Change In Control Employment Agreement

Change in Control Employment Agreement

Exhibit 10.1

CHANGE IN CONTROL EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT

                    CHANGE IN CONTROL EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT, dated as of the ____ day of ____________, 201_ (this “Agreement”), by and between The Valspar Corporation, a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), and _______________(the “Executive”).

                    WHEREAS, the Board of Directors of the Company (the “Board”) has determined that it is in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders to assure that the Company will have the continued dedication of the Executive, notwithstanding the possibility, threat or occurrence of a Change in Control (as defined herein). The Board believes it is imperative to diminish the inevitable distraction of the Executive by virtue of the personal uncertainties and risks created by a pending or threatened Change in Control and to encourage the Executive’s full attention and dedication to the Company in the event of any threatened or pending Change in Control, and to provide the Executive with compensation and benefits arrangements upon a Change in Control that ensure that the compensation and benefits expectations of the Executive will be satisfied and that provide the Executive with compensation and benefits arrangements that are competitive with those of other corporations. Therefore, in order to accomplish these objectives, the Board has caused the Company to enter into this Agreement.

                    NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

                    Section 1.          Certain Definitions. (a) “Effective Date” means the first date during the Change in Control Period (as defined herein) on which a Change in Control occurs.

                    (b)          “Change in Control Period” means the period commencing on the date hereof and ending on the second anniversary of the date hereof; provided, however, that, commencing on the date one year after the date hereof, and on each annual anniversary of such date (such date and each annual anniversary thereof, the “Renewal Date”), unless previously terminated, the Change in Control Period shall be automatically extended so as to terminate two years from such Renewal Date, unless, at least 60 days prior to the Renewal Date, the Company shall give notice to the Executive that the Change in Control Period shall not be so extended.

                    (c)          “Affiliated Company” means any company controlled by, controlling or under common control with the Company.

                    (d)          “Change in Control” means:

                    (1)          Any individual, entity or group (within the meaning of Section 13(d)(3) or 14(d)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”)) (a “Person”) becomes the beneficial owner (within the meaning of Rule 13d-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act) of 20% or more of either (A) the then-outstanding shares of common stock of the Company (the “Outstanding Company Common Stock”) or (B) the combined voting power of the then-outstanding voting securities of the Company entitled to vote generally in the election of directors (the “Outstanding Company Voting Securities”); provided, however, that, for purposes of this Section 1(d), the following acquisitions shall not constitute a Change in Control: (i) any acquisition directly from the Company, (ii) any acquisition by the Company, (iii) any acquisition by any employee benefit plan (or related trust) sponsored or maintained by the Company or any Affiliated Company or (iv) any acquisition pursuant to a transaction that complies with Sections 1(d)(3)(A), 1(d)(3)(B) and 1(d)(3)(C);


                    (2)          Individuals who, as of the date hereof, constitute the Board (the “Incumbent Board”) cease for any reason to constitute at least a majority of the Board; provided, however, that any individual becoming a director subsequent to the date hereof whose election, or nomination for election by the Company’s stockholders, was approved by a vote of at least a majority of the directors then comprising the Incumbent Board shall be considered as though such individual was a member of the Incumbent Board, but excluding, for this purpose, any such individual whose initial assumption of office occurs as a result of an actual or threatened election contest with respect to the election or removal of directors or other actual or threatened solicitation of proxies or consents by or on behalf of a Person other than the Board;

                    (3)          Consummation of a reorganization, merger, statutory share exchange or consolidation or similar transaction involving the Company or any of its subsidiaries, a sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company, or the acquisition of assets or stock of another entity by the Company or any of its subsidiaries (each, a “Business Combination”), in each case unless, following such Business Combination, (A) all or substantially all of the individuals and entities that were the beneficial owners of the Outstanding Company Common Stock and the Outstanding Company Voting Securities immediately prior to such Business Combination beneficially own, directly or indirectly, more than 60% of the then-outstanding shares of common stock (or, for a non-corporate entity, equivalent securities) and the combined voting power of the then-outstanding voting securities entitled to vote generally in the election of directors (or, for a non-corporate entity, equivalent governing body), as the case may be, of the entity resulting from such Business Combination (including, without limitation, an entity that, as a result of such transaction, owns the Company or all or substantially all of the Company’s assets either directly or through one or more subsidiaries) in substantially the same proportions as their ownership immediately prior to such Business Combination of the Outstanding Company Common Stock and the Outstanding Company Voting Securities, as the case may be, (B) no Person (excluding any corporation resulting from such Business Combination or any employee benefit plan (or related trust) of the Company or such corporation resulting from such Business Combination) beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, 20% or more of, respectively, the then-outstanding shares of common stock of the corporation resulting from such Business Combination or the combined voting power of the then-outstanding voting securities of such corporation, except to the extent that such ownership existed prior to the Business Combination, and (C) at least a majority of the members of the board of directors (or, for a non-corporate entity, equivalent governing body) of the entity resulting from such Business Combination were members of the Incumbent Board at the time of the execution of the initial agreement or of the action of the Board providing for such Business Combination; or

                    (4)          Approval by the stockholders of the Company of a complete liquidation or dissolution of the Company.

                    Section 2.          Employment Period. The Company hereby agrees to continue the Executive in its employ, subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, for the period commencing on the Effective Date and ending on the second anniversary of the Effective Date (the “Employment Period”). The Employment Period shall terminate upon the Executive’s termination of employment for any reason.

                    Section 3.     Terms of Employment. (a) Position and Duties. (1) During the Employment Period, (A) the Executive’s position (including status, offices, titles and reporting requirements), authority, duties and responsibilities shall be at least commensurate in all respects with the most significant of those held, exercised and assigned at any time during the 120-day period immediately preceding the Effective Date, (B) the Executive’s services shall be performed at the office where the Executive was employed immediately preceding the Effective Date or at any other location less than 35 miles from such office, and (C) the Executive shall not be required to travel on Company business to a substantially greater extent than required during the 120-day period immediately prior to the Effective Date.

