Description of Osmotica Securities
DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
The following description sets forth certain material terms and provisions of Osmotica Pharmaceuticals plc (the “Company”, “us”, “we”, or “our”) securities that are registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”).
The following is a summary of some of the terms of our ordinary shares based on our Articles of Association. The following summary is subject to, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to, the provisions of our Articles of Association, which is an exhibit to the Annual Report on Form 10-K to which this description is an exhibit.
We are an Irish private company with limited liability. We were organized in Ireland on July 13, 2017 under the name Lilydale Limited with registered number 607944. Effective May 1, 2018, we were renamed Osmotica Pharmaceuticals Limited. On July 31, 2018, Osmotica Pharmaceuticals Limited re- registered under the Irish Companies Act of 2014 as a public limited company and was renamed Osmotica Pharmaceuticals plc. Our affairs are governed by our Constitution, including our Articles of Association, and Irish law.
As provided by and described in our Memorandum of Association, our principal objective is to carry on the business of a holding company and all associated related activities and to carry on various activities associated with that objective.
Our authorized share capital is $4,400,000 and €25,000, divided into 400,000,000 ordinary shares with a nominal value of $0.01 per share, 40,000,000 Preferred Shares with a nominal value of $0.01 per share and 25,000 Euro Deferred Shares with a nominal value of €1.00 per share.
We may issue shares subject to the maximum authorized share capital contained in our Constitution. The authorized share capital may be increased or reduced (but not below the number of issued ordinary shares, preferred shares and Euro deferred shares, as applicable) by a resolution approved by a simple majority of the votes of our shareholders cast at a general meeting (referred to under Irish law as an “ordinary resolution”) (unless otherwise determined by the directors). The shares comprising our authorized share capital may be divided into shares of any nominal value.
The rights and restrictions to which our ordinary shares are subject are prescribed in our Articles of Association. Our Articles of Association entitle our board of directors, without shareholder approval, to determine the terms of the preferred shares issued by us. The preferred shares may be preferred as to dividends, rights upon liquidation or voting in such manner as our board of directors may resolve. The preferred shares may also be redeemable at the option of the holder of the preferred shares or at our option, and may be convertible into or exchangeable for shares of any other class or classes of our share capital, depending on the terms of issue of such preferred shares.
Irish law does not recognize fractional shares held of record. Accordingly, our Articles of Association does not provide for the issuance of fractional shares, and our official Irish register does not reflect any fractional shares.
Whenever an alteration or reorganization of our share capital would result in any of our shareholders becoming entitled to fractions of a share, our board of directors may, on behalf of those shareholders that would
become entitled to fractions of a share, arrange for the sale of the shares representing fractions and the distribution of the net proceeds of sale in due proportion among the shareholders who would have been entitled to the fractions.
Transfer and Registration of Shares
Our share register is maintained by our transfer agent. Registration in this share register will be determinative of membership in us. Any of our shareholders who only hold ordinary shares beneficially will not be the holder of record of such ordinary shares. Instead, the depository or other nominee will be the holder of record of such shares. Accordingly, a transfer of ordinary shares from a person who holds such ordinary shares beneficially to a person who will also hold such ordinary shares beneficially through the same depository or other nominee will not be registered in our official share register, as the depository or other nominee will remain the holder of record of such ordinary shares.
A written instrument of transfer will be required under Irish law in order to register on our official share register any transfer of ordinary shares (i) from a person who holds such ordinary shares directly to any other person or (ii) from a person who holds such ordinary shares beneficially to another person who also will hold such ordinary shares beneficially where the transfer involves a change in the depository or other nominee that is the record owner of the transferred ordinary shares. An instrument of transfer will be required for a shareholder who directly holds ordinary shares to transfer those ordinary shares into his or her own broker account (or vice versa). Such instruments of transfer may give rise to Irish stamp duty, which must be paid prior to registration of the transfer on our official Irish share register. However, a shareholder who directly holds ordinary shares may transfer those ordinary shares into his or her own broker account (or vice versa) without giving rise to Irish stamp duty, provided that there is no change in the beneficial ownership of the ordinary shares as a result of the transfer and the transfer is not made in contemplation of a sale of the ordinary shares.
Accordingly, we strongly recommend that shareholders hold their shares through DTC (or through a broker who holds such shares through DTC).
Any transfer of our ordinary shares that is subject to Irish stamp duty will not be registered in the name of the buyer unless such stamp duty is paid and details of the transfer are provided to our transfer agent. We do not expect to pay any stamp duty on behalf of any acquirer of ordinary shares in our capital. We may, in our absolute discretion, pay (or cause one of our affiliates to pay) any stamp duty.
Our Articles of Association provide that, in the event of any such payment, we (i) may seek reimbursement from the transferor or transferee (at our discretion), (ii) may set-off the amount of the stamp duty against future dividends payable to the transferor or transferee (at our discretion) and (iii) will have a lien against any of our shares in respect of which we have paid stamp duty. Our Articles of Association grant our board of directors general discretion to decline to register an instrument of transfer without giving a reason. In addition, our board of directors may decline to register a transfer of shares unless a registration statement under the Securities Act is in effect with respect to the transfer or the transfer is exempt from registration.
The registration of transfers may be suspended at such times and for such periods, not exceeding 30 days in any year, as our board of directors may from time to time determine (except as may be required by law).
Issuance of Shares
We have the authority, pursuant to our Articles of Association, to increase our authorized but unissued share capital by ordinary resolution by creating additional shares of any class or series. An ordinary resolution of our company requires more than 50% of the votes cast at a shareholder meeting by our shareholders entitled to vote at that meeting. As a matter of Irish law, the board of directors of a company may issue authorized but unissued new shares without shareholder approval once authorized to do so by the Articles of Association of the company or by an ordinary resolution adopted by the shareholders at a general meeting. The authority conferred can be granted for a maximum period of five years, at which point it must be renewed by the shareholders by an ordinary resolution. Because of this requirement of Irish law, our Articles of Association authorize our board of directors to issue new shares up to the amount of our authorized but unissued share capital without shareholder approval for a period of
five years from the date our Articles of Association were adopted. We expect that we will seek to renew such general authority at an annual general meeting before the end of that five-year period. Our Articles of Association authorize our board of directors, without shareholder approval, to determine the terms of any class of preferred shares issued by us.
