DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
The following is a description of the common stock, par value $0.001 per share (the “common stock”) of a.k.a. Brands Holding Corp., which is the only security of the Company registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”).
The Company is authorized to issue 500,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.001 per share, and 50,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.001 per share. The following summary description of the common stock is qualified in its entirety by, and should be read in conjunction with, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation (the “Certificate”) and our amended and restated bylaws (the “Bylaws”), copies of which have been filed as exhibits to the Company’s periodic reports under the Exchange Act, and the applicable provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”).
The following description of certain rights of our common stock does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to our Certificate and Bylaws.
Voting Rights. 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 our common stock do not have cumulative voting rights in the election of directors. Holders of shares of our common stock will vote as a single class on all matters presented to our stockholders for their vote or approval, except for certain amendments to our Certificate described below or as otherwise required by applicable law or the Certificate.
Dividend and Liquidation Rights. 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.
Miscellaneous. All shares of our common stock outstanding are fully paid and non-assessable. Holders of shares of our common stock do not have preemptive, subscription, redemption or conversion rights. There are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to the common stock.
Listing. Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “AKA.”
Transfer Agent and Registrar. The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC, located at 6201 15th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11219.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws and Certain Provisions of Delaware Law
Our Certificate, Bylaws and the DGCL contain provisions that may delay, defer or discourage another party from acquiring control of us. These provisions, summarized below, intend to discourage coercive takeover practices or inadequate takeover bids and encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to first negotiate with the board of directors, which we believe may result in an improvement of the terms of any such acquisition in favor of our
stockholders. However, they also give the board of directors the power to discourage acquisitions that some stockholders may favor.
Action by Written Consent, Special Meeting of Stockholders and Advance Notice Requirements for Stockholder Proposals
Our Certificate provides that stockholder action can be taken only at an annual or special meeting of stockholders and cannot be taken by written consent in lieu of a meeting at any time when Summit Partners LP (“Summit”) controls, in the aggregate, less than 35% in voting power of our outstanding common stock. Our Certificate and Bylaws also provide that, except as otherwise required by law, special meetings of the stockholders can be called only pursuant to a resolution adopted by a majority of the directors or by the Chairman of our Board. Stockholders will not be permitted to call a special meeting; provided, however, at any time when Summit controls, in the aggregate, at least 35% in voting power of our outstanding common stock, special meetings of our stockholders shall also be called by our Board or the Chairman of our Board at the written request of Summit or to require the board of directors to call a special meeting. In addition, our Bylaws require advance notice procedures for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting of the stockholders, including the nomination of directors; provided, however, at any time when Summit controls, in the aggregate, at least 10% in voting power of our stock entitled to vote generally in the election of directors, such advance notice procedure will not apply to Summit. Stockholders at an annual meeting may only consider the proposals specified in the notice of meeting or brought before the meeting by or at the direction of the board of directors, or by a stockholder of record on the record date for the meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has delivered a timely written notice in proper form to our secretary, of the stockholder’s intention to bring such business before the meeting. These provisions could have the effect of delaying until the next stockholder meeting any stockholder actions, even if they are favored by the holders of a majority of our outstanding voting securities.
Our Certificate provides that our board of directors will be divided into three classes of directors, with the classes as nearly equal in number as possible. As a result, approximately one-third of our board of directors will be elected each year. The classification of directors will have the effect of making it more difficult for stockholders to change the composition of our board.
Removal of Directors; Vacancies
Our Certificate provides that, at any time when (a) Summit beneficially owns at least 40% in voting power, directors may be removed with or without cause by a majority stockholder vote or (b) Summit controls less than 40% in voting power of our outstanding common stock, all directors, including those nominated by Summit, may only be removed for cause, and only by the affirmative vote of holders of at least 66 2/3% in voting power of all the then-outstanding shares of capital stock of the company entitled to vote thereon, voting together as a single class. In addition, our Certificate provides that any newly-created directorship on the board of directors that results from an increase in the number of directors and any vacancy occurring on the board of directors shall be filled only by a majority of the directors then in office, although less than a quorum, or by a sole remaining director.
Supermajority Approval Requirements
Our Certificate and Bylaws provide that our Board is expressly authorized to make, alter, amend, change, add to, rescind or repeal, in whole or in part, our Bylaws without a stockholder vote in any matter not inconsistent with the laws of the State of Delaware and our Certificate. Any amendment, alteration, rescission or repeal of our Bylaws by our stockholders will require the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 66 2/3% in voting power of all the then-outstanding shares of stock of the company entitled to vote thereon, voting together as a single class.
The DGCL provides generally that the affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote thereon, voting together as a single class, is required to amend a corporation’s certificate of incorporation, unless the certificate requires a greater percentage.
Our Certificate provides that the following provisions in our Certificate may be amended, altered, repealed or rescinded only by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 66 2/3% (as opposed to a majority threshold) in voting power of all the then-outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote thereon, voting together as a single class:
•the provision requiring a 66 2/3% supermajority vote for stockholders to amend our Bylaws;
•the provisions providing for a classified board of directors;
•the provisions regarding resignation and removal of directors;
•the provisions regarding competition and corporate opportunities;
•the provisions regarding entering into business combinations with interested stockholders;
•the provisions regarding stockholder action by written consent;
•the provisions regarding calling special meetings of stockholders;
•the provisions regarding filling vacancies on the Board and newly created directorships;
•the provisions eliminating monetary damages for breaches of fiduciary duty by a director; and
•the amendment provision requiring that the above provisions be amended only with a 66 2/3% supermajority vote.
Delaware Anti-Takeover Statute
We are not 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 the person becomes an interested stockholder, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. A “business combination” includes, among other things, 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 did own within three years prior to the determination of interested stockholder status, 15% or more of the corporation’s voting stock.
