Description of Registrant's 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
The following summary describes the common shares, no par value, of XBiotech Inc. (the “Company,” “we,” “our,” “us,” and “our”), which are the only securities of the Company registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
The following description is a summary and does not purport to be complete. It is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to our Articles, which are incorporated by reference as an exhibit to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this Exhibit 4.1 is a part. We encourage you to read our Articles and the applicable provisions of the British Columbia Business Corporations Act (“BCBCA”) for additional information.
Authorized and Outstanding Stock
Our authorized share capital as described in our Articles consists of an unlimited number of common shares and preferred shares without par value.
As of December 31, 2020, 29,304,396 shares of the Company’s common shares were outstanding. No preferred shares are outstanding.
Voting Rights. Holders of common shares are entitled to one vote in respect of each common share held at any meeting of the Company. Except as otherwise provided with respect to any particular series of preferred shares and except as otherwise required by law, the registered holders of preferred shares shall not be entitled as a class to receive notice of or to attend to vote at any meetings of the Company.
Under our Articles, the holders of our common shares will be entitled to one vote for each common share held on all matters submitted to a vote of the shareholders, including the election of directors. Our Articles do not provide for cumulative voting rights. Because of this, the holders of a plurality of our common shares entitled to vote in any election of directors can elect all of the directors standing for election, if they should so choose.
Dividend Rights. Subject to the BCBCA, and subject to the prior rights of any holders of preferred shares, the holders of the common shares in the absolute discretion of the directors, shall be entitled to receive, and the Company shall pay thereon, out of moneys of the Company properly applicable to the payment of dividends, when declared by the directors, only such dividends as may be declared from time to time in respect of the common shares. The preferred shares are entitled to preference over the common shares with respect to the payment of dividends. We have not paid any dividends since our incorporation. At the discretion of our board of directors, we will consider paying dividends in future as our operational circumstances may permit having regard to, among other things, our earnings, cash flow and financial requirements.
Liquidation Rights. Subject to the prior payment to the holders of the preferred shares described below, in the event of the liquidation, dissolution or winding-up of the Company or other distribution of the assets of the Company among its shareholders, the holders of the shares of our common shares shall be entitled to share pro rata in the distribution of the balance of the assets. The preferred shares shall be entitled to a preference over the common shares with respect to the distribution of assets of the Company, whether voluntary or involuntary, or in the event of any other distribution of assets of the Company among its shareholders for the purpose of winding up its affairs; and the preferred stock may be given such other preference not inconsistent with our Articles.
Other Rights. Our common shares have no preemptive rights, no conversion rights, no redemption or sinking fund provisions, and are not liable for further call or assessment.
Listing. Our common shares currently trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “XBIT.”
Certain Takeover Bid Requirements. Unless such offer constitutes an exempt transaction, an offer made by a person, an “offeror”, to acquire outstanding shares of a Canadian entity that, when aggregated with the offeror’s holdings (and those of persons or companies acting jointly with the offeror), would constitute 20% or more of the outstanding shares in a class, would be subject to the take-over provisions of Canadian securities laws. The foregoing is a limited and general summary of certain aspects of applicable securities law in the provinces and territories of Canada, all in effect as of the date hereof.
In addition to those takeover bid requirements noted above, the acquisition of our shares may trigger the application of statutory regimes including among others, the Investment Canada Act (Canada) and the Competition Act (Canada).
Limitations on the ability to acquire and hold our common shares may be imposed by the Competition Act (Canada). This legislation permits the Commissioner of Competition, or the Commissioner, to review any acquisition of control over or of a significant interest in us. This legislation grants the Commissioner jurisdiction, for up to one year, after any such acquisition, to challenge this type of acquisition before the Canadian Competition Tribunal on the basis that it would, or would be likely to, substantially prevent or lessen competition in any market in Canada.
This legislation also requires any person who intends to acquire our common shares to file a pre-closing notification with the Canadian Competition Bureau if certain financial thresholds are exceeded and if that person (and their affiliates) would hold more than 20% of our common shares. If a person (and its affiliates) already owns 20% or more of our common shares, a notification must be filed when the acquisition of additional shares would bring that person’s holdings to over 50%. Where a notification is required, the legislation prohibits completion of the acquisition until the expiration of a statutory waiting period, unless the Commissioner provides written notice that she does not intend to challenge the acquisition.
The Investment Canada Act requires any person that is a “non-Canadian” (as defined in the Investment Canada Act) who acquires control of an existing Canadian business, where the acquisition of control is not a reviewable transaction, to file a notification with Industry Canada. The Investment Canada Act generally prohibits the implementation of a reviewable transaction unless, after review, the relevant minister is satisfied that the investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada. Under the Investment Canada Act, the acquisition of control of us (either through the acquisition of our common shares or all or substantially all our assets) by a non-Canadian who is a World Trade Organization member country investor, including a US investor, would be reviewable only if our enterprise value was equal to or greater than a specified amount. Currently, the specified amount for is CAD$600 million, but will eventually increase to CAD$1.0 billion. We believe that we are not a cultural business for Investment Canada Act purposes and that the lower threshold for reviews of acquisitions of such businesses does not apply. The threshold amount is subject to an annual adjustment on the basis of a prescribed formula in the Investment Canada Act to reflect changes in Canadian gross domestic product.
