Description of Common Stock
EX-4.1 2 exhibit41.htm EX-4.1 Document
DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES REGISTERED UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
The following description of the securities of Vontier Corporation (“us,” “our,” “we” or the “Company”) that are registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) is intended as a summary only and therefore is not a complete description. This description is based upon, and is qualified by, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws, and applicable provisions of Delaware. The description is intended as a summary, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws, copies of which have been filed as exhibits to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as applicable Delaware law.
Our authorized capital stock consists of 1,985,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, and 15,000,000 shares of preferred stock, with no par value, all of which shares of preferred stock are undesignated. The Company’s board of directors (the “Board”) may establish the rights and preferences of the preferred stock from time to time. Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trades under the symbol “VNT.” 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 preferred stock we may issue in the future.
Description of Common Stock
Holders of our common stock are entitled to the rights set forth below.
Fully paid and Nonassessable
The outstanding shares of our common stock are fully paid and nonassessable.
Each holder of our common stock is entitled to one vote for each share on all matters to be voted upon by stockholders. At each meeting of the stockholders, a majority in voting power of our shares issued and outstanding and entitled to vote at the meeting, present in person or represented by proxy, will constitute a quorum.
Directors are elected by a majority of the votes cast at a meeting of stockholders, except that a plurality standard will apply in contested elections. Our stockholders do not have cumulative voting rights. Except as otherwise provided in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or as required by law, any question brought before any meeting of stockholders, other than the election of directors, will be decided by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the total number of votes of our shares represented at the meeting and entitled to vote on such question, voting as a single class.
Subject to any preferential rights of any outstanding preferred stock, holders of our common stock are entitled to receive ratably such dividends, if any, as may be declared from time to time by the Board out of funds legally available for that purpose.
Right to Receive Liquidation Distributions
If there is a liquidation, dissolution or winding up of us, holders of our common stock are entitled to ratable distribution of all assets remaining after the payment in full of liabilities and any preferential rights of any then-outstanding preferred stock.
No Preemptive or Similar Rights
Holders of our common stock have no preemptive or conversion rights or other subscription rights, and there are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to the common stock.
Under the terms of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, the Board is authorized, subject to limitations prescribed by the DGCL and by our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, to issue up to 15,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series without further action by the holders of our common stock. The Board has the discretion, subject to limitations prescribed by the DGCL and by our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, to fix the number of shares constituting any series and the designation of such series, and to determine the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions, including voting rights, dividend rights, conversion rights, redemption privileges and liquidation preferences, of each series of preferred stock. The rights, preferences and privileges of the 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 preferred stock that we may designate and issue in the future.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Various Provisions of Delaware Law and Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws
Certain provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”) and our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws could make it more difficult to acquire us by means of a tender offer, a proxy contest or otherwise, or to remove incumbent officers and directors. These provisions, summarized below, are expected to discourage certain types of coercive takeover practices and takeover bids that the Board may consider inadequate and to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to first negotiate with Board. We believe that the benefits of increased protection of its ability to negotiate with the proponent of an unfriendly or unsolicited proposal to acquire or restructure it outweigh the disadvantages of discouraging takeover or acquisition proposals because, among other things, negotiation of these proposals could result in an improvement of their terms.
Delaware Anti-Takeover Statute. We are subject to Section 203 of the DGCL, an anti-takeover statute. In general, Section 203 of the DGCL prohibits a publicly held Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with an “interested stockholder” for a period of three years following the time the person became an interested stockholder, unless (i) prior to such time, the Board of Directors of such corporation approved either the business combination or the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder; (ii) upon consummation of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of such corporation at the time the transaction commenced (excluding for purposes of determining the voting stock outstanding (but not the outstanding voting stock owned by the interested stockholder) the voting stock owned by directors who are also officers or held in employee benefit plans in which the employees do not have a confidential right to tender or vote stock held by the plan); or (iii) on or subsequent to such time the business combination is approved by the Board of Directors of such corporation and authorized at a meeting of stockholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting stock of such corporation 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. Generally, 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 voting stock. The existence of this provision would be expected to have an anti-takeover
effect with respect to transactions not approved in advance by the Board, including discouraging attempts that might result in a premium over the market price for the shares of our common stock held by our stockholders.
A Delaware corporation may “opt out” of Section 203 with an express provision in its original certificate of incorporation or an express provision in its certificate of incorporation or by-laws resulting from amendments approved by holders of at least a majority of the corporation’s outstanding voting shares. We will not elect to “opt out” of Section 203. However, Fortive Corporation (“Fortive”) and its affiliates have been approved by our Board as an interested stockholder (as defined in Section 203 of the DGCL) and therefore are not subject to Section 203.