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                    (2)          During the Employment Period, and excluding any periods of vacation and sick leave to which the Executive is entitled, the Executive agrees to devote reasonable attention and time during normal business hours to the business and affairs of the Company and, to the extent necessary to discharge the responsibilities assigned to the Executive hereunder, to use the Executive’s reasonable best efforts to perform faithfully and efficiently such responsibilities. During the Employment Period, it shall not be a violation of this Agreement for the Executive to (A) serve on corporate, civic or charitable boards or committees, (B) deliver lectures, fulfill speaking engagements or teach at educational institutions and (C) manage personal investments, so long as such activities do not significantly interfere with the performance of the Executive’s responsibilities as an employee of the Company in accordance with this Agreement. It is expressly understood and agreed that, to the extent that any such activities have been conducted by the Executive prior to the Effective Date, the continued conduct of such activities (or the conduct of activities similar in nature and scope thereto) subsequent to the Effective Date shall not thereafter be deemed to interfere with the performance of the Executive’s responsibilities to the Company.

                    (b)          Compensation. (1) Base Salary. During the Employment Period, the Executive shall receive an annual base salary (the “Annual Base Salary”) at an annual rate at least equal to 12 times the highest monthly base salary paid or payable, including any base salary that has been earned but deferred, to the Executive by the Company and the Affiliated Companies in respect of the one-year period immediately preceding the month in which the Effective Date occurs. The Annual Base Salary shall be paid at such intervals as the Company pays executive salaries generally. During the Employment Period, the Annual Base Salary shall be reviewed at least annually, beginning no more than 12 months after the last salary increase awarded to the Executive prior to the Effective Date. Any increase in the Annual Base Salary shall not serve to limit or reduce any other obligation to the Executive under this Agreement. The Annual Base Salary shall not be reduced after any such increase and the term “Annual Base Salary” shall refer to the Annual Base Salary as so increased.

                    (2)          Annual Bonus. In addition to the Annual Base Salary, the Executive shall be awarded, for each fiscal year ending during the Employment Period, an annual bonus (the “Annual Bonus”) in cash at least equal to the Executive’s target cash annual bonus for the fiscal year during which the Effective Date occurs The Annual Bonus shall be paid no later than two and a half months after the end of the fiscal year for which the Annual Bonus is awarded, unless the Executive shall elect to defer the receipt of such Annual Bonus pursuant to an arrangement that meets the requirements of Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).

                    (3)          Long-Term Cash and Equity Incentives, Savings and Retirement Plans. During the Employment Period, the Executive shall be entitled to participate in all long-term cash incentive, equity incentive, savings and retirement plans, practices, policies and programs applicable generally to other peer executives of the Company and the Affiliated Companies, but in no event shall such plans, practices, policies and programs provide the Executive with incentive opportunities (measured with respect to both regular and special incentive opportunities, to the extent, if any, that such distinction is applicable), savings opportunities and retirement benefit opportunities, in each case, less favorable, in the aggregate, than the most favorable of those provided by the Company and the Affiliated Companies for the Executive under such plans, practices, policies and programs as in effect at any time during the 120-day period immediately preceding the Effective Date or, if more favorable to the Executive, those provided generally at any time after the Effective Date to other peer executives of the Company and the Affiliated Companies.

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                    (4)          Welfare Benefit Plans. During the Employment Period, the Executive and/or the Executive’s family, as the case may be, shall be eligible for participation in and shall receive all benefits under welfare benefit plans, practices, policies and programs provided by the Company and the Affiliated Companies (including, without limitation, medical, retiree medical, prescription, dental, disability, employee life, group life, accidental death and travel accident insurance plans and programs) to the extent applicable generally to other peer executives of the Company and the Affiliated Companies, but in no event shall such plans, practices, policies and programs provide the Executive with benefits that are less favorable, in the aggregate, than the most favorable of such plans, practices, policies and programs in effect for the Executive at any time during the 120-day period immediately preceding the Effective Date or, if more favorable to the Executive, those provided generally at any time after the Effective Date to other peer executives of the Company and the Affiliated Companies. With respect to any retiree medical plan for which the Executive and/or the Executive’s family becomes eligible prior to or during the Employment Period, the Executive and/or the Executive’s family, as the case may be, shall be remain eligible for participation and shall receive all benefits under the plan for the period(s) set forth in the plan, even if the period(s) extends beyond the Employment Period.

                    (5)          Expenses. During the Employment Period, the Executive shall be entitled to receive prompt reimbursement for all reasonable expenses incurred by the Executive in accordance with the most favorable policies, practices and procedures of the Company and the Affiliated Companies in effect for the Executive at any time during the 120-day period immediately preceding the Effective Date or, if more favorable to the Executive, as in effect generally at any time thereafter with respect to other peer executives of the Company and the Affiliated Companies.

                    (6)          Fringe Benefits. During the Employment Period, the Executive shall be entitled to fringe benefits, including, without limitation, tax and financial planning services, payment of club dues, and, if applicable, use of an automobile and payment of related expenses, in accordance with the most favorable plans, practices, programs and policies of the Company and the Affiliated Companies in effect for the Executive at any time during the 120-day period immediately preceding the Effective Date or, if more favorable to the Executive, as in effect generally at any time thereafter with respect to other peer executives of the Company and the Affiliated Companies, provided that no payment shall be made later than the last day of the second calendar year after the year in which the expense occurs.

                    (7)          Office and Support Staff. During the Employment Period, the Executive shall be entitled to an office or offices of a size and with furnishings and other appointments, and to exclusive personal secretarial and other assistance, at least equal to the most favorable of the foregoing provided to the Executive by the Company and the Affiliated Companies at any time during the 120-day period immediately preceding the Effective Date or, if more favorable to the Executive, as provided generally at any time thereafter with respect to other peer executives of the Company and the Affiliated Companies.