The acquisition of a majority of the voting interests of an entity is deemed to be acquisition of control of that entity. The acquisition of less than a majority but one-third or more of the voting shares of a corporation or an equivalent undivided ownership interest in the voting shares of a corporation is presumed to be an acquisition of control of that corporation unless it can be established that, on the acquisition, the corporation is not controlled in fact by the acquirer through the ownership of voting shares. The acquisition of less than one-third of the voting shares of a corporation is deemed not to be an acquisition of control of that corporation.
Under the new national security regime in the Investment Canada Act, review on a discretionary basis may also be undertaken by the federal government in respect of a much broader range of investments by a non-Canadian to “acquire, in whole or in part, or to establish an entity carrying on all or any part of its operations in Canada.” The relevant test is whether such an investment by a non-Canadian could be “injurious to national security.” The Minister of Industry has broad discretion to determine whether an investor is a non-Canadian and may be subject to national security review. Review on national security grounds is at the discretion of the federal government and may occur on a pre- or post-closing basis, subject to certain limitation provisions. The government has the power in a national security review to direct that the investment not be implemented, to direct that the investor provide undertakings or the investor implement the investment on prescribed terms or conditions and to order the investor to divest itself of the investment.
There is no law, governmental decree or regulation in Canada that restricts the export or import of capital or which would affect the remittance of dividends or other payments by us to non-Canadian holders of our common shares or preferred shares, other than withholding tax requirements.
Our Articles do not contain any change of control limitations with respect to a merger, acquisition or corporate restructuring that involves us.
This summary is not a comprehensive description of relevant or applicable considerations regarding such requirements and, accordingly, is not intended to be, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice to any prospective purchaser and no representation with respect to such requirements to any prospective purchaser is made. Prospective investors should consult their own Canadian legal advisors with respect to any questions regarding securities law in the provinces and territories of Canada.
Actions Requiring a Special Majority. Under the BCBCA and our Articles, certain corporate actions require the approval of a special majority of shareholders, meaning holders of shares representing not less than 66 2⁄3% of those votes cast in respect of a shareholder vote addressing such matter. Subject to the BCBCA, those items requiring the approval of a special majority generally relate to fundamental changes with respect to our business, and include among others, resolutions: (i) to alter its articles or authorized share structure; (ii) to remove a director before the expiry of his or her term; and (iii) to provide for a sale, lease or exchange of all or substantially all of the Company’s property.
Shareholder Proposals. Under the BCBCA, shareholders may make proposals for matters to be considered at the annual general meeting of shareholders. Such proposals must be sent to us in advance of any proposed meeting by delivering a timely written notice in proper form to our registered office in accordance with the requirements of the BCBCA. The notice must include information on the business the shareholder intends to bring before the meeting.
Advance Notice Provisions. Our Articles contain provisions (the “Advance Notice Provisions”) which provide that advance notice to the Company must be made and the procedures set out in the Articles must be followed for persons to be eligible for election to the our board of directors. Nomination of persons for election to the board of directors may only be made at an annual meeting of shareholders or at a special meeting of shareholders called for any purpose which includes the election of directors.
Among other things, the Advance Notice Provisions fix a deadline by which holders of record of common shares must submit director nominations to us prior to any annual or special meeting of shareholders and set forth the specific information that a shareholder must include in the written notice to the Company for an effective nomination to occur. No person will be eligible for election as a director of the Company unless nominated in accordance with the provisions of the Advance Notice Provisions.
In the case of an annual meeting of shareholders, notice to us must be made not less than 30 or more than 65 days prior to the date of the annual meeting; provided, however, that if the annual meeting is to be held on a date that is less than 50 days after the date on which the first public announcement of the date of the annual meeting was made, notice may be made not later than the close of business on the 10th day following such public announcement. In the case of a special meeting of shareholders (which is not also an annual meeting), notice to us must be made not later than the close of business on the 15th day following the day on which the first public announcement of the date of the special meeting was made.
The board of directors may, in its sole discretion, waive any requirement of the Advance Notice Provisions.
Limitation of Liability and Indemnification
We are subject to the provisions of Part 5, Division 5 of the BCBCA. Under Section 160 of the BCBCA, we may, subject to Section 163 of the BCBCA:
(1) indemnify an individual who:
(a) is or was a director or officer of the Company;
(b) is or was a director or officer of another corporation (i) at a time when such corporation is or was an affiliate of the Company; or (ii) at the Company’s request, or
(c) at the Company’s request, is or was, or holds or held a position equivalent to that of, a director or officer of a partnership, trust, joint venture or other unincorporated entity, and including, subject to certain limited exceptions, the heirs and personal or other legal representatives of that individual (collectively, an “eligible party”), against all eligible penalties to which the eligible party is or may be liable; and
(2) after final disposition of an eligible proceeding, pay the expenses actually and reasonably incurred by an eligible party in respect of that proceeding, where:
(a) “eligible penalty” means a judgment, penalty or fine awarded or imposed in, or an amount paid in settlement of, and eligible proceeding.