No Share Certificates
We do not intend to issue share certificates unless (i) certificates are required by law, any stock exchange, a recognized depository, any operator of any clearance or settlement system or the terms of issue of any class or series of our shares or (ii) a holder of our ordinary shares applies for share certificates evidencing ownership of our shares.
Under our Articles of Association, holders of our ordinary shares have no right to certificates for their ordinary shares, except on request and on such terms as our board of directors, at its sole discretion, determines.
Holders' rights to request certificates for ordinary shares are subject to any resolution of our board of directors determining otherwise.
No Sinking Fund
Our ordinary shares have no sinking fund provisions.
No Liability for Further Calls or Assessments
Our ordinary shares are fully paid up and are not subject to calls for any additional payments (non-assessable).
Pre-emption Rights, Share Warrants and Share Options
Under Irish law, certain statutory pre-emption rights apply automatically in favor of our shareholders when our shares are issued for cash. However, we have opted out of these pre-emption rights in our Articles of Association as permitted under Irish law for the maximum period permitted of five years from the date of adoption of the Articles of Association. This opt-out may be renewed every five years under Irish law by a special resolution of the shareholders. A special resolution requires not less than 75% of the votes cast by our shareholders at a meeting of shareholders. We expect that we will seek renewal of the opt-out at an annual general meeting within five years from the date on which our Articles of Association were adopted. If the opt-out expires and is not renewed, shares issued for cash must be offered to our pre-existing shareholders pro rata based on their existing shareholding before the shares can be issued to any new shareholders or pre-existing shareholders in an amount greater than their pro rata entitlements. The statutory pre-emption rights:
|●||generally do not apply where shares are issued for non-cash consideration;|
|●||do not apply to the issuance of non-equity shares (that is, shares that have the right to participate only up to a specified amount in any dividend and capital distribution, which are sometimes referred to as non-participating shares); and|
|●||do not apply to the issuance of shares pursuant to certain employee compensation plans, including the Osmotica Pharmaceuticals plc 2018 Incentive Plan.|
The Irish Companies Act of 2014 (the “Irish Companies Act”) provides that directors may issue share warrants or options without shareholder approval once authorized to do so by the Articles of Association or an ordinary resolution of shareholders. This authority can be granted for a maximum period of five years, after which it must be renewed by the shareholders by an ordinary resolution. Our Articles of Association provide that our board of directors is authorized to grant, upon such terms as the board deems advisable, options to purchase (or commitments to issue at a future date) our shares of any class or series, and to cause warrants or other appropriate instruments evidencing such options or commitments to be issued. This authority under the articles will lapse after five years from the date our Articles of Association were adopted. We expect that we will seek renewal of this
authority at an annual general meeting before the end of that five-year period. The board of directors may issue ordinary shares upon exercise of warrants or options or other commitments without shareholder approval or authorization (up to the relevant authorized but unissued share capital). Statutory pre-emption rights will apply to the issuance of warrants and options issued by us unless an opt-out applies or shareholder approval for an opt-out is obtained in the same manner described directly above for our ordinary shares. We are subject to the Nasdaq Stock Market listing rules requiring shareholder approval of certain ordinary share issuances. The Irish Takeover Rules may be applicable in certain circumstances and can impact our ability to issue ordinary shares.
Under Irish law, we are prohibited from allotting shares without consideration. Accordingly, at least the nominal value of the shares issued underlying any restricted share award, restricted share unit, performance share award, bonus share or any other share-based grant must be paid pursuant to the Irish Companies Act.
Share Repurchases and Redemptions
Our Articles of Association provide that any share that we have agreed to acquire shall be deemed to be a redeemable share. Accordingly, for Irish law purposes, the repurchase of shares by us may technically be effected as a redemption of those shares as described below under “Repurchases and Redemptions.” If our Articles of Association did not contain such provisions, repurchases by us would be subject to many of the same rules that apply to purchases of our shares by subsidiaries described below under “Purchases by Subsidiaries,” including the shareholder approval requirements described below. Except where otherwise noted, when we refer elsewhere to repurchasing or buying back our shares, we are referring to the redemption of shares by us pursuant to the Articles of Association or the purchase of our shares by one of our subsidiaries, in each case in accordance with our Articles of Association and Irish law as described below.
Repurchases and Redemptions
Under Irish law, a company can issue redeemable shares and redeem them out of distributable reserves (which are described below under “Dividends”) or (if the company proposes to cancel the shares on redemption) the proceeds of a new issue of shares for that purpose. The redemption of redeemable shares may only be made by a public limited company where the nominal value of the issued share capital that is not redeemable is not less than 10% of the nominal value of the total issued share capital of the company. All redeemable shares must also be fully paid and the terms of redemption of the shares must provide for payment on redemption. Redeemable shares may, upon redemption, be cancelled or held in treasury. Shareholder approval is not required to redeem our shares.
We may also be given authority by our shareholders to purchase our shares either on or off market, which would take effect on the same terms and be subject to the same conditions as applicable to purchases by our subsidiaries as described below. At an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders held on August 29, 2019, the Company's independent shareholders (being shareholders other than Avista Capital Partners, Altchem Limited and each of their concert parties for the purposes of the Irish Takeover Rules) approved a waiver of mandatory offer obligations under Rule 37 of the Irish Takeover Rules to enable share buybacks or redemptions.
Our board of directors is also entitled to issue preferred shares that may be redeemed either at our option or the option of the shareholder, depending on the terms of such shares. See “—Share Capital.” Repurchased and redeemed shares may be cancelled or held as treasury shares. The nominal value of treasury shares held by us at any time must not exceed 10% of the nominal value of our issued share capital. While we hold shares as treasury shares, we cannot exercise any voting rights in respect of those shares. Treasury shares may be cancelled by us or re-issued subject to certain conditions.