                    (8)          Vacation. During the Employment Period, the Executive shall be entitled to paid vacation in accordance with the most favorable plans, practices, policies and programs of the Company and the Affiliated Companies as in effect for the Executive at any time during the 120-day period immediately preceding the Effective Date or, if more favorable to the Executive, as in effect generally at any time thereafter with respect to other peer executives of the Company and the Affiliated Companies.

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                    Section 4.          Termination of Employment. (a) Death or Disability. The Executive’s employment shall terminate automatically if the Executive dies during the Employment Period. If the Company determines in good faith that the Disability (as defined herein) of the Executive has occurred during the Employment Period (pursuant to the definition of “Disability”), it may give to the Executive written notice in accordance with Section 11(b) of its intention to terminate the Executive’s employment. In such event, the Executive’s employment with the Company shall terminate effective on the 30th day after receipt of such notice by the Executive (the “Disability Effective Date”), provided that, within the 30 days after such receipt, the Executive shall not have returned to full-time performance of the Executive’s duties. “Disability” means the absence of the Executive from the Executive’s duties with the Company on a full-time basis for 90 consecutive business days, or 90 business days during any period of 120 consecutive business days, as a result of incapacity due to mental or physical illness that is determined to be total and permanent by a physician selected by the Company or its insurers and acceptable to the Executive or the Executive’s legal representative (such agreement as to acceptability not to be unreasonably withheld).

                    (b)          Cause. The Company may terminate the Executive’s employment during the Employment Period with or without Cause. “Cause” means:

 

 

 

 

          (1)          the willful and continued failure of the Executive to perform substantially the Executive’s duties (as contemplated by Section 3(a)(1)(A)) with the Company or any Affiliated Company (other than any such failure resulting from incapacity due to physical or mental illness or following the Executive’s delivery of a Notice of Termination for Good Reason), after a written demand for substantial performance is delivered to the Executive by the Board of Directors of the Company that specifically identifies the manner in which the Board believes that the Executive has not substantially performed the Executive’s duties, or

 

 

 

          (2)          the willful engaging by the Executive in illegal conduct or gross misconduct that is materially and demonstrably injurious to the Company.

For purposes of this Section 4(b), no act, or failure to act, on the part of the Executive shall be considered “willful” unless it is done, or omitted to be done, by the Executive in bad faith or without reasonable belief that the Executive’s action or omission was in the best interests of the Company. Any act, or failure to act, based upon (A) authority given pursuant to a resolution duly adopted by the Board, or if the Company is not the ultimate parent corporation of the Affiliated Companies and is not publicly traded, the board of directors of the ultimate parent of the Company (the “Applicable Board”), or (B) the advice of counsel for the Company shall be conclusively presumed to be done, or omitted to be done, by the Executive in good faith and in the best interests of the Company. The cessation of employment of the Executive shall not be deemed to be for Cause unless and until there shall have been delivered to the Executive a copy of a resolution duly adopted by the affirmative vote of not less than three-quarters of the entire membership of the Applicable Board (excluding the Executive, if the Executive is a member of the Applicable Board) at a meeting of the Applicable Board called and held for such purpose (after reasonable notice is provided to the Executive and the Executive is given an opportunity, together with counsel for the Executive, to be heard before the Applicable Board), finding that, in the good faith opinion of the Applicable Board, the Executive is guilty of the conduct described in Section 4(b)(1) or 4(b)(2), and specifying the particulars thereof in detail.

                    (c)          Good Reason. The Executive’s employment may be terminated during the Employment Period by the Executive for Good Reason or by the Executive voluntarily without Good Reason. “Good Reason” means:

 

 

 

 

          (1)          the assignment to the Executive of any duties materially inconsistent with the Executive’s position (including status, offices, titles and reporting requirements), authority, duties or responsibilities as contemplated by Section 3(a), or any action by the Company that results in a material diminution in such position, authority, duties or responsibilities (whether or not occurring solely as a result of the Company’s ceasing to be a publicly traded entity);

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          (2)          a material failure by the Company to comply with Section 3(b);

 

 

 

 

          (3)          the Company’s requiring the Executive to be based at any office or location other than as provided in Section 3(a)(1)(B) that materially increases the distance or duration of the Executive’s commute (for this purpose, an increase in the Executive’s commute by 35 miles or more shall be deemed material); or

 

 

 

 

          (4)          any other action or inaction that constitutes a material breach by the Company of this Agreement, including any failure by the Company to comply with and satisfy Section 10(c).

In order to invoke a termination for Good Reason, the Executive shall provide written notice to the Company of the existence of one or more of the conditions described in clauses (1) through (4) within 90 days following the initial existence of such condition or conditions, specifying in reasonable detail the conditions constituting Good Reason, and the Company shall have 30 days following receipt of such written notice (the “Cure Period”) during which it may remedy the condition. In the event that the Company fails to remedy the condition constituting Good Reason during the applicable Cure Period, the Executive’s “separation from service” (within the meaning of Section 409A of the Code) must occur, if at all, within two years following such Cure Period in order for such termination as a result of such condition to constitute a termination for Good Reason. The Executive’s mental or physical incapacity following the occurrence of an event described above in clauses (1) through (4) shall not affect the Executive’s ability to terminate employment for Good Reason and the Executive’s death following delivery of a Notice of Termination for Good Reason shall not affect the Executive’s estate’s entitlement to severance payments benefits provided hereunder upon a termination of employment for Good Reason.

                    (d)          Notice of Termination. Any termination of employment by the Company for Cause, or by the Executive for Good Reason, shall be communicated by Notice of Termination to the other party hereto given in accordance with Section 11(b). “Notice of Termination” means a written notice that (1) indicates the specific termination provision in this Agreement relied upon, (2) to the extent applicable, sets forth in reasonable detail the facts and circumstances claimed to provide a basis for termination of the Executive’s employment under the provision so indicated and (3) if the Date of Termination (as defined herein) is other than the date of receipt of such notice, specifies the Date of Termination (which Date of Termination shall be not more than 30 days after the giving of such notice). The failure by the Executive or the Company to set forth in the Notice of Termination any fact or circumstance that contributes to a showing of Good Reason or Cause shall not waive any right of the Executive or the Company, respectively, hereunder or preclude the Executive or the Company, respectively, from asserting such fact or circumstance in enforcing the Executive’s or the Company’s respective rights hereunder.