Classified Board. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that our Board is divided into three classes. The directors designated as Class I directors have terms expiring at the first annual meeting of stockholders following the distribution, which will be held in 2021. The directors designated as Class II directors have terms expiring at the following year’s annual meeting of stockholders, which will be held in 2022, and the directors designated as Class III directors have terms expiring at the following year’s annual meeting of stockholders, which will be held in 2023. Commencing with the first annual meeting of stockholders, directors for each class will be elected at the annual meeting of stockholders held in the year in which the term for that class expires and thereafter will serve for a term of three years. Under the classified board provisions, it would take at least two elections of directors for any individual or group to gain control of the Board. Accordingly, these provisions could discourage a third party from initiating a proxy contest, making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to gain control of us.
Removal of Directors. Our amended and restated bylaws provide that our stockholders may remove our directors only for cause, by an affirmative vote of holders of at least the majority of our voting stock then outstanding.
Amendments to Certificate of Incorporation. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provide that the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the voting power of our outstanding shares entitled to vote thereon, voting as a single class, is required to amend certain provisions relating to the number, term, classification, removal and filling of vacancies with respect to the Board, the advance notice to be given for nominations for elections of directors, the calling of special meetings of stockholders, cumulative voting, stockholder action by written consent, certain relationships and transactions with Fortive, the ability to amend the bylaws, the elimination of liability of directors to the fullest extent permitted by the Delaware law, and the indemnification of any director or officer to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Amendments to Bylaws. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws provide that our amended and restated bylaws may only be amended by the Board or by the affirmative vote of holders of at least two-thirds of the total voting power of our outstanding shares entitled to vote thereon, voting as a single class.
Size of Board and Vacancies. Our amended and restated bylaws provide that the Board will consist of not less than three nor greater than 15 directors, the exact number of which will be fixed exclusively by the Board. Any vacancies created in the Board resulting from any increase in the authorized number of directors or the death, resignation, retirement, disqualification, removal from office or other cause will be filled by a majority of the directors then in office, even if less than a quorum is present, or by a sole remaining director. Any director appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board will hold office until the earlier of the expiration of the term of office of the director whom he or she has replaced, a successor is duly elected and qualified or the earlier of such director’s death, resignation or removal.
Special Stockholder Meetings. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provide that special meetings of stockholders may be called only by the secretary upon a written request delivered to the secretary by (a) the Board pursuant to a resolution adopted by a majority of the entire Board, (b) the chairman of the Board or (c) the chief executive officer of the Corporation. Stockholders may not call special stockholder meetings.
Stockholder Action by Written Consent. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation expressly eliminates the right of our stockholders to act by written consent. Stockholder action must take place at the annual or a special meeting of our stockholders.
Requirements for Advance Notification of Stockholder Nominations and Proposals. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation mandates that stockholder nominations for the election of directors will be given in accordance with the bylaws. The amended and restated bylaws establish advance notice procedures with respect to stockholder proposals and nomination of candidates for election as directors as well as minimum qualification requirements for stockholders making the proposals or nominations. Additionally, the bylaws require that candidates for election as director disclose their qualifications and make certain representations.
No Cumulative Voting. The DGCL provides that stockholders are denied the right to cumulate votes in the election of directors unless the company’s certificate of incorporation provides otherwise. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation does not provide for cumulative voting.
Undesignated Preferred Stock. The authority that the Board possesses to issue preferred stock could potentially be used to discourage attempts by third parties to obtain control of us through a merger, tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise by making such attempts more difficult or more costly. The Board may be able to issue preferred stock with voting rights or conversion rights that, if exercised, could adversely affect the voting power of the holders of common stock.
