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Section 1: 8-K (8-K)

8-K

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM 8-K

 

 

CURRENT REPORT

Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported) February 13, 2019

 

 

CENTURYLINK, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Louisiana   001-7784   72-0651161

(State or other jurisdiction

of incorporation)

 

(Commission

File Number)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

100 CenturyLink Drive

Monroe, Louisiana

  70433-5001
(Address of principal executive offices)   (Zip Code)

(318) 388-9000

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

 

Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligations of the registrant under any of the following provisions:

 

Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)

 

Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)

 

Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d-2(b))

 

Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c))

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (§230.405 of this chapter) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (§240.12b-2 of this chapter).

Emerging growth company ☐    

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

 

 

 


Item 1.01. Entry into a Material Definitive Agreement.

On February 13, 2019, upon unanimous approval, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of CenturyLink, Inc. (the “Company”) entered into a Section 382 Rights Agreement (the “NOL Rights Plan”) by and between the Company and Computershare Trust Company, N.A., as rights agent (the “Rights Agent”). Pursuant to the NOL Rights Plan, the Board declared a dividend of one preferred share purchase right (each, a “Right”) for each outstanding share of common stock, par value $1.00, of the Company (the “Common Stock”). The dividend is distributable to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 25, 2019.

The Board adopted the NOL Rights Plan to diminish the risk that the Company could experience an “ownership change” as defined under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code, which substantially limit the Company’s ability to use its net operating loss carryovers (collectively, the “NOLs”) to reduce anticipated future tax liabilities. Under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), and the regulations promulgated thereunder by the U.S. Treasury Department, these NOLs may be “carried forward” in certain circumstances to offset any current and future taxable income and thus reduce federal income tax liability, subject to certain requirements and restrictions. While the amount and timing of the Company’s future taxable income cannot be predicted with any certainty and, accordingly, the Company cannot predict the amount of these NOLs that will ultimately be used to reduce its income tax liability, to the extent that the NOLs do not otherwise become limited, these NOLs are a valuable asset to the Company. The NOL Rights Plan has not been adopted as an anti-takeover measure.

In general, an ownership change would occur if the Company’s shareholders who are deemed to be owners of 5% or more of its shares under Section 382 collectively increase their aggregate ownership of the Company’s shares by more than 50 percent (measured over a three year period beginning with the completion of the Level 3 transaction on November 1, 2017). To protect CenturyLink against the potential permanent loss or limitation of the NOLs under Section 382, the NOL Rights Plan seeks to deter any person or group from acquiring beneficial ownership of 4.9% or more of CenturyLink’s outstanding common stock, which we believe will reduce the likelihood of an impermissible ownership change under Section 382. A number of complex rules apply to calculating this annual limit. If an ownership change were to occur, the limitations imposed by Section 382 could result in a substantial delay in the timing of the usage of the Company’s NOLs or in a material amount of the Company’s NOLs expiring unused and, thus, significantly impairing the value of such NOLs. While the Company periodically monitors its NOLs and currently believes that an ownership change that would impair the value of its NOLs has not occurred, the complexity of Section 382 provisions and the limited information any public company has about the ownership of its publicly-traded stock makes it difficult to determine whether an ownership change has in fact occurred.

The NOL Rights Plan is intended to act as a deterrent to any person or group acquiring beneficial ownership of 4.9% or more of the outstanding Common Stock without the approval of the Board. A person who acquires, without the approval of the Board, beneficial ownership (other than as a result of repurchases of stock by the Company, dividends or distributions by the Company or certain inadvertent actions by shareholders) of 4.9% or more of the outstanding Common Stock (including any ownership interest held by that person’s Affiliates and Associates as defined under the NOL Rights Plan) could be subject to significant dilution. Shareholders who beneficially own 4.9% or more of the outstanding Common Stock prior to the first public announcement by the Company of the Board’s adoption of the NOL Rights Plan will not trigger the NOL Rights Plan so long as they do not acquire beneficial ownership of additional shares of the Common Stock representing one-half of one percent (0.5%) or more of the shares of common stock outstanding at the time of such acquisition (other than pursuant to a dividend or distribution paid or made by the Company on the outstanding shares of Common Stock or pursuant to a split or subdivision of the outstanding shares of Common Stock) at a time when they still beneficially own 4.9% or more of such stock. In addition, the Board retains the sole discretion to exempt any person or group, or any transaction, from the penalties imposed by the NOL Rights Plan.

The following is a summary description of the Rights and the other material terms and conditions of the NOL Rights Plan. This summary is intended to provide a general description only, does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the complete text of the NOL Rights Plan, a copy of which is filed as Exhibit 4.1 to this current report on Form 8-K and is incorporated herein by reference. All capitalized terms used herein but not defined herein shall have the meanings ascribed to such terms in the NOL Rights Plan.

General. Under the NOL Rights Plan, from and after the record date of February 25, 2019, each share of our common stock will carry with it one preferred share purchase right (a “Right”), until the Distribution Date (as defined below) or earlier expiration of the Rights, as described below. In general, any person that, together with all Affiliates and Associates (each as defined in the NOL Rights Plan), acquires 4.9% or more of our outstanding common stock after February 13, 2019, or entry into the NOL Rights Plan, will be subject to significant potential dilution. Stockholders who own 4.9% or more of the outstanding common stock as of the close of business on February 13, 2019, will not trigger the Rights so long as they do not (i) acquire additional shares of common stock representing one-half of one percent (0.5%) or more of the shares of common stock outstanding at the time of such acquisition or (ii) fall under 4.9% ownership of common stock and then re-acquire shares that in the aggregate equal 4.9% or more of the common stock. A person will not trigger the Rights solely as a result of any transaction that the Board determines, in its sole discretion, is an exempt transaction for purposes of triggering the Rights. STT Crossing Ltd. and its


Affiliates and Associates will be exempt stockholders for the purposes of the NOL Rights Plan, unless and until STT Crossing Ltd. (or any Affiliates of STT Crossing Ltd.) acquires any common stock other than (x) in a transaction that is permitted under Section 4 of the Stockholder Rights Agreement, dated as of October 31, 2016, by and among the Company and STT Crossing Ltd. (the “Stockholder Rights Agreement”) or (y) any transfers of common stock or other Company equity interests between STT Crossing Ltd. and its Affiliates. A person to whom STT Crossing Ltd. transfers any amount of common stock pursuant to and as permitted by Section 4.2 of the Stockholder Rights Agreement will be exempt for purposes of the NOL Rights Plan, unless and until such person (or any Affiliates or Associates of such person) acquires any additional common stock.

The Board may, in its sole discretion prior to the Distribution Date, exempt any person or group for purposes of the NOL Rights Plan if it determines the acquisition by such person or group will not jeopardize tax benefits or is otherwise in the Company’s best interests. Any person that acquires shares of common stock in violation of these limitations is known as an “Acquiring Person.” Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Person shall not be an “Acquiring Person” if the Independent Directors determines at any time that a Person who would otherwise be an “Acquiring Person,” has become such without intending to become an “Acquiring Person,” and such Person divests as promptly as practicable (or within such period of time as the Independent Directors determine is reasonable) a sufficient number of shares of Common Stock of the Company so that such Person would no longer be an “Acquiring Person,” as defined pursuant to the NOL Rights Plan. The NOL Rights Plan is not expected to interfere with any merger or other business combination approved by our Board.

The Rights. From the record date of February 25, 2019, until the Distribution Date or earlier expiration of the Rights, the Rights will trade with, and will be inseparable from, the common stock. New Rights will also accompany any new shares of common stock that we issue after February 13, 2019, until the Distribution Date or earlier expiration of the Rights.

Exercise Price. Each Right will allow its holder to purchase from our Company one ten-thousandth of a share of Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Stock (“Preferred Share”) for $28, subject to adjustment (the “Exercise Price”), once the Rights become exercisable. This fraction of a Preferred Share will give the stockholder approximately the same dividend, voting, and liquidation rights as would one share of common stock. Prior to exercise, the Right does not give its holder any dividend, voting, or liquidation rights.

Exercisability. The Rights will not be exercisable until 10 business days (as may be extended in the discretion of the Independent Directors) after the public announcement that a person or group has become an Acquiring Person unless the NOL Rights Plan is theretofore terminated or the Rights are theretofore redeemed (as described below).

We refer to the date when the Rights become exercisable as the “Distribution Date.” Until that date or earlier expiration of the Rights, the common stock certificates will also evidence the Rights, and any transfer of shares of common stock will constitute a transfer of Rights. After that date, the Rights will separate from the common stock and be evidenced by book-entry credits or by Rights certificates that we will mail to all eligible holders of common stock. Any Rights held by an Acquiring Person, or any Affiliates or Associates of the Acquiring Person, are void and may not be exercised.

Consequences of a Person or Group Becoming an Acquiring Person. If a person or group becomes an Acquiring Person, all holders of Rights except the Acquiring Person, or any Affiliates or Associates of the Acquiring Person, may, upon payment of the Exercise Price, purchase shares of our common stock with a market value of twice the Exercise Price, based on the “current per share market price” of the common stock (as defined in the NOL Rights Plan) on the date of the acquisition that resulted in such person or group becoming an Acquiring Person.

Exchange. After a person or group becomes an Acquiring Person, our Independent Directors in their sole discretion may extinguish the Rights by exchanging one share of common stock or an equivalent security for each Right, other than Rights held by the Acquiring Person or any Affiliates or Associates of the Acquiring Person.

Preferred Share Provisions. Each one ten-thousandth of a Preferred Share, if issued:

 

   

will not be redeemable.

 

   

will entitle holders to dividends equal to the dividends, if any, paid on one share of common stock.

 

   

will entitle holders upon liquidation either to receive $1.00 per share or an amount equal to the payment made on one share of common stock, whichever is greater.

 

   

will vote together with the common stock as one class on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders of the Company and will have the same voting power as one share of common stock, except as otherwise provided by law.

 

   

will entitle holders to a per share payment equal to the payment made on one share of common stock, if shares of our common stock are exchanged via merger, consolidation, or a similar transaction.


The value of one ten-thousandth interest in a Preferred Share is expected to approximate the value of one share of common stock.

Expiration. The Rights will expire on the earliest of (i) December 1, 2020, (ii) the time at which the Rights are redeemed, (iii) the time at which the Rights are exchanged, (iv) the time at which the Board determines that the Net Operating Losses of the Company (the “NOLs”) are utilized in all material respects or that an ownership change under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code would not adversely impact in any material respect the time period in which the Company could use the NOLs, or materially impair the amount of the NOLs that could be used by the Company in any particular time period, for applicable tax purposes, (v) the first anniversary of the execution of the Rights Plan if approval of the Rights Plan by the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast at a duly called meeting has not been obtained prior to such date, or (vi) a determination by the Board, prior to the Distribution Date, that the NOL Rights Plan and the Rights are no longer in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders.

Redemption. Our Board may redeem the Rights for $0.0001 per Right at any time before the Distribution Date. If our Board redeems any Rights, it must redeem all of the Rights. Once the Rights are redeemed, the only right of the holders of Rights will be to receive the redemption price of $0.0001 per Right. The redemption price will be adjusted if we have a stock split or stock dividends of our common stock.

Anti-Dilution Provisions. Our Board may adjust the Exercise Price, the number of Preferred Shares issuable and the number of outstanding Rights to prevent dilution that may occur from a stock dividend, a stock split, or a reclassification of the Preferred Shares or common stock.

Amendments. The terms of the NOL Rights Plan may be amended by our Board without the consent of the holders of the Rights. After the Distribution Date, our Board may not amend the agreement in a way that adversely affects holders of the Rights (other than an Acquiring Person, or an Affiliate or Associate of an Acquiring Person).

Shareholder Ratification. While the NOL Rights Plan became effective upon adoption by the Board, and while not required by the Company’s governing documents or by applicable law, as a matter of good corporate governance and as required by the NOL Rights Plan, the Company will submit the NOL Rights Plan for shareholder ratification at its 2019 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

 

Item 3.03.

Material Modification to Rights of Security Holders.

The information set forth under Item 1.01 above is incorporated by reference into this Item 3.03.

 

Item 5.03

Amendments to Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws; Change in Fiscal Year.

In connection with the adoption of the NOL Rights Plan, the Board approved Articles of Amendment to the Company’s Articles of Incorporation setting forth the rights and preferences of the of Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Shares (the “Articles of Amendment”). The Articles of Amendment are filed with the Secretary of State of the State of Louisiana. See the description in Item 1.01 (which incorporates by reference Item 3.03) of this Current Report on Form 8-K for a more complete description of the rights and preferences of the Preferred Shares.

The Articles of Amendment are attached hereto as Exhibit 3.1 and are incorporated herein by reference. The description of the Articles of Amendment herein does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by Exhibit 3.1.

 

Item 8.01

Other Events.

On February 13, 2019, the Company issued a press release announcing the adoption of the NOL Rights Plan and the declaration of the dividend of the Rights. The full text of the press release is filed with this Report as Exhibit 99.1 to this Current Report on Form 8-K.

Item 9.01 Financial Statements and Exhibits.

 

(d)

Exhibits

 

3.1

   Articles of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation setting forth the rights and preferences of the Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Shares, dated as of February 13, 2019.

4.1

   Section 382 Rights Agreement, dated as of February 13, 2019, by and between CenturyLink, Inc. and Computershare Trust Company, N.A., as rights agent.

99.1

   Press Release dated February 13, 2019.


SIGNATURE

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.

 

CENTURYLINK, INC.

By:

 

/s/ Stacey W. Goff

 

Stacey W. Goff

  Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Secretary

Dated: February 14, 2019

(Back To Top)

Section 2: EX-3.1 (EX-3.1)

EX-3.1

Exhibit 3.1

ARTICLES OF AMENDMENT

to the

ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

of

CENTURYLINK, INC.

(Pursuant to Sections 1--602, 1005(8) and 1006 of the

Louisiana Business Corporation Act)

These articles of amendment (“Articles of Amendment”) to the articles of incorporation (“Articles of Incorporation”) of CENTURYLINK, INC., a Louisiana business corporation (“Corporation”), have been prepared for filing with the Secretary of State of Louisiana pursuant to Sections 12:1-602, 1005(8) and 1006 of the Louisiana Business Corporation Act (the “Act”), R.S. 12:1-101 et seq., to set forth the following:

FIRST: At a meeting duly called and held on February 13, 2019, the Board of Directors of the Corporation unanimously approved and adopted the following amendment of the Articles of Incorporation of the Corporation, as set forth below. Shareholder approval was not required for this amendment.

SECOND: ARTICLE III of the Articles of Incorporation of the Corporation is hereby amended to add Section F, Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Shares. The text of this amendment is as follows:

F. Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Shares:

(1) Designation and Amount. The shares of such series shall be designated as “Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Shares” (the “Series CC Shares”) and the number of shares constituting the Series CC Shares shall be 150,000. Such number of shares may be increased or decreased by resolution of the Board of Directors; provided, that no decrease shall reduce the number of Series CC Shares to a number less than the number of shares then outstanding plus the number of shares reserved for issuance upon the exercise of outstanding options, rights or warrants or upon the conversion of any outstanding securities issued by the Corporation convertible into Series CC Shares.

(2) Dividends and Distributions.

(a) Subject to the rights of the holders of any shares of any series of Preferred Stock (or any similar stock) ranking prior and superior to the Series CC Shares with respect to dividends, the holders of Series CC Shares shall be entitled to receive, when, as and if declared by the Board of Directors out of funds legally available for the purpose, quarterly dividends payable in cash on the dividend date declared on the Common Stock, par value $1.00 per share (the “Common Stock”) in each year (each such date being referred to herein as a “Quarterly Dividend Payment Date”), commencing on the first Quarterly Dividend Payment Date after the first issuance of a share or fraction of a share of Series CC Shares, in an amount per share (rounded to the nearest cent), subject to the provision for adjustment hereinafter set forth, equal to 10,000 times the aggregate per share amount of all cash dividends, and 10,000 times the aggregate per share amount (payable in kind) of all non-cash dividends or other distributions, declared on the Common Stock of the Corporation since the immediately preceding Quarterly Dividend Payment Date or, with respect to the first Quarterly Dividend Payment Date, since the first issuance of any share or fraction of a share of Series CC Shares, other than, in each case, a dividend payable in shares of Common Stock or a subdivision of the outstanding shares of Common Stock (by reclassification or otherwise). In the event the Corporation shall at any time declare or pay any dividend on the Common Stock payable in shares of Common Stock, or effect a subdivision or combination or consolidation of the outstanding shares of Common Stock (by reclassification or otherwise than by payment of a dividend in shares of Common Stock) into a greater or lesser number of shares of Common Stock, then in each such case the amount to which holders of Series CC Shares were entitled immediately prior to such event under the preceding sentence shall be adjusted by multiplying such amount by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock outstanding immediately after such event and the denominator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock that were outstanding immediately prior to such event.


(b) The Corporation shall declare a dividend or distribution on the Series CC Shares as provided in paragraph (a) of this Section immediately after it declares a dividend or distribution on the Common Stock (other than a dividend payable in shares of Common Stock).

(c) Dividends, to the extent payable as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Section, shall begin to accrue and be cumulative on outstanding Series CC Shares from the Quarterly Dividend Payment Date next preceding the date of issue of such shares, unless the date of issue of such shares is prior to the record date for the first Quarterly Dividend Payment Date, in which case dividends on such shares shall begin to accrue from the date of issue of such shares, or unless the date of issue is a Quarterly Dividend Payment Date or is a date after the record date for the determination of holders of Series CC Shares entitled to receive a quarterly dividend and before such Quarterly Dividend Payment Date, in either of which events such dividends shall begin to accrue and be cumulative from such Quarterly Dividend Payment Date. Accrued but unpaid dividends shall not bear interest. Dividends paid on the Series CC Shares in an amount less than the total amount of such dividends at the time accrued and payable on such shares shall be allocated pro rata on a share-by-share basis among all such shares at the time outstanding. The Board of Directors may fix a record date for the determination of holders of Series CC Shares entitled to receive payment of a dividend or distribution declared thereon, which record date shall be not more than 60 days prior to the date fixed for the payment thereof.

(3) Voting Rights. The holders of Series CC Shares shall have the following voting rights:

(a) Subject to the provision for adjustment hereinafter set forth, each share of Series CC Shares shall entitle the holder thereof to 10,000 votes on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders of the Corporation. In the event the Corporation shall at any time declare or pay any dividend on the Common Stock payable in shares of Common Stock, or effect a subdivision or combination or consolidation of the outstanding shares of Common Stock (by reclassification or otherwise than by payment of a dividend in shares of Common Stock) into a greater or lesser number of shares of Common Stock, then in each such case the number of votes per share to which holders of Series CC Shares were entitled immediately prior to such event shall be adjusted by multiplying such number by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock outstanding immediately after such event and the denominator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock that were outstanding immediately prior to such event.

