Description of Common Stock of the registrant
DESCRIPTION OF COMMON STOCK
The following description summarizes the terms of the common stock of Spruce Biosciences, Inc., or we, our or us. Because it is only a summary, it does not contain all the information that may be important to you. For a complete description of the matters set forth in this “Description of Common Stock,” you should refer to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, which are included as exhibits to our Annual Report on Form 10-K, and to the applicable provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes us to issue 200,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, and 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.0001 per share. Our board of directors is authorized, without stockholder approval except as required by the listing standards of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, to issue additional shares of our capital stock. In addition, under our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our board of directors has the authority, without further action by the stockholders, to issue up to 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series, to establish from time to time the number of shares to be included in each such series, to fix the rights, preferences and privileges of the shares of each wholly unissued series and any qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereon and to increase or decrease the number of shares of any such series, but not below the number of shares of such series then outstanding. Our board of directors may authorize the issuance of preferred stock with voting or conversion rights that could adversely affect the voting power or other rights of the holders of the common stock. The issuance of preferred stock, while providing flexibility in connection with possible acquisitions and other corporate purposes, could, among other things, have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in our control that may otherwise benefit holders of our common stock and may adversely affect the market price of our common stock and the voting and other rights of the holders of our common stock.
Our common stock is entitled to one vote per share on any matter that is submitted to a vote of our stockholders. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation does not provide for cumulative voting for the election of directors. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation establishes a classified board of directors that is divided into three classes with staggered three-year terms. Only the directors in one class will be subject to election by a plurality of the votes cast at each annual meeting of our stockholders, with the directors in the other classes continuing for the remainder of their respective three-year terms.
Except as otherwise expressly provided in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or required by applicable law, all shares of common stock have the same rights and privileges and rank equally, share ratably and be identical in all respects for all matters, including those described below.
Dividends. Subject to preferences that may apply to any shares of preferred stock outstanding at the time, the holders of our common stock are entitled to receive dividends out of funds legally available if our board of directors, in its discretion, determines to issue dividends and then only at the times and in the amounts that our board of directors may determine.
Liquidation Rights. On our liquidation, dissolution or winding-up, the holders of our common stock will be entitled to share equally, identically and ratably in all assets remaining after the payment of any liabilities, liquidation preferences and accrued or declared but unpaid dividends, if any, with respect to any outstanding preferred stock, unless a different treatment is approved by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of such affected class, voting separately as a class.
No Preemptive or Similar Rights
The holders of shares of our common stock are not entitled to preemptive rights and are not subject to conversion, redemption or sinking fund provisions.
Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “SPRB.”
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is Computershare Trust Company, N.A. The transfer agent’s address is 250 Royal Street, Canton, Massachusetts 02021.
The provisions of Delaware law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, which are summarized below, may have the effect of delaying, deferring or discouraging another person from acquiring control of our company. They are also designed, in part, to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to negotiate first with our board of directors. We believe that the benefits of increased protection of our potential ability to negotiate with an unfriendly or unsolicited acquirer outweigh the disadvantages of discouraging a proposal to acquire us because negotiation of these proposals could result in an improvement of their terms.
Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws
Because our stockholders do not have cumulative voting rights, stockholders holding a majority of the voting power of our shares of common stock will be able to elect all of our directors. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws provide that stockholders may only take action at a duly called meeting of stockholders. A special meeting of stockholders may be called by a majority of our board of directors, the chair of our board of directors or our chief executive officer. Our amended and restated bylaws establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting of our stockholders, including proposed nominations of persons for election to our board of directors. In accordance with our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our board of directors is divided into three classes with staggered three-year terms.
The foregoing provisions will make it more difficult for another party to obtain control of us by replacing our board of directors. Since our board of directors has the power to retain and discharge our officers, these provisions could also make it more difficult for existing stockholders or another party to effect a change in management. In addition, the authorization of undesignated preferred stock makes it possible for our board of directors to issue preferred stock with voting or other rights or preferences that could impede the success of any attempt to change our control.
These provisions are designed to reduce our vulnerability to an unsolicited acquisition proposal and to discourage certain tactics that may be used in proxy fights. However, such provisions could have the effect of discouraging others from making tender offers for our shares and may have the effect of deterring hostile takeovers or delaying changes in our control or management. As a consequence, these provisions may also inhibit fluctuations in the market price of our stock that could result from actual or rumored takeover attempts.
Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law
We are subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in any business combination with any interested stockholder for a period of three years after the date that such stockholder became an interested stockholder, subject to certain exceptions.
Choice of Forum
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws provide that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware (and any appellate court therefrom) shall be the sole and exclusive forum for the following claims or causes of action under the Delaware statutory or common law: (i) any derivative claim or cause of action brought on our behalf; (ii) any claim or cause of action for breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our current or former directors, officers or other employees to us or our stockholders; (iii) any claim or cause of action against us or any of our current or former directors, officers or other employees, arising out of or pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or amended and restated bylaws; (iv) any claim or cause of action seeking to interpret, apply, enforce or determine the validity of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or amended and restated bylaws (as each may be amended from time to time); (v) any claim or cause of action as to which the Delaware General Corporation Law confers jurisdiction on the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware; and (vi) any claim or cause of action against us or any of our current or former directors, officers or other employees governed by the internal affairs doctrine, in all cases to the fullest extent permitted by law and subject to the court having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants; provided these provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws will not apply to claims or causes of action brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Securities Act of 1933, Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws further provide that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the federal district courts of the United States of America will be the exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum.