are not “interested persons” as defined in the 1940 Act. This resolution may be altered or repealed in whole or in part at any time; however, our Board will adopt resolutions so as to make us subject to the provisions of the Business Combination Act only if the Board determines that it would be in our best interests and if the Securities and Exchange Commission staff does not object to our determination that our being subject to the Business Combination Act does not conflict with the 1940 Act. If this resolution is repealed, or the Board does not otherwise approve a business combination, the statute may discourage others from trying to acquire control of us and increase the difficulty of consummating any offer.
Conflict with 1940 Act
Our Bylaws provide that, if and to the extent that any provision of the MGCL, including the Control Share Act (if we amend our Bylaws to be subject to such Act) and the Business Combination Act, or any provision of our Charter or Bylaws conflicts with any provision of the 1940 Act, the applicable provision of the 1940 Act will control.
Our Charter and Bylaws provide that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of the Company, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any director, officer or other employee of the Company to the Company or the Company’s shareholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the MGCL, the Charter or Bylaws or the securities, antifraud, unfair trade practices or similar laws of any international, national, state, provincial, territorial, local or other governmental or regulatory authority, including, in each case, the applicable rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, or (iv) any action asserting a claim governed by the internal affairs doctrine will be a federal or state court located in the state of Maryland, provided that to the extent the appropriate court located in the state of Maryland determines that it does not have jurisdiction over such action, then the sole and exclusive forum will be any federal or state court located in the state of Maryland. Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of capital stock of the Company will be deemed, to the fullest extent permitted by law, to have notice of and consented to these exclusive forum provisions and to have irrevocably submitted to, and waived any objection to, the exclusive jurisdiction of such courts in connection with any such action or proceeding and consented to process being served in any such action or proceeding, without limitation, by United States mail addressed to the shareholder at the shareholder’s address as it appears on the records of the Company, with postage thereon prepaid.
Transfer and Resale Restrictions
Shares of the Company may not be directly or indirectly sold, transferred, assigned, pledged, hypothecated or otherwise disposed of without the prior written consent of the Adviser, which consent may be given or withheld in the sole discretion of the Adviser. Any costs associated with a transfer by a shareholder may be borne by such shareholder.
Furthermore, following any Exchange Listing, our shareholders will be subject to lock-up restrictions pursuant to which they will be prohibited from selling Shares for a certain period after the date of the Exchange listing. The specific terms of this restriction and any other limitations on the sale of our Shares in connection with or following an Exchange Listing will be agreed in advance between our board of directors and our Adviser, acting on behalf of our investors, and the underwriters of the Exchange Listing or other similar institutions, acting on our behalf, in connection with a listing.