Description of Rights of Each Class of Securities
Registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as Amended (the “Exchange Act”)
Ordinary shares, par value $0.001 per share (“Ordinary Shares”), of MDJM LTD (“we,” “our,” “our company,” or “us”) are listed and traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market, and in connection with this listing (but not for trading), its Ordinary Shares are registered under Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act. This exhibit contains a description of the rights of the holders of Ordinary Shares.
Description of Ordinary Shares
The following is a summary of material provisions of our currently effective amended and restated memorandum and articles of association as well as well as the Companies Act (Revised) of the Cayman Islands (the “Cayman Companies Act”) insofar as they relate to the material terms of our Ordinary Shares. Notwithstanding this, because it is a summary, it may not contain all the information that you may otherwise deem important. For more complete information, you should read the entirety of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, which have been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as exhibits to our Registration Statement on Form F-1 (File No. 333-226826), initially filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on August 13, 2018.
Type and Class of Securities (Item 9.A.5 of Form 20-F)
Each Ordinary Share has a par value of $0.001 each. The number of Ordinary Shares that have been issued as of the last day of the financial year ended December 31, 2021 is provided on the cover of the annual report on Form 20-F filed on April 19, 2022 (the “2021 Form 20-F”). Our Ordinary Shares may be held in either certificated or uncertificated form.
Preemptive Rights (Item 9.A.3 of Form 20-F)
Our Ordinary Shares are not subject to any pre-emptive or similar rights under the Cayman Companies Act or pursuant to our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association.
Limitations or Qualifications (Item 9.A.6 of Form 20-F)
Each Ordinary Share entitles the holder thereof to one vote on all matters subject to the vote at general meetings of our company, voting together as one class.
Rights of Other Types of Securities (Item 9.A.7 of Form 20-F)
Rights of Ordinary Shares (Item 10.B.3 of Form 20-F)
Our authorized share capital is $50,000 divided into 50,000,000 Ordinary Shares, par value $0.001 per share. All of our issued and outstanding Ordinary Shares are fully paid and non-assessable. Our Ordinary Shares are issued in registered form. Our shareholders who are non-residents of the Cayman Islands may freely hold and vote their Ordinary Shares.
Subject to the provisions of the Cayman Companies Act and any rights attaching to any class or classes of shares and in accordance with our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association:
(a) the directors may declare dividends or distributions out of our funds which are lawfully available for that purpose.
(b) the company’s shareholders may, by ordinary resolution, declare dividends but no such dividend shall exceed the amount recommended by the directors.
Subject to the requirements of the Cayman Companies Act regarding the application of a company’s share premium account and with the sanction of an ordinary resolution, dividends may also be declared and paid out of any share premium account. The directors when paying dividends to shareholders may make such payment either in cash or in specie.
Unless provided by the rights attached to a share, no dividend shall bear interest.
Subject to any rights or restrictions as to voting attached to any shares, unless any share carries special voting rights, on a show of hands every shareholder who is present in person and every person representing a shareholder by proxy shall have one vote. On a poll, every shareholder who is present in person and every person representing a shareholder by proxy shall have one vote for each share of which he or the person represented by proxy is the holder. In addition, all shareholders holding shares of a particular class are entitled to vote at a meeting of the holders of that class of shares. Votes may be given either personally or by proxy.
Calls on shares and forfeiture of Shares
Subject to the terms of allotment, the directors may make calls on the shareholders in respect of any monies unpaid on their shares including any premium and each shareholder shall (subject to receiving at least fourteen clear days' notice specifying when and where payment is to be made), pay to us the amount called on his shares. Shareholders registered as the joint holders of a share shall be jointly and severally liable to pay all calls in respect of the share. If a call remains unpaid after it has become due and payable the person from whom it is due and payable shall pay interest on the amount unpaid from the day it became due and payable until it is paid at the rate fixed by the terms of allotment of the share or in the notice of the call or if no rate is fixed, at the rate of ten per cent. per annum. The directors may, at their discretion, waive payment of the interest wholly or in part.
