Amended And Restated Rights Agreement

Amended and Restated Rights Agreement Dated as of December 2, 1997

Exhibit 4(ff)

MERRILL LYNCH & CO., INC.

and

ChaseMellon Shareholder Services, L.L.C.

Rights Agent

 


Amended and Restated

Rights Agreement

Dated as of December 2, 1997


Table of Contents

 

          Page

SECTION 1.

   Certain Definitions    1

SECTION 2.

   Appointment of Rights Agent    6

SECTION 3.

   Issue of Rights Certificates    6

SECTION 4.

   Form of Rights Certificates    8

SECTION 5.

   Countersignature and Registration    9

SECTION 6.

   Transfer, Split Up, Combination and Exchange of Rights Certificates; Mutilated, Destroyed, Lost or Stolen Rights Certificates    9

SECTION 7.

   Exercise of Rights; Purchase Price; Expiration Date of Rights    10

SECTION 8.

   Cancellation and Destruction of Rights Certificates    12

SECTION 9.

   Reservation and Availability of Capital Stock    13

SECTION 10.

   Preferred Stock Record Date    14

SECTION 11.

   Adjustment of Purchase Price, Number and Kind of Shares or Number of Rights    14

SECTION 12.

   Certificate of Adjusted Purchase Price or Number of Shares    23

SECTION 13.

   Consolidation, Merger or Sale or Transfer of Assets or Earning Power    23

SECTION 14.

   Fractional Rights and Fractional Shares    27

SECTION 15.

   Rights of Action    28

SECTION 16.

   Agreement of Rights Holders    28

SECTION 17.

   Rights Certificate Holder Not Deemed a Stockholder    29

SECTION 18.

   Concerning the Rights Agent    29

SECTION 19.

   Merger or Consolidation or Change of Name of Rights Agent    30


     Page

SECTION 20.

   Duties of Rights Agent    30

SECTION 21.

   Change of Rights Agent    33

SECTION 22.

   Issuance of New Rights Certificates    34

SECTION 23.

   Redemption and Termination    34

SECTION 24.

   Notice of Certain Events    35

SECTION 25.

   Notices    36

SECTION 26.

   Supplements and Amendments    37

SECTION 27.

   Successors    37

SECTION 28.

   Determinations and Actions by the Board of Directors, etc    37

SECTION 29.

   Benefits of this Agreement    38

SECTION 30.

   Severability    38

SECTION 31.

   Governing Law    38

SECTION 32.

   Counterparts    38

SECTION 33.

   Descriptive Headings    38

SECTION 34.

   Exchange    39

Exhibit A

   -     Form of Rights Certificate   

Exhibit B

   -     Form of Summary of Rights   

Exhibit C

   -     Certificate of Designation, Preferences and Rights   

 

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AMENDED AND RESTATED

RIGHTS AGREEMENT

AMENDED AND RESTATED RIGHTS AGREEMENT, dated as of December 2, 1997, between Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), and ChaseMellon Shareholder Services, L.L.C., a New Jersey limited liability company (the “Rights Agent”).

WHEREAS, on December 16, 1987 (the “Rights Dividend Declaration Date”), the Board of Directors of the Company authorized and declared a distribution of one Right (each a “Right”) for each share of common stock, par value $1.33 1/3 per share, of the Company (the “Company Common Stock”) outstanding at the Close of Business (as defined below) on January 8, 1988 (the “Record Date”), and issued one Right (as such number may hereinafter be adjusted pursuant hereto) for each share of Company Common Stock issued between the Record Date (whether originally issued or delivered from the Company’s treasury) and, except as otherwise provided in Section 22, the Distribution Date (as defined below), each Right initially representing the right to purchase upon the terms and subject to the conditions hereinafter set forth one Unit of Preferred Stock (as defined below);

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors has authorized amending the Rights Agreement, dated as of December 16, 1987, between the Company and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company, a New York corporation, which amendment will, among other things, extending the Final Expiration Date (as defined below); and

WHEREAS, the Company desires to set forth certain terms and conditions governing the Rights;

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

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

(a) “Acquiring Person” shall mean any Person who or which, alone or together with all Affiliates and Associates of such Person, shall be the Beneficial Owner of 15% or more of the shares of Company Common Stock then outstanding, but shall not include (x) the Company, any Subsidiary of the Company, any employee benefit plan maintained by the Company or any of its Subsidiaries or any trustee or fiduciary with respect to such plan acting in such capacity or (y) any such Person who has become and is such a Beneficial Owner solely because (A) of a change in the aggregate number of shares of the Company Common Stock since the last date on which such Person acquired Beneficial Ownership of any shares of the Company Common Stock and who has not acquired Beneficial Ownership of any additional shares since the date on which such person became such a Beneficial Owner or (B) it acquired such Beneficial Ownership in the good faith belief that such acquisition


would not (1) cause such Beneficial Ownership to exceed 15% of the shares of the Company Common Stock then outstanding and such Person relied in good faith in computing the percentage of its Beneficial Ownership on publicly filed reports or documents of the Company which are inaccurate or out-of-date or (2) otherwise cause a Distribution Date or the adjustment provided for in Section 11(a)(ii) to occur. Notwithstanding clause (y)(B) of the preceding sentence, if any Person that is not an Acquiring Person due to such clause (y)(B) does not reduce its percentage of Beneficial Ownership of the Company Common Stock to 15% or less by the Close of Business on the fifth Business Day after notice from the Company (the date of notice being the first day) that such person’s Beneficial Ownership of the Company Common Stock so exceeds 15%, such Person shall, at the end of such five Business Day period, become an Acquiring Person (and such clause (y)(B) shall no longer apply to such Person). For purposes of this definition, the determination whether any Person acted in “good faith” shall be conclusively determined by the Board of Directors of the Company, acting by a vote of those directors of the Company whose approval would be required to redeem the rights under Section 23.

(b) “Adjustment Shares” has the meaning set forth in Section 11(a)(ii).

(c) “Adjustment Spread” has the meaning set forth in Section 34(a)(ii).

(d) “Affiliate” and “Associate” shall have the respective meanings ascribed to such terms in Rule 12b-2 under the Exchange Act Regulations as in effect on the date of this Agreement.

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

(i) of which such Person or any of such Person’s Affiliates or Associates is considered to be a “beneficial owner” under Rule 13d-3 of the Exchange Act Regulations as in effect on the date of this Agreement; provided, however, that a Person shall not be deemed the “Beneficial Owner” of, or to “beneficially own”, or have a “Beneficial Ownership” of, any securities under this subparagraph (i) as a result of an agreement, arrangement or understanding to vote such securities if such agreement, arrangement or understanding (A) arises solely from a revocable proxy given in response to a proxy or consent solicitation made pursuant to, and in accordance with, the applicable provisions of the Exchange Act and the Exchange Act Regulations, and (B) is not reportable by such Person on Schedule 13D under the Exchange Act (or any comparable or successor report);

 

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(ii) which are beneficially owned, directly or indirectly, by any other Person (or any Affiliate or Associate of such other Person) with which such Person (or any of such Person’s Affiliates or Associates) has any agreement, arrangement or understanding (whether or not in writing), for the purpose of acquiring, holding, voting (except pursuant to a revocable proxy as described in the proviso to subparagraph (i) of this paragraph (e)) or disposing of such securities; or

(iii) which such Person or any of such Person’s Affiliates or Associates, directly or indirectly, has the right to acquire (whether such right is exercisable immediately or only after the passage of time or upon the satisfaction of conditions) pursuant to any agreement, arrangement or understanding (whether or not in writing) or upon the exercise of conversion rights, exchange rights, rights, warrants or options, or otherwise;

provided, however, that under this paragraph (e) a Person shall not be deemed the “Beneficial Owner” of, or to “beneficially own”, or to have “Beneficial Ownership” of, (A) securities tendered pursuant to a tender or exchange offer made in accordance with Exchange Act Regulations by such Person or any of such Person’s Affiliates or Associates until such tendered securities are accepted for purchase or exchange, (B) securities that may be issued upon exercise of Rights at any time prior to the occurrence of a Triggering Event, or (C) securities that may be issued upon exercise of Rights from and after the occurrence of a Triggering Event, which Rights were acquired by such Person or any of such Person’s Affiliates or Associates prior to the Distribution Date or pursuant to Section 3(a) or Section 22 or pursuant to Section 11(i) in connection with an adjustment made with respect to any such Rights.

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

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

(h) “Common Stock” of any Person other than the Company shall mean the capital stock of such Person with the greatest voting power, or, if such Person shall have no capital stock, the equity securities or other equity interest having power to control or direct the management of such Person.

 

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(i) “Company” has the meaning set forth in the recital of parties to this Agreement.

(j) “Company Common Stock” has the meaning set forth in the preliminary statements to this Agreement.

(k) “Current Value” has the meaning set forth in Section 11(a)(iii).

(l) “Depositary Agent” has the meaning set forth in Section 7(c).

(m) “Distribution Date” has the meaning set forth in Section 3(a).

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

(o) “Exchange Act Regulations” shall mean the General Rules and Regulations under the Exchange Act.

(p) “Expiration Date” has the meaning set forth in Section 7(a).

(q) “Final Expiration Date” has the meaning set forth in Section 7(a).

(r) “Person” shall mean any individual, partnership, limited liability company, firm, corporation, association, trust, unincorporated organization or other entity, as well as any syndicate or group deemed to be a person under Section 14(d)(2) of the Exchange Act.

(s) “Preferred Stock” shall mean the Series A Junior Preferred Stock, par value $1.00 per share, of the Company having the voting powers, designation, preferences and relative, participating, optional or other special rights and qualifications, limitations and restrictions described in the Certificate of Designation, Preferences and Rights set forth as Exhibit C hereto.

(t) “preferred stock equivalents” has the meaning specified in Section 11(a)(iii).

(u) “Principal Party” has the meaning set forth in Section 13(b).

(v) “Purchase Price” has the meaning set forth in Section 7(b).

(w) “Record Date” has the meaning set forth in the preliminary statements to this Agreement.

 

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(x) “Redemption Price” has the meaning set forth in Section 23(c).

(y) “Registered Common Stock” has the meaning set forth in Section 13(b)(ii).

(z) “Registration Date” has the meaning set forth in Section 9(c).

(aa) “Registration Statement” has the meaning set forth in Section 9(c).

(bb) “Right” has the meaning set forth in the preliminary statements to this Agreement.

(cc) “Rights Agent” has the meaning set forth in the recital of parties to this Agreement.

(dd) “Rights Certificate” has the meaning set forth in Section 3(a).

(ee) “Rights Dividend Declaration Date” has the meaning set forth in the preliminary statements to this Agreement.

(ff) “Section 11(a)(ii) Event” shall mean any event described in Section 11(a)(ii)(A), (B) or (C).

(gg) “Section 11(a)(iii) Trigger Date” has the meaning set forth in Section 11(a)(iii).

(hh) “Section 13 Event” shall mean any event described in clause (x), (y) or (z) of Section 13(a).

(ii) “Section 34(a)(i) Exchange Ratio” has the meaning set forth in Section 34(a)(i).

(jj) “Section 34(a)(ii) Exchange Ratio” has the meaning set forth in Section 34(a)(ii).

(kk) “Securities Act” shall mean the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

(ll) “Spread” has the meaning set forth in Section 11(a)(iii).

(mm) “Stock Acquisition Date” shall mean the first date of public announcement (including, without limitation, the filing of any report pursuant to

 

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Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act) by the Company or an Acquiring Person that an Acquiring Person has become such.

