Description of the Registrants Securities registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE SECURITIES
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
As of December 31, 2019, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“we,” “our,” “us,” or the “Company”) had one class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended: common stock, par value $0.001 per share.
The following description of our capital stock is a summary, does not purport to be complete and is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by reference to, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, copies of which are incorporated by reference as exhibits to our Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this Exhibit 4.5 is a part, and the terms and provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law, or DGCL. For more complete information, you should carefully review our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, amended and restated bylaws and the DGCL.
DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK
Authorized Capital Stock
Our authorized capital stock consists of 120,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.001 per share, and 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.001 per share.
Holders of shares of our common stock are entitled to one vote for each share held of record on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders. The holders of a plurality of the shares of our common stock entitled to vote in any election of directors can elect all of the directors standing for election.
Holders of shares of our common stock are entitled to receive dividends when and if declared by our board of directors out of funds legally available therefor, subject to any statutory or contractual restrictions on the payment of dividends and to any restrictions on the payment of dividends imposed by the terms of any outstanding preferred stock.
Upon our dissolution or liquidation or the sale of all or substantially all of our assets, after payment in full of all amounts required to be paid to creditors and to the holders of preferred stock having liquidation preferences, if any, the holders of shares of our common stock will be entitled to receive pro rata our remaining assets available for distribution.
Holders of shares of our common stock do not have preemptive, subscription, redemption or conversion rights.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes our board of directors to establish one or more series of preferred stock (including convertible preferred stock). Unless required by law or by any stock exchange, the authorized shares of preferred stock will be available for issuance without further action by our stockholders. Our board of directors is able to determine, with respect to any series of preferred stock, the terms and rights of that series, including:
We could issue a series of preferred stock that could, depending on the terms of the series, impede or discourage an acquisition attempt or other transaction that some, or a majority, of our stockholders might believe to be in their best interests or in which our stockholders might receive a premium for their shares of common stock over the market price of the shares of common stock.
Authorized but Unissued Capital Stock
The DGCL does not require stockholder approval for any issuance of authorized shares. However, the listing requirements of the Nasdaq Global Market, which apply so long as our common stock remains listed on the Nasdaq Global Market, require stockholder approval of certain issuances equal to or exceeding 20% of the then outstanding voting power or then outstanding number of shares of common stock. These additional shares may be used for a variety of corporate purposes, including future public offerings, to raise additional capital or to facilitate acquisitions.
One of the effects of the existence of unissued and unreserved common stock or preferred stock may be to enable our board of directors to issue shares to persons friendly to current management, which issuance could render more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of our company by means of a merger, tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise, and thereby protect the continuity of our management and possibly deprive our stockholders of opportunities to sell their shares of common stock at prices higher than prevailing market prices.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Provisions of Delaware Law and Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws
Undesignated Preferred Stock
The ability to authorize undesignated preferred stock will make it possible for our board of directors to issue preferred stock with super voting, special approval, dividend or other rights or preferences on a discriminatory basis that could impede the success of any attempt to acquire us or otherwise effect a change in control of us. These and other provisions may have the effect of deferring, delaying or discouraging hostile takeovers, or changes in control or management of our company.
Requirements for Advance Notification of Stockholder Meetings, Nominations and Proposals
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that special meetings of the stockholders may be called only by or at the direction of our board of directors. Our amended and restated bylaws prohibit the conduct of any business at a special meeting other than as specified in the notice for such meeting. These provisions may have the effect of deferring, delaying or discouraging hostile takeovers, or changes in control or management of our company.
Our amended and restated bylaws establish advance notice procedures with respect to stockholder proposals and the nomination of candidates for election as directors, other than nominations made by or at the direction of the board of directors or a committee of the board of directors. In order for any matter to be "properly brought" before a meeting, a stockholder will have to comply with advance notice requirements and provide us with certain information. Additionally, vacancies and newly created directorships may be filled only by a vote of a majority of the directors then in office, even though less than a quorum, and not by the stockholders. Our amended and restated bylaws allow the presiding officer at a meeting of the stockholders to adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of meetings which may have the effect of precluding the conduct of certain business at a meeting if the rules and regulations are not followed. These provisions may also defer, delay or discourage a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer's own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of our company.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the board of directors is expressly authorized to adopt, amend or repeal our amended and restated bylaws.
No Cumulative Voting
The DGCL provides that stockholders are not entitled to cumulate votes in the election of directors unless our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides otherwise. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation does not expressly provide for cumulative voting.
Removal of Directors
In accordance with the terms of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, our board of directors are divided into three staggered classes of directors of the same or nearly the same number. At each annual meeting of the stockholders, a class of directors will be elected for a three-year term to succeed the directors of the same class whose terms are then expiring.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws provide that the number of our directors shall be fixed from time to time by a resolution of the majority of our board of directors. Any additional directorships resulting from an increase in the number of directors will be distributed among the three classes so that, as nearly as possible, each class shall consist of one third of the board of directors.
The division of our board of directors into three classes with staggered three-year terms may delay or prevent stockholder efforts to effect a change of our management or a change in control.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws provide that our directors may be removed only for cause by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 75% of the outstanding shares of capital stock entitled to vote in the election of directors or class of directors, voting together as a single class, at a meeting of the stockholders called for that purpose. This requirement of a supermajority vote to remove directors could enable a minority of our stockholders to prevent a change in the composition of our board. Any vacancy on our board of directors, including a vacancy resulting from an enlargement of our board of directors, may be filled only by the vote of a majority of the remaining directors then in office, although less than a quorum, or by the sole remaining director.
