Description of Registrants Securities
Description of the Registrant’s Securities Registered Pursuant to
Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
The common stock, par value $0.0001 per share (“Common Stock”), of TCR2 Therapeutics Inc. (“TCR2,” “we,” or “our”) is registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). The following description sets forth certain general terms and provisions of our Common Stock. These descriptions are in all respects subject to and qualified in their entirety by, and should be read in conjunction with, the applicable provisions of our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation (our “Charter”) and our Amended and Restated By-laws (our “By-laws”), each of which is incorporated herein by reference and copies of which are incorporated by reference as exhibits to our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the applicable provisions of General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware (the “DGCL”).
Authorized Capital Stock
We are authorized to issue 150,000,000 shares of Common Stock and 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.0001 per share (“Preferred Stock”).
The holders of Common Stock are entitled to one vote for each share held on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders. The holders of Common Stock do not have any cumulative voting rights. Holders of Common Stock are entitled to receive ratably any dividends declared by our board of directors out of funds legally available for that purpose, subject to any preferential dividend rights of any outstanding preferred stock. The Common Stock has no preemptive rights, conversion rights or other subscription rights or redemption or sinking fund provisions.
In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, holders of Common Stock will be entitled to share ratably in all assets remaining after payment of all debts and other liabilities and any liquidation preference of any outstanding 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, terms of redemption, liquidation preferences, sinking fund terms and the number of shares constituting, or the designation of, such series, any or all of which may be greater than the rights of Common Stock. The issuance of our 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 our liquidation. In addition, the issuance of Preferred Stock could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of our company or other corporate action.
Pursuant to the terms of our Amended and Restated Investors’ Rights Agreement, dated as of February 28, 2018, with certain of our stockholders (the “Investors’ Rights Agreement”), certain of our stockholders are entitled to rights with respect to the registration of their shares (which we refer to herein as “registrable securities”) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), including demand registration rights, short-form registration rights and piggyback registration rights.
Demand Registration Rights
The holders of our registrable securities are entitled to demand registration rights. Under the terms of the Investors’ Rights Agreement, we will be required, upon the written request of holders of at least a majority of our outstanding registrable securities, to file a registration statement with respect to at least 40% of the securities eligible for registration then outstanding (or a lesser percent if the anticipated aggregate offering price, net of related fees and expenses, would exceed $5 million). We are required to effect up to two registrations pursuant to this provision of the Investors’ Rights Agreement.
Short-Form Registration Rights
The holders of our registrable securities are entitled to short-form registration rights. Pursuant to the Investors’ Rights Agreement, upon the written request of stockholders holding at least 10% of the outstanding registrable securities having an anticipated aggregate offering, net of related fees and expenses, of at least $1.0 million, we will be required to file a Form S-3 registration restatement covering all outstanding registrable securities that our stockholders request to be included in such registration. We are required to effect only two registrations in any twelve-month period pursuant to this provision of the Investors’ Rights Agreement. The right to have such shares registered on Form S-3 is further subject to other specified conditions and limitations.
Piggyback Registration Rights
Pursuant to the Investors’ Rights Agreement, if we register any of our securities either for our own account or for the account of other security holders, the holders of our outstanding registrable securities are entitled to include their shares in the registration. Subject to certain exceptions contained in the Investors’ Rights Agreement, we and the underwriters may limit the number of shares included in the underwritten offering to the number of shares which we and the underwriters determine in our sole discretion will not jeopardize the success of the offering.
The Investors’ Rights Agreement contains customary cross-indemnification provisions, under which we are obligated to indemnify holders of registrable securities in the event of material misstatements or omissions in the registration statement attributable to us, and they are obligated to indemnify us for material misstatements or omissions attributable to them.
Expiration of Registration Rights
The registration rights granted under the Investors’ Rights Agreement will terminate the earliest to occur of: (i) on the fifth anniversary of the our initial public offering, (ii) at such time after our initial public offering when all registrable securities could be sold under Rule 144 of the Securities Act or another similar exemption without restriction within a three-month period or (iii) a merger, sale or liquidation of our company.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Delaware Law and Certain Provisions of our Charter and Bylaws
Our Charter and Bylaws include a number of provisions that may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing another party from acquiring control of us and encouraging persons considering unsolicited tender offers or other unilateral takeover proposals to negotiate with our board of directors rather than pursue non-negotiated takeover attempts. These provisions include the items described below.
Board Composition and Filling Vacancies
Our Charter provides for the division of our board of directors into three classes serving staggered three-year terms, with one class being elected each year. Our Charter also provides that directors may be removed only for cause and then only by the affirmative vote of the holders of two-thirds or more of the shares then entitled to vote at an election of directors. Furthermore, any vacancy on our board of directors, however occurring, including a vacancy resulting from an increase in the size of our board, may only be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of our directors then in office even if less than a quorum. The classification of directors, together with the limitations on removal of directors and treatment of vacancies, has the effect of making it more difficult for stockholders to change the composition of our board of directors.
No Written Consent of Stockholders
Our Charter provides that all stockholder actions are required to be taken by a vote of the stockholders at an annual or special meeting, and that stockholders may not take any action by written consent in lieu of a meeting. This limit may lengthen the amount of time required to take stockholder actions and would prevent the amendment of our Bylaws or removal of directors by our stockholders without holding a meeting of stockholders.
Meetings of Stockholders
Our Charter and Bylaws provide that only a majority of the members of our board of directors then in office may call special meetings of stockholders and only those matters set forth in the notice of the special meeting may be considered or acted upon at a special meeting of stockholders. Our Bylaws limit the business that may be conducted at an annual meeting of stockholders to those matters properly brought before the meeting.
