Incentive Plan

Annex a Snyders-Lance, Inc. 2016 Key Employee Incentive Plan

Exhibit 4.3

ANNEX A

SNYDER’S-LANCE, INC.

2016 KEY EMPLOYEE INCENTIVE PLAN

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Section 1.

 

Purpose

 

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Section 2.

 

Definitions

 

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Section 3.

 

Administration

 

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Section 4.

 

Duration of and Common Stock Subject to Plan

 

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Section 5.

 

Eligibility

 

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Section 6.

 

Stock Options

 

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Section 7.

 

Stock Appreciation Rights

 

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Section 8.

 

Restricted Awards

 

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Section 9.

 

Performance Awards

 

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Section 10.

 

Other Stock-Based and Combination Awards

 

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Section 11.

 

Qualified Performance-Based Awards

 

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Section 12.

 

Deferral Elections

 

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Section 13.

 

Termination of Employment

 

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Section 14.

 

Non-transferability of Awards

 

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Section 15.

 

Adjustments Upon Changes in Capitalization, Etc

 

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Section 16.

 

Change in Control

 

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Section 17.

 

Amendment and Termination

 

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Section 18.

 

Miscellaneous

 

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SNYDER’S-LANCE, INC.

2016 KEY EMPLOYEE INCENTIVE PLAN

Section 1. Purpose. The purpose of the Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. 2016 Key Employee Incentive Plan (the “Plan”) is to attract and retain managerial and other key employees, and to reward such employees for making major contributions to the success of Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. (the “Company”). The Plan is designed to meet these objectives by offering performance-based stock and cash incentives and other equity-based incentive awards, thereby providing such employees with a proprietary interest in the long term growth and performance of the Company.

Section 2. Definitions. For purposes of the Plan, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below:

(a) “Award” (collectively, “Awards”) means an award or grant made to a Participant under Sections 6 through 11, inclusive, of the Plan.

(b) “Beneficial Owner” has the meaning ascribed to such term in Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act and Rule 13d-3 of the General Rules and Regulations under the Exchange Act.

(c) “Board” means the Board of Directors of the Company.

(d) “Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as in effect from time to time, or any successor thereto, together with rules, regulations and interpretations promulgated thereunder.

(e) “Common Stock” means the $0.83 1/3 par value Common Stock of the Company or any security of the Company issued in substitution, exchange or lieu thereof pursuant to Section 15 hereof.

(f) “Company” means Snyder’s-Lance, Inc., a North Carolina corporation, and any subsidiary corporations within the meaning of Section 424(f) of the Code, as well as any successor corporation or corporations thereto.

(g) “Compensation Committee” means the Compensation Committee of the Board; provided, that (i) with respect to any Awards to any Insider, Compensation Committee means all of the members of the Compensation Committee who are “non-employee” directors within the meaning of Rule 16b-3 adopted under the Exchange Act, and (ii) with respect to any Awards to any key employees who are Named Executive Officers intended to comply with the Performance-Based Exception, Compensation Committee means all of the members of the Compensation Committee who are “outside directors” within the meaning of Section 162(m) of the Code.

(h) “Covered Employee” means a “covered employee” as defined in Section 162(m)(3) of the Code.

(i) “Director” means a member of the Board.

(j) “Disability” means the inability, by reason of physical or mental infirmity or both, of an individual to perform satisfactorily the duties then assigned to such individual or any other duties the Company is willing to assign to such individual for which compensation is payable. Disability shall be determined by the Compensation Committee based upon such evidence as the Compensation Committee shall deem sufficient and, upon medical evidence, if available, and, in the discretion of the Compensation Committee, upon certification of such Disability by an independent qualified physician. Notwithstanding the foregoing, for any Awards that constitute a nonqualified deferred compensation plan within the meaning of Section 409A(d) of the Code and provide for an accelerated payment in connection with any Disability, Disability shall have the same meaning as set forth in any regulations, revenue procedure, revenue rulings or other pronouncements issued by the Secretary of the United States Treasury pursuant to Section 409A of the Code, applicable to such plans.

(k) “Effective Date” means May 4, 2016, the date of the Annual Meeting of Stockholders of the Company at which the Plan was approved by the Company’s stockholders.

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(l) “Exchange Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and in effect from time to time, or any successor statute.

(m) “Fair Market Value,” with respect to a share of the Common Stock at a particular time, shall be that value as determined by the Compensation Committee which shall be (i) if such Common Stock is listed on a national securities exchange or traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market, the closing price for sales of the Common Stock on a national securities exchange or the NASDAQ Stock Market on which the Common Stock is principally traded on said date, or, if no sales occur on said date, then on the next preceding date on which there were such sales of Common Stock, (ii) if the Common Stock shall not be listed on a national securities exchange or traded on the National Market System, the mean between the closing bid and asked prices last reported by the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. for the over-the-counter market on said date or, if no bid and asked prices are reported on said date, then on the next preceding date on which there were such quotations, or (iii) if at any time quotations for the Common Stock shall not be reported by the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. for the over-the-counter market and the Common Stock shall not be listed on any national securities exchange or traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market, the fair market value determined by the Compensation Committee in such manner as it may deem reasonable.

(n) “Incentive Stock Option” means any Stock Option granted pursuant to the provisions of Section 6 of the Plan that is intended to be and is specifically designated as an “incentive stock option” within the meaning of Section 422 of the Code.

(o) “Insider” means an individual who is, on the relevant date, an officer, director or ten percent (10%) beneficial owner of any class of the Company’s equity securities that is registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act, all as defined under Section 16 of the Exchange Act and the rules thereunder.

