Note

Committed Line of Credit Note

by Charles & Colvard
September 24th, 2013

 

Exhibit 10.2

 

 

Committed Line of Credit Note

(Daily LIBOR)

 

 

 

$10,000,000.00 September 20, 2013

  

 

FOR VALUE RECEIVED, CHARLES & COLVARD, LTD., a North Carolina corporation (the “Borrower”), with an address at 300 Perimiter Park Drive, Suite A, Morrisville, North Carolina 27560, Attention: Chief Financial Officer, promises to pay to the order of PNC BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (the “Bank”), in lawful money of the United States of America in immediately available funds at its offices located at 134 North Church Street, Rocky Mount, North Carolina 27804, or at such other location as the Bank may designate from time to time, the principal sum of TEN MILLION AND 00/100 DOLLARS ($10,000,000.00) (the “Facility”) or such lesser amount as may be advanced to or for the benefit of the Borrower hereunder, together with interest accruing on the outstanding principal balance from the date hereof, all as provided below.

 

1.            Advances. The Borrower may borrow, repay and reborrow hereunder until the Expiration Date, subject to the terms and conditions of this Note and the Loan Documents (as defined herein). The “Expiration Date” shall mean June 15, 2015, or such later date as may be designated by the Bank by written notice from the Bank to the Borrower. The Borrower acknowledges and agrees that in no event will the Bank be under any obligation to extend or renew the Facility or this Note beyond the Expiration Date. In no event shall the aggregate unpaid principal amount of advances under this Note exceed the face amount of this Note.

 

2.            Rate of Interest. Amounts outstanding under this Note will bear interest at a rate per annum which is at all times equal to (A) the Daily LIBOR Rate plus (B) one hundred fifty (150) basis points (1.50%). Interest hereunder will be calculated based on the actual number of days that principal is outstanding over a year of 360 days. In no event will the rate of interest hereunder exceed the maximum rate allowed by law.

 

If the Bank determines (which determination shall be final and conclusive) that, by reason of circumstances affecting the eurodollar market generally, deposits in dollars (in the applicable amounts) are not being offered to banks in the eurodollar market for the selected term, or adequate means do not exist for ascertaining the Daily LIBOR Rate, then the Bank shall give notice thereof to the Borrower. Thereafter, until the Bank notifies the Borrower that the circumstances giving rise to such suspension no longer exist, the interest rate for all amounts outstanding under this Note shall be equal to the Base Rate (the “Alternate Rate”).

 

In addition, if, after the date of this Note, the Bank shall determine (which determination shall be final and conclusive) that any enactment, promulgation or adoption of or any change in any applicable law, rule or regulation, or any change in the interpretation or administration thereof by a governmental authority, central bank or comparable agency charged with the interpretation or administration thereof, or compliance by the Bank with any guideline, request or directive (whether or not having the force of law) of any such authority, central bank or comparable agency shall make it unlawful or impossible for the Bank to make or maintain or fund loans based on the Daily LIBOR Rate, the Bank shall notify the Borrower. Upon receipt of such notice, until the Bank notifies the Borrower that the circumstances giving rise to such determination no longer apply, the interest rate on all amounts outstanding under this Note shall be the Alternate Rate.

 

 
 

 

For purposes hereof, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

 

Base Rate” shall mean the higher of (A) the Prime Rate, and (B) the sum of the Federal Funds Open Rate plus fifty (50) basis points (0.50%). If and when the Base Rate (or any component thereof) changes, the rate of interest with respect to any amounts hereunder to which the Base Rate applies will change automatically without notice to the Borrower, effective on the date of any such change.

 

Business Day” shall mean any day other than a Saturday or Sunday or a legal holiday on which commercial banks are authorized or required by law to be closed for business in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

 

Daily LIBOR Rate” shall mean, for any day, the rate per annum determined by the Bank by dividing (A) the Published Rate by (B) a number equal to 1.00 minus the percentage prescribed by the Federal Reserve for determining the maximum reserve requirements with respect to any eurocurrency fundings by banks on such day. The rate of interest will be adjusted automatically as of each Business Day based on changes in the Daily LIBOR Rate without notice to the Borrower.

 

“Federal Funds Open Rate” shall mean, for any day, the rate per annum (based on a year of 360 days and actual days elapsed) which is the daily federal funds open rate as quoted by ICAP North America, Inc. (or any successor) as set forth on the Bloomberg Screen BTMM for that day opposite the caption “OPEN” (or on such other substitute Bloomberg Screen that displays such rate), or as set forth on such other recognized electronic source used for the purpose of displaying such rate as selected by the Bank (an “Alternate Source”) (or if such rate for such day does not appear on the Bloomberg Screen BTMM (or any substitute screen) or on any Alternate Source, or if there shall at any time, for any reason, no longer exist a Bloomberg Screen BTMM (or any substitute screen) or any Alternate Source, a comparable replacement rate determined by the Bank at such time (which determination shall be conclusive absent manifest error); provided however, that if such day is not a Business Day, the Federal Funds Open Rate for such day shall be the “open” rate on the immediately preceding Business Day. The rate of interest charged shall be adjusted as of each Business Day based on changes in the Federal Funds Open Rate without notice to the Borrower.

 

“Prime Rate” shall mean the rate publicly announced by the Bank from time to time as its prime rate. The Prime Rate is determined from time to time by the Bank as a means of pricing some loans to its borrowers. The Prime Rate is not tied to any external rate of interest or index, and does not necessarily reflect the lowest rate of interest actually charged by the Bank to any particular class or category of customers.

 

Published Rate” shall mean the rate of interest published each Business Day in the Wall Street Journal “Money Rates” listing under the caption “London Interbank Offered Rates” for a one month period (or, if no such rate is published therein for any reason, then the Published Rate shall be the eurodollar rate for a one month period as published in another publication selected by the Bank).

 

3.            Advance Procedures. If permitted by the Bank, a request for advance may be made by telephone or electronic mail, with such confirmation or verification (if any) as the Bank may require in its discretion from time to time. A request for advance by any Borrower shall be binding upon Borrower, jointly and severally. The Borrower authorizes the Bank to accept telephonic and electronic requests for advances, and the Bank shall be entitled to rely upon the authority of any person providing such instructions. The Borrower hereby indemnifies and holds the Bank harmless from and against any and all damages, losses, liabilities, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses) which may arise or be created by the acceptance of such telephonic and electronic requests or by the making of such advances. The Bank will enter on its books and records, which entry when made will be presumed correct, the date and amount of each advance, as well as the date and amount of each payment made by the Borrower.

 

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4.            Payment Terms. Accrued interest will be due and payable monthly in arrears on the last day of each month. The outstanding principal balance and any accrued but unpaid interest shall be due and payable on the Expiration Date.

 

If any payment under this Note shall become due on a day other than a Business Day, such payment shall be made on the next succeeding Business Day and such extension of time shall be included in computing interest in connection with such payment. The Borrower hereby authorizes the Bank to charge the Borrower’s deposit account at the Bank for any payment when due hereunder. If the Borrower revokes this authorization for any reason whatsoever or fails to maintain a deposit account with the Bank which may be charged, the Bank may, at its option, upon thirty (30) days notice to the Borrower, increase the interest rate payable by the Borrower under this Note by twenty-five (25) basis points (0.25%). Payments received will be applied to charges, fees and expenses (including attorneys’ fees), accrued interest and principal in any order the Bank may choose, in its sole discretion.