Purchases by Subsidiaries
Under Irish law, it may be permissible for an Irish or non-Irish subsidiary to purchase shares of a company. A general authority of the shareholders of a company is required to allow a subsidiary to make on-market purchases of the company's shares; however, as long as this general authority has been granted, no specific shareholder authority is required for a particular on-market purchase of the company's shares by a subsidiary. A company may elect to seek such general authority, which must expire no later than 18 months after the date on which it was granted, at the first annual general meeting of a company and at subsequent annual general meetings. For an off-market purchase by a subsidiary of a company, the proposed purchase contract must be authorized by special resolution of the shareholders of the company before the contract is entered into. The person whose shares are to be bought back cannot vote in favor of the special resolution and, for at least 21 days prior to the special resolution, the purchase contract must be on display or must be available for inspection by shareholders at the registered office of the company.
The number of shares held by the subsidiaries of a company at any time will count as treasury shares and will be included in any calculation of the permitted treasury share threshold of 10% of the nominal value of the issued share capital of the company. While a subsidiary holds shares of a company, it cannot exercise any voting rights in respect of those shares. The acquisition of the shares of a company by a subsidiary must be funded out of distributable reserves of the subsidiary.
Under Irish law, dividends and distributions may only be made from distributable reserves. Distributable reserves, broadly, means the accumulated realized profits of a company, less accumulated realized losses of the company on a standalone basis. In addition, no dividend or distribution may be made unless the net assets of a company are not less than the aggregate of the company's called up share capital plus undistributable reserves and the distribution does not reduce the company's net assets below such aggregate. Undistributable reserves include a company's undenominated capital (effectively its share premium and capital redemption reserve) and the amount by which the company's accumulated unrealized profits, so far as not previously utilized by any capitalization, exceed the company's accumulated unrealized losses, so far as not previously written off in a reduction or reorganization of capital. The determination as to whether or not a company has sufficient distributable reserves to fund a dividend must be made by reference to “relevant accounts” of the company. The “relevant accounts” are either the last set of unconsolidated annual audited financial statements or unaudited financial statements prepared in accordance with the Irish Companies Act, which give a “true and fair view” of a company's unconsolidated financial position in accordance with accepted accounting practice in Ireland. These “relevant accounts” must be filed in the Companies Registration Office (the official public registry for companies in Ireland).
Consistent with Irish law, our Articles of Association authorize our board of directors to declare interim dividends without shareholder approval out of funds lawfully available for the purpose, to the extent they appear justified by profits and subject always to the requirement to have distributable reserves at least equal to the amount of the proposed dividend. Our board of directors may also recommend a dividend to be approved and declared by our shareholders at a general meeting. Our board of directors may direct that the payment be made by distribution of assets, shares or cash and no dividend declared or paid may exceed the amount recommended by the directors. We may pay dividends in any currency but, if we elect to pay dividends, we intend to pay such dividends in U.S. dollars. Our board of directors may deduct from any dividend or other moneys payable to any shareholder all sums of money, if any, due from the shareholder to us in respect of our ordinary shares.
Our board of directors is also authorized to issue shares in the future with preferred rights to participate in dividends declared by us. The holders of such preference shares may, depending on their terms, rank senior to the holders of our ordinary shares with respect to dividends. The 25,000 Euro deferred shares do not have any right to receive a dividend.
Under our Articles of Association, upon the recommendation of our board of directors, the shareholders by ordinary resolution may authorize the board to capitalize any amount credited to our undenominated capital, any of our profits available for distribution or any amount representing unrealized revaluation reserves, and use such amount for the issuance to shareholders of shares as fully paid bonus shares.
Lien on Shares, Calls on Shares and Forfeiture of Shares
Our Articles of Association provide that we have a first and paramount lien on every share for all debts and liabilities owed by any of our shareholders to us, whether presently due or not, payable in respect of such share. Subject to the terms of their allotment, directors may call for any unpaid amounts in respect of any shares to be paid, and if payment is not made within 14 days after notice demanding payment, we may sell the shares. These provisions are standard inclusions in the articles of association of an Irish company limited by shares such as ours and are only applicable to our shares that have not been fully paid up.
Consolidation and Division; Subdivision
Under our Articles of Association, we may, by ordinary resolution, divide any or all of our share capital into shares of smaller nominal value than its existing shares (often referred to as a share split) or consolidate any or all of our share capital into shares of larger nominal value than its existing shares (often referred to as a reverse share split).
Reduction of Share Capital
We may, by ordinary resolution, reduce our authorized but unissued share capital. We also may, by special resolution and subject to confirmation by the Irish High Court, reduce our issued share capital and any undenominated share capital.
General Meetings of Shareholders
We are required under Irish law to hold an annual general meeting within 18 months of incorporation and thereafter at intervals of no more than 15 months, provided that an annual general meeting is held in each calendar year and no more than nine months after our fiscal year-end. Any annual general meeting may be held outside Ireland, provided that technological means are provided to enable shareholders to participate in the meeting without leaving Ireland. Our Articles of Association include a provision requiring annual general meetings to be held within such time periods as required by Irish law.
The only matters that must, as a matter of Irish law, be transacted at an annual general meeting are the presentation of the annual profit and loss account, balance sheet and reports of the directors and auditors, the appointment of auditors and the fixing of the auditor's fees (or delegation of same). At any annual general meeting, only such business may be conducted as has been brought before the meeting (i) in the notice of the meeting, (ii) by or at the direction of the board of directors, (iii) in certain circumstances, at the direction of the Irish High Court, (iv) as required by law or (v) such business that the chairman of the meeting determines is properly within the scope of the meeting. In addition, subject to compliance with our Articles of Association, shareholders entitled to vote at an annual general meeting may make nominations of candidates for election to the board of directors and propose business to be considered thereat.
Our extraordinary general meetings may be convened (i) by our board of directors, (ii) on requisition of the shareholders holding the number of our shares prescribed by the Irish Companies Act (currently 10% of our paid-up share capital carrying voting rights), or (iii) in certain circumstances, on requisition of our auditors.
Extraordinary general meetings are generally held for the purposes of approving such of our shareholder resolutions as may be required from time to time. The business to be conducted at any extraordinary general meeting must be set forth in the notice of the meeting.
In the case of an extraordinary general meeting requisitioned by our shareholders, the proposed purpose of the meeting must be set out in the requisition notice of the meeting. The requisition notice can propose any business to be considered at the meeting. Under Irish law, upon receipt of this requisition notice, the board of directors has 21 days to convene the extraordinary general meeting of our shareholders to vote on the matters set out in the requisition notice. This meeting must be held within two months of receipt of the requisition notice. If the board does not proceed to convene the meeting within such 21-day period, the requisitioning shareholders, or any of them representing more than one-half of the total voting rights of all of them, may themselves convene a meeting, which meeting must be held within three months of the receipt of the requisition notice by the board.