(p) “Member of the Warehime Family” means (i) Michael A. Warehime, (ii) a lineal descendant of Michael A. Warehime, including adopted persons as well as persons related by blood, (iii) a spouse of an individual described in clause (i) or (ii) of this Section 2(p) or (iv) a trust, estate, custodian and other fiduciary or similar account for an individual described in clause (i), (ii) or (iii) of this Section 2(p).

(q) “Named Executive Officer” means, for a calendar year, a Participant who is one of the group of “covered employees” for such calendar year within the meaning of Code Section 162(m) or any successor statute.

(r) “Non-Qualified Stock Option” means any Stock Option granted pursuant to the provisions of Section 6 of the Plan that is not an Incentive Stock Option.

(s) “Outside Person” means any Person other than (i) a Member of the Warehime Family, (ii) a trustee or other fiduciary holding securities under an employee benefit plan of the Company or (iii) a corporation owned directly or indirectly by the stockholders of the Company in substantially the same proportions as their ownership of the Company.

(t) “Participant” means an employee of the Company who is granted an Award under the Plan.

(u) “Performance Award” means an Award granted pursuant to the provisions of Section 9 of the Plan the vesting of which is contingent on performance attainment.

(v) “Performance Cash Award” means an Award of cash or other monetary units granted pursuant to the provisions of Section 9 of the Plan.

(w) “Performance-Based Exception” means the performance-based exception set forth in Code Section 162(m)(4)(C) from the deductibility limitations of Code Section 162(m).

(x) “Performance Equity Award” means an Award of units representing shares of Common Stock granted pursuant to the provisions of Section 9 of the Plan.

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(y) “Person” has the meaning ascribed to said term in Section 3(a)(9) of the Exchange Act as modified and used in Sections 13(d) and 14(d) of the Exchange Act, including a “group” as defined in Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act.

(z) “Plan” means the Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. 2016 Key Employee Incentive Plan as set forth herein, as the same may be hereafter amended and from time to time in effect.

(aa) “Prior Plan” means the Lance, Inc. 2012 Key Employee Incentive Plan, as amended effective May 3, 2012.

(bb) “Qualified Business Criteria” means one or more of the business criteria listed in Section 11(b) upon which performance goals for certain Qualified Performance-Based Awards may be established by the Compensation Committee.

(cc) “Qualified Performance-Based Award” means, with respect to a Covered Employee, an Award granted to an officer of the Company that is either intended to qualify for the Performance-Based Exception and is made subject to performance goals based on Qualified Business Criteria as set forth in Section 11(b), or (ii) a Stock Option or SAR having an exercise price equal to or greater than the Fair Market Value of the underlying Common Stock as of the Grant Date.

(dd) “Restricted Award” means an Award granted pursuant to the provisions of Section 8 of the Plan.

(ee) “Restricted Stock Grant” means an Award of shares of Common Stock granted pursuant to the provisions of Section 8 of the Plan.

(ff) “Restricted Unit Grant” means an Award of units representing shares of Common Stock granted pursuant to the provisions of Section 8 of the Plan.

(gg) “Retirement” means the participant’s termination of employment with the Company either (i) after attainment of age 65 or (ii) after attainment of age 55 plus 10 years of service or with the prior consent of the Compensation Committee.

(hh) “Stock Appreciation Right” or “SAR” means an Award to benefit from the appreciation of Common Stock granted pursuant to the provisions of Section 7 of the Plan.

(ii) “Stock Option” means an Award to purchase shares of Common Stock granted pursuant to the provisions of Section 6 of the Plan.

Section 3. Administration.

(a) The Plan shall be administered by the Compensation Committee.

(b) The Compensation Committee is authorized to grant Awards under the Plan, to construe and interpret the Plan, to promulgate, amend and rescind rules and regulations relating to the implementation of the Plan and to make all other determinations necessary or advisable for the administration of the Plan. Any determination, decision or action of the Compensation Committee in connection with the construction, interpretation, administration or application of the Plan shall be final, conclusive and binding upon all persons participating in the Plan and any person validly claiming under or through persons participating in the Plan. The Company shall effect the granting of Awards under the Plan in accordance with the determinations made by the Compensation Committee, by execution of instruments in writing in such form as are approved by the Compensation Committee.

Section 4. Duration of and Common Stock Subject to Plan.

(a) Term. The Plan shall be effective on the Effective Date, subject to approval of the Plan by the Company’s stockholders at the Annual Meeting of Stockholders held on the Effective Date. The Plan shall terminate on the sixth anniversary of the Effective Date (i.e., May 4, 2022).

(b) Shares of Common Stock Subject to Plan. The maximum number of shares of Common Stock with respect to which Awards may be granted under the Plan, subject to adjustment as provided in Section 15 of the Plan, shall be the sum of (A) 4,000,000 plus (B) the number of shares of Common Stock available for awards under the Prior Plan immediately prior to the Effective Date plus (C) any shares of Common Stock that were subject to an award under the Prior Plan which

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award is canceled, terminates, expires or lapses for any reason from and after the Effective Date. For the purpose of computing the total number of shares of Common Stock available for Awards under the Plan, there shall be counted against the foregoing limitation the number of shares of Common Stock subject to issuance upon exercise or settlement of Awards and the number of shares of Common Stock which equal the value of Restricted Unit Grants and Performance Equity Grants and other stock-based Awards in each case determined as of the dates on which such Awards are granted. In that regard, with respect to Stock Options or SARs, the number of shares of Common Stock available for Awards under the Plan shall be reduced by one share of Common Stock for each share of Common Stock covered by such Award or to which such Award relates regardless of the actual number of shares of Common Stock issued upon exercise or settlement. If any Award is canceled, terminates, expires or lapses for any reason, any shares subject to such Award shall not count against the aggregate number of shares that may be issued under the Plan as set forth above. The following items shall not count against the aggregate number of shares that may be issued under the Plan as set forth above: (i) the payment in cash of dividends or dividend equivalents under any outstanding Award; (ii) any Award that is settled in cash rather than by issuance of shares; or Awards granted through the assumption of, or in substitution for, outstanding Awards previously granted to individuals who become key employees as a result of a merger, consolidation, acquisition or other corporation transaction involving the Company or any subsidiary of the Company. Common Stock which may be issued under the Plan may be either authorized and unissued shares or issued shares which have been reacquired by the Company. No fractional shares of Common Stock shall be issued under the Plan.

