DESCRIPTION OF MAIN STREET CAPITAL CORPORATION'S
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
As of December 31, 2019, Main Street Capital Corporation ("we," "our," or "us") has one class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended: our common stock.
DESCRIPTION OF COMMON STOCK
The following description is based on relevant portions of the Maryland General Corporation Law and on our articles of incorporation and bylaws. This description is qualified in its entirety by, and should be read in conjunction with, relevant portions of the Maryland General Corporation Law and our articles of incorporation and bylaws.
Under the terms of our articles of incorporation, our authorized capital stock consists of 150,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share. Set forth below is a chart describing the classes of our common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2019:
by us or for
Exclusive of Amount
Under Column 3
Under our articles of incorporation, our Board of Directors is authorized to classify and reclassify any unissued shares of stock into other classes or series of stock, and to cause the issuance of such shares, without obtaining stockholder approval. In addition, as permitted by the Maryland General Corporation Law, but subject to the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the "1940 Act"), our articles of incorporation provide that the Board of Directors, without any action by our stockholders, may amend the articles of incorporation from time to time to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares of stock or the number of shares of stock of any class or series that we have authority to issue. Under Maryland law, our stockholders generally are not personally liable for our debts or obligations.
All shares of our common stock have equal voting rights and rights to earnings, assets and distributions, except as described below. When shares are issued, upon payment therefor, they will be duly authorized, validly issued, fully paid and nonassessable. Distributions may be paid to the holders of our common stock if, as and when authorized by our Board of Directors and declared by us out of assets legally available therefore. Shares of our common stock have no conversion, exchange, preemptive or redemption rights. In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, each share of our common stock would be entitled to share ratably in all of our assets that are legally available for distribution after we pay all debts and other liabilities and subject to any preferential rights of holders of our preferred stock, if any preferred stock is outstanding at such time. Each share of our common stock is entitled to one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders, including the election of directors. Except as provided with respect to any other class or series of stock, the holders of our common stock will possess exclusive voting power. There is no cumulative voting in the election of directors, which means that holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of common stock will elect all of our directors, and holders of less than a majority of such shares will be unable to elect any director.
Limitation on Liability of Directors and Officers; Indemnification and Advance of Expenses
Maryland law permits a Maryland corporation to include in its articles of incorporation a provision limiting the liability of its directors and officers to the corporation and its stockholders for money damages
except for liability resulting from (a) actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services or (b) active and deliberate dishonesty established by a final judgment as being material to the cause of action. Our articles of incorporation contain such a provision that eliminates directors' and officers' liability to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law, subject to the requirements of the 1940 Act.
Our articles of incorporation require us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law and subject to the requirements of the 1940 Act, to indemnify any present or former director or officer or any individual who, while a director or officer and at our request, serves or has served another corporation, real estate investment trust, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise as a director, officer, partner or trustee, from and against any claim or liability to which such person may become subject or which such person may incur by reason of his or her service in any such capacity, except with respect to any matter as to which such person shall have been finally adjudicated in any proceeding to be liable to us or our stockholders by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of such person's office.
Our bylaws obligate us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law and subject to the requirements of the 1940 Act, to indemnify any present or former director or officer or any individual who, while a director or officer and at our request, serves or has served another corporation, real estate investment trust, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise as a director, officer, partner or trustee and who is made a party to a proceeding by reason of his or her service in any such capacity from and against any claim or liability to which that person may become subject or which that person may incur by reason of his or her service in any such capacity, except with respect to any matter as to which such person shall have been finally adjudicated in any proceeding not to have acted in good faith in the reasonable belief that his or her action was in our best interest or to be liable to us or our stockholders by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of such person's office. Our bylaws also require that, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law, we may pay certain expenses incurred by any such indemnified person in advance of the final disposition of a proceeding.
Maryland law requires a corporation (unless its articles of incorporation provide otherwise, which our articles of incorporation do not) to indemnify a director or officer who has been successful in the defense of any proceeding to which he or she is made, or threatened to be made, a party by reason of his or her service in that capacity. Maryland law permits a corporation to indemnify its present and former directors and officers, among others, against judgments, penalties, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses actually incurred by them in connection with any proceeding to which they may be made, or threatened to be made, a party by reason of his or her service in those or other capacities unless it is established that (a) the act or omission of the director or officer was material to the matter giving rise to the proceeding and (1) was committed in bad faith or (2) was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty, (b) the director or officer actually received an improper personal benefit in money, property or services or (c) in the case of any criminal proceeding, the director or officer had reasonable cause to believe that the act or omission was unlawful. However, under Maryland law, a Maryland corporation may not indemnify for an adverse judgment in a suit by or in the right of the corporation or for a judgment of liability on the basis that a personal benefit was improperly received, unless in either case a court orders indemnification, and then only for expenses. In addition, Maryland law permits a corporation to advance reasonable expenses to a director or officer upon the corporation's receipt of (a) a written affirmation by the director or officer of his or her good faith belief that he or she has met the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification by the corporation and (b) a written undertaking by him or her or on his or her behalf to repay the amount paid or reimbursed by the corporation if it is ultimately determined that the standard of conduct was not met.