(nn) “Subsidiary” shall mean, with reference to any Person, any other Person of which an amount of voting securities or equity interests sufficient to elect at least a majority of the directors or equivalent governing body of such other Person is beneficially owned, directly or indirectly, by such Person, or otherwise controlled by such first-mentioned Person.

(oo) “Summary of Rights” has the meaning set forth in Section 3(b).

(pp) “Trading Day” has the meaning set forth in Section 11(d)(i).

(qq) “Triggering Event” shall mean any Section 11(a)(ii) Event or any Section 13 Event.

(rr) “Unit” has the meaning set forth in Section 7(b).

SECTION 2. Appointment of Rights Agent. The Company hereby appoints the Rights Agent to act as agent for the Company in accordance with the terms and conditions hereof, and the Rights Agent hereby accepts such appointment. With the consent of the Rights Agent, the Company may from time to time appoint such Co-Rights Agents as it may deem necessary or desirable.

SECTION 3. Issue of Rights Certificates. (a) Until the earlier of (i) the Close of Business on the tenth day after the Stock Acquisition Date, and (ii) the Close of Business on the tenth Business Day (or such later date as may be determined by action of the Company’s Board of Directors prior to such time as any Person becomes an Acquiring Person, and of which the Company will give the Rights Agent prompt written notice) after the date that a tender or exchange offer by any Person (other than the Company, any Subsidiary of the Company, any employee benefit plan maintained by the Company or any of its Subsidiaries or any trustee or fiduciary with respect to such plan acting in such capacity) is first published or sent or given within the meaning of Rule 14d-4(a) of the Exchange Act Regulations or any successor rule, if upon consummation thereof such Person would be the Beneficial Owner of 15% or more of the shares of Company Common Stock then outstanding (the earlier of (i) and (ii) above being the “Distribution Date”), (x) the Rights will be evidenced (subject to the provisions of paragraph (b) of this Section 3) by the certificates for shares of Company Common Stock registered in the names of the holders of shares of Company Common Stock as of and subsequent to the Record Date (which certificates for shares of Company Common Stock shall be deemed also to be certificates for Rights) and not by separate certificates, and (y) the Rights will be transferable only in connection with the transfer of the underlying shares of Company Common Stock (including a transfer to the

 

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Company). As soon as practicable after the Distribution Date, the Rights Agent will send by first-class, insured, postage prepaid mail, to each record holder of shares of Company Common Stock as of the Close of Business on the Distribution Date, at the address of such holder shown on the records of the Company, one or more rights certificates, in substantially the form of Exhibit A hereto (the “Rights Certificates”), evidencing one Right for each share of Company Common Stock so held, subject to adjustment as provided herein. In the event that an adjustment in the number of Rights per share of Company Common Stock has been made pursuant to Section 11, at the time of distribution of the Rights Certificates, the Company may make the necessary and appropriate rounding adjustments (in accordance with Section 14(a)) so that Rights Certificates representing only whole numbers of Rights are distributed and cash is paid in lieu of any fractional Rights. As of and after the Distribution Date, the Rights will be evidenced solely by such Rights Certificates.

(b) As promptly as practicable following the Record Date, the Company will send a copy of a Summary of Rights to Purchase Preferred Stock, in a form which may be appended to certificates that represent shares of Company Common Stock, in substantially the form attached hereto as Exhibit B (the “Summary of Rights”), by first-class, postage prepaid mail, to each record holder of shares of Company Common Stock as of the Close of Business on the Record Date, at the address of such holder shown on the records of the Company.

(c) Rights shall, without any further action, be issued in respect of all shares of Company Common Stock which are issued (including any shares of Company Common Stock held in treasury) after the Record Date but prior to the earlier of the Distribution Date and the Expiration Date. Certificates representing such shares of Company Common Stock issued after the Record Date shall bear the following legend:

This certificate also evidences and entitles the holder hereof to certain Rights as set forth in the Rights Agreement between Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. (the “Company”) and ChaseMellon Shareholder Services, L.L.C. (the “Rights Agent”) dated as of December 2, 1997 (the “Rights Agreement”), the terms of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference and a copy of which is on file at the principal office of the stock transfer administration office of the Rights Agent. Under certain circumstances, as set forth in the Rights Agreement, such Rights will be evidenced by separate certificates and will no longer be evidenced by this certificate. The Company will mail to the holder of this certificate a copy of the Rights Agreement, as in effect on the date of mailing, without charge promptly after receipt of a written request therefor. Under certain circumstances set forth in the Rights Agreement, Rights issued to, or held by, any Person who is,

 

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was or becomes an Acquiring Person or any Affiliate or Associate thereof (as such terms are defined in the Rights Agreement), whether currently held by or on behalf of such Person or by any subsequent holder, may become null and void.

With respect to certificates representing shares of Company Common Stock (whether or not such certificates include the foregoing legend or have appended to them the Summary of Rights), until the earlier of (i) the Distribution Date and (ii) the Expiration Date, the Rights associated with the shares of Company Common Stock represented by such certificates shall be evidenced by such certificates alone and registered holders of the shares of Company Common Stock shall also be the registered holders of the associated Rights, and the transfer of any of such certificates shall also constitute the transfer of the Rights associated with the shares of Company Common Stock represented by such certificates.

SECTION 4. Form of Rights Certificates. (a) The Rights Certificates (and the forms of election to purchase, assignment and certificate to be printed on the reverse thereof) shall each be substantially in the form set forth in Exhibit A hereto and may have such marks of identification or designation and such legends, summaries or endorsements printed thereon as the Company may deem appropriate and as are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Agreement, or as may be required to comply with any applicable law or any rule or regulation thereunder or with any rule or regulation of any stock exchange on which the Rights may from time to time be listed or to conform to usage. Subject to the provisions of Sections 11 and 22, the Rights Certificates, whenever distributed, shall be dated as of the Record Date and on their face shall entitle the holders thereof to purchase such number of Units of Preferred Stock as shall be set forth therein at the price set forth therein, but the amount and type of securities, cash or other assets that may be acquired upon the exercise of each Right and the Purchase Price thereof shall be subject to adjustment as provided herein.

(b) Any Rights Certificate issued pursuant hereto that represents Rights beneficially owned by: (i) an Acquiring Person or any Associate or Affiliate of an Acquiring Person, (ii) a transferee of an Acquiring Person (or of any such Associate or Affiliate) which becomes a transferee after the Acquiring Person becomes such, or (iii) a transferee of an Acquiring Person (or of any such Associate or Affiliate) which becomes a transferee prior to or concurrently with the Acquiring Person becoming such and which receives such Rights pursuant to either (A) a transfer (whether or not for consideration) from the Acquiring Person (or any such Associate or Affiliate) to holders of equity interests in such Acquiring Person (or such Associate or Affiliate) or to any Person with whom such Acquiring Person (or such Associate or Affiliate) has any continuing agreement, arrangement or understanding regarding either the transferred Rights, shares of Company Common Stock or the Company or (B) a transfer which a majority of the Board of Directors has determined to be part of a plan, arrangement or understanding which has as a primary purpose or effect the avoidance

 

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of Section 7(e) hereof shall, upon the written direction of a majority of the Board of Directors, contain (to the extent feasible) the following legend:

The Rights represented by this Rights Certificate are or were beneficially owned by a Person who was or became an Acquiring Person or an Affiliate or Associate of an Acquiring Person (as such terms are defined in the Rights Agreement). Accordingly, this Rights Certificate and the Rights represented hereby may become null and void in the circumstances specified in Section 7(e) of such Agreement.

SECTION 5. Countersignature and Registration. (a) Rights Certificates shall be executed on behalf of the Company by its Chairman of the Board, its President or one of its Vice Presidents, under its corporate seal reproduced thereon attested by its Secretary or one of its Assistant Secretaries. The signature of one or more of these officers on the Rights Certificates may be manual or facsimile. Rights Certificates bearing the manual or facsimile signatures of the individuals who were at any time the proper officers of the Company shall bind the Company, notwithstanding that such individuals or any of them have ceased to hold such offices prior to the countersignature of such Rights Certificates-or did not hold such offices at the date of such Rights Certificates. No Rights Certificate shall be entitled to any benefit under this Agreement or be valid for any purpose unless there appears on such Rights Certificate a countersignature duly executed by the Rights Agent by manual signature of an authorized signatory, and such countersignature upon any Rights Certificate shall be conclusive evidence, and the only evidence, that such Rights Certificate has been duly countersigned as required hereunder.

(b) Following the Distribution Date, the Rights Agent will keep or cause to be kept, at its office designated for surrender of Rights Certificates upon exercise or transfer, books for registration and transfer of the Rights Certificates issued hereunder. Such books shall show the name and address of each holder of the Rights Certificates, the number of Rights evidenced on its face by each Rights Certificate and the date of each Rights Certificate.

SECTION 6. Transfer, Split Up, Combination and Exchange of Rights Certificates; Mutilated, Destroyed, Lost or Stolen Rights Certificates. (a) Subject to the provisions of Sections 4(b), 7(e) and 14, at any time after the Close of Business on the Distribution Date, and at or prior to the Close of Business on the Expiration Date, any Rights Certificate or Certificates may be transferred, split up, combined or exchanged for another Rights Certificate or Certificates, entitling the registered holder to purchase a like number of Units of Preferred Stock (or, following a Triggering Event, other securities, cash or other assets, as the case may be) as the Rights Certificate or Certificates surrendered then entitled such holder to purchase. Any registered holder desiring to transfer, split up,

 

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combine or exchange any Rights Certificate or Certificates shall make such request in writing delivered to the Rights Agent, and shall surrender the Rights Certificate or Certificates to be transferred, split up, combined or exchanged at the office of the Rights Agent designated for such purpose. Neither the Rights Agent nor the Company shall be obligated to take any action whatsoever with respect to the transfer of any such surrendered Rights Certificate until the registered holder shall have completed and executed the certificate set forth in the form of assignment on the reverse side of such Rights Certificate and shall have provided such additional evidence of the identity of the Beneficial Owner (or former Beneficial Owner) of the Rights represented by such Rights Certificate or Affiliates or Associates thereof as the Company shall reasonably request; whereupon the Rights Agent shall, subject to the provisions of Sections 4(b), 7(e) and 14, countersign and deliver to the Person entitled thereto a Rights Certificate or Rights Certificates, as the case may be, as so requested. The Company may require payment of a sum sufficient to cover any tax or governmental charge that may be imposed in connection with any transfer, split up, combination or exchange of Rights Certificates.

(b) If a Rights Certificate shall be mutilated, destroyed, lost or stolen, upon request by the registered holder of the Rights represented thereby and upon payment to the Company and the Rights Agent of all reasonable expenses incident thereto, there shall be issued, in exchange for and upon cancellation of the mutilated Rights Certificate, or in substitution for the lost, stolen or destroyed Rights Certificate, a new Rights Certificate, in substantially the form of the prior Rights Certificate, of like tenor and representing the equivalent number of Rights, but, in the case of loss, theft or destruction, only upon receipt of evidence satisfactory to the Company and the Rights Agent of such loss, theft or destruction of such Rights Certificate and, if requested by the Company or the Rights Agent, indemnity also satisfactory to it.

SECTION 7. Exercise of Rights; Purchase Price; Expiration Date of Rights. (a) Prior to the earlier of (i) the Close of Business on the tenth anniversary hereof (the “Final Expiration Date”) and (ii) the time at which the Rights are redeemed as provided in Section 23 (the earlier of (i) and (ii) being the “Expiration Date”), the registered holder of any Rights Certificate may, subject to the provisions of Sections 7(e) and 9(c), exercise the Rights evidenced thereby in whole or in part at any time after the Distribution Date upon surrender of the Rights Certificate, with the form of election to purchase and the certificate on the reverse side thereof duly executed, to the Rights Agent at the office of the Rights Agent designated for such purpose, together with payment of the aggregate Purchase Price (as hereinafter defined) for the number of Units of Preferred Stock (or, following a Triggering Event, other securities, cash or other assets, as the case may be) for which such surrendered Rights are then exercisable.

(b) The purchase price for each one one-hundredth of a share (each such one one-hundredth of a share being a “Unit”) of Preferred Stock upon exercise of Rights

 

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shall be $300, subject to adjustment from time to time as provided in Sections 11 and 13(a) (such purchase price, as so adjusted, being the “Purchase Price”), and shall be payable in accordance with paragraph (c) below.

(c) As promptly as practicable following the occurrence of the Distribution Date, the Company shall deposit with a corporation in good standing organized under the laws of the United States or any state of the United States, which is authorized under such laws to exercise corporate trust or stock transfer powers and is subject to supervision or examination by federal or state authority (which corporation may be a Subsidiary of the Company) (such institution being the “Depositary Agent”) certificates representing the shares of Preferred Stock that may be acquired upon exercise of the Rights and shall cause such Depositary Agent to enter into an agreement pursuant to which the Depositary Agent shall issue receipts representing interests in the shares of Preferred Stock so deposited. Upon receipt of a Rights Certificate representing exercisable Rights, with the form of election to purchase and the certificate duly executed, accompanied by payment, with respect to each Right so exercised, of the Purchase Price for the Units of Preferred Stock (or, following a Triggering Event, other securities, cash or other assets, as the case may be) to be purchased thereby as set forth below and an amount equal to any applicable transfer tax or evidence satisfactory to the Company of payment of such tax, the Rights Agent shall, subject to Section 20(k), thereupon promptly (i) requisition from the Depositary Agent depositary receipts representing such number of Units of Preferred Stock as are to be purchased and the Company will direct the Depositary Agent to comply with such request, (ii) requisition from the Company the amount of cash, if any, to be paid in lieu of fractional shares in accordance with Section 14, (iii) after receipt of such depositary receipts, cause the same to be delivered to or upon the order of the registered holder of such Rights Certificate, registered in such name or names as may be designated by such holder, and (iv) after receipt thereof, deliver such cash, if any, to or upon the order of the registered holder of such Rights Certificate. In the event that the Company is obligated to issue Company Common Stock, other securities of the Company, pay cash and/or distribute other property pursuant to Section 11(a), the Company will make all arrangements necessary so that such Company Common Stock, other securities, cash and/or other property are available for distribution by the Rights Agent, if and when appropriate. The payment of the Purchase Price (as such amount may be reduced pursuant to Section 11(a)(iii)) may be made in cash or by certified or bank check or bank draft payable to the order of the Company, or by wire transfer of immediately available funds to the account of the Company (provided that notice of such wire transfer shall be given by the holder of the related Right to the Rights Agent).

(d) In the event that the registered holder of any Rights Certificate shall exercise less than all the Rights evidenced thereby, a new Rights Certificate evidencing the Rights remaining unexercised shall be issued by the Rights Agent and delivered to, or upon the order of, the registered holder of such Rights Certificate, registered in such name or names as may be designated by such holder, subject to the provisions of Section 14.

 

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(e) Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement to the contrary, from and after the first occurrence of any Section 11(a)(ii) Event or Section 13 Event, any Rights beneficially owned by (i) an Acquiring Person or an Associate or Affiliate of an Acquiring Person, (ii) a transferee of an Acquiring Person (or of any such Associate or Affiliate) which becomes a transferee after the Acquiring Person becomes such, or (iii) a transferee of an Acquiring Person (or of any such Associate or Affiliate) which becomes a transferee prior to or concurrently with the Acquiring Person becoming such and which receives such Rights pursuant to either (A) a transfer (whether or not for consideration) from the Acquiring Person (or any such Associate or Affiliate) to holders of equity interests in such Acquiring Person (or any such Associate or Affiliate) or to any Person with whom such Acquiring Person (or such Associate or Affiliate) has any continuing agreement, arrangement or understanding regarding the transferred Rights, shares of Company Common Stock or the Company or (B) a transfer which a majority of the Board of Directors has determined to be part of a plan, arrangement or understanding which has as a primary purpose or effect the avoidance of this Section 7(e), shall be null and void without any further action, and no holder of such Rights shall have any rights whatsoever with respect to such Rights, whether under any provision of this Agreement or otherwise. The Company shall use all reasonable efforts to ensure that the provisions of this Section 7(e) and Section 4(b) are complied with, but shall have no liability to any holder of Rights or any other Person as a result of its failure to make any determination under this Section 7(e) or Section 4(b) with respect to an Acquiring Person or its Affiliates, Associates or transferees.

(f) Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement or any Rights Certificate to the contrary, neither the Rights Agent nor the Company shall be obligated to undertake any action with respect to a registered holder upon the occurrence of any purported exercise by such registered holder unless such registered holder shall have (i) completed and executed the certificate following the form of election to purchase set forth on the reverse side of the Rights Certificate surrendered for such exercise, and (ii) provided such additional evidence of the identity of the Beneficial Owner (or former Beneficial Owner) of the Rights represented by such Rights Certificate or Affiliates or Associates thereof as the Company shall reasonably request.

SECTION 8. Cancellation and Destruction of Rights Certificates. All Rights Certificates surrendered for the purpose of exercise, transfer, split up, combination or exchange shall, if surrendered to the Company or any of its agents, be delivered to the Rights Agent for cancellation or in cancelled form, or, if surrendered to the Rights Agent, shall be cancelled by it, and no Rights Certificates shall be issued in lieu thereof except as expressly permitted by this Agreement. The Company shall deliver to the Rights Agent for cancellation and retirement, and the Rights Agent shall so cancel and retire, any Rights Certificates acquired by the Company otherwise than upon the exercise thereof. The Rights Agent shall deliver all cancelled Rights Certificates to the Company, or shall, at the written

 

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request of the Company, destroy such cancelled Rights Certificates, and in such case shall deliver a certificate of destruction thereof to the Company.

SECTION 9. Reservation and Availability of Capital Stock. (a) The Company shall at all times prior to the Expiration Date cause to be reserved and kept available out of its authorized and unissued shares of Preferred Stock, the number of shares of Preferred Stock that, as provided in this Agreement, including, without limitation, Section 11(a)(iii) hereof, will be sufficient to permit the exercise in full of all outstanding Rights. Upon the occurrence of any events resulting in an increase in the aggregate number of shares of Preferred Stock (or other equity securities of the Company) issuable upon exercise of all outstanding Rights above the number then reserved, the Company shall make appropriate increases in the number of shares so reserved.

(b) So long as the shares of Preferred Stock to be issued and delivered upon the exercise of the Rights may be listed on any national securities exchange, the Company shall during the period from the Distribution Date through the Expiration Date use its best efforts to cause all securities reserved for such issuance to be listed on such exchange upon official notice of issuance upon such exercise.

(c) The Company shall use its best efforts (i) as soon as practicable following the occurrence of a Section 11(a)(ii) Event and a determination by the Company in accordance with Section 11(a)(iii) of the consideration to be delivered by the Company upon exercise of the Rights or, if so required by law, as soon as practicable following the Distribution Date (such date being the “Registration Date”), to file a registration statement on an appropriate form under the Securities Act with respect to the securities that may be acquired upon exercise of the Rights (the “Registration Statement”), (ii) to cause the Registration Statement to become effective as soon as practicable after such filing, (iii) to cause the Registration Statement to continue to be effective (and to include a prospectus complying with the requirements of the Securities Act) until the earlier of (A) the date as of which the Rights are no longer exercisable for the securities covered by the Registration Statement, and (B) the Expiration Date and (iv) to take as soon as practicable following the Registration Date such action as may be required to ensure that any acquisition of securities upon exercise of the Rights complies with any applicable state securities or “blue sky” laws.

(d) The Company shall take such action as may be necessary to ensure that all shares of Preferred Stock (and, following the occurrence of a Triggering Event, any other securities that may be delivered upon exercise of Rights) shall be, at the time of delivery of the certificates or depositary receipts for such securities, duly and validly authorized and issued and fully paid and non-assessable.

(e) The Company shall pay any documentary, stamp or transfer tax imposed in connection with the issuance or delivery of the Rights Certificates or upon the

 

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exercise of Rights; provided, however, the Company shall not be required to pay any such tax imposed in connection with the issuance or delivery of Units of Preferred Stock, or any certificates or depositary receipts for such Units of Preferred Stock (or, following the occurrence of a Triggering Event, any other securities, cash or assets, as the case may be) to any person other than the registered holder of the Rights Certificates evidencing the Rights surrendered for exercise. The Company shall not be required to issue or deliver any certificates or depositary receipts for Units of Preferred Stock (or, following the occurrence of a Triggering Event, any other securities, cash or assets, as the case may be) to, or in a name other than that of, the registered holder of the Rights Certificate upon the exercise of any Rights represented thereby until any such tax shall have been paid (any such tax being payable by the holder of such Rights Certificate at the time of surrender) or until it has been established to the Company’s satisfaction that no such tax is due.

SECTION 10. Preferred Stock Record Date. Each Person in whose name any certificate for Units of Preferred Stock (or, following the occurrence of a Triggering Event, other securities) is issued upon the exercise of Rights shall for all purposes be deemed to have become the holder of record of the Units of Preferred Stock (or, following the occurrence of a Triggering Event, other securities) represented thereby on, and such certificate shall be dated, the date upon which the Rights Certificate evidencing such Rights was duly surrendered and payment of the Purchase Price (and any applicable transfer taxes) was made; provided, however, that if the date of such surrender and payment is a date upon which the Preferred Stock (or, following the occurrence of a Triggering Event, other securities) transfer books of the Company are closed, such Person shall be deemed to have become the record holder of such securities on, and such certificate shall be dated, the next succeeding Business Day on which the Preferred Stock (or, following the occurrence of a Triggering Event, other securities) transfer books of the Company are open; and provided further, however, that if delivery of Units of Preferred Stock is delayed pursuant to Section 9(c), such Persons shall be deemed to have become the record holders of such Units of Preferred Stock only when such Units first become deliverable. Prior to the exercise of the Rights evidenced thereby, the holder of a Rights Certificate shall not be entitled to any rights of a stockholder of the Company with respect to securities for which the Rights shall be exercisable, including, without limitation, the right to vote, to receive dividends or other distributions or to exercise any preemptive rights, and shall not be entitled to receive any notice of any proceedings of the Company, except as provided herein.

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

(a) (i) In the event that the Company shall at any time after the date of this Agreement (A) declare a dividend on the Company Common Stock payable in

 

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shares of Company Common Stock, (B) subdivide the outstanding Company Common Stock, (C) combine the outstanding Company Common Stock into a smaller number of shares or (D) issue any shares of its capital stock in a reclassification of the Company Common Stock (including any such reclassification in connection with a consolidation or merger in which the Company is the continuing or surviving corporation), except as otherwise provided in this Section 11(a), the number of shares of Company Common Stock or capital stock, as the case may be, issuable on such date upon exercise of the Rights, shall be proportionately adjusted so that the holder of any Right exercised after such time shall be entitled to receive, upon payment of the Purchase Price then in effect, the aggregate number and kind of shares of Company Common Stock or capital stock, as the case may be, which, if such Right had been exercised immediately prior to such date, such holder would have owned upon such exercise and been entitled to receive by virtue of such dividend, subdivision, combination or reclassification. If an event occurs which would require an adjustment under both this Section 11(a)(i) and Section 11(a)(ii), the adjustment provided for in this Section 11(a)(i) shall be in addition to, and shall be made prior to, any adjustment required pursuant to Section 11(a)(ii).

