ANNAS LINENS, INC.
1. Purpose of the Plan
The purpose of the Plan is to aid the Company and its Affiliates in recruiting and retaining employees, directors, advisors and consultants and to motivate such employees, directors, advisors and consultants to exert their best efforts on behalf of the Company and its Affiliates by providing incentives through the granting of Awards. The Company expects that it will benefit from the added interest, which such employees, directors, advisors and consultants will have in the welfare of the Company as a result of their proprietary interest in the Companys success.
The following capitalized terms used in the Plan have the respective meanings set forth in this Section:
|(a)||Act means The Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or any successor thereto.|
|(b)||Affiliate means any entity that is consolidated with the Company for financial reporting purposes or any other entity designated by the Board in which the Company or an Affiliate has a direct or indirect equity interest of at least twenty percent (20%), measured by reference to vote or value.|
|(c)||Award means an Option, Stock Appreciation Right, Restricted Stock or Other Stock-Based Award granted pursuant to the Plan.|
|(d)||Board means the Board of Directors of the Company.|
|(e)||Change in Control means the occurrence of any of the following events:|
|(i)||when the Company acquires actual knowledge that any person (as such term is used in Sections 13(d) and 14(d) of the Exchange Act) is or becomes the beneficial owner (as defined in Rule 13d-3 of the Exchange Act) directly or indirectly, of securities of the Company representing 25% or more of the combined voting power of the Companys then-outstanding securities;|
|(ii)||upon the first purchase of Common Stock pursuant to a tender or exchange offer (other than a tender or exchange offer made by the Company);|
|(iii)||upon the approval by the Companys shareholders of: (i) a merger or consolidation of the Company with or into another corporation, which does not result in any capital reorganization or reclassification or other change in|
the Companys then-outstanding shares of Common Stock), (ii) a sale or disposition of all or substantially all of the Companys assets, or (iii) a plan of liquidation or dissolution of the Company;
|(iv)||if during any period of two consecutive years, the individuals who at the beginning of such period constitute the Board of Directors of the Company cease for any reason to constitute at least a majority thereof, unless the election, or the nomination for election by the Company s shareholders, of each new director is approved by a vote of at least two-thirds of the directors then still in office who were directors at the beginning of the period; or|
|(v)||if the Board of Directors or any designated committee determines, in its sole discretion, that any person (such as that term is used in Sections 13(d) and 14(d) of the Exchange Act) directly or indirectly exercises a controlling influence over the management or policies of the Company.|
|(f)||Code means The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or any successor thereto.|
|(g)||Committee means the Compensation Committee of the Board.|
|(h)||Company means Annas Linens, Inc., a Delaware corporation.|
|(i)||Disability means a disability within the meaning of Section 22(e)(3) of the Code, as determined by the Committee.|
|(j)||Effective Date means the date the Company files the pricing amendment to the Form S-1 Registration Statement for the initial public offering of the Shares (IPO) that incorporates a Rule 424(b) prospectus for the IPO.|
|(k)||Employment means (i) a Participants employment if the Participant is an employee of the Company or any Subsidiary, (ii) a Participants services as a consultant, if the Participant is a consultant to the Company or any Subsidiary and (iii) a Participants services as a non-employee director, if the Participant is a non-employee member of the Board or the board of directors of a Subsidiary; provided, however, that unless otherwise determined by the Committee, a change in a Participants status from employee to non-employee (other than a director of the Company or a Subsidiary) shall constitute a termination of employment hereunder.|
|(l)||Fair Market Value means, as of any date, the value of the Shares determined as follows:|
|(i)||if the Shares are then quoted on the Nasdaq National Market System, the last reported sale price on the Nasdaq National Market or, if no such reported sale takes place on such date, the average of the closing bid and asked prices;|
|(ii)||if the Shares are publicly traded and are then listed on a national securities exchange, the last reported sale price or, if no such reported sale takes place on such date, the average of the closing bid and asked prices on the principal national securities exchange on which the Shares are listed or admitted to trading;|