(b) Except as otherwise provided herein, in any other articles of amendment creating a series of Preferred Stock or any similar stock, or by law, the holders of Series CC Shares and the holders of shares of Common Stock and any other capital stock of the Corporation having general voting rights shall vote together as one class on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders of the Corporation.

(c) Except as set forth herein, or as otherwise provided by law, holders of Series CC Shares shall have no special voting rights and their consent shall not be required (except to the extent they are entitled to vote with holders of Common Stock as set forth herein) for taking any corporate action.

(4) Certain Restrictions.

(a) Whenever quarterly dividends or other dividends or distributions payable on the Series CC Shares as provided in Article III.F.(2) are in arrears, thereafter and until all accrued and unpaid dividends and distributions, whether or not declared, on Series CC Shares outstanding shall have been paid in full, the Corporation shall not:

(i) declare or pay dividends, or make any other distributions, on any shares of stock ranking junior (either as to dividends or upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up) to the Series CC Shares;

(ii) declare or pay dividends, or make any other distributions, on any shares of stock ranking on a parity (either as to dividends or upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up) with the Series CC Shares, except dividends paid ratably on the Series CC Shares and all such parity stock on which dividends are payable or in arrears in proportion to the total amounts to which the holders of all such shares are then entitled;


(iii) redeem or purchase or otherwise acquire for consideration shares of any stock ranking junior (either as to dividends or upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up) to the Series CC Shares, provided that the Corporation may at any time redeem, purchase or otherwise acquire shares of any such junior stock in exchange for shares of any stock of the Corporation ranking junior (either as to dividends or upon dissolution, liquidation or winding up) to the Series CC Shares; or

(iv) redeem or purchase or otherwise acquire for consideration any Series CC Shares, or any shares of stock ranking on a parity with the Series CC Shares, except in accordance with a purchase offer made in writing or by publication (as determined by the Board of Directors) to all holders of such shares upon such terms as the Board of Directors, after consideration of the respective annual dividend rates and other relative rights and preferences of the respective series and classes, shall determine in good faith will result in fair and equitable treatment among the respective series or classes.

(b) The Corporation shall not permit any subsidiary of the Corporation to purchase or otherwise acquire for consideration any shares of stock of the Corporation unless the Corporation could, under paragraph (a) of this Articles III.F.(4), purchase or otherwise acquire such shares at such time and in such manner.

(5) Reacquired Shares. Any Series CC Shares purchased or otherwise acquired by the Corporation in any manner whatsoever shall be retired and cancelled promptly after the acquisition thereof. All such shares shall upon their cancellation become authorized but unissued shares of Preferred Stock and may be reissued as part of a new series of Preferred Stock subject to the conditions and restrictions on issuance set forth herein, in the Articles of Incorporation, or in any other Articles of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation creating a series of Preferred Stock or any similar stock or as otherwise required by law.

(6) Liquidation, Dissolution or Winding Up. Upon any liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Corporation, no distribution shall be made (1) to the holders of shares of stock ranking junior (either as to dividends or upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up) to the Series CC Shares unless, prior thereto, the holders of Series CC Shares shall have received $10,000 per share, plus an amount equal to accrued and unpaid dividends and distributions thereon, whether or not declared, to the date of such payment, provided that the holders of Series CC Shares shall be entitled to receive an aggregate amount per share, subject to the provision for adjustment hereinafter set forth, equal to 10,000 times the aggregate amount to be distributed per share to holders of shares of Common Stock, or (2) to the holders of shares of stock ranking on a parity (either as to dividends or upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up) with the Series CC Shares, except distributions made ratably on the Series CC Shares and all such parity stock in proportion to the total amounts to which the holders of all such shares are entitled upon such liquidation, dissolution or winding up. In the event the Corporation shall at any time declare or pay any dividend on the Common Stock payable in shares of Common Stock, or effect a subdivision or combination or consolidation of the outstanding shares of Common Stock (by reclassification or otherwise than by payment of a dividend in shares of Common Stock) into a greater or lesser number of shares of Common Stock, then in each such case the aggregate amount to which holders of Series CC Shares were entitled immediately prior to such event under the proviso in clause (1) of the preceding sentence shall be adjusted by multiplying such amount by a fraction the numerator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock outstanding immediately after such event and the denominator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock that were outstanding immediately prior to such event.

(7) Consolidation, Merger, etc. In case the Corporation shall enter into any consolidation, merger, combination or other transaction in which the shares of Common Stock are exchanged for or changed into other stock or securities, cash and/or any other property, then in any such case each share of Series CC Shares shall at the same time be similarly exchanged or changed into an amount per share, subject to the provision for adjustment hereinafter set forth, equal to 10,000 times the aggregate amount of stock, securities, cash and/or any other property (payable in kind), as the case may be, into which or for which each share of Common Stock is changed or exchanged. In the event the Corporation shall at any time declare or pay any dividend on the Common Stock payable in shares of Common Stock, or effect a subdivision or combination or consolidation of the outstanding shares of Common Stock (by reclassification or otherwise than by payment of a dividend in shares of Common Stock) into a greater or lesser number of shares of Common Stock, then in each such case the amount set forth in the preceding sentence with respect to the exchange or change of Series CC Shares shall be adjusted by multiplying such amount by a fraction, the numerator of


which is the number of shares of Common Stock outstanding immediately after such event and the denominator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock that were outstanding immediately prior to such event.

(8) No Redemption. The Series CC Shares shall not be redeemable.

(9) Rank. The Series CC Shares shall rank, with respect to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets, junior to all series of any other class of the Corporation’s Preferred Stock.

(10) Amendment. The Articles of Incorporation of the Corporation shall not be amended in any manner which would materially alter or change the powers, preferences or special rights of the Series CC Shares so as to affect them adversely without the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding Series CC Shares, voting together as a single class.

[Remainder of page intentionally left blank; signature page follows]


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, CenturyLink, Inc. has caused this Articles of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation relating to the establishment of rights and preferences of Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Stock to be duly executed by its President this 13th day of February, 2019.

 

CenturyLink, Inc.
By:  

/s/ Jeffrey K. Storey

  Name: Jeffrey K. Storey
  Title: Chief Executive Officer and President
(Back To Top)

Section 3: EX-4.1 (EX-4.1)

EX-4.1

Exhibit 4.1

CenturyLink, Inc.

and

Computershare Trust Company, N.A.

Section 382 Rights Agreement

Dated as of February 13, 2019

 

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

         Page  
Section 1.  

Definitions

     1  
Section 2.  

Appointment of Rights Agent

     4  
Section 3.  

Issue of Right Certificates

     4  
Section 4.  

Form of Right Certificates

     6  
Section 5.  

Countersignature and Registration

     6  
Section 6.  

Transfer, Split Up, Combination and Exchange of Right Certificates; Mutilated, Destroyed, Lost or Stolen Right Certificates

     7  
Section 7.  

Exercise of Rights; Purchase Price; Expiration Date of Rights

     7  
Section 8.  

Cancellation and Destruction of Right Certificates

     8  
Section 9.  

Availability of Preferred Shares

     9  
Section 10.  

Preferred Shares Record Date

     9  
Section 11.  

Adjustment of Purchase Price, Number of Shares or Number of Rights

     9  
Section 12.  

Certificate of Adjusted Purchase Price or Number of Shares

     13  
Section 13.  

Reserved

     13  
Section 14.  

Fractional Rights and Fractional Shares

     13  
Section 15.  

Rights of Action

     14  
Section 16.  

Agreement of Right Holders

     15  
Section 17.  

Right Certificate Holder Not Deemed a Stockholder

     15  
Section 18.  

Concerning the Rights Agent

     15  
Section 19.  

Merger or Consolidation or Change of Name of Rights Agent

     17  
Section 20.  

Duties of Rights Agent

     17  
Section 21.  

Change of Rights Agent

     19  
Section 22.  

Issuance of New Right Certificates

     20  
Section 23.  

Redemption

     20  
Section 24.  

Exchange

     20  
Section 25.  

Notice of Certain Events

     21  
Section 26.  

Notices

     22  

 

i


Section 27.

 

Supplements and Amendments

     22  

Section 28.

 

Successors

     22  

Section 29.

 

Benefits of this Agreement

     22  

Section 30.

 

Severability

     23  

Section 31.

 

Governing Law

     23  

Section 32.

 

Counterparts

     23  

Section 33.

 

Descriptive Headings

     23  

Section 34.

 

Determinations and Actions by the Independent Directors

     23  

Section 35

 

Process to Seek Exemption

     23  

Section 36

 

Tax Compliance and Withholding

     24  

Section 37

 

Force Majeure

     24  

Exhibit A

  -   

Form of Certificate of Designation

Exhibit B

  -   

Form of Right Certificate

Exhibit C

  -   

Summary of Rights to Purchase Preferred Shares

 

 

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Section 382 Rights Agreement, dated as of February 13, 2019, between CenturyLink, Inc., a Louisiana corporation (the “Company”), and Computershare Trust Company, N.A., as rights agent (the “Rights Agent”).

The Company has generated net operating loss carryovers and tax credit carryovers for United States federal income tax purposes (“NOLs”), which are expected to provide valuable tax benefits to the Company. The ability to use the NOLs may be impaired or destroyed by an “ownership change” within the meaning of Section 382 (as such term is hereinafter defined). The Company desires to avoid such an “ownership change” and thereby preserve the ability to use the NOLs without limitation.

The Board of Directors of the Company has authorized and declared a dividend of one preferred share purchase right (a “Right”) for each Common Share (as hereinafter defined) of the Company outstanding on February 25, 2019 (the “Record Date”), each Right representing the right to purchase one ten-thousandth of a Preferred Share (as hereinafter defined), upon the terms and subject to the conditions herein set forth, and has further authorized and directed the issuance of one Right with respect to each Common Share that shall become outstanding between the Record Date and the earliest of the Distribution Date, the Redemption Date, the Early Expiration Date and the Final Expiration Date (as such terms are hereinafter defined).

Accordingly, in consideration of the premises and the mutual agreements herein set forth, the parties hereby agree as follows:

Section 1. Definitions. For purposes of this Agreement, the following terms have the meanings indicated:

(a) “Acquiring Person” shall mean any Person (other than any Exempt Person) who or which, together with all Affiliates and Associates of such Person, shall be the Beneficial Owner of 4.9% or more of the Common Shares of the Company then outstanding, but shall not include the Company, any Subsidiary of the Company, any employee benefit plan of the Company or any Subsidiary of the Company, or any entity holding Common Shares for or pursuant to the terms of any such plan; provided, however, that, (i) any Person who or which would otherwise be an Acquiring Person as of the date of this Agreement will not be deemed to be an Acquiring Person for any purpose of this Agreement prior to or after the date of this Agreement unless and until such time as (A) such Person or any Affiliate or Associate of such Person thereafter becomes, individually or in the aggregate, by reason of a transaction or transactions after the date of this Agreement the Beneficial Owner of additional Common Shares representing one-half of one percent (0.5%) or more of the Common Shares outstanding at the time of such acquisition, other than (1) pursuant to any agreement or regular-way purchase order for Common Shares that is in effect on or prior to the date of this Agreement and consummated in accordance with its terms after the date of this Agreement, or (2) as a result of a stock dividend, rights dividend, stock split or similar transaction effected by the Company in which all holders of Common Shares are treated equally, or (B) any other Person who is the Beneficial Owner of Common Shares becomes an Affiliate or Associate of such Person after the date of this Agreement; provided, however, that the foregoing exclusion in this clause (i) shall cease to apply with respect to any Person at such time as such Person, together with all Affiliates and Associates of such Person, Beneficially Owns less than 4.9% of the then-outstanding Common Shares; (ii) a Person will not be deemed to have become an Acquiring Person solely as a result of a reduction in the number of Common Shares outstanding unless and until such time as (A) such Person or any Affiliate or Associate of such Person thereafter becomes the Beneficial Owner of any additional Common Shares, other than as a result of a stock dividend, stock split or similar transaction effected by the Company in which all holders of Common Shares are treated equally, or (B) any other Person who is the Beneficial Owner of Common Shares becomes an Affiliate or Associate of such Person after the date of this Agreement; and (iii) a Person will not be deemed to have become an Acquiring Person solely as a result of an Exempted Transaction, provided, however, that the foregoing exclusion in this clause (iii) shall cease to apply with respect to any Person at such time as such Person (or any Affiliates or Associates of such Person) acquires any additional Common Shares.

In addition, notwithstanding the foregoing, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary provided in this Agreement, a Person shall not be an “Acquiring Person” if the Independent Directors determine at any time prior to the Distribution Date that a Person who would otherwise be an “Acquiring Person,” has become such inadvertently or without intending to become an “Acquiring Person,” and such Person divests as promptly as practicable (or within such period of time as the Independent Directors determine is reasonable) a sufficient number of Common Shares so that such Person would no longer be an “Acquiring Person,” as defined pursuant to the foregoing.

 

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(b) “Affiliate” shall have the meaning ascribed to such term in Rule 12b-2 of the General Rules and Regulations under the Exchange Act, as in effect on the date of this Agreement and, to the extent not included within the foregoing, will also include, with respect to any Person, any other Person (other than an Exempt Person) whose Common Shares would be deemed constructively owned by such first Person pursuant to the provisions of Section 382; provided, however, that a Person will not be deemed to be the Affiliate or Associate of another Person solely because either or both Persons are or were directors or officers of the Company; provided, that with respect to STT, “Affiliate” shall have the meaning set forth in the Stockholder Rights Agreement.

(d) “Associate” shall have the meaning ascribed to such term in Rule 12b-2 of the General Rules and Regulations under the Exchange Act as in effect on the date of this Agreement.

(e) A Person shall be deemed the “Beneficial Owner” of and shall be deemed to “beneficially own” any securities:

(i) which such Person or any of such Person’s Affiliates or Associates has the right to acquire (whether such right is exercisable immediately or only after the passage of time) pursuant to any agreement, arrangement or understanding (other than customary agreements with and between underwriters and selling group members with respect to a bona fide public offering of securities), or upon the exercise of conversion rights, exchange rights, rights (other than these Rights), warrants or options, or otherwise; provided, however, that a Person shall not be deemed the Beneficial Owner of, or to beneficially own, securities tendered pursuant to a tender or exchange offer made by or on behalf of such Person or any of such Person’s Affiliates or Associates until such tendered securities are accepted for purchase or exchange; or

(ii) which such Person or any of such Person’s Affiliates or Associates has the right to vote pursuant to any agreement, arrangement or understanding; provided, however, that a Person shall not be deemed the Beneficial Owner of, or to beneficially own, any security if the agreement, arrangement or understanding to vote such security (1) arises solely from a revocable proxy or consent given to such Person in response to a public proxy or consent solicitation made pursuant to, and in accordance with, the applicable rules and regulations promulgated under the Exchange Act and (2) is not also then reportable on Schedule 13D under the Exchange Act (or any comparable or successor report); or

(iii) which are beneficially owned, directly or indirectly, by any other Person with which such Person or any of such Person’s Affiliates or Associates has any agreement, arrangement or understanding (other than customary agreements with and between underwriters and selling group members with respect to a bona fide public offering of securities) for the purpose of acquiring, holding, voting (except to the extent contemplated by the proviso to Section 1(e)(ii) hereof) or disposing of any securities of the Company; or

(iv) which such Person would be deemed to constructively own or which otherwise would be aggregated with shares owned by such Person pursuant to Section 382.

Notwithstanding anything in this definition of Beneficial Ownership to the contrary, the phrase “then outstanding,” when used with reference to a Person’s Beneficial Ownership of securities of the Company, shall mean the number of such securities then issued and outstanding together with the number of such securities not then actually issued and outstanding which such Person would be deemed to beneficially own hereunder.

(e) “Business Day” shall mean any day other than a Saturday, a Sunday, or a day on which banking institutions in New York are authorized or obligated by law or executive order to close.

(f) “Close of Business” on any given date shall mean 5:00 P.M., New York time, on such date; provided, however, that, if such date is not a Business Day, it shall mean 5:00 P.M., New York time, on the next succeeding Business Day.

(g) “Common Shares” when used with reference to the Company shall mean the shares of common stock, par value $1.00 per share, of the Company. “Common Shares” when used with reference to any Person other than the Company shall mean the capital stock (or equity interest) with the greatest voting power of such other

 

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Person or, if such other Person is a Subsidiary of another Person, the Person or Persons which ultimately control such first-mentioned Person.

(h) “Common Share Equivalents” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 11(a)(iii) hereof.

(i) “Current Value” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 11(a)(iii) hereof.

(j) “Distribution Date” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3(a) hereof.

(k) “Early Expiration Date” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 7(a) hereof.

(l) “Exchange Act” shall mean the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

(m) “Exchange Ratio” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 24(a) hereof.

(n) “Exempt Person” shall mean (i) STT and its Affiliates and Associates unless and until STT (or any Affiliates of STT) acquires any Common Shares other than (x) in a transaction that is permitted under Section 4 of the Stockholder Rights Agreement or (y) any transfers of Common Shares or other Company equity interests between STT and its Affiliates, (ii) any Person to whom STT transfers any amount of Common Shares permitted by Section 4.2 of the Stockholder Rights Agreement unless and until such Person (or any Affiliates or Associates of such Person) acquires any additional Common Shares and (iii) any other Person whose Beneficial Ownership (together with all Affiliates and Associates of such Person) of 4.9% or more of the then-outstanding Common Shares (1) will not jeopardize or endanger the availability to the Company of any income tax benefit or (2) is otherwise in the best interests of the Company, in each case as determined by the Independent Directors in their sole discretion prior to the Distribution Date; provided, however, that such a Person will cease to be an Exempt Person if the Independent Directors make a contrary determination with respect to the effect of such Person’s Beneficial Ownership (together with all Affiliates and Associates of such Person) regardless of the reason therefor.

(o) “Exempted Transaction” means any transaction that the Independent Directors, in their sole discretion, have declared exempt pursuant to Section 35, which determination shall be irrevocable with respect to such transaction.

(p) “Final Expiration Date” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 7(a) hereof.

(q) “Independent Directors” shall mean any director of the Company who is an “independent director” under the rules of the NYSE and also is not (a) a director, an officer or an employee of an Exempt Person or a Person excluded from definition of “Acquiring Person” in clause (i) of such definition, (b) a director, an officer or an employee of an Affiliate or Associate of an Exempt Person or a Person excluded from definition of “Acquiring Person” in clause (i) of such definition; (c) an Exempt Person or a Person excluded from definition of “Acquiring Person” in clause (i) of such definition; or (d) an Affiliate or an Associate of an Exempt Person or a Person excluded from definition of “Acquiring Person” in clause (i) of such definition.

(r) “NOLs” shall have the meaning set forth in recitals hereof.

(s) “NYSE” shall mean the New York Stock Exchange.