We have a first and paramount lien on all shares (whether fully paid up or not) registered in the name of a shareholder (whether solely or jointly with others). The lien is for all monies payable to us by the shareholder or the shareholder’s estate:
either alone or jointly with any other person, whether or not that other person is a shareholder; and
whether or not those monies are presently payable.
At any time the directors may declare any share to be wholly or partly exempt from the calls and forfeiture provisions of the articles.
We may sell, in such manner as the directors may determine, any share on which the sum in respect of which the lien exists is presently payable, if due notice that such sum is payable has been given (as prescribed by the articles) and, within fourteen days of the date on which the notice is deemed to be given under the articles, such notice has not been complied with.
Subject to the Cayman Companies Act, we may sell, subject to certain conditions, any share of a shareholder who cannot be traced if, during a period of twelve years, at least three cash dividends in respect of the share have become payable and no such dividend during that period has been claimed.
Forfeiture or surrender of shares
If a shareholder fails to pay any call the directors may give to such shareholder not less than fourteen clear days' notice requiring payment and specifying the amount unpaid including any interest which may have accrued, any expenses
which have been incurred by us due to that person’s default and the place where payment is to be made. The notice shall also contain a warning that if the notice is not complied with, the shares in respect of which the call is made will be liable to be forfeited.
If such notice is not complied with, the directors may, before the payment required by the notice has been received, resolve that any share the subject of that notice be forfeited (which forfeiture shall include all dividends or other monies payable in respect of the forfeited share and not paid before such forfeiture).
A forfeited share may be sold, re-allotted or otherwise disposed of on such terms and in such manner as the directors determine and at any time before a sale, re-allotment or disposition the forfeiture may be cancelled on such terms as the directors think fit.
A person whose shares have been forfeited shall cease to be a shareholder in respect of the forfeited shares, but shall, notwithstanding such forfeit, remain liable to pay to us all monies which at the date of forfeiture were payable by him to us in respect of the shares, together with all expenses and interest from the date of forfeiture or surrender until payment, but his liability shall cease if and when we receive payment in full of the unpaid amount.
A declaration, whether statutory or under oath, made by a director or the secretary shall be conclusive evidence that the person making the declaration is a director or secretary of us and that the particular shares have been forfeited or surrendered on a particular date.
Subject to the execution of an instrument of transfer, if necessary, the declaration shall constitute good title to the shares.
Share premium account
The directors shall establish a share premium account and shall carry the credit of such account from time to time to a sum equal to the amount or value of the premium paid on the issue of any share or capital contributed or such other amounts required by the Cayman Companies Act.
Redemption and purchase of own shares
Subject to the Cayman Companies Act and any rights for the time being conferred on the shareholders holding a particular class of shares, we may by our directors:
issue shares that are to be redeemed or liable to be redeemed, at our option or the shareholder holding those redeemable shares, on the terms and in the manner its directors determine before the issue of those shares;
with the consent by special resolution of the shareholders holding shares of a particular class, vary the rights attaching to that class of shares so as to provide that those shares are to be redeemed or are liable to be redeemed at our option on the terms and in the manner which the directors determine at the time of such variation; and
purchase all or any of our own shares of any class including any redeemable shares on the terms and in the manner which the directors determine at the time of such purchase.
We may make a payment in respect of the redemption or purchase of its own shares in any manner authorized by the Cayman Companies Act, including out of any combination of capital, our profits and the proceeds of a fresh issue of shares.
When making a payment in respect of the redemption or purchase of shares, the directors may make the payment in cash or in specie (or partly in one and partly in the other) if so authorized by the terms of the allotment of those shares or by the terms applying to those shares, or otherwise by agreement with the shareholder holding those shares.