 

5.            Late Payments; Default Rate. If the Borrower fails to make any payment of principal, interest or other amount coming due pursuant to the provisions of this Note within fifteen (15) calendar days of the date due and payable, the Borrower also shall pay to the Bank a late charge equal to the lesser of five percent (5%) of the amount of such payment or $100.00 (the “Late Charge”). Such fifteen (15) day period shall not be construed in any way to extend the due date of any such payment. Upon maturity, whether by acceleration, demand or otherwise, and at the Bank’s option upon the occurrence of any Event of Default (as hereinafter defined) and during the continuance thereof, amounts outstanding under this Note shall bear interest at a rate per annum (based on the actual number of days that principal is outstanding over a year of 360 days) which shall be three percentage points (3%) in excess of the interest rate in effect from time to time under this Note but not more than the maximum rate allowed by law (the “Default Rate”). The Default Rate shall continue to apply whether or not judgment shall be entered on this Note. Both the Late Charge and the Default Rate are imposed as liquidated damages for the purpose of defraying the Bank’s expenses incident to the handling of delinquent payments, but are in addition to, and not in lieu of, the Bank’s exercise of any rights and remedies hereunder, under the other Loan Documents or under applicable law, and any fees and expenses of any agents or attorneys which the Bank may employ. In addition, the Default Rate reflects the increased credit risk to the Bank of carrying a loan that is in default. The Borrower agrees that the Late Charge and Default Rate are reasonable forecasts of just compensation for anticipated and actual harm incurred by the Bank, and that the actual harm incurred by the Bank cannot be estimated with certainty and without difficulty.

 

6.            Prepayment. The indebtedness evidenced by this Note may be prepaid in whole or in part at any time without penalty.

 

7.            Increased Costs; Yield Protection. On written demand, together with written evidence of the justification therefor, the Borrower agrees to pay the Bank all direct costs incurred, any losses suffered or payments made by the Bank as a result of any Change in Law (hereinafter defined), imposing any reserve, deposit, allocation of capital or similar requirement (including without limitation, Regulation D of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System) on the Bank, its holding company or any of their respective assets relative to the Facility. “Change in Law” means the occurrence, after the date of this Agreement, of any of the following: (a) the adoption or taking effect of any law, rule, regulation or treaty, (b) any change in any law, rule, regulation or treaty or in the administration, interpretation, implementation or application thereof by any governmental authority or (c) the making or issuance of any request, rule, guideline or directive (whether or not having the force of law) by any governmental authority; provided that notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, (x) the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and all requests, rules, guidelines or directives thereunder or issued in connection therewith and (y) all requests, rules, guidelines or directives promulgated by the Bank for International Settlements, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (or any successor or similar authority) or the United States or foreign regulatory authorities, in each case pursuant to Basel III, shall in each case be deemed to be a “Change in Law”, regardless of the date enacted, adopted or issued.

 

8.            Other Loan Documents. This Note is issued in connection with a Loan Agreement between the Borrower and the Bank, dated on or before the date hereof, and the other agreements and documents executed and/or delivered in connection therewith or referred to therein, the terms of which are incorporated herein by reference (as amended, modified or renewed from time to time, collectively the “Loan Documents”), and is secured by the property (if any) described in the Loan Documents and by such other collateral as previously may have been or may in the future be granted to the Bank to secure this Note.

 

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9.            Events of Default. The occurrence of any of the following events will be deemed to be an “Event of Default” under this Note: (i) the nonpayment of any principal, interest or other indebtedness under this Note when due; (ii) the occurrence of any event of default or any default, or any Obligor’s failure to observe or perform any covenant or other agreement, under or contained in any Loan Document or any other document now or in the future evidencing or securing any debt, liability or obligation of any Obligor to the Bank; provided, however, that, no such failure to observe or perform any such covenant or agreement (excluding financing covenants, financial reporting covenants, and negative covenants) shall constitute an Event of Default unless such failure continues for a period of 30 days after the earlier to occur of (a) the date when any Obligor becomes aware of such failure, and (b) the date when the Bank gives written notice to the Borrower of such failure; (iii) the filing by or against any Obligor of any proceeding in bankruptcy, receivership, insolvency, reorganization, liquidation, conservatorship or similar proceeding (and, in the case of any such proceeding instituted against any Obligor, such proceeding is not dismissed or stayed within 30 days of the commencement thereof, provided that the Bank shall not be obligated to advance additional funds hereunder during such period); (iv) any assignment by any Obligor for the benefit of creditors, or any levy, garnishment, attachment or similar proceeding is instituted against any property of any Obligor held by or deposited with the Bank; (v) a default with respect to any other indebtedness of any Obligor for borrowed money, if the effect of such default is to cause or permit the acceleration of such debt; (vi) the commencement of any foreclosure or forfeiture proceeding, execution or attachment against any collateral securing the obligations of any Obligor to the Bank; (vii) the entry of one or more final judgments against any Obligor in excess of $100,000.00 individually or in the aggregate and the failure of such Obligor to discharge the judgments within ten (10) days of the entry thereof; (viii) any change in any Obligor’s business, assets, operations, financial condition or results of operations that has or could reasonably be expected to have any material adverse effect on any Obligor; (ix) any Obligor ceases doing business as a going concern; (x) any representation or warranty made by any Obligor to the Bank in any Loan Document or any other documents now or in the future evidencing or securing the obligations of any Obligor to the Bank, is false, erroneous or misleading in any material respect; (xi) if this Note or any guarantee executed by any Obligor is secured, the failure of any Obligor to provide the Bank with additional collateral if in the Bank’s reasonable opinion at any time or times, the market value of any of the collateral securing this Note or any guarantee has depreciated below that required pursuant to the Loan Documents or, if no specific value is so required, then in an amount reasonably deemed material by the Bank; (xii) the revocation or attempted revocation, in whole or in part, of any guarantee by any Obligor; or (xiii) the death, incarceration, indictment or legal incompetency of any individual Obligor or, if any Obligor is a partnership or limited liability company, the death, incarceration, indictment or legal incompetency of any individual general partner or member. As used herein, the term “Obligor” means any Borrower and any guarantor of, or any pledgor, mortgagor or other person or entity providing collateral support for, the Borrower’s obligations to the Bank existing on the date of this Note or arising in the future.

 

Upon the occurrence of an Event of Default: (a) the Bank shall be under no further obligation to make advances hereunder; (b) if an Event of Default specified in clause (iii) or (iv) above shall occur, the outstanding principal balance and accrued interest hereunder together with any additional amounts payable hereunder shall be immediately due and payable without demand or notice of any kind; (c) if any other Event of Default shall occur, the outstanding principal balance and accrued interest hereunder together with any additional amounts payable hereunder, at the Bank’s option and without demand or notice of any kind, may be accelerated and become immediately due and payable; (d) at the Bank’s option, this Note will bear interest at the Default Rate from the date of the occurrence of the Event of Default; and (e) the Bank may exercise from time to time any of the rights and remedies available under the Loan Documents or under applicable law.

 

10.          Right of Setoff. In addition to all liens upon and rights of setoff against the Borrower’s money, securities or other property given to the Bank by law, the Bank shall have, with respect to the Borrower’s obligations to the Bank under this Note and to the extent permitted by law, a contractual possessory security interest in and a contractual right of setoff against, and the Borrower hereby grants the Bank a security interest in, and hereby assigns, conveys, delivers, pledges and transfers to the Bank, all of the Borrower’s right, title and interest in and to, all of the Borrower’s deposits, moneys, securities and other property now or hereafter in the possession of or on deposit with, or in transit to, the Bank or any other direct or indirect subsidiary of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., whether held in a general or special account or deposit, whether held jointly with someone else, or whether held for safekeeping or otherwise, excluding, however, all IRA, Keogh, and trust accounts. Every such security interest and right of setoff may be exercised without demand upon or notice to the Borrower. Every such right of setoff shall be deemed to have been exercised immediately upon the occurrence of an Event of Default hereunder without any action of the Bank, although the Bank may enter such setoff on its books and records at a later time.