If the board of directors becomes aware that our net assets are half or less of the amount of our called up share capital, the board must, not later than 28 days from the date that it learns of this fact, convene an extraordinary general meeting of our shareholders to be held not later than 56 days from such date.
This meeting must be convened for the purposes of considering what measures, if any, should be taken to address the situation.
At least 21 days' notice of any annual general meeting or general meeting at which a special resolution is proposed and 14 days in all other circumstances must be given to shareholders, each director and our auditors, under our Articles of Association.
Quorum for Shareholder Meetings
Our Articles of Association provide that no business shall be transacted at any general meeting unless a quorum is present. Under our Articles of Association, the presence, in person or by proxy, of one or more shareholders holding at least 50% of the voting power of our issued shares that carry the right to vote at the meeting constitutes a quorum for the conduct of any business at a general meeting.
The provisions of our Articles of Association relating to general meetings apply to general meetings of the holders of any class of shares except that the necessary quorum is determined by reference to the shares of the holders of the class. Accordingly, for general meetings of holders of a particular class of shares, a quorum consists of one or more shareholders present in person or by proxy holding not less than a majority of the issued and outstanding shares of the class entitled to vote at the meeting in question.
Holders of our ordinary shares are entitled to one vote per ordinary share held as of the record date for the meeting.
Our Articles of Association provide that all votes at a general meeting will be decided by way of a poll. Voting rights on a poll may be exercised by shareholders registered in our share register as of the record date for the meeting or by a duly appointed proxy of such a registered shareholder, which proxy need not be a shareholder. All proxies must be appointed in accordance with our Articles of Association. Our Articles of Association provide that our board of directors may permit the appointment of proxies by the shareholders to be notified to us electronically.
In accordance with our Articles of Association, our board of directors may, from time to time, cause us to issue preferred shares. These shares may have such voting rights, if any, as may be specified in the terms of such shares (e.g., they may carry more votes per share or may entitle their holders to a class vote on such matters as may be specified in the terms of the shares).
Treasury shares (i.e., shares held by us) and our shares held by our subsidiaries will not entitle their holders to vote at general meetings of shareholders.
Except where a greater majority is required by Irish law or our Articles of Association, any question proposed for consideration at any of our general meetings or of any class of shareholders will be decided by an ordinary resolution passed by a simple majority of the votes cast by shareholders entitled to vote at such meeting.
Irish law requires special resolutions of the shareholders at a general meeting to approve certain matters. A special resolution requires not less than 75% of the votes cast by shareholders at a meeting of shareholders.
Examples of matters requiring special resolutions include:
|●||amending our objects as contained in our Memorandum of Association;|
|●||amending our Articles of Association (please see below in relation to an additional approval threshold for amending certain provisions of our Articles of Association);|
|●||approving a change of name;|
|●||authorizing the entry into a guarantee or the granting of security in connection with a loan, quasi loan or credit transaction in favor of a director or connected person of a director (which generally includes a family member or business partner of the director and any entity controlled by the director);|
|●||opting out of pre-emption rights on the issuance of new shares;|
|●||re-registering from a public limited company to a private company;|
|●||purchasing of our own shares off-market;|
|●||reducing issued share capital;|
|●||resolving that we be wound up by the Irish courts;|
|●||resolving in favor of a shareholders' voluntary winding-up;|
|●||re-designating shares into different share classes;|
|●||setting the re-issue price of treasury shares; and|
|●||merging with other Irish companies or with companies incorporated in the European Economic Area (the “EEA”), as described below under “—Acquisitions.”|
Our Constitution requires the prior approval of holders of at least 75% in nominal value of our issued and outstanding ordinary shares which carry an entitlement to vote at a general meeting for amendments to any of the following: paragraph six of our Memorandum of Association and Articles 17, 67.1, 76, 90, 92, 112, 156-159 (inclusive), 194 and 196-198 (inclusive) of our Articles of Association.
Action by Written Consent
Any resolution or action required or permitted to be passed or taken by our shareholders may be effected only at a duly convened annual or extraordinary general meeting of our shareholders and may not be effected by any resolution or consent in writing by such shareholders.
Variation of Rights Attaching to a Class or Series of Shares
Under our Articles of Association and the Irish Companies Act, any variation of class rights attaching to our issued shares must be approved by an ordinary resolution passed at a general meeting of the shareholders of the affected class or series or with the consent in writing of the holders of a majority of the issued shares of that class of shares entitled to vote on such variation. The rights conferred upon the holder of any of our pre-existing issued shares shall not be deemed to be varied by the issuance of any preferred shares.
Our Articles of Association provide that our board of directors may set a record date for the purposes of determining which shareholders are entitled to notice of, or to vote at, a general meeting and the record date shall not be more than sixty (60) days prior to the date of the meeting. If no record date is fixed by the board of directors, the date immediately preceding the date on which notice of the meeting is deemed given under our Articles of Association will be the record date for such determination of members.
Under Irish law, there is no general right for a shareholder to put items on the agenda of an annual general meeting, other than as set out in the Articles of Association of a company. Under our Articles of Association, in addition to any other applicable requirements, for business or nominations to be properly brought by a shareholder before an annual general meeting or an extraordinary general meeting requisitioned by shareholders, such shareholder must have given timely notice thereof in proper written form to our corporate secretary.
To be timely for an annual general meeting, a shareholder's notice to our secretary as to the business or nominations to be brought before the meeting must be delivered to or mailed and received at our registered office not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days before the first anniversary of the notice convening our annual general meeting for the prior year. In the event that the date of the annual general meeting is changed by more than 30 days from the date contemplated at the time of the previous year's proxy statement, notice by the member must be so delivered by close of business on the day that is not earlier than 120 days prior to such annual general meeting and not later than the later of (a) 90 days prior to the day of the contemplated annual general meeting or (b) ten days after the day on which public announcement of the date of the contemplated annual general meeting is first made by us. In no event shall the public announcement of an adjournment or postponement of an annual general meeting commence a new time period (or extend any time period) for the giving of a shareholder's notice.
