DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE SECURITIES
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Artelo Biosciences, Inc. has two classes of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), our common stock and warrants.
Description of Capital Stock
The following description of our common stock is a summary and does not purport to be complete. It is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to our Articles of Incorporation, as amended (our “Articles of Incorporation”) and our Bylaws, as amended (our “Bylaws”), copies of which are included as exhibits to our Annual Report on Form 10-K. We encourage you to read our Articles of Incorporation, our Bylaws and the applicable provisions of the Nevada Corporate Law, for additional information.
The Company’s authorized capital stock consists of 50,416,667 shares of capital stock, par value $0.001 per share, of which 50,000,000 shares are common stock, par value $0.001 per share and 416,667 shares are preferred stock, par value $0.001 per share.
The holders of our common stock (i) have equal ratable rights to dividends from funds legally available, therefore, when, as and if declared by our board of directors (the “Board”); (ii) are entitled to share in all of our assets available for distribution to holders of common stock upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up of our affairs; (iii) do not have preemptive, subscription or conversion rights and there are no redemption or sinking fund provisions or rights; and (iv) are entitled to one non-cumulative vote per share on all matters on which stockholders may vote. Reference is made to the Company’s Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and the applicable statutes of the State of Nevada for a more complete description of the rights and liabilities of holders of the Company’s securities.
The Company has authorized 416,667 shares of preferred stock. There is no preferred stock outstanding. Our Board may designate the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions of the preferred stock, including dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, redemption rights, liquidation preference, sinking fund terms and the number of shares constituting any series or the designation of any series. The issuance of preferred stock could have the effect of restricting dividends on the common stock, diluting the voting power of the common stock, impairing the liquidation rights of the common stock or delaying, deterring or preventing a change in control. Such issuance could have the effect of decreasing the market price of the common stock. We currently have no plans to issue any shares of preferred stock.
Holders of shares of our common stock do not have cumulative voting rights; meaning that the holders of 50.1% of the outstanding shares, voting for the election of directors, can elect all of the directors to be elected, and, in such event, the holders of the remaining shares will not be able to elect any of our directors.
We have not paid any cash dividends to stockholders. The declaration of any future cash dividend will be at the discretion of our Board and will depend upon our earnings, if any, our capital requirements and financial position, our general economic conditions, and other pertinent conditions. It is our present intention not to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future, but rather to reinvest earnings, if any, in our business operations.
As of the date hereof, the Series C Common Stock Warrants entitle their holders to purchase5,836 shares of common stock, with a term of five (5) years from the date of issuance and an exercise price of $210.00 per share. The Series C Common Stock Warrants contain “certain customary exceptions, as well as customary provisions for adjustment in the event of stock splits, subdivision or combination, mergers, etc.”
As of the date hereof, the Series D Common Stock Warrants entitle their holders to purchase 13,962 shares of common stock, with a term of five (5) years from the date of issuance and an exercise price of $210.00 per share. The Series D Common Stock Warrants contain “certain customary exceptions, as well as customary provisions for adjustment in the event of stock splits, subdivision or combination, mergers, etc.”
Anti-Takeover Effects of Nevada Law and our Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.
Nevada law, our Articles of Incorporation, and our Bylaws contain certain provisions that have the effect of delaying, deferring or discouraging another party from acquiring control of us. These provisions, which are 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. 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.
Undesignated Preferred Stock. The ability of our Board, without action by the stockholders, to issue up to 416,667 shares of preferred stock, which was previously authorized but remain undesignated, with voting or other rights or preferences as designated by our Board could impede the success of any attempt to change control of us. These and other provisions may have the effect of deferring hostile takeovers or delaying changes in control or management of us.
Stockholder Meetings. Our Bylaws provide that a special meeting of stockholders may be called only by our president, by all of the directors provided that there are no more than three directors, or if more than three, by any three directors, or by the holder of a majority share of our capital stock.
Stockholder Action by Written Consent. Our Bylaws allow for any action that may be taken at any annual or special meeting of the stockholders to be taken without a meeting and without prior notice, if a consent in writing, setting forth the action so taken, is signed by the holders of outstanding shares having not less than the minimum number of votes that would be necessary to authorize or take such action at a meeting at which all shares entitled to vote thereon were present and voted.
Stockholders Not Entitled to Cumulative Voting. Our Bylaws do not permit stockholders to cumulate their votes in the election of directors. Accordingly, the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of our Common Stock entitled to vote in any election of directors can elect all of the directors standing for election, if they choose, other than any directors that holders of our preferred stock may be entitled to elect.