Amendments to Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws
The DGCL provides that, unless a corporation's certificate of incorporation provides otherwise, the affirmative vote of holders of shares constituting a majority of the votes of all shares entitled to vote may approve amendments to the certificate of incorporation.
Our amended and rested certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws provide that the affirmative vote of holders of at least 75% of the outstanding shares of capital stock, voting together as a single class, and entitled to vote in the election of directors will be required to amend, alter, change or repeal the amended and restated certificate of incorporation and the amended and restated bylaws. This requirement of a supermajority vote to approve amendments to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws could enable a minority of our stockholders to exercise veto power over such amendments.
Stockholder Action by Written Consent
Pursuant to Section 228 of the DGCL, any action required to be taken at any annual or special meeting of the stockholders may be taken without a meeting, without prior notice and without a vote if a consent or consents in writing, setting forth the action so taken, is signed by the holders of outstanding stock having not less than the minimum number of votes that would be necessary to authorize or take such action at a meeting at which all shares of our stock entitled to vote thereon were present and voted, unless the corporation's certificate of incorporation provides otherwise. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation prohibits the taking of any action of our stockholders by written consent without a meeting.
Delaware Anti-Takeover Statute
We have not opted out of, and therefore are subject to, Section 203 of the DGCL. Section 203 provides that, subject to certain exceptions specified in the law, a publicly-held Delaware corporation shall not engage in certain "business combinations" with any "interested stockholder" for a three-year period after the date of the transaction in which 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 that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder;
upon completion of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the 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 number of shares outstanding (1) shares owned by persons who are directors and also officers and (2) shares owned under 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
on or subsequent to the date of the transaction, the business combination is approved by the board 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. Since Section 203 will apply to us, we expect that it would have an anti-takeover effect with respect to transactions our board of directors does not approve in advance. In such event, we would also anticipate that Section 203 could discourage attempts that might result in a premium over the market price for the shares of common stock held by stockholders.
Under certain circumstances, Section 203 makes it more difficult for a person who would be an "interested stockholder" to effect various business combinations with a corporation for a three-year period. The provisions of Section 203 may encourage companies interested in acquiring our company to negotiate in advance with our board of directors because the stockholder approval requirement would be avoided if our board of directors approves either the
business combination or the transaction that results in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder. These provisions also may make it more difficult to accomplish transactions that stockholders may otherwise deem to be in their best interests.
As of December 31, 2019, the holders of approximately 7.9 million shares of our common stock, or their transferees, are entitled to the registration rights set forth below with respect to registration of the resale of such shares under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, pursuant to the investors' rights agreement, by and among us and certain of our stockholders.
Demand Registration Rights
Upon the written request of at least a majority of the holders of the registrable securities then outstanding that we file a registration statement under the Securities Act covering the registration of registrable securities owned by such holder(s) having an anticipated aggregate offering price, net of selling expenses, of at least $15.0 million, we will be obligated to notify all holders of registrable securities of such request. As soon as practicable thereafter, and in any event within 60 days after the date such request is received, we will be required to register the sale on a registration statement on Form S-1 of all registrable securities that holders may request to be registered, subject to specified exceptions, conditions and limitations. We may postpone the filing of a registration statement for up to 120 days once in any 12-month period if in the good faith judgment of our board of directors such registration would be materially detrimental to us, and we are not required to effect the filing of a registration statement during the period starting with the date that is 60 days prior to our good faith estimate of the date of filing of a registration statement initiated by us and ending on a date 180 days after the effective date of a registration statement initiated by us. The underwriters of any underwritten offering will have the right to limit the number of shares having registration rights to be included in the registration statement.
"Piggyback" Registration Rights
If we register any securities for public sale, holders of registration rights will have the right to include their shares in the registration statement. The underwriters of any underwritten offering will have the right to limit the number of registrable securities to be included in the registration statement, but such number may not be below 30% of the total number of shares included in such registration statement. The holders of registration rights have waived any and all rights to which they would otherwise be entitled to have their shares included in this offering.
Form S-3 Registration Rights
If we are eligible to file a registration statement on Form S-3, holders of at least 10% of our registrable securities then outstanding have the right to request that we file a registration statement on Form S-3, so long as the aggregate price to the public of the securities to be sold under the registration statement on Form S-3 is at least $10.0 million or consists of all the remaining registrable securities, and subject to specified exceptions, conditions and limitations.
Expenses of Registration
Pursuant to the investors' rights agreement, we are generally required to bear all registration expenses, including the fees and expenses of one counsel, not to exceed $50,000, representing the selling holders, incurred in connection with the demand, piggyback and Form S-3 registrations described above. We are not required to bear selling expenses, which include all underwriting discounts, selling commissions, stock transfer taxes applicable to the sale of registrable securities and fees and disbursements of any additional counsel for any selling holder. We are not required to pay registration expenses if the registration request under the investors' rights agreement is withdrawn at the request of the holders of a majority of the registrable securities unless (i) the holders of a majority of the registrable securities then outstanding agree to forfeit their right to one registration under the investors' rights agreement or (ii) the withdrawal is due to the discovery of a material adverse change in our business.
Termination of Registration Rights
The demand, piggyback and Form S-3 registration rights discussed above will terminate as to a given holder of registrable securities upon the earlier of (i) five years following the closing of our initial public offering or (ii) such time as SEC Rule 144 or another similar exemption under the Securities Act is available for the sale of all shares held by the holder during a three-month period without registration and without the requirement for us to be in compliance with the current public information required under SEC Rule 144(c)(1).