|(iii)||if the Shares are publicly traded but are not quoted on the Nasdaq National Market nor listed or admitted to trading on a national securities exchange, the average of the closing bid and asked prices on such date, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, for the over-the-counter market; or|
|(iv)||if none of the foregoing is applicable, by the Committee in good faith.|
|(m)||ISO means an Option that is also an incentive stock option granted pursuant to Section 6(e).|
|(n)||Option means a stock option granted pursuant to Section 6.|
|(o)||Option Price means the price for which a Share can be purchased upon exercise of an Option, as determined pursuant to Section 6(a).|
|(p)||Other Stock-Based Awards means awards granted pursuant to Section 9.|
|(l)||Participant means an employee, prospective employee, director, advisor or consultant of the Company or a Subsidiary who is selected by the Committee to participate in the Plan.|
|(m)||Performance-Based Awards means Restricted Stock awards granted pursuant to Section 8(d) and certain Other Stock-Based Awards granted pursuant to Section 9(b).|
|(n)||Plan means the 2005 Omnibus Equity Incentive Plan, as amended from time to time.|
|(o)||Restricted Stock means any Share granted under Section 8.|
|(p)||Restricted Stock Units means the right to receive Shares in the future or their cash equivalent (or both) granted under Section 9.|
|(p)||Shares means shares of common stock of the Company, $0.01 par value per share.|
|(q)||Stock Appreciation Right means a stock appreciation right granted pursuant to Section 7.|
|(r)||Subsidiary means a subsidiary corporation, as defined in Section 424(f) of the Code (or any successor section thereto), of the Company.|
3. Shares Subject to the Plan
The total number of Shares which may be issued under the Plan shall be equal to six percent (6.0%) of the fully diluted Shares that are outstanding on the date the Company files the pricing amendment to the Form S-1 Registration Statement for the initial public offering of its Shares (IPO) that incorporates a Rule 424(b) prospectus for the IPO, (including 6.0% of the Shares being issued in the IPO), the exact number of Shares that are subject to issuance under the Plan being , of which no more than thirty three and 33/100 percent (33.33%) may be issued in the form of Restricted Stock or Other Stock-Based Awards payable in Shares. The maximum aggregate number of Shares with respect to which Awards may be granted during a calendar year, net of any Shares which are subject to Awards (or portions thereof) which, during such year, terminate or lapse without payment of consideration, shall be 200,000 and the maximum number of Shares that may be awarded during a calendar year in the form of Restricted Stock or Other Stock-Based Awards shall be 67,000. The maximum number of Shares with respect to which Awards may be granted during a calendar year to any Participant shall be 50,000; provided that the maximum number of Shares that may be awarded in the form of Restricted Stock or Other Stock-Based Awards payable in Shares during any calendar year to any Participant shall be 16,750. The Shares may consist, in whole or in part, of unissued Shares or treasury Shares. The issuance of Shares or the payment of cash upon the exercise of an Award or in consideration of the cancellation or termination of an Award shall reduce the total number of Shares available under the Plan, as applicable. Shares that are subject to Awards (or portions thereof) that terminate or lapse without the payment of consideration may be granted again under the Plan.
(a) The Plan shall be administered by the Committee, which may delegate its duties and powers in whole or in part to any subcommittee thereof consisting solely of at least two individuals who are intended to qualify as Non-Employee Directors within the meaning of Rule 16b-3 under the Act (or any successor rule thereto) and, to the extent required by Section 162(m) of the Code (or any successor section thereto), outside directors within the meaning thereof.
(b) The Committee shall have the full power and authority to make, and establish the terms and conditions of, any Award to any person eligible to be a Participant, consistent with the provisions of the Plan and to waive any such terms and conditions at any time (including, without limitation, accelerating or waiving any vesting conditions). Awards may, in the discretion of the Committee, be made under the Plan in assumption of, or in substitution for, outstanding awards previously granted by the Company or its Affiliates or a company acquired by the Company or with which the Company combines. The number of Shares underlying such substitute awards shall be counted against the aggregate number of Shares available for Awards under the Plan.