Transfer of Shares
Subject to the restrictions contained in our articles, any of our shareholders may transfer all or any of his or her Ordinary Shares by an instrument of transfer in any usual or common form or any other form approved by our board of directors, executed by or on behalf of the transferor (and, if in respect of a nil or partly paid up share, or if so required by our directors, by or on behalf of the transferee).
Our board of directors may, in its absolute discretion, decline to register any transfer of any Ordinary Share that has not been fully paid up or is subject to a company lien. Our board of directors may also decline to register any transfer of any Ordinary Share unless:
the instrument of transfer is lodged with us, accompanied by the certificate for the Ordinary Shares to which it relates and such other evidence as our board of directors may reasonably require to show the right of the transferor to make the transfer;
the instrument of transfer is in respect of only one class of Ordinary Shares;
the instrument of transfer is properly stamped, if required;
the Ordinary Share transferred is fully paid and free of any lien in favor of us;
any fee related to the transfer has been paid to us; and
the transfer is not to more than four joint holders.
If our directors refuse to register a transfer, they are required, within three months after the date on which the instrument of transfer was lodged, to send to each of the transferor and the transferee notice of such refusal.
The registration of transfers may, on 14 calendar days' notice being given by advertisement in such one or more newspapers or by electronic means, be suspended and our register of members closed at such times and for such periods as our board of directors may from time to time determine. However, the registration of transfers may not be suspended, and the register may not be closed, for more than 30 calendar days in any year.
Inspection of Books and Records
Holders of our Ordinary Shares will have no general right under the Cayman Companies Act to inspect or obtain copies of our register of members or our corporate records.
Capitalization of Profits
The directors may resolve to capitalize:
any part of our profits not required for paying any preferential dividend (whether or not those profits are available for distribution); or
any sum standing to the credit of our share premium account or capital redemption reserve, if any.
The amount resolved to be capitalized must be appropriated to the shareholders who would have been entitled to it had it been distributed by way of dividend and in the same proportions.
If we are wound up, the shareholders may, subject to the articles and any other sanction required by the Cayman Companies Act, pass a special resolution allowing the liquidator to do either or both of the following:
to divide in specie among the shareholders the whole or any part of our assets and, for that purpose, to value any assets and to determine how the division shall be carried out as between the shareholders or different classes of shareholders; and
to vest the whole or any part of the assets in trustees for the benefit of shareholders and those liable to contribute to the winding up.
The directors have the authority to present a petition for our winding up to the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands on our behalf without the sanction of a resolution passed at a general meeting.
Requirements to Change the Rights of Holders of Ordinary Shares (Item 10.B.4 of Form 20-F)
Variations of Rights of Shares
Whenever our capital is divided into different classes of shares, the rights attaching to any class of share (unless otherwise provided by the terms of issue of the shares of that class) may be varied either with the consent in writing of the holders of not less than two-thirds of the issued shares of that class, or with the sanction of a resolution passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the holders of shares of the class present in person or by proxy at a separate general meeting of the holders of shares of that class.
Unless the terms on which a class of shares was issued state otherwise, the rights conferred on the shareholder holding shares of any class shall not be deemed to be varied by the creation or issue of further shares ranking pari passu with the existing shares of that class.
Limitations on the Rights to Own Ordinary Shares (Item 10.B.6 of Form 20-F)
There are no limitations under the Cayman Companies Act or imposed by our amended and restated memorandum and articles on the rights of non-resident or foreign shareholders to hold or exercise voting rights on our shares.
Provisions Affecting Any Change of Control (Item 10.B.7 of Form 20-F)
Some provisions of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, which will become effective upon the completion of this offering, may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company or management that shareholders may consider favorable, including, among other things, the following:
provisions that authorize our board of directors to issue shares with preferred, deferred or other special rights or restrictions without any further vote or action by our shareholders; and
provisions that restrict the ability of our shareholders to call meetings and to propose special matters for consideration at shareholder meetings.