Under Section 203, a business combination between a corporation and an interested stockholder is prohibited unless it satisfies one of the following conditions: (1) before the stockholder became an interested stockholder, the board of directors approved either the business combination or the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder; (2) 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; or (3) at or after the time the stockholder became an interested stockholder, the business combination was approved by the 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.
A Delaware corporation may “opt out” of these provisions with an express provision in its original charter or an express provision in its charter or bylaws resulting from a stockholders’ amendment approved by at least a majority of the outstanding voting shares.
We have opted out of Section 203; however our Certificate contains similar provisions providing that we may not engage in certain “business combinations” with any “interested stockholder” for a three-year period following the time that the stockholder became an interested stockholder, unless:
•prior to such time, our board approved either the business combination or the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder;
•upon consummation of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of our voting stock outstanding at the time the transaction commenced, excluding certain shares; or
•at or subsequent to that time, the business combination is approved by our board and by the affirmative vote of holders of at least 66 2/3% of our outstanding voting stock that is not owned by the interested stockholder.
Under certain circumstances, this provision will make it more difficult for a person who would be an “interested stockholder” to effect various business combinations with the Company for a three-year period. This provision may encourage companies interested in acquiring the Company to negotiate in advance with our board because the stockholder approval requirement would be avoided if our board approves either the business combination or the transaction which results in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder. These provisions also may have the effect of preventing changes in our board and may make it more difficult to accomplish transactions which stockholders may otherwise deem to be in their best interests.
Our Certificate provides that our Principal Stockholder, and any of its direct or indirect transferees and any group as to which such persons are a party, do not constitute “interested stockholders” for purposes of this provision.
Our Certificate provides that unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, be 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 a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or other employees to us or our stockholders; (3) any action asserting a claim against us, any director or our officers or employees arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL, our Certificate or our Bylaws; or (4) any action asserting a claim against us, any director or our officers or employees that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine, except, as to each of clauses (1) through (4) above, for any claim as to which the Court of Chancery determines that there is an indispensable party not subject to the jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery (and the indispensable party does not consent to the personal jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery within 10 days following such determination), which is vested in the exclusive jurisdiction of a court or forum other than the Court of Chancery, or for which the Court of Chancery does not have subject matter jurisdiction. For the avoidance of doubt, the forum selection provision that identifies the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware as the exclusive forum for certain litigation, including any “derivative action,” will not apply to suits to enforce a duty or liability created by the Securities Act, the Exchange Act or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction.
Limitations on Liability and Indemnification of Officers and Directors
Our Certificate and Bylaws provide indemnification for our directors and officers to the fullest extent permitted by the DGCL. We have also entered into indemnification agreements with each of our directors that may, in some cases, be broader than the specific indemnification provisions contained under Delaware law. In addition, as permitted by Delaware law, our Certificate includes provisions that eliminate the personal liability of our directors for monetary damages resulting from breaches of certain fiduciary duties as a director. The effect of this provision is to restrict our rights and the rights of our stockholders in derivative suits to recover monetary damages against a director for breach of fiduciary duties as a director, except that a director will be personally liable for:
•any breach of his duty of loyalty to us or our stockholders;
•acts or omissions not in good faith or which involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law;
•any transaction from which the director derived an improper personal benefit; or
•improper distributions to stockholders.
These provisions may be held not to be enforceable for violations of the federal securities laws of the United States.
Corporate Opportunity Doctrine
Delaware law permits corporations to adopt provisions renouncing any interest or expectancy in certain opportunities that are presented to the corporation or its officers, directors or stockholders. Our Certificate renounces, to the maximum extent permitted from time to time by Delaware law, any interest or expectancy that we have in, or right to be offered an opportunity to participate in, specified business opportunities that are from time to time presented to certain of our officers, directors or stockholders or their respective affiliates, other than those officers, directors, stockholders or affiliates acting in their capacity as our employee or director. Our Certificate provides that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, any director or stockholder who is not employed by us or our affiliates will not have any duty to refrain from (1) engaging in a corporate opportunity in the same or similar lines of business in which we or our affiliates now engage or propose to engage or (2) otherwise competing with us or our affiliates. In addition, to the fullest extent permitted by law, in the event that any director or stockholder, other than directors or stockholders acting in their capacity as our director or as a stockholder, acquires knowledge of a potential transaction or other business opportunity which may be a corporate opportunity for itself or himself or its or his affiliates or for us or our affiliates, such person will have no duty to communicate or offer such transaction or business opportunity to us or any of our affiliates and they may take any such opportunity for themselves or offer it to another person or entity. In our Certificate, we do not renounce our interest in any business opportunity that is expressly offered to an employee director or employee in his or her capacity as a director or employee of the Company. To the fullest extent permitted by law, no business opportunity will be deemed to be a potential corporate opportunity for us unless we would be permitted to undertake the opportunity under our Certificate, we have sufficient financial resources to undertake the opportunity and the opportunity would be in line with our business.
Dissenters’ Rights of Appraisal and Payment
Under the DGCL, with certain exceptions, our stockholders will have appraisal rights in connection with a merger or consolidation of the Company. Pursuant to the DGCL, stockholders who properly request and perfect appraisal rights in connection with such merger or consolidation will have the right to receive payment of the fair value of their shares as determined by the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Stockholders’ Derivative Actions
Under the DGCL, any of our stockholders may bring an action in our name to procure a judgment in our favor, also known as a derivative action, provided that the stockholder bringing the action is a holder of our shares at the time of the transaction to which the action relates or such stockholder’s stock thereafter devolved by operation of law.