(c) The Committee is authorized to interpret the Plan, to establish, amend and rescind any rules and regulations relating to the Plan, and to make any other determinations that it deems necessary or desirable for the administration of the Plan, and may delegate such authority, as it deems appropriate. The Committee may correct any defect or supply any omission or reconcile any inconsistency in the Plan in the manner and to the extent the Committee deems necessary or desirable. Any decision of the Committee in the interpretation and administration of the Plan, as described herein, shall lie within its sole and absolute discretion and shall be final, conclusive and binding on all parties concerned (including, but not limited to, Participants and their beneficiaries or successors).
(d) The Committee shall require payment of any amount it may determine to be necessary to withhold for federal, state, local or other taxes as a result of the exercise, grant or vesting of an Award. Unless the Committee specifies otherwise, the Participant may elect to pay a portion or all of such withholding taxes by (a) delivery of Shares or (b) having Shares withheld by the Company with a Fair Market Value equal to the minimum statutory withholding rate from any Shares that would have otherwise been received by the Participant.
(a) No Award may be granted under the Plan after the fifth anniversary of the meeting of shareholders of the Company at which the Plan is approved, but Awards granted prior to such fifth anniversary may extend beyond that date.
(b) No Option or Stock Appreciation Right, once granted hereunder, may be repriced.
(c) With respect to any Awards granted to a Participant who is a non-employee member of the Board at the time of grant, such Awards shall be made pursuant to formulas established by the Board in advance of such grant. Any such Awards shall be made at the time such a Participant first becomes a member of the Board and, thereafter, on an annual basis at or following the annual meeting of stockholders. Such formulas may include any one or more of the following: (i) a fixed number of Options or Stock Appreciation Rights, (ii) a fixed number of Shares of Restricted Stock or a number of Shares of Restricted Stock determined by reference to a fixed dollar amount (calculated based on the Fair Market Value of a Share on the date of grant), and (iii) Other Stock-Based Awards determined either by reference to a fixed number of Shares or to a fixed dollar amount (calculated based on the Fair Market Value of a Share on the date of grant).
6. Terms and Conditions of Options
Options granted under the Plan shall be, as determined by the Committee, nonqualified or incentive stock options for federal income tax purposes, as evidenced by the related Award agreements, and shall be subject to the foregoing and the following terms and conditions and to
such other terms and conditions, not inconsistent therewith, as the Committee shall determine, and as evidenced by the related Award agreement:
(a) Option Price. The Option Price per Share shall be determined by the Committee, but shall not be less than 100% of the Fair Market Value of a Share on the date an Option is granted.
(b) Exercisability. Options granted under the Plan shall be exercisable at such time and upon such terms and conditions as maybe determined by the Committee, but in no event shall an Option be exercisable more than ten years after the date it is granted, except as may be provided pursuant to Section 15.
(c) Exercise of Options. Except as otherwise provided in the Plan or in an Award agreement, an Option may be exercised for all, or from time to time for any part, of the Shares for which it is then exercisable. For purposes of this Section 6, the exercise date of an Option shall be the date a notice of exercise is received by the Company, together with provision for payment of the full purchase price in accordance with this Section 6(c). The purchase price for the Shares as to which an Option is exercised shall be paid to the Company, as designated by the Committee, pursuant to one or more of the following methods: (i) in cash or its equivalent (e.g., by check); (ii) in Shares having a Fair Market Value equal to the aggregate Option Price for the Shares being purchased and satisfying such other requirements as may be imposed by the Committee; provided, that such Shares have been held by the Participant for no less than six months (or such other period as established from time to time by the Committee in order to avoid adverse accounting treatment applying generally accepted accounting principles); (iii) partly in cash and partly in such Shares or (iv) if there is a public market for the Shares at such time, through the delivery of irrevocable instructions to a broker to sell Shares obtained upon the exercise of the Option and to deliver promptly to the Company an amount out of the proceeds of such Sale equal to the aggregate Option Price for the Shares being purchased. No Participant shall have any rights to dividends or other rights of a stockholder with respect to Shares subject to an Option until the Participant has given written notice of exercise of the Option, paid in full for such Shares and, if applicable, has satisfied any other conditions imposed by the Committee pursuant to the Plan.