Ownership Threshold (Item 10.B.8 of Form 20-F)
There are no provisions under the Cayman Companies Act or under our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association that govern the ownership threshold above which shareholder ownership must be disclosed.
Differences Between the Law of Different Jurisdictions (Item 10.B.9 of Form 20-F)
The Cayman Companies Act is derived, to a large extent, from the older Companies Acts of England and Wales but does not follow recent United Kingdom statutory enactments, and accordingly there are significant differences between the Cayman Companies Act and the current Companies Act of the UK. In addition, the Cayman Companies Act differs from laws applicable to United States corporations and their shareholders. Set forth below is a summary of certain significant differences between the provisions of the Cayman Companies Act applicable to us and the comparable laws applicable to companies incorporated in the State of Delaware in the United States.
Mergers and Similar Arrangements
The Cayman Islands Companies Act permits mergers and consolidations between Cayman Islands companies and between Cayman Islands companies and non-Cayman Islands companies. For these purposes, (a) “merger” means the merging of two or more constituent companies and the vesting of their undertaking, property and liabilities in one of such companies as the surviving company, and (b) a “consolidation” means the combination of two or more constituent companies into a consolidated company and the vesting of the undertaking, property and liabilities of such companies to the consolidated company. In order to effect such a merger or consolidation, the directors of each constituent company must approve a written plan of merger or consolidation, which must then be authorized by (a) a special resolution of the shareholders of each constituent company, and (b) such other authorization, if any, as may be specified in such constituent company’s articles of association. The plan must be filed with the Registrar of Companies together with a declaration as to the solvency of the consolidated or surviving company, a list of the assets and liabilities of each constituent company and an undertaking that a copy of the certificate of merger or consolidation will be given to the shareholders and creditors of each constituent company and that notification of the merger or consolidation will be published in the Cayman Islands Gazette. Court approval is not required for a merger or consolidation which is effected in compliance with these statutory procedures.
A merger between a Cayman Islands parent company and its Cayman Islands subsidiary or subsidiaries does not require authorization by a resolution of shareholders. For this purpose, a subsidiary is a company of which at least 90% of the issued shares entitled to vote are owned by the parent company.
The consent of each holder of a fixed or floating security interest of a constituent company is required unless this requirement is waived by a court in the Cayman Islands.
Except in certain limited circumstances, a dissenting shareholder of a Cayman Islands constituent company is entitled to payment of the fair value of his or her shares upon dissenting from a merger or consolidation. The exercise of such dissenter rights will preclude the exercise by the dissenting shareholder of any other rights to which he or she might otherwise be entitled by virtue of holding shares, except for the right to seek relief on the grounds that the merger or consolidation is void or unlawful.
In addition, there are statutory provisions that facilitate the reconstruction and amalgamation of companies, provided that the arrangement is approved by a majority in number of each class of shareholders and creditors with whom the arrangement is to be made, and who must, in addition, represent three-fourths in value of each such class of shareholders or creditors, as the case may be, that are present and voting either in person or by proxy at a meeting, or meetings, convened for that purpose. The convening of the meetings and subsequently the arrangement must be sanctioned by the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands. While a dissenting shareholder has the right to express to the court the view that the transaction ought not to be approved, the court can be expected to approve the arrangement if it determines that:
the statutory provisions as to the required majority vote have been met;
the shareholders have been fairly represented at the meeting in question and the statutory majority are acting bona fide without coercion of the minority to promote interests adverse to those of the class;
the arrangement is such that may be reasonably approved by an intelligent and honest man of that class acting in respect of his interest; and
the arrangement is not one that would more properly be sanctioned under some other provision of the Cayman Islands Companies Act.
When a takeover offer is made and accepted by holders of 90% of the shares affected within four months the offeror may, within a two-month period commencing on the expiration of such four-month period, require the holders of the remaining shares to transfer such shares on the terms of the offer. An objection can be made to the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands but this is unlikely to succeed in the case of an offer which has been so approved unless there is evidence of fraud, bad faith or collusion.