(c) Restricted and Other Award Limitations. In no event shall the Compensation Committee grant Restricted Awards, Performance Equity Awards or other stock-based or combination Awards (as described in Section 10) covering in the aggregate more than the sum of 700,000 shares of Common Stock plus (ii) the number of shares of Common Stock for any such Award that is canceled, terminates, expires or lapses for any reason.

(d) Incentive Stock Option Award Limitation. In no event shall the Compensation Committee grant Incentive Stock Option Awards covering in the aggregate more than 4,000,000 shares of Common Stock.

(e) Individual Award Limit for Equity-Based Awards. The maximum number of shares of Common Stock with respect to each type of Award (other than Performance Cash Awards) intended to satisfy the Performance-Based Exception granted to any Participant in any calendar year shall not exceed the following: (i) Stock Options and SARs: 500,000; and (ii) Restricted Stock, Restricted Stock Units or any other Performance Equity Award intended to satisfy the Performance-Based Exception: 500,000.

(f) Individual Award Limit for Cash-Based Awards. The aggregate dollar value of any Performance Cash Awards or other cash-based Awards intended to satisfy the Performance- Based Exception that may be paid to a Participant under the Plan during any one calendar year shall not exceed $3,000,000.

Section 5. Eligibility. Only managerial and other key employees shall be eligible to be granted Awards under the Plan. The Compensation Committee shall, from time to time, (i) determine those managerial and other key employees to whom Awards shall be granted and the conditions of each such Award or issue and sale and (ii) grant such Awards. No member of the Compensation Committee while serving as such shall be eligible to receive any Award hereunder.

Section 6. Stock Options. Stock Options may be granted under the Plan in the form of Incentive Stock Options or Non-Qualified Stock Options; and such Stock Options shall be subject to the following terms and conditions and shall contain such additional terms and conditions, not inconsistent with the express provisions of the Plan, as the Compensation Committee shall determine:

(a) Grant. Stock Options may be granted under the Plan on such terms and conditions not inconsistent with the provisions of the Plan and in such form as the Compensation Committee may from time to time approve. Stock Options may be granted alone, in addition to or in combination with other Awards under the Plan.

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(b) Stock Option Price. The option exercise price per share of Common Stock purchasable under a Stock Option shall be determined by the Compensation Committee at the time of grant, but in no event shall the exercise price of a Stock Option be less than 100% of the Fair Market Value of the Common Stock on the date of the grant of such Stock Option.

(c) Option Term. The term of each Stock Option shall be fixed by the Compensation Committee; except that the term of Incentive Stock Options shall not exceed 10 years after the date the Incentive Stock Option is granted.

(d) Exercisability. A Stock Option shall be exercisable at such time or times and subject to such terms and conditions as shall be determined by the Compensation Committee at the date of grant.

(e) Method of Exercise. Stock Options shall be exercised by the delivery of a notice of exercise to the Company, setting forth the number of shares with respect to which the Stock Option is to be exercised, accompanied by full payment for the shares. To be effective, notice of exercise must be made in accordance with procedures established by the Company from time to time.

The option price due upon exercise of any Stock Option shall be payable to the Company in full either: (i) in cash or its equivalent, or (ii) by tendering previously acquired shares having an aggregate Fair Market Value at the time of exercise equal to the total option price (provided, to the extent necessary under applicable accounting principles, that the shares which are tendered must have been held by the Participant for at least six (6) months prior to their tender to satisfy the option price unless such shares had been acquired by the Participant on the open market), or (iii) by a combination of (i) and (ii).

As soon as practicable after notification of exercise and full payment, the Company shall deliver the shares to the Participant in an appropriate amount based upon the number of shares purchased under the Stock Option(s).

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Compensation Committee also may allow (i) cashless exercises as permitted under Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation T, subject to applicable securities law restrictions, or (ii) exercises by any other means which the Compensation Committee determines to be consistent with the Plan’s purpose and applicable law.

(f) Special Rule for Incentive Stock Options. With respect to Incentive Stock Options granted under the Plan, the aggregate Fair Market Value (determined as of the date the Incentive Stock Option is granted) of the number of shares with respect to which Incentive Stock Options are exercisable for the first time by a Participant during any calendar year shall not exceed $100,000 or such other limit as may be required by the Code.

(g) No Rights. A Participant granted a Stock Option shall have no rights as a stockholder of the Company with respect to the shares covered by such Stock Option except to the extent that shares of Common Stock are issued to the Participant upon the due exercise of the Stock Option.

Section 7. Stock Appreciation Rights. Stock Appreciation Rights may be granted under the Plan subject to the following terms and conditions and shall contain such additional terms and conditions, not inconsistent with the express terms of the Plan, as the Compensation Committee shall determine:

(a) Stock Appreciation Rights. A Stock Appreciation Right is an Award entitling a Participant to receive an amount equal to the excess of the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock on the date of exercise over the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock on the date of grant of the Stock Appreciation Right, or such other price as is set by the Compensation Committee provided such other price is not less than 100% of the Fair Market Value of the Common Stock on the date of the grant of such Stock Appreciation Right, multiplied by the number of shares of Common Stock with respect to which the Stock Appreciation Right shall have been exercised.