To be timely for business or nominations of a director at an extraordinary general meeting, notice must be delivered, or mailed and received not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days prior to the date of such extraordinary general meeting. If the first public announcement of the date of the extraordinary general meeting is less than 100 days prior to the date of the meeting, notice must be given by close of business ten days after the day on which the public announcement of the date of the extraordinary general meeting is first made by us.
For nominations to the board, the notice must include all information about the director nominee that is required to be disclosed by Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) rules regarding the solicitation of proxies for the election of directors pursuant to Regulation 14A under the Exchange Act. For other business that a shareholder proposes to bring before the meeting, the notice must include a brief description of the business, the reasons for proposing the business at the meeting and a discussion of any material interest of the shareholder in the business. Whether the notice relates to a nomination to the board of directors or to other business to be proposed at the meeting, the notice also must include information about the shareholder and the shareholder's holdings of our shares. The chairman of the meeting shall have the power and duty to determine whether any business proposed to be brought before the meeting was made or proposed in accordance with these procedures (as set out in our Articles of Association), and if any proposed business is not in compliance with these provisions, to declare that such defective proposal shall be disregarded.
In Ireland, the decision to institute proceedings on behalf of a company is generally taken by the company's board of directors. In certain limited circumstances, a shareholder may be entitled to bring a derivative action on our behalf. The central question at issue in deciding whether a shareholder may be permitted to bring a derivative action is whether, unless the action is brought, a wrong committed against us would otherwise go un-redressed. The cause of action may be against a director, another person or both.
A shareholder may also bring proceedings against us in his or her own name where the shareholder's rights as such have been infringed or where our affairs are being conducted, or the powers of the board of directors are being exercised, in a manner oppressive to any shareholder or shareholders or in disregard of their interests as shareholders. Oppression connotes conduct that is burdensome, harsh or wrong. This is an Irish statutory remedy under Section 212 of the Irish Companies Act and the court can grant any order it sees fit, including providing for the purchase or transfer of the shares of any shareholder.
Our Articles of Association provide that all actions, other than those related to U.S. securities law, but including, without limitation, (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or employees to us or any of our shareholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to any provision of Irish law or our Articles of Association, and (iv) any action to interpret, apply, enforce or determine the validity of our Articles of Association, shall be brought in the courts of Ireland, which have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to determine such matters.
Inspection of Books and Records
Under Irish law, our shareholders shall have certain rights to inspect our books and records, including the right to: (i) receive a copy of our Constitution and any act of the Irish Government that alters our Constitution; (ii) inspect and obtain copies of the minutes of general meetings of shareholders (including resolutions adopted at such meetings); (iii) inspect and receive a copy of the register of shareholders, register of directors and secretaries, register of directors' interests and other statutory registers maintained by us; (iv) receive copies of the most recent balance sheets and directors' and auditors' reports which have previously been sent to shareholders prior to an annual general meeting; and (v) receive balance sheets of any of our subsidiary companies that have previously been sent to shareholders prior to an annual general meeting for the preceding ten years. Our auditors also have the right to inspect all of our books and records. The auditors' report must be circulated to the shareholders with our Financial Statements (as defined below) at least 21 days before the annual general meeting, and such report must (if requested) be read to the shareholders at our annual general meeting. The Financial Statements referenced above mean our balance sheet, profit and loss account and, so far as they are not incorporated in the balance sheet or profit and loss account, any group accounts and the directors' and auditors' reports, together with any other document required by law to be annexed to the balance sheet. Our auditors also have the right to inspect all of our books, records and vouchers.
There are a number of mechanisms for acquiring an Irish public limited company, including:
|●||a court-approved scheme of arrangement under the Irish Companies Act. A scheme of arrangement with one or more classes of shareholders requires a court order from the Irish High Court and the approval of: (i) more than 50% in number of the shareholders of each participating class or series voting on the scheme of arrangement, or (ii) representing 75% or more by value of the shares of such participating class or series held by the shareholders voting on the scheme of arrangement, in each case at the relevant meeting or meetings. A scheme of arrangement, if authorized by the shareholders of each participating class or series and the court, is binding on all of the shareholders of each participating class or series. Shares held by the acquiring party are not excluded from the tally of a vote on the scheme, but such shares may be considered to belong to a separate class for the purposes of approving the scheme, in which case the acquiring party's|
|shares would not be voted for the purposes of the separate class approval required from the remaining, non-acquiring shareholders;|
|●||through a tender offer by a third party pursuant to the Irish Takeover Rules. Where the holders of 80% or more in value of a class of our shares (excluding any shares already beneficially owned by the offeror) have accepted an offer for their shares, the remaining shareholders in that class may be statutorily required to also transfer their shares, unless, within one month, the non-tendering shareholders can obtain an Irish court order otherwise providing. If the offeror has acquired acceptances of 80% of all of our shares but does not exercise this “squeeze out” right, the non-accepting shareholders also have a statutory right to require the offeror to acquire their shares on the same terms as the original offer, or such other terms as the offeror and the non-tendering shareholders may agree or on such terms as an Irish court, on application of the offeror or non-tendering shareholder, may order. If our shares were listed on the Euronext Dublin or another regulated stock exchange in the EU, this 80% threshold would be increased to 90%; and|
|●||by way of a merger with a company incorporated in the EEA under the EU Cross-Border Mergers Directive (EU) 2019/2121 and the Irish European Communities (Cross-Border Mergers) Regulations 2008,(as amended), or with another Irish company under the Irish Companies Act. Such a merger must be approved by a special resolution and the Irish High Court. Shareholders also may be entitled to have their shares acquired for cash. See “—Appraisal Rights.”|
The approval of the board of directors, but not shareholder approval, is required for a sale, lease or exchange of all or substantially all of our assets, except that such a transaction between us and one of our directors or a person or entity connected to such a director may require shareholder approval.
Generally, under Irish law, shareholders of an Irish company do not have statutory appraisal rights. If we are being merged as the transferor company with another EEA company under the EU Cross-Border Mergers Directive (EU) 2019/2121 and the Irish European Communities (Cross-Border Mergers) Regulations 2008 (as amended) or if we are being merged with another Irish company under the Irish Companies Act, (i) any of our shareholders who voted against the special resolution approving the merger or (ii) if 90% of our shares are held by the successor company, any other of our shareholders, may be entitled to require that the successor company acquire its shares for cash. In addition, a dissenting shareholder in a successful tender offer for an Irish company may, by application to the Irish High Court, object to the compulsory squeeze out provisions.