Advance Notice Requirements
Our Bylaws establish advance notice procedures with regard to stockholder proposals relating to the nomination of candidates for election as directors or new business to be brought before meetings of our stockholders. These procedures provide that notice of stockholder proposals must be timely given in writing to our corporate secretary prior to the meeting at which the action is to be taken. Generally, to be timely, notice must be received at our principal executive offices not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days prior to the first anniversary date of the annual meeting for the preceding year. Our Bylaws specify the requirements as to form and content of all stockholders’ notices. These requirements may preclude stockholders from bringing matters before the stockholders at an annual or special meeting.
Amendment to Charter and Bylaws
Any amendment of our Charter must first be approved by a majority of our board of directors, and if required by law or our Charter, must thereafter be approved by a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment and a majority of the outstanding shares of each class entitled to vote thereon as a class, except that the amendment of the provisions relating to stockholder action, board composition, limitation of liability and the amendment of our Bylaws and Charter must be approved by not less than two-thirds of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment, and not less than a majority of the outstanding shares of each class entitled to vote thereon as a class. Our Bylaws may be amended by the affirmative vote of a majority of the directors then in office, subject to any limitations set forth in the Bylaws; and may also be amended by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment, or, if our board of directors recommends that the stockholders approve the amendment, by the affirmative vote of the majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote on the amendment, in each case voting together as a single class.
Undesignated Preferred Stock
Our Charter provides for 10,000,000 authorized shares of Preferred Stock. The existence of authorized but unissued shares of Preferred Stock may enable our board of directors to discourage an attempt to obtain control of us by means of a merger, tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise. For example, if in the due exercise of its fiduciary obligations, our board of directors were to determine that a takeover proposal is not in the best interests of our stockholders, our board of directors could cause shares of Preferred Stock to be issued without stockholder approval in one or more private offerings or other transactions that might dilute the voting or other rights of the proposed acquirer or insurgent stockholder or stockholder group. In this regard, our Charter grants our board of directors broad power to establish the rights and preferences of authorized and unissued shares of Preferred Stock. The issuance of shares of Preferred Stock could decrease the amount of earnings and assets available for distribution to holders of shares of Common Stock. The issuance may also adversely affect the rights and powers, including voting rights, of these holders and may have the effect of delaying, deterring or preventing a change in control of us.
Delaware Anti-Takeover Statute
We are subject to the provisions of Section 203 of the DGCL. In general, Section 203 prohibits a publicly held Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with an “interested stockholder” for a three-year period following the time that this stockholder becomes an interested stockholder, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. Under Section 203, a business combination between a corporation and an interested stockholder is prohibited unless it satisfies one of the following conditions:
before the stockholder became interested, our board of directors approved either the business combination or the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder;
upon consummation of the transaction which 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, shares owned by persons who are directors and also officers, and employee stock plans, in some instances, but not the outstanding voting stock owned by the interested stockholder; or
at or after the time the stockholder became interested, the business combination was approved by our board of directors and authorized at an annual or special meeting of the stockholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting stock which is not owned by the interested stockholder.
Section 203 defines a business combination to include:
any merger or consolidation involving the corporation and the interested stockholder;
any sale, transfer, lease, pledge, exchange, mortgage or other disposition involving the interested stockholder of 10% or more of the assets of the corporation;
subject to exceptions, any transaction that results in the issuance or transfer by the corporation of any stock of the corporation to the interested stockholder; or
the receipt by the interested stockholder of the benefit of any loans, advances, guarantees, pledges or other financial benefits provided by or through the corporation.
In general, Section 203 defines an interested stockholder as any entity or person beneficially owning 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation and any entity or person affiliated with or controlling or controlled by the entity or person.
Choice of Forum
Our Bylaws provide that, 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 any state law claim for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, and employees to us or our stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws (including the interpretation, validity or enforceability thereof) or (iv) any action asserting a claim that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine (the “Delaware Forum Provision”). The Delaware Forum Provision will not apply to any causes of action arising under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act. In addition, our amended and restated bylaws will further provide that unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternate forum, the federal district courts of the United States shall be the sole and exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act (the “Federal Forum Provision”). In addition, our amended and restated bylaws provide that any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in
shares of our common stock is deemed to have notice of and consented to the Delaware Forum Provision and the Federal Forum Provision; provided, however, that stockholders cannot and will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder.
We recognize that the Delaware Forum Provision and the Federal Forum Provision in our bylaws may impose additional litigation costs on stockholders in pursuing any such claims. Additionally, the forum selection clauses in our amended and restated bylaws may limit our stockholders’ ability to bring a claim in a forum that they find favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and employees even though an action, if successful, might benefit our stockholders. In addition, while the Delaware Supreme Court ruled in March 2020 that federal forum selection provisions purporting to require claims under the Securities Act be brought in federal court are “facially valid” under Delaware law, there is uncertainty as to whether other courts will enforce our Federal Forum Provision. If the Federal Forum Provision is found to be unenforceable, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters. The Federal Forum Provision may also impose additional litigation costs on stockholders who assert that the provision is not enforceable or invalid. The Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware and the federal district courts of the United States may also reach different judgments or results than would other courts, including courts where a stockholder considering an action may be located or would otherwise choose to bring the action, and such judgments may be more or less favorable to us than our stockholders.
Stock Exchange Listing
Our Common Stock is listed on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the trading symbol “TCRR.”
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The Transfer Agent and Registrar for our Common Stock is the American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC.