Incentive Plan

S&w Seed Company 2009 Equity Incentive Plan

by S&W Seed Company
January 29th, 2010

EXHIBIT 10.1

 

S&W SEED COMPANY
2009 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN

 

S&W Seed Company (the “Company”), a Delaware corporation, hereby establishes and adopts the following 2009 Equity Incentive Plan (the “Plan”).

 

1.             PURPOSE OF THE PLAN

 

The purpose of the Plan is to assist the Company and its Subsidiaries in attracting and retaining selected individuals to serve as employees, directors, consultants and/or advisors who are expected to contribute to the Company’s success and to achieve long-term objectives that will benefit stockholders of the Company through the additional incentives inherent in the Awards hereunder.

 

2.             DEFINITIONS

 

2.1.         Award” shall mean any Option, Stock Appreciation Right, Restricted Stock Award, Restricted Stock Unit Award, Other Share-Based Award, Performance Award or any other right, interest or option relating to Shares or other property (including cash) granted pursuant to the provisions of the Plan.

 

2.2.         Award Agreement” shall mean any agreement, contract or other instrument or document evidencing any Award hereunder, whether in writing or through an electronic medium.

 

2.3.         Board” shall mean the board of directors of the Company.

 

2.4.         Code” shall mean the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended from time to time.

 

2.5.         Committee” shall mean the Compensation Committee of the Board or a subcommittee thereof formed by the Compensation Committee to act as the Committee hereunder. The Committee shall consist of no fewer than two Directors, each of whom is (i) a “Non-Employee Director” within the meaning of Rule 16b-3 under the Exchange Act, (ii) an “outside director” within the meaning of Section 162(m) of the Code, and (iii) an “independent director” for purpose of the rules of the applicable stock market or exchange on which the Shares are quoted or traded, to the extent required by such rules. The Board may designate one or more Directors as alternate members of the Committee who may replace any absent or disqualified member at any meeting of the Committee.

 

2.6.         Consultant” shall mean any consultant or advisor who is a natural person and who provides services to the Company or any Subsidiary, so long as such person (i) renders bona fide services that are not in connection with the offer and sale of the Company’s securities in a capital-raising transaction and (ii) does not directly or indirectly promote or maintain a market for the Company’s securities.

 

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2.7.         Covered Employee” shall mean an employee of the Company or its Subsidiaries who is a “covered employee” within the meaning of Section 162(m) of the Code.

 

2.8.         Director” shall mean a non-employee member of the Board.

 

2.9.         Dividend Equivalents” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 11.4.

 

2.10.       Employee” shall mean any employee of the Company or any Subsidiary and any prospective employee conditioned upon, and effective not earlier than, such person becoming an employee of the Company or any Subsidiary.

 

2.11.       Exchange Act” shall mean the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

 

2.12.       Fair Market Value” shall mean, with respect to Shares as of any date, (i) the closing sale price of the Shares reported as having occurred on the principal U.S. national securities exchange on which the Shares are listed and traded on such date, or, if there is no such sale on that date, then on the last preceding date on which such a sale was reported; (ii) if the Shares are not listed on any U.S. national securities exchange but are quoted in an inter-dealer quotation system on a last sale basis, the final ask price of the Shares reported on such date, or, if there is no such sale on such date, then on the last preceding date on which a sale was reported; or (iii) if the Shares are not listed on a U.S. national securities exchange nor quoted on an inter-dealer quotation system on a last sale basis, the amount determined by the Committee to be the fair market value of the Shares as determined by the Committee in its sole discretion. The Fair Market Value of any property other than Shares shall mean the market value of such property determined by such methods or procedures as shall be established from time to time by the Committee.

 

2.13.       “Incentive Stock Option” shall mean an Option which when granted is intended to qualify as an incentive stock option for purposes of Section 422 of the Code.

 

2.14.       Limitations” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.1(g). \

 

2.15.       Option” shall mean any right granted to a Participant under the Plan allowing such Participant to purchase Shares at such price or prices and during such period or periods as the Committee shall determine.

 

2.16.       Other Share-Based Award” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 8.1.

 

2.17.       Participant” shall mean an Employee, Director or Consultant who is selected by the Committee to receive an Award under the Plan.

 

2.18.       Payee” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 12.2.

 

2.19.       Performance Award” shall mean any Award of Performance Cash, Performance Shares or Performance Units granted pursuant to Article 9.

 

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2.20.       “Performance Cash” shall mean any cash incentives granted pursuant to Article 9 payable to the Participant upon the achievement of such performance goals as the Committee shall establish.

 

2.21.       Performance Period” shall mean the period established by the Committee during which any performance goals specified by the Committee with respect to a Performance Award are to be measured.

 

2.22.       Performance Share” shall mean any grant pursuant to Article 9 of a unit valued by reference to a designated number of Shares, which value will be paid to the Participant upon achievement of such performance goals as the Committee shall establish.

 

2.23. Performance Unit” shall mean any grant pursuant to Article 9 of a unit valued by reference to a designated amount of cash or property other than Shares, which value will be paid to the Participant upon achievement of such performance goals during the Performance Period as the Committee shall establish.

 

2.24.       Permitted Assignee” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 11.2.

 

2.25.       Restricted Stock” shall mean any Share issued with the restriction that the holder may not sell, transfer, pledge or assign such Share and with such other restrictions as the Committee, in its sole discretion, may impose, which restrictions may lapse separately or in combination at such time or times, in installments or otherwise, as the Committee may deem appropriate.

 

2.26.       Restricted Stock Award” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 7.1.

 

2.27        “Restricted Stock Unit” means an Award that is valued by reference to a Share, which value may be paid to the Participant by delivery of such property as the Committee shall determine, which restrictions may lapse separately or in combination at such time or times, in installments or otherwise, as the Committee may deem appropriate.

 

2.28        “Restricted Stock Unit Award” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 7.1

 

2.29.       Shares” shall mean the shares of common stock of the Company, par value $0.001 per share.

 

2.30.       Stock Appreciation Right” shall mean the right granted to a Participant pursuant to Article 6.

 

2.31. Subsidiary” shall mean any corporation (other than the Company) in an unbroken chain of corporations beginning with the Company if, at the relevant time each of the corporations other than the last corporation in the unbroken chain owns stock possessing 50% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock in one of the other corporations in the chain.

 

2.32.       Substitute Awards” shall mean Awards granted or Shares issued by the Company in assumption of, or in substitution or exchange for, awards previously granted, or the right or

 

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obligation to make future awards, in each case by a company acquired by the Company or any Subsidiary or with which the Company or any Subsidiary combines.

 

2.34.       Vesting Period” shall mean the period of time specified by the Committee during which vesting restrictions for an Award are applicable.

 

3.             SHARES SUBJECT TO THE PLAN

 

3.1          Number of Shares.

 

(a)       Subject to adjustment as provided in Section 3.1(e), a total of 750,000 Shares shall be authorized for issuance under the Plan.

 

(b)       If any Shares subject to an Award are forfeited, an Award expires or otherwise terminates without issuance of Shares, or an Award is settled for cash (in whole or in part) or otherwise does not result in the issuance of all or a portion of the Shares subject to such Award (including on payment in Shares on exercise of a Stock Appreciation Right), such Shares shall, to the extent of such forfeiture, expiration, termination, cash settlement or non-issuance, again be available for issuance under the Plan.

 

(c)       In the event that (i) any Option or other Award granted hereunder is exercised through the tendering of Shares (either actually or by attestation) or by the withholding of Shares by the Company, or (ii) withholding tax liabilities arising from such Option or other Award are satisfied by the tendering of Shares (either actually or by attestation) or by the withholding of Shares by the Company, then the Shares so tendered or withheld shall be available for issuance under the Plan.