If an arrangement and reconstruction is thus approved, or if a takeover offer is made and accepted, a dissenting shareholder would have no rights comparable to appraisal rights, which would otherwise ordinarily be available to
dissenting shareholders of Delaware corporations, providing rights to receive payment in cash for the judicially determined value of the shares.
In principle, we will normally be the proper plaintiff to sue for a wrong done to us as a company and as a general rule, a derivative action may not be brought by a minority shareholder. However, based on English law authorities, which would in all likelihood be of persuasive authority in the Cayman Islands, the Cayman Islands courts can be expected to follow and apply the common law principles (namely the rule in Foss v. Harbottle and the exceptions thereto) so that a non-controlling shareholder may be permitted to commence a class action against or derivative actions in the name of the company to challenge:
an act which is illegal or ultra vires with respect to the company and is therefore incapable of ratification by the shareholders;
an act which, although not ultra vires, requires authorization by a qualified (or special) majority (that is, more than a simple majority) which has not been obtained; and
an act which constitutes a “fraud on the minority” where the wrongdoers are themselves in control of the company.
Indemnification of Directors and Executive Officers and Limitation of Liability
The Cayman Islands law does not limit the extent to which a company’s articles of association may provide for indemnification of officers and directors, except to the extent any such provision may be held by the Cayman Islands courts to be contrary to public policy, such as to provide indemnification against civil fraud or the consequences of committing a crime. Our amended and restated articles of association provide to the extent permitted by law, we shall indemnify each existing or former secretary, director (including alternate director), and any of our other officers (including an investment adviser or an administrator or liquidator) and their personal representatives against:
all actions, proceedings, costs, charges, expenses, losses, damages or liabilities incurred or sustained by the existing or former director (including alternate director), secretary or officer in or about the conduct of our business or affairs or in the execution or discharge of the existing or former director (including alternate director), secretary’s or officer’s duties, powers, authorities or discretions; and
without limitation to paragraph (a) above, all costs, expenses, losses or liabilities incurred by the existing or former director (including alternate director), secretary or officer in defending (whether successfully or otherwise) any civil, criminal, administrative or investigative proceedings (whether threatened, pending or completed) concerning us or our affairs in any court or tribunal, whether in the Cayman Islands or elsewhere.
No such existing or former director (including alternate director), secretary or officer, however, shall be indemnified in respect of any matter arising out of his own dishonesty.
To the extent permitted by law, we may make a payment, or agree to make a payment, whether by way of advance, loan or otherwise, for any legal costs incurred by an existing or former director (including alternate director), secretary or any of our officers in respect of any matter identified in above on condition that the director (including alternate director), secretary or officer must repay the amount paid by us to the extent that it is ultimately found not liable to indemnify the director (including alternate director), the secretary or that officer for those legal costs.
This standard of conduct is generally the same as permitted under the Delaware General Corporation Law for a Delaware corporation. In addition, we intend to enter into indemnification agreements with our directors and executive officers that will provide such persons with additional indemnification beyond that provided in our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association.
Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, may be permitted to our directors, officers or persons controlling us under the foregoing provisions, we have been informed that, in the
opinion of the SEC, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and is therefore unenforceable.
Anti-Takeover Provisions in Our Articles
Some provisions of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company or management that shareholders may consider favorable, including provisions that authorize our board of directors to issue shares at such times and on such terms and conditions as the board of directors may decide without any further vote or action by our shareholders.
Under the Cayman Companies Act, our directors may only exercise the rights and powers granted to them under our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association for what they believe in good faith to be in the best interests of our company and for a proper purpose.