(ii) In the event that:

(A) any Acquiring Person or any Associate or Affiliate of any Acquiring Person, at any time after the date of this Agreement, directly or indirectly, shall (1) merge into the Company or otherwise combine with the Company and the Company shall be the continuing or surviving corporation of such merger or combination and Company Common Stock shall remain outstanding and unchanged, (2) in one transaction or a series of transactions, transfer any assets to the Company or to any of its Subsidiaries in exchange (in whole or in part) for shares of Company Common Stock, for other equity securities of the Company or any such Subsidiary, or for securities exercisable for or convertible into shares of equity securities of the Company or any of its Subsidiaries (whether Company Common Stock or otherwise) or otherwise obtain from the Company or any of its Subsidiaries, with or without consideration, any additional shares of such equity securities or securities exercisable for or convertible into such equity securities (other than pursuant to a pro rata distribution to all holders of Company Common Stock), (3) sell, purchase, lease, exchange, mortgage, pledge, transfer or otherwise acquire or dispose of, in one transaction or a series of transactions, to, from or with the Company or any of its Subsidiaries or any employee benefit plan maintained by the Company or any of its Subsidiaries or any trustee or fiduciary with respect to such plan acting in such capacity, assets (including securities) on terms and conditions less favorable to the Company or such Subsidiary or plan than those that could have been obtained in arm’s-length negotiations with an

 

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unaffiliated third party, other than pursuant to a transaction set forth in Section 13(a), (4) sell, purchase, lease, exchange, mortgage, pledge, transfer or otherwise acquire or dispose of in one transaction or a series of transactions, to, from or with the Company or any of the Company’s Subsidiaries or any employee benefit plan maintained by the Company or any of its Subsidiaries or any trustee or fiduciary with respect to such plan acting in such capacity (other than transactions, if any, consistent with those engaged in, as of the date hereof, by the Company and such Acquiring Person or such Associate or Affiliate), assets (including securities) having an aggregate fair market value of more than $50,000,000, other than pursuant to a transaction set forth in Section 13(a), (5) sell, purchase, lease, exchange, mortgage, pledge, transfer or otherwise acquire or dispose of in one transaction or a series of transactions, to, from or with the Company or any of its Subsidiaries or any employee benefit plan maintained by the Company or any of its Subsidiaries or any trustee or fiduciary with respect to such plan acting in such capacity, any material trademark or material service mark, other than pursuant to a transaction set forth in Section 13(a), (6) receive (or any designee, agent or representative of such Acquiring Person or any Affiliate or Associate of such Acquiring Person shall receive) any compensation from the Company or any of its Subsidiaries other than compensation for full-time employment as a regular employee at rates in accordance with the Company’s (or its Subsidiaries’) past practices, or (7) receive the benefit, directly or indirectly (except proportionately as a holder of Company Common Stock or as required by law or governmental regulation), of any loans, advances, guarantees, pledges or other financial assistance or any tax credits or other tax advantage provided by the Company or any of its Subsidiaries or any employee benefit plan maintained by the Company or any of its Subsidiaries or any trustee or fiduciary with respect to such plan acting in such capacity;

(B) any Person shall become an Acquiring Person, unless the event causing such Person to become an Acquiring Person is pursuant to any transaction set forth in Section 13(a); or

(C) during such time as there is an Acquiring Person, there shall be any reclassification of securities (including any reverse stock split), or recapitalization of the Company, or any merger or consolidation of the Company with any of its Subsidiaries or any other transaction or series of transactions involving the Company or any of its Subsidiaries, other than a transaction or transactions to which the provisions of Section 13(a) apply (whether or not with or into or otherwise involving an Acquiring Person) which has the effect, directly or indirectly, of increasing by more than 1% the proportionate share of the outstanding shares of any class of equity securities

 

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of the Company or any of its Subsidiaries that is directly or indirectly beneficially owned by any Acquiring Person or any Associate or Affiliate of any Acquiring Person;

then, immediately upon the date of the occurrence of an event described in Section 11(a)(ii) (a “Section 11(a)(ii) Event”), proper provision shall be made so that each holder of a Right (except as provided below and in Section 7(e)) shall thereafter have the right to receive, upon exercise thereof at the then current Purchase Price in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, in lieu of the number of Units of Preferred Stock for which a Right was exercisable immediately prior to the first occurrence of a Section 11(a)(ii) Event, such number of Units of Preferred Stock as shall equal the result obtained by (x) multiplying the then current Purchase Price by the then number of Units of Preferred Stock for which a Right was exercisable immediately prior to the first occurrence of a Section 11(a)(ii) Event (such product thereafter being, for all purposes of this Agreement other than Section 13, the “Purchase Price”), and (y) dividing that product by 50% of the then current market price (determined pursuant to Section 11(d)) per Unit of Preferred Stock on the date of such first occurrence (such Units of Preferred Stock being the “Adjustment Shares”).

(iii) In the event that the number of shares of Preferred Stock which are authorized by the Company’s Restated Certificate of Incorporation but not outstanding or reserved for issuance for purposes other than upon exercise of the Rights is not sufficient to permit the exercise in full of the Rights in accordance with the foregoing subparagraph (ii) of this Section 11(a), the Company, by the vote of a majority of the Board of Directors, shall: (A) determine the excess of (1) the value of the Adjustment Shares issuable upon the exercise of a Right (the “Current Value”) over (2) the Purchase Price (such excess being the “Spread”), and (B) with respect to each Right, make adequate provision to substitute for such Adjustment Shares, upon payment of the applicable Purchase Price, (1) cash, (2) a reduction in the Purchase Price, (3) Company Common Stock or other equity securities of the Company (including, without limitation, shares, or units of shares, of preferred stock (such other shares being “preferred stock equivalents”)), (4) debt securities of the Company, (5) other assets, or (6) any combination of the foregoing, having an aggregate value equal to the Current Value, where such aggregate value has been determined by a majority of the Board of Directors, after receiving advice from a nationally recognized investment banking firm; provided, however, that if the Company shall not have made adequate provision to deliver value pursuant to clause (B) above within thirty days following the later of (x) the first occurrence of a Section 11(a)(ii) Event and (y) the date on which the Company’s right of redemption pursuant to Section 23(a) expires (the later of (x) and (y) being referred to herein as the “Section 11(a)(iii) Trigger Date”), then the Company shall be obligated to deliver,

 

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upon the surrender for exercise of a Right and without requiring payment of the Purchase Price, Units of Preferred Stock (to the extent available) and then, if necessary, cash, which Units of Preferred Stock and/or cash shall have an aggregate value equal to the Spread. To the extent that the Company determines that some action need be taken pursuant to the first sentence of this Section 11(a)(iii), the Company shall provide, subject to Section 7(e), that such action shall apply uniformly to all outstanding Rights. For purposes of this Section 11(a)(iii), the value of a Unit of Preferred Stock shall be the current market price (as determined pursuant to Section 11(d)) per Unit of Preferred Stock on the Section 11(a)(iii) Trigger Date and the value of any preferred stock equivalent shall be deemed to have the same value as the Preferred Stock on such date.

(b) In the event the Company shall fix a record date for the issuance of rights, options or warrants to all holders of Company Common Stock entitling them to subscribe for or purchase (for a period expiring within forty-five calendar days after such record date) shares of Company Common Stock or securities convertible into Company Common Stock at a price per share of Company Common Stock (or having a conversion price per share, if a security convertible into Company Common Stock) less than the current market price (as determined pursuant to Section 11(d)) per share of Company Common Stock on such record date, the Purchase Price to be in effect after such record date shall be determined by multiplying the Purchase Price in effect immediately prior to such record date by a fraction, the numerator of which shall be the sum of the number of shares of Company Common Stock outstanding on such record date plus the number of shares of Company Common Stock which the aggregate offering price of the total number of shares of Company Common Stock so to be offered (and/or the aggregate initial conversion price of the convertible securities so to be offered) would purchase at such current market price, and the denominator of which shall be the number of shares of Company Common Stock outstanding on such record date plus the number of additional shares of Company Common Stock to be offered for subscription or purchase (or into which the convertible securities so to be offered are initially convertible). In the event such subscription price may be paid by delivery of consideration part or all of which may be in a form other than cash, the value of such consideration shall be as determined in good faith by a majority of the Board of Directors, whose determination shall be described in a statement filed with the Rights Agent and shall be binding on the Rights Agent and the holders of the Rights. Shares of Company Common Stock owned by or held for the account of the Company or any Subsidiary shall not be deemed outstanding for the purpose of any such computation. Such adjustment shall be made successively whenever such a record date is fixed, and in the event that such rights or warrants are not so issued, the Purchase Price shall be adjusted to be the Purchase Price which would then be in effect if such record date had not been fixed.

(c) In the event that the Company shall fix a record date for a distribution to all holders of shares of Company Common Stock (including any such distribution made in

 

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connection with a consolidation or merger in which the Company is the continuing corporation) of evidences of indebtedness, cash (other than a regular quarterly cash dividend out of the earnings or retained earnings of the Company), assets (other than a dividend payable in shares of Company Common Stock, but including any dividend payable in stock other than Company Common Stock) or subscription rights or warrants (excluding those referred to in Section 11(b), the Purchase Price to be in effect after such record date shall be determined by multiplying the Purchase Price in effect immediately prior to such record date by a fraction, the numerator of which shall be the current market price (as determined pursuant to Section 11(d)) per share of Company Common Stock on such record date less the fair market value (as determined in good faith by a majority of the Board of Directors, whose determination shall be described in a statement filed with the Rights Agent and shall be binding on the Rights Agent and the holder of the Rights) of the portion of the cash, assets or evidences of indebtedness so to be distributed or of such subscription rights or warrants distributable in respect of a share of Company Common Stock and the denominator of which shall be such current market price (as determined pursuant to Section 11(d)) per share of Company Common Stock. Such adjustments shall be made successively whenever such a record date is fixed, and in the event that such distribution is not so made, the Purchase Price shall be adjusted to be the Purchase Price which would have been in effect if such record date had not been fixed.

(d) (i) For the purpose of any computation hereunder, the “current market price” per share of Company Common Stock or Common Stock on any date shall be deemed to be the average of the daily closing prices per share of such shares for the ten consecutive Trading Days immediately prior to such date; provided, however, if prior to the expiration of such requisite ten Trading Day period the issuer announces either (A) a dividend or distribution on such shares payable in such shares or securities convertible into such shares (other than the Rights), or (B) any subdivision, combination or reclassification of such shares, then, following the ex-dividend date for such dividend or the record date for such subdivision, as the case may be, the “current market price” shall be properly adjusted to take into account such event. The closing price for each day shall be, if the shares are listed and admitted to trading on a national securities exchange, as reported in the principal consolidated transaction reporting system with respect to securities listed on the principal national securities exchange on which such shares are listed or admitted to trading or, if such shares are not listed or admitted to trading on any national securities exchange, the last quoted price or, if not so quoted, the average of the high bid and low asked prices in the over-the-counter market, as reported by the NASDAQ National Market System or such other system then in use, or, if on any such date such shares are not quoted by any such organization, the average of the closing bid and asked prices as furnished by a professional market maker making a market in such shares selected by a majority of the Board of Directors. If on any such date no market maker is making a market in such shares, the fair value of such shares on such date as determined in good faith by a majority of the Board of Directors shall be used. If such shares are not publicly held or not so listed or traded,

 

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“current market price” per share shall mean the fair value per share as determined in good faith by a majority of the Board of Directors, whose determination shall be described in a statement filed with the Rights Agent and shall be conclusive for all purposes. The term “Trading Day” shall mean, if such shares are listed or admitted to trading on any national securities exchange, a day on which the principal national securities exchange on which such shares are listed or admitted to trading is open for the transaction of business or, if such shares are not so listed or admitted, a Business Day.