 

(d)       Substitute Awards shall not reduce the Shares authorized for grant under the Plan or the applicable Limitations for grant to a Participant under Section 10.5, nor shall Shares subject to a Substitute Award again be available for Awards under the Plan to the extent of any forfeiture, expiration or cash settlement as provided in paragraph (b) or (c) above. Additionally, in the event that a company acquired by the Company or any Subsidiary or with which the Company or any Subsidiary combines has shares available under a pre-existing plan approved by stockholders and not adopted in contemplation of such acquisition or combination, the shares available for grant pursuant to the terms of such pre-existing plan (as adjusted, to the extent appropriate, using the exchange ratio or other adjustment or valuation ratio or formula used in such acquisition or combination to determine the consideration payable to the holders of common stock of the entities party to such acquisition or combination) may be used for Awards under the Plan and shall not reduce the Shares authorized for grant under the Plan; provided that Awards using such available shares shall not be made after the date awards or grants could have been made under the terms of the pre-existing plan, absent the acquisition or combination, and shall only be made to individuals who were not Employees or Directors prior to such acquisition or combination.

 

(e)       In the event of any merger, reorganization, consolidation, recapitalization, dividend or distribution (whether in cash, shares or other property, other than a regular cash dividend), stock split (including a stock split in the form of a stock dividend), reverse stock split, spin-off or similar transaction or other change in corporate structure affecting the Shares or the

 

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value thereof, such adjustments and other substitutions shall be made to the Plan and to Awards as the Committee deems equitable or appropriate taking into consideration the accounting and tax consequences, including such adjustments in the aggregate number, class and kind of securities that may be delivered under the Plan, the Limitations, the maximum number of Shares that may be issued pursuant to Incentive Stock Options and, in the aggregate or to any one Participant, in the number, class, kind and option or exercise price of securities subject to outstanding Awards granted under the Plan (including, if the Committee deems appropriate, the substitution of similar options to purchase the shares of, or other awards denominated in the shares of, another company) as the Committee may determine to be appropriate; provided, however, that the number of Shares subject to any Award shall always be a whole number.

 

(f)        The Committee may grant Incentive Stock Options to any employee of the Company or any present or future Parent or Subsidiary as defined in Sections 424(e) or (f) of the Code, and any other entities the employees of which are eligible to receive Incentive Stock Options under the Code, and shall be subject to and shall be construed consistently with the requirements of Section 422 of the Code. The Company shall have no liability to a Participant, or any other party, if an Option (or any part thereof) that is intended to be an Incentive Stock Option is not an Incentive Stock Option or for any action taken by the Board, including without limitation the conversion of an Incentive Stock Option to a Nonstatutory Stock Option.

 

3.2.         Source of Shares. Any Shares issued hereunder may consist, in whole or in part, of authorized and unissued shares, treasury shares or shares purchased in the open market or otherwise.

 

4.             ELIGIBILITY AND ADMINISTRATION

 

4.1.         Eligibility. Any Employee, Director or Consultant shall be eligible to be selected as a Participant. The Committee may grant Substitute Awards to holders of equity awards issued by a company acquired by the Company or with which the Company combines.

 

4.2.         Administration.

 

(a)       The Plan shall be administered by the Committee. The Committee shall have full power and authority, subject to the provisions of the Plan and subject to such orders or resolutions not inconsistent with the provisions of the Plan as may from time to time be adopted by the Board, to: (i) select the Employees, Directors or Consultants to whom Awards may from time to time be granted hereunder; (ii) determine the type or types of Awards to be granted to each Participant hereunder; (iii) determine the number of Shares to be covered by each Award granted hereunder; (iv) determine the terms and conditions, not inconsistent with the provisions of the Plan, of any Award granted hereunder; (v) determine whether, to what extent and under what circumstances Awards may be settled in cash, Shares or other property; (vi) determine whether, to what extent, and under what circumstances cash, Shares, other property and other amounts payable with respect to an Award made under the Plan shall be deferred either automatically or at the election of the Participant; (vii) determine whether, to what extent and under what circumstances any Award shall be canceled or suspended; (viii) interpret and administer the Plan and any instrument or agreement entered into under or in connection with the Plan, including any Award Agreement; (ix) correct any defect, supply any omission or reconcile any inconsistency in the Plan or any Award in the manner and to the extent that the Committee

 

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shall deem desirable to carry it into effect; (x) establish, amend, suspend or waive such rules and regulations and appoint such agents as it shall deem appropriate for the proper administration of the Plan; (xi) determine whether any Award will have Dividend Equivalents; and (xii) make any other determination and take any other action that the Committee deems necessary or desirable for administration of the Plan.

 

(b)       Decisions of the Committee shall be final, conclusive and binding on all persons or entities, including the Company, any Participant, and any Subsidiary. A majority of the members of the Committee may determine its actions, including fixing the time and place of its meetings. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any action or determination by the Committee specifically affecting or relating to an Award or to a Director shall require the prior approval of the Board.

 

(c)       To the extent not inconsistent with applicable law, including Section 162(m) of the Code, or the rules and regulations of the principal U.S. national securities exchange on which the Shares are traded, if any, the Committee may delegate to (i) a committee of one or more directors of the Company any of the authority of the Committee under the Plan, including the right to grant, cancel or suspend Awards and (ii) to the extent permitted by law, to one or more executive officers or a committee of executive officers the right to grant Awards to Employees who are not Directors or executive officers of the Company and the authority to take action on behalf of the Committee pursuant to the Plan to cancel or suspend Awards to Employees who are not Directors or executive officers of the Company.

 

5.             OPTIONS

 

5.1.         Grant of Options. Options may be granted hereunder to Participants either alone or in addition to other Awards granted under the Plan. Any Option shall be subject to the terms and conditions of this Article and to such additional terms and conditions, not inconsistent with the provisions of the Plan, as the Committee shall deem desirable. Options may be designated as Incentive Stock Options, as determined by the Committee.

 

5.2.         Award Agreements. All Options shall be evidenced by a written Award Agreement in such form and containing such terms and conditions as the Committee shall determine which are not inconsistent with the provisions of the Plan. The terms of Options need not be the same with respect to each Participant. Granting an Option pursuant to the Plan shall impose no obligation on the recipient to exercise such Option. Any individual who is granted an Option pursuant to this Article may hold more than one Option granted pursuant to the Plan at the same time.

 

5.3.         Option Price. Other than in connection with Substitute Awards, the option price per each Share purchasable under any Option granted pursuant to this Article shall not be less than 100% of the Fair Market Value of one Share on the date of grant of such Option; provided, however, that in the case of an Incentive Stock Option granted to a Participant who, at the time of the grant, owns stock representing more than 10% of the voting power of all classes of stock of the Company or any Subsidiary, the option price per share Shall be no less than 110% of the Fair Market Value of one Share on the date of grant. Other than pursuant to Section 3.1(e) and other than in connection with the grant of a Substitute Award, the Committee shall not without the approval of the Company’s stockholders (a) lower the option price per Share of an Option after it

 

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is granted, (b) cancel an Option when the option price per Share exceeds the Fair Market Value of the underlying Shares in exchange for cash or another Award, and (c) take any other action with respect to an Option that would be treated as a repricing under the rules and regulations of the principal securities exchange on which the Shares are traded, if any.

 

5.4.         Option Term. The term of each Option shall be fixed by the Committee in its sole discretion; provided that no Option shall be exercisable after the expiration of 10 years from the date the Option is granted, except in the event of death or disability (other than with respect to an Incentive Stock Option); provided, however, that the term of the Option shall not exceed five years from the date the Option is granted in the case of an Incentive Stock Option granted to a Participant who, at the time of the grant, owns stock representing more than 10% of the voting power of all classes of stock of the Company or any Subsidiary.

 

5.5.         Exercise of Options.

 

(a)       Vested Options granted under the Plan shall be exercised by the Participant or by a Permitted Assignee (as defined in Section 11.2) thereof (or by the Participant’s executors, administrators, guardian or legal representative, as may be provided in an Award Agreement) as to all or part of the Shares covered thereby, by giving notice of exercise to the Company or its designated agent, specifying the number of Shares to be purchased. The notice of exercise shall be in such form, made in such manner, and in compliance with such other requirements consistent with the provisions of the Plan as the Committee may prescribe from time to time

 

(b)       Full payment of the exercise price of an Option shall be made at the time of exercise and shall be made (i) in cash or cash equivalents (including certified check or bank check or wire transfer of immediately available funds), (ii) by tendering previously acquired Shares (either actually or by attestation, valued at their then Fair Market Value), (iii) by delivery of other consideration having a Fair Market Value on the exercise date equal to the total purchase price, (iv) by withholding Shares otherwise issuable in connection with the exercise of the Option, (v) through any other method specified in an Award Agreement (including same-day sales through a broker), or (vi) any combination of any of the foregoing, as may be provided in the Award Agreement. The notice of exercise, accompanied by such payment, shall be delivered to the Company at its principal business office or such other office as the Committee may from time to time direct, and shall be in such form, containing such further provisions consistent with the provisions of the Plan, as the Committee may from time to time prescribe. In no event may any Option granted hereunder be exercised for a fraction of a Share.

 

5.6.         Form of Settlement. In its sole discretion, the Committee may provide that the Shares to be issued upon an Option’s exercise shall be in the form of Restricted Stock or other similar securities.

 

6.             STOCK APPRECIATION RIGHTS

 

6.1.         Grant and Exercise. The Committee may provide Stock Appreciation Rights (a) in tandem with all or part of any Option granted under the Plan or at any subsequent time during the term of such Option, (b) in tandem with all or part of any Award (other than an Option) granted under the Plan or at any subsequent time during the term of such Award, or

 

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(c) without regard to any Option or other Award in each case upon such terms and conditions as the Committee may establish in its sole discretion.

 

6.2.         Terms and Conditions. Stock Appreciation Rights shall be subject to such terms and conditions, not inconsistent with the provisions of the Plan, as shall be determined from time to time by the Committee, including the following:

 

(a)       Upon the exercise of a Stock Appreciation Right, the holder shall have the right to receive the excess of (i) the Fair Market Value of one Share on the date of exercise (or such amount less than such Fair Market Value as the Committee shall so determine at any time during a specified period before the date of exercise) over (ii) the grant price of the Stock Appreciation Right on the date of grant, which, except in the case of Substitute Awards or in connection with an adjustment provided in Section 3.1(e), shall not be less than the Fair Market Value of one Share on such date of grant of the Stock Appreciation Right.

 

(b)       The Committee shall determine in its sole discretion whether payment of a Stock Appreciation Right shall be made in cash, in whole Shares or other property, or any combination thereof.

 

(c)       The provisions of Stock Appreciation Rights need not be the same with respect to each recipient.

 

(d)       The Committee may impose such other conditions or restrictions on the terms of exercise and the grant price of any Stock Appreciation Right, as it shall deem appropriate. A Stock Appreciation Right shall have (i) a grant price not less than 100% of the Fair Market Value of one Share on the date of grant (subject to the requirements of Section 409A of the Code with respect to a Stock Appreciation Right granted in tandem with, but subsequent to, an Option), and (ii) a term not greater than 10 years except in the event of death or disability (other than with respect to a Stock Appreciation Right granted in tandem with an Incentive Stock Option).

 

(e)       An Award Agreement may provide that if on the last day of the term of a Stock Appreciation Right the Fair Market Value of one Share exceeds the grant price per Share of the Stock Appreciation Right, the Participant has not exercised the Stock Appreciation Right or the tandem Option (if applicable) and neither the Stock Appreciation Right nor the Option has expired, the Stock Appreciation Right shall be deemed to have been exercised by the Participant on such day. In such event the Company shall make payment to the Participant in accordance with this Section, reduced by the number of Shares (or cash) required for withholding taxes; any fractional Share shall be settled in cash.

 

(f)        Without the approval of the Company’s stockholders, other than pursuant to Section 3.1(e) and other than in connection with the grant of a Substitute Award, the Committee shall not (i) reduce the grant price of any Stock Appreciation Right after the date of grant (ii) cancel any Stock Appreciation Right when the grant price per Share exceeds the Fair Market Value of the underlying Shares in exchange for cash or another Award, and (iii) take any other action with respect to a Stock Appreciation Right that would be treated as a repricing under the rules and regulations of the principal securities exchange on which the Shares are traded.

 

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7.             RESTRICTED STOCK AND RESTRICTED STOCK UNITS

 

7.1.         Grants. Awards of Restricted Stock and of Restricted Stock Units may be issued hereunder to Participants either alone or in addition to other Awards granted under the Plan (a “Restricted Stock Award” or “Restricted Stock Unit Award” respectively), and such Restricted Stock Awards and Restricted Stock Unit Awards shall also be available as a form of payment of Performance Awards and other earned cash-based incentive compensation. The Committee has absolute discretion to determine whether any consideration (other than services) is to be received by the Company or any Subsidiary as a condition precedent to the issuance of Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units.

 

7.2.         Award Agreements. The terms of any Restricted Stock Award or Restricted Stock Unit Award granted under the Plan shall be set forth in an Award Agreement which shall contain provisions determined by the Committee and not inconsistent with the Plan. The terms of Restricted Stock Awards and Restricted Stock Unit Awards need not be the same with respect to each Participant

 

7.3.         Rights of Holders of Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units. Unless otherwise provided in the Award Agreement, beginning on the date of grant of the Restricted Stock Award and subject to execution of the Award Agreement, the Participant shall become a stockholder of the Company with respect to all Shares subject to the Award Agreement and shall have all of the rights of a stockholder, including the right to vote such Shares and the right to receive distributions made with respect to such Shares. A Participant receiving a Restricted Stock Unit Award shall not possess voting rights with respect to such Award. Except as otherwise provided in an Award Agreement any Shares or any other property (other than cash) distributed as a dividend or otherwise with respect to any Restricted Stock Award or Restricted Stock Unit Award as to which the restrictions have not yet lapsed shall be subject to the same restrictions as such Restricted Stock Award or Restricted Stock Unit Award. The Committee may provide in an Award Agreement that an Award of Restricted Stock is conditioned upon the Participant making or refraining from making an election with respect to the Award under Section 83(b) of the Code. If a Participant makes an election pursuant to 83(b) of the Code with respect to an Award of Restricted Stock, the Participant shall be required to file promptly a copy of such election with the Company.

 

7.4          Issuance of Shares. Any Restricted Stock granted under the Plan may be evidenced in such manner as the Board may deem appropriate, including book-entry registration or issuance of a stock certificate or certificates, which certificate or certificates shall be held by the Company. Such certificate or certificates shall be registered in the name of the Participant and shall bear an appropriate legend referring to the restrictions applicable to such Restricted Stock.

 

8.             OTHER SHARE-BASED AWARDS

 

8.1.         Grants. Other Awards of Shares and other Awards that are valued in whole or in part by reference to, or are otherwise based on, Shares or other property (“Other Share-Based

 

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Awards”), including deferred stock units, may be granted hereunder to Participants either alone or in addition to other Awards granted under the Plan. Other Share-Based Awards shall also be available as a form of payment of other Awards granted under the Plan and other earned cash-based compensation.

 

8.2.         Award Agreements. The terms of Other Share-Based Award granted under the Plan shall be set forth in an Award Agreement which shall contain provisions determined by the Committee and not inconsistent with the Plan. The terms of such Awards need not be the same with respect to each Participant.

 

8.3.         Payment. Except as may be provided in an Award Agreement, Other Share-Based Awards may be paid in cash, Shares, other property, or any combination thereof, in the sole discretion of the Committee. Other Share-Based Awards may be paid in a lump sum or in installments or, in accordance with procedures established by the Committee, on a deferred basis subject to the requirements of Section 409A of the Code.

 

9.             PERFORMANCE AWARDS

 

9.1.         Grants. Performance Awards in the form of Performance Cash, Performance Shares or Performance Units, as determined by the Committee in its sole discretion, may be granted hereunder to Participants, for no consideration or for such minimum consideration as may be required by applicable law, either alone or in addition to other Awards granted under the Plan. The performance goals to be achieved for each Performance Period shall be conclusively determined by the Committee and may be based upon the criteria set forth in Section 10.2.

 

9.2.         Award Agreements. The terms of any Performance Award granted under the Plan shall be set forth in an Award Agreement which shall contain provisions determined by the Committee and not inconsistent with the Plan, including whether such Awards shall have Dividend Equivalents. The terms of Performance Awards need not be the same with respect to each Participant.

 

9.3.         Terms and Conditions. The performance criteria to be achieved during any Performance Period and the length of the Performance Period shall be determined by the Committee upon the grant of each Performance Award. The amount of the Award to be distributed shall be conclusively determined by the Committee.

 

9.4.         Payment. Except as provided in Section 3.1(e) or as may be provided in an Award Agreement, Performance Awards will be distributed only after the end of the relevant Performance Period. Performance Awards may be paid in cash, Shares, other property, or any combination thereof, in the sole discretion of the Committee. Performance Awards may be paid in a lump sum or in installments following the close of the Performance Period or, in accordance with procedures established by the Committee, on a deferred basis subject to the requirements of Section 409A of the Code.

 

10.          CODE SECTION 162(m) PROVISIONS

 

10.1. Covered Employees. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Plan, if the Committee determines at the time a Restricted Stock Award, a Restricted Stock Unit Award, a

 

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Performance Award or an Other Share-Based Award is granted to a Participant who is, or is likely to be, as of the end of the tax year in which the Company would claim a tax deduction in connection with such Award, a Covered Employee, then the Committee may provide that this Article 10 is applicable to such Award.

 

10.2.       Performance Criteria.

 

(a)       If the Committee determines that a Restricted Stock Award, a Restricted Stock Unit, a Performance Award or an Other Share-Based Award is intended to be subject to this Article 10, the lapsing of restrictions thereon and the distribution of cash, Shares or other property pursuant thereto, as applicable, shall be subject to the achievement of one or more objective performance goals established by the Committee, which shall be based on the attainment of specified levels of one or any combination of the following, or such other performance criteria as may be later determined by the Committee:

 

(i)                                     net sales;

(ii)                                  revenue;

(iii)                               revenue growth or product revenue growth;

(iv)                              operating income (before or after taxes);

(v)                                 pre- or after-tax income (before or after allocation of corporate overhead and bonus); earnings per share; net income (before or after taxes);

(vi)                              return on equity;

(vii)                           total shareholder return;

(viii)                        return on assets or net assets;

(ix)                                appreciation in and/or maintenance of the price of the Shares or any other publicly-traded securities of the Company;

(x)                                   market share; gross profits;

(xi)                                earnings (including earnings before taxes, earnings before interest and taxes or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization);

(xii)                             economic value-added models or equivalent metrics;

(xiii)                         comparisons with various stock market indices;

(xiv)                         reductions in costs;

(xv)                            cash flow or cash flow per share (before or after dividends);

(xvi)                         return on capital (including return on total capital or return on invested capital);

(xvii)                      cash flow return on investment;

(xviii)                   improvement in or attainment of expense levels or working capital levels;

(xiv)                         operating margins, gross margins or cash margin;

(xx)                              year-end cash;

(xxi)                          debt reduction;

(xxii)                       stockholder equity;

(xxiii)                    financing and other capital raising transactions (including sales of the Company’s equity or debt securities);

(xxiv)                   factoring transactions; sales or licenses of the Company’s assets, including its intellectual property, whether in a particular jurisdiction or territory or globally; or through partnering transactions; and

 

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(xxv)                      implementation, completion or attainment of measurable objectives with respect to research, development, manufacturing, commercialization, products or projects, production volume levels, acquisitions and divestitures and recruiting and maintaining personnel.

 

(b)           Such performance goals also may be based solely by reference to the Company’s performance or the performance of a Subsidiary, division, business segment or business unit of the Company, or based upon the relative performance of other companies or upon comparisons of any of the indicators of performance relative to other companies.

 

(c)       The Committee may also exclude charges related to an event or occurrence which the Committee determines should appropriately be excluded, including (i) restructurings, discontinued operations, extraordinary items, and other unusual or non-recurring charges, (ii) an event either not directly related to the operations of the Company or not within the reasonable control of the Company’s management, or (iii) the cumulative effects of tax or accounting changes in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Such performance goals shall be set by the Committee within the time period prescribed by, and shall otherwise comply with the requirements of, Section 162(m) of the Code, and the regulations thereunder.

 

10.3.       Adjustments. Notwithstanding any provision of the Plan, with respect to any Restricted Stock Award, Restricted Stock Unit Award, Performance Award or Other Share-Based Award that is subject to this Section 10, the Committee may adjust downwards, but not upwards, the amount payable pursuant to such Award, and the Committee may not waive the achievement of the applicable performance goals, except in the case of the death or disability of the Participant or as otherwise determined by the Committee in special circumstances.

 

10.4.       Restrictions. The Committee shall have the power to impose such other restrictions on Awards subject to this Article as it may deem necessary or appropriate to ensure that such Awards satisfy all requirements for “performance-based compensation” within the meaning of Section 162(m) of the Code.

 

10.5.       Limitations on Grants to Individual Participants. The maximum dollar value that may be earned by any Participant for each 12 months in a Performance Period with respect to Performance Awards that are intended to comply with the performance-based exception under Code Section 162(m). If an Award is cancelled, the cancelled Award shall continue to be counted toward the applicable Limitations.

 

11.          GENERALLY APPLICABLE PROVISIONS

 

11.1.       Amendment and Termination of the Plan. The Board may, from time to time, alter, amend, suspend or terminate the Plan as it shall deem advisable, subject to any requirement for stockholder approval imposed by applicable law, including the rules and regulations of the principal securities market on which the Shares are traded; provided that the Board may not, without the approval of the Company’s stockholders, amend the Plan to (a) increase the number of Shares that may be the subject of Awards under the Plan (except for adjustments pursuant to Section 3.1(e)), (b) expand the types of awards available under the Plan, (c) materially expand the class of persons eligible to participate in the Plan, (d) amend any provision of Section 5.3 or Section 6.2(e), (e) increase the maximum permissible term of any Option specified by Section 5.4 or the maximum permissible term of a Stock Appreciation Right specified by

 

12



 

Section 6.2(d), or (f) increase the Limitations. No amendments to, or termination of, the Plan shall impair the rights of a Participant under any Award previously granted without such Participant’s consent.

 

11.2.       Transferability of Awards. Except as provided below, no Award and no Shares that have not been issued or as to which any applicable restriction, performance or deferral period has not lapsed, may be sold, assigned, transferred, pledged or otherwise encumbered, other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution, and such Award may be exercised during the life of the Participant only by the Participant or the Participant’s guardian or legal representative. To the extent and under such terms and conditions as determined by the Committee, a Participant may assign or transfer an Award (each transferee thereof, a “Permitted Assignee”) to (i) the Participant’s spouse, children or grandchildren (including any adopted and step children or grandchildren), parents, grandparents or siblings, (ii) to a trust for the benefit of one or more of the Participant or the persons referred to in clause (i), or (iii) to a partnership, limited liability company or corporation in which the Participant or the persons referred to in clause (i) are the only partners, members or stockholders; provided that such Permitted Assignee shall be bound by and subject to all of the terms and conditions of the Plan and the Award Agreement relating to the transferred Award and shall execute an agreement satisfactory to the Company evidencing such obligations; and provided further that such Participant shall remain bound by the terms and conditions of the Plan. The Company shall cooperate with any Permitted Assignee and the Company’s transfer agent in effectuating any transfer permitted under this Section.

 

11.3.       Termination of Employment. The Committee shall determine and set forth in each Award Agreement whether any Awards granted in such Award Agreement will continue to be exercisable, continue to vest or be earned and the terms of such exercise, vesting or earning, on and after the date that a Participant ceases to be employed by or to provide services to the Company or any Subsidiary (including as a Director), whether by reason of death, disability, voluntary or involuntary termination of employment or services, or otherwise. The Committee shall also determine and set forth in each Award Agreement the effect, if any, on an Award of the occurrence of a change in control of the Company. The date of termination of a Participant’s employment or services will be determined by the Committee, which determination will be final.

 

11.4.       Deferral; Dividend Equivalents. The Committee shall be authorized to establish procedures pursuant to which the payment of any Award may be deferred. Subject to the provisions of the Plan and any Award Agreement, the recipient of an Award may, if so determined by the Committee, be entitled to receive, currently or on a deferred basis, cash, stock or other property dividends in amounts equivalent to cash, stock or other property dividends on Shares (“Dividend Equivalents”) with respect to the number of Shares covered by the Award, as determined by the Committee, in its sole discretion. The Committee may provide that such amounts and Dividend Equivalents (if any) shall be deemed to have been reinvested in additional Shares or otherwise reinvested and may provide that such amounts and Dividend Equivalents are subject to the same vesting or performance conditions as the underlying Award.

 

12.          MISCELLANEOUS

 

12.1.       Award Agreements. Each Award Agreement shall either be (a) in writing in a form approved by the Committee and executed by the Company by an officer duly authorized to

 

13



 

act on its behalf, or (b) an electronic notice in a form approved by the Committee and recorded by the Company (or its designee) in an electronic recordkeeping system used for the purpose of tracking one or more types of Awards as the Committee may provide; in each case and if required by the Committee, the Award Agreement shall be executed or otherwise electronically accepted by the recipient of the Award in such form and manner as the Committee may require. The Committee may authorize any officer of the Company to execute any or all Award Agreements on behalf of the Company. The Award Agreement shall set forth the material terms and conditions of the Award as established by the Committee consistent with the provisions of the Plan.

 

12.2.       Tax Withholding. The Company shall have the right to make all payments or distributions pursuant to the Plan to a Participant (or a Permitted Assignee thereof) (any such person, a “Payee”) net of any applicable federal, state and local taxes required to be paid or withheld as a result of (a) the grant of any Award, (b) the exercise of an Option or Stock Appreciation Right, (c) the delivery of Shares or cash, (d) the lapse of any restrictions in connection with any Award or (e) any other event occurring pursuant to the Plan. The Company or any Subsidiary shall have the right to withhold from wages or other amounts otherwise payable to such Payee such withholding taxes as may be required by law, or to otherwise require the Payee to pay such withholding taxes. If the Payee shall fail to make such tax payments as are required, the Company or its Subsidiaries shall, to the extent permitted by law, have the right to deduct any such taxes from any payment of any kind otherwise due to such Payee or to take such other action as may be necessary to satisfy such withholding obligations. The Committee shall be authorized to establish procedures for election by Participants to satisfy such obligation for the payment of such taxes by tendering previously acquired Shares (either actually or by attestation, valued at their then Fair Market Value), or by directing the Company to retain Shares (up to the Participant’s minimum required tax withholding rate or such other rate that will not cause an adverse accounting consequence or cost) otherwise deliverable in connection with the Award.

 

12.3.       Right of Discharge Reserved; Claims to Awards. Nothing in the Plan nor the grant of an Award hereunder shall confer upon any Employee, Director or Consultant the right to continue in the employment or service of the Company or any Subsidiary or affect any right that the Company or any Subsidiary may have to terminate the employment or service of (or to demote or to exclude from future Awards under the Plan) any such Employee , Director or Consultant at any time for any reason. Except as specifically provided by the Committee, the Company shall not be liable for the loss of existing or potential profit from an Award granted in the event of termination of an employment or other relationship. No Employee, Director or Consultant shall have any claim to be granted any Award under the Plan, and there is no obligation for uniformity of treatment of Employees, Directors Consultants or Participants under the Plan.

 

12.4.       Substitute Awards. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Plan, the terms of Substitute Awards may vary from the terms set forth in the Plan to the extent the Committee deems appropriate to conform, in whole or in part, to the provisions of the awards in substitution for which they are granted.

 

12.5.       Cancellation of Award; Forfeiture of Gain. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, an Award Agreement may provide that the Award shall be canceled if the Participant, without the consent of the Company, while employed by the Company or any

 

14



 

Subsidiary or after termination of such employment or service, violates a non-competition, non-solicitation or non-disclosure covenant or agreement or otherwise engages in activity that is in conflict with or adverse to the interest of the Company or any Subsidiary (including conduct contributing to any financial restatements or financial irregularities), as determined by the Committee in its sole discretion. The Committee may provide in an Award Agreement that if within the time period specified in the Agreement the Participant establishes a relationship with a competitor or engages in an activity referred to in the preceding sentence, the Participant will forfeit any gain realized on the vesting or exercise of the Award and must repay such gain to the Company.

 

12.6.       Stop Transfer Orders. All certificates for Shares delivered under the Plan pursuant to any Award shall be subject to such stop-transfer orders and other restrictions as the Committee may deem advisable under the rules, regulations and other requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission, any stock exchange upon which the Shares are then listed, and any applicable federal or state securities law, and the Committee may cause a legend or legends to be put on any such certificates to make appropriate reference to such restrictions.

 

12.7.       Nature of Payments. All Awards made pursuant to the Plan are in consideration of services performed or to be performed for the Company or any Subsidiary, division or business unit of the Company. Any income or gain realized pursuant to Awards under the Plan constitutes a special incentive payment to the Participant and shall not be taken into account, to the extent permissible under applicable law, as compensation for purposes of any of the employee benefit plans of the Company or any Subsidiary except as may be determined by the Committee or by the Board or board of directors of the applicable Subsidiary.

 

12.8.       Other Plans. Nothing contained in the Plan shall prevent the Board from adopting other or additional compensation arrangements, subject to stockholder approval if such approval is required; and such arrangements may be either generally applicable or applicable only in specific cases.

 

12.9.       Severability. If any provision of the Plan shall be held unlawful or otherwise invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part by a court of competent jurisdiction, such provision shall (a) be deemed limited to the extent that such court of competent jurisdiction deems it lawful, valid and/or enforceable and as so limited shall remain in full force and effect, and (b) not affect any other provision of the Plan or part thereof, each of which shall remain in full force and effect. If the making of any payment or the provision of any other benefit required under the Plan shall be held unlawful or otherwise invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, such unlawfulness, invalidity or unenforceability shall not prevent any other payment or benefit from being made or provided under the Plan, and if the making of any payment in full or the provision of any other benefit required under the Plan in full would be unlawful or otherwise invalid or unenforceable, then such unlawfulness, invalidity or unenforceability shall not prevent such payment or benefit from being made or provided in part, to the extent that it would not be unlawful, invalid or unenforceable, and the maximum payment or benefit that would not be unlawful, invalid or unenforceable shall be made or provided under the Plan.

 

12.10.     Construction. As used in the Plan, the words “include” and “including,” and variations thereof, shall not be deemed to be terms of limitation, but rather shall be deemed to be followed by the words “without limitation.”

 

15



 

12.11.     Unfunded Status of the Plan. The Plan is intended to constitute an “unfunded” plan for incentive compensation. With respect to any payments not yet made to a Participant by the Company, nothing contained herein shall give any such Participant any rights that are greater than those of a general creditor of the Company. In its sole discretion, the Committee may authorize the creation of trusts or other arrangements to meet the obligations created under the Plan to deliver the Shares or payments in lieu of or with respect to Awards hereunder; provided, however, that the existence of such trusts or other arrangements is consistent with the unfunded status of the Plan.

 

12.12.     Governing Law. The Plan and all determinations made and actions taken thereunder, to the extent not otherwise governed by the Code or the laws of the United States, shall be governed by the laws of the State of California, without reference to principles of conflict of laws, and construed accordingly.

 

12.13.     Effective Date of Plan; Termination of Plan. The Plan shall be effective on the date of the adoption of the Plan by the Board. Awards may be granted under the Plan at any time and from time to time on or prior to the tenth anniversary of the effective date of the Plan, on which date the Plan will expire except as to Awards then outstanding under the Plan. Such outstanding Awards shall remain in effect until they have been exercised or terminated, or have expired.

 

12.14.     Foreign Employees. Awards may be granted to Participants who are foreign nationals or employed outside the United States, or both, on such terms and conditions different from those applicable to Awards to Employees, Directors or Consultants providing services in the United States as may, in the judgment of the Committee, be necessary or desirable in order to recognize differences in local law or tax policy. The Committee also may impose conditions on the exercise or vesting of Awards in order to minimize the Company’s obligation with respect to tax equalization for Employees or Consultants on assignments outside their home country.

 

12.15.     Compliance with Section 409A of the Code. This Plan is intended to comply and shall be administered in a manner that is intended to comply with Section 409A of the Code and shall be construed and interpreted in accordance with such intent. To the extent that an Award or the payment, settlement or deferral thereof is subject to Section 409A of the Code, the Award shall be granted, paid, settled or deferred in a manner that will comply with Section 409A of the Code, including regulations or other guidance issued with respect thereto, except as otherwise determined by the Committee. Any provision of this Plan that would cause the grant of an Award or the payment, settlement or deferral thereof to fail to satisfy Section 409A of the Code shall be amended to comply with Section 409A of the Code on a timely basis, which may be made on a retroactive basis, in accordance with regulations and other guidance issued under Section 409A of the Code.

 

12.16.     Limitations on Liability. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Plan, no individual acting as a director, officer, other employee, or agent of the Company will be liable to any Participant, former Participant, spouse, beneficiary, or any other person for any claim, loss, liability, or expense incurred in connection with the Plan, nor will such individual be personally liable with respect to the Plan because of any contract or other instrument he or she executes in his or her capacity as a director, officer, other employee, or agent of the Company. The Company

 

16



 

will indemnify and hold harmless each director, officer, other employee, or agent of the Company to whom any duty or power relating to the administration or interpretation of the Plan has been or will be delegated, against any cost or expense (including attorneys’ fees) or liability (including any sum paid in settlement of a claim with the Board’s approval) arising out of any act or omission to act concerning this Plan unless arising out of such person’s own fraud or bad faith.

 

12.16      Captions. The captions in the Plan are for convenience of reference only, and are not intended to narrow, limit or affect the substance or interpretation of the provisions contained herein.

 

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S&W SEED COMPANY
GRANT NOTICE FOR 2009 INCENTIVE PLAN
INCENTIVE STOCK OPTIONS

 

FOR GOOD AND VALUABLE CONSIDERATION, S&W Seed Company, a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), hereby grants to Participant named below the incentive stock option (the “Option”) to purchase any part or all of the number of shares of its common stock, par value $0.001 (the “Common Stock”), that are covered by this Option, as specified below, at the Exercise Price per share specified below and upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in this Grant Notice, the S&W Seed Company 2009 Incentive Plan (the “Plan”) and the Standard Terms and Conditions (the “Standard Terms and Conditions”) promulgated under such Plan, each as amended from time to time. This Option is granted pursuant to the Plan and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by the Standard Terms and Conditions.

 

Name of Participant:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant Date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Shares of Common Stock covered by Option:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise Price Per Share:

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expiration Date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vesting Schedule:

 

 

 

 

1



 

This Option is intended to qualify as an incentive stock option under Section 422 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. By accepting this Grant Notice, Participant acknowledges that he or she has received and read, and agrees that this Option shall be subject to, the terms of this Grant Notice, the Plan and the Standard Terms and Conditions.

 

S&W SEED COMPANY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participant Signature

By

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title:

 

 

Address (please print):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2



 

S&W SEED COMPANY
STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR
EMPLOYEE INCENTIVE STOCK OPTIONS

 

These Standard Terms and Conditions apply to the Options granted pursuant to the S&W Seed Company 2009 Incentive Plan (the “Plan”), which are identified as incentive stock options and are evidenced by a Grant Notice or an action of the Administrator that specifically refers to these Standard Terms and Conditions. In addition to these Terms and Conditions, the Option shall be subject to the terms of the Plan, which are incorporated into these Standard Terms and Conditions by this reference. Capitalized terms not otherwise defined herein shall have the meaning set forth in the Plan.

 

1.     TERMS OF OPTION

 

S&W Seed Company, a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), has granted to the Participant named in the Grant Notice provided to said Participant herewith (the “Grant Notice”) an incentive stock option (the “Option”) to purchase up to the number of shares of the Company’s common stock (the “Common Stock”), set forth in the Grant Notice. The exercise price per share and the other terms and subject to the conditions of the Option are set forth in the Grant Notice, these Standard Terms and Conditions (as amended from time to time), and the Plan. For purposes of these Standard Terms and Conditions and the Grant Notice, any reference to the Company shall include a reference to any Subsidiary.

 

2.     INCENTIVE STOCK OPTION

 

The Option is intended to qualify as an incentive stock option under Section 422 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), and will be interpreted accordingly. Section 422 of the Code provides, among other things, that the Participant shall not be taxed upon the exercise of a stock option that qualifies as an incentive stock option provided the Participant does not dispose of the shares of Common Stock acquired upon exercise of such option until the later of two years after such option is granted to the Participant and one year after such option is exercised. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, Section 422 of the Code provides that incentive stock options (including, possibly, the Option) shall not be treated as incentive stock options if and to the extent that the aggregate fair market value of shares of Common Stock (determined as of the time of grant) with respect to which such incentive stock options are exercisable for the first time by the Participant during any calendar year (under all plans of the Company and its Subsidiaries) exceeds $100,000, taking options into account in the order in which they were granted. Thus, if and to the extent that any shares of Common Stock issued under a portion of the Option exceeds the foregoing $100,000 limitation, such shares shall not be treated as issued under an incentive stock option pursuant to Section 422 of the Code and shall instead be treated as issued pursuant to nonqualified stock options.

 

3.     EXERCISE OF OPTION

 

The Option shall not be exercisable as of the Grant Date set forth in the Grant Notice. After the Grant Date, to the extent not previously exercised, and subject to termination or acceleration as provided in these Standard Terms and Conditions and the Plan, the Option shall be exercisable only to the extent it becomes vested, as described in the Grant Notice or

 

1



 

the terms of the Plan, to purchase up to that number of shares of Common Stock as set forth in the Grant Notice, provided that (except as set forth in Section 4.A below) the Participant remains employed with the Company and does not experience a Termination of Employment. The vesting period and/or exercisability of an Option may be adjusted by the Administrator to reflect the decreased level of employment during any period in which the Participant is on an approved leave of absence or is employed on a less than full time basis.

 

To exercise the Option (or any part thereof), the Participant shall deliver to the Company a “Notice of Exercise” in a form specified by the Administrator, specifying the number of whole shares of Common Stock the Participant wishes to purchase and how the Participant’s shares of Common Stock should be registered (in the Participant’s name only or in the Participant’s and the Participant’s spouse’s names as community property or as joint tenants with right of survivorship).

 

The exercise price (the “Exercise Price”) of the Option is set forth in the Grant Notice. The Company shall not be obligated to issue any shares of Common Stock until the Participant shall have paid the total Exercise Price for that number of shares of Common Stock. The Exercise Price may be paid in Common Stock, cash or a combination thereof, including an irrevocable commitment by a broker to pay over such amount from a sale of the Common Stock issuable under the Option, the delivery of previously owned Common Stock, withholding of shares of Common Stock deliverable upon exercise of the Option, or in such other manners as may be permitted by the Administrator.

 

Fractional shares may not be exercised. Shares of Common Stock will be issued as soon as practical after exercise. Notwithstanding the above, the Company shall not be obligated to deliver any shares of Common Stock during any period when the Company determines that the exercisability of the Option or the delivery of shares of Common Stock hereunder would violate any federal, state or other applicable laws.

 

4.     EXPIRATION OF OPTION

 

The Option shall expire and cease to be exercisable as of the earlier of (a) the Expiration Date set forth in the Grant Notice or (b) the date specified below in connection with the Participant’s Termination of Employment:

 

A.           If the Participant’s Termination of Employment is by reason of death, Disability or Retirement, the Participant (or the Participant’s estate, beneficiary or legal representative) may exercise the Option (regardless of whether then vested or exercisable) until the date that is twelve months following the date of such Termination of Employment.

 

B.             If the Participant’s Termination of Employment is for any reason other than death, Disability, Retirement or Cause, the Participant may exercise any portion of the Option that is vested and exercisable at the time of such Termination of Employment until the date that is three months following the date of such Termination of Employment. Any portion of the Option that is not vested and exercisable at the time of such Termination of Employment (after taking into account any accelerated vesting under Section 12 of the Plan, if applicable) shall be forfeited and canceled as of the date of such Termination of Employment.

 

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C.             If the Participant’s Termination of Employment is by the Company for Cause, the entire Option, whether or not then vested and exercisable, shall be immediately forfeited and canceled as of the date of such Termination of Employment.

 

5.     RESTRICTIONS ON RESALES OF SHARES ACQUIRED PURSUANT TO OPTION EXERCISE

 

The Company may impose such restrictions, conditions or limitations as it determines appropriate as to the timing and manner of any resales by the Participant or other subsequent transfers by the Participant of any shares of Common Stock issued as a result of the exercise of the Option, including without limitation (a) restrictions under an insider trading policy, (b) restrictions designed to delay and/or coordinate the timing and manner of sales by Participant and other optionholders and (c) restrictions as to the use of a specified brokerage firm for such resales or other transfers.

 

6.     INCOME TAXES

 

The Company shall not deliver shares of Common Stock in respect of the exercise of any Option unless and until the Participant has made arrangements satisfactory to the Administrator to satisfy applicable withholding tax obligations. Unless the Participant pays the withholding tax obligations to the Company by cash or check in connection with the exercise of the Option, withholding may be effected, at the Company’s option, by withholding Common Stock issuable in connection with the exercise of the Option (provided that shares of Common Stock may be withheld only to the extent that such withholding will not result in adverse accounting treatment for the Company). The Participant acknowledges that the Company shall have the right to deduct any taxes required to be withheld by law in connection with the exercise of the Option from any amounts payable by it to the Participant (including, without limitation, future cash wages).

 

7.     NON-TRANSFERABILITY OF OPTION

 

Except as permitted by the Administrator or as permitted under the Plan, the Participant may not assign or transfer the Option to anyone other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution and the Option shall be exercisable only by the Participant during his or her lifetime. The Company may cancel the Participant’s Option if the Participant attempts to assign or transfer it in a manner inconsistent with this Section 7.

 

8.     OTHER AGREEMENTS SUPERSEDED

 

The Grant Notice, these Standard Terms and Conditions and the Plan constitute the entire understanding between the Participant and the Company regarding the Option. Any prior agreements, commitments or negotiations concerning the Option are superseded.

 

9.     LIMITATION OF INTEREST IN SHARES SUBJECT TO OPTION

 

Neither the Participant (individually or as a member of a group) nor any beneficiary or other person claiming under or through the Participant shall have any right, title, interest, or privilege in or to any shares of Common Stock allocated or reserved for the purpose of the Plan or subject to the Grant Notice or these Standard Terms and Conditions except as to such shares of Common Stock, if any, as shall have been issued to such person upon exercise of

 

3



 

the Option or any part of it. Nothing in the Plan, in the Grant Notice, these Standard Terms and Conditions or any other instrument executed pursuant to the Plan shall confer upon the Participant any right to continue in the Company’s employ or service nor limit in any way the Company’s right to terminate the Participant’s employment at any time for any reason.

 

10.  GENERAL

 

In the event that any provision of these Standard Terms and Conditions is declared to be illegal, invalid or otherwise unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, such provision shall be reformed, if possible, to the extent necessary to render it legal, valid and enforceable, or otherwise deleted, and the remainder of these Standard Terms and Conditions shall not be affected except to the extent necessary to reform or delete such illegal, invalid or unenforceable provision.

 

The headings preceding the text of the sections hereof are inserted solely for convenience of reference, and shall not constitute a part of these Standard Terms and Conditions, nor shall they affect its meaning, construction or effect.

 

These Standard Terms and Conditions shall inure to the benefit of and be binding upon the parties hereto and their respective permitted heirs, beneficiaries, successors and assigns.

 

These Standard Terms and Conditions shall be construed in accordance with and governed by the laws of the State of Delaware, without regard to principles of conflicts of law.

 

All questions arising under the Plan or under these Standard Terms and Conditions shall be decided by the Administrator in its total and absolute discretion.

 

12.  ELECTRONIC DELIVERY

 

By executing the Grant Notice, the Participant hereby consents to the delivery of information (including, without limitation, information required to be delivered to the Participant pursuant to applicable securities laws) regarding the Company and its Subsidiaries, the Plan the Option and the Common Stock via the Company’s website or other electronic delivery.

 

4



 

S&W SEED COMPANY
GRANT NOTICE FOR 2009 INCENTIVE PLAN
NON-QUALIFIED STOCK OPTIONS

 

FOR GOOD AND VALUABLE CONSIDERATION, S&W Seed Company, a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), hereby grants to Participant named below the nonqualified stock option (the “Option”) to purchase any part or all of the number of shares of its common stock, par value $0.001 (the “Common Stock”), that are covered by this Option, as specified below, at the Exercise Price per share specified below and upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in this Grant Notice, the S&W Seed Company 2009 Incentive Plan (the “Plan”) and the Standard Terms and Conditions (the “Standard Terms and Conditions”) promulgated under such Plan, each as amended from time to time. This Option is granted pursuant to the Plan and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by the Standard Terms and Conditions.

 

Name of Participant:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant Date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Shares of Common Stock covered by Option:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise Price Per Share:

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expiration Date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vesting Schedule:

 

 

 

 

1



 

This Option is not intended to qualify as an incentive stock option under Section 422 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. By accepting this Grant Notice, Participant acknowledges that he or she has received and read, and agrees that this Option shall be subject to, the terms of this Grant Notice, the Plan and the Standard Terms and Conditions.

 

S&W SEED COMPANY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participant Signature

By

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title:

 

 

Address (please print):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2


 

 

S&W SEED COMPANY
STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR
NON-QUALIFIED STOCK OPTIONS

 

These Standard Terms and Conditions apply to the Options granted pursuant to the S&W Seed Company 2009 Incentive Plan (the “Plan”), which are identified as nonqualified stock options and are evidenced by a Grant Notice or an action of the Administrator that specifically refers to these Standard Terms and Conditions. In addition to these Terms and Conditions, the Option shall be subject to the terms of the Plan, which are incorporated into these Standard Terms and Conditions by this reference. Capitalized terms not otherwise defined herein shall have the meaning set forth in the Plan.

 

1.              TERMS OF OPTION

 

S&W Seed Company, a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), has granted to the Participant named in the Grant Notice provided to said Participant herewith (the “Grant Notice”) a nonqualified stock option (the “Option”) to purchase up to the number of shares of the Company’s common stock (the “Common Stock”), set forth in the Grant Notice. The exercise price per share and the other terms and subject to the conditions of the Option are set forth in the Grant Notice, these Standard Terms and Conditions (as amended from time to time), and the Plan. For purposes of these Standard Terms and Conditions and the Grant Notice, any reference to the Company shall include a reference to any Subsidiary.

 

2.              NONQUALIFIED STOCK OPTION

 

The Option is not intended to be an incentive stock option under Section 422 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) and will be interpreted accordingly.

 

3.              EXERCISE OF OPTION

 

The Option shall not be exercisable as of the Grant Date set forth in the Grant Notice. After the Grant Date, to the extent not previously exercised, and subject to termination or acceleration as provided in these Standard Terms and Conditions and the Plan, the Option shall be exercisable only to the extent it becomes vested, as described in the Grant Notice or the terms of the Plan, to purchase up to that number of shares of Common Stock as set forth in the Grant Notice, provided that (except as set forth in Section 4.A below) the Participant remains employed with the Company and does not experience a Termination of Employment. The vesting period and/or exercisability of an Option may be adjusted by the Administrator to reflect the decreased level of employment during any period in which the Participant is on an approved leave of absence or is employed on a less than full time basis.

 

To exercise the Option (or any part thereof), the Participant shall deliver to the Company a “Notice of Exercise” in a form specified by the Administrator, specifying the number of whole shares of Common Stock the Participant wishes to purchase and how the Participant’s shares of Common Stock should be registered (in the Participant’s name only or in the

 

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Participant’s and the Participant’s spouse’s names as community property or as joint tenants with right of survivorship).

 

The exercise price (the “Exercise Price”) of the Option is set forth in the Grant Notice. The Company shall not be obligated to issue any shares of Common Stock until the Participant shall have paid the total Exercise Price for that number of shares of Common Stock. The Exercise Price may be paid in Common Stock, cash or a combination thereof, including an irrevocable commitment by a broker to pay over such amount from a sale of the Common Stock issuable under the Option, the delivery of previously owned Common Stock, withholding of shares of Common Stock deliverable upon exercise of the Option, or in such other manners as may be permitted by the Administrator.

 

Fractional shares may not be exercised. Shares of Common Stock will be issued as soon as practical after exercise. Notwithstanding the above, the Company shall not be obligated to deliver any shares of Common Stock during any period when the Company determines that the exercisability of the Option or the delivery of shares of Common Stock hereunder would violate any federal, state or other applicable laws.

 

4.              EXPIRATION OF OPTION

 

The Option shall expire and cease to be exercisable as of the earlier of (a) the Expiration Date set forth in the Grant Notice or (b) the date specified below in connection with the Participant’s Termination of Employment:

 

A.           If the Participant’s Termination of Employment is by reason of death, Disability or Retirement, the Participant (or the Participant’s estate, beneficiary or legal representative) may exercise the Option (regardless of whether then vested or exercisable) until the date that is twelve months following the date of such Termination of Employment.

 

B.             If the Participant’s Termination of Employment is for any reason other than death, Disability, Retirement or Cause, the Participant may exercise any portion of the Option that is vested and exercisable at the time of such Termination of Employment until the date that is three months following the date of such Termination of Employment. Any portion of the Option that is not vested and exercisable at the time of such Termination of Employment (after taking into account any accelerated vesting under Section 12 of the Plan, if applicable) shall be forfeited and canceled as of the date of such Termination of Employment.

 

C.             If the Participant’s Termination of Employment is by the Company for Cause, the entire Option, whether or not then vested and exercisable, shall be immediately forfeited and canceled as of the date of such Termination of Employment.

 

5.              RESTRICTIONS ON RESALES OF SHARES ACQUIRED PURSUANT TO OPTION EXERCISE

 

The Company may impose such restrictions, conditions or limitations as it determines

 

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appropriate as to the timing and manner of any resales by the Participant or other subsequent transfers by the Participant of any shares of Common Stock issued as a result of the exercise of the Option, including without limitation (a) restrictions under an insider trading policy, (b) restrictions designed to delay and/or coordinate the timing and manner of sales by Participant and other optionholders and (c) restrictions as to the use of a specified brokerage firm for such resales or other transfers.

 

6.              INCOME TAXES

 

The Company shall not deliver shares of Common Stock in respect of the exercise of any Option unless and until the Participant has made arrangements satisfactory to the Administrator to satisfy applicable withholding tax obligations. Unless the Participant pays the withholding tax obligations to the Company by cash or check in connection with the exercise of the Option, withholding may be effected, at the Company’s option, by withholding Common Stock issuable in connection with the exercise of the Option (provided that shares of Common Stock may be withheld only to the extent that such withholding will not result in adverse accounting treatment for the Company). The Participant acknowledges that the Company shall have the right to deduct any taxes required to be withheld by law in connection with the exercise of the Option from any amounts payable by it to the Participant (including, without limitation, future cash wages).

 

7.              NON-TRANSFERABILITY OF OPTION

 

Except as permitted by the Administrator or as permitted under the Plan, the Participant may not assign or transfer the Option to anyone other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution and the Option shall be exercisable only by the Participant during his or her lifetime. The Company may cancel the Participant’s Option if the Participant attempts to assign or transfer it in a manner inconsistent with this Section 7.

 

8.              OTHER AGREEMENTS SUPERSEDED

 

The Grant Notice, these Standard Terms and Conditions and the Plan constitute the entire understanding between the Participant and the Company regarding the Option. Any prior agreements, commitments or negotiations concerning the Option are superseded.

 

9.              LIMITATION OF INTEREST IN SHARES SUBJECT TO OPTION

 

Neither the Participant (individually or as a member of a group) nor any beneficiary or other person claiming under or through the Participant shall have any right, title, interest, or privilege in or to any shares of Common Stock allocated or reserved for the purpose of the Plan or subject to the Grant Notice or these Standard Terms and Conditions except as to such shares of Common Stock, if any, as shall have been issued to such person upon exercise of the Option or any part of it. Nothing in the Plan, in the Grant Notice, these Standard Terms and Conditions or any other instrument executed pursuant to the Plan shall confer upon the Participant any right to continue in the Company’s employ or service nor limit in any way

 

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the Company’s right to terminate the Participant’s employment at any time for any reason.

 

10.       GENERAL

 

In the event that any provision of these Standard Terms and Conditions is declared to be illegal, invalid or otherwise unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, such provision shall be reformed, if possible, to the extent necessary to render it legal, valid and enforceable, or otherwise deleted, and the remainder of these Standard Terms and Conditions shall not be affected except to the extent necessary to reform or delete such illegal, invalid or unenforceable provision.

 

The headings preceding the text of the sections hereof are inserted solely for convenience of reference, and shall not constitute a part of these Standard Terms and Conditions, nor shall they affect its meaning, construction or effect.

 

These Standard Terms and Conditions shall inure to the benefit of and be binding upon the parties hereto and their respective permitted heirs, beneficiaries, successors and assigns.

 

These Standard Terms and Conditions shall be construed in accordance with and governed by the laws of the State of Delaware, without regard to principles of conflicts of law.

 

All questions arising under the Plan or under these Standard Terms and Conditions shall be decided by the Administrator in its total and absolute discretion.

 

12.       ELECTRONIC DELIVERY

 

By executing the Grant Notice, the Participant hereby consents to the delivery of information (including, without limitation, information required to be delivered to the Participant pursuant to applicable securities laws) regarding the Company and the Subsidiaries, the Plan, the Option and the Common Stock via Company website or other electronic delivery.

 

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