In addition, we have entered into Indemnity Agreements with our directors and executive officers. The Indemnity Agreements generally provide that we will, to the extent specified in the agreements and to the fullest extent permitted by the 1940 Act and Maryland law as in effect on the day the agreement is executed, indemnify and advance expenses to each indemnitee that is, or is threatened to be made, a party to or a witness in any civil, criminal or administrative proceeding. We will indemnify the indemnitee against all
expenses, judgments, fines, penalties and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonably incurred in connection with any such proceeding unless it is established that (i) the act or omission of the indemnitee was material to the matter giving rise to the proceeding and (a) was committed in bad faith or (b) was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty, (ii) the indemnitee actually received an improper personal benefit, or (iii) in the case of a criminal proceeding, the indemnitee had reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was unlawful. Additionally, for so long as we are subject to the 1940 Act, no advancement of expenses will be made until (i) the indemnitee provides a security for his or her undertaking, (ii) we are insured against losses arising by reason of any lawful advances, or (iii) the majority of a quorum of our disinterested directors, or independent counsel in a written opinion, determines based on a review of readily available facts that there is reason to believe that the indemnitee ultimately will be found entitled to indemnification. The Indemnity Agreements also provide that if the indemnification rights provided for therein are unavailable for any reason, we will pay, in the first instance, the entire amount incurred by the indemnitee in connection with any covered proceeding and waive and relinquish any right of contribution we may have against the indemnitee. The rights provided by the Indemnity Agreements are in addition to any other rights to indemnification or advancement of expenses to which the indemnitee may be entitled under applicable law, our articles of incorporation, our bylaws, any agreement, a vote of stockholders or a resolution of directors, or otherwise. No amendment or repeal of the Indemnity Agreements will limit or restrict any right of the indemnitee in respect of any action taken or omitted by the indemnitee prior to such amendment or repeal. The Indemnity Agreements will terminate upon the later of (i) ten years after the date the indemnitee has ceased to serve as our director or officer, or (ii) one year after the final termination of any proceeding for which the indemnitee is granted rights of indemnification or advancement of expenses or which is brought by the indemnitee. The above description of the Indemnity Agreements is subject to, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to, all the provisions of the form of Indemnity Agreement. We have also entered into agreements similar to the form of Indemnity Agreement with certain of our non-officer and non-director employees and agents serving as officers, managers, directors and in other similar roles of certain of our subsidiaries and portfolio companies at our request.
We have obtained primary and excess insurance policies insuring our directors and officers against certain liabilities they may incur in their capacity as directors and officers. Under such policies, the insurer, on our behalf, may also pay amounts for which we have granted indemnification to the directors or officers.
Provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law and Our Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws
The Maryland General Corporation Law and our articles of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that could make it more difficult for a potential acquiror to acquire us by means of a tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise. These provisions are expected to discourage certain coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids and to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to negotiate first with our Board of Directors. We believe that the benefits of these provisions outweigh the potential disadvantages of discouraging any such acquisition proposals because, among other things, the negotiation of such proposals may improve their terms.
Election of Directors
Our bylaws provide that in uncontested elections, directors are elected by a majority of the votes cast in the election of directors, such that a nominee for director will be elected to the Board of Directors if the votes cast for such nominee's election exceed the votes cast against such nominee's election. In a contested election (i.e., the number of nominees exceeds the number of directors to be elected), directors would be elected by a plurality of the votes cast in such election. Pursuant to our corporate governance guidelines, incumbent directors must agree to tender their resignation if they fail to receive the required number of votes for re-election in a case where a majority voting standard is applied, and in such event the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of our Board of Directors will act on an expedited basis to determine whether to accept the director's resignation and will submit such recommendation for prompt consideration by the Board of Directors. These procedures are described in more detail in our Corporate Governance and Stock
Ownership Guidelines, which are available at http://mainstcapital.com under "Corporate Governance Governance Docs" in the "Investors" section of our website. Pursuant to our articles of incorporation and bylaws, our Board of Directors may amend the bylaws to alter the vote required to elect directors.