(ii) For the purpose of any computation hereunder, the “current market price” per share of Preferred Stock shall be determined in the same manner as set forth above for Company Common Stock in clause (i) of this Section 11(d) (other than the fourth sentence thereof). If the current market price per share of Preferred Stock cannot be determined in the manner provided above or if the Preferred Stock is not publicly held or listed or traded in a manner described in clause (i) of this Section 11(d), the “current market price” per share of Preferred Stock shall be conclusively deemed to be an amount equal to 100 (as such amount may be appropriately adjusted for such events as stock splits, stock dividends and recapitalizations with respect to Company Common Stock occurring after the date of this Agreement) multiplied by the current market price per share of Company Common Stock. If neither Company Common Stock nor Preferred Stock is publicly held or so listed or traded, “current market price” per share of the Preferred Stock shall mean the fair value per share as determined in good faith by a majority of the Board of Directors, whose determination shall be described in a statement filed with the Rights Agent and shall be binding on the Rights Agent and the holders of the Rights. For all purposes of this Agreement, the “current market price” of a Unit of Preferred Stock shall be equal to the “current market price” of one share of Preferred Stock divided by 100.

(e) Anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding, no adjustment in the Purchase Price shall be required unless such adjustment would require an increase or decrease of at least 1% in the Purchase Price; provided, however, that any adjustments which by reason of this Section 11(e) are not required to be made shall be carried forward and taken into account in any subsequent adjustment. All calculations under this Section 11 shall be made to the nearest cent or to the nearest ten-thousandth of a share of Company Common Stock or Common Stock or other share or one-millionth of a share of Preferred Stock, as the case may be. Notwithstanding the first sentence of this Section 11(e), any adjustment required by this Section 11 shall be made no later than the earlier of (i) three years from the date of the transaction which mandates such adjustment and (ii) the Expiration Date.

(f) If as a result of an adjustment made pursuant to Section 11(a)(ii) or 13(a), the holder of any Right thereafter exercised shall become entitled to receive any shares of capital stock other than Preferred Stock, thereafter the number of such other shares so receivable upon exercise of any Right and the Purchase Price thereof shall be subject to

 

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adjustment from time to time in a manner and on terms as nearly equivalent as practicable to the provisions with respect to the Preferred Stock contained in Sections 11(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), (l) and (m), and the provisions of Sections 7, 9, 10, 13 and 14 with respect to the Preferred Stock shall apply on like terms to any such other shares.

(g) All Rights originally issued by the Company subsequent to any adjustment made to the Purchase Price hereunder shall evidence the right to purchase, at the adjusted Purchase Price, the number of Units of Preferred Stock (or other securities or amount of cash or combination thereof) that may be acquired from time to time hereunder upon exercise of the Rights, all subject to further adjustment as provided herein.

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

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

 

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Certificates evidencing all the Rights to which such holders shall be entitled after such adjustment. Rights Certificates to be so distributed shall be issued, executed and countersigned in the manner provided for herein (and may bear, at the option of the Company, the adjusted Purchase Price) and shall be registered in the names of the holders of record of Rights Certificates on the record date specified in the public announcement.

(j) Irrespective of any adjustment or change in the Purchase Price or the number of Units of Preferred Stock issuable upon the exercise of the Rights, the Rights Certificates theretofore and thereafter issued may continue to express the Purchase Price per Unit and the number of Units of Preferred Stock which were expressed in the Initial Rights Certificates issued hereunder without prejudice to any such adjustment or change.

(k) Before taking any action that would cause an adjustment reducing the Purchase Price below the then par value of the number of Units of Preferred Stock issuable upon exercise of the Rights, the Company shall take any corporate action which may, in the opinion of its counsel, be necessary in order that the Company may validly and legally issue such fully paid and non-assessable number of Units of Preferred Stock at such adjusted Purchase Price.

(l) In any case in which this Section 11 shall require that an adjustment in the Purchase Price be made effective as of a record date for a specified event, the Company may elect to defer until the occurrence of such event the issuance to the holder of any Right exercised after such record date of that number of Units of Preferred Stock and shares of other capital stock or securities of the Company, if any, issuable upon such exercise over and above the number of Units of Preferred Stock and shares of other capital stock or securities of the Company, if any, issuable upon such exercise on the basis of the Purchase Price in effect prior to such adjustment; provided, however, that the Company shall deliver to such holder a due bill or other appropriate instrument evidencing such holder’s right to receive such additional shares (fractional or otherwise) or securities upon the occurrence of the event requiring such adjustment.

(m) Anything in this Section 11 to the contrary notwithstanding, the Company shall be entitled to make such reductions in the Purchase Price, in addition to those adjustments expressly required by this Section 11, as and to the extent that in their good faith judgment a majority of the Board of Directors shall determine to be advisable in order that any (i) consolidation or subdivision of the Preferred Stock, (ii) issuance wholly for cash of any shares of Preferred Stock at less than the current market price, (iii) issuance wholly for cash of shares of Preferred Stock or securities which by their terms are convertible into or exchangeable for shares of Preferred Stock, (iv) stock dividends or (v) issuance of rights, options or warrants referred to in this Section 11, hereafter made by the Company to holders of its Preferred Stock, shall not be taxable to such holders or shall reduce the taxes payable by such holders.

 

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(n) The Company shall not, at any time after the Distribution Date, (i) consolidate with any other Person (other than a Subsidiary of the Company in a transaction which complies with Section 11(o)), (ii) merge with or into any other Person (other than a Subsidiary of the Company in a transaction which complies with Section 11(o)) or (iii) sell or transfer (or permit any Subsidiary to sell or transfer), in one transaction, or a series of transactions, assets or earning power aggregating more than 50% of the assets or earning power of the Company and its Subsidiaries (taken as a whole) to any other Person or Persons (other than the Company and/or any of its Subsidiaries in one or more transactions each of which complies with Section 11(o)), if (x) at the time of or immediately after such consolidation, merger or sale there are any rights, warrants or other instruments or securities outstanding or agreements in effect which would substantially diminish or otherwise eliminate the benefits intended to be afforded by the Rights or (y) prior to, simultaneously with or immediately after such consolidation, merger or sale, the Person which constitutes, or would constitute, the “Principal Party” for purposes of Section 13(a) shall have distributed or otherwise transferred to its stockholders or other persons holding an equity interest in such Person Rights previously owned by such Person or any of its Affiliates and Associates; provided, however, this Section 11(n) shall not affect the ability of any Subsidiary of the Company to consolidate with, merge with or into, or sell or transfer assets or earning power to, any other Subsidiary of the Company.

(o) After the Distribution Date, the Company shall not, except as permitted by Section 23 or Section 26, take (or permit any Subsidiary to take) any action if at the time such action is taken it is reasonably foreseeable that such action will diminish substantially or otherwise eliminate the benefits intended to be afforded by the Rights.

SECTION 12. Certificate of Adjusted Purchase Price or Number of Shares. Whenever an adjustment is made as provided in Section 11 or 13, the Company shall (a) promptly prepare a certificate setting forth such adjustment and a brief statement of the facts accounting for such adjustment, (b) promptly file with the Rights Agent, and with each transfer agent for the Preferred Stock and the Company Common Stock, a copy of such certificate, and (c) mail a brief summary thereof to each holder of a Rights Certificate (or, if prior to the Distribution Date, to each holder of a certificate representing shares of Company Common Stock) in accordance with Section 25. The Rights Agent shall be fully protected in relying on any such certificate and on any adjustment therein contained and shall not be deemed to have knowledge of any such adjustment unless and until it shall have received such certificate.

SECTION 13. Consolidation, Merger or Sale or Transfer of Assets or Earning Power. (a) In the event that, following the Stock Acquisition Date, directly or indirectly, either (x) the Company shall consolidate with, or merge with and into, any other Person (other than a Subsidiary of the Company in a transaction which complies with Section 11(o)), and the Company shall not be the continuing or surviving corporation of such

 

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consolidation or merger, (y) any Person (other than a Subsidiary of the Company in a transaction which complies with Section 11(o)) shall consolidate with, or merge with or into, the Company, and the Company shall be the continuing or surviving corporation of such consolidation or merger and, in connection with such consolidation or merger, all or part of the outstanding shares of Company Common Stock shall be converted into or exchanged for stock or other securities of any other Person or cash or any other property, or (z) the Company shall sell or otherwise transfer (or one or more of its Subsidiaries shall sell or otherwise transfer) to any Person or Persons (other than the Company or any of its Subsidiaries in one or more transactions each of which complies with Section 11(o)), in one or more transactions, assets or earning power aggregating more than 50% of the assets or earning power of the Company and its Subsidiaries (taken as a whole) (any such event described in clause (x), (y) or (z) being a “Section 13 Event”), then, and in each such case, proper provision shall be made so that: (i) each holder of a Right, except as provided in Section 7(e), shall thereafter have the right to receive, upon the exercise thereof at the then current Purchase Price, such number of validly authorized and issued, fully paid and non-assessable shares of Common Stock of the Principal Party, which shares shall not be subject to any liens, encumbrances, rights of first refusal, transfer restrictions or other adverse claims, as shall be equal to the result obtained by (1) multiplying the then current Purchase Price by the number of Units of Preferred Stock for which a Right is exercisable immediately prior to the first occurrence of a Section 13 Event (or, if a Section 11(a)(ii) Event has occurred prior to the first occurrence of a Section 13 Event, multiplying the number of such Units for which a Right would be exercisable hereunder but for the occurrence of such Section 11(a)(ii) Event by the Purchase Price which would be in effect hereunder but for such first occurrence) and (2) dividing that product (which, following the first occurrence of a Section 13 Event, shall be the “Purchase Price” for all purposes of this Agreement) by 50% of the current market price (determined pursuant to Section 11(d)) per share of the Common Stock of such Principal Party on the date of consummation of such Section 13 Event; (ii) such Principal Party shall, for all purposes of this Agreement, thereafter be liable for, and shall assume, by virtue of such Section 13 Event, all the obligations and duties of the Company pursuant to this Agreement; (iii) the term “Company” shall, for all purposes of this Agreement, thereafter be deemed to refer to such Principal Party, it being specifically intended that the provisions of Section 11 shall apply only to such Principal Party following the first occurrence of a Section 13 Event; (iv) such Principal Party shall take such steps (including, but not limited to, the reservation of a sufficient number of shares of its Common Stock) in connection with the consummation of any such transaction as may be necessary to ensure that the provisions of this Agreement shall thereafter be applicable to its shares of Common Stock thereafter deliverable upon the exercise of the Rights; and (v) the provisions of Section 11(a)(ii) shall be of no further effect following the first occurrence of any Section 13 Event.