(t) “Person” shall mean any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, trust or other entity, or a group of Persons making a “coordinated acquisition” of shares or otherwise treated as an entity within the meaning of Section 1.382 -3(a)(1) of the Treasury Regulations, and shall include any successor (by merger or otherwise) of such individual or entity, but shall not include a Public Group (as such term is defined in Section 1.382 -2T(f)(13) of the Treasury Regulations).

(u) “Preferred Shares” shall mean shares of Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Shares, par value $28.00 per share, of the Company having the rights and preferences set forth in the Form of Certificate of Designations attached to this Agreement as Exhibit A.

 

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(v) “Purchase Price” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 4 hereof.

(w) “Record Date” shall have the meaning set forth in the second paragraph hereof.

(x) “Redemption Date” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 7(a) hereof.

(y) “Redemption Price” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 23(a) hereof.

(z) “Right” shall have the meaning set forth in the second paragraph hereof.

(aa) “Right Certificate” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3(a) hereof.

(bb) “Section 382” shall mean Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and any successor provision or replacement provision.

(cc) “Shares Acquisition Date” shall mean the date of the first public announcement by the Company that an Acquiring Person has become such, which announcement shall follow a determination by the Board to such effect, which is made and reflected in a Board resolution prior to the earliest of the Redemption Date, the Early Expiration Date and the Final Expiration Date.

(dd) “Spread” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 11(a)(iii) hereof.

(ee) “Stockholder Approval” shall mean the approval of this Agreement by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the votes cast the meeting of stockholders of the Company duly held in accordance with the Company’s Articles of Incorporation (as amended) and applicable law.

(ff) “Stockholder Approval” shall mean the approval of this Agreement by the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast at the meeting of stockholders of the Company duly held in accordance with the Company’s Articles of Incorporation (as amended) and applicable law.

(gg) “STT” shall mean STT Crossing Ltd.

(hh) “Subsidiary” of any Person shall mean any corporation or other entity of which a majority of the voting power of the voting equity securities or equity interest is owned, directly or indirectly, by such Person.

(ii) “Summary of Rights” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3(b) hereof.

(jj) “Trading Day” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 11(d) hereof.

(kk) “Treasury Regulations” shall mean final, temporary and proposed income tax regulations promulgated under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, including any amendments thereto.

Section 2. Appointment of Rights Agent. The Company hereby appoints the Rights Agent to act as rights agent for the Company in accordance with the express terms and conditions hereof (and no implied terms or conditions), and the Rights Agent hereby accepts such appointment. The Company may from time to time appoint such co-Rights Agents as it may deem necessary or desirable; provided that the Company shall notify the Rights Agent in writing ten (10) Business Days prior to such appointment. In the event the Company appoints one or more co-Rights Agents, the respective duties of the Rights Agent and any co-Rights Agents under the provisions of this Agreement shall be as the Company reasonably determines, and the Company shall notify, in writing, the Rights Agent and any co-Rights Agents of such duties. The Rights Agent shall have no duty to supervise, and shall in no event be liable for, the acts or omissions of any such co-Rights Agents.

Section 3. Issue of Right Certificates. (a) Until the tenth Business Day after the Shares Acquisition Date (including any such Shares Acquisition Date which is after the date of this Agreement and prior to the issuance of the Rights) (or such later day, if any, as the Independent Directors determine in their discretion to be no longer than a 15 Business Day extension) (the “Distribution Date”), (i) the Rights will be evidenced (subject to the

 

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provisions of Section 3(b) hereof) by the certificates for Common Shares of the Company or book entry Common Shares of the Company registered in the names of the holders thereof (which certificates or book entry shares shall also be deemed to be Right Certificates) and not by separate Right Certificates, and (ii) the right to receive Right Certificates will be transferable only in connection with the transfer of Common Shares of the Company. As soon as practicable after the Distribution Date, the Company will prepare and execute, the Rights Agent will countersign, and the Company will send or cause to be sent (and the Rights Agent will, if requested to do so by the Company and provided with all necessary information and documentation, in form and substance reasonably satisfactory to the Rights Agent, send) by first-class, insured, postage-prepaid mail, to each record holder of Common Shares of the Company as of the Close of Business on the Distribution Date (other than any Acquiring Person or any Associate or Affiliate of any Acquiring Person), at the address of such holder shown on the records of the Company, a Right Certificate, in substantially the form of Exhibit B hereto (a “Right Certificate”), evidencing one Right for each Common Share so held (other than with respect to Rights that have become void pursuant to Section 11(a)(ii) hereof or that have been exchanged pursuant to Section 24 hereof). As of the Distribution Date, the Rights will be evidenced solely by such Right Certificates, and the Rights Certificates and the Rights shall be transferable separately from the transfer of Common Shares. The Company shall promptly notify the Rights Agent in writing upon the occurrence of the Distribution Date and, if such notification is given orally, the Company shall confirm the same in writing on or prior to the Business Day next following. Until such written notice is received by the Rights Agent, the Rights Agent may presume conclusively for all purposes that the Distribution Date has not occurred.

(b) On the Record Date, or as soon as practicable thereafter, the Company will send (directly or, at the expense of the Company, through the Rights Agent or its transfer agent if the Rights Agent or transfer agent is directed by the Company and provided with all necessary information and documents) a copy of a Summary of Rights to Purchase Preferred Shares, in substantially the form of Exhibit C hereto (the “Summary of Rights”), to each record holder of Common Shares as of the Close of Business on the Record Date (other than any Acquiring Person or any Associate or Affiliate of any Acquiring Person), at the address of such holder shown on the records of the Company or transfer agent or register for Common Shares. With respect to certificates for Common Shares (or book-entry Common Shares) outstanding as of the Record Date, until the Distribution Date, the Rights will be evidenced by such certificates registered in the names of the holders thereof together with a copy of the Summary of Rights attached thereto and not by separate Rights Certificates. With respect to book-entry Common Shares outstanding as of the Record Date, until the Distribution Date (or the earliest of the Redemption Date, the Early Expiration Date or the Final Expiration Date), the Rights shall be evidenced by the balances indicated in the book-entry account system of the transfer agent for the Common Shares together with the Summary of Rights. Until the Distribution Date (or the earliest of the Redemption Date, the Early Expiration Date or the Final Expiration Date), the surrender for transfer of any Common Shares outstanding on the Record Date (whether represented by certificates or evidenced by the balances indicated in the book-entry account system of the transfer agent for the Common Shares, and, in either case, regardless of whether a copy of the Summary of Rights is submitted with the surrender or request for transfer), shall also constitute the transfer of the Rights associated with the Common Shares of the Company represented thereby.

(c) Certificates for Common Shares (or confirmation or account statements sent to holders of Common Shares in book-entry form) which become outstanding (including, without limitation, reacquired Common Shares referred to in the last sentence of this paragraph (c)) after the Record Date but prior to the earliest of the Distribution Date, the Redemption Date, the Early Expiration Date or the Final Expiration Date shall bear the following legend:

This certificate also evidences and entitles the holder hereof to certain rights as set forth in an Agreement between CenturyLink, Inc. (the “Company”) and Computershare Trust Company, N.A., or any successor rights agent, dated as of February 13, 2019, as it may be amended from time to time (the “Agreement”), the terms of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference and a copy of which is on file at the principal executive offices of the Company. Under certain circumstances, as set forth in the Agreement, such Rights (as defined in the Agreement) will be evidenced by separate certificates and will no longer be evidenced by this certificate. The Company will mail to the holder of this certificate a copy of the Agreement without charge after receipt of a written request therefor. As set forth in the Agreement, Rights beneficially owned by any Person (as defined in the Agreement) who becomes an Acquiring Person (as defined in the Agreement) become null and void.

 

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With respect to such certificates bearing the foregoing legend, until the earliest of the Distribution Date, the Redemption Date, the Early Expiration Date or the Final Expiration Date, the Rights associated with the Common Shares of the Company represented by such certificates shall be evidenced by such certificates alone, and the surrender for transfer of any such certificate shall also constitute the transfer of the Rights associated with the Common Shares of the Company represented thereby. In the event that the Company purchases or acquires any Common Shares of the Company after the Record Date but prior to the Distribution Date, any Rights associated with such Common Shares of the Company shall be deemed cancelled and retired so that the Company shall not be entitled to exercise any Rights associated with the Common Shares of the Company which are no longer outstanding.

With respect to Common Shares in book entry form for which there has been sent a confirmation or account statement containing the foregoing legend in substantially similar form, until the earliest of the Distribution Date, the Redemption Date, the Early Expiration Date or the Final Expiration Date, the Rights associated with the Common Shares shall be evidenced by such Common Shares alone and registered holders of Common Shares shall also be the registered holders of the associated Rights, and the transfer of any such Common Shares shall also constitute the transfer of the Rights associated with such Common Shares.

Notwithstanding this paragraph (c), the omission of the legend or the failure to send, deliver or provide the registered owner of Common Shares a copy of the Summary of Rights shall not affect the enforceability of any part of this Agreement or the rights of any holder of the Rights.

Section 4. Form of Right Certificates. The Right Certificates (and the forms of election to purchase Preferred Shares and of assignment to be printed on the reverse thereof) shall be substantially the same as Exhibit B hereto, and may have such changes or marks of identification or designation and such legends, summaries or endorsements printed thereon as the Company may deem appropriate (but which do not affect the rights, duties, liabilities, protections or responsibilities of the Rights Agent hereunder) and as are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Agreement, or as may be required to comply with any applicable law or with any applicable rule or regulation made pursuant thereto or with any applicable rule or regulation of any stock exchange or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or to conform to usage. Subject to the provisions of Section 22 hereof, the Right Certificates shall entitle the holders thereof to purchase such number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share as shall be set forth therein at the price per one ten-thousandth of a Preferred Share set forth therein (the “Purchase Price”), but the number of such one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share and the Purchase Price shall be subject to adjustment as provided herein.

Section 5. Countersignature and Registration. The Right Certificates shall be executed on behalf of the Company by its Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, any of its Senior Vice Presidents or its Treasurer, either manually or by facsimile or other electronic signature (e.g., PDF), shall have affixed thereto the Company’s seal or a copy by facsimile or electronic means, if necessary, and shall be attested by the Secretary or an Assistant Secretary of the Company, either manually or by facsimile or other electronic signature. The Right Certificates shall be countersigned manually or by facsimile or other electronic means (e.g., PDF) by an authorized signatory of the Rights Agent and shall not be valid for any purpose unless countersigned. In case any officer of the Company who shall have signed any of the Right Certificates shall cease to be such officer of the Company before countersignature by the Rights Agent and issuance and delivery by the Company, such Right Certificates, nevertheless, may be countersigned by the Rights Agent and issued and delivered by the Company with the same force and effect as though the individual who signed such Right Certificates had not ceased to be such officer of the Company; and any Right Certificate may be signed on behalf of the Company by any individual who, at the actual date of the execution of such Right Certificate, shall be a proper officer of the Company to sign such Right Certificate, although at the date of the execution of this Agreement any such individual was not such an officer.

Following the Distribution Date, upon receipt by the Rights Agent of notice to that effect and all other relevant information and documents referred to in Section 3(a), the Rights Agent will keep or cause to be kept, at its office(s) designated for such purpose, books for registration and transfer of the Right Certificates issued hereunder. Such books shall show the names and addresses of the respective holders of the Right Certificates, the number of Rights evidenced on its face by each of the Right Certificates and the date of each of the Right Certificates.

 

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Section 6. Transfer, Split Up, Combination and Exchange of Right Certificates; Mutilated, Destroyed, Lost or Stolen Right Certificates. Subject to the provisions of Section 14 hereof, at any time after the Close of Business on the Distribution Date, and at or prior to the Close of Business on the earliest of the Redemption Date, the Early Expiration Date or the Final Expiration Date, any Right Certificate or Right Certificates (other than Right Certificates representing Rights that have become void pursuant to Section 11(a)(ii) hereof, that have been redeemed pursuant to Section 23, or that have been exchanged pursuant to Section 24 hereof) may be transferred, split up, combined or exchanged for another Right Certificate or Right Certificates entitling the registered holder to purchase a like number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share as the Right Certificate or Right Certificates surrendered then entitled such holder to purchase. Any registered holder desiring to transfer, split up, combine or exchange any Right Certificate or Right Certificates shall make such request in writing delivered to the Rights Agent, and shall surrender, together with any required form of assignment duly executed and properly completed, the Right Certificate or Right Certificates to be transferred, split up, combined or exchanged at the office(s) of the Rights Agent designated for such purpose, along with a signature guarantee (if required) and such other and further documentation as the Company or the Rights Agent may reasonably request.. The Rights Certificates are transferable only on the books and records of the Rights Agent. Neither the Rights Agent nor the Company shall be obligated to take any action whatsoever with respect to the transfer of any such surrendered Right Certificate until the registered holder has properly completed and duly executed the certificate set forth in the form of assignment on the reverse side of such Rights Certificate and has provided such additional evidence of the identity of the Beneficial Owner (or former Beneficial Owner) of the Rights represented by such Rights Certificate as the Company or the Rights Agent may reasonably request. Thereupon the Rights Agent shall countersign and deliver to the Person entitled thereto a Right Certificate or Right Certificates, as the case may be, as so requested. The Company or the Rights Agent may require payment by the holder of the Rights of a sum sufficient to cover any tax or governmental charge that may be imposed in connection with any transfer, split up, combination or exchange of Right Certificates. If and to the extent the Company does require payment of any such taxes or governmental charges, the Company shall give the Rights Agent prompt written notice thereof and the Rights Agent shall not deliver any Rights Certificate unless and until it is satisfied that all such payments have been made, and the Rights Agent shall forward any such sum collected by it to the Company or to such Persons as the Company specifies by written notice. The Rights Agent shall have no duty or obligation to take any action under any Section of this Agreement which requires the payment of applicable taxes and/or governmental charges unless and until it is satisfied that all such taxes and/or governmental charges have been paid.

Upon receipt by the Company and the Rights Agent of evidence reasonably satisfactory to them of the loss, theft, destruction or mutilation of a Right Certificate, and, in case of loss, theft or destruction, of indemnity or security reasonably satisfactory to them, along with such other and further documentation as the Company or the Rights Agent may reasonably request and, at the Company’s request, reimbursement to the Company and the Rights Agent of all reasonable expenses incidental thereto, and upon surrender to the Rights Agent and cancellation of the Right Certificate if mutilated, the Company will execute and deliver a new Right Certificate of like tenor to the Rights Agent for countersignature and delivery to the registered holder in lieu of the Right Certificate so lost, stolen, destroyed or mutilated.

Notwithstanding any other provision hereof, the Company and the Rights Agent may amend this Agreement to provide for uncertificated Rights in addition to or in lieu of Rights evidenced by Right Certificates, to the extent permitted by applicable law.

Section 7. Exercise of Rights; Purchase Price; Expiration Date of Rights. (a) The registered holder of any Right Certificate may exercise the Rights evidenced thereby (except as otherwise provided herein), in whole or in part, at any time after the Distribution Date, upon surrender of the Right Certificate, with the form of election to purchase and the certificate on the reverse side thereof properly completed and duly executed (with such signature duly guaranteed, if required), to the Rights Agent at the office or offices of the Rights Agent designated for such purpose, together with payment of the Purchase Price for each one ten-thousandth of a Preferred Share as to which the Rights are exercised, at or prior to the earliest of (i) December 1, 2020 (the “Final Expiration Date”), (ii) the time at which the Rights are redeemed as provided in Section 23 hereof (the “Redemption Date”), (iii) the time at which such Rights are exchanged as provided in Section 24 hereof, (iv) the time at which the Independent Directors determine that the NOLs are utilized in all material respects or that an ownership change under Section 382 would not adversely impact in any material respect the time period in which the Company could use the NOLs, or materially impair the amount of the NOLs that could be used by the Company in any particular time period, for

 

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applicable tax purposes, (v) the first anniversary of the execution of this Agreement if Stockholder Approval has not been obtained prior to such date, (vi) a determination by the Independent Directors, prior to the Distribution Date, that this Agreement and the Rights are no longer in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders (the earliest of the dates set forth in clauses (iv), (v)and (vi) the “Early Expiration Date”).

(b) The Purchase Price for each one ten-thousandth of a Preferred Share purchasable pursuant to the exercise of a Right shall initially be $28, and shall be subject to adjustment from time to time as provided in Section 11 hereof, and shall be payable in lawful money of the United States of America in accordance with paragraph (c) below.

(c) Upon receipt of a Right Certificate representing exercisable Rights, with the form of election to purchase properly completed and duly executed, accompanied by payment of the Purchase Price for the shares to be purchased and an amount equal to any applicable transfer tax required to be paid by the holder of such Right Certificate in accordance with Section 9 hereof by certified check, cashier’s check or money order payable to the order of the Company, the Rights Agent shall thereupon promptly (i) (A) requisition from any transfer agent of the Preferred Shares certificates for the number of Preferred Shares to be purchased and the Company hereby irrevocably authorizes any such transfer agent to comply with all such requests, or (B) requisition from the depositary agent depositary receipts representing such number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share as are to be purchased (in which case certificates for the Preferred Shares represented by such receipts shall be deposited by the transfer agent of the Preferred Shares with such depositary agent) and the Company shall direct such depositary agent to comply with such request; (ii) when necessary to comply with this Rights Agreement, requisition from the Company the amount of cash to be paid in lieu of issuance of fractional shares in accordance with Section 14 hereof; (iii) promptly after receipt of such certificates or depositary receipts, cause the same to be delivered to or upon the order of the registered holder of such Right Certificate, registered in such name or names as may be designated by such holder; and (iv) when necessary to comply with this Rights Agreement, after receipt, promptly deliver such cash to or upon the order of the registered holder of such Right Certificate.

(d) In case the registered holder of any Right Certificate shall properly exercise less than all the Rights evidenced thereby, a new Right Certificate evidencing Rights equivalent to the Rights remaining unexercised shall be issued by the Rights Agent to registered holder of such Right Certificate or to such holder’s duly authorized assigns, subject to the provisions of Section 14 hereof.

(e) Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement or any Right Certificate to the contrary, neither the Rights Agent nor the Company shall be obligated to take any action with respect to a registered holder upon the occurrence of any purported transfer or exercise as set forth in this Section 7 by such registered holder unless such registered holder has (i) properly completed and duly executed the certificate following the form of election to purchase set forth on the reverse side of the Right Certificate surrendered for such exercise, and (ii) provided such additional evidence of the identity of the Beneficial Owner (or former Beneficial Owner) of the Rights represented by such Rights Certificate as the Company or the Rights Agent reasonably requests.

(g) Except for those provisions herein that expressly survive the termination of this Agreement, this Agreement shall terminate upon the earlier of the Redemption Date, Early Expiration Date or Final Expiration Date and such time as all outstanding Rights have been exercised, redeemed or exchanged hereunder.

Section 8. Cancellation and Destruction of Right Certificates. All Right Certificates surrendered for the purpose of exercise, transfer, split up, combination or exchange shall, if surrendered to the Company or to any of its agents, be delivered to the Rights Agent for cancellation or in cancelled form, or, if surrendered to the Rights Agent, shall be cancelled by it, and no Right Certificates shall be issued in lieu thereof except as expressly permitted by any of the provisions of this Agreement. The Company shall deliver to the Rights Agent for cancellation and retirement, and the Rights Agent shall so cancel and retire, any other Right Certificate purchased or acquired by the Company otherwise than upon the exercise thereof. Subject to applicable law and regulation, the Rights Agent shall maintain in a retrievable database electronic records of all cancelled or destroyed stock certificates which have been canceled or destroyed by the Rights Agent. The Rights Agent shall deliver all cancelled Rights Certificates to the Company, or shall, at the written request of the Company, destroy or cause to be destroyed such cancelled Rights Certificates, and in such case shall deliver a certificate of destruction thereof to the Company.

 

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Section 9. Availability of Preferred Shares. The Company covenants and agrees that it will cause to be reserved and kept available out of its authorized and unissued Preferred Shares or any Preferred Shares held in its treasury the number of Preferred Shares that will be sufficient to permit the exercise in full of all outstanding Rights in accordance with Section 7 hereof. The Company covenants and agrees that it will take all such action as may be necessary to ensure that all Preferred Shares delivered upon exercise of Rights shall, at the time of delivery of the certificates for such Preferred Shares (subject to payment of the Purchase Price), be duly and validly authorized and issued and fully paid and nonassessable shares.

The Company further covenants and agrees that it will pay when due and payable any and all federal and state transfer taxes and charges which may be payable in respect of the issuance or delivery of the Right Certificates or of any Preferred Shares upon the exercise of Rights. The Company shall not, however, be required to pay any transfer tax which may be payable in respect of any transfer or delivery of Right Certificates to a Person other than, or the issuance or delivery of certificates or depositary receipts for the Preferred Shares in a name other than that of, the registered holder of the Right Certificate evidencing Rights surrendered for exercise or to issue or to deliver any certificates or depositary receipts for Preferred Shares upon the exercise of any Rights until any such tax shall have been paid (any such tax being payable by the holder of such Right Certificate at the time of surrender) or until it has been established to the Company’s reasonable satisfaction that no such tax is due.

Section 10. Preferred Shares Record Date. Each Person in whose name any certificate for Preferred Shares is issued upon the exercise of Rights shall for all purposes be deemed to have become the holder of record of the Preferred Shares represented thereby on, and such certificate shall be dated, the date upon which the Right Certificate evidencing such Rights was duly surrendered and payment of the Purchase Price (and any applicable transfer taxes) was made; provided, however, that, if the date of such surrender and payment is a date upon which the Preferred Shares transfer books of the Company are closed, such Person shall be deemed to have become the record holder of such shares on, and such certificate shall be dated, the next succeeding Business Day on which the Preferred Shares transfer books of the Company are open. Prior to the exercise of the Rights evidenced thereby, the holder of a Right Certificate shall not be entitled to any rights of a holder of Preferred Shares for which the Rights shall be exercisable, including, without limitation, the right to vote, to receive dividends or other distributions or to exercise any preemptive rights, and shall not be entitled to receive any notice of any proceedings of the Company, except as provided herein.

Section 11. Adjustment of Purchase Price, Number of Shares or Number of Rights. The Purchase Price, the number of Preferred Shares covered by each Right and the number of Rights outstanding are subject to adjustment from time to time as provided in this Section 11.

(a) (i) In the event the Company shall at any time after the date of this Agreement (A) declare a dividend on the Preferred Shares payable in Preferred Shares, (B) subdivide the outstanding Preferred Shares, (C) combine the outstanding Preferred Shares into a smaller number of Preferred Shares or (D) issue any shares of its capital stock in a reclassification of the Preferred Shares (including any such reclassification in connection with a consolidation or merger in which the Company is the continuing or surviving corporation), except as otherwise provided in this Section 11(a), the Purchase Price in effect at the time of the record date for such dividend or of the effective date of such subdivision, combination or reclassification, and the number and kind of shares of capital stock issuable on such date, shall be proportionately adjusted so that the holder of any Right exercised after such time shall be entitled to receive the aggregate number and kind of shares of capital stock which, if such Right had been exercised immediately prior to such date and at a time when the Preferred Shares transfer books of the Company were open, such holder would have owned upon such exercise and been entitled to receive by virtue of such dividend, subdivision, combination or reclassification; provided, however, that in no event shall the consideration to be paid upon the exercise of one Right be less than the aggregate par value of the shares of capital stock of the Company issuable upon exercise of one Right.

(ii) Subject to Section 24 hereof, in the event any Person becomes an Acquiring Person after the date of this agreement (including becoming such prior to the Record Date), each holder of a Right (other than an Acquiring Person or an Affiliate or Associate of an Acquiring Person) shall thereafter have a right to receive, upon exercise thereof at a price equal to the then current Purchase Price multiplied by the number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share for which a Right is then exercisable, in accordance with the terms of this Agreement and in lieu of Preferred Shares, such number of Common Shares of the Company as shall equal the result

 

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obtained by (A) multiplying the then current Purchase Price by the number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share for which a Right is then exercisable and dividing that product by (B) 50% of the then current per share market price of the Common Shares of the Company (determined pursuant to Section 11(d) hereof) on the date of the occurrence of such event. In the event that any Person shall become an Acquiring Person and the Rights shall then be outstanding, the Company shall not take any action which would eliminate or diminish the benefits intended to be afforded by the Rights.

From and after the occurrence of such event, any Rights that are or were acquired or beneficially owned by any Acquiring Person (or any Associate or Affiliate of such Acquiring Person) shall be void, and any holder of such Rights shall thereafter have no right to exercise such Rights under any provision of this Agreement. No Right Certificate shall be issued pursuant to Section 3 hereof that represents Rights beneficially owned by an Acquiring Person whose Rights would be void pursuant to the preceding sentence or any Associate or Affiliate thereof; no Right Certificate shall be issued at any time upon the transfer of any Rights to an Acquiring Person whose Rights would be void pursuant to the preceding sentence or any Associate or Affiliate thereof or to any nominee of such Acquiring Person, Associate or Affiliate; and any Right Certificate delivered to the Rights Agent for transfer to an Acquiring Person whose Rights would be void pursuant to the preceding sentence shall be cancelled.

(iii) In the event that there shall not be sufficient Common Shares issued but not outstanding or authorized but unissued to permit the exercise in full of the Rights in accordance with subparagraph (ii) above, the Company shall take all such action as may be necessary to authorize additional Common Shares for issuance upon exercise of the Rights. In the event the Company shall, after good faith effort, be unable to take all such action as may be necessary to authorize such additional Common Shares, the Company shall, to the extent permitted by applicable law and any agreements or instruments then in effect to which the Company is a party, (A) determine the excess of (1) the value of the Common Shares issuable upon the exercise of a Right (the “Current Value”) over (2) the Purchase Price (such excess being the “Spread”), and (B) with respect to each Right, make adequate provision to substitute, for each Common Share that would otherwise be issuable upon exercise of a Right, upon exercise of a Right and payment of the applicable Purchase Price, (1) cash; (2) Preferred Shares or fractions of Preferred Shares or other equity securities of the Company (including, without limitation, shares, or units of shares, of Preferred Shares which the Board has determined to have the same value as the Common Shares) (such shares of equity securities being herein called “Common Share Equivalents”); (3) debt securities of the Company; (4) other assets; or (5) any combination of the foregoing, in each case having an aggregate value equal to the Current Value, as determined by the Board based upon the advice of a financial advisor selected by the Board.

(b) In case the Company shall fix a record date for the issuance of rights, options or warrants to all holders of Preferred Shares entitling them (for a period expiring within 45 calendar days after such record date) to subscribe for or purchase Preferred Shares (or shares having the same rights, privileges and preferences as the Preferred Shares (“equivalent preferred shares”)) or securities convertible into Preferred Shares or equivalent preferred shares at a price per Preferred Share or equivalent preferred share (or having a conversion price per share, if a security convertible into Preferred Shares or equivalent preferred shares) less than the then current per share market price of the Preferred Shares (as defined in Section 11(d)) on such record date, the Purchase Price to be in effect after such record date shall be determined by multiplying the Purchase Price in effect immediately prior to such record date by a fraction, the numerator of which shall be the number of Preferred Shares outstanding on such record date plus the number of Preferred Shares which the aggregate offering price of the total number of Preferred Shares and/or equivalent preferred shares so to be offered (and/or the aggregate initial conversion price of the convertible securities so to be offered) would purchase at such current market price and the denominator of which shall be the number of Preferred Shares outstanding on such record date plus the number of additional Preferred Shares and/or equivalent preferred shares to be offered for subscription or purchase (or into which the convertible securities so to be offered are initially convertible); provided, however, that in no event shall the consideration to be paid upon the exercise of one Right be less than the aggregate par value of the shares of capital stock of the Company issuable upon exercise of one Right. In case such subscription price may be paid in a consideration part or all of which shall be in a form other than cash, the value of such consideration shall be as determined in good faith by the Board of Directors of the Company, whose determination shall be described in a statement filed with the Rights Agent and shall be binding and conclusive for all purposes on the Rights Agent and holders of the Rights. Preferred Shares owned by or held for the account of the Company shall not be deemed outstanding for the purpose of any such computation. Such adjustment shall be made successively whenever such a record date is fixed; and, in

 

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the event that such rights, options or warrants are not so issued, the Purchase Price shall be adjusted to be the Purchase Price which would then be in effect if such record date had not been fixed.

(c) In case the Company shall fix a record date for the making of a distribution to all holders of the Preferred Shares (including any such distribution made in connection with a consolidation or merger in which the Company is the continuing or surviving corporation) of evidences of indebtedness or assets (other than a regular quarterly cash dividend or a dividend payable in Preferred Shares) or subscription rights or warrants (excluding those referred to in Section 11(b) hereof), the Purchase Price to be in effect after such record date shall be determined by multiplying the Purchase Price in effect immediately prior to such record date by a fraction, the numerator of which shall be the then-current per share market price of the Preferred Shares on such record date, less the fair market value (as determined in good faith by the Board of Directors of the Company, whose determination shall be described in a statement filed with the Rights Agent and shall be binding on the Rights Agent and holders of the Rights) of the portion of the assets or evidences of indebtedness so to be distributed or of such subscription rights or warrants applicable to one Preferred Share and the denominator of which shall be such then-current per share market price of the Preferred Shares on such record date; provided, however, that in no event shall the consideration to be paid upon the exercise of one Right be less than the aggregate par value of the shares of capital stock of the Company to be issued upon exercise of one Right. Such adjustments shall be made successively whenever such a record date is fixed; and, in the event that such distribution is not so made, the Purchase Price shall again be adjusted to be the Purchase Price which would then be in effect if such record date had not been fixed.

(d) (i) For the purpose of any computation hereunder, the “current per share market price” of any security (a “Security” for the purpose of this Section 11(d)(i)) on any date shall be deemed to be the average of the daily closing prices per share of such Security for the 30 consecutive Trading Days immediately prior to such date; provided, however, that, in the event that the current per share market price of the Security is determined during a period following the announcement by the issuer of such Security of (A) a dividend or distribution on such Security payable in shares of such Security or Securities convertible into such shares, or (B) any subdivision, combination or reclassification of such Security and prior to the expiration of 30 Trading Days after the ex-dividend date for such dividend or distribution, or the record date for such subdivision, combination or reclassification, then, and in each such case, the current per share market price shall be appropriately adjusted to reflect the current market price per share equivalent of such Security. The closing price for each day shall be the last sale price, regular way, reported at or prior to 4:00 P.M. Eastern time or, in case no such sale takes place on such day, the average of the bid and asked prices, regular way, reported as of 4:00 P.M. Eastern time, in either case, as reported on the national securities exchange with respect to securities listed or admitted to trading on the NYSE or NASDAQ or, if the Security is not listed or admitted to trading on any national securities exchange, the last quoted price reported at or prior to 4:00 P.M. Eastern time or, if not so quoted, the average of the high bid and low asked prices in the over-the-counter market, as reported as of 4:00 P.M. Eastern time by the OTC Bulletin Board or such other system then in use, or, if on any such date the Security is not quoted by any such organization, the average of the closing bid and asked prices as furnished by a professional market maker making a market in the Security selected by the Board of Directors of the Company. The term “Trading Day” shall mean a day on which the principal national securities exchange on which the Security is listed or admitted to trading is open for the transaction of business, or, if the Security is not listed or admitted to trading on any national securities exchange, a Business Day.

(ii) For the purpose of any computation hereunder, the “current per share market price” of the Preferred Shares shall be determined in accordance with the method set forth in Section 11(d)(i). If the Preferred Shares are not publicly traded, the “current per share market price” of the Preferred Shares shall be conclusively deemed to be the current per share market price of the Common Shares as determined pursuant to Section 11(d)(i) hereof (appropriately adjusted to reflect any stock split, stock dividend or similar transaction occurring after the date hereof), multiplied by one hundred. If neither the Common Shares nor the Preferred Shares are publicly held or so listed or traded, “current per share market price” shall mean the fair value per share as determined in good faith by the Board of Directors of the Company, whose determination shall be described in a statement filed with the Rights Agent.

(e) No adjustment in the Purchase Price shall be required unless such adjustment would require an increase or decrease of at least 1% in the Purchase Price; provided, however, that any adjustments which by reason of this Section 11(e) are not required to be made shall be carried forward and taken into account in any subsequent adjustment. All calculations under this Section 11 shall be made to the nearest cent or to the nearest one one-

 

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millionth of a Preferred Share or one ten-thousandth of any other share or security as the case may be. Notwithstanding the first sentence of this Section 11(e), any adjustment required by this Section 11 shall be made no later than the earlier of (i) three years from the date of the transaction which requires such adjustment or (ii) the date of the expiration of the right to exercise any Rights.

(f) If, as a result of an adjustment made pursuant to Section 11(a) hereof, the holder of any Right thereafter exercised shall become entitled to receive any shares of capital stock of the Company other than Preferred Shares, thereafter the number of such other shares so receivable upon exercise of any Right shall be subject to adjustment from time to time in a manner and on terms as nearly equivalent as practicable to the provisions with respect to the Preferred Shares contained in Section 11(a) through (c) hereof, inclusive, and the provisions of Sections 7, 9 and 10 hereof with respect to the Preferred Shares shall apply on like terms to any such other shares.

(g) All Rights originally issued by the Company subsequent to any adjustment made to the Purchase Price hereunder shall evidence the right to purchase, at the adjusted Purchase Price, the number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share purchasable from time to time hereunder upon exercise of the Rights, all subject to further adjustment as provided herein.

(h) Unless the Company shall have exercised its election as provided in Section 11(i) hereof, upon each adjustment of the Purchase Price as a result of the calculations made in Sections 11(b) and (c) hereof, each Right outstanding immediately prior to the making of such adjustment shall thereafter evidence the right to purchase, at the adjusted Purchase Price, that number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share (calculated to the nearest one one-millionth of a Preferred Share) obtained by (A) multiplying (x) the number of one ten-thousandths of a share covered by a Right immediately prior to this adjustment by (y) the Purchase Price in effect immediately prior to such adjustment of the Purchase Price and (B) dividing the product so obtained by the Purchase Price in effect immediately after such adjustment of the Purchase Price.

(i) The Company may elect, on or after the date of any adjustment of the Purchase Price, to adjust the number of Rights in substitution for any adjustment in the number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share purchasable upon the exercise of a Right. Each of the Rights outstanding after such adjustment of the number of Rights shall be exercisable for the number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share for which a Right was exercisable immediately prior to such adjustment. Each Right held of record prior to such adjustment of the number of Rights shall become that number of Rights (calculated to the nearest one ten-thousandth) obtained by dividing the Purchase Price in effect immediately prior to adjustment of the Purchase Price by the Purchase Price in effect immediately after adjustment of the Purchase Price. The Company shall make a public announcement (with simultaneous written notice to the Rights Agent) of its election to adjust the number of Rights, indicating the record date for the adjustment, and, if known at the time, the amount of the adjustment to be made. This record date may be the date on which the Purchase Price is adjusted or any day thereafter, but, if the Right Certificates have been issued, shall be at least 10 days later than the date of the public announcement. If Right Certificates have been issued, upon each adjustment of the number of Rights pursuant to this Section 11(i), the Company shall, as promptly as practicable, cause to be distributed to holders of record of Right Certificates on such record date Right Certificates evidencing, subject to Section 14 hereof, the additional Rights to which such holders shall be entitled as a result of such adjustment, or, at the option of the Company, shall cause to be distributed to such holders of record in substitution and replacement for the Right Certificates held by such holders prior to the date of adjustment, and upon surrender thereof, if required by the Company, new Right Certificates evidencing all the Rights to which such holders shall be entitled after such adjustment. Right Certificates so to be distributed shall be issued, executed and countersigned in the manner provided for herein, and shall be registered in the names of the holders of record of Right Certificates on the record date specified in the public announcement.

(j) Irrespective of any adjustment or change in the Purchase Price or in the number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share issuable upon the exercise of the Rights, the Right Certificates theretofore and thereafter issued may continue to express the Purchase Price and the number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share which were expressed in the initial Right Certificates issued hereunder.

(k) Before taking any action that would cause an adjustment reducing the Purchase Price below one ten-thousandth of the then par value, if any, of the Preferred Shares issuable upon exercise of the Rights, the Company shall take any corporate action which may, in the opinion of its counsel, be necessary in order that the

 

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Company may validly and legally issue fully paid and nonassessable Preferred Shares at such adjusted Purchase Price.

(l) In any case in which this Section 11 shall require that an adjustment in the Purchase Price be made effective as of a record date for a specified event, the Company may elect to defer (with prompt written notice thereof to the Rights Agent; and until such written notice is received by the Rights Agent, the Rights Agent may presume conclusively that no such election has occurred) until the occurrence of such event the issuing to the holder of any Right exercised after such record date of the Preferred Shares and other capital stock or securities of the Company, if any, issuable upon such exercise over and above the Preferred Shares and other capital stock or securities of the Company, if any, issuable upon such exercise on the basis of the Purchase Price in effect prior to such adjustment; provided, however, that the Company shall deliver to such holder a due bill or other appropriate instrument evidencing such holder’s right to receive such additional shares upon the occurrence of the event requiring such adjustment.