Nevada Business Combination Statutes. The “business combination” provisions of Sections 78.411 to 78.444, inclusive, of the Nevada Revised Statutes, (the “NRS”), generally prohibit a Nevada corporation with at least 200 stockholders of record from engaging in various “combination” transactions with any interested stockholder for a period of two years after the date of the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder, unless the transaction is approved by the Board prior to the date the interested stockholder obtained such status or the combination is approved by the Board and thereafter is approved at a meeting of the stockholders by the affirmative vote of stockholders representing at least 60% of the outstanding voting power held by disinterested stockholders, and extends beyond the expiration of the two-year period, unless:
the combination was approved by the Board prior to the person becoming an interested stockholder or the transaction by which the person first became an interested stockholder was approved by the Board before the person became an interested stockholder or the combination is later approved by a majority of the voting power held by disinterested stockholders; or
if the consideration to be paid by the interested stockholder is at least equal to the highest of: (a) the highest price per share paid by the interested stockholder within the two years immediately preceding the date of the announcement of the combination or in the transaction in which it became an interested stockholder, whichever is higher, (b) the market value per share of common stock on the date of announcement of the combination and the date the interested stockholder acquired the shares, whichever is higher, or (c) for holders of preferred stock, the highest liquidation value of the preferred stock, if it is higher.
A “combination” is generally defined to include mergers or consolidations or any sale, lease exchange, mortgage, pledge, transfer, or other disposition, in one transaction or a series of transactions, with an “interested stockholder” having: (a) an aggregate market value equal to 5% or more of the aggregate market value of the assets of the corporation, (b) an aggregate market value equal to 5% or more of the aggregate market value of all outstanding voting shares of the corporation, (c) more than 10% of the earning power or net income of the corporation, and (d) certain other transactions with an interested stockholder or an affiliate or associate of an interested stockholder.
In general, an “interested stockholder” is a person who, together with affiliates and associates, beneficially owns (or within two years, did own) 10% or more of the voting power of the outstanding voting shares of a corporation. The statute could prohibit or delay mergers or other takeover or change in control attempts and, accordingly, may discourage attempts to acquire us even though such a transaction may offer our stockholders the opportunity to sell their stock at a price above the prevailing market price.
Nevada Control Share Acquisition Statutes. The “control share” provisions of Sections 78.378 to 78.3793, inclusive, of the NRS apply to “issuing corporations” that are Nevada corporations with at least 200 stockholders of record, including at least 100 stockholders of record who are Nevada residents, and that conduct business in Nevada directly or through an affiliated corporation. The control share statute prohibits an acquirer, under certain circumstances, from voting its shares of a target corporation’s stock after crossing certain ownership threshold percentages, unless the acquirer obtains approval of the target corporation’s disinterested stockholders. The statute specifies three thresholds: one-fifth or more but less than one-third, one-third or more but less than a majority, and a majority or more, of the outstanding voting power. Generally, once an acquirer crosses one of the above thresholds, those shares in an offer or acquisition and acquired within 90 days thereof become “control shares” and such control shares are deprived of the right to vote until disinterested stockholders restore the right. These provisions also provide that if control shares are accorded full voting rights and the acquiring person has acquired a majority or more of all voting power, all other stockholders who do not vote in favor of authorizing voting rights to the control shares are entitled to demand payment for the fair value of their shares in accordance with statutory procedures established for dissenters’ rights.
A corporation may elect to not be governed by, or “opt out” of, the control share provisions by making an election in its articles of incorporation or bylaws, provided that the opt-out election must be in place on the 10th day following the date an acquiring person has acquired a controlling interest, that is, crossing any of the three thresholds described above. We have not opted out of the control share statutes, and will be subject to these statutes if we are an “issuing corporation” as defined in such statutes.
The effect of the Nevada control share statutes is that the acquiring person, and those acting in association with the acquiring person, will obtain only such voting rights in the control shares as are conferred by a resolution of the stockholders at an annual or special meeting. The Nevada control share law, if applicable, could have the effect of discouraging takeovers of us.
Amendment of Charter and Bylaw Provisions. The amendment of any of the above provisions would require approval by holders of at least a majority of the total voting power of all of our outstanding voting stock, except in certain circumstances.
The provisions of Nevada law, our Articles of Incorporation, and our Bylaws could have the effect of discouraging others from attempting hostile takeovers and, as a consequence, they may also inhibit temporary fluctuations in the market price of our common stock that often result from actual or rumored hostile takeover attempts. These provisions may also have the effect of preventing changes in the composition of our board and management. It is possible that these provisions could make it more difficult to accomplish transactions that stockholders may otherwise deem to be in their best interests.
Our common stock and warrants are listed on The Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbols “ARTL” and “ARTLW.”
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC. The transfer agent and registrar’s address is 6201 15th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11219. The transfer agent’s telephone number is (800) 937-5449.