                    (e)          Date of Termination.Date of Termination” means (1) if the Executive’s employment is terminated by the Company for Cause, or by the Executive for Good Reason, the date of receipt of the Notice of Termination or such later date specified in the Notice of Termination, as the case may be, (2) if the Executive’s employment is terminated by the Company other than for Cause or Disability, the date on which the Company notifies the Executive of such termination, (3) if the Executive resigns without Good Reason, the date on which the Executive notifies the Company of such termination, and (4) if the Executive’s employment is terminated by reason of death or Disability, the date of death of the Executive or the Disability Effective Date, as the case may be. The Company and the Executive shall take all steps necessary (including with regard to any post-termination services by the Executive) to ensure that any termination described in this Section 4 constitutes a “separation from service” within the meaning of Section 409A of the Code, and notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, the date on which such separation from service takes place shall be the “Date of Termination.”

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                    Section 5.          Obligations of the Company upon Termination. (a) By the Executive for Good Reason; By the Company Other Than for Cause, Death or Disability. If, during the Employment Period, the Company terminates the Executive’s employment other than for Cause, death or Disability or the Executive terminates employment for Good Reason:

 

 

 

 

          (1)      the Company shall pay to the Executive, in a lump sum in cash within 30 days after the Date of Termination, the aggregate of the following amounts:

 

 

 

 

          (A)          the sum of (i) the Executive’s Annual Base Salary through the Date of Termination to the extent not theretofore paid, (ii) the Executive’s business expenses that are reimbursable pursuant to Section 3(b)(5) but have not been reimbursed by the Company as of the Date of Termination; (iii) the Executive’s Annual Bonus for the fiscal year immediately preceding the fiscal year in which the Date of Termination occurs, if such bonus has been determined but not paid as of the Date of Termination; (iv) any accrued vacation pay to the extent not theretofore paid (the sum of the amounts described in subclauses (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv), the “Accrued Obligations”) and (v) an amount equal to the product of (x) the target Annual Bonus paid or payable, without regard to the satisfaction of any applicable performance targets at their target performance level, for the fiscal year during which the Employment Period is terminated under this paragraph (the “Target Annual Bonus”) and (y) a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of days in the current fiscal year through the Date of Termination and the denominator of which is 365 (the “Pro Rata Bonus”); provided, that notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Executive has made an irrevocable election under any deferred compensation arrangement subject to Section 409A of the Code to defer any portion of the Annual Bonus described in clause (iii) above, then for all purposes of this Section 5 (including, without limitation, Sections 5(b) through 5(d)), such deferral election, and the terms of the applicable arrangement, shall apply to the same portion of the amount described in such clause (iii), and such portion shall not be considered as part of the “Accrued Obligations” but shall instead be an “Other Benefit” (as defined below); and

 

 

 

 

 

          (B)          the amount equal to the product of (x) two and (y) the sum of the Executive’s Annual Base Salary and the Target Annual Bonus;

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          (2)          for three years after the Executive’s Date of Termination, or such longer period as may be provided by the terms of the appropriate plan, program, practice or policy (the “Benefit Continuation Period”), the Company shall provide health care and life insurance benefits to the Executive and/or the Executive’s family at least equal to, and at the same after-tax cost to the Executive and/or the Executive’s family, as those that would have been provided to them in accordance with the plans, programs, practices and policies providing health care and life insurance benefits and at the benefit level described in Section 3(b)(4) if the Executive’s employment had not been terminated or, if more favorable to the Executive, as in effect generally at any time thereafter with respect to other peer executives of the Company and the Affiliated Companies and their families, including but not limited to any retiree medical plan for which the Executive or the Executive’s family was eligible prior to or as of the Date of Termination; provided, however, that, (A) the cost of such coverage (based on prevailing rates under Section 4980B of the Code or other applicable law (“COBRA”)) shall be reported by the Company as taxable income to the Executive to the extent reasonably determined by the Company or the Executive to be necessary to avoid such coverage from being considered to have been provided under a discriminatory self-insured medical reimbursement plan pursuant to Section 105(h) of the Code, but otherwise such coverage shall be provided at the same after-tax cost to the Executive and/or the Executive’s family as required by this Section 5(a)(i)(2), (B) such coverage may, if elected by the Company, be provided through the Executive electing coverage under COBRA for the maximum allowable period and the Company’s paying the premiums for such coverage on the Executive’s behalf, (C) if the Executive becomes re-employed with another employer and is eligible to receive health care and life insurance benefits under another employer-provided plan, the health care and life benefits provided hereunder shall be secondary to those provided under such other plan during such applicable period of eligibility, and (d) to the extent such coverage cannot be provided to the Executive following the expiration of the maximum applicable COBRA period because it is not allowed by a third-party insurance carrier, or to the extent the provision of such coverage would result in tax penalties to Executive pursuant to Section 409A of the Code, in lieu of such coverage the Company shall pay to the Executive on the first day of each month of the Benefit Continuation Period in which such coverage is not provided an amount in cash equal to the cost of the Executive purchasing such coverage on the open market, as reasonably determined by the Company. For purposes of determining eligibility (but not the time of commencement of benefits) of the Executive for retiree welfare benefits pursuant to the retiree welfare benefit plans, the Executive shall be considered to have remained employed until the end of the Benefit Continuation Period and to have retired on the last day of such period, and the Company shall take such actions as are necessary to cause the Executive to be eligible to commence in the applicable retiree welfare benefit plans as of the applicable benefit commencement date.

 

 

 

          (3)          the Company shall, at its sole expense as incurred, provide the Executive with outplacement services substantially similar to those available to the Executive immediately prior to the Date of Termination, provided that such outplacement benefits shall end not later than the last day of the second calendar year that began after the Date of Termination; and

 

 

 

          (4)          except as otherwise set forth in the last sentence of Section 6, to the extent not theretofore paid or provided, the Company shall timely pay or provide to the Executive any Other Benefits (as defined in Section 6) in accordance with the terms of the underlying plans or agreements.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Section 5(a)(1), in the event that the Executive is a “specified employee” within the meaning of Section 409A of the Code (as determined in accordance with the methodology established by the Company as in effect on the Date of Termination) (a “Specified Employee”), amounts that would otherwise be payable and benefits that would otherwise be provided under Section 5(a)(1) during the six-month period immediately following the Date of Termination (other than the Accrued Obligations) shall instead be paid, with interest on any delayed payment at the rate equal to the ninety-day London Interbank Offered Rate, determined on the first day during such six-month period, plus 3.00% (such rate referred to herein as “Interest”), or provided, as the case may be, on the first business day after the date that is six months following the Executive’s “separation from service” within the meaning of Section 409A of the Code (the “Delayed Payment Date”).

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                    (b)          Death. If the Executive’s employment is terminated by reason of the Executive’s death during the Employment Period, the Company shall provide the Executive’s estate or beneficiaries with the Accrued Obligations (subject to the proviso set forth in Section 5(a)(1)(A) to the extent applicable) and the Pro Rata Bonus and the timely payment or delivery of the Other Benefits (subject to the proviso set forth in Section 5(a)(1)(A) to the extent applicable), and shall have no other severance obligations under this Agreement. The Accrued Obligations and the Pro Rata Bonus shall be paid to the Executive’s estate or beneficiary, as applicable, in a lump sum in cash within 30 days of the Date of Termination. With respect to the provision of the Other Benefits, the term “Other Benefits” as utilized in this Section 5(b) shall include, without limitation, and the Executive’s estate and/or beneficiaries shall be entitled to receive, benefits at least equal to the most favorable benefits provided by the Company and the Affiliated Companies to the estates and beneficiaries of peer executives of the Company and the Affiliated Companies under such plans, programs, practices and policies relating to death benefits, if any, as in effect with respect to other peer executives and their beneficiaries at any time during the 120-day period immediately preceding the Effective Date or, if more favorable to the Executive’s estate and/or the Executive’s beneficiaries, as in effect on the date of the Executive’s death with respect to other peer executives of the Company and the Affiliated Companies and their beneficiaries.

                    (c)          Disability. If the Executive’s employment is terminated by reason of the Executive’s Disability during the Employment Period, the Company shall provide the Executive with the Accrued Obligations and Pro Rata Bonus and the timely payment or delivery of the Other Benefits (subject to the proviso set forth in Section 5(a)(1)(A) to the extent applicable) in accordance with the terms of the underlying plans or agreements, and shall have no other severance obligations under this Agreement. The Accrued Obligations (subject to the proviso set forth in Section 5(a)(1)(A) to the extent applicable) and the Pro Rata Bonus shall be paid to the Executive in a lump sum in cash within 30 days of the Date of Termination, provided, that in the event that the Executive is a Specified Employee, the Pro Rata Bonus shall be paid, with Interest, to the Executive on the Delayed Payment Date. With respect to the provision of the Other Benefits, the term “Other Benefits” as utilized in this Section 5(c) shall include, and the Executive shall be entitled after the Disability Effective Date to receive, disability and other benefits at least equal to the most favorable of those generally provided by the Company and the Affiliated Companies to disabled executives and/or their families in accordance with such plans, programs, practices and policies relating to disability, if any, as in effect generally with respect to other peer executives and their families at any time during the 120-day period immediately preceding the Effective Date or, if more favorable to the Executive and/or the Executive’s family, as in effect at any time thereafter generally with respect to other peer executives of the Company and the Affiliated Companies and their families.

                    (d)          Cause; Other Than for Good Reason. If the Executive’s employment is terminated for Cause during the Employment Period, the Company shall provide the Executive with the Executive’s Annual Base Salary through the Date of Termination, and the timely payment or delivery of the Other Benefits (disregarding the proviso set forth in Section 5(a)(1)(A) to the extent applicable), and shall have no other severance obligations under this Agreement. If the Executive voluntarily terminates employment during the Employment Period, excluding a termination for Good Reason, the Company shall provide to the Executive the Accrued Obligations and the Pro Rata Bonus and the timely payment or delivery of the Other Benefits, subject to the proviso set forth in Section 5(a)(1)(A) to the extent applicable, and shall have no other severance obligations under this Agreement. In such case, all the Accrued Obligations and the Pro Rata Bonus shall be paid to the Executive in a lump sum in cash within 30 days of the Date of Termination, provided, that in the event that the Executive is a Specified Employee, the Pro Rata Bonus shall be paid, with Interest, to the Executive on the Delayed Payment Date.

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                    Section 6.          Non-Exclusivity of Rights. Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent or limit the Executive’s continuing or future participation in any plan, program, policy or practice provided by the Company or the Affiliated Companies and for which the Executive may qualify, nor, subject to Section 11(f), shall anything herein limit or otherwise affect such rights as the Executive may have under any other contract or agreement with the Company or the Affiliated Companies. Amounts that are vested benefits or that the Executive is otherwise entitled to receive under any plan, policy, practice or program of or any other contract or agreement with the Company or the Affiliated Companies at or subsequent to the Date of Termination (“Other Benefits”) shall be payable in accordance with such plan, policy, practice or program or contract or agreement, except as explicitly modified by this Agreement. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Executive’s resignation under this Agreement with or without Good Reason, shall in no way affect the Executive’s ability to terminate employment by reason of the Executive’s “retirement” under any compensation and benefits plans, programs or arrangements of the Affiliated Companies, including without limitation any retirement or pension plans or arrangements or to be eligible to receive benefits under any compensation or benefit plans, programs or arrangements of the Affiliated Companies, including without limitation any retirement or pension plan or arrangement of the Affiliated Companies or substitute plans adopted by the Company or its successors, and any termination which otherwise qualifies as Good Reason shall be treated as such even if it is also a “retirement” for purposes of any such plan. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Executive receives payments and benefits pursuant to Section 5(a) of this Agreement, the Executive shall not be entitled to any severance pay or benefits under any severance plan, program or policy of the Company and the Affiliated Companies, unless otherwise specifically provided therein in a specific reference to this Agreement.