(m) Anything in this Section 11 to the contrary notwithstanding, the Company shall be entitled to make such reductions in the Purchase Price, in addition to those adjustments expressly required by this Section 11, as and to the extent that it, in its sole discretion, shall determine to be advisable in order that any consolidation or subdivision of the Preferred Shares, issuance wholly for cash of any Preferred Shares at less than the current market price, issuance wholly for cash of Preferred Shares or securities which by their terms are convertible into or exchangeable for Preferred Shares, dividends on Preferred Shares payable in Preferred Shares or issuance of rights, options or warrants referred to in Section 11(b) hereof, hereafter made by the Company to holders of the Preferred Shares shall not be taxable to such stockholders.

(n) In the event that, at any time after the date of this Agreement and prior to the Distribution Date, the Company shall (i) declare or pay any dividend on the Common Shares payable in Common Shares, or (ii) effect a subdivision, combination or consolidation of the Common Shares (by reclassification or otherwise than by payment of dividends in Common Shares) into a greater or lesser number of Common Shares, then, in any such case, (A) the number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share purchasable after such event upon proper exercise of each Right shall be determined by multiplying the number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share so purchasable immediately prior to such event by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of Common Shares outstanding immediately before such event and the denominator of which is the number of Common Shares outstanding immediately after such event, and (B) each Common Share outstanding immediately after such event shall have issued with respect to it that number of Rights which each Common Share outstanding immediately prior to such event had issued with respect to it. The adjustments provided for in this Section 11(n) shall be made successively whenever such a dividend is declared or paid or such a subdivision, combination or consolidation is effected.

Section 12. Certificate of Adjusted Purchase Price or Number of Shares. Whenever an adjustment is made as provided in Section 11 hereof, the Company shall promptly (a) prepare a certificate setting forth such adjustment and a brief statement of the facts accounting for such adjustment, (b) file with the Rights Agent and with each transfer agent for the Common Shares or the Preferred Shares and the Securities and Exchange Commission a copy of such certificate and (c) if such adjustment occurs at any time after the Distribution Date, mail a brief summary thereof to each holder of a Right Certificate in accordance with Section 25 hereof. The Rights Agent is protected in relying on any such certificate and on any adjustments or statements therein contained and shall not be deemed to have knowledge of any such adjustment or event unless and until it shall have received such certificate.

Section 13. Reserved.

Section 14. Fractional Rights and Fractional Shares. (a) The Company shall not be required to issue fractions of Rights or to distribute Right Certificates which evidence fractional Rights. In lieu of such fractional Rights, there shall be paid to the registered holders of the Right Certificates with regard to which such fractional Rights would otherwise be issuable, an amount in cash equal to the same fraction of the current market value of a whole Right. For the purposes of this Section 14(a), the current market value of a whole Right shall be the closing price of the Rights for the Trading Day immediately prior to the date on which such fractional Rights would have been otherwise issuable. The closing price for any day shall be the last sale price, regular way, or, in case no such sale takes place on such day, the average of the closing bid and asked prices, regular way, in either case, as reported on the national securities exchange with respect to securities listed or admitted to trading on the NYSE or NASDAQ

 

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or, if the Rights are not listed or admitted to trading on any national securities exchange, the last quoted price or, if not so quoted, the average of the high bid and low asked prices in the over-the-counter market, as reported by the OTC Bulletin Board or such other system then in use or, if on any such date the Rights are not quoted by any such organization, the average of the closing bid and asked prices as furnished by a professional market maker making a market in the Rights selected by the Board of Directors of the Company. If on any such date no such market maker is making a market in the Rights, the fair value of the Rights on such date as determined in good faith by the Board of Directors of the Company shall be used.

(b) The Company shall not be required to issue fractions of Preferred Shares (other than fractions which are integral multiples of one ten-thousandth of a Preferred Share) upon exercise of the Rights or to distribute certificates which evidence fractional Preferred Shares (other than fractions which are integral multiples of one ten-thousandth of a Preferred Share). Fractions of Preferred Shares in integral multiples of one ten-thousandth of a Preferred Share may, at the election of the Company, be evidenced by depositary receipts, pursuant to an appropriate agreement between the Company and a depositary selected by it; provided that such agreement shall provide that the holders of such depositary receipts shall have all the rights, privileges and preferences to which they are entitled as beneficial owners of the Preferred Shares represented by such depositary receipts. In lieu of fractional Preferred Shares that are not integral multiples of one ten-thousandth of a Preferred Share, the Company shall pay to the registered holders of Right Certificates at the time such Rights are exercised as herein provided an amount in cash equal to the same fraction of the current market value of one Preferred Share. For the purposes of this Section 14(b), the current market value of a Preferred Share shall be the closing price of a Preferred Share (as determined pursuant to the second sentence of Section 11(d)(i) hereof) for the Trading Day immediately prior to the date of such exercise.

(c) Following the occurrence of one of the events specified in Section 11 hereof giving rise to the right to receive Common Shares or other securities upon the exercise of a Right, the Company will not be required to issue fractions of Common Shares or other securities upon exercise of the Rights or to distribute certificates which evidence fractional Common Shares or other securities. In lieu of fractional Common Shares or other securities, the Company may pay to the registered holders of Rights Certificates at the time such Rights are exercised as herein provided an amount in cash equal to the same fraction of the current market value of one share of a Common Share or other securities. For purposes of this Section 14(c), the current market value of one share of a Common Shares is the Closing Price of one share of a Common Share for the Trading Day immediately prior to the date of such exercise.

(d) The holder of a Right, by the acceptance of the Right, expressly waives such holder’s right to receive any fractional Rights or any fractional shares upon exercise of a Right (except as provided above).

(e) Whenever a payment for fractional Rights or fractional shares is to be made by the Rights Agent under this Agreement, the Company shall (i) promptly prepare and deliver to the Rights Agent a certificate setting forth in reasonable detail the facts related to such payments and the prices and formulas utilized in calculating such payments; and (ii) provide sufficient monies to the Rights Agent in the form of fully collected funds to make such payments. The Rights Agent shall be fully protected in relying upon such a certificate and has no duty with respect to, and will not be deemed to have knowledge of, any payment for fractional Rights or fractional shares under any Section of this Agreement relating to the payment of fractional Rights or fractional shares unless and until the Rights Agent has received such a certificate and sufficient monies.

Section 15. Rights of Action. All rights of action in respect of this Agreement, excepting the rights of action given to the Rights Agent hereunder, are vested in the respective registered holders of the Right Certificates (and, prior to the Distribution Date, the registered holders of the Common Shares); and any registered holder of any Right Certificate (or, prior to the Distribution Date, of the Common Shares), without the consent of the Rights Agent or of the holder of any other Right Certificate (or, prior to the Distribution Date, of the Common Shares), may, in such holder’s own behalf and for such holder’s own benefit, enforce, and may institute and maintain any suit, action or proceeding against the Company to enforce, or otherwise act in respect of, such holder’s right to exercise the Rights evidenced by such Right Certificate in the manner provided in such Right Certificate and in this Agreement. Without limiting the foregoing or any remedies available to the holders of Rights, it is specifically acknowledged that the holders of Rights would not have an adequate remedy at law for any breach of this Agreement by the Company will be entitled to specific performance of the obligations hereunder, and injunctive

 

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relief against actual or threatened violations by the Company of the obligations of any Person (including, without limitation, the Company) subject to, this Agreement.

Section 16. Agreement of Right Holders. Every holder of a Right, by accepting the same, consents and agrees with the Company and the Rights Agent and with every other holder of a Right that:

(a) prior to the Distribution Date, the Rights shall be evidenced by the balances indicated in the book entry account system of the transfer agent for the Common Shares registered in the names of the holders of Common Shares (which Common Shares shall also be deemed to represent certificates for Rights) or, in the case of certificated shares, the certificates for the Common Shares registered in the names of the holders of the Common Shares (which certificates for Common Shares also constitute certificates for Rights) and each Right is transferable only in connection with the transfer of the Common Shares;

(b) after the Distribution Date, the Right Certificates are transferable only on the registry books of the Rights Agent if surrendered at the office(s) of the Rights Agent designated for such purpose, duly endorsed or accompanied by a proper instrument of transfer and with the appropriate forms and certificates properly completed and duly executed, as determined in the sole discretion of the Rights Agent;

(c) the Company and the Rights Agent may deem and treat the person in whose name the Right Certificate (or, prior to the Distribution Date, the associated balance indicated in the book entry account system of the transfer agent for the Common Shares, or in the case of certificated shares, by the associated Common Shares certificate) is registered as the absolute owner thereof and of the Rights evidenced thereby (notwithstanding any notations of ownership or writing on the Right Certificate or the associated balance indicated in the book entry account system of the transfer agent for the Common Shares. or in the case of certificated shares, by the associated Common Shares certificate made by anyone other than the Company or the Rights Agent) for all purposes whatsoever, and neither the Company nor the Rights Agent shall be affected by any notice to the contrary; and

(d) notwithstanding anything in this Agreement to the contrary, neither the Company nor the Rights Agent has any liability to any holder of a Right or any other Person as a result of the inability of the Company or the Rights Agent to perform any of its or their obligations under this Agreement by reason of any preliminary or permanent injunction or other order, decree, judgment or ruling (whether interlocutory or final) issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or by a governmental, regulatory, self-regulatory or administrative agency or commission, or any statute, rule, regulation or executive order promulgated or enacted by any governmental authority, prohibiting or otherwise restraining performance of such obligation; provided, however, the Company shall use its commercially reasonable efforts to have any such injunction, order, decree, judgment or ruling lifted or otherwise overturned as promptly as practicable.

Section 17. Right Certificate Holder Not Deemed a Stockholder. No holder, as such, of any Right Certificate shall be entitled to vote, receive dividends or be deemed for any purpose the holder of the Preferred Shares or any other securities of the Company which may at any time be issuable on the exercise of the Rights represented thereby, nor shall anything contained herein or in any Right Certificate be construed to confer upon the holder of any Right Certificate, as such, any of the rights of a stockholder of the Company or any right to vote for the election of directors or upon any matter submitted to stockholders at any meeting thereof, or to give or withhold consent to any corporate action, or to receive notice of meetings or other actions affecting stockholders (except as provided in Section 25 hereof), or to receive dividends or subscription rights, or otherwise, until the Right or Rights evidenced by such Right Certificate shall have been exercised in accordance with the provisions hereof.

Section 18. Concerning the Rights Agent.

(a) The Company agrees to pay to the Rights Agent reasonable compensation for all services rendered by it hereunder and from time to time, on demand of the Rights Agent, to reimburse the Rights Agent for all of its reasonable and documented expenses and counsel fees and other disbursements incurred in the preparation, negotiation, delivery, amendment, administration and execution of this Agreement and the exercise and performance of its duties hereunder. The Company also agrees to indemnify the Rights Agent and its affiliates, employees, officers, directors, representatives and advisors for, and to hold it harmless against, any loss, liability, damage, demand, judgment, fine, penalty, claim, settlement, cost or expense (including the reasonable and documented fees

 

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and expenses of legal counsel) for any action taken, suffered or omitted to be taken by the Rights Agent pursuant to or arising from this Agreement or in connection with the acceptance, administration, exercise and performance of its duties under this Agreement, including the reasonable and documented costs and expenses of defending against any claim of liability arising therefrom, directly or indirectly. The reasonable costs and expenses incurred in enforcing this right of indemnification shall also be paid by the Company.

(b) The Rights Agent shall be authorized and protected and shall incur no liability for or in respect of any action taken, suffered or omitted to be taken by it in connection with its acceptance and administration of this Agreement and the exercise and performance of its duties hereunder in reliance upon any Rights Certificate or book entry for Common Shares or other securities of the Company, instrument of assignment or transfer, power of attorney, endorsement, affidavit, letter, notice, direction, consent, certificate, statements or other paper or document believed by it to be genuine and to be signed, executed and shall not be obligated to verify the accuracy or completeness of such instrument, power of attorney, endorsement, affidavit, letter, notice, direction, consent, certificate, statements or other paper or document and, where necessary, guaranteed, verified or acknowledged, by the proper Person or Persons, or upon any written instructions or statements from the Company with respect to any matter relating to its acting as Rights Agent hereunder without further inquiry or examination on its part, or otherwise upon the advice or opinion of counsel as set forth in Section 20(a) hereof. The Rights Agent shall not be deemed to have knowledge of any event of which it was supposed to receive notice thereof hereunder, and the Rights Agent shall be fully protected and shall incur no liability for failing to take action in connection therewith unless and until it has received such notice in writing.

(c) Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement to the contrary, in no case shall the Company be liable with respect to any action, proceeding, suit or claim against the Rights Agent unless the Rights Agent shall have notified the Company hereof of the assertion of such action, proceeding, suit or claim against the Rights Agent, promptly after the Rights Agent shall have notice of such assertion of an action, proceeding, suit or claim or have been served with the summons or other first legal process giving information as to the nature and basis of the action, proceeding, suit or claim; provided that the failure to provide such notice promptly shall not affect the rights of the Rights Agent hereunder and shall not relieve the Company of any liability to the Rights Agent, except to the extent that such failure actually prejudices the Company. The Company shall be entitled to participate at its own expense in the defense of any such action, proceeding, suit or claim, and, if the Company so elects, the Company shall assume the defense of any such action, proceeding, suit or claim, unless such action, proceeding, suit or claim is (a) brought by the Rights Agent or (b) the Rights Agent reasonably determines that there may be a conflict of interest between the Company and the Rights Agent in the defense of an action and the Rights Agent does in fact assume the defense. In the event that the Company assumes such defense, the Company shall not thereafter be liable for the fees and expenses of any counsel retained by the Rights Agent, so long as the Company shall retain counsel satisfactory to the Rights Agent, in the exercise of its reasonable judgment, to defend such action, proceeding, suit or claim, and provided that the Rights Agent does not have defenses that are adverse to or different from any defenses of the Company. The Rights Agent agrees not to settle any litigation in connection with any action, proceeding, suit or claim with respect to which it may seek indemnification from the Company without the prior written consent of the Company, which shall not be unreasonably withheld.

(d) The provisions of this Section 18 and Section 20 hereof shall survive the termination or expiration of this Agreement, the resignation, replacement or removal of the Rights Agent and the exercise, termination or expiration of the Rights. Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement to the contrary, in no event shall the Rights Agent be liable for special, punitive, incidental, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever (including but not limited to lost profits), even if the Rights Agent has been advised of the likelihood of such loss or damage and regardless of the form of the action; and the Company agrees to indemnify the Rights Agent and its affiliates, directors, employees, representatives and advisors and hold them harmless to the fullest extent permitted by law against any loss, liability or expense incurred as a result of claims for special, punitive, incidental, indirect or consequential loss or damages of any kind whatsoever. Any liability of the Rights Agent under this Agreement shall be limited to the amount of annual fees paid by the Company to the Rights Agent during the 12 months immediately preceding the event for which recovery from the Rights Agent is being sought.

Section 19. Merger or Consolidation or Change of Name of Rights Agent.

 

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(a) Any Person into which the Rights Agent or any successor Rights Agent is merged or with which the Rights Agent or any successor Rights Agent is consolidated, or any Person resulting from any merger or consolidation to which the Rights Agent or any successor Rights Agent is a party, or any Person succeeding to the corporate trust, stock transfer or other stockholder services business of the Rights Agent or any successor Rights Agent, shall be the successor to the Rights Agent under this Agreement without the execution or filing of any paper or any further act on the part of any of the parties hereto; but only if such Person would be eligible for appointment as a successor Rights Agent under the provisions of Section 21 hereof. The purchase of all or substantially all of the Rights Agent’s assets employed in the performance of transfer agent activities shall be deemed a merger or consolidation for purposes of this Section 19. In case at the time such successor Rights Agent shall succeed to the agency created by this Agreement, any of the Rights Certificates have been countersigned but not delivered, any such successor Rights Agent may adopt the countersignature of a predecessor Rights Agent and deliver such Rights Certificates so countersigned; and in case at that time any of the Rights Certificates have not been countersigned, any successor Rights Agent may countersign such Rights Certificates either in the name of the predecessor or in the name of the successor Rights Agent; and in all such cases such Rights Certificates shall have the full force provided in the Rights Certificates and in this Agreement.

(b) In case at any time the name of the Rights Agent shall be changed and at such time any of the Rights Certificates shall have been countersigned but not delivered, the Rights Agent may adopt the countersignature under its prior name and deliver Rights Certificates so countersigned; and in case at that time any of the Rights Certificates shall not have been countersigned, the Rights Agent may countersign such Rights Certificates either in its prior name or in its changed name; and in all such cases such Rights Certificates shall have the full force provided in the Rights Certificates and in this Agreement.

Section 20. Duties of Rights Agent. The Rights Agent undertakes the duties and obligations expressly imposed by this Agreement (and no implied duties or obligations) upon the following terms and conditions, by all of which the Company and the holders of Right Certificates, by their acceptance thereof, shall be bound:

(a) The Rights Agent may consult with legal counsel (who may be legal counsel for the Rights Agent or the Company or an employee of the Rights agent), and the advice or opinion of such counsel shall be full and complete authorization and protection to the Rights Agent, and the Rights Agent will have no liability for or in respect of, any action taken or omitted by it in good faith and in accordance with such opinion.

(b) Whenever in the performance of its duties under this Agreement the Rights Agent shall deem it necessary or desirable that any fact or matter be proved or established by the Company prior to taking or suffering any action hereunder, such fact or matter (unless other evidence in respect thereof be herein specifically prescribed) may be deemed to be conclusively proved and established by a certificate signed by any one of the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, the President, General Counsel, any Senior Vice President, the Treasurer or the Secretary of the Company and delivered to the Rights Agent; and such certificate shall be full authorization to the Rights Agent for any action taken or suffered in good faith by it under the provisions of this Agreement in reliance upon such certificate. The Rights Agent shall have no duty to act without such a certificate from an officer of the Company as set forth in the preceding sentence.

(c) The Rights Agent shall be liable hereunder to the Company and any other Person only for its own gross negligence, bad faith, or willful misconduct (which gross negligence, bad faith or willful misconduct must be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction in a final non-appealable order, judgment, decree or ruling). Anything to the contrary notwithstanding, in no event shall the Rights Agent be liable for special, punitive, indirect, consequential or incidental loss or damage of any kind whatsoever (including but not limited to lost profits), even if the Rights Agent has been advised of the likelihood of such loss or damage and regardless of the form of the action; and the Company agrees to indemnify the Rights Agent and its affiliates, directors, employees, representatives and advisors and to hold them harmless to the fullest extent permitted by law against any loss, liability or expense incurred as a result of claims for special, punitive, incidental, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever. Any liability of the Rights Agent under this Agreement will be limited to the amount of annual fees paid by the Company to the Rights Agent during the twelve (12) months immediately preceding the event for which recovery from the Rights Agent is being sought.

 

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(d) The Rights Agent shall not be liable for or by reason of any of the statements of fact or recitals contained in this Agreement or in the Right Certificates (except its countersignature thereof) or be required to verify the same, but all such statements and recitals are and shall be deemed to have been made by the Company only.