Disclosure of Interests in Shares
Under the Irish Companies Act, our shareholders must notify us if, as a result of a transaction, (i) the shareholder will be interested in 3% or more of our ordinary shares that carry voting rights or (ii) the shareholder who was interested in 3% or more of the shares will cease to be interested in our ordinary shares that carry voting rights. In addition, where a shareholder is interested in 3% or more of our ordinary shares, the shareholder must notify us of any alteration of its interest that brings its total holding through the nearest whole percentage number, whether an increase or a reduction. All such disclosures must be notified to us within two days of the event that gave rise to the requirement to notify. Where a person fails to comply with the notification requirements described above, no right or interest of any kind whatsoever in respect of any of our ordinary shares held by such person will be enforceable by such person, whether directly or indirectly, by action or legal proceeding. However, such person may apply to the Irish High Court to have the rights attaching to its ordinary shares reinstated. In addition to the disclosure requirement described above, under the Irish Companies Act, we may, by notice in writing, and must, on the requisition of shareholders holding 10% or more of our paid-up capital carrying voting rights, require a person whom we know or have reasonable cause to believe is, or at any time during the three years immediately preceding the date on which such notice is issued was, interested in shares comprised in our relevant share capital to: (i) indicate whether or not it is the case and (ii) where such person holds or has during that time held an interest in our ordinary shares, to give certain further information as may be required by us including particulars of such person or beneficial owner's past or present interests in our ordinary shares.
Any information given in response to the notice is required to be given in writing within such reasonable time as may be specified in the notice.
Where such a notice is served by us on a person who is or was interested in our ordinary shares and that person fails to give us any information required within the reasonable time specified, we may apply to a court for an order directing that the affected ordinary shares be subject to certain restrictions. Under the Irish Companies Act, the restrictions that may be placed on the ordinary shares by the court are as follows:
|●||any transfer of those ordinary shares or, in the case of unissued shares, any transfer of the right to be issued with ordinary shares and any issue of such ordinary shares, shall be void;|
|●||no voting rights shall be exercisable in respect of those ordinary shares;|
|●||no further shares shall be issued in respect of those ordinary shares or in pursuance of any offer made to the holder of those ordinary shares; and|
|●||no payment shall be made of any sums due from us on those ordinary shares, whether in respect of capital or otherwise.|
Where our ordinary shares are subject to these restrictions, the court may order the ordinary shares to be sold and may also direct that the ordinary shares shall cease to be subject to these restrictions.
In addition, persons or groups (within the meaning of the Exchange Act) beneficially owning 5% or more of our ordinary shares must comply with the reporting requirements under Section 13 of the Exchange Act.
Shareholder Rights Plans and Share Issuances
Irish law does not expressly prohibit companies from issuing share purchase rights or adopting a shareholder rights plan as an anti-takeover measure. However, there is no directly relevant case law on the validity of such plans under Irish law.
Our Articles of Association allow our board of directors to adopt any shareholder rights plan upon such terms and conditions as the board deems expedient and in our best interest, subject to applicable law, including the Irish Takeover Rules and Substantial Acquisition Rules described below and the requirement for shareholder authorization for the issue of shares described above.
Subject to the Irish Takeover Rules described below and the Irish Companies Act, the board of directors also has the power to issue any of our authorized and unissued shares on such terms and conditions as it may determine to be in our best interest. It is possible that the terms and conditions of any issue of shares could discourage a takeover or other transaction that holders of some or a majority of our ordinary shares might believe to be in their best interest or in which holders of our ordinary shares might receive a premium for their shares over the then-market price of the shares.
Irish Takeover Rules and Substantial Acquisition Rules
A tender offer by which a third party makes an offer generally to our shareholders or a class of shareholders to acquire shares of any class conferring voting rights will be governed by the Irish Takeover Panel Act 1997 and the Irish Takeover Rules made thereunder and will be regulated by the Irish Takeover Panel (as well as being governed by the Exchange Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder). The “General Principles” of the Irish Takeover Rules and certain important aspects of the Irish Takeover Rules are described below. Takeovers by means of a scheme of arrangement are also generally subject to these regulations.
General Principles. The Irish Takeover Rules are based on the following General Principles that will apply to any transaction regulated by the Irish Takeover Panel:
|●||in the event of an offer, all classes of shareholders of the target company should be afforded equivalent treatment and, if a person acquires control of a company, the other holders of securities must be protected;|
|●||the holders of securities in the target company must have sufficient time and information to allow them to make an informed decision regarding the offer. If the board of directors of the target company advises the holders of the securities with respect to the offer, it must advise on the effects of the implementation of the offer on employment, employment conditions and the locations of the target company's places of business;|
|●||the board of a target company must act in the interests of the company as a whole and must not deny the holders of securities the opportunity to decide on the merits of the offer;|
|●||false markets must not be created in the securities of the target company or any other company concerned by the offer in such a way that the rise or fall of the prices of the securities becomes artificial and the normal functioning of the markets is distorted;|
|●||an offeror can only announce an offer after ensuring that it can fulfill in full any cash consideration offered, and after taking all reasonable measures to secure the implementation of any other type of consideration;|
|●||a target company may not be hindered in the conduct of its affairs for longer than is reasonable by an offer for its securities. This is a recognition that an offer will disrupt the day-to-day running of a target company, particularly if the offer is hostile and the board of the target company must divert its attention to resist the offer; and|
|●||a “substantial acquisition” of securities (whether such acquisition is to be effected by one transaction or a series of transactions) will only be allowed to take place at an acceptable speed and shall be subject to adequate and timely disclosure.|
Mandatory Offer. If an acquisition of shares were to increase the aggregate holding of an acquirer and its concert parties (which generally mean persons acting in concert with the acquirer) to shares carrying 30% or more of the voting rights in our shares, the acquirer and, depending on the circumstances, its concert parties would be mandatorily required (except with the consent of the Irish Takeover Panel) to make a cash tender offer for the remaining outstanding shares at a price not less than the highest price paid for the shares by the acquirer or its concert parties during the previous twelve months.