 

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(b) “Principal Party” shall mean:

(i) in the case of any transaction described in clause (x) or (y) of the first sentence of Section 13(a), (A) the Person that is the issuer of any securities into which shares of Company Common Stock are converted in such merger or consolidation, or, if there is more than one such issuer, the issuer of Common Stock that has the highest aggregate current market price (determined pursuant to Section 11(d)) and (B) if no securities are so issued, the Person that is the other party to such merger or consolidation, or, if there is more than one such Person, the Person the Common Stock of which has the highest aggregate current market price (determined pursuant to Section 11(d)); and

(ii) in the case of any transaction described in clause (z) of the first sentence of Section 13(a), the Person that is the party receiving the largest portion of the assets or earning power transferred pursuant to such transaction or transactions, or, if each Person that is a party to such transaction or transactions receives the same portion of the assets or earning power transferred pursuant to such transaction or transactions or if the Person receiving the largest portion of the assets or earning power cannot be determined, whichever Person the Common Stock of which has the highest aggregate current market price (determined pursuant to Section 11(d));

provided, however, that in any such case, (1) if the Common Stock of such Person is not at such time and has not been continuously over the preceding twelve-month period registered under Section 12 of the Exchange Act (“Registered Common Stock”), or such Person is not a corporation, and such Person is a direct or indirect Subsidiary of another Person that has Registered Common Stock outstanding, “Principal Party” shall refer to such other Person; (2) if the Common Stock of such Person is not Registered Common Stock or such Person is not a corporation, and such Person is a direct or indirect Subsidiary of another Person but is not a direct or indirect Subsidiary of another Person which has Registered Common Stock outstanding, “Principal Party” shall refer to the ultimate parent entity of such first-mentioned Person; (3) if the Common Stock of such Person is not Registered Common Stock or such Person is not a corporation, and such Person is directly or indirectly controlled by more than one Person, and one or more of such other Persons has Registered Common Stock outstanding, “Principal Party” shall refer to whichever of such other Persons is the issuer of the Registered Common Stock having the highest aggregate current market price (determined pursuant to Section 11(d)); and (4) if the Common Stock of such Person is not Registered Common Stock or such Person is not a corporation, and such Person is directly or indirectly controlled by more than one Person, and none of such other Persons have Registered Common Stock outstanding, “Principal Party” shall refer to whichever ultimate parent entity is the corporation having the greatest stockholders’ equity or, if no such ultimate parent entity is a corporation, shall refer to whichever ultimate parent entity is the entity having the greatest net assets.

 

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(c) The Company shall not consummate any such consolidation, merger, sale or transfer unless the Principal Party shall have a sufficient number of authorized shares of its Common Stock which have not been issued or reserved for issuance to permit the exercise in full of the Rights in accordance with this Section 13, and unless prior thereto the Company and such Principal Party shall have executed and delivered to the Rights Agent a supplemental agreement providing for the terms set forth in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Section 13 and further providing that the Principal Party will:

(i) (A) file on an appropriate form, as soon as practicable following the execution of such agreement, a registration statement under the Securities Act with respect to the Common Stock that may be acquired upon exercise of the Rights, (B) cause such registration statement to remain effective (and to include a prospectus complying with the requirements of the Securities Act) until the Expiration Date, and (C) as soon as practicable following the execution of such agreement, take such action as may be required to ensure that any acquisition of such Common Stock upon the exercise of the Rights complies with any applicable state securities or “blue sky” laws; and

(ii) deliver to holders of the Rights historical financial statements for the Principal Party and each of its Affiliates which comply in all respects with the requirements for registration on Form 10 under the Exchange Act.

(d) In the event that the Principal Party which is to be a party to a transaction referred to in this Section 13 has a provision in any of its authorized securities or in its Certificate of Incorporation or By-laws or other instrument governing its corporate affairs, which provision would have the effect of (i) causing such Principal Party to issue, in connection with, or as a consequence of, the consummation of a transaction referred to in this Section 13, shares of Common Stock of such Principal Party at less than the then current market price per share (determined pursuant to Section 11(d)) or securities exercisable for, or convertible into, Common Stock of such Principal Party at less than such then current market price (other than to holders of Rights pursuant to this Section 13) or (ii) providing for any special payment, tax or similar provisions in connection with the issuance of the Common Stock of such Principal Party pursuant to the provisions of Section 13; then, in such event, the Company shall not consummate any such transaction unless prior thereto the Company and such Principal Party shall have executed and delivered to the Rights Agent a supplemental agreement providing that the provision in question of such Principal Party shall have been cancelled, waived or amended, or that the authorized securities shall be redeemed, so that the applicable provision will have no effect in connection with, or as a consequence of, the consummation of the proposed transaction.

(e) The provisions of this Section 13 shall similarly apply to successive mergers or consolidations or sales or other transfers. In the event that a Section 13 Event

 

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shall occur at any time after the occurrence of a Section 11(a)(ii) Event, the Rights which have not theretofore been exercised shall thereafter become exercisable in the manner described in Section 13(a).

SECTION 14. Fractional Rights and Fractional Shares. (a) The Company shall not be required to issue fractions of Rights or to distribute Rights Certificates which evidence fractional Rights. In lieu of such fractional Rights, there shall be paid to the Persons to which such fractional Rights would otherwise be issuable, an amount in cash equal to such fraction of the market value of a whole Right. For purposes of this Section 14(a), the market value of a whole Right shall be the closing price of the Rights for the Trading Day immediately prior to the date on which such fractional Rights would have been otherwise issuable. The closing price of the Rights for any day shall be, if the Rights are listed or admitted to trading on a national securities exchange, as reported in the principal consolidated transaction reporting system with respect to securities listed on the principal national securities exchange on which the Rights are listed or admitted to trading or, if the Rights are not listed or admitted to trading on any national securities exchange, the last quoted price or, if not so quoted, the average of the high bid and low asked prices in the over-the-counter market, as reported by the NASDAQ National Market System or such other system then in use or, if on any such date the Rights are not quoted by any such organization, the average of the closing bid and asked prices as furnished by a professional market maker making a market in the Rights selected by a majority of the Board of Directors. If on any such date no such market maker is making a market in the Rights, the fair value of the Rights on such date as determined in good faith by a majority of the Board of Directors shall be used and such determination shall be described in a statement filed with the Rights Agent and shall be conclusive for all purposes.

(b) The Company shall not be required to issue fractions of shares of Preferred Stock (other than fractions which are integral multiples of one one-hundredth of a share of Preferred Stock) upon exercise of the Rights or to distribute certificates which evidence such fractional shares of Preferred Stock (other than fractions which are integral multiples of one one-hundredth of a share of Preferred Stock). In lieu of such fractional shares of Preferred Stock that are not integral multiples of one one-hundredth of a share, the Company may pay to the registered holders of Rights Certificates at the time such Rights are exercised as herein provided an amount in cash equal to the same fraction of the then current market value of a share of Preferred Stock on the day of exercise, determined in accordance with Section 11(d).

(c) The holder of a Right, by the acceptance of such Right, expressly waives his right to receive any fractional Rights or any fractional shares upon exercise of a Right, except as permitted by this Section 14.

 

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SECTION 15. Rights of Action. All rights of action in respect of this Agreement, other than rights of action vested in the Rights Agent pursuant to Section 18, are vested in the respective registered holders of the Rights Certificates (and, prior to the Distribution Date, the registered holders of certificates representing shares of Company Common Stock); and any registered holder of a Rights Certificate (or, prior to the Distribution Date, of a certificate representing shares of Company Common Stock), without the consent of the Rights Agent or of the holder of any other Rights Certificate (or, prior to the Distribution Date, of a certificate representing shares of Company Common Stock), may, in such registered holder’s own behalf and for such registered holder’s own benefit, enforce, and may institute and maintain any suit, action or proceeding against the Company or any other Person to enforce, or otherwise act in respect of, such registered holder’s right to exercise the Rights evidenced by such Rights Certificate in the manner provided in such Rights Certificate and in this Agreement. Without limiting the foregoing or any remedies available to the holders of Rights, it is specifically acknowledged that the holders of Rights would not have an adequate remedy at law for any breach of this Agreement and shall be entitled to specific performance of the obligations hereunder and injunctive relief against actual or threatened violations of the obligations hereunder of any Person subject to this Agreement.

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

(a) prior to the Distribution Date, the Rights will be transferable only in connection with the transfer of Company Common Stock;

(b) after the Distribution Date, the Rights Certificates are transferable only on the registry books of the Rights Agent if surrendered at the office of the Rights Agent designated for such purposes, duly endorsed or accompanied by a proper instrument of transfer and with the appropriate forms and certificates duly executed;

(c) subject to Section 6(a) and Section 7(f), the Company and the Rights Agent may deem and treat the person in whose name a Rights Certificate (or, prior to the Distribution Date, the associated Company Common Stock certificate) is registered as the absolute owner thereof and of the Rights evidenced thereby (notwithstanding any notations of ownership or writing on the Rights Certificates or the associated Company Common Stock certificate made by anyone other than the Company or the Rights Agent) for all purposes whatsoever, and neither the Company nor the Rights Agent, subject to the last sentence of Section 7(e), shall be affected by any notice to the contrary; and

 

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

SECTION 17. Rights Certificate Holder Not Deemed a Stockholder. No holder, as such, of any Rights Certificate shall be entitled to vote, receive dividends or be deemed for any purpose the holder of the number of shares of Preferred Stock or any other securities of the Company which may at any time be issuable on the exercise of the Rights represented thereby, nor shall anything contained herein or in any Rights Certificate be construed to confer upon the holder of any Rights Certificate, as such, any of the rights of a stockholder of the Company or any right to vote for the election of directors or upon any matter submitted to stockholders at any meeting thereof, or to give or withhold consent to any corporate action, or, except as provided in Section 24, to receive notice of meetings or other actions affecting stockholders, or to receive dividends or subscription rights, or otherwise, until the Right or Rights evidenced by such Rights Certificate shall have been exercised in accordance with the provisions hereof.

SECTION 18. Concerning the Rights Agent. (a) The Company agrees to pay to the Rights Agent reasonable compensation for all services rendered by it hereunder and, from time to time, on demand of the Rights Agent, its reasonable expenses, including reasonable fees and disbursements of its counsel, incurred in connection with the execution and administration of this Agreement and the exercise and performance of its duties hereunder. The Company shall indemnify the Rights Agent for, and hold it harmless against, any loss, liability, or expense, incurred without negligence, bad faith or willful misconduct on the part of the Rights Agent, for anything done or omitted by the Rights Agent in connection with the acceptance and administration of this Agreement, including the costs and expenses of defending against any claim of liability hereunder.

(b) The Rights Agent shall be protected and shall incur no liability for or in respect of any action taken, suffered or omitted by it in connection with its administration of this Agreement in reliance upon any Rights Certificate or certificate for Preferred Stock or for other securities of the Company, instrument of assignment or transfer, power of attorney, endorsement, affidavit, letter, notice, direction, consent, certificate, statement or other paper or document believed by it to be genuine and to have been signed, executed and, where necessary, verified or acknowledged by the proper Person or Persons.