(e) The Rights Agent shall not have any liability nor be under any responsibility in respect of the validity of this Agreement or the execution and delivery hereof (except the due execution hereof by the Rights Agent) or in respect of the validity or execution of any Right Certificate (except its countersignature thereof); nor shall it be responsible for any breach by the Company of any covenant or condition contained in this Agreement or in any Right Certificate; nor shall it be responsible for any change in the exercisability of the Rights (including the Rights becoming void pursuant to Section 11(a)(ii) hereof) or any adjustment in the terms of the Rights (including the manner, method or amount thereof) provided for in Section 3, 11, 23 or 24 hereof, or the ascertaining of the existence of facts that would require any such change or adjustment (except with respect to the exercise of Rights evidenced by Right Certificates after actual notice that such change or adjustment is required); nor shall it by any act hereunder be deemed to make any representation or warranty as to the authorization or reservation of any Preferred Shares to be issued pursuant to this Agreement or any Right Certificate or as to whether any Preferred Shares will, when issued, be validly authorized and issued, fully paid and nonassessable.

(f) The Company agrees that it will perform, execute, acknowledge and deliver or cause to be performed, executed, acknowledged and delivered all such further and other acts, instruments and assurances as may reasonably be required by the Rights Agent for the carrying out or performing by the Rights Agent of the provisions of this Agreement.

(g) The Rights Agent is hereby authorized and directed to accept verbal or written instructions with respect to the performance of its duties hereunder from any one of the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, the President, General Counsel, any Senior Vice President, the Secretary or the Treasurer of the Company, and to apply to such officers for advice or instructions in connection with its duties, and such advice or instruction shall be full authorization and protection to the Rights Agent and the Rights Agent shall have no duty to independently verify the accuracy or completeness of such advice or such instructions and it shall not be liable for any action taken or suffered by it in good faith in accordance with instructions of any such officer or for any delay in acting while waiting for those instructions. The Rights Agent will not be held to have notice of any change of authority of any person until its receipt of written notice thereof from the Company in accordance with this Agreement. Any application by the Rights Agent for written instructions from the Company may, at the option of the Rights Agent, set forth in writing any action proposed to be taken or omitted to be taken by the Rights Agent under this Agreement and the date on and/or after which such action shall be taken or such omission shall be effective. The Rights Agent shall be fully authorized and protected in relying upon the most recent verbal or written instructions received from any such officer, and shall not be liable for any action taken, suffered or omitted to be taken by the Rights Agent in accordance with a proposal included in any such application on or after the date specified in such application (which date shall not be less than five (5) Business Days after the date any officer of the Company actually receives such application unless any such officer shall have consented in writing to an earlier date) unless, prior to taking any such action (or the effective date in the case of an omission), the Rights Agent shall have received written instructions in response to such application specifying the action to be taken, suffered or omitted to be taken.

(h) The Rights Agent and any stockholder, director, officer or employee of the Rights Agent may buy, sell or deal in any of the Rights or other securities of the Company or become pecuniarily interested in any transaction in which the Company may be interested, or contract with or lend money to the Company or otherwise act as fully and freely as though it were not Rights Agent under this Agreement. Nothing herein shall preclude the Rights Agent from acting in any other capacity for the Company or for any other legal entity.

(i) The Rights Agent may execute and exercise any of the rights or powers hereby vested in it or perform any duty hereunder either itself (through its directors, officers and/or employees) or by or through its attorneys or agents, and the Rights Agent shall not be liable for any act, omission, default, neglect or misconduct of any such attorneys or agents or for any loss to the Company, any holder of Rights or any other Person resulting from any such act, omission, default, neglect or misconduct, absent gross negligence, bad faith or willful misconduct

 

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(which gross negligence, bad faith or willful misconduct must be determined by a final, non-appealable order, judgment, decree or ruling of a court of competent jurisdiction) in the selection and continued employment thereof.

(j) No provision of this Agreement shall require the Rights Agent to expend or risk its own funds or otherwise incur any financial liability in the performance of any of its duties hereunder or in the exercise of any of its rights or powers if there are reasonable grounds for believing that repayment of such funds or adequate indemnification against such risk or liability is not reasonably assured to it.

(k) If, with respect to any Rights Certificate surrendered to the Rights Agent for exercise or transfer, either (i) the certificate attached to the form of assignment or form of election to purchase, as the case may be, has either not been completed or indicates an affirmative response to clause 1 and/or 2 thereof, or (ii) any other actual or suspected irregularity exists, the Rights Agent shall not take any further action with respect to such requested exercise or transfer without first consulting with the Company, and the Rights Agent shall not be liable for any delays arising from the duties under this Section 20(k).

(l) In the event that the Rights Agent reasonably believes any ambiguity or uncertainty exists hereunder or in any notice, instruction, direction, request or other communication, paper or document received by the Rights Agent hereunder, the Rights Agent shall, as soon as practicable, inform the Company or such Person seeking clarification and may, in its sole discretion, refrain from taking any action, and will be fully protected and will not be liable or responsible in any way to the Company or other Person or entity for refraining from taking such action, unless the Rights Agent receives written instructions signed by the Company which eliminates such ambiguity or uncertainty to the reasonable satisfaction of the Rights Agent.

(m) The Rights Agent shall have no responsibility to the Company, any holders of Rights or any holders of Common Shares for interest or earnings on any moneys held by the Rights Agent pursuant to this Agreement.

(n) The Rights Agent shall not be required to take notice or be deemed to have notice of any event or condition hereunder, including any event or condition that may require action by the Rights Agent, unless the Rights Agent shall be specifically notified in writing of such event or condition by the Company, and all notices or other instruments required by this Agreement to be delivered to the Rights Agent must, in order to be effective, be received by the Rights Agent, and in the absence of such notice so delivered, the Rights Agent may conclusively assume no such event or condition exists.

Section 21. Change of Rights Agent. The Rights Agent or any successor Rights Agent may resign and be discharged from its duties under this Agreement upon at least 30 days’ notice in writing to the Company in accordance with Section 26 hereof, and in the event that the Rights Agent or one of its Affiliates is not also the transfer agent for the Company, to each transfer agent of the Common Shares or Preferred Shares by first class mail or by recognized overnight delivery in which case the Company will give or cause to be given written notice to the holders of the Right Certificates by first-class mail. In the event the transfer agency relationship in effect between the Company and the Rights Agent terminates, the Rights Agent will be deemed to have resigned automatically and be discharged from its duties under this Agreement as of the effective date of such termination, and the Company shall be responsible for sending any required notice. The Company may remove the Rights Agent or any successor Rights Agent upon at least 30 days’ notice in writing, mailed to the Rights Agent or successor Rights Agent, as the case may be, and to each transfer agent of the Common Shares or Preferred Shares by registered or certified mail, and, if such removal occurs after the Distribution Date, to the holders of the Right Certificates by first-class mail. If the Rights Agent resigns or is removed or otherwise becomes incapable of acting, the Company shall appoint a successor to the Rights Agent. If the Company fails to make such appointment within a period of 30 days after giving notice of such removal or after it has been notified in writing of such resignation or incapacity by the resigning or incapacitated Rights Agent or by the holder of a Right Certificate (which holder shall, with such notice, submit such holder’s Right Certificate for inspection by the Company), then the registered holder of any Right Certificate may apply to any court of competent jurisdiction for the appointment of a new Rights Agent. Any successor Rights Agent, whether appointed by the Company or by such a court, shall be (a) a Person organized and doing business under the laws of the United States or of the any State , in good standing, which is authorized under such laws to exercise corporate trust, stock transfer, or stockholder services powers and is subject to supervision or examination by federal or state authority and which at the time of its appointment as Rights Agent has, along with its

 

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Affiliates, a combined capital and surplus of at least $50 million, or (b) an affiliate of a Person described in clause (a) of this sentence. After appointment, the successor Rights Agent shall be vested with the same powers, rights, duties and responsibilities as if it had been originally named as Rights Agent under this Agreement without further act or deed; but the predecessor Rights Agent shall deliver and transfer to the successor Rights Agent any property at the time held by it hereunder, and execute and deliver any further assurance, conveyance, act or deed necessary for the purpose, in each case at the sole expense of the Company. Not later than the effective date of any such appointment, the Company shall file notice thereof in writing with the predecessor Rights Agent and each transfer agent of the Common Shares or Preferred Shares, and mail a notice thereof in writing to the registered holders of the Right Certificates. Failure to give any notice provided for in this Section 21, however, or any defect therein, shall not affect the legality or validity of the resignation or removal of the Rights Agent or the appointment of the successor Rights Agent, as the case may be.

Section 22. Issuance of New Right Certificates. Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this Agreement or of the Rights to the contrary, the Company may, at its option, issue new Right Certificates evidencing Rights in such form as may be approved by the Board of Directors of the Company to reflect any adjustment or change made in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement in the Purchase Price and the number or kind or class of shares or other securities or property purchasable under the Right Certificates made in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement. In addition, in connection with the issuance or sale of Common Shares following the Distribution Date (other than upon exercise of a Right) and prior to the earlier of the Redemption Date, Early Expiration Date or Final Expiration Date, the Company (a) shall, with respect to Common Shares so issued or sold pursuant to the exercise of stock options or under any employee plan or arrangement, or upon the exercise, conversion or exchange of securities hereinafter issued by the Company, and (b) may, in any other case, if deemed necessary or appropriate by the Board, issue Rights Certificates representing the appropriate number of Rights in connection with such issuance or sale; provided, however, that (i) no such Rights Certificate may be issued if, and to the extent that, the Company, in its sole discretion, determines that such issuance would jeopardize or endanger the value or availability to the Company of the NOLs or otherwise create a significant risk of material adverse tax consequences to the Company or the Person to whom such Rights Certificate would be issued, and (ii) no such Rights Certificate may be issued if, and to the extent that, appropriate adjustment shall otherwise have been made in lieu of the issuance thereof.

Section 23. Redemption. (a) The Independent Directors may, at their option, at any time prior to the Distribution Date, redeem all but not less than all the then outstanding Rights at a redemption price of $0.0001 per Right, appropriately adjusted to reflect any stock split, stock dividend or similar transaction occurring after the date hereof (such redemption price being hereinafter referred to as the “Redemption Price”). The redemption of the Rights by the Independent Directors may be made effective at such time, on such basis and with such conditions as the Independent Directors, in their sole discretion, may establish.

(b) Immediately upon the action of the Independent Directors ordering the redemption of the Rights pursuant to paragraph (a) of this Section 23, and without any further action and without any notice, the right to exercise the Rights will terminate and the only right thereafter of the holders of Rights shall be to receive the Redemption Price. The Company shall promptly give (i) written notice to the Rights Agent of any such redemption (and until such written notice is received by the Rights Agent, the Rights Agent may presume conclusively that no such redemptions have occurred); and (ii) public notice of any such redemption; provided, however, that the failure to give, or any defect in, any such notice shall not affect the validity of such redemption. Within ten (10) days after such action of the Independent Directors ordering the redemption of the Rights, the Company shall mail a notice of redemption to all the holders of the then outstanding Rights at their last addresses as they appear upon the registry books of the Rights Agent or, prior to the Distribution Date, on the registry books of the transfer agent for the Common Shares. Any notice which is mailed in the manner herein provided shall be deemed given, whether or not the holder receives the notice. Each such notice of redemption will state the method by which the payment of the Redemption Price will be made. Neither the Company nor any of its Affiliates or Associates may redeem, acquire or purchase for value any Rights at any time in any manner other than that specifically set forth in this Section 23 or in Section 24 hereof, and other than in connection with the purchase of Common Shares prior to the Distribution Date.

Section 24. Exchange. (a) The Independent Directors may, at its option, at any time after any Person becomes an Acquiring Person, exchange all or part of the then outstanding and exercisable Rights (which shall not include Rights that have become void pursuant to the provisions of Section 11(a)(ii) hereof) for Common

 

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Shares at an exchange ratio of one Common Share per Right, appropriately adjusted to reflect any adjustment in the number of Rights pursuant to Section 11(i) (such exchange ratio being hereinafter referred to as the “Exchange Ratio”).

(b) Immediately upon the action of the Independent Directors ordering the exchange of any Rights pursuant to paragraph (a) of this Section 24 and without any further action and without any notice, the right to exercise such Rights shall terminate and the only right thereafter of a holder of such Rights shall be to receive that number of Common Shares equal to the number of such Rights held by such holder multiplied by the Exchange Ratio. The Company shall promptly give (i) written notice to the Rights Agent of any such exchange, and (ii) public notice of any such exchange; provided, however, that the failure to give, or any defect in, such notice shall not affect the validity of such exchange (and until such written notice is received by the Rights Agent, the Rights Agent may presume conclusively that no such exchange has occurred). The Company promptly shall mail a notice of any such exchange to all of the holders of such Rights at their last addresses as they appear upon the registry books of the Rights Agent. Any notice which is mailed in the manner herein provided shall be deemed given, whether or not the holder receives the notice. Each such notice of exchange will state the method by which the exchange of the Common Shares for Rights will be effected, and, in the event of any partial exchange, the number of Rights which will be exchanged. Any partial exchange shall be effected pro rata based on the number of Rights (other than Rights which have become void pursuant to the provisions of Section 11(a)(ii) hereof) held by each holder of Rights.

(c) In the event that there shall not be sufficient Common Shares issued but not outstanding or authorized but unissued to permit any exchange of Rights as contemplated in accordance with this Section 24, the Company shall take all such action as may be necessary to authorize additional Common Shares for issuance upon exchange of the Rights. In the event the Company shall, after good faith effort, be unable to take all such action as may be necessary to authorize such additional Common Shares, the Company shall substitute, for each Common Share that would otherwise be issuable upon exchange of a Right, a number of Preferred Shares or fraction thereof such that the current per share market price of one Preferred Share multiplied by such number or fraction is equal to the current per share market price of one Common Share as of the date of issuance of such Preferred Shares or fraction thereof.

(d) The Company shall not be required to issue fractions of Common Shares or to distribute certificates which evidence fractional Common Shares. In lieu of such fractional Common Shares, the Company shall pay to the registered holders of the Right Certificates with regard to which such fractional Common Shares would otherwise be issuable an amount in cash equal to the same fraction of the current market value of a whole Common Share. For the purposes of this paragraph (d), the current market value of a whole Common Share shall be the closing price of a Common Share (as determined pursuant to the second sentence of Section 11(d)(i) hereof) for the Trading Day immediately prior to the date of exchange pursuant to this Section 24.

Section 25. Notice of Certain Events. (a) In case the Company shall, at any time after the Distribution Date, propose (i) to pay any dividend payable in stock of any class to the holders of the Preferred Shares or to make any other distribution to the holders of the Preferred Shares (other than a regular quarterly cash dividend), (ii) to offer to the holders of the Preferred Shares rights or warrants to subscribe for or to purchase any additional Preferred Shares or shares of stock of any class or any other securities, rights or options, (iii) to effect any reclassification of the Preferred Shares (other than a reclassification involving only the subdivision of outstanding Preferred Shares), (iv) to effect any consolidation or merger into or with, or to effect any sale or other transfer (or to permit one or more of its Subsidiaries to effect any sale or other transfer), in one or more transactions, of 50% or more of the assets or earning power of the Company and its Subsidiaries (taken as a whole) to, any other Person, (v) to effect the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company, or (vi) to declare or pay any dividend on the Common Shares payable in Common Shares or to effect a subdivision, combination or consolidation of the Common Shares (by reclassification or otherwise than by payment of dividends in Common Shares), then, in each such case, the Company shall give to each holder of a Right Certificate, in accordance with Section 26 hereof, a notice of such proposed action, which shall specify the record date for the purposes of such stock dividend, or distribution of rights or warrants, or the date on which such reclassification, consolidation, merger, sale, transfer, liquidation, dissolution, or winding up is to take place and the date of participation therein by the holders of the Common Shares and/or Preferred Shares, if any such date is to be fixed, and such notice shall be so given in the case of any action covered by clause (i) or (ii) above at least 10 days prior to the record date for determining holders of the Preferred Shares for purposes of such action, and, in the case of any such other action, at least 10 days prior to

 

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the date of the taking of such proposed action or the date of participation therein by the holders of the Common Shares and/or Preferred Shares, whichever shall be the earlier.

(b) In case the event set forth in Section 11(a)(ii) hereof shall occur, then the Company shall, as soon as practicable thereafter, give to each holder of a Right Certificate, in accordance with Section 26 hereof, a notice of the occurrence of such event, which notice shall describe such event and the consequences of such event to holders of Rights under Section 11(a)(ii) hereof.

Section 26. Notices. Notices or demands authorized by this Agreement to be given or made by the Rights Agent or by the holder of any Right Certificate to or on the Company shall be sufficiently given or made if by electronic transmission or sent by first-class or express United States mail, or recognized overnight delivery, postage prepaid, addressed (until another address is filed in writing with the Rights Agent) as follows:

CenturyLink, Inc.

100 CenturyLink Drive

Monroe, LA 7121039

Attention: Company Secretary

Email:stacey.goff@centurylink.com

Subject to the provisions of Section 21 hereof, any notice or demand authorized by this Agreement to be given or made by the Company or by the holder of any Right Certificate to or on the Rights Agent shall be sufficiently given or made if by or sent by first-class mail or express United States mail, or recognized overnight delivery, postage prepaid, addressed (until another address is filed in writing with the Company) as follows:

Computershare Trust Company, N.A.

250 Royall Street

Canton, MA 02021

Attention: Client Services

Notices or demands authorized by this Agreement to be given or made by the Company or the Rights Agent to the holder of any Right Certificate shall be sufficiently given or made if sent by first-class mail, postage prepaid, addressed to such holder at the address of such holder as shown on the registry books of the Company.

Section 27. Supplements and Amendments. The Company may from time to time supplement or amend this Agreement without the approval of any holders of Right Certificates in order to cure any ambiguity, to correct or supplement any provision contained herein which may be defective or inconsistent with any other provisions herein, to shorten or lengthen any time period hereunder, or to amend or make any other provisions with respect to the Rights which the Company may deem necessary or desirable, any such supplement or amendment to be evidenced by a writing signed by the Company and the Rights Agent; provided, however, that, from and after the Distribution Date, this Agreement shall not be amended in any manner which would adversely affect the interests of the holders of Rights (other than an Acquiring Person or an Affiliate or Associate of an Acquiring Person). Upon the delivery of a certificate from an appropriate officer of the Company that states that the proposed supplement or amendment is in compliance with the terms of this Section 27, the Rights Agent shall execute such supplement or amendment; provided, however, that the Rights Agent may, but shall not be obligated to, enter into any supplement or amendment that affects the Rights Agent’s own rights, duties, obligations or immunities under this Agreement.

Section 28. Successors. All the covenants and provisions of this Agreement by or for the benefit of the Company or the Rights Agent shall bind and inure to the benefit of their respective successors and assigns hereunder.