Directors’ Fiduciary Duties
Under Delaware corporate law, a director of a Delaware corporation has a fiduciary duty to the corporation and its shareholders. This duty has two components: the duty of care and the duty of loyalty. The duty of care requires that a director act in good faith, with the care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise under similar circumstances. Under this duty, a director must inform himself of, and disclose to shareholders, all material information reasonably available regarding a significant transaction. The duty of loyalty requires that a director act in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the corporation. He or she must not use his or her corporate position for personal gain or advantage. This duty prohibits self-dealing by a director and mandates that the best interests of the corporation and its shareholders take precedence over any interest possessed by a director, officer or controlling shareholder and not shared by the shareholders generally. In general, actions of a director are presumed to have been made on an informed basis, in good faith and in the honest belief that the action taken was in the best interests of the corporation. However, this presumption may be rebutted by evidence of a breach of one of the fiduciary duties. Should such evidence be presented concerning a transaction by a director, a director must prove the procedural fairness of the transaction, and that the transaction was of fair value to the corporation.
As a matter of Cayman Islands law, a director owes three types of duties to the company: (i) statutory duties, (ii) fiduciary duties, and (iii) common law duties. The Cayman Companies Act imposes a number of statutory duties on a director. A Cayman Islands director’s fiduciary duties are not codified, however the courts of the Cayman Islands have held that a director owes the following fiduciary duties (a) a duty to act in what the director bona fide considers to be in the best interests of the company, (b) a duty to exercise their powers for the purposes they were conferred, (c) a duty to avoid fettering his or her discretion in the future, and (d) a duty to avoid conflicts of interest and of duty. The common law duties owed by a director are those to act with skill, care and diligence that may reasonably be expected of a person carrying out the same functions as are carried out by that director in relation to the company and, also, to act with the skill, care and diligence in keeping with a standard of care commensurate with any particular skill they have which enables them to meet a higher standard than a director without those skills. In fulfilling their duty of care to us, our directors must ensure compliance with our amended articles of association, as amended and restated from time to time. We have the right to seek damages if a duty owed by any of our directors is breached.
Under the Delaware General Corporation Law, a shareholder has the right to put any proposal before the annual meeting of shareholders, provided it complies with the notice provisions in the governing documents. The Delaware General Corporation Law does not provide shareholders an express right to put any proposal before the annual meeting of shareholders, but in keeping with common law, Delaware corporations generally afford shareholders an opportunity to make proposals and nominations provided that they comply with the notice provisions in the certificate of incorporation or bylaws. A special meeting may be called by the board of directors or any other person authorized to do so in the governing documents, but shareholders may be precluded from calling special meetings.
The Cayman Islands Companies Act provides shareholders with only limited rights to requisition a general meeting, and does not provide shareholders with any right to put any proposal before a general meeting. However, these rights may be provided in a company’s articles of association. Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of
association provide that general meetings shall be convened on the written requisition of one or more of the shareholders entitled to attend and vote at our general meetings who (together) hold not less than 10 percent of the rights to vote at such general meeting in accordance with the notice provisions in the Memorandum and Articles of Association, specifying the purpose of the meeting and signed by each of the shareholders making the requisition. If the directors do not convene such meeting for a date not later than twenty-one clear days’ after the date of receipt of the written requisition, those shareholders who requested the meeting may convene the general meeting themselves within three months after the end of such period of twenty-one clear days in which case reasonable expenses incurred by them as a result of the directors failing to convene a meeting shall be reimbursed by us. Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide no other right to put any proposals before annual general meetings or extraordinary general meetings. As a Cayman Islands exempted company, we are not obligated by law to call shareholders’ annual general meetings. However, our corporate governance guidelines require us to call such meetings every year.
Under the Delaware General Corporation Law, cumulative voting for elections of directors is not permitted unless the corporation’s certificate of incorporation specifically provides for it. Cumulative voting potentially facilitates the representation of minority shareholders on a board of directors since it permits the minority shareholder to cast all the votes to which the shareholder is entitled on a single director, which increases the shareholder’s voting power with respect to electing such director. As permitted under the Cayman Companies Act, our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association do not provide for cumulative voting. As a result, our shareholders are not afforded any less protections or rights on this issue than shareholders of a Delaware corporation.