 

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11.          Anti-Money Laundering/International Trade Law Compliance. The Borrower represents and warrants to the Bank, as of the date of this Note, the date of each advance of proceeds under the Facility, the date of any renewal, extension or modification of the Facility, and at all times until the Facility has been terminated and all amounts thereunder have been indefeasibly paid in full, that: (a) no Covered Entity (i) is a Sanctioned Person; (ii) has any of its assets in a Sanctioned Country or in the possession, custody or control of a Sanctioned Person; or (iii) does business in or with, or derives any of its operating income from investments in or transactions with, any Sanctioned Country or Sanctioned Person in violation of any law, regulation, order or directive enforced by any Compliance Authority; (b) the proceeds of the Facility will not be used to fund any operations in, finance any investments or activities in, or, make any payments to, a Sanctioned Country or Sanctioned Person in violation of any law, regulation, order or directive enforced by any Compliance Authority; (c) the funds used to repay the Facility are not derived from any unlawful activity; and (d) each Covered Entity is in compliance with, and no Covered Entity engages in any dealings or transactions prohibited by, any laws of the United States, including but not limited to any Anti-Terrorism Laws. Borrower covenants and agrees that it shall immediately notify the Bank in writing upon the occurrence of a Reportable Compliance Event.

 

As used herein: “Anti-Terrorism Laws” means any laws relating to terrorism, trade sanctions programs and embargoes, import/export licensing, money laundering, or bribery, all as amended, supplemented or replaced from time to time; “Compliance Authority means each and all of the (a) U.S. Treasury Department/Office of Foreign Assets Control, (b) U.S. Treasury Department/Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, (c) U.S. State Department/Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, (d) U.S. Commerce Department/Bureau of Industry and Security, (e) U.S. Internal Revenue Service, (f) U.S. Justice Department, and (g) U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; “Covered Entity” means the Borrower, its affiliates and subsidiaries, all guarantors, pledgors of collateral, all owners of the foregoing, and all brokers or other agents of the Borrower acting in any capacity in connection with the Facility; “Reportable Compliance Event” means that any Covered Entity becomes a Sanctioned Person, or is indicted, arraigned, investigated or custodially detained, or receives an inquiry from regulatory or law enforcement officials, in connection with any Anti-Terrorism Law or any predicate crime to any Anti-Terrorism Law, or self-discovers facts or circumstances implicating any aspect of its operations with the actual or possible violation of any Anti-Terrorism Law; “Sanctioned Country” means a country subject to a sanctions program maintained by any Compliance Authority; and “Sanctioned Person” means any individual person, group, regime, entity or thing listed or otherwise recognized as a specially designated, prohibited, sanctioned or debarred person or entity, or subject to any limitations or prohibitions (including but not limited to the blocking of property or rejection of transactions), under any order or directive of any Compliance Authority or otherwise subject to, or specially designated under, any sanctions program maintained by any Compliance Authority.

 

12.          Indemnity. The Borrower agrees to indemnify each of the Bank, each legal entity, if any, who controls, is controlled by or is under common control with the Bank, and each of their respective directors, officers and employees (the “Indemnified Parties”), and to defend and hold each Indemnified Party harmless from and against any and all claims, damages, losses, liabilities and expenses (including all fees and charges of internal or external counsel with whom any Indemnified Party may consult and all expenses of litigation and preparation therefor) which any Indemnified Party may incur or which may be asserted against any Indemnified Party by any person, entity or governmental authority (including any person or entity claiming derivatively on behalf of the Borrower), in connection with or arising out of or relating to the matters referred to in this Note or in the other Loan Documents or the use of any advance hereunder, whether (a) arising from or incurred in connection with any breach of a representation, warranty or covenant by the Borrower, or (b) arising out of or resulting from any suit, action, claim, proceeding or governmental investigation, pending or threatened, whether based on statute, regulation or order, or tort, or contract or otherwise, before any court or governmental authority; provided, however, that the foregoing indemnity agreement shall not apply to any claims, damages, losses, liabilities and expenses solely attributable to an Indemnified Party's gross negligence or willful misconduct. The indemnity agreement contained in this Section shall survive the termination of this Note, payment of any advance hereunder and the assignment of any rights hereunder. The Borrower may participate at its expense in the defense of any such action or claim.