 

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SECTION 19. Merger or Consolidation or Change of Name of Rights Agent. (a) Any corporation into which the Rights Agent or any successor Rights Agent may be merged or with which it may be consolidated, or any corporation resulting from any merger or consolidation to which the Rights Agent or any successor Rights Agent shall be a party, or any corporation succeeding to the corporate trust or shareholder services business of the Rights Agent or any successor Rights Agent, shall be the successor to the Rights Agent under this Agreement without the execution or filing of any document or any further act on the part of any of the parties hereto; provided, however, that such corporation would be eligible for appointment as a successor Rights Agent under the provisions of Section 21. In the event that at the time such successor Rights Agent shall succeed to the agency created by this Agreement, any of the Rights Certificates shall have been countersigned but not delivered, any such successor Rights Agent may adopt the countersignature of a predecessor Rights Agent and deliver such Rights Certificates so countersigned; and, in the event that at that time any of the Rights Certificates shall not have been countersigned, any successor Rights Agent may countersign such Rights Certificates either in the name of the predecessor or in the name of the successor Rights Agent; and in all such cases such Rights Certificates shall have the full force provided in the Rights Certificates and in this Agreement.

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

SECTION 20. Duties of Rights Agent. The Rights Agent undertakes the duties and obligations imposed by this Agreement upon the following terms and conditions, by all of which the Company and the holders of Rights Certificates, by their acceptance thereof, shall be bound:

(a) The Rights Agent may consult with legal counsel (who may be legal counsel for the Company), and the opinion of such counsel shall be full and complete authorization and protection to the Rights Agent as to any action taken or omitted by it in good faith and in accordance with such opinion.

(b) Whenever in the performance of its duties under this Agreement the Rights Agent shall deem it necessary or desirable that any fact or matter (including, without limitation, the identity of any Acquiring Person and the determination of “current market price”) be proved or established by the Company prior to taking or suffering any action hereunder, such fact or matter (unless other evidence in respect

 

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thereof be specified herein) may be deemed to be conclusively proved and established by a certificate signed by the Chairman of the Board, the President, any Vice President, the Treasurer, any Assistant Treasurer, the Secretary or any Assistant Secretary of the Company and delivered to the Rights Agent; provided, however, that, so long as any Person is an Acquiring Person hereunder, such certificate shall be signed and delivered by a majority of the Board of Directors; and such certificate shall be full authorization to the Rights Agent for any action taken or suffered in good faith by it under the provisions of this Agreement in reliance upon such certificate.

(c) The Rights Agent shall be liable hereunder only for its own negligence, bad faith or willful misconduct.

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

(e) The Rights Agent shall not have any responsibility for the validity of this Agreement or the execution and delivery hereof (except the due execution and delivery hereof by the Rights Agent) or for the validity or execution of any Rights Certificate (except its countersignature thereof); nor shall it be responsible for any breach by the Company of any covenant or failure by the Company to satisfy conditions contained in this Agreement or in any Rights Certificate; nor shall it be responsible for any adjustment required under the provisions of Section 11 or 13 or for the manner, method or amount of any such adjustment or the ascertaining of the existence of facts that would require any such adjustment (except with respect to the exercise of Rights evidenced by Rights Certificates after receipt by the Rights Agent of the certificate describing any such adjustment contemplated by Section 12); nor shall it by any act hereunder be deemed to make any representation or warranty as to the authorization or reservation of any shares of Preferred Stock or any other securities to be issued pursuant to this Agreement or any Rights Certificate or as to whether any shares of Preferred Stock or any other securities will, when so issued, be validly authorized and issued, fully paid and non-assessable.

(f) The Company shall perform, execute, acknowledge and deliver or cause to be performed, executed, acknowledged and delivered all such further acts, instruments and assurances as may reasonably be required by the Rights Agent for the performance by the Rights Agent of its duties under this Agreement.

(g) The Rights Agent is hereby authorized and directed to accept instructions with respect to the performance of its duties hereunder from the Chairman

 

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of the Board, the President, any Vice President, the Secretary, any Assistant Secretary, the Treasurer or any Assistant Treasurer of the Company, and to apply to such officers for advice or instructions in connection with its duties, and it shall not be liable for any action taken or suffered to be taken by it in good faith in accordance with instructions of any such officer; provided, however, that so long as any Person is an Acquiring Person hereunder, the Rights Agent shall accept such instructions and advice only from a majority of the Board of Directors and shall not be liable for any action taken or suffered to be taken by it in good faith in accordance with such instructions of the majority of the Board of Directors. Any application by the Rights Agent for written instructions from the Company may, at the option of the Rights Agent, set forth in writing any action proposed to be taken or omitted by the Rights Agent under this Rights Agreement and the date on and/or after which such action shall be taken or such omission shall be effective. The Rights Agent shall not be liable for any action taken by, or omission of, the Rights Agent in accordance with a proposal included in any such application on or after the date specified in such application (which date shall not be less than five Business Days after the date any such officer of the Company actually receives such application, unless any such officer shall have consented in writing to an earlier date) unless, prior to taking any such action (or the effective date in the case of an omission), the Rights Agent shall have received written instructions in response to such application specifying the action to be taken or omitted.

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

(i) The Rights Agent may execute and exercise any of the rights or powers hereby vested in it or perform any duty hereunder either itself or by or through its attorneys or agents.

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

(k) If, with respect to any Rights Certificate surrendered to the Rights Agent for exercise or transfer, the certificate attached to the form of assignment or

 

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form of election to purchase, as the case may be, has either not been completed, not signed or indicates an affirmative response to clause 1 and/or 2 thereof, the Rights Agent shall not take any further action with respect to such requested exercise or transfer without first consulting with the Company. If such certificate has been completed and signed and shows a negative response to clauses 1 and 2 of such certificate, unless previously instructed otherwise in writing by the Company (which instructions may impose on the Rights Agent additional ministerial responsibilities, but no discretionary responsibilities), the Rights Agent may assume without further inquiry that the Rights Certificate is not owned by a person described in Section 4(b) or Section 7(e) and shall not be charged with any knowledge to the contrary.

SECTION 21. Change of Rights Agent. The Rights Agent or any successor Rights Agent may resign and be discharged from its duties under this Agreement upon thirty days’ prior notice in writing mailed to the Company, and to each transfer agent of the Preferred Stock and the Company Common Stock, by registered or certified mail, and to the holders of the Rights Certificates (or certificates for the Company Common Stock prior to the Distribution Date) by first-class mail. The Company may remove the Rights Agent or any successor Rights Agent upon thirty days’ prior notice in writing, mailed to the Rights Agent or successor Rights Agent, as the case may be, and to each transfer agent of the Preferred Stock and the Company Common Stock, by registered or certified mail, and to the holders of the Rights Certificates (or certificates for the Company Common Stock prior to the Distribution Date) by first-class mail. If the Rights Agent shall resign or be removed or shall otherwise become incapable of acting, the Company shall appoint a successor to the Rights Agent. If the Company shall fail to make such appointment within a period of thirty days after giving notice of such removal or after it has been notified in writing of such resignation or incapacity by the resigning or incapacitated Rights Agent or by the holder of a Rights Certificate or, prior to the Distribution Date, the holder of a certificate for the Company Common Stock (who shall, with such notice, submit such holder’s Rights Certificate or certificate for Company Common Stock, as the case may be, for inspection by the Company), then any registered holder of any Rights Certificate or, prior to the Distribution Date, the holder of a certificate for the Company Common Stock may apply to any court of competent jurisdiction for the appointment of a new Rights Agent. Any successor Rights Agent, whether appointed by the Company or by such a court, shall be (a) a corporation organized and doing business under the laws of the United States or any state of the United States in good standing and may be the Company or a Subsidiary of the Company, shall be authorized to do business as a banking institution in the State of New York, shall be authorized under such laws to exercise corporate trust or stock transfer powers, shall be subject to supervision or examination by federal or state authorities and shall have at the time of its appointment as Rights Agent a combined capital and surplus of at least $100,000,000 or (b) an Affiliate of a corporation described in clause (a). After appointment, the successor Rights Agent shall be vested with the same powers, rights, duties and responsibilities as if it had been originally named as Rights Agent without further act or

 

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deed; but the predecessor Rights Agent shall deliver and transfer to the successor Rights Agent any property at the time held by it hereunder, and execute and deliver any further assurance, conveyance, act or deed necessary for the purpose. Not later than the effective date of any such appointment, the Company shall file notice thereof in writing with the predecessor Rights Agent and each transfer agent of the Preferred Stock and the Company Common Stock, and mail a notice thereof in writing to the registered holders of the Rights Certificates (or certificates for the Company Common Stock prior to the Distribution Date). Failure to give any notice provided for in this Section 21, however, or any defect therein, shall not affect the legality or validity of the resignation or removal of the Rights Agent or the appointment of the successor Rights Agent.

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

SECTION 23. Redemption and Termination. (a) Subject to Section 28, the Company may, at its option, by action of a majority of the Board of Directors, at any time prior to the earlier of (i) the Close of Business on the tenth Business Day following the Stock Acquisition Date, or (ii) the Final Expiration Date, redeem all but not less than all of the then outstanding Rights at a redemption price of $.01 per Right, as such amount may be appropriately adjusted to reflect any stock split, stock dividend or similar transaction occurring after the date hereof (such redemption price being the “Redemption Price”), and the Company may, at its option, by action of a majority of the Board of Directors, pay the Redemption Price either in shares of Company Common Stock (based on the current market price, determined in accordance with Section 11(d), of the shares of Company Common Stock at the time of redemption) or cash. Subject to the foregoing, the redemption of the

 

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Rights may be made effective at such time, on such basis and with such conditions as the Board of Directors in its sole discretion may establish.

(b) Immediately upon the action of a majority of the Board of Directors ordering the redemption of the Rights, evidence of which shall be filed with the Rights Agent, and without any further action and without any notice, the right to exercise the Rights will terminate and the only right thereafter of the holders of Rights shall be to receive the Redemption Price for each Right so held. Promptly after the action of a majority of the Board of Directors ordering the redemption of the Rights, the Company shall give notice of such redemption to the Rights Agent and the holders of the then outstanding Rights by mailing such notice to all such holders at each holder’s last address as it appears upon the registry books of the Rights Agent or, prior to the Distribution Date, on the registry books of the transfer agent for Company Common Stock. Any notice which is mailed in the manner herein provided shall be deemed given, whether or not the holder receives the notice. Each such notice of redemption will state the method by which the payment of the Redemption Price will be made.

SECTION 24. Notice of Certain Events. (a) In the event that the Company shall propose, at any time after the Distribution Date, (i) to pay any dividend payable in stock of any class to the holders of Preferred Stock or to make any other distribution to the holders of Preferred Stock (other than a regular quarterly cash dividend out of earnings or retained earnings of the Company), (ii) to offer to the holders of Preferred Stock rights or warrants to subscribe for or to purchase any additional shares of Preferred Stock or shares of stock of any class or any other securities, rights or options, (iii) to effect any reclassification of its Preferred Stock (other than a reclassification involving only the subdivision of outstanding shares of Preferred Stock), (iv) to effect any consolidation or merger into or with any other Person (other than a Subsidiary of the Company in a transaction which complies with Section 11(o)), or to effect any sale or other transfer (or to permit one or more of its Subsidiaries to effect any sale or other transfer), in one or more transactions, of more than 50% of the assets or earning power of the Company and its Subsidiaries (taken as a whole) to any other Person or Persons (other than the Company and/or any of its Subsidiaries in one or more transactions each of which complies with Section 11(o)), or (v) to effect the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company, then, in each such case, the Company shall give to each holder of a Rights Certificate (or, prior to the Distribution Date, to each holder of certificates for Company Common Stock), to the extent feasible and in accordance with Section 25, a notice of such proposed action, which shall specify the record date for the purposes of such stock dividend, distribution of rights or warrants, or the date on which such reclassification, consolidation, merger, sale, transfer, liquidation, dissolution, or winding up is to take place and the date of participation therein by the holders of the shares of Preferred Stock, if any such date is to be fixed, and such notice shall be so given in the case of any action covered by clause (i) or (ii) above at least 20 days prior to the record date for determining holders of the shares of Preferred Stock for purposes of such action, and in the

 

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case of any such other action, at least 20 days prior to the date of the taking of such proposed action or the date of participation therein by the holders of the shares of Preferred Stock, whichever shall be the earlier; provided, however, no such notice shall be required pursuant to this Section 24 if any Subsidiary of the Company effects a consolidation or merger with or into, or effects a sale or other transfer of assets or earning power to, any other Subsidiary of the Company.