Conflicts of Interest; Corporate Opportunities
In order to address potential conflicts of interest between us and Fortive, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation contains certain provisions regulating and defining the conduct of our affairs to the extent that they may involve Fortive and its directors, officers and/or employees and our rights, powers, duties and liabilities and those of our directors, officers, employees and stockholders in connection with our relationship with Fortive. In general, these provisions recognize that we and Fortive may engage in the same or similar business activities and lines of business or have an interest in the same areas of corporate opportunities and that we and Fortive will continue to have contractual and business relations with each other, including directors, officers and/or employees of Fortive serving as our directors, officers and/or employees.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that Fortive has no duty to communicate information regarding a corporate opportunity to us or to refrain from engaging in the same or similar lines of business or doing business with any of our clients, customers or vendors. Moreover, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that for so long as Fortive owns any of our outstanding shares or otherwise has one or more directors, officers or employees serving as our director, officer or employee, in the event that any of our directors, officers or employees who is also a director, officer or employee of Fortive acquires knowledge of a potential transaction or matter that may be a corporate opportunity for us and Fortive, such director, officer or employee shall to the fullest extent permitted by law have fully satisfied and fulfilled his or her fiduciary duty, if any, with respect to such corporate opportunity, and we, to the fullest extent permitted by law, renounce any interest or expectancy in such business opportunity, and waive any claim that such business opportunity constituted a corporate opportunity that should have been presented to us or any of our affiliates, if he or she acts in a manner consistent with the following policy: such corporate opportunity offered to any person who is our director, officer or employee and who is also a director, officer or employee of Fortive shall belong to us only if such opportunity is expressly offered to such person solely in his or her capacity as our director or officer and otherwise shall belong to Fortive.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation also provides for special approval procedures that may be utilized if it is deemed desirable by Fortive, us, our affiliates or any other party, that we take action with specific regard to transactions or opportunities presenting potential conflicts of interest, out of an abundance of caution, to ensure that such transactions are not voidable, or that such an opportunity or opportunities are effectively disclaimed. Specifically, we may employ any of the following special procedures:
• the material facts of the transaction and the director’s, officer’s or employee’s interest are disclosed or known to the Board or duly appointed committee of the Board and the Board or such committee authorizes, approves or ratifies the transaction by the affirmative vote or consent of a majority of the directors (or
committee members) who have no direct or indirect interest in the transaction and, in any event, of at least two directors (or committee members); or
• the material facts of the transaction and the director’s interest are disclosed or known to the stockholders entitled to vote and they authorize, approve or ratify such transaction.
Any person purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in any shares of our common stock will be deemed to have consented to these provisions of the amended and restated certificate of incorporation.
Limitations on Liability, Indemnification of Officers and Directors and Insurance
The DGCL authorizes corporations to limit or eliminate the personal liability of directors to corporations and their stockholders for monetary damages for breaches of directors’ fiduciary duties as directors, and our amended and restated certificate of incorporation includes such an exculpation provision. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws include provisions that indemnify, to the fullest extent allowable under the DGCL, the personal liability of directors or officers for monetary damages for actions taken as our director or officer, or for serving at our request as a director or officer or another position at another corporation or enterprise, as the case may be. Our bylaws provide that we must indemnify and advance reasonable expenses to its directors and, subject to certain exceptions, officers, subject to its receipt of an undertaking from the indemnified party as may be required under the DGCL. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation expressly authorizes us to carry directors’ and officers’ insurance to protect us, our directors, officers and certain employees for some liabilities.
The limitation of liability and indemnification provisions that are in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws may discourage stockholders from bringing a lawsuit against directors for breach of their fiduciary duty. These provisions may also have the effect of reducing the likelihood of derivative litigation against our directors and officers, even though such an action, if successful, might otherwise benefit us and our stockholders. However, these provisions do not limit or eliminate our rights, or those of any stockholder, to seek non-monetary relief such as injunction or rescission in the event of a breach of a director’s duty of care. The provisions do not alter the liability of directors under the federal securities laws. In addition, your investment may be adversely affected to the extent that, in a class action or direct suit, we pay the costs of settlement and damage awards against directors and officers pursuant to these indemnification provisions. There is currently no pending material litigation or proceeding against us or any of our directors, officers or employees for which indemnification is sought.
Unless we otherwise consent in writing, the sole and exclusive forum for (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (2) any action asserting a claim of breach of fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, employees or stockholders to us or our stockholders, (3) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL, our certificate of incorporation or bylaws, or (4) any action asserting a claim governed by the internal affairs doctrine shall be the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware or, if the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware does not have jurisdiction, another state or federal court located within the State of Delaware. This provision would not apply to claims brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), the Exchange Act, or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction. Unless we otherwise consent in writing, the sole and exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act shall be the federal district courts of the United States of America.
Authorized but Unissued Shares
Our authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock will be available for future issuance without stockholders approval. We may use additional shares for a variety of purposes, including future public
offerings to raise additional capital, to fund acquisitions and as employee compensation. As noted above, the existence of authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock could also render more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of us by means of a proxy contest, tender offer, merger or otherwise.