 

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13.          Miscellaneous. All notices, demands, requests, consents, approvals and other communications required or permitted hereunder (“Notices”) must be in writing (except as may be agreed otherwise above with respect to borrowing requests) and will be effective upon receipt. Notices may be given in any manner to which the parties may separately agree, including electronic mail. Without limiting the foregoing, first-class mail, facsimile transmission and commercial courier service are hereby agreed to as acceptable methods for giving Notices. Regardless of the manner in which provided, Notices may be sent to a party’s address as set forth above or to such other address as any party may give to the other for such purpose in accordance with this paragraph. No delay or omission on the Bank’s part to exercise any right or power arising hereunder will impair any such right or power or be considered a waiver of any such right or power, nor will the Bank’s action or inaction impair any such right or power. The Bank’s rights and remedies hereunder are cumulative and not exclusive of any other rights or remedies which the Bank may have under other agreements, at law or in equity. No modification, amendment or waiver of, or consent to any departure by the Borrower from, any provision of this Note will be effective unless made in a writing signed by the Bank, and then such waiver or consent shall be effective only in the specific instance and for the purpose for which given. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Bank may modify this Note for the purposes of completing missing content or correcting erroneous content, without the need for a written amendment, provided that the Bank shall send a copy of any such modification to the Borrower (which notice may be given by electronic mail). The Borrower agrees to pay on demand, to the extent permitted by law, all costs and expenses incurred by the Bank in the enforcement of its rights in this Note and in any security therefor, including without limitation reasonable fees and expenses of the Bank’s counsel. If any provision of this Note is found to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect by a court, all the other provisions of this Note will remain in full force and effect. The Borrower and all other makers and indorsers of this Note hereby forever waive presentment, protest, notice of dishonor and notice of non-payment. The Borrower also waives all defenses based on suretyship or impairment of collateral. If this Note is executed by more than one Borrower, the obligations of such persons or entities hereunder will be joint and several. This Note shall bind the Borrower and its heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns, and the benefits hereof shall inure to the benefit of the Bank and its successors and assigns; provided, however, that the Borrower may not assign this Note in whole or in part without the Bank’s written consent and the Bank at any time may assign this Note in whole or in part.

 

This Note has been delivered to and accepted by the Bank and will be deemed to be made in the State where the Bank’s office indicated above is located. This Note will be interpreted and the rights and liabilities of the Bank and the Borrower determined in accordance with the laws of the State where the Bank’s office indicated above is located, excluding its conflict of laws rules. The Borrower hereby irrevocably consents to the exclusive jurisdiction of any state or federal court in the county or judicial district where the Bank’s office indicated above is located; provided that nothing contained in this Note will prevent the Bank from bringing any action, enforcing any award or judgment or exercising any rights against the Borrower individually, against any security or against any property of the Borrower within any other county, state or other foreign or domestic jurisdiction. The Borrower acknowledges and agrees that the venue provided above is the most convenient forum for both the Bank and the Borrower. The Borrower waives any objection to venue and any objection based on a more convenient forum in any action instituted under this Note.

 

14.          Commercial Purpose. The Borrower represents that the indebtedness evidenced by this Note is being incurred by the Borrower solely for the purpose of acquiring or carrying on a business, professional or commercial activity, and not for personal, family or household purposes.

 

15.          USA PATRIOT Act Notice. To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each Borrower that opens an account. What this means: when the Borrower opens an account, the Bank will ask for the business name, business address, taxpayer identifying number and other information that will allow the Bank to identify the Borrower, such as organizational documents. For some businesses and organizations, the Bank may also need to ask for identifying information and documentation relating to certain individuals associated with the business or organization.

 

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16.          Authorization to Obtain Credit Reports. By signing below, each Borrower who is an individual provides written authorization to the Bank or its designee (and any assignee or potential assignee hereof) to obtain the Borrower’s personal credit profile from one or more national credit bureaus. Such authorization shall extend to obtaining a credit profile in considering this Note and subsequently for the purposes of update, renewal or extension of such credit or additional credit and for reviewing or collecting the resulting account.