(b) In the event that any of the events set forth in Section 11(a)(ii) shall occur, then, in any such case, the Company shall as soon as practicable thereafter give to each holder of a Rights Certificate, to the extent feasible and in accordance with Section 25, a notice of the occurrence of such event, which shall specify the event and the consequences of the event to holders of Rights under Section 11(a)(ii).

SECTION 25. Notices. All notices and other communications provided for hereunder shall, unless otherwise stated herein, be in writing and mailed or sent or delivered (including by telecopier), if to the Company, at its address at:

Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.

Merrill Lynch World Headquarters

North Tower

World Financial Center

New York, New York 10281-1201

Attention:   

Associate General Counsel

Corporate Law Department

Telecopier No.:    212-449-9813

and if to the Rights Agent, at its address at:

ChaseMellon Shareholder Services, L.L.C.

Stock Transfer Administration Department

450 West 33rd Street

New York, New York 10001

Attention:   

Kirk Alexander

Relationship Manager

Telecopier No.:    212-947-7628

Notices or demands authorized or required by this Agreement to be given or made by the Company or the Rights Agent to the holder of any Rights Certificate (or, if prior to the Distribution Date, to the holder of certificates representing shares of Company Common Stock) shall be sufficiently given or made if sent by first-class mail, postage prepaid, addressed to such holder at the address of such holder as shown on the registry books of the Rights Agent or, prior to the Distribution Date, on the registry books of the transfer agent for the Company Common Stock.

 

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SECTION 26. Supplements and Amendments. Prior to the Distribution Date, the Company may and the Rights Agent shall, if the Company so directs, supplement or amend any provision of this Agreement without the approval of any holders of certificates representing shares of Company Common Stock. From and after the Distribution Date, the Company may and the Rights Agent shall, if the Company so directs, supplement or amend this Agreement without the approval of any holders of Rights Certificates in order (i) to cure any ambiguity, (ii) to correct or supplement any provision contained herein which may be defective or inconsistent with any other provisions herein, (iii) to shorten or lengthen any time period hereunder or (iv) to change or supplement the provisions hereunder in any manner which the Company may deem necessary or desirable and which shall not adversely affect the interests of the holders of Rights Certificates (other than an Acquiring Person or an Affiliate or Associate of an Acquiring Person); provided, however, that this Agreement may not be supplemented or amended to lengthen, pursuant to clause (iii) of this sentence, (A) subject to Section 28, a time period relating to when the Rights may be redeemed at such time as the Rights are not then redeemable or (B) any other time period unless such lengthening is for the purpose of protecting, enhancing or clarifying the rights of, and/or the benefits to, the holders of Rights. Upon the delivery of a certificate from an appropriate officer of the Company or, so long as any Person is an Acquiring Person hereunder, from the majority of the Board of Directors which states that the proposed supplement or amendment is in compliance with the terms of this Section 26, the Rights Agent shall execute such supplement or amendment. Prior to the Distribution Date, the interests of the holders of Rights shall be deemed coincident with the interests of the holders of Company Common Stock.

SECTION 27. Successors. All the covenants and provisions of this Agreement by or for the benefit of the Company or the Rights Agent shall bind and inure to the benefit of their respective successors and assigns hereunder.

SECTION 28. Determinations and Actions by the Board of Directors, etc. For all purposes of this Agreement, any calculation of the number of shares of Company Common Stock outstanding at any particular time, including for purposes of determining the particular percentage of such outstanding shares of Company Common Stock of which any Person is the Beneficial Owner, shall be made in accordance with the last sentence of Rule 13d-3(d)(1)(i) of the Exchange Act Regulations as in effect on the date hereof. Except as otherwise specifically provided herein, the Board of Directors of the Company shall have the exclusive power and authority to administer this Agreement and to exercise all rights and powers specifically granted to the Board of Directors of the Company or to the Company, or as may be necessary or advisable in the administration of this Agreement, including, without limitation, the right and power (i) to interpret the provisions of this Agreement, and (ii) to make all determinations deemed necessary or advisable for the administration of this Agreement. All such actions, calculations, interpretations and determinations (including, for purposes of clause (y) below, all omissions with respect to the foregoing) which are done or

 

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made by the Board or by a majority of the Board of Directors in good faith shall (x) be final, conclusive and binding on the Company, the Rights Agent, the holders of the Rights and all other parties, and (y) not subject the Board of Directors of the Company or any member thereof to any liability to the holders of the Rights.

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

SECTION 30. Severability. If any term, provision, covenant or restriction of this Agreement is held by a court of competent jurisdiction or other authority to be invalid, void or unenforceable, the remainder of the terms, provisions, covenants and restrictions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect and shall in no way be affected, impaired or invalidated; provided, however, that, notwithstanding anything in this Agreement to the contrary, if any such term, provision, covenant or restriction is held by such court or authority to be invalid, void or unenforceable and a majority of the Board of Directors determines in its good faith judgment that severing the invalid language from this Agreement would adversely affect the purpose or effect of this Agreement and the Rights shall not then be redeemable, the right of redemption set forth in Section 23 shall be reinstated and shall not expire until the Close of Business on the tenth Business Day following the date of such determination by a majority of the Board of Directors.

SECTION 31. Governing Law. This Agreement, each Right and each Rights Certificate issued hereunder shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Delaware; provided, however, that Sections 18, 19, 20 and 21 shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York (or state of incorporation of any successor Rights Agent).

SECTION 32. Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed (including by telecopier) in one or more counterparts, and by the different parties hereto in separate counterparts, each of which when executed shall be deemed to be an original, but all of which taken together shall constitute one and the same instrument.

SECTION 33. Descriptive Headings. The headings contained in this Agreement are for descriptive purposes only and shall not affect in any way the meaning or interpretation of this Agreement.

 

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SECTION 34. Exchange. (a) (i) The Company may, at its option, at any time after any person becomes an Acquiring Person, upon resolution adopted by a majority of the Company’s Board of Directors, exchange all or part of the then outstanding and exercisable Rights (which shall not include Rights that have become void pursuant Section 7(e)) for Units of Preferred Stock at an exchange ratio of one Unit of Preferred Stock per Right, appropriately adjusted to reflect any stock split, stock dividend or similar transaction occurring after the date hereof (such exchange ratio being hereinafter referred to as the “Section 34(a)(i) Exchange Ratio”). Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Company may not effect such exchange at any time after any Person (other than the Company, any Subsidiary of the Company, any employee benefit plan maintained by the Company or any of its Subsidiaries, or any trustee or fiduciary with respect to such plan acting in such capacity), together with all Affiliates and Associates of such Person, becomes the Beneficial Owner of 50% or more of the shares of Company Common Stock then outstanding.

(ii) The Company may, at its option, at any time after any person becomes an Acquiring Person, upon resolution adopted by a majority of the Company’s Board of Directors, exchange all or part of the then outstanding and exercisable Rights (which shall not include Rights that have become void pursuant to Section 7(e)) for Units of Preferred Stock at an exchange ratio specified in the following sentence, as appropriately adjusted to reflect any stock split, stock dividend or similar transaction occurring after the date hereof. Subject to such adjustment, each Right may be exchanged for that number of Units of Preferred Stock obtained by dividing the Adjustment Spread (as defined below) by the then current market price (determined pursuant to Section 11(d)) per Unit of Preferred Stock on the earlier of (i) the date on which any Person becomes an Acquiring Person and (ii) the date on which a tender or exchange offer by any Person (other than the Company, any Subsidiary of the Company, any employee benefit plan maintained by the Company or any of its Subsidiaries or any trustee or fiduciary with respect to such plan acting in such capacity) is first published or sent or given within the meaning of Rule 14d-4(a) of the Exchange Act Regulations or any successor rule, if upon consummation thereof such Person would be the Beneficial Owner of 15% or more of the shares of Company Common Stock then outstanding (such exchange ratio being the “Section 34(a)(ii) Exchange Ratio”). The “Adjustment Spread” shall equal (x) the aggregate market price on the date of such event of the number of Adjustment Shares determined pursuant to Section 11(a)(ii), minus (y) the Purchase Price. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Company may not effect such exchange at any time after any Person (other than the Company, any Subsidiary of the Company, any employee benefit plan maintained by the Company or any of its Subsidiaries, or any trustee or fiduciary with respect to such plan acting in such capacity), together with all Affiliates and Associates of such Person, becomes the Beneficial Owner of 50% or more of the shares of the Company Common Stock then outstanding.

(b) Immediately upon the action of a majority of the Board of Directors ordering the exchange of any Rights pursuant to Section 34(a) and without any further action

 

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and without any notice, the right to exercise such Rights shall terminate and the only right thereafter of a holder of such Rights shall be to receive that number of Units of Preferred Stock equal to the number of such Rights held by such holder multiplied by the Section 34(a)(i) Exchange Ratio or Section 34(a)(ii) Exchange Ratio, as the case may be. The Company shall promptly give public notice of any such exchange; provided, however, that the failure to give, or any defect in, such notice shall not affect the validity of such exchange. The Company promptly shall mail a notice of any such exchange to all of the holders of such Rights at their last addresses as they appear upon the registry books of the Rights Agent. Any notice which is mailed in the manner herein provided shall be deemed given, whether or not the holder receives the notice. Each such notice of exchange shall state the method by which the exchange of Units of Preferred Stock for Rights will be effected and, in the event of any partial exchange, the number of Rights which will be exchanged. Any partial exchange shall be effected pro rata based on the number of Rights (other than Rights which have become void pursuant to Section 7(e)) held by each holder of Rights.

(c) In the event that the number of shares of Preferred Stock which are authorized by the Company’s Certificate of Incorporation but not outstanding or reserved for issuance for purposes other than upon exercise of the Rights are not sufficient to permit any exchange of Rights as contemplated in accordance with this Section 34, the Company shall take all such action as may be necessary to authorize additional shares of Preferred Stock for issuance upon exchange of the Rights or make adequate provision to substitute (1) cash, (2) Company Common Stock or other equity securities of the Company, (3) debt securities of the Company, (4) other assets or (5) any combination of the foregoing, having an aggregate value equal to the Adjustment Spread, where such aggregate value has been determined by a majority of the Board of Directors.

(d) The Company shall not be required to issue fractions of Units of Preferred Stock or to distribute certificates which evidence fractional Units. In lieu of fractional Units, the Company may pay to the registered holders of Rights Certificates at the time such Rights are exchanged as herein provided an amount in cash equal to the same fraction of the current market price (determined pursuant to Section 11(d)) of one Unit of Preferred Stock.

 

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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this Agreement to be duly executed on their behalf as of the date first above written.

 

MERRILL LYNCH & CO, INC.
By     
 

Name:

 

Title:

CHASEMELLON SHAREHOLDER SERVICES, L.L.C.
By     
 

Name:

 

Title:

 

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