Removal of Directors
Under the Delaware General Corporation Law, a director of a corporation with a classified board may be removed only for cause with the approval of a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote, unless the certificate of incorporation provides otherwise. Subject to the provisions of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association (which include the removal of a director by ordinary resolution), the office of a director may be terminated forthwith if (a) he is prohibited by the laws of the Cayman Islands from acting as a director, (b) he is made bankrupt or makes an arrangement or composition with his creditors generally, (c) he resigns his office by notice to us, (d) he only held office as a director for a fixed term and such term expires, (e) in the opinion of a registered medical practitioner by whom he is being treated he becomes physically or mentally incapable of acting as a director, (f) he is given notice by the majority of the other directors (not being less than two in number) to vacate office (without prejudice to any claim for damages for breach of any agreement relating to the provision of the services of such director), (g) he is made subject to any law relating to mental health or incompetence, whether by court order or otherwise, or (h) without the consent of the other directors, he is absent from meetings of directors for continuous period of six months.
Transactions with Interested Shareholders
The Delaware General Corporation Law contains a business combination statute applicable to Delaware public corporations whereby, unless the corporation has specifically elected not to be governed by such statute by amendment to its certificate of incorporation or bylaws that is approved by its shareholders, it is prohibited from engaging in certain business combinations with an “interested shareholder” for three years following the date that such person becomes an interested shareholder. An interested shareholder generally is a person or a group who or which owns or owned 15% or more of the target’s outstanding voting stock or who or which is an affiliate or associate of the corporation and owned 15% or more of the corporation’s outstanding voting stock within the past three years. This has the effect of limiting the ability of a potential acquirer to make a two-tiered bid for the target in which all shareholders would not be treated equally. The statute does not apply if, among other things, prior to the date on which such shareholder becomes an interested shareholder, the board of directors approves either the business combination or the transaction which resulted in the person becoming an interested shareholder. This encourages any potential acquirer of a Delaware corporation to negotiate the terms of any acquisition transaction with the target’s board of directors.
The Cayman Islands Companies Act has no comparable statute. As a result, we cannot avail ourselves of the types of protections afforded by the Delaware business combination statute. However, although the Cayman Islands Companies Act does not regulate transactions between a company and its significant shareholders, under Cayman Islands law such transactions must be entered into bona fide in the best interests of the company and for a proper corporate purpose and not with the effect of constituting a fraud on the minority shareholders.
Dissolution; Winding Up
Under the Delaware General Corporation Law, unless the board of directors approves the proposal to dissolve, dissolution must be approved by shareholders holding 100% of the total voting power of the corporation. Only if the dissolution is initiated by the board of directors may it be approved by a simple majority of the corporation’s outstanding shares. Delaware law allows a Delaware corporation to include in its certificate of incorporation a supermajority voting requirement in connection with dissolutions initiated by the board of directors.
Under the Cayman Islands Companies Act and our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, the company may be wound up by a special resolution of our shareholders, or if the winding up is initiated by our board of directors, by either a special resolution of our members or, if our company is unable to pay its debts as they fall due, by an ordinary resolution of our members. In addition, a company may be wound up by an order of the courts of the Cayman Islands. The court has authority to order winding up in a number of specified circumstances including where it is, in the opinion of the court, just and equitable to do so.
Variation of Rights of Shares
Under the Delaware General Corporation Law, a corporation may vary the rights of a class of shares with the approval of a majority of the outstanding shares of such class, unless the certificate of incorporation provides otherwise. Under the Cayman Islands Companies Act and our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, if our share capital is divided into more than one class of shares, the rights attaching to any class of share (unless otherwise provided by the terms of issue of the shares of that class) may be varied either with the consent in writing of the holders of not less than two-thirds of the issued shares of that class, or with the sanction of a resolution passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the holders of shares of the class present in person or by proxy at a separate general meeting of the holders of shares of that class.