(b) Grant. A Stock Appreciation Right may be granted in combination with, in addition to or completely independent of a Stock Option or any other Award under the Plan.

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(c) Exercise. A Stock Appreciation Right may be exercised by a Participant in accordance with procedures established by the Compensation Committee, except that in no event shall a Stock Appreciation Right be exercisable within the first six months after the date of grant. The Compensation Committee may also provide that a Stock Appreciation Right shall be automatically exercised on one or more specified dates.

(d) Form of Payment. Payment upon exercise of a Stock Appreciation Right may be made in cash, in shares of Common Stock, or any combination thereof, as the Compensation Committee shall determine.

(e) No Rights. A Participant granted a Stock Appreciation Right shall have no rights as a stockholder of the Company with respect to the shares covered by such Stock Appreciation Right except to the extent that shares of Common Stock are issued to the Participant upon the due exercise of the Stock Appreciation Right.

Section 8. Restricted Awards. Restricted Awards may be granted under the Plan in the form of either Restricted Stock Grants or Restricted Unit Grants. Restricted Awards shall be subject to the following terms and conditions and shall contain such additional terms and conditions, not inconsistent with the express provisions of the Plan, as the Compensation Committee shall determine:

(a) Restricted Stock Grants. A Restricted Stock Grant is an Award of shares of Common Stock to a Participant subject to such terms and conditions as the Compensation Committee deems appropriate, including, without limitation, restrictions on the sale, assignment, transfer or other disposition of such shares and the requirement that the Participant forfeit such shares back to the Company upon termination of employment prior to vesting.

(b) Restricted Unit Grants. A Restricted Unit Grant is an Award of units to be paid in cash upon vesting (with each unit having a value equivalent to the Fair Market Value of one share of Common Stock) granted to a Participant subject to such terms and conditions as the Compensation Committee deems appropriate, including, without limitation, the requirement that the Participant forfeit such units upon termination of employment prior to vesting.

(c) Grants of Awards. Restricted Awards may be granted under the Plan in such form and on such terms and conditions as the Compensation Committee may from time to time approve. Restricted Awards may be granted alone, in addition to or in combination with other Awards under the Plan. Subject to the terms of the Plan, the Compensation Committee shall determine the number of Restricted Awards to be granted to a Participant and the Compensation Committee may impose different terms and conditions on any particular Restricted Award made to any Participant. Each Participant receiving a Restricted Stock Grant shall be issued a stock certificate in respect of such shares of Common Stock. Such certificate shall be registered in the name of such Participant, shall be accompanied by a stock power duly executed by such Participant, and shall bear an appropriate legend referring to the terms, conditions and restrictions applicable to such Award; which certificate evidencing such shares shall be held in custody by the Company until the restrictions thereon shall have lapsed.

(d) Restriction Period. Restricted Awards shall provide that in order for a Participant’s rights to vest in such Awards, the Participant must remain in the employment of the Company, subject to relief for specified reasons, for a period of time commencing on the date of the Award and ending on such later date or dates as the Compensation Committee may designate at the time of the Award (“Restriction Period”). During the Restriction Period, a Participant may not sell, assign, transfer, pledge, encumber or otherwise dispose of shares of Common Stock received under a Restricted Stock Grant. The Compensation Committee, in its sole discretion, may provide for the lapse of restrictions in installments during the Restriction Period. Upon expiration of the applicable Restriction Period (or lapse of restrictions during the Restriction Period where the restrictions lapse in installments), the Participant shall be entitled to receive his or her Restricted Award or portion thereof, as the case may be.

(e) Payment of Awards. A Participant shall be entitled to receive payment for a Restricted Unit Grant (or portion thereof) upon expiration of the applicable Restriction Period. Payment

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in settlement of a Restricted Unit Grant shall be made as soon as practicable following the expiration of the Restriction Period in cash, in shares of Common Stock equal to the number of units granted under the Restricted Unit Grant with respect to which such payment is made, or in any combination thereof, as the Compensation Committee in its sole discretion shall determine.

(f) Rights as a Stockholder. A Participant shall have, with respect to the shares of Common Stock received under a Restricted Stock Grant, all of the rights of a stockholder of the Company, including the right to vote the shares, and the right to receive any cash dividends. Stock dividends issued with respect to the shares covered by a Restricted Stock Grant shall be treated as additional shares under the Restricted Stock Grant and shall be subject to the same restrictions and other terms and conditions that apply to shares under the Restricted Stock Grant with respect to which such dividends are issued.

Section 9. Performance Awards. Performance Awards may be granted under the Plan in the form of either Performance Equity Awards or Performance Cash Awards. Performance Awards may be subject to the following terms and conditions and may contain such additional terms and conditions, not inconsistent with the express provisions of the Plan, as the Compensation Committee shall determine:

(a) Performance Equity Awards. A Performance Equity Award is an Award of units (with each unit equivalent in value to one share of Common Stock as it varies throughout the term of the designated performance period) to a Participant and may be subject to such terms and conditions as the Compensation Committee deems appropriate, including, without limitation, the requirement that the Participant forfeit such units or a portion of such units in the event certain performance criteria are not met within a designated period of time.

(b) Performance Cash Awards. A Performance Cash Award is an Award of a specified dollar value in cash (including a number of units payable in cash, with each unit representing a monetary amount as designated by the Compensation Committee) to a Participant subject to such terms and conditions as the Compensation Committee deems appropriate, including, without limitation, the requirement that the Participant forfeit such Award or a portion of such Award in the event certain performance criteria are not met within a designated period of time.

(c) Grants of Awards. Performance Awards may be granted under the Plan in such form as the Compensation Committee may from time to time approve. Performance Awards may be granted alone, in addition to or in combination with other Awards under the Plan. Subject to the terms of the Plan, the Compensation Committee shall determine the number of Performance Awards to be granted to a Participant and the Compensation Committee may impose different terms and conditions on any particular Performance Award made to any Participant. Any Performance Award intended to satisfy the Performance-Based Exception shall also meet the requirements of Section 11.

(d) Performance Goals and Performance Periods. Performance Awards shall provide that in order for a Participant’s rights to vest in such Awards the Company or the Participant, or a combination thereof, must achieve certain performance goals (“Performance Goals”) over a designated performance period (“Performance Period”). The Performance Goals and Performance Period shall be established by the Compensation Committee, in its sole discretion. The Compensation Committee shall establish Performance Goals for each Performance Period before, or as soon as practicable after, the commencement of the Performance Period. The Compensation Committee may also establish a schedule or formula for such Performance Period setting forth the portion of the Performance Award which will be earned or forfeited based on the degree of achievement of the Performance Goals actually achieved or exceeded. In setting Performance Goals, the Compensation Committee may use such measures of performance as it deems appropriate.

(e) Payment of Awards. In the case of a Performance Equity Award, the Participant shall be entitled to receive payment for each unit earned in an amount equal to the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock on the date on which the Compensation Committee determines the number of units earned by the Participant. In the case of a Performance Cash

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Award, the Participant shall be entitled to receive payment in an amount equal to the dollar value of the Award. Payment in settlement of a Performance Award shall be made as soon as practicable following the conclusion of the respective Performance Period in cash, in shares of Common Stock, or in any combination thereof, as the Compensation Committee in its sole discretion shall determine.

Section 10. Other Stock-Based and Combination Awards.

(a) The Compensation Committee may grant other Awards under the Plan pursuant to which Common Stock is or may in the future be acquired, or Awards denominated in stock units, including ones valued using measures other than market value. Such other stock-based Awards may be granted either alone, in addition to or in combination with any other type of Award granted under the Plan.

(b) The Compensation Committee may also grant Awards under the Plan in combination with other Awards or in exchange of Awards, or in combination with or as alternatives to grants or rights under any other employee plan of the Company, including the plan of any acquired entity.

(c) Subject to the provisions of the Plan, the Compensation Committee shall have authority to determine the individuals to whom and the time or times at which such Awards shall be made, the number of shares of Common Stock to be granted or covered pursuant to such Awards, and any and all other conditions and/or terms of the Awards.

Section 11. Qualified Performance-Based Awards

(a) Incentive Stock Options and Stock Appreciation Rights. The provisions of the Plan are intended to ensure that all Stock Options and Stock Appreciation Rights granted hereunder to any Covered Employee shall qualify for the Performance-Based Exception.

(b) Other Awards. When granting an Award other than a Stock Option or a Stock Appreciation Right, the Compensation Committee may designate such Award as a Qualified Performance-Based Award, based upon a determination that the recipient is or may be a Covered Employee with respect to such Award, and the Compensation Committee wishes such Award to qualify for the Performance-Based Exception. If an Award is so designated, the Compensation Committee shall establish performance goals for such Award within the time period prescribed by Section 162(m) of the Code based on one or more of the following Qualified Business Criteria, which may be expressed in terms of Company-wide objectives or goals or in terms of objectives or goals that relate to the performance of an affiliate or a division, region, department, function or combination thereof within the Company or an affiliate:

 

 

Revenue (including gross revenue or net revenue)

 

 

Sales (including gross sales or net sales)

 

 

Profit (net profit, gross profit, operating profit, economic profit, profit margins or other corporate profit measures excluding special items)

 

 

Earnings on a pre-tax or after-tax basis (EBIT, EBITDA, earnings per share, earnings growth or other corporate earnings measures)

 

 

Margins (net or gross)

 

 

Net income (before or after taxes, operating income or other income measures)

 

 

Cash (cash flow, cash generation or other cash measures)

 

 

Stock price or performance

 

 

Stock index price or performance

 

 

Total stockholder return (stock price appreciation plus reinvested dividends divided by beginning share price or other measures of return)

 

 

Financial return measures (including, but not limited to, dividends, return on assets, capital, equity, investment or sales, cash flow, or free cash flow)

 

 

Market share measures

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Improvements in capital structure

 

 

Levels of debt, equity, accounts receivable, lost time accidents or safety

 

 

Employee relations (surveys, employee claims)

 

 

Expenses (operating expense, expense management, expense ratio, expense efficiency ratios, other expense measures or cost containment, including medical, casualty and workers compensation costs)

 

 

Internal rate of return or increase in net present value

 

 

Working capital targets relating to inventory, accounts receivable or other components

 

 

Planning accuracy (as measured by comparing planned results to actual results)

 

 

Productivity improvement

 

 

Inventory measures (turns, reduction, shrinkage)

 

 

Customer relations and service (count, frequency, attitude, order fill rate)

 

 

Compliance goals (employee turnover, social goals, diversity goals, safety programs, regulatory or legal compliance)

 

 

Business expansion, acquisitions and divestitures.