(b) “eligible proceeding” means a proceeding in which an eligible party or any of the heirs and personal or other legal representatives of the eligible party, by reason of the eligible party being or having been a director or officer of, or holding or having held a position equivalent to that of a director or officer of, the Company or an associated corporation (i) is or may be joined as a party, or (ii) is or may be liable for or in respect of a judgment, penalty or fine in, or expenses related to, the proceeding.
(c) “proceeding” includes any legal proceeding or investigative action, whether current, threatened , pending or completed.
Under Section 161 of the BCBCA, and subject to Section 163 of the BCBCA, we must, after the final disposition of an eligible proceeding, pay the expenses actually and reasonably incurred by an eligible party in respect of that proceeding if the eligible party (i) has not been reimbursed for those expenses, and (ii) is wholly successful, on the merits or otherwise, in the outcome of the proceeding or is substantially successful on the merits in the outcome of the proceeding.
Under Section 162 of the BCBCA, and subject to Section 163 of the BCBCA, we may pay, as they are incurred in advance of the final disposition of an eligible proceeding, the expenses actually and reasonably incurred by an eligible party in respect of the proceeding, provided that the Company must not make such payments unless we first receive from the eligible party a written undertaking that, if it is ultimately determined that the payment of expenses is prohibited under Section 163 of the BCBCA, the eligible party will repay the amounts advanced.
Under Section 163 of the BCBCA, we must not indemnify an eligible party against eligible penalties to which the eligible party is or may be liable or pay the expenses of an eligible party in respect of that proceeding under Sections 160, 161 or 162 of the BCBCA, as the case may be, if any of the following circumstances apply:
if the indemnity or payment is made under an earlier agreement to indemnify or pay expenses and, at the time that the agreement to indemnify or pay expenses was made, the Company was prohibited from giving the indemnity or paying the expenses by the Company’s memorandum or Articles;
if the indemnity or payment is made otherwise than under an earlier agreement to indemnify or pay expenses and, at the time that the indemnity or payment is made, the Company is prohibited from giving the indemnity or paying the expenses by the Company’s memorandum or Articles;
if, in relation to the subject matter of the eligible proceeding, the eligible party did not act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the Company or the associated corporation, as the case may be; or
in the case of an eligible proceeding other than a civil proceeding, if the eligible party did not have reasonable grounds for believing that the eligible party’s conduct in respect of which the proceeding was brought was lawful.
If an eligible proceeding is brought against an eligible party by or on behalf of the Company or by or on behalf of an associated corporation, we must not either indemnify the eligible party against eligible penalties to which the eligible party is or may be liable, or pay the expenses of the eligible party under Sections 160, 161 or 162 of the BCBCA, as the case may be, in respect of the proceeding.
Under Section 164 of the BCBCA, and despite any other provision of Part 5, Division 5 of the BCBCA and whether or not payment of expenses or indemnification has been sought, authorized or declined under Part 5, Division 5 of the BCBCA, on application of the Company or an eligible party, the Supreme Court of British Columbia may do one or more of the following:
order us to indemnify an eligible party against any liability incurred by the eligible party in respect of an eligible proceeding;
order us to pay some or all of the expenses incurred by an eligible party in respect of an eligible proceeding;
order the enforcement of, or payment under, an agreement of indemnification entered into by us;
order us to pay some or all of the expenses actually and reasonably incurred by any person in obtaining an order under Section 164 of the BCBCA; or
make any other order the court considers appropriate.
Section 165 of the BCBCA provides that we may purchase and maintain insurance for the benefit of an eligible party or the heirs and personal or other legal representatives of the eligible party against any liability that may be incurred by reason of the eligible party being or having been a director or officer of, or holding or having held a position equivalent to that of a director or officer of, the Company or an associated corporation.
Under our Articles, and subject to the BCBCA, we must indemnify an eligible party and his or her heirs and legal personal representatives against all eligible penalties to which such person is or may be liable, and we must, after the final disposition of an eligible proceeding, pay the expenses actually and reasonably incurred by such person in respect of that proceeding. Each eligible party is deemed to have contracted with the Company on the terms of the indemnity contained in the Articles.
Under our Articles, and subject to the BCBCA, we may agree to indemnify and may indemnify any person (including an eligible party) against eligible penalties and pay expenses incurred in connection with the performance of services by that person for us.
Under our Articles, and subject to the BCBCA, we may advance expenses to an eligible party.
Pursuant to our Articles, the failure of an eligible party to comply with the BCBCA or the Articles does not, of itself, invalidate any indemnity to which he or she is entitled under the Articles.
Under our Articles, we may purchase and maintain insurance for the benefit of an eligible person (or his or her heirs or legal personal representatives) against any liability incurred by him or her as a director, officer or person who holds or held such equivalent position.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The Transfer Agent and Registrar for shares of our common shares is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC (“AST”). The address for AST is 6201 15th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11219 and its telephone number is ###-###-####.