Section 29. Benefits of this Agreement. Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to give to any Person other than the Company, the Rights Agent and the registered holders of the Right Certificates (and, prior to the Distribution Date, the Common Shares) any legal or equitable right, remedy or claim under this Agreement; but this Agreement shall be for the sole and exclusive benefit of the Company, the Rights Agent and the registered holders of the Right Certificates (and, prior to the Distribution Date, the Common Shares).

 

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Section 30. Severability. If any term, provision, covenant or restriction of this Agreement is held by a court of competent jurisdiction or other authority to be invalid, null and void or unenforceable, the remainder of the terms, provisions, covenants and restrictions of this Agreement will remain in full force and effect and will in no way be affected, impaired or invalidated; provided, however, that notwithstanding anything in this Agreement to the contrary, if any such term, provision, covenant or restriction is held by such court or authority to be invalid, null and void or unenforceable and the Board determines in good faith judgment that severing the invalid language from this Agreement would materially and adversely affect the purpose or effect of this Agreement, the right of redemption set forth in Section 23 hereof shall be reinstated and will not expire until the close of business on the tenth (10th) Business Day following the date of such determination by the Board; provided, further, that if any such severed term, provision, covenant or restriction shall adversely affect the rights, immunities, duties or obligations of the Rights Agent, then the Rights Agent shall be entitled to resign immediately.

Section 31. Governing Law. This Agreement, each Right, and each Right Certificate issued hereunder shall be deemed to be a contract made under the laws of the State of Delaware and for all purposes shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of such state applicable to contracts to be made and performed entirely within such state, except that the rights, duties and obligations of the Rights Agent shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York applicable to contracts to be made and performed entirely within such State.

Section 32. Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in one or more counterparts and each of such counterparts shall for all purposes be deemed to be an original, and all such counterparts shall together constitute but one and the same instrument. Delivery of an executed signature page of Agreement by facsimile or other customary shall mean of electronic transmission (e.g., “pdf”) shall be effective as delivery of a manually executed counterpart hereof.

Section 33. Descriptive Headings. Descriptive headings of the several Sections of this Agreement are inserted for convenience only and shall not control or affect in any way the meaning or construction of any of the provisions hereof.

Section 34. Determinations and Actions by the Independent Directors. For all purposes of this Agreement, any calculation of the number of Common Shares outstanding at any particular time, including for purposes of determining the particular percentage of such outstanding Common Shares of which any Person is the Beneficial Owner, will be made in accordance with, as the Independent Directors deems to be applicable, the last sentence of Rule 13d-3(d)(1)(i) of the General Rules and Regulations under the Exchange Act or the provisions of Section 382. The Independent Directors will have the exclusive power and authority to administer this Agreement and to exercise all rights and powers specifically granted to the Independent Directors or to the Company, or as may be necessary or advisable in the administration of this Agreement, including without limitation the right and power to (i) interpret the provisions of this Agreement (including without limitation Section 27, this Section 34 and other provisions hereof relating to its powers or authority hereunder) and (ii) make all determinations deemed necessary or advisable for the administration of this Agreement (including without limitation any determination contemplated by Section 1(a) or any determination as to whether particular Rights shall have become void). All such actions, calculations, interpretations and determinations (including, for purposes of clause (y) below, any omission with respect to any of the foregoing) which are done or made by the Independent Directors in good faith will (x) be final, conclusive and binding on the Company, the Rights Agent, the holders of the Rights and all other parties and (y) not subject any member of the Board to any liability to any Person, including without limitation the Rights Agent and the holders of the Rights.

Section 35. Process to Seek Exemption. Any Person who desires to effect any acquisition of Common Shares that would, if consummated, result in such Person (together with its Affiliates and Associates) beneficially own 4.9% or more of the then outstanding Common Shares (or, in the case of a person excluded from the definition of “Acquiring Person” in clause (1) of such definition, such applicable percentage) (a “Requesting Person”) may, prior to the Shares Acquisition Date, and in accordance with this Section 35, request that the Independent Directors grant an exemption with respect to such acquisition under this Agreement (an “Exemption Request”). An Exemption Request shall be in proper form and shall be delivered by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the Secretary of the Company at the principal executive office of the Company. To be in proper form, an Exemption Request shall set forth (a) the name and address of the Requesting Person, (b) the number and

 

23


percentage of Common Shares then Beneficially Owned by the Requesting Person, together with all Affiliates and Associates of the Requesting Person, (c) a reasonably detailed description of the transaction or transactions by which the Requesting Person would propose to acquire Beneficial Ownership of Common Shares aggregating 4.9% or more of the then outstanding Common Shares (or, in the case of a person excluded from the definition of “Acquiring Person” in clause (1) of such definition, such applicable percentage) and the maximum number and percentage of Common Shares that the Requesting Person proposes to acquire and (d) a reasonably detailed statement of the benefits such Requesting Person expects to be received the Company and the other stockholders of the Company were the exemption to be granted. The Independent Directors shall make a determination whether to grant an exemption in response to an Exemption Request as promptly as practicable (and, in any event, within ten Business Days) after receipt thereof; provided, that the failure of the Independent Directors to make a determination within such period shall be deemed to constitute the denial by the Independent Directors of the Exemption Request. The Independent Directors may deny an Exemption Request if the Independent Directors determine, in their sole discretion, that the acquisition of Beneficial Ownership of Common Shares by the Requesting Person could jeopardize or endanger the availability to the Company of the NOLs or for whatever other reason they deem reasonable, desirable or appropriate. Any exemption granted hereunder may be granted in whole or in part, and may be subject to limitations or conditions (including a requirement that the Requesting Person agree that it will not acquire Beneficial Ownership of Common Shares in excess of the maximum number and percentage of shares approved by the Independent Directors or that it will not make another Exemption Request), in each case as and to the extent the Independent Directors shall determine necessary, desirable or appropriate.

Section 36. Tax Compliance and Withholding. The Company hereby authorizes the Rights Agent to deduct from all payments disbursed by the Rights Agent to the holders of the Rights, if applicable, the tax required to be withheld pursuant to Sections 1441, 1442, 1445, 1471 through 1474, and 3406 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or by any federal or state statutes subsequently enacted, and to make the necessary returns and payments of such tax to the relevant taxing authority. The Company will provide withholding and reporting instructions to the Rights Agent from time to time as relevant, and upon request of the Rights Agent. The Rights Agent shall have no responsibilities with respect to tax withholding, reporting, or payment except as specifically instructed by the Company.

Section 37. Force Majeure. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, the Rights Agent will not have any liability for not performing, or a delay in the performance of, any act, duty, obligation or responsibility by reason of any occurrence beyond the reasonable control of the Rights Agent (including, without limitation, any act or provision of any present or future law or regulation or governmental authority, any act of God, war, civil or military disobedience or disorder, riot, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, fire, earthquake, storm, flood, strike, work stoppage, interruptions or malfunctions of computer facilities, loss of data due to power failures or mechanical difficulties with information, labor dispute, accident or failure or malfunction of any utilities, communication or computer (software or hardware) services or similar occurrence).

[Remainder of this page intentionally left blank.]

 

24


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this Agreement to be duly executed and attested, all as of the day and year first above written.

 

CenturyLink, Inc.
By  

/s/ Stacey W. Goff

  Name:   Stacey W. Goff
  Title:   Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Computershare Trust Company, N.A.
By  

/s/ Fred Papenmeier

  Name:   Fred Papenmeier
  Title:   Vice President

[Signature Page to Section 382 Rights Agreement]


Exhibit A

ARTICLES OF AMENDMENT

to the

ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

of

CENTURYLINK, INC.

(Pursuant to Sections 1--602, 1005(8) and 1006 of the

Louisiana Business Corporation Act)

These articles of amendment (“Articles of Amendment”) to the articles of incorporation (“Articles of Incorporation”) of CENTURYLINK, INC., a Louisiana business corporation (“Corporation”), have been prepared for filing with the Secretary of State of Louisiana pursuant to Sections 12:1-602, 1005(8) and 1006 of the Louisiana Business Corporation Act (the “Act”), R.S. 12:1-101 et seq., to set forth the following:

FIRST: At a meeting duly called and held on February 13, 2019, the Board of Directors of the Corporation unanimously approved and adopted the following amendment of the Articles of Incorporation of the Corporation, as set forth below. Shareholder approval was not required for this amendment.

SECOND: ARTICLE III of the Articles of Incorporation of the Corporation is hereby amended to add Section F, Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Shares. The text of this amendment is as follows:

F. Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Shares:

(1) Designation and Amount. The shares of such series shall be designated as “Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Shares” (the “Series CC Shares”) and the number of shares constituting the Series CC Shares shall be 150,000. Such number of shares may be increased or decreased by resolution of the Board of Directors; provided, that no decrease shall reduce the number of Series CC Shares to a number less than the number of shares then outstanding plus the number of shares reserved for issuance upon the exercise of outstanding options, rights or warrants or upon the conversion of any outstanding securities issued by the Corporation convertible into Series CC Shares.

(2) Dividends and Distributions.

(a) Subject to the rights of the holders of any shares of any series of Preferred Stock (or any similar stock) ranking prior and superior to the Series CC Shares with respect to dividends, the holders of Series CC Shares shall be entitled to receive, when, as and if declared by the Board of Directors out of funds legally available for the purpose, quarterly dividends payable in cash on the dividend date declared on the Common Stock, par value $1.00 per share (the “Common Stock”) in each year (each such date being referred to herein as a “Quarterly Dividend Payment Date”), commencing on the first Quarterly Dividend Payment Date after the first issuance of a share or fraction of a share of Series CC Shares, in an amount per share (rounded to the nearest cent), subject to the provision for adjustment hereinafter set forth, equal to 10,000 times the aggregate per share amount of all cash dividends, and 10,000 times the aggregate per share amount (payable in kind) of all non-cash dividends or other distributions, declared on the Common Stock of the Corporation since the immediately preceding Quarterly Dividend Payment Date or, with respect to the first Quarterly Dividend Payment Date, since the first issuance of any share or fraction of a share of Series CC Shares, other than, in each case, a dividend payable in shares of Common Stock or a subdivision of the outstanding shares of Common Stock (by reclassification or otherwise). In the event the Corporation shall at any time declare or pay any dividend on the Common Stock payable in shares of Common Stock, or effect a subdivision or combination or consolidation of the outstanding shares of Common Stock (by reclassification or otherwise than by payment of a dividend in shares of Common Stock) into a greater or lesser number of shares of Common Stock, then in each such case the amount to which holders of Series CC Shares were entitled immediately prior to such event under the preceding sentence shall be adjusted by multiplying such amount by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock outstanding

 

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immediately after such event and the denominator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock that were outstanding immediately prior to such event.

(b) The Corporation shall declare a dividend or distribution on the Series CC Shares as provided in paragraph (a) of this Section immediately after it declares a dividend or distribution on the Common Stock (other than a dividend payable in shares of Common Stock).

(c) Dividends, to the extent payable as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Section, shall begin to accrue and be cumulative on outstanding Series CC Shares from the Quarterly Dividend Payment Date next preceding the date of issue of such shares, unless the date of issue of such shares is prior to the record date for the first Quarterly Dividend Payment Date, in which case dividends on such shares shall begin to accrue from the date of issue of such shares, or unless the date of issue is a Quarterly Dividend Payment Date or is a date after the record date for the determination of holders of Series CC Shares entitled to receive a quarterly dividend and before such Quarterly Dividend Payment Date, in either of which events such dividends shall begin to accrue and be cumulative from such Quarterly Dividend Payment Date. Accrued but unpaid dividends shall not bear interest. Dividends paid on the Series CC Shares in an amount less than the total amount of such dividends at the time accrued and payable on such shares shall be allocated pro rata on a share-by-share basis among all such shares at the time outstanding. The Board of Directors may fix a record date for the determination of holders of Series CC Shares entitled to receive payment of a dividend or distribution declared thereon, which record date shall be not more than 60 days prior to the date fixed for the payment thereof.

(3) Voting Rights. The holders of Series CC Shares shall have the following voting rights:

(a) Subject to the provision for adjustment hereinafter set forth, each share of Series CC Shares shall entitle the holder thereof to 10,000 votes on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders of the Corporation. In the event the Corporation shall at any time declare or pay any dividend on the Common Stock payable in shares of Common Stock, or effect a subdivision or combination or consolidation of the outstanding shares of Common Stock (by reclassification or otherwise than by payment of a dividend in shares of Common Stock) into a greater or lesser number of shares of Common Stock, then in each such case the number of votes per share to which holders of Series CC Shares were entitled immediately prior to such event shall be adjusted by multiplying such number by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock outstanding immediately after such event and the denominator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock that were outstanding immediately prior to such event.

(b) Except as otherwise provided herein, in any other articles of amendment creating a series of Preferred Stock or any similar stock, or by law, the holders of Series CC Shares and the holders of shares of Common Stock and any other capital stock of the Corporation having general voting rights shall vote together as one class on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders of the Corporation.

(c) Except as set forth herein, or as otherwise provided by law, holders of Series CC Shares shall have no special voting rights and their consent shall not be required (except to the extent they are entitled to vote with holders of Common Stock as set forth herein) for taking any corporate action.

(4) Certain Restrictions.

(a) Whenever quarterly dividends or other dividends or distributions payable on the Series CC Shares as provided in Article III.F.(2) are in arrears, thereafter and until all accrued and unpaid dividends and distributions, whether or not declared, on Series CC Shares outstanding shall have been paid in full, the Corporation shall not:

(i) declare or pay dividends, or make any other distributions, on any shares of stock ranking junior (either as to dividends or upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up) to the Series CC Shares;

(ii) declare or pay dividends, or make any other distributions, on any shares of stock ranking on a parity (either as to dividends or upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up) with the Series

 

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CC Shares, except dividends paid ratably on the Series CC Shares and all such parity stock on which dividends are payable or in arrears in proportion to the total amounts to which the holders of all such shares are then entitled;

(iii) redeem or purchase or otherwise acquire for consideration shares of any stock ranking junior (either as to dividends or upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up) to the Series CC Shares, provided that the Corporation may at any time redeem, purchase or otherwise acquire shares of any such junior stock in exchange for shares of any stock of the Corporation ranking junior (either as to dividends or upon dissolution, liquidation or winding up) to the Series CC Shares; or

(iv) redeem or purchase or otherwise acquire for consideration any Series CC Shares, or any shares of stock ranking on a parity with the Series CC Shares, except in accordance with a purchase offer made in writing or by publication (as determined by the Board of Directors) to all holders of such shares upon such terms as the Board of Directors, after consideration of the respective annual dividend rates and other relative rights and preferences of the respective series and classes, shall determine in good faith will result in fair and equitable treatment among the respective series or classes.

(b) The Corporation shall not permit any subsidiary of the Corporation to purchase or otherwise acquire for consideration any shares of stock of the Corporation unless the Corporation could, under paragraph (a) of this Articles III.F.(4), purchase or otherwise acquire such shares at such time and in such manner.

(5) Reacquired Shares. Any Series CC Shares purchased or otherwise acquired by the Corporation in any manner whatsoever shall be retired and cancelled promptly after the acquisition thereof. All such shares shall upon their cancellation become authorized but unissued shares of Preferred Stock and may be reissued as part of a new series of Preferred Stock subject to the conditions and restrictions on issuance set forth herein, in the Articles of Incorporation, or in any other Articles of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation creating a series of Preferred Stock or any similar stock or as otherwise required by law.

(6) Liquidation, Dissolution or Winding Up. Upon any liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Corporation, no distribution shall be made (1) to the holders of shares of stock ranking junior (either as to dividends or upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up) to the Series CC Shares unless, prior thereto, the holders of Series CC Shares shall have received $10,000 per share, plus an amount equal to accrued and unpaid dividends and distributions thereon, whether or not declared, to the date of such payment, provided that the holders of Series CC Shares shall be entitled to receive an aggregate amount per share, subject to the provision for adjustment hereinafter set forth, equal to 10,000 times the aggregate amount to be distributed per share to holders of shares of Common Stock, or (2) to the holders of shares of stock ranking on a parity (either as to dividends or upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up) with the Series CC Shares, except distributions made ratably on the Series CC Shares and all such parity stock in proportion to the total amounts to which the holders of all such shares are entitled upon such liquidation, dissolution or winding up. In the event the Corporation shall at any time declare or pay any dividend on the Common Stock payable in shares of Common Stock, or effect a subdivision or combination or consolidation of the outstanding shares of Common Stock (by reclassification or otherwise than by payment of a dividend in shares of Common Stock) into a greater or lesser number of shares of Common Stock, then in each such case the aggregate amount to which holders of Series CC Shares were entitled immediately prior to such event under the proviso in clause (1) of the preceding sentence shall be adjusted by multiplying such amount by a fraction the numerator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock outstanding immediately after such event and the denominator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock that were outstanding immediately prior to such event.

(7) Consolidation, Merger, etc. In case the Corporation shall enter into any consolidation, merger, combination or other transaction in which the shares of Common Stock are exchanged for or changed into other stock or securities, cash and/or any other property, then in any such case each share of Series CC Shares shall at the same time be similarly exchanged or changed into an amount per share, subject to the provision for adjustment hereinafter set forth, equal to 10,000 times the aggregate amount of stock, securities, cash and/or any other property (payable in kind), as the case may be, into which or for which each share of Common Stock is changed or exchanged. In the event the Corporation shall at any time declare or pay any dividend on the Common Stock payable in shares of Common Stock, or effect a subdivision or combination or consolidation of the outstanding shares of Common Stock (by

 

A-3


reclassification or otherwise than by payment of a dividend in shares of Common Stock) into a greater or lesser number of shares of Common Stock, then in each such case the amount set forth in the preceding sentence with respect to the exchange or change of Series CC Shares shall be adjusted by multiplying such amount by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock outstanding immediately after such event and the denominator of which is the number of shares of Common Stock that were outstanding immediately prior to such event.

(8) No Redemption. The Series CC Shares shall not be redeemable.

(9) Rank. The Series CC Shares shall rank, with respect to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets, junior to all series of any other class of the Corporation’s Preferred Stock.

(10) Amendment. The Articles of Incorporation of the Corporation shall not be amended in any manner which would materially alter or change the powers, preferences or special rights of the Series CC Shares so as to affect them adversely without the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding Series CC Shares, voting together as a single class.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, CenturyLink, Inc. has caused this Articles of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation relating to the establishment of rights and preferences of Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Stock to be duly executed by its President this 13th day of February, 2019.