 

17.          Depository. The Borrower will establish and maintain with the Bank the Borrower’s primary depository accounts. If the Borrower fails to establish and/or maintain its primary depository accounts with the Bank, the Bank may, at its option, upon thirty (30) days notice to the Borrower, increase the interest rate payable by the Borrower under this Note by up to 1.00 percentage points (1.00%). The Bank’s right to increase the interest rate pursuant to this paragraph shall be in addition to any other rights or remedies the Bank may have under this Note, all of which are hereby reserved, and shall not constitute a waiver, release or limitation upon the Bank’s exercise of any such rights or remedies.

 

18.          Dispute Resolution.

 

(a)          Arbitration of Disputes. The Borrower and the Bank shall submit any and all disputes arising out of or relating to this Note or the breach thereof (a “Dispute”) to binding arbitration pursuant to and in accordance with the AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules and, where applicable, the Supplementary Rules for Large, Complex Commercial Disputes, and judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. Such arbitration shall be conducted in a mutually acceptable location. The procedures specified herein shall be the sole and exclusive procedures for the resolution of Disputes; provided, however, that the Borrower or the Bank may seek provisional or ancillary remedies, such as preliminary injunctive relief, from a court having jurisdiction, before, during or after the pendency of any arbitration proceeding. The institution and maintenance of any action for such judicial relief, or pursuit of provisional or ancillary remedies, shall not constitute a waiver of the right or obligation of any party to submit any claim or dispute to arbitration. Nothing herein shall in any way limit or modify any remedies available to the Bank under the Loan Documents or otherwise at law or in equity.

 

(b)         Motion Practice. In any arbitration hereunder, the arbitrator(s) shall decide any pre-hearing motions which are substantially similar to pre-hearing motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim or motions for summary adjudication.

 

(c)          Discovery. Discovery shall be limited to the pre-hearing exchange of all documents which the Borrower and the Bank intend to introduce at the hearing and any expert reports prepared by any expert who will testify at the hearing.

 

(d)         Sequential Hearing Days. At the administrative conference conducted by the AAA, the Borrower and the Bank and the AAA shall determine how to ensure that the hearing is started and completed on sequential hearing days. Potential arbitrators shall be informed of the anticipated length of the hearing and they shall not be subject to appointment unless they agree to abide by the parties’ intent that, absent exigent circumstances, the hearing shall be conducted on sequential days.

 

(e)          Award. The award of the arbitrator(s) shall be accompanied by a statement of the reasons upon which such award is based.

 

(f)          Fees and Expenses. The Borrower and the Bank shall each bear equally all fees and costs and expenses of the arbitration, and each shall bear its own legal fees and expenses and the costs of its experts and witnesses; provided, however, that if the arbitration panel shall award to a party substantially all relief sought by such party, then, notwithstanding any applicable governing law provisions, the other party shall pay all costs, fees and expenses incurred by the prevailing party and such costs, fees and expenses shall be included in such award.

 

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(g)         Confidentiality of Disputes. The entire procedure shall be confidential and none of the parties nor arbitrator(s) may disclose the existence, content, or results of any arbitration hereunder without the written consent of all parties to the Dispute, except (i) to the extent disclosure is required to enforce any applicable arbitration award or may otherwise be required by law and (ii) that either party may make such disclosures to its regulators, auditors, accountants, attorneys and insurance representatives. No conduct, statements, promises, offers, views, or opinions of any party involved in an arbitration hereunder shall be discoverable or admissible for any purposes in litigation or other proceedings involving the parties to the Dispute and shall not be disclosed to anyone not an agent, employee, expert, witness, or representative for any of such parties.

 

The Borrower acknowledges that it has read and understood all the provisions of this Note, and has been advised by counsel as necessary or appropriate.

 

WITNESS the due execution hereof as a document under seal, as of the date first written above, with the intent to be legally bound hereby.

 

 

WITNESS / ATTEST:   CHARLES & COLVARD, LTD.  
         
         
         
/s/ Kyle S. Macemore   By: /s/ Randall N. McCullough  
      (SEAL)  
Print Name: Kyle S. Macemore     Randall N. McCullough  
Title: Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer     President and Chief Executive Officer  
(Include title only if an officer of entity signing to the right)        

 

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