Description of Registered Securities
DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES REGISTERED UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE EXCHANGE ACT
The following description of registered securities of PTC Therapeutics, Inc. is intended as a summary only and therefore is not a complete description. The description is based upon, and is qualified by reference to, our certificate of incorporation, as amended, our amended and restated bylaws and applicable provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”). You should read our certificate of incorporation, as amended, and our amended and restated bylaws, which are incorporated by reference as Exhibit 3.1 and Exhibit 3.2, respectively, to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this Exhibit 4.1 is a part, for the provisions that are important to you. As used in this “Description of Securities Registered Under Section 12 of the Exchange Act,” the terms “PTC,” “Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to PTC Therapeutics, Inc. and do not, unless the context otherwise indicates, include our subsidiaries.
Authorized Capital Stock
Our authorized capital stock consists of 250,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.001 per share, and 5,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $0.001 per share. Our common stock is registered under Section 12(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Voting Rights. Holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote for each share held on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders and do not have cumulative voting rights. Each election of directors by our stockholders will be determined by a plurality of the votes cast by the stockholders entitled to vote on the election. In general, except (1) for the election of directors, (2) as described below under “—Provisions of Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws and the DGCL That May Have Anti-Takeover Effects—Super-Majority Voting,” (3) in the future to the extent that we have two or more classes or series of stock outstanding with separate voting rights and (4) as otherwise required by law, any matter to be voted on by our stockholders at any meeting is decided by the vote of the holders of a majority in voting power of the votes cast by the holders of shares of our stock present or represented at the meeting and voting affirmatively or negatively on such matter.
Dividends. Holders of our common stock are entitled to receive proportionately any dividends as may be declared by our board of directors, subject to any preferential dividend rights of outstanding preferred stock.
Liquidation and Dissolution. In the event of our liquidation or dissolution, holders of our common stock are entitled to receive proportionately all assets available for distribution to stockholders after the payment of all debts and other liabilities and subject to the prior rights of any of our outstanding preferred stock.
Other Rights. Holders of our common stock have no preemptive, subscription, redemption or conversion rights. The rights, preferences and privileges of holders of our common stock are subject to and may be adversely affected by the rights of the holders of shares of any series of our preferred stock that we may designate and issue in the future.
Effects of Authorized but Unissued Stock
The authorized but unissued shares of our common stock and preferred stock are available for future issuance without stockholder approval, subject to any limitations imposed by the listing standards of The Nasdaq Global Select Market.
These additional shares may be used for a variety of corporate finance transactions, acquisitions and employee benefit plans. The existence of authorized but unissued and unreserved common stock and preferred stock could make more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of us by means of a proxy contest, tender offer, merger or otherwise.
Provisions of Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws and the DGCL That May Have Anti-Takeover Effects
Delaware Law. We are subject to Section 203 of the DGCL. Subject to certain exceptions, Section 203 prevents a publicly held Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with any “interested stockholder” for three years following the date that the person became an interested stockholder, unless either the interested stockholder attained such status with the approval of our board of directors, the business combination is approved by our board of directors and stockholders in a prescribed manner or the interested stockholder acquired at least 85% of our outstanding voting stock in the transaction in which it became an interested stockholder. A “business combination” includes, among other things, a merger or consolidation involving us and the “interested stockholder” and the sale of more than 10% of our assets. In general, an “interested stockholder” is any entity or person beneficially owning 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock and any entity or person affiliated with or controlling or controlled by such entity or person. The restrictions contained in Section 203 are not applicable to any of our existing stockholders that owned 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock upon the closing of our initial public offering.
Staggered Board; Removal of Directors. Our certificate of incorporation and our bylaws divide our board of directors into three classes with staggered three-year terms. In addition, our certificate of incorporation and our bylaws provide that directors may be removed only for cause and only by the affirmative vote of the holders of 75% of our shares of capital stock present in person or by proxy and entitled to vote. Under our certificate of incorporation and our bylaws, any vacancy on our board of directors, including a vacancy resulting from an enlargement of our board of directors, may be filled only by vote of a majority of our directors then in office. Furthermore, our certificate of incorporation provides that the authorized number of directors may be changed only by the resolution of our board of directors. The classification of our board of directors and the limitations on the ability of our stockholders to remove directors, change the authorized number of directors and fill vacancies could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire, or discourage a third party from seeking to acquire, control of our company.
Stockholder Action; Special Meeting of Stockholders; Advance Notice Requirements for Stockholder Proposals and Director Nominations. Our certificate of incorporation and our bylaws provide that any action required or permitted to be taken by our stockholders at an annual meeting or special meeting of stockholders may only be taken if it is properly brought before such meeting and may not be taken by written action in lieu of a meeting. Our certificate of incorporation and our bylaws also provide that, except as otherwise required by law, special meetings of the stockholders can only be called by our chairman of the board, our president or chief executive officer or our board of directors. In addition, our bylaws establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting of stockholders, including proposed nominations of candidates for election to our board of directors. Stockholders at an annual meeting may only consider proposals or nominations specified in the notice of meeting given by or at the direction of our board of directors, or otherwise properly brought before the meeting by or at the direction of our board of directors, or by a stockholder of record on the record date for the meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has delivered timely written notice in proper form to our secretary of the stockholder’s intention to bring such business before the meeting. These provisions could have the effect of delaying until the next stockholder meeting stockholder actions that are favored by the holders of a majority of our outstanding voting securities. These provisions also could discourage a third party from making a tender offer for our common stock, because even if it acquired a majority of our outstanding voting stock, it would be able to take action as a stockholder, such as electing new directors or approving a merger, only at a duly called stockholders meeting and not by written consent.
Super-Majority Voting. The DGCL provides generally that the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares entitled to vote on any matter is required to amend a corporation’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws, unless a corporation’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws, as the case may be, requires a greater percentage. Our bylaws may be amended or repealed by a majority vote of our board of directors or the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 75% of the votes that all our stockholders would be entitled to cast in any annual election of directors. In addition, the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 75% of the votes that all our stockholders would be entitled to cast in any election of directors is required to amend or repeal or to adopt any provisions inconsistent with any of the provisions of our certificate of incorporation described above.