Amendment of Governing Documents
Under the Delaware General Corporation Law, a corporation’s certificate of incorporation may be amended only if adopted and declared advisable by the board of directors and approved by a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote, and the bylaws may be amended with the approval of a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote and may, if so provided in the certificate of incorporation, also be amended by the board of directors. Under the Cayman Islands Companies Act, our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association may only be amended by special resolution of our shareholders.
Anti-money Laundering—Cayman Islands
In order to comply with legislation or regulations aimed at the prevention of money laundering, we may be required to adopt and maintain anti-money laundering procedures, and may require subscribers to provide evidence to verify their identity. Where permitted, and subject to certain conditions, we may also delegate the maintenance of our anti-money laundering procedures (including the acquisition of due diligence information) to a suitable person.
We reserve the right to request such information as is necessary to verify the identity of a subscriber. In the event of delay or failure on the part of the subscriber in producing any information required for verification purposes, we may refuse to accept the application, in which case any funds received will be returned without interest to the account from which they were originally debited.
We also reserve the right to refuse to make any redemption payment to a shareholder if our directors or officers suspect or are advised that the payment of redemption proceeds to such shareholder might result in a breach of applicable anti-money laundering or other laws or regulations by any person in any relevant jurisdiction, or if such refusal is
considered necessary or appropriate to ensure our compliance with any such laws or regulations in any applicable jurisdiction.
If any person resident in the Cayman Islands knows or suspects or has reason for knowing or suspecting that another person is engaged in criminal conduct or is involved with terrorism or terrorist property and the information for that knowledge or suspicion came to their attention in the course of their business in the regulated sector, or other trade, profession, business or employment, the person will be required to report such knowledge or suspicion to (i) a nominated officer (appointed in accordance with the Proceeds of Crime Law (Revised) of the Cayman Islands) or the Financial Reporting Authority of the Cayman Islands, pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Law (Revised), if the disclosure relates to criminal conduct or money laundering or (ii) to a police constable or a nominated officer (pursuant to the Terrorism Law (Revised) of the Cayman Islands) or the Financial Reporting Authority, pursuant to the Terrorism Law (Revised), if the disclosure relates to involvement with terrorism or terrorist financing and terrorist property. Such a report shall not be treated as a breach of confidence or of any restriction upon the disclosure of information imposed by any enactment or otherwise.
Changes in Capital (Item 10.B.10 of Form 20-F)
Subject to the Cayman Companies Act, we may, by ordinary resolution:
increase our share capital by new shares of the amount fixed by that ordinary resolution and with the attached rights, priorities and privileges set out in that ordinary resolution;
consolidate and divide all or any of our share capital into shares of larger amount than our existing shares;
convert all or any of our paid up shares into stock, and reconvert that stock into paid up shares of any denomination;
sub-divide our shares or any of them into shares of an amount smaller than that fixed, so, however, that in the sub-division, the proportion between the amount paid and the amount, if any, unpaid on each reduced share shall be the same as it was in case of the share from which the reduced share is derived; and
cancel shares which, at the date of the passing of that ordinary resolution, have not been taken or agreed to be taken by any person and diminish the amount of our share capital by the amount of the shares so cancelled or, in the case of shares without nominal par value, diminish the number of shares into which our capital is divided.
Subject to the Cayman Companies Act and to any rights for the time being conferred on the shareholders holding a particular class of shares, we may, by special resolution, subject to confirmation by the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands on an application by the company for an order confirming such reduction, reduce our share capital in any way.
Debt Securities (Item 12.A of Form 20-F)
Warrants and Rights (Item 12.B of Form 20-F)
Other Securities (Item 12.C of Form 20-F)
Description of American Depositary Shares (Items 12.D.1 and 12.D.2 of Form 20-F)