Performance goals with respect to the foregoing Qualified Business Criteria may be specified in absolute terms, in percentages, or in terms of growth from period to period or growth rates over time, as well as measured relative to an established or specially-created performance index of Company competitors or peers. Any member of a specially-created performance index that undergoes a corporate event or transaction of a kind described in Section 15 or that files a petition for bankruptcy during a measurement period shall be disregarded from and after such event, unless the Compensation Committee determines not to disregard such entity or to make some other adjustment to measuring the performance index and the effect of such Compensation Committee determination is to reduce the amount payable under any affected Qualified Performance-Based Award. Performance goals need not be based upon an increase or positive result under a business criterion and could include, for example, the maintenance of the status quo or the limitation of economic losses (measured, in each case, by reference to a specific business criterion). Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the Compensation Committee may exercise, with respect to such Qualified Business Criteria and related performance goals, such negative discretion as is permitted under applicable law for purposes of the Performance-Based Exception.

(c) Performance Goals. Each Qualified Performance-Based Award (other than a Stock Option or SAR) shall be earned, vested and payable (as applicable) only upon the achievement of performance goals established by the Committee based upon one or more of the Qualified Business Criteria, together with the satisfaction of any other conditions, such as continued employment, as the Compensation Committee may determine to be appropriate; provided, however, that the Compensation Committee may provide, either in connection with the grant thereof or by amendment thereafter, that achievement of such performance goals will be waived upon the death or Disability of the Participant, or in connection with a Change in Control as defined in Section 16. Performance periods established by the Committee for any such Qualified Performance-Based Award may be as short as three months and may be any longer period. In addition, the Compensation Committee may reserve the right, in connection with the grant of a Qualified Performance-Based Award, to exercise negative discretion to determine that the portion of such Award actually earned, vested and/or payable (as applicable) shall be less than the portion that would be earned, vested and/or payable based solely upon application of the applicable performance goals.

(d) Inclusions and Exclusions from Performance Criteria. The Compensation Committee may determine prospectively, at the time that goals under this Section 11 are established, whether or not to adjust any such goals during or after the applicable performance period to take into consideration and/or mitigate the unbudgeted impact of unusual or non- recurring gains and losses, accounting changes, acquisitions, dispositions, divestitures, discontinued operations and/or “extraordinary items”

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within the meaning of generally accepted accounting principles (“non-recurring items”), or if such non-recurring items were not foreseen or were not quantifiable at the time such goals were established, upon the occurrence of such non-recurring items, including any of the following that occur during the applicable performance period: (a) asset write-downs or impairment charges; (b) litigation or claim costs, judgments or settlements; (c) the effect of changes in tax laws, accounting principles or other laws or provisions affecting reported results; (d) restatements occurring as a result of errors that arise from events other than fraud or failures in performance; (e) accruals for reorganization and restructuring programs; (f) extraordinary nonrecurring items as described in Accounting Principles Board Opinion No. 30 (or any successor thereto) and/or in management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations appearing in the Company’s annual report to stockholders for the applicable year; (g) acquisitions or divestitures; and (h) foreign exchange gains and losses.

(e) Certification of Performance Goals. Any payment of a Qualified Performance- Based Award granted with performance goals pursuant to Section 11(c) above shall be conditioned on the written certification of the Compensation Committee in each case that the performance goals and any other material conditions were satisfied. Except as specifically provided in Section 11(c), no Qualified Performance-Based Award held by a Covered Employee or by an employee who in the reasonable judgment of the Compensation Committee may be a Covered Employee on the date of payment, may be amended, nor may the Compensation Committee exercise any discretionary authority it may otherwise have under the Plan with respect to a Qualified Performance-Based Award under the Plan, in any manner to waive the achievement of the applicable performance goal based on Qualified Business Criteria or to increase the amount payable pursuant thereto or the value thereof, or otherwise in a manner that would cause the Qualified Performance-Based Award to cease to qualify for the Performance- Based Exception.

Section 12. Deferral Elections. The Compensation Committee may permit a Participant to elect to defer his or her receipt of the payment of cash or the delivery of shares of Common Stock that would otherwise be due to such Participant by virtue of the exercise or earn out of an Award made under the Plan. If any such election is permitted, the Compensation Committee may establish rules and procedures for such payment deferrals, including the possible

 

(a)

 

payment or crediting of reasonable interest on such deferred amounts credited in cash, and (b) the payment or crediting dividend equivalents in respect of deferrals credited in units of Common Stock. Any such permitted deferrals shall comply with all applicable requirements of Section 409A of the Code, including the timing of any such deferral elections and the timing and form of payments.

Section 13. Termination of Employment. The terms and conditions under which an Award may be exercised after a Participant’s termination of employment shall be determined by the Compensation Committee.

Section 14. Non-transferability of Awards. No Award under the Plan, nor any rights or interests therein, shall be assignable or transferable by a Participant except by will or the laws of descent and distribution. During the lifetime of a Participant, Stock Options and Stock Appreciation Rights are exercisable only by, and payments in settlement of Awards will be payable only to, the Participant or his or her legal representative.

Section 15. Adjustments Upon Changes in Capitalization, Etc.

(a) The existence of the Plan and the Awards granted hereunder shall not affect or restrict in any way the right or power of the Board or the stockholders of the Company to make or authorize any adjustment, recapitalization, reorganization or other change in the Company’s capital structure or its business, any merger or consolidation of the Company, any issue of bonds, other debentures, preferred or prior preference stocks, the dissolution or liquidation of the Company or any sale or transfer of all or any part of its assets or business, or any other corporate act or proceeding.

