DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE
SECURITIES ACT OF 1934
We have provided below a summary description of our capital stock. This description is not complete and is qualified in its entirety by the full text of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation (“certificate of incorporation”) and our amended and restated bylaws (“bylaws”), each of which is filed as an exhibit to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this Exhibit 4.5 is a part. You should read the full text of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws, as well as the provisions of applicable Oklahoma law. Throughout this exhibit, references to the “Company,” “we,””our,” and “us” refer to ONE Gas, Inc.
ONE Gas, Inc.’s authorized capital stock consists of (i) 250,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, and (ii) 50,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share.
On February 7, 2020 we had 52,774,254 outstanding shares of common stock.
No preferred stock has been issued as of February 7, 2020.
Holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote for each share held by them on all matters submitted to our shareholders. Holders of our common stock do not have cumulative voting rights in the election of directors. Generally, all matters to be voted on by shareholders must be approved by a majority of the votes entitled to be cast by the holders of common stock present in person or represented by proxy, voting together as a single class, subject to any voting rights granted to holders of any preferred stock.
Holders of our common stock will share equally on a per share basis in any dividend declared by our board of directors out of funds legally available for that purpose, subject to any preferential rights of holders of any outstanding shares of preferred stock.
Upon voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company, after payment in full of the amounts required to be paid to creditors and holders of any preferred stock that may be then outstanding, all holders of common stock are entitled to share equally on a pro rata basis in all remaining assets. No shares of common stock are subject to redemption or have preemptive rights to purchase additional shares of common stock or our other securities. There are no other subscription rights or conversion rights and there are no sinking fund provisions applicable to our common stock. All the outstanding shares of common stock are validly issued, fully paid and nonassessable.
Amendment of Bylaws
Except as otherwise provided by law, our certificate of incorporation or our bylaws, our bylaws may be amended, altered or repealed at (i) a meeting of the shareholders provided that notice of such amendment, alteration or appeal is contained in the notice of such meeting or (ii) a meeting of our board of directors. All such amendments must be approved by either the holders of at least 80 percent of the voting power of our then outstanding shares of common stock or by a majority of our entire board of directors then in office.
Amendment of the Certificate of Incorporation
Any proposal to amend, alter, change or repeal any provision of our certificate of incorporation, except as otherwise provided in our certificate of incorporation or as may be provided in the terms of any preferred stock, requires approval by the affirmative vote of both a majority of the members of our board of directors then in office and a majority vote of the voting power of all of the shares of our capital stock entitled to vote generally in the election of directors, voting together as a single class. Our certificate of incorporation also requires the affirmative vote of the holders of 80% of our then outstanding shares to amend, repeal or adopt provisions in our certificate of incorporation relating to, among other things,
the number of directors and the manner of electing those directors, including the election of directors to newly created directorships and the classification of our board of directors;
provisions relating to changes in the bylaws;
a director’s personal liability to us or our shareholders;
shareholder ratification of various contracts, transactions and acts; and
voting requirements for approval of business combinations.
Shareholder Action; Special Meeting
Our certificate of incorporation eliminates the ability of our shareholders to act by written consent. Our certificate of incorporation provides that special meetings of our shareholders may be called only by a majority of the members of our board of directors.
Exculpation and Indemnification
Our certificate of incorporation provides that our directors and officers will not be personally liable for monetary damages for any action taken, or any failure to take any action, unless:
the director or officer has breached his or her duty of loyalty to the corporation or its shareholders;
the breach or failure to perform constitutes an act or omission not in good faith or which involves intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law;
the director served at the time of payment of an unlawful dividend or an unlawful stock purchase or redemption, unless the director was absent at the time the action was taken or dissented from the
the director or officer derived an improper personal benefit from the transaction.
We will generally indemnify any person who was, is, or is threatened to be made, a party to a proceeding by reason of the fact that he or she:
is or was our director, officer, employee or agent; or
while our director, officer, employee or agent is or was serving at our request as a director, officer,
employee or agent of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise.
Any indemnification of our directors, officers or others pursuant to the foregoing provisions for liabilities arising under the Securities Act are, in the opinion of the SEC, against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and are unenforceable.
Advance Notice Requirements for Shareholder Proposals
At any annual meeting of our shareholders, the only business that shall be brought before the meeting is that which is brought:
pursuant to our notice of meeting;
by or at the discretion of our board of directors; or
by any of our shareholders of record at the time the notice is given, who shall be entitled to vote at the
meeting and who complies with the notice procedures set forth herein.
For business to be properly brought before an annual meeting by a shareholder, the shareholder must have given timely notice in writing to our secretary. To be timely, a shareholder’s notice must be received at our principal executive offices not less than 120 calendar days before the anniversary of the date our proxy statement was released to shareholders in connection with the previous year’s annual meeting; provided however, that if the date of the meeting is changed by more than 30 days from the date of the previous year’s meeting, notice must be received no later than the close of business on the 10th day following the earlier of the day on which notice of the date of the meeting was mailed to shareholders or public disclosure of that date was made. The shareholder notice shall set forth as to each matter the shareholder proposes to bring before the meeting:
a brief description of and the reasons for proposing the matter at the meeting;
with respect to the shareholder giving notice or the beneficial owner, if any on whose behalf the proposal is made: (a) the name and address of such person, (b) the class or series and number of shares which are owned beneficially and of record by such person, (c) the name of each nominee holder of shares owned beneficially but not of record and the number of such shares held by each such nominee, (d) whether and the extent to which any derivative instrument, swap, option or similar transaction was entered into by or on behalf of such person or any of its affiliates or associates, and (e) whether and the extent to which any other agreement has been made by or on behalf of such person or any of its affiliates or associates to mitigate loss or manage risk of such person or to increase or decrease the voting power or other interest of such person;
a representation that the shareholder giving notice intends to appear in person or by proxy at the annual meeting;
any material interest of such shareholder of record or beneficial owner, if any, on whose behalf the proposal is made, or any of their respective affiliates or associates, in such proposal;
a description of all agreements between the shareholder, the beneficial owner, if any, on whose behalf the proposal is made, or any of their respective affiliates or associates, in connection with the proposal of such business by such shareholder; and
all other information that would be required to be disclosed by such shareholder or the beneficial owner, if any, on whose behalf the proposal is made in connection with solicitation of proxies for the election of directors in a contested election, pursuant to Regulation 14A of the Exchange Act.