                    Section 7.          Full Settlement; Legal Fees. The Company’s obligation to make the payments provided for in this Agreement and otherwise to perform its obligations hereunder shall not be affected by any set-off, counterclaim, recoupment, defense, or other claim, right or action that the Company may have against the Executive or others. In no event shall the Executive be obligated to seek other employment or take any other action by way of mitigation of the amounts payable to the Executive under any of the provisions of this Agreement, and except as specifically provided in Section 5(a)(2), such amounts shall not be reduced whether or not the Executive obtains other employment. The Company agrees to pay as incurred (within 10 days following the Company’s receipt of an invoice from the Executive), at any time from the Effective Date of this Agreement through the Executive’s remaining lifetime (or, if longer, through the 20th anniversary of the Effective Date) to the full extent permitted by law, all legal fees and expenses that the Executive may reasonably incur as a result of any contest (regardless of the outcome thereof) by the Company, the Executive or others of the validity or enforceability of, or liability under, any provision of this Agreement or any guarantee of performance thereof (including as a result of any contest by the Executive about the amount of any payment pursuant to this Agreement), plus, in each case, Interest. In order to comply with Section 409A of the Code, in no event shall the payments by the Company under this Section 7 be made later than the end of the calendar year next following the calendar year in which such fees and expenses were incurred, provided, that the Executive shall have submitted an invoice for such fees and expenses at least 10 days before the end of the calendar year next following the calendar year in which such fees and expenses were incurred.

                    Section 8.          Limitations on Payments Under Certain Circumstances.

                    (a)          Anything in this Agreement to the contrary notwithstanding, in the event that the Accounting Firm shall determine that receipt of all Payments would subject the Executive to tax under Section 4999 of the Code, the Accounting Firm shall determine whether some amount of Agreement Payments meets the definition of “Reduced Amount.” If the Accounting Firm determines that there is a Reduced Amount, then the aggregate Agreement Payments shall be reduced to such Reduced Amount.

                    (b)          If the Accounting Firm determines that the aggregate Agreement Payments should be reduced to the Reduced Amount, the Company shall promptly give the Executive notice to that effect and a copy of the detailed calculation thereof. The Company shall reduce the Agreement Payments in the following order: (1) by reducing benefits payable pursuant to Section 5(a)(1)(B) of the Agreement and then (2) by reducing amounts payable pursuant to Section 5(a)(2) of the Agreement. All determinations made by the Accounting Firm under this Section 8 shall be binding upon the Company and the Executive and shall be made within 60 days of the Executive’s Date of Termination. In connection with making determinations under this Section 8, the Accounting Firm shall take into account the value of any reasonable compensation for services to be rendered by the Executive before or after the Change of Control, including any non-competition provisions that may apply to the Executive and the Company shall cooperate in the valuation of any such services, including any non-competition provisions.

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                    (c)          As a result of the uncertainty in the application of Section 4999 of the Code at the time of the initial determination by the Accounting Firm hereunder, it is possible that amounts will have been paid or distributed by the Company to or for the benefit of the Executive pursuant to this Agreement which should not have been so paid or distributed (each, an “Overpayment”) or that additional amounts which will have not been paid or distributed by the Company to or for the benefit of the Executive pursuant to this Agreement could have been so paid or distributed (each, an “Underpayment”), in each case, consistent with the calculation of the Reduced Amount hereunder. In the event that the Accounting Firm, based upon the assertion of a deficiency by the Internal Revenue Service against either the Company or the Executive which the Accounting Firm believes has a high probability of success determines that an Overpayment has been made, any such Overpayment paid or distributed by the Company to or for the benefit of the Executive shall be repaid by the Executive to the Company together with interest at the applicable federal rate provided for in Section 7872(f)(2) of the Code; provided, however, that no such repayment shall be required if and to the extent such deemed repayment would not either reduce the amount on which the Executive is subject to tax under Section 1 and Section 4999 of the Code or generate a refund of such taxes. In the event that the Accounting Firm, based upon controlling precedent or substantial authority, determines that an Underpayment has occurred, any such Underpayment shall be promptly paid by the Company to or for the benefit of the Executive together with interest at the applicable federal rate provided for in Section 7872(f)(2) of the Code.

                    (d)          All fees and expenses of the Accounting Firm in implementing the provisions of this Section 8 shall be borne by the Company.

                    (e)          Definitions. The following terms shall have the following meanings for purposes of this Section 8.