(b) The number and kind of shares of Common Stock available for issuance under this Plan (including under any Awards then outstanding), and the number and kind of shares of Common Stock subject to the limits set forth in Section 4 of this Plan, shall be adjusted as may be determined

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to be appropriate and equitable by the Compensation Committee, in its sole discretion, to prevent dilution or enlargement of rights, to reflect any reorganization, reclassification, combination of shares, stock split, reverse stock split, spin-off, dividend or distribution of securities, property or cash (other than regular, quarterly cash dividends), or any other event or transaction that affects the number or kind of shares of Common Stock outstanding, provided that any such adjustment shall be made in a manner consistent with the requirements of Code Section 409A in order for any Stock Options or SARs to remain exempt from the requirements of Code Section 409A. The terms of any outstanding Award shall also be equitably adjusted by the Compensation Committee as to price, number or kind of shares of Common Stock subject to such Award, vesting and other terms to reflect the foregoing events, which adjustments need not be uniform as between different Awards or different types of Awards. No adjustment or substitution provided for in this Section 15 shall require the Company in any agreement with a Participant to issue a fractional share and the total substitution or adjustment with respect to each agreement with a Participant shall be limited accordingly. In the event that the number of shares of Common Stock subject to an Award is adjusted pursuant to the provisions of this Section 15, then any Stock Appreciation Rights related to such Award shall be appropriately and equitably adjusted.

(c) In the event of (i) a dissolution or liquidation of the Company, (ii) a sale of all or substantially all of the Company’s assets, (iii) a merger or consolidation involving the Company in which the Company is not the surviving corporation or (iv) a merger or consolidation involving the Company in which the Company is the surviving corporation but the holders of shares of the Company’s Common Stock receive securities of another corporation and/or other property, including cash, the Compensation Committee shall, in its absolute discretion, have the power to cancel, effective immediately prior to the occurrence of such event, each Stock Option and each Stock Appreciation Right outstanding immediately prior to such event (whether or not then exercisable) and, in consideration of such cancellation, the Company will pay to the Participant an amount in cash for each share of Common Stock subject to such Stock Option or Stock Appreciation Right equal to the excess of (A) the value as determined by the Compensation Committee, in its absolute discretion, of the property (including cash) received by the holder of one share of Common Stock as a result of such event over (B) the exercise price of such Stock Option or Stock Appreciation Right; or provide for the exchange of each Stock Option and Stock Appreciation Right outstanding immediately prior to such event (whether or not then exercisable) for an option on or stock appreciation right with respect to, as appropriate, some or all of the property which a holder of the number of shares of Common Stock subject to such Stock Option or Stock Appreciation Right would have received in such transaction and, incident thereto, make an equitable adjustment as determined by the Compensation Committee, in its absolute discretion, in the exercise price of the option or stock appreciation right, or the number of shares or amount of property subject to the option or stock appreciation right or, if appropriate, provide for a cash payment to the Participant to whom such Stock Option or Stock Appreciation Right was granted in partial consideration for the exchange of the Stock Option or Stock Appreciation Right.

Section 16. Change in Control.

(a) Except as may otherwise be provided in an award agreement, incentive plan, award guidelines or other instrument adopted under this Plan, in the event of a Change in Control (as defined below) of the Company, (i) any Stock Options or Stock Appreciation Rights then outstanding shall become fully exercisable as of the date of the Change of Control, whether or not then exercisable, and shall remain exercisable for their full term, (ii) all restrictions and conditions of all Restricted Stock Grants and Restricted Unit Grants then outstanding shall be deemed satisfied as of the date of such Change of Control, and (iii) all Performance Awards shall be deemed to have been fully earned assuming target performance as of the date of such Change of Control.

(b) “Change in Control” means, and shall be deemed to have occurred upon, the first to occur of any of the following events:

 

(i)

 

Any Outside Person becomes the Beneficial Owner, directly or indirectly, of securities of the Company representing twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the combined voting power of the Company’s then outstanding securities; or

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(ii)

 

During any period of two (2) consecutive years (not including any period prior to the date hereof), individuals who at the beginning of such period constitute the Board (and any new Director, whose nomination for election by the Company’s stockholders was approved by a vote of at least two- thirds (2/3) of the Directors then in office who either were Directors at the beginning of the period or whose nomination for election was so approved) cease for any reason to constitute a majority of the members of the Board; or

 

(iii)

 

The consummation of the sale or disposition of all or substantially all of the Company’s assets other than a sale or disposition of all or substantially all of the Company’s assets to an entity at least sixty percent (60%) of the combined voting power of the voting securities of which are owned by the stockholders of the Company in substantially the same proportions as their ownership of the Company immediately prior to such sale or disposition; or

 

(iv)

 

The consummation of a merger, consolidation, or reorganization of the Company with or involving any other corporation, other than a merger, consolidation, or reorganization that would result in the voting securities of the Company outstanding immediately prior thereto continuing to represent (either by remaining outstanding or by being converted into voting securities of the surviving entity or any parent thereof) at least sixty percent (60%) of the combined voting power of the voting securities of the Company (or such surviving entity) outstanding immediately after such merger, consolidation, or reorganization; or

 

(v)

 

The stockholders of the Company approve a plan of complete liquidation of the Company.

However, in no event shall a “Change in Control” be deemed to have occurred with respect to a Participant if that Participant is part of a purchasing group which consummates the Change in Control transaction. A Participant shall be deemed “part of a purchasing group” for purposes of the preceding sentence if the Participant is an equity participant in the acquiring company or group or surviving entity (the “Purchaser”) except for ownership of less than one percent (1%) of the equity of the Purchaser. Notwithstanding the foregoing, for any Awards that constitute a nonqualified deferred compensation plan within the meaning of Section 409A(d) of the Code and provide for an accelerated payment in connection with a Change in Control, Change in Control shall have the same meaning as set forth in any regulations, revenue procedure, revenue rulings or other pronouncements issued by the Secretary of the United States Treasury pursuant to Section 409A of the Code, applicable to such plans.

Section 17. Amendment and Termination.

