Description of Common Stock of the Company

Contract Categories: Business Finance - Stock Agreements
EX-4.2 2 pfnx-ex42_273.htm EX-4.2 pfnx-ex42_273.htm

Exhibit 4.2





As of March 11, 2020, Pfenex Inc. (“we,” “us,” or “our”) has one class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), our Common Stock.

Description of Common Stock

The following description of our Common Stock is a summary and does not purport to be complete. It is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation (the “Certificate of Incorporation”), and our Amended and Restated Bylaws (the “Bylaws”), each of which are incorporated by reference as an exhibit to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this Exhibit 4.2 is a part. We encourage you to read our Certificate of Incorporation, our Bylaws and the applicable provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law, for additional information.

Authorized Capital Shares

Our authorized capital stock consists of 200,000,000 shares of common stock, $0.001 par value per share (“Common Stock”), and 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $0.001 par value per share.

Common Stock

The holders of our Common Stock are entitled to one vote per share on all matters to be voted on by our stockholders. Subject to preferences that may be applicable to any outstanding shares of preferred stock, holders of Common Stock are entitled to receive ratably such dividends as may be declared from time to time by our Board of Directors out of funds legally available for that purpose. In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, the holders of Common Stock are entitled to share ratably in all assets remaining for distribution to stockholders after the payment of all of our debts and other liabilities and the satisfaction of any liquidation preference granted to the holders of any then outstanding shares of preferred stock. Holders of Common Stock have no preemptive, conversion or subscription rights, and there are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to the Common Stock.

Preferred Stock

Our Board of Directors has the authority, without further action by our stockholders, to issue up to 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series and to fix the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions thereof. These rights, preferences and privileges could include dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, redemption rights, liquidation preferences, sinking fund terms and the number of shares constituting any series or the designation of such series, any or all of which may be greater than the rights of Common Stock. The issuance of preferred stock could adversely affect the voting power of holders of Common Stock and the likelihood that such holders will receive dividend payments and payments upon liquidation. In addition, the issuance of preferred stock could have the


Exhibit 4.2


effect of delaying, deferring or preventing change in our control or other corporate action. We have no present plan to issue any shares of preferred stock.

Voting Rights

Each holder of Common Stock is entitled to one vote for each share on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders, including the election of directors. Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws do not provide for cumulative voting rights. Because of this, the holders of a plurality of the shares of Common Stock entitled to vote in any election of directors can elect all of the directors standing for election, if they should so choose. With respect to matters other than the election of directors, at any meeting of the stockholders at which a quorum is present or represented, the affirmative vote of a majority of the voting power of the shares present in person or represented by proxy at such meeting and entitled to vote on the subject matter shall be the act of the stockholders, except as otherwise required by law. The holders of a majority of the stock issued and outstanding and entitled to vote, present in person or represented by proxy, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at all meetings of the stockholders.

Anti-Takeover Effects of Delaware Law and Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws

Delaware Law

Certain provisions of Delaware law and our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws contain provisions that could have the effect of delaying, deferring or discouraging another party from acquiring control of us. These provisions, which are summarized below, are expected to discourage certain types of coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids. These provisions are also designed in part to encourage anyone seeking to acquire control of us to negotiate with our board of directors. We believe that the advantages gained by protecting our ability to negotiate with any unsolicited and potentially unfriendly acquirer outweigh the disadvantages of discouraging such proposals, including those priced above the then-current market value of our Common Stock, because, among other reasons, the negotiation of such proposals could improve their terms.

Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws

Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws include provisions that:

authorize our board of directors to issue, without further action by the stockholders, up to 10,000,000 shares of undesignated preferred stock;

require that any action to be taken by our stockholders be effected at a duly called annual or special meeting and not by written consent;

specify that special meetings of our stockholders can be called only by our Board of Directors, the Chairman of the Board, the Chief Executive Officer or the President;

establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder approvals to be brought before an annual meeting of our stockholders, including proposed nominations of persons for election to our Board of Directors;


Exhibit 4.2


provide that directors may be removed only for cause;

provide that vacancies on our Board of Directors may be filled only by a majority of directors then in office, even though less than a quorum;

establish that our Board of Directors is divided into three classes, Class I, Class II, and Class III, with each class serving staggered terms;

specify that no stockholder is permitted to cumulate votes at any election of the Board of Directors; and

require a super majority of the stockholders and a majority of the board to amend certain of the above-mentioned provisions, including certain amendments related to our blank check preferred stock, removal of directors solely for cause, the classification of our board of directors, and the prohibition on cumulative voting.

Exclusive Jurisdiction

Under the provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for: (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of us; (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or other employees or agents to us or our stockholders; (iii) any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law or our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or amended and restated bylaws; or (iv) any action asserting a claim against us governed by the internal affairs doctrine. The enforceability of similar choice of forum provisions in other companies’ certificates of incorporation has been challenged in legal proceedings, and it is possible that, in connection with any action, a court could find the choice of forum provisions contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in such action.

Delaware Anti-Takeover Statute

We are subject to the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law regulating corporate takeovers (“Section 203”). In general, Section 203 prohibits a publicly-held Delaware corporation from engaging, under certain circumstances, in a business combination with an interested stockholder for a period of three years following the date the person became an interested stockholder unless:

prior to the date of the transaction, the Board of Directors of the corporation approved either the business combination or the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder;

upon completion of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of the corporation outstanding at the time the transaction commenced, excluding for purposes of determining the voting stock outstanding, but not for determining the outstanding voting stock owned by the interested stockholder, (i) shares owned by persons who are directors and also officers, and (ii)


Exhibit 4.2


shares owned by employee stock plans in which employee participants do not have the right to determine confidentially whether shares held subject to the plan will be tendered in a tender or exchange offer; or

at or subsequent to the date of the transaction, the business combination is approved by the Board of Directors of the corporation and authorized at an annual or special meeting of stockholders, and not by written consent, by the affirmative vote of at least 66 2/3% of the outstanding voting stock which is not owned by the interested stockholder.

Generally, a business combination includes a merger, asset or stock sale, or other transaction resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. An interested stockholder is a person who, together with affiliates and associates, owns or, within three years prior to the determination of interested stockholder status, did own 15% or more of a corporation’s outstanding voting stock. We expect the existence of this provision to have an anti-takeover effect with respect to transactions our board of directors does not approve in advance. We also anticipate that Section 203 may discourage business combinations or other attempts that might result in a premium over the market price for the shares of Common Stock held by our stockholders.

The provisions of Delaware law and our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws could have the effect of discouraging others from attempting hostile takeovers and, as a consequence, they may also inhibit temporary fluctuations in the market price of our Common Stock that often result from actual or rumored hostile takeover attempts. These provisions may also have the effect of preventing changes in our management. It is possible that these provisions could make it more difficult to accomplish transactions that stockholders may otherwise deem to be in their best interests.

Transfer Agent and Registrar

The transfer agent and registrar for our Common Stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC. The transfer agent’s address is 6201 15th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11219, and its telephone number is ###-###-####.

NYSE American LLC Listing

Our Common Stock is traded on the NYSE American LLC under the trading symbol “PFNX.”