 

CenturyLink, Inc.
By:  

 

  Name: Jeffrey K. Storey
  Title: Chief Executive Officer and President

 

A-4


Exhibit B

Form of Right Certificate

 

Certificate No. R-

   Rights

NOT EXERCISABLE AFTER THE FINAL EXPIRATION DATE (AS DEFINED IN THE AGREEMENT) OR EARLIER IF REDEMPTION OR EXCHANGE OCCURS OR AS OTHER-WISE SPECIFIED IN THE AGREEMENT. THE RIGHTS ARE SUBJECT TO REDEMPTION AT $0.0001 PER RIGHT AND TO EXCHANGE ON THE TERMS SET FORTH IN THE AGREEMENT.

Right Certificate

CENTURYLINK, INC.

This certifies that             , or registered assigns, is the registered owner of the number of Rights set forth above, each of which entitles the owner thereof, subject to the terms, provisions and conditions of the Section 382 Rights Agreement, dated as of February 13, 2019 (the “Agreement”), between CenturyLink, Inc., a Louisiana corporation (the “Company”), and Computershare Trust Company, N.A. (the “Rights Agent”), to purchase from the Company at any time after the Distribution Date (as such term is defined in the Agreement) and prior to the Final Expiration Date (as such term is defined in the Agreement) or earlier as specified in the Agreement, at the office or offices of the Rights Agent designated for such purpose, or at the office of its successor as Rights Agent, one ten-thousandth of a fully paid non-assessable share of Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Stock, par value $25 per share, of the Company (the “Preferred Shares”), at a purchase price of $28 per one ten-thousandth of a Preferred Share (the “Exercise Price”), upon presentation and surrender of this Right Certificate with the Form of Election to Purchase duly executed. The number of Rights evidenced by this Right Certificate (and the number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share which may be purchased upon exercise hereof) set forth above, and the Exercise Price set forth above, are the number and Exercise Price as of February 13, 2019, based on the Preferred Shares as constituted at such date. As provided in the Agreement, the Exercise Price and the number of one ten-thousandths of a Preferred Share which may be purchased upon the exercise of the Rights evidenced by this Right Certificate are subject to modification and adjustment upon the happening of certain events.

This Right Certificate is subject to all of the terms, provisions and conditions of the Agreement, which terms, provisions and conditions are hereby incorporated herein by reference and made a part hereof and to which Agreement reference is hereby made for a full description of the rights, limitations of rights, obligations, duties and immunities hereunder of the Rights Agent, the Company and the holders of the Right Certificates. Copies of the Agreement are on file at the principal executive offices of the Company and the offices of the Rights Agent.

This Right Certificate, with or without other Right Certificates, upon surrender at the office or offices of the Rights Agent designated for such purpose, may be exchanged for another Right Certificate or Right Certificates of like tenor and date evidencing Rights entitling the holder to purchase a like aggregate number of Preferred Shares as the Rights evidenced by the Right Certificate or Right Certificates surrendered shall have entitled such holder to purchase. If this Right Certificate shall be exercised in part, the holder shall be entitled to receive upon surrender hereof another Right Certificate or Right Certificates for the number of whole Rights not exercised.

Subject to the provisions of the Agreement, the Rights evidenced by this Right Certificate (i) may be redeemed by the Company at a redemption price of $0.0001 per Right or (ii) may be exchanged in whole or in part for Preferred Shares or shares of the Company’s Common Stock, par value $1.00 per share.

No fractional Preferred Shares will be issued upon the exercise of any Right or Rights evidenced hereby (other than fractions which are integral multiples of one ten-thousandth of a Preferred Share, which may, at the election of the Company, be evidenced by depositary receipts), but, in lieu thereof, a cash payment will be made, as provided in the Agreement.

 

B-1


No holder of this Right Certificate shall be entitled to vote or receive dividends or be deemed for any purpose the holder of the Preferred Shares or of any other securities of the Company which may at any time be issuable on the exercise hereof, nor shall anything contained in the Agreement or herein be construed to confer upon the holder hereof, as such, any of the rights of a stockholder of the Company or any right to vote for the election of directors or upon any matter submitted to stockholders at any meeting thereof, or to give or withhold consent to any corporate action, or to receive notice of meetings or other actions affecting stockholders (except as provided in the Agreement), or to receive dividends or subscription rights, or otherwise, until the Right or Rights evidenced by this Right Certificate shall have been exercised as provided in the Agreement.

This Right Certificate shall not be valid or obligatory for any purpose until it shall have been countersigned manually or by facsimile by the Rights Agent.

WITNESS the signature of the proper officers of the Company. Dated as of             , 20     .

 

ATTEST:     CENTURYLINK, INC.
By  

 

    By  

 

  Name:       Name:  
  Title:       Title:  
  Countersigned:        
COMPUTERSHARE TRUST COMPANY, N.A.        
By  

 

       
  Name:        
  Title:        

 

B-2


Form of Reverse Side of Right Certificate

FORM OF ASSIGNMENT

(To be executed by the registered holder if such

holder desires to transfer the Right Certificate.)

FOR VALUE RECEIVED                             hereby sells, assigns and transfers

unto

(Please print name and address of transferee)

                                                                                                      this Right Certificate, together with all right, title and interest therein, and does hereby irrevocably constitute and appoint                                 Attorney, to transfer the within Right Certificate on the books of the within-named Company, with full power of substitution.

 

Dated:

 

 

 

Signature

 

Signature Medallion Guaranteed:

All Guarantees must be made by a financial institution (such as a bank or broker) which is a participant in the Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program (“STAMP”), the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. Medallion Signature Program (“MSP”), or the Stock Exchanges Medallion Program (“SEMP”) and must not be dated. Guarantees by a notary public are not acceptable.

The undersigned hereby certifies that the Rights evidenced by this Right Certificate are not beneficially owned by an Acquiring Person or an Affiliate or Associate thereof (as defined in the Agreement).

 

 

Signature

 

B-3


FORM OF ELECTION TO PURCHASE

(To be executed if holder desires to exercise

Rights represented by the Right Certificate.)

To: CENTURYLINK, INC.

The undersigned hereby irrevocably elects to exercise                              Rights represented by this Right Certificate to purchase the Preferred Shares issuable upon the exercise of such Rights and requests that certificates for such Preferred Shares be issued in the name of:

Please insert social security

or other identifying number

(Print name and address)

If such number of Rights shall not be all the Rights evidenced by this Right Certificate, a new Right Certificate for the balance remaining of such Rights shall be registered in the name of and delivered to:

Please insert social security

or other identifying number

(Print name and address)

 

Dated:

 

 

 

Signature

 

Signature Medallion Guaranteed:

All Guarantees must be made by a financial institution (such as a bank or broker) which is a participant in the Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program (“STAMP”), the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. Medallion Signature Program (“MSP”), or the Stock Exchanges Medallion Program (“SEMP”) and must not be dated. Guarantees by a notary public are not acceptable.

 

B-4


The undersigned hereby certifies that the Rights evidenced by this Right Certificate are not beneficially owned by an Acquiring Person or an Affiliate or Associate thereof (as defined in the Agreement).

 

 

Signature

NOTICE

The signature in the Form of Assignment or Form of Election to Purchase, as the case may be, must conform to the name as written upon the face of this Right Certificate in every particular, without alteration or enlargement or any change whatsoever.

In the event the certification set forth above in the Form of Assignment or the Form of Election to Purchase, as the case may be, is not completed, the Company and the Rights Agent will deem the beneficial owner of the Rights evidenced by this Right Certificate to be an Acquiring Person or an Affiliate or Associate thereof (as defined in the Agreement) and such Assignment or Election to Purchase will not be honored.

 

B-5


Exhibit C

SUMMARY OF RIGHTS TO PURCHASE

PREFERRED SHARES

Introduction

Our Company, CenturyLink, Inc., a Louisiana corporation, has entered into a Rights Agreement with Computershare Trust Company, N.A., as Rights Agent, dated as of February 13, 2019 (the “Rights Agreement”). Our Board of Directors (the “Board”) approved the Rights Agreement in an effort to deter acquisitions of our common stock that would potentially limit our ability to use our built in losses and any resulting net loss carryforwards to reduce potential future federal income tax obligations.

For those interested in the specific terms of the Rights Agreement, we provide the following summary description. Please note, however, that this description is only a summary, and is not complete, and should be read together with the entire Rights Agreement, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as an exhibit to our Current Report on Form 8-K, dated February 14, 2019. A copy of the agreement is available free of charge from our Company.

General. Under the Rights Agreement, from and after the record date of February 25, 2019, each share of our common stock will carry with it one preferred share purchase right (a “Right”), until the Distribution Date (as defined below) or earlier expiration of the Rights, as described below. In general, any person that, together with all Affiliates and Associates (each as defined in the Rights Agreement), acquires 4.9% or more of our outstanding common stock after February 13, 2019, or entry into the Rights Agreement, will be subject to significant potential dilution. Stockholders who own 4.9% or more of the outstanding common stock as of the close of business on February 13, 2019, will not trigger the Rights so long as they do not (i) acquire additional shares of common stock representing one-half of one percent (0.5%) or more of the shares of common stock outstanding at the time of such acquisition or (ii) fall under 4.9% ownership of common stock and then re-acquire shares that in the aggregate equal 4.9% or more of the common stock. A person will not trigger the Rights solely as a result of any transaction that the Board determines, in its sole discretion, is an exempt transaction for purposes of triggering the Rights. STT Crossing Ltd. and its Affiliates and Associates will be exempt stockholders for the purposes of the Rights Agreement, unless and until STT Crossing Ltd. (or any Affiliates of STT Crossing Ltd.) acquires any common stock other than (x) in a transaction that is permitted under Section 4 of the Stockholder Rights Agreement, dated as of October 31, 2016, by and among the Company and STT Crossing Ltd. (the “Stockholder Rights Agreement”) or (y) any transfers of common stock or other Company equity interests between STT Crossing Ltd. and its Affiliates. A person to whom STT Crossing Ltd. transfers any amount of common stock pursuant to and as permitted by Section 4.2 of the Stockholder Rights Agreement will be exempt for purposes of the Rights Agreement, unless and until such person (or any Affiliates or Associates of such person) acquires any additional common stock.

The Board may, in its sole discretion prior to the Distribution Date, exempt any person or group for purposes of the Rights Agreement if it determines the acquisition by such person or group will not jeopardize tax benefits or is otherwise in the Company’s best interests. Any person that acquires shares of common stock in violation of these limitations is known as an “Acquiring Person.” Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Person shall not be an “Acquiring Person” if the Independent Directors determines at any time that a Person who would otherwise be an “Acquiring Person,” has become such without intending to become an “Acquiring Person,” and such Person divests as promptly as practicable (or within such period of time as the Independent Directors determine is reasonable) a sufficient number of shares of Common Stock of the Company so that such Person would no longer be an “Acquiring Person,” as defined pursuant to The Rights Agreement is not expected to interfere with any merger or other business combination approved by our Board.

The Rights. From the record date of February 25, 2019, until the Distribution Date or earlier expiration of the Rights, the Rights will trade with, and will be inseparable from, the common stock. New Rights will also accompany any new shares of common stock that we issue after February 13, 2019, until the Distribution Date or earlier expiration of the Rights.

 

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Exercise Price. Each Right will allow its holder to purchase from our Company one ten-thousandth of a share of Series CC Junior Participating Preferred Stock (“Preferred Share”) for $28, subject to adjustment (the “Exercise Price”), once the Rights become exercisable. This fraction of a Preferred Share will give the stockholder approximately the same dividend, voting, and liquidation rights as would one share of common stock. Prior to exercise, the Right does not give its holder any dividend, voting, or liquidation rights.

Exercisability. The Rights will not be exercisable until 10 business days (as may be extended in the discretion of the Independent Directors) after the public announcement that a person or group has become an Acquiring Person unless the Rights Agreement is theretofore terminated or the Rights are theretofore redeemed (as described below).

We refer to the date when the Rights become exercisable as the “Distribution Date.” Until that date or earlier expiration of the Rights, the common stock certificates will also evidence the Rights, and any transfer of shares of common stock will constitute a transfer of Rights. After that date, the Rights will separate from the common stock and be evidenced by book-entry credits or by Rights certificates that we will mail to all eligible holders of common stock. Any Rights held by an Acquiring Person, or any Affiliates or Associates of the Acquiring Person, are void and may not be exercised.

Consequences of a Person or Group Becoming an Acquiring Person. If a person or group becomes an Acquiring Person, all holders of Rights except the Acquiring Person, or any Affiliates or Associates of the Acquiring Person, may, upon payment of the Exercise Price, purchase shares of our common stock with a market value of twice the Exercise Price, based on the “current per share market price” of the common stock (as defined in the Rights Agreement) on the date of the acquisition that resulted in such person or group becoming an Acquiring Person.

Exchange. After a person or group becomes an Acquiring Person, our Independent Directors in their sole discretion may extinguish the Rights by exchanging one share of common stock or an equivalent security for each Right, other than Rights held by the Acquiring Person or any Affiliates or Associates of the Acquiring Person.

Preferred Share Provisions. Each one ten-thousandth of a Preferred Share, if issued:

 

   

will not be redeemable.

 

   

will entitle holders to dividends equal to the dividends, if any, paid on one share of common stock.

 

   

will entitle holders upon liquidation either to receive $1.00 per share or an amount equal to the payment made on one share of common stock, whichever is greater.

 

   

will vote together with the common stock as one class on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders of the Company and will have the same voting power as one share of common stock, except as otherwise provided by law.

 

   

will entitle holders to a per share payment equal to the payment made on one share of common stock, if shares of our common stock are exchanged via merger, consolidation, or a similar transaction.

The value of one ten-thousandth interest in a Preferred Share is expected to approximate the value of one share of common stock.

Expiration. The Rights will expire on the earliest of (i) December 1, 2020, (ii) the time at which the Rights are redeemed, (iii) the time at which the Rights are exchanged, (iv) the time at which the Board determines that the Net Operating Losses of the Company (the “NOLs”) are utilized in all material respects or that an ownership change under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code would not adversely impact in any material respect the time period in which the Company could use the NOLs, or materially impair the amount of the NOLs that could be used by the Company in any particular time period, for applicable tax purposes, (v) the first anniversary of the execution of the Rights Plan if approval of the Rights Plan by the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast at a duly called meeting has not been obtained prior to such date, or (vi) a determination by the Board, prior to the Distribution Date, that the Rights Agreement and the Rights are no longer in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders.

 

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Redemption. Our Board may redeem the Rights for $0.0001 per Right at any time before the Distribution Date. If our Board redeems any Rights, it must redeem all of the Rights. Once the Rights are redeemed, the only right of the holders of Rights will be to receive the redemption price of $0.0001 per Right. The redemption price will be adjusted if we have a stock split or stock dividends of our common stock.

Anti-Dilution Provisions. Our Board may adjust the Exercise Price, the number of Preferred Shares issuable and the number of outstanding Rights to prevent dilution that may occur from a stock dividend, a stock split, or a reclassification of the Preferred Shares or common stock.

Amendments. The terms of the Rights Agreement may be amended by our Board without the consent of the holders of the Rights. After the Distribution Date, our Board may not amend the agreement in a way that adversely affects holders of the Rights (other than an Acquiring Person, or an Affiliate or Associate of an Acquiring Person).

 

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Section 4: EX-99.1 (EX-99.1)

EX-99.1

Exhibit 99.1

CenturyLink Adopts Plan Designed to Protect NOLs

MONROE, La., Feb. 13, 2019 — CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) announced today that its Board of Directors has adopted a Section 382 Rights Agreement (NOL Rights Plan). The NOL Rights Plan is designed to protect CenturyLink’s net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) available under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code. At Dec. 31, 2018, CenturyLink had $7.3 billion of NOLs available for use to offset CenturyLink’s future federal taxable income.

CenturyLink’s ability to use its NOLs would be substantially limited if CenturyLink experienced an “ownership change” as defined under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code. In general, an ownership change would occur if CenturyLink’s shareholders who are deemed to be owners of 5 percent or more of its shares under Section 382 collectively increase their aggregate ownership of CenturyLink’s shares by more than 50 percent (measured over a three-year period beginning with the completion of the Level 3 transaction on Nov. 1, 2017). To protect CenturyLink’s NOLs from being limited or permanently lost under Section 382, the NOL Rights Plan seeks to deter trading that would result in an ownership change and to protect CenturyLink’s ability to use its NOLs in the future, in order to prevent the reduction in stockholder value that would result from any loss of the NOLs. The NOL Rights Plan has not been adopted as an anti-takeover measure.

Under the NOL Rights Plan, one right will be distributed for each share of CenturyLink’s common stock outstanding as of the close of business on Feb. 25, 2019, and will trade with the common stock until the rights expire or detach as noted below. The distribution of the rights is not taxable to shareholders, and shareholders are not required to take any action to receive the rights. The NOL Rights Plan will have a limited term and the rights will expire upon the earliest of (1) Dec. 1, 2020; (2) the first anniversary of adoption of the NOL Rights Plan if shareholder approval is not obtained by that date; (3) the determination by CenturyLink’s independent directors that the NOLs have been fully utilized or that an ownership change under IRC Section 382 would not materially adversely affect CenturyLink’s ability to use the NOLs in certain specified manners; or (4) certain other events described in the NOL Rights Plan, including if the CenturyLink’s independent directors determine that expiration of the plan is in the company’s best interest.

If at any time after the Board’s adoption of the NOL Rights Plan a person or group obtains beneficial ownership of 4.9 percent or more of CenturyLink’s common stock outstanding at the time of such acquisition, or an existing holder with greater than 4.9 percent ownership acquires additional shares representing at least an additional 0.5 percent of CenturyLink’s common stock outstanding at the time of such acquisition, there would be a triggering event causing significant dilution in the economic and voting interests of that person or group. CenturyLink’s independent directors have the discretion to exempt any person or group for purposes of the NOL Rights Plan if they determine the acquisition by that person or group will not jeopardize tax benefits or is otherwise in the company’s best interests.

Additional information regarding the NOL Rights Plan will be contained in a Form 8-K and a Registration Statement on Form 8-A to be filed by CenturyLink with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About CenturyLink

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is the second largest U.S. communications provider to global enterprise customers. With customers in more than 60 countries and an intense focus on the customer experience, CenturyLink strives to be the world’s best networking company by solving customers’ increased demand for reliable and secure connections. The company also serves as its customers’ trusted partner, helping them manage increased network and IT complexity and providing managed network and cyber security solutions that help protect their business.

Forward-Looking Statements

Except for historical and factual information, the matters set forth in this release identified by words such as “expects,” “believes,” “will” and similar expressions are forward-looking statements as defined by the federal securities laws, and are subject to the “safe harbor” protections thereunder. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results and are based on current expectations only, and are subject to uncertainties, including the completion of documentation of the above-described arrangements. Actual events and results may differ materially from those anticipated by us in those statements. We may change our intentions or plans discussed in our forward-looking statements without notice at any time and for any reason.

 

Media Contact:

D. Nikki Wheeler

Nikki.Wheeler@CenturyLink.com

+1 720-888-0560    

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