(a) General. Subject to Section 17(b), without further approval of the stockholders of the Company, the Board may at any time terminate the Plan, or may amend it from time to time in such respects as the Board may deem advisable, except that the Board may not, without approval of the stockholders, make any amendment which would (i) require stockholder approval for Incentive Stock Options granted or to be granted under the Plan to qualify as incentive stock options within the meaning of Section 422 of the Code or (ii) require stockholder approval under applicable law or the rules of any national securities exchange upon which the Common Stock is listed at the time such amendment is proposed.

(b) No Repricing of Stock Options or SARs. Notwithstanding any provision herein to the contrary, without stockholder approval, except in connection with a corporate transaction involving the Company (including, without limitation, a stock dividend, stock split, extraordinary cash dividend, recapitalization, merger, consolidation, split-up, spin-off, combination, exchange of shares or other transaction contemplated by Section 15), the terms of outstanding Awards may not be amended to reduce the exercise price of outstanding Stock Options or SARs, or cancel outstanding Stock Options or SARs in exchange for cash, other Awards or Stock Options or SARs with an exercise price that is less than the exercise price of the original Stock Options or SARS.

Section 18. Miscellaneous.

(a) Tax Withholding. The Company shall have the power and the right to deduct or withhold, or require a Participant to remit to the Company, an amount sufficient to satisfy Federal, state, and

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local taxes (including the Participant’s FICA obligation) required by law to be withheld with respect to any taxable event arising as a result of this Plan.

(b) Share Withholding. The Company may cause any tax withholding obligation described in Section 18(a) to be satisfied by the Company withholding shares having a Fair Market Value on the date the tax is to be determined equal to the minimum statutory total tax which could be imposed on the transaction. In the alternative, the Company may permit Participants to elect to satisfy the tax withholding obligation, in whole or in part, by either (i) having the Company withhold shares having a Fair Market Value on the date the tax is to be determined equal to the minimum statutory total tax which could be imposed on the transaction or (ii) tendering previously acquired shares having an aggregate Fair Market Value equal to the minimum statutory total tax which could be imposed on the transaction (provided, to the extent necessary under applicable accounting principles, that the shares which are tendered must have been held by the Participant for at least six (6) months prior to their tender unless such shares had been acquired by the Participant on the open market). All such elections shall be irrevocable, made in writing, signed by the Participant, and shall be subject to any restrictions or limitations that the Compensation Committee, in its sole discretion, deems appropriate.

(c) No Right To Employment. Neither the adoption of the Plan nor the granting of any Award hereunder shall confer upon any employee of the Company any right to continued employment with the Company, nor shall it interfere in any way with the right of the Company to terminate the employment of any of its employees at any time, with or without cause.

(d) Unfunded Plan. The Plan shall be unfunded and the Company shall not be required to segregate any assets that may at any time be represented by Awards under the Plan. Any liability of the Company to any person with respect to any Award under the Plan shall be based solely upon any contractual obligations that may be effected pursuant to the Plan. No such obligation of the Company shall be deemed to be secured by any pledge of, or other encumbrance on, any property of the Company.

(e) Payments to Trust. The Compensation Committee is authorized to cause to be established a trust agreement or several trust agreements whereunder the Company may make payments of amounts due or to become due to Participants in the Plan.

(f) Engaging in Competition With Company. In the event a Participant’s employ- ment with the Company is terminated for any reason whatsoever, and within 18 months after the date thereof such Participant accepts employment with any competitor of, or otherwise engages in competition with, the Company, the Compensation Committee, in its sole discretion, may require such Participant to return to the Company the economic value of any Award which is realized or obtained (measured at the date of exercise, vesting or payment) by such Participant at any time during the period beginning on that date which is six months prior to the date of such Participant’s termination of employment with the Company.

(g) Securities Law Restrictions. No shares of Common Stock shall be issued under the Plan unless counsel for the Company shall be satisfied that such issuance will be in compliance with applicable Federal and state securities laws. Certificates for shares of Common Stock delivered under the Plan may be subject to such stop-transfer orders and other restrictions as the Compensation Committee may deem advisable under the rules, regulations, and other requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission, any stock exchange upon which the Common Stock is then listed, and any applicable federal or state securities law. The Compensation Committee may cause a legend or legends to be put on any such certificates to make appropriate reference to such restrictions.

(h) Award Agreement. Each Participant receiving an Award under the Plan shall enter into an agreement with the Company in a form specified by the Compensation Committee agreeing to the terms and conditions of the Award and such related matters as the Compensation Committee shall, in its sole discretion, determine.

(i) Costs of Plan. The costs and expenses of administering the Plan shall be borne by the Company.

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(j) Governing Law. The Plan and all actions taken thereunder shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of North Carolina.

(k) Compliance with Code Section 409A. The Plan is intended to comply with Code Section 409A. Notwithstanding any provision of the Plan to the contrary, the Plan shall be interpreted, operated and administered consistent with this intent. In that regard, and notwithstanding any provision of the Plan to the contrary, the Company reserves the right to amend the Plan or any Award granted under the Plan, by action of the Compensation Committee, without the consent of any affected Participant, to the extent deemed necessary or appropriate for purposes of maintaining compliance with Code Section 409A and the regulations promulgated thereunder. In addition, any payments under the Plan of an amount that is deferred compensation under Code Section 409A in connection with a Participant’s termination of employment shall not be made earlier than six (6) months after the date of termination of employment to the extent required by Code Section 409A(a)(2)(B)(i).

(l) Indemnification. Provisions for the indemnification of officers and directors of the Company in connection with the administration of the Plan shall be as set forth in the Company’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws as in effect from time to time.

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