Number of Directors; Vacancies; Removal
Our articles of incorporation provide that the number of directors will be set only by the Board of Directors in accordance with our bylaws. Our bylaws provide that a majority of our entire Board of Directors may at any time increase or decrease the number of directors. However, unless the bylaws are amended, the number of directors may never be less than one or more than twelve. We have elected to be subject to the provision of Subtitle 8 of Title 3 of the Maryland General Corporation Law regarding the filling of vacancies on the Board of Directors. Accordingly, at such time, except as may be provided by the Board of Directors in setting the terms of any class or series of preferred stock, any and all vacancies on the Board of Directors may be filled only by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining directors in office, even if the remaining directors do not constitute a quorum, and any director elected to fill a vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the full term of the directorship in which the vacancy occurred and until a successor is elected and qualifies, subject to any applicable requirements of the 1940 Act. Our stockholders may remove a director, with or without cause, by the affirmative vote of a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast generally in the election of directors.
Action by Stockholders
Under the Maryland General Corporation Law, stockholder action may be taken only at an annual or special meeting of stockholders or by unanimous consent in lieu of a meeting (unless the articles of incorporation provide for stockholder action by less than unanimous written consent, which our articles of incorporation do not). These provisions, combined with the requirements of our bylaws regarding the calling of a stockholder-requested special meeting of stockholders discussed below, may have the effect of delaying consideration of a stockholder proposal until the next annual meeting.
Advance Notice Provisions for Stockholder Nominations and Stockholder Proposals
Our bylaws provide that with respect to an annual meeting of stockholders, nominations of persons for election to the Board of Directors and the proposal of business to be considered by stockholders may be made only (1) pursuant to our notice of the meeting, (2) by the Board of Directors or (3) by a stockholder who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has complied with the advance notice procedures of the bylaws. With respect to special meetings of stockholders, only the business specified in our notice of the meeting may be brought before the meeting. Nominations of persons for election to the Board of Directors at a special meeting may be made only (1) pursuant to our notice of the meeting, (2) by the Board of Directors or (3) provided that the Board of Directors has determined that directors will be elected at the meeting, by a stockholder who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has complied with the advance notice provisions of the bylaws.
The purpose of requiring stockholders to give us advance notice of nominations and other business is to afford our Board of Directors a meaningful opportunity to consider the qualifications of the proposed nominees and the advisability of any other proposed business and, to the extent deemed necessary or desirable by our Board of Directors, to inform stockholders and make recommendations about such qualifications or business, as well as to provide a more orderly procedure for conducting meetings of stockholders. Although our bylaws do not give our Board of Directors any power to disapprove stockholder nominations for the election of directors or proposals recommending certain action, they may have the effect of precluding a contest for the election of directors or the consideration of stockholder proposals if proper procedures are not followed and of discouraging or deterring a third party from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect its own slate of directors or to approve its own proposal without regard to whether consideration of such nominees or proposals might be harmful or beneficial to us and our stockholders.
Calling of Special Meeting of Stockholders
Our bylaws provide that special meetings of stockholders may be called by our Board of Directors and certain of our officers. Additionally, our bylaws provide that, subject to the satisfaction of certain procedural and informational requirements by the stockholders requesting the meeting, a special meeting of stockholders shall be called by our secretary upon the written request of stockholders entitled to cast not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast at such meeting.
Approval of Extraordinary Corporate Action; Amendment of Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws
Under Maryland law, a Maryland corporation generally cannot dissolve, amend its articles of incorporation, merge, sell all or substantially all of its assets, engage in a share exchange or engage in similar transactions outside the ordinary course of business, unless approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. However, a Maryland corporation may provide in its articles of incorporation for approval of these matters by a lesser percentage, but not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our articles of incorporation generally provide for approval of amendments to our articles of incorporation and extraordinary transactions by the stockholders entitled to cast at least a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our articles of incorporation also provide that certain amendments and any proposal for our conversion, whether by merger or otherwise, from a closed-end company to an open-end company or any proposal for our liquidation or dissolution requires the approval of the stockholders entitled to cast at least 75.0% of the votes entitled to be cast on such matter. However, if such amendment or proposal is approved by at least 75.0% of our continuing directors (in addition to approval by our Board of Directors), such amendment or proposal may be approved by the stockholders entitled to cast a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on such a matter. The "continuing directors" are defined in our articles of incorporation as our current directors, as well as those directors whose nomination for election by the stockholders or whose election by the directors to fill vacancies is approved by a majority of the continuing directors then on the Board of Directors.
Currently, our articles of incorporation and bylaws provide that the Board of Directors will have the exclusive power to make, alter, amend or repeal any provision of our bylaws. We are seeking stockholder approval at our 2020 annual meeting of stockholders to approve an amendment to our articles of incorporation to allow our stockholders to amend our bylaws by the affirmative vote of a majority of all votes entitled to be cast on the matter. If the amendment to our articles of incorporation is approved by our stockholders, we expect that our Board of Directors will similarly amend our bylaws.