These provisions may impede shareholders’ ability to bring matters before an annual meeting of shareholders.
Higher Vote for Some Business Combinations and Other Actions
Subject to various exceptions, including acquiring 85 percent of the outstanding shares less shares owned by related persons in a single transaction, a business combination (including, but not limited to, a merger or consolidation, the sale, lease, exchange, transfer or other disposition of our assets in excess of $5,000,000, various issuances and reclassifications of securities and the adoption of a plan or proposal for liquidation or dissolution) with or upon a proposal by a related person, who is a person that is the direct or indirect beneficial owner of more than 10 percent of the outstanding voting shares of our stock (subject to various exceptions), and any affiliates of that person, shall require, in addition to any approvals required by law, the approval of the business combination by either:
a majority vote of all of the independent directors; or
the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares otherwise entitled to vote as a single class with the common stock to approve the business combination, excluding any shares owned by the related person.
Transactions with Interested Parties
Our certificate of incorporation provides that, in the absence of fraud, no contract or other transaction will be affected or invalidated by the fact that any of our directors are in any way interested in or connected with any other party to the contract or transaction or are themselves parties to the contract or transaction, provided that the
interest is fully disclosed or otherwise known to our board of directors at the meeting of our board of directors at which the contract or transaction is authorized or confirmed, and provided further that a quorum of disinterested directors is present at the meeting of our board of directors authorizing or confirming the contract or transaction and the contract or transaction is approved by a majority of the quorum, and no interested director votes on the contract or transaction. Any contract, transaction or act entered into or taken by us or our board or any committee thereof that is ratified by a majority of a quorum of the shareholders having voting power at any annual meeting, or any special meeting called for that purpose, will be valid and binding as though ratified by all of our shareholders. Any director may vote upon any contract or other transaction between us and any subsidiary corporation without regard to the fact that he is also a director of that subsidiary corporation. No contract or agreement between us and any other corporation or party that owns a majority of our capital stock or any subsidiary of that other corporation shall be made or entered into without the affirmative vote of a majority of the whole board of directors at a regular meeting of the board.
Nomination of Directors
Subject to certain exceptions, only persons nominated in accordance with our bylaws may be eligible for election as directors. Our bylaws provide that nominations may be made at any annual meeting of shareholders, or at any special meeting of shareholders called for the purpose of electing directors:
by or at the discretion of our board of directors or a committee thereof; or
by any of our shareholders of record at the time the notice is given, who shall be entitled to vote at the meeting and who complies with the notice procedures set forth in our bylaws.
Detailed procedures to nominate directors are set forth in our bylaws. Those provisions may impede shareholders’ ability to nominate persons for election as directors.
Oklahoma Takeover Statute
We are subject to Section 1090.3 of the Oklahoma General Corporation Act. In general, Section 1090.3 prevents an “interested shareholder” from engaging in a “business combination” with an Oklahoma corporation for three years following the date that person became an interested shareholder, unless:
prior to the date that person became an interested shareholder, our board of directors approved the transaction in which the interested shareholder became an interested shareholder or approved the business combination;
upon consummation of the transaction that resulted in the interested shareholder becoming an interested shareholder, the interested shareholder owned at least 85 percent of our voting stock outstanding at the time the transaction commenced, excluding stock held by directors who are also officers of the corporation and stock held by certain employee stock plans; or
on or subsequent to the date of the transaction in which that person became an interested shareholder, the business combination was approved by our board of directors and authorized at a meeting of shareholders by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation not owned by the interested shareholder.
Section 1090.3 defines a “business combination” to include:
any merger or consolidation involving the corporation and an interested shareholder;
any sale, transfer, pledge or other disposition involving an interested shareholder of 10 percent or more
of the assets of the corporation;
subject to limited exceptions, any transaction that results in the issuance or transfer by the corporation of the stock of the corporation to an interested shareholder;
any transaction involving the corporation that has the effect of increasing the proportionate share of the stock of any class or series of the corporation beneficially owned by the interested shareholder; or
the receipt by an interested shareholder of any loans, guarantees, pledges or other financial benefits provided by or through the corporation.
For purposes of the description above and Section 1090.3, the term “corporation” also includes our majority-owned subsidiaries. In addition, Section 1090.3, defines an “interested shareholder” as an entity or person beneficially owning 15 percent or more of our outstanding voting stock and any entity or person affiliated with or controlling or controlled by that entity or person.
Oklahoma Control Share Provisions
Our certificate of incorporation provides that we are not subject to the control share provisions of the Oklahoma General Corporation Act. With exceptions, this act prevents holders of more than 20 percent of the voting power of the stock of an Oklahoma corporation from voting their shares. If we were to become subject to the control share provisions of the Oklahoma General Corporation Act in the future, this provision may delay the time it takes anyone to gain control of us.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is EQ Shareowner Services.
Shares of our common stock are listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “OGS.”