DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK
As of December 31, 2020, the common stock of Virios Therapeutics, Inc. (the “Company”) is registered under Section 12(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”).
The following description of our capital stock, certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and certain provisions of Delaware law is a summary and is qualified in its entirety by reference to our certificate of incorporation, bylaws and the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”). Copies of our certificate of incorporation and our bylaws have been filed with the SEC and are filed as exhibits to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission of which this Exhibit is a part.
Our authorized capital stock consists of 43,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, and 2,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.0001 per share. As of December 31, 2020, there were 8,305,075 shares of our common stock, held by approximately 205 stockholders of record and no shares of our preferred stock are designated, issued or outstanding.
Holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote for each share held on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders and do not have cumulative voting rights. An election of directors by our stockholders shall be determined by a plurality of the votes cast by the stockholders entitled to vote in the election. Subject to the supermajority votes for some matters, other matters shall be decided by the affirmative vote of our stockholders having a majority in voting power of the votes cast by the stockholders present or represented and voting on such matter. Holders of common stock are entitled to receive proportionately any dividends as may be declared by our board of directors, subject to any preferential dividend rights of any series of preferred stock that we may designate and issue in the future.
In the event of our liquidation or dissolution, the holders of common stock are entitled to receive on a pro rata basis our net assets available for distribution to stockholders after the payment of all debts and other liabilities, subject to the prior rights of any holders of outstanding preferred stock. Holders of common stock have no preemptive, subscription, redemption or conversion rights. The rights, preferences and privileges of holders of common stock are subject to and may be adversely affected by the rights of the holders of shares of any series of preferred stock that we may designate and issue in the future.
Under the terms of our certificate of incorporation our board of directors is authorized to direct us to issue shares of preferred stock in one or more series without stockholder approval. Our board of directors has the discretion to determine the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions, including voting rights, dividend rights, conversion rights, redemption privileges and liquidation preferences, of each series of preferred stock.
The purpose of authorizing our board of directors to issue preferred stock and determine its rights and preferences is to eliminate delays associated with a stockholder vote on specific issuances. The issuance of preferred stock, while providing flexibility in connection with possible acquisitions, future financings and other corporate purposes, could have the effect of making it more difficult for a third party to acquire, or could discourage a third party from seeking to acquire, a majority of our outstanding voting stock. Upon the closing of this offering, there will be no shares of preferred stock outstanding, and we have no present plans to issue any shares of preferred stock.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Delaware Law and Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws
Some provisions of Delaware law, our certificate of incorporation and our bylaws make the following transactions more difficult: an acquisition of us by means of a tender offer; an acquisition of us by means of a proxy contest or otherwise; or the removal of our incumbent officers and directors. It is possible that these provisions could make it more difficult to accomplish or could deter transactions that stockholders may otherwise consider to be in their best interest or in our best interests, including transactions which provide for payment of a premium over the market price for our shares.
These provisions, summarized below, are intended to discourage coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids. These provisions are also designed to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to first negotiate with our board of directors. We believe that the benefits of the increased protection of our potential ability to negotiate with the proponent of an unfriendly or unsolicited proposal to acquire or restructure us outweigh the disadvantages of discouraging these proposals because negotiation of these proposals could result in an improvement of their terms.
Authorized but Unissued Shares
Our authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock are available for future issuance without stockholder approval. These additional shares may be utilized for a variety of corporate purposes, including future public offerings to raise additional capital and corporate acquisitions. The existence of authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock could render more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of a majority of our common stock by means of a proxy contest, tender offer, merger or otherwise.
Any action to be taken by our stockholders must be effected at a duly called annual or special meeting of stockholders and not be taken by written consent.
Requirements for Advance Notification of Stockholder Nominations and Proposals
Stockholders seeking to present proposals before a meeting of stockholders or to nominate candidates for election as directors at a meeting of stockholders must provide advance notice in writing, and also specify requirements as to the form and content of a stockholder’s notice.
Delaware Anti-Takeover Statute
We are subject to Section 203 of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware, which prohibits persons deemed to be “interested stockholders” from engaging in a “business combination” with a publicly held Delaware corporation for three years following the date these persons become interested stockholders unless the business combination is, or the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder was, approved in a prescribed manner or another prescribed exception applies. Generally, an “interested stockholder” is a person who, together with affiliates and associates, owns, or within three years prior to the determination of interested stockholder status did own, 15% or more of a corporation’s voting stock. Generally, a “business combination” includes a merger, asset or stock sale, or other transaction resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. The existence of this provision may have an anti-takeover effect with respect to transactions not approved in advance by the board of directors.
Choice of Forum
The Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the exclusive forum in which we and our directors may be sued by our stockholders, to the fullest extent permitted by law, for:
any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf;
any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty;
any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law, our certificate of incorporation, or our bylaws; or
any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine.
Our bylaws will not apply to suits brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, or any other claim for which federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction.
These choice of forum provisions may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or any of our directors, officers, or other employees, which may discourage lawsuits with respect to such claims. Alternatively, if a court were to find either choice of forum provision contained in our bylaws to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Advance Notice Requirements
Our bylaws establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting of our stockholders, including proposed nominations of persons for election to the board of directors. Stockholders at an annual meeting will only be able to consider proposals or nominations 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 who was a stockholder of record on the record date for the meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has given our Secretary timely written notice, in proper form, of the stockholder’s intention to bring that business before the meeting. Although our bylaws do not give the board of directors the power to approve or disapprove stockholder nominations of candidates or proposals regarding other business to be conducted at a special or annual meeting, our bylaws may have the effect of precluding the conduct of certain business at a meeting if the proper procedures are not followed or may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect its own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is Broadridge Corporate Issuer Solutions, Inc.
National Securities Exchange Listing
Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “VIRI.”