No Appraisal Rights
Except with respect to appraisal rights that may arise in connection with the Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act, or Control Share Act, discussed below, as permitted by the Maryland General Corporation Law, our articles of incorporation provide that stockholders will not be entitled to exercise appraisal rights.
Control Share Acquisitions
The Control Share Act provides that control shares of a Maryland corporation acquired in a control share acquisition have no voting rights except to the extent approved by a vote of at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Shares owned by the acquiror, by officers or by directors who are employees of the corporation are excluded from shares entitled to vote on the matter. Control shares are voting shares of stock which, if aggregated with all other shares of stock owned by the acquiror or in respect of which the acquiror is able to exercise or direct the exercise of voting power (except solely by virtue of a revocable proxy), would entitle the acquiror to exercise voting power in electing directors within one of the following ranges of voting power:
The requisite stockholder approval must be obtained each time an acquiror crosses one of the thresholds of voting power set forth above. Control shares do not include shares the acquiring person is then entitled to vote as a result of having previously obtained stockholder approval. A control share acquisition means the acquisition of issued and outstanding control shares, subject to certain exceptions.
A person who has made or proposes to make a control share acquisition may compel the board of directors of the corporation to call a special meeting of stockholders to be held within 50 days of demand to consider the voting rights of the shares. The right to compel the calling of a special meeting is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including an undertaking to pay the expenses of the meeting. If no request for a meeting is made, the corporation may itself present the question at any stockholders meeting.
If voting rights are not approved at the meeting or if the acquiring person does not deliver an acquiring person statement as required by the statute, then the corporation may repurchase for fair value any or all of the control shares, except those for which voting rights have previously been approved. The right of the corporation to repurchase control shares is subject to certain conditions and limitations. Fair value is determined, without regard to the absence of voting rights for the control shares, as of the date of the last control share acquisition by the acquiror or of any meeting of stockholders at which the voting rights of the shares are considered and not approved. If voting rights for control shares are approved at a stockholders meeting and the acquiror becomes entitled to vote a majority of the shares entitled to vote, all other stockholders may exercise appraisal rights. The fair value of the shares as determined for purposes of appraisal rights may not be less than the highest price per share paid by the acquiror in the control share acquisition.
The Control Share Act does not apply (a) to shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or share exchange if the corporation is a party to the transaction or (b) to acquisitions approved or exempted by the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the corporation.
We are not currently subject to the Control Share Act since our bylaws contain a provision exempting from the Control Share Act any and all acquisitions by any person of our shares of stock. There can be no assurance that such provision will not be otherwise amended or eliminated at any time in the future. It is our understanding that it is the view of the SEC staff that amending our bylaws to subject us to the Control Share Act is inconsistent with 1940 Act Section 18(i), made applicable to business development companies by Section 61 thereunder.
However, we will amend our bylaws to be subject to the Control Share Act only if the Board of Directors determines that it would be in our best interests and if the staff of the SEC permits us to do so after we determine that our being subject to the Control Share Act does not conflict with the 1940 Act.
Under the Maryland Business Combination Act, or the Business Combination Act, "business combinations" between a Maryland corporation and an interested stockholder or an affiliate of an interested stockholder are prohibited for five years after the most recent date on which the interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. These business combinations include a merger, consolidation, share exchange or, in circumstances specified in the statute, an asset transfer or issuance or reclassification of equity securities. An interested stockholder is defined as:
A person is not an interested stockholder under this statute if the board of directors approved in advance the transaction by which such stockholder otherwise would have become an interested stockholder. However, in approving a transaction, the board of directors may provide that its approval is subject to compliance, at or after the time of approval, with any terms and conditions determined by the board.
After the five-year prohibition, any business combination between the Maryland corporation and an interested stockholder generally must be recommended by the board of directors of the corporation and approved by the affirmative vote of at least:
These super-majority vote requirements do not apply if the corporation's common stockholders receive a minimum price, as defined under Maryland law, for their shares in the form of cash or other consideration in the same form as previously paid by the interested stockholder for its shares.
The statute permits various exemptions from its provisions, including business combinations that are exempted by the board of directors before the time that the interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. Our Board of Directors has adopted a resolution exempting any business combination between us and any other person from the provisions of the Business Combination Act, provided that the business combination is first approved by the Board of Directors, including a majority of the directors who are not interested persons as defined in the 1940 Act. This resolution, however, may be altered or repealed in whole or in part at any time. If these resolutions are repealed, or the Board of Directors does not otherwise approve a business combination, the statute may discourage others from trying to acquire control of us and increase the difficulty of consummating any offer.
Conflict with 1940 Act
Our bylaws provide that, if and to the extent that any provision of the Maryland General Corporation Law, or any provision of our articles of incorporation or bylaws conflicts with any provision of the 1940 Act, the applicable provision of the 1940 Act will control.