                    (1)          “Accounting Firm” shall mean a nationally recognized certified public accounting firm that is selected by the Company prior to the Change of Control for purposes of making the applicable determinations hereunder and is reasonably acceptable to the Executive, which firm shall not, without the Executive’s consent, be a firm serving as accountant or auditor for the individual, entity or group effecting the Change of Control;

                    (2)          “Agreement Payment” shall mean a Payment paid or payable pursuant to this Agreement (disregarding this Section);

                    (3)          “Net After-Tax Receipt” shall mean the Present Value of a Payment net of all taxes imposed on the Executive with respect thereto under Sections 1 and 4999 of the Code and under applicable state and local laws, determined by applying the highest marginal rate under Section 1 of the Code and under state and local laws which applied to the Executive’s taxable income for the immediately preceding taxable year, or such other rate(s) as the Executive shall certify, in the Executive’s sole discretion, as likely to apply to the Executive in the relevant tax year(s);

                    (4)          “Parachute Value” of a Payment shall mean the present value as of the date of the change of control for purposes of Section 280G of the Code of the portion of such Payment that constitutes a “parachute payment” under Section 280G(b)(2), as determined by the Accounting Firm for purposes of determining whether and to what extent the Excise Tax will apply to such Payment;

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                    (5)          A “Payment” shall mean any payment or distribution in the nature of compensation (within the meaning of Section 280G(b)(2) of the Code) to or for the benefit of the Executive, whether paid or payable pursuant to this Agreement or otherwise;

                    (6)          “Present Value” of a Payment shall mean the economic present value of a Payment as of the date of the change of control for purposes of Section 280G of the Code, as determined by the Accounting Firm using the discount rate required by Section 280G(d)(4) of the Code; or

                    (7)          “Reduced Amount” shall mean the amount of Agreement Payments that (x) has a Present Value that is less than the Present Value of all Agreement Payments and (y) results in aggregate Net After-Tax Receipts for all Payments that are greater than the Net After-Tax Receipts for all Payments that would result if the aggregate Present Value of Agreement Payments were any other amount that is less than the Present Value of all Agreement Payments.

                    Section 9.          Restrictive Covenants

                    (a)          Confidential Information. The Executive shall hold in a fiduciary capacity for the benefit of the Company all secret or confidential information, knowledge or data relating to the Company or the Affiliated Companies, and their respective businesses, which information, knowledge or data shall have been obtained by the Executive during the Executive’s employment by the Company or the Affiliated Companies and which information, knowledge or data shall not be or become public knowledge (other than by acts by the Executive or representatives of the Executive in violation of this Agreement). After termination of the Executive’s employment with the Company, the Executive shall not, without the prior written consent of the Company or as may otherwise be required by law or legal process, communicate or divulge any such information, knowledge or data to anyone other than the Company and those persons designated by the Company. In no event shall an asserted violation of the provisions of this Section 9(a) constitute a basis for deferring or withholding any amounts otherwise payable to the Executive under this Agreement.

                    (b)          Noncompetition and Nonsolicitation. In consideration for the payments described in Section 5(a), the Executive agrees that during the Employment Period and for a period of three years immediately following the Date of Termination, the Executive shall not (except on the Company’s behalf during the Executive’s employment), directly or indirectly, for the Executive or for any other person or entity:

                    (1)          Own any interest in, manage, control, participate in, consult with, be employed by, render services for, plan, organize, or in any manner engage in any business involving the design, development, manufacture, marketing, sale, or distribution of any Competitive Product within any geographical area in the world (it being acknowledged or agreed that the Company’s business is worldwide in scope). Nothing herein shall prohibit the Executive from being a passive owner of not more than one percent of the outstanding stock of any class of a corporation which is publicly traded, so long as Executive has no active participation in the business of such corporation. “Competitive Product” means any product, process, or service (including any component thereof or research to develop information useful in connection with a product, process, or service) that is being designed, developed, assembled, manufactured, marketed, or sold by anyone other than the Company and which is of the same general type, performs similar functions, competes with or is used for the same purposes as a Valspar Product. “Valspar Product” means any product, process, or service (including any component thereof or research to develop information useful in connection with a product, process, or service) that, during the Executive’s employment with the Company, was being researched, designed, developed, assembled, manufactured, marketed, or sold by the Company, or with respect to which the Company had acquired confidential information (within the meaning used in Section 9(a)) to use in the design, development, assembly, manufacture, marketing or sale of a product, process, or service.

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                    (2)          Induce or attempt to induce any employee or contractor of the Company to leave the Company’s employ or engagement, or in any way interfere with the relationship between the Company and any employee or contractor of the Company.

                    (3)          Hire any person who was an employee of the Company at any time during the twelve months prior to the termination of the Executive’s employment.

                    (4)          Induce or attempt to induce any customer, supplier, licensee, licensor, distributor, or other business relation of the Company (including any person or entity that is negotiating or exploring entering into such a relationship with the Company) to cease doing business with the Company, or in any way intentionally interfere with the relationship between any such person or entity and the Company (including, without limitation, making any negative or disparaging statements or communications regarding the Company).

                    (c)          Remedies. The parties acknowledge and agree that any breach by the Executive of the terms of this Agreement may cause the Company irreparable harm and injury for which money damages would be inadequate. Accordingly, the Company, in addition to any other remedies available at law or equity, shall be entitled, as a matter of right, to injunctive relief in any court of competent jurisdiction. The parties agree that such injunctive relief may be granted without the necessity of proving actual damages. The parties further agree that, if the Executive breaches Section 9(b) of this Agreement, the time period for such restriction(s) contained therein shall be extended by the length of time that the Executive was in breach of such restriction(s). Nothing in this Agreement shall limit the Company’s remedies under state for federal law or elsewhere.

                    (d)          Additional Acknowledgements. The Executive acknowledges and agrees that, in the event that the Executive becomes subject to any other contractual arrangements with the Company or the Affiliated Companies regarding competition with the Company or any of the Affiliated Companies, the restrictive covenants set forth in this Agreement were executed first and shall be deemed supplemented, and in no event diminished or replaced, by such other contractual arrangements.

                    Section 10.          Successors. (a) This Agreement is personal to the Executive, and, without the prior written consent of the Company, shall not be assignable by the Executive other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution. This Agreement shall inure to the benefit of and be enforceable by the Executive’s legal representatives.

                    (b)          This Agreement shall inure to the benefit of and be binding upon the Company and its successors and assigns. Except as provided in Section 10(c), without the prior written consent of the Executive this Agreement shall not be assignable by the Company.

                    (c)          The Company will require any successor (whether direct or indirect, by purchase, merger, consolidation or otherwise) to all or substantially all of the business and/or assets of the Company to assume expressly and agree to perform this Agreement in the same manner and to the same extent that the Company would be required to perform it if no such succession had taken place. The “Company” means the Company as hereinbefore defined and any successor to its business and/or assets as aforesaid that assumes and agrees to perform this Agreement by operation of law or otherwise.