This requirement would also be triggered by an acquisition of shares by a person holding (together with its concert parties) shares carrying between 30% and 50% of the voting rights in us if the effect of such acquisition were to increase the percentage of the voting rights held by that person (together with its concert parties) by 0.05% within a twelve month period.
Voluntary Offer; Requirements to Make a Cash Offer and Minimum Price Requirements. A voluntary offer is a tender offer that is not a mandatory offer. If an offeror or any of its concert parties acquires any of our shares of the same class as the shares that are the subject of the voluntary offer within the period of three months prior to the commencement of the offer period, the offer price must be not less than the highest price paid for our shares of that class by the offeror or its concert parties during that period. The Irish Takeover Panel has the power to extend the “look back” period to twelve months if the Panel, having regard to the General Principles, believes it is appropriate to do so.
If the offeror or any of its concert parties has acquired our shares of the same class as the shares that are the subject of the voluntary offer (i) during the period of twelve months prior to the commencement of the offer period which represent 10% or more of the nominal value of the issued shares of that class or (ii) at any time after the commencement of the offer period, the offer shall be in cash (or accompanied by a full cash alternative) and the price per share shall be not less than the highest price paid by the offeror or its concert parties for shares (of that class) during, in the case of (i), the period of twelve months prior to the commencement of the offer period and, in the case of (ii), the offer period. The Irish Takeover Panel may apply this rule to an offeror who, together with its
concert parties, has acquired less than 10% of the nominal value of the issued shares of the class of shares that is the subject of the offer in the twelve-month period prior to the commencement of the offer period if the Panel, having regard to the General Principles, considers it just and proper to do so.
An offer period will generally commence from the date of the first announcement of an offer or proposed offer.
Substantial Acquisition Rules. The Irish Takeover Rules also contain rules governing substantial acquisitions of shares which restrict the speed at which a person may increase his or her holding of shares and rights over shares to an aggregate of between 15% and 30% of the voting rights in our shares. Except in certain circumstances, an acquisition or series of acquisitions of shares or rights over shares representing 10% or more of the voting rights in our shares is prohibited, if such acquisition(s), when aggregated with shares or rights already held, would result in the acquirer holding 15% or more but less than 30% of the voting rights in our shares and such acquisitions are made within a period of seven days. These rules also require accelerated disclosure of certain other acquisitions of shares or rights over shares relating to such holdings.
Frustrating Action. Under the Irish Takeover Rules, the board of directors is not permitted to take any action that might frustrate an offer for our shares during the course of an offer or at any earlier time at which the board has reason to believe an offer is or may be imminent, except as noted below. Potentially frustrating actions such as (i) the issue of shares, options or convertible securities, (ii) material disposals, (iii) entering into contracts other than in the ordinary course of business or (iv) any action, other than seeking alternative offers, which may result in the frustration of an offer, are prohibited during the course of an offer or at any time during which the board has reason to believe that an offer is or may be imminent. Exceptions to this prohibition are available where:
|●||the action is approved by our shareholders at a general meeting; or|
|●||with the consent of the Irish Takeover Panel, where:|
|●||the Irish Takeover Panel is satisfied that the action would not constitute a frustrating action;|
|●||the holders of at least 50% of the voting rights state in writing that they approve the proposed action and would vote in favor of it at a general meeting;|
|●||the action is in accordance with a contract entered into prior to the announcement of the offer (or prior to a time at which the board has reason to believe that an offer is or may be imminent); or|
|●||the decision to take such action was made before the announcement of the offer (or prior to a time at which the board has reason to believe that an offer is or may be imminent) and has been either at least partially implemented or is in the ordinary course of business.|
Insider Dealing. The Irish Takeover Rules also provide that no person, other than the offeror who is privy to confidential price-sensitive information concerning an offer made in respect of the acquisition of a company (or a class of its securities) or a contemplated offer, shall deal in relevant securities of the offeree during the period from the time at which such person first has reason to suppose that such an offer, or an approach with a view to such an offer being made, is contemplated to the time of (i) the announcement of such offer or approach or (ii) the termination of discussions relating to such offer, whichever is earlier.
For other provisions that could be considered to have an anti-takeover effect, see “—Transfer and Registration of Shares,” “—Issuance of Shares—Pre-emption Rights, Share Warrants and Share Options,” “—Voting—Generally,” “—Voting—Variation of Rights Attaching to a Class or Series of Shares,” “—Disclosure of Interests in Shares” and “—Corporate Governance.”
Business Combinations with Interested Shareholders
Our Articles of Association provide that, subject to certain exceptions, we may not engage in certain business combinations with any person, other than investment funds affiliated with Avista Capital Partners and
affiliates of Altchem Limited and their respective affiliates, that acquires beneficial ownership of 15% or more of our outstanding voting shares for a period of three years following the date on which such person became a 15% shareholder unless: (i) a committee of our disinterested directors approves the business combination; and (ii) in certain circumstances, the business combination is authorized by a special resolution of disinterested shareholders.
Our Articles of Association allocate authority over management of our Company to our board of directors. Our board of directors may then delegate management to committees of the board or such other persons as it thinks fit. Regardless of any delegation, the board of directors will remain responsible, as a matter of Irish law, for the proper management of our affairs. The board of directors may create new committees or change the responsibilities of existing committees from time to time.
Directors: Term and Appointment
Directors are elected or appointed at the annual general meeting or at any extraordinary general meeting called for that purpose until the next annual general meeting of the company. Each director is elected by the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast with respect to such director. In the event of a “contested election” of directors, directors shall be elected by the vote of a plurality of the votes cast at any meeting for the election of directors at which a quorum is present.
No person may be appointed director unless nominated in accordance with our Articles of Association. Our Articles of Association provide that, with respect to an annual or extraordinary general meeting of shareholders, nominations of persons for election to our board of directors may be made by (i) the affirmative vote of our board of directors or a committee thereof, (ii) any shareholder who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has complied with the advance notice procedures provided for our Articles of Association, or (iii) with respect to election at an extraordinary general meeting requisitioned in accordance with section 178 of the Irish Companies Act, by a shareholder who holds ordinary shares or other shares carrying the general right to vote at general meetings of the company and who makes such nomination in the written requisition of the extraordinary general meeting in accordance with our Articles of Association and the Irish Companies Act relating to nominations of directors and the proper bringing of special business before an extraordinary general meeting.