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                    Section 11.          Miscellaneous. (a) This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware, without reference to principles of conflict of laws. The captions of this Agreement are not part of the provisions hereof and shall have no force or effect. This Agreement may not be amended or modified other than by a written agreement executed by the parties hereto or their respective successors and legal representatives.

                    (b)          All notices and other communications hereunder shall be in writing and shall be given by hand delivery to the other party or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, addressed as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

if to the Executive:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

if to the Company:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Valspar Corporation
P.O. Box 1461
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55440
Attention: General Counsel

 

 

 

 

 

 

or to such other address as either party shall have furnished to the other in writing in accordance herewith. Notice and communications shall be effective when actually received by the addressee.

                    (c)          The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this Agreement shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision of this Agreement. If a court finds any term of this Agreement to be invalid, unenforceable, or void, the parties agree that the court shall modify such term to make it enforceable to the maximum extent possible. If the term cannot be modified, the parties agree that the term shall be severed and all other terms of this Agreement shall remain in effect.

                    (d)          The Company may withhold from any amounts payable under this Agreement such United States federal, state or local or foreign taxes as shall be required to be withheld pursuant to any applicable law or regulation.

                    (e)          The Executive’s or the Company’s failure to insist upon strict compliance with any provision of this Agreement or the failure to assert any right the Executive or the Company may have hereunder, including, without limitation, the right of the Executive to terminate employment for Good Reason pursuant to Sections 4(c)(1) through 4(c)(5), shall not be deemed to be a waiver of such provision or right or any other provision or right of this Agreement.

                    (f)          The Executive and the Company acknowledge that, except as may otherwise be provided under any other written agreement between the Executive and the Company, the employment of the Executive by the Company is “at will” and, subject to Section 1(a), prior to the Effective Date, the Executive’s employment may be terminated by either the Executive or the Company at any time prior to the Effective Date, in which case the Executive shall have no further rights under this Agreement. From and after the Effective Date, except as specifically provided herein, this Agreement shall supersede any other agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof in effect immediately prior to the execution of this Agreement.

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                    (g)          The Agreement is intended to comply with the requirements of Section 409A of the Code or an exemption or exclusion therefrom and, with respect to amounts that are subject to Section 409A of the Code, shall in all respects be administered in accordance with Section 409A of the Code. Each payment under this Agreement shall be treated as a separate payment for purposes of applying the exclusion under Section 409A of the Code for short-term deferral amounts, the separation pay exception or any other exception or exclusion under Section 409A of the Code. In no event may the Executive, directly or indirectly, designate the calendar year of any payment to be made under this Agreement. All reimbursements and in-kind benefits provided under this Agreement that constitute deferred compensation within the meaning of Section 409A of the Code shall be made or provided in accordance with the requirements of Section 409A of the Code, including, without limitation, that (i) in no event shall reimbursements by the Company under this Agreement be made later than the end of the calendar year next following the calendar year in which the applicable fees and expenses were incurred, provided, that the Executive shall have submitted an invoice for such fees and expenses at least 10 days before the end of the calendar year next following the calendar year in which such fees and expenses were incurred; (ii) the amount of in-kind benefits that the Company is obligated to pay or provide in any given calendar year (other than medical reimbursements described in Treas. Reg. § 1.409A-3(i)(1)(iv)(B)) shall not affect the in-kind benefits that the Company is obligated to pay or provide in any other calendar year; (iii) the Executive’s right to have the Company pay or provide such reimbursements and in-kind benefits may not be liquidated or exchanged for any other benefit; and (iv) in no event shall the Company’s obligations to make such reimbursements or to provide such in-kind benefits apply later than the Executive’s remaining lifetime (or if longer, through the 20th anniversary of the Effective Date). Prior to a Change in Control, within the time period permitted by the applicable Treasury Regulations, the Company may, in consultation with the Executive, modify the Agreement, in the least restrictive manner necessary and without any diminution in the value of the payments to the Executive, in order to cause the provisions of the Agreement to comply with the requirements of Section 409A of the Code, so as to avoid the imposition of taxes and penalties on the Executive pursuant to Section 409A of the Code.

                    (h)          In the event the payments to be provided to the Executive under Section 5(a) are not to be paid until the Delayed Payment Date, then within five (5) business days of the Executive’s Date of Termination, the Company shall deliver cash, in an amount equal to the aggregate of the cash amounts payable under Section 5(a) (plus the estimated Interest) and, to the extent not previously paid (or immediately payable within five (5) days of the determination in accordance with Section 8(e) of this Agreement), any unpaid portion of the then-estimated Gross-Up Payment (as determined by the Accounting Firm), to a “rabbi trust” (the “Trust”) to be established by the Company with a nationally recognized financial institution as trustee (the “Trustee”) to be held by the Trustee pursuant to the terms of the trust agreement entered into between the Company and the Trustee prior to the Effective Date; provided, however, that the Trust shall not be funded if the funding thereof would result in taxable income to the Executive by reason of Section 409A(b) of the Code; and provided, further, in no event shall any Trust assets at any time be located or transferred outside of the United States, within the meaning of Section 409A(b) of the Code. Any fees and expenses of the Trustee shall be paid by the Company.

                    Section 12.          Survivorship. Upon the expiration or other termination of this Agreement or the Executive’s employment, the respective rights and obligations of the parties hereto shall survive to the extent necessary to carry out the intentions of the parties under this Agreement.

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                    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Executive has hereunto set the Executive’s hand and, pursuant to the authorization from the Board, the Company has caused these presents to be executed in its name on its behalf, all as of the day and year first above written.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Date)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Valspar Corporation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By:

 

 

 

 

 

(Date)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its:

Sr. Vice President, Human Resources

 

 

 

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