Under our Articles of Association, our board of directors has the authority to appoint directors to the board, either to fill a vacancy or as an additional director. A vacancy on the board of directors created by the removal of a director may be filled by an ordinary resolution of the shareholders at the meeting at which such director is removed and, in the absence of such election or appointment, the remaining directors may fill the vacancy. The board of directors may fill a vacancy by an affirmative vote of a majority of the directors constituting a quorum. If there is an insufficient number of directors to constitute a quorum, the board may nonetheless act to fill such vacancies or call a general meeting of the shareholders. Under our Articles of Association, if the board fills a vacancy, the director's term expires at the next annual general meeting. If there is an appointment to fill a casual vacancy or an addition to the board, the total number of directors shall not at any time exceed the number of directors from time to time fixed by the board in accordance with the Articles of Association.
Removal of Directors
The Irish Companies Act provides that, notwithstanding anything contained in the Articles of Association of a company or in any agreement between that company and a director, the shareholders may, by an ordinary resolution, remove a director from office before the expiration of his or her term, provided that notice of the intention to move any such resolution be given by the requisitioning shareholders to the company not less than 28 days before the meeting at which the director is to be removed, and the director will be entitled to be heard at such meeting. The power of removal is without prejudice to any claim for damages for breach of contract (e.g., employment agreement) that the director may have against us in respect of his or her removal.
Our directors have certain statutory and fiduciary duties. All of our directors have equal and overall responsibility for our management (although directors who also serve as employees will have additional responsibilities and duties arising under their employment agreements and will be expected to exercise a greater degree of skill and diligence than non-executive directors). The principal fiduciary duties include the statutory and common law fiduciary duties of acting in good faith in the interests of our company and exercising due care and skill. Other statutory duties include ensuring the maintenance of proper books of account, having annual accounts prepared, having an annual audit performed, maintaining certain registers and making certain filings as well as the disclosure of personal interests. Particular duties also apply to directors of insolvent companies (for example, the directors could be liable to sanctions where they are deemed by the court to have carried on our business while insolvent, without due regard to the interests of creditors). For public limited companies like us, directors are under a specific duty to ensure that the corporate secretary is a person with the requisite knowledge and experience to discharge the role.
Conflicts of Interest
As a matter of Irish law, a director is under a fiduciary duty to avoid conflicts of interest. Irish law and our Articles of Association provide that: (i) a director may be a director of or otherwise interested in a company relating to us and will not be accountable to us for any remuneration or other benefits received as a result, unless we otherwise direct; (ii) a director or a director's firm may act for us in a professional capacity other than as auditor; and (iii) a director may hold an office or place of profit in us and will not be disqualified from contracting with us. If a director has a personal interest in an actual or proposed contract with us, the director must declare the nature of his or her interest and we are required to maintain a register of such declared interests that must be available for inspection by the shareholders. Such a director may vote on any resolution of the board of directors in respect of such a contract, and such a contract will not be voidable solely as a result.
Indemnification of Directors and Officers; Insurance
To the fullest extent permitted by Irish law, our Articles of Association confer an indemnity on our directors and officers. However, this indemnity is limited by the Irish Companies Act, which prescribes that an advance commitment to indemnify only permits a company to pay the costs or discharge the liability of a director or corporate secretary where judgment is given in favor of the director or corporate secretary in any civil or criminal action in respect of such costs or liability, or where an Irish court grants relief because the director or corporate secretary acted honestly and reasonably and ought fairly to be excused. Any provision whereby an Irish company seeks to commit in advance to indemnify its directors or corporate secretary over and above the limitations imposed by the Irish Companies Act will be void under Irish law, whether contained in its Articles of Association or any contract between the company and the director or corporate secretary. This restriction does not apply to our executives who are not directors, the corporate secretary or other persons who would be considered “officers” within the meaning of that term under the Irish Companies Act.
Our Articles of Association also contain indemnification and expense advancement provisions for persons who are not directors or our corporate secretary.
We are permitted under our Articles of Association and the Irish Companies Act to take out directors' and officers' liability insurance, as well as other types of insurance, for our directors, officers, employees and agents.
Additionally, we and certain of our subsidiaries have entered into agreements to indemnify our directors to the maximum extent allowed under applicable law. These agreements, among other things, provide that we indemnify our directors for certain expenses (including attorneys' fees), judgments, fines and settlement amounts reasonably incurred by such person in any action or proceeding, including any action by or in our right, on account of any services undertaken by such person on our behalf or that person's status as our director.
Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted to our directors, officers or persons controlling the registrant pursuant to the foregoing provisions, we have been informed that in the opinion of the SEC such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is therefore unenforceable.
Duration; Dissolution; Rights upon Liquidation
Our duration is unlimited. We may be dissolved at any time by way of either a shareholder's voluntary winding up or a creditors' winding up. In the case of a shareholder's voluntary winding up, we must be solvent and a special resolution of the shareholders is required. We may also be dissolved by way of court order on the application of a creditor, or by the Director of Corporate Enforcement in Ireland where our affairs have been investigated by an inspector and it appears from the report or any information obtained by the Director of Corporate Enforcement that we should be wound up.
The rights of the shareholders to a return of our assets on dissolution or winding up, following the settlement of all claims of creditors, may be prescribed in our Articles of Association or the terms of any shares issued by the board of directors from time to time. If the Articles of Association and terms of issue of our shares contain no specific provisions in respect of a dissolution or winding up then, subject to the shareholder priorities and the rights of any creditors, the assets will be distributed to shareholders in proportion to the paid-up nominal value of the shares held. Our Articles of Association provide that our ordinary shareholders may be entitled to participate in a winding up, and the method by which the property will be divided shall be determined by the liquidator, subject to a special resolution of the shareholders, but such rights of ordinary shareholders to participate may be subject to the rights of any preference shareholders to participate under the terms of any series or class of preference shares.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our ordinary shares is Computershare Trust Company, N.A.
There is no limitation imposed by Irish law or by our Articles of Association on the right of a non-resident to hold or vote our ordinary shares.
Our ordinary shares are listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “OSMT.”