(d) Deferral. In the sole discretion of the Committee, in accordance with procedures established by the Committee, the Participant may be permitted to defer the issuance of Shares deliverable upon the exercise of an Option for a specified period or until a specified date
(e) ISOs. The Committee may grant Options under the Plan that are intended to be ISOs. Such ISOs shall comply with the requirements of Section 422 of the Code (or any successor section, thereto). No ISO may be granted to any Participant who at the time of such grant, owns more than ten percent of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock of the Company or of any Subsidiary, unless (i) the Option Price for such ISO is at least 110% of the Fair Market Value of a Share on the date the ISO is granted and (ii) the date on which such ISO terminates is a date not later than the day preceding the fifth anniversary of the date on which the ISO is granted. Any Participant who disposes of Shares acquired upon the exercise of an ISO either (i) within two years after the date of grant of such ISO or (ii) within one year after
the transfer of such Shares to the Participant, shall notify the Company of such disposition and of the amount realized upon such disposition. All Options granted under the Plan are intended to be nonqualified stock options, unless the applicable Award agreement expressly states that the Option is intended to be an ISO. If an Option is intended to be an ISO, and if for any reason such Option (or portion thereof) shall not qualify as an ISO, then, to the extent of such nonqualification, such Option (or portion thereof) shall be regarded as a nonqualified stock option granted under the Plan; provided that such Option (or portion thereof) otherwise complies with the Plans requirements relating to nonqualified stock options. In no event shall any member of the Committee, the Company or any Subsidiary (or their respective employees, officers or directors) have any liability to any Participant (or any other person) due to the failure of an Option to qualify for any reason as an ISO.
(f) Limitations on ISOs. The aggregate Fair Market Value (determined as of the date of grant) of Shares with respect to which ISOs are exercisable for the first time by a Participant during any calendar year (under the Plan or under any other stock option plan of the Company or any Subsidiary) shall not exceed $100,000. If the Fair Market Value of Shares on the date of grant with respect to which ISOs are exercisable for the first time by a Participant during any calendar year exceeds $100,000, the Options for the first $100,000 worth of Shares to become exercisable in such calendar year shall be ISOs and the Options for the amount in excess of $100,000 that become exercisable in that calendar year shall be nonqualified stock options. In the event that the Code or the regulations promulgated thereunder are amended after the Effective Date to provide for a different limit on the Fair Market Value of Shares permitted to be subject to ISOs, such different limit shall be automatically incorporated herein and shall apply to any ISOs granted after the effective date of such amendment.
(g) Attestation. Wherever in this Plan or any agreement evidencing an Award a Participant is permitted to pay the exercise price of an Option or taxes relating to the exercise of an Option by delivering Shares, the Participant may, subject to procedures satisfactory to the Committee, satisfy such delivery requirement by presenting proof of beneficial ownership of such Shares, in which case the Company shall treat the Option as exercised without further payment and/or shall withhold such number of Shares from the Shares acquired by the exercise of the Option, as appropriate.
7. Terms and Conditions of Stock Appreciation Rights
(a) Grants. The Committee may grant (i) a Stock Appreciation Right independent of an Option or (ii) a Stock Appreciation Right in connection with an Option, or a portion thereof. A Stock Appreciation Right granted pursuant to clause (ii) of the preceding sentence (A) may be granted at the time the related Option is granted or at any time prior to the exercise or cancellation of the related Option, (B) shall cover the same number of Shares covered by an Option (or such lesser number of Shares as the Committee may determine) and (C) shall be subject to the same terms and conditions as such Option except for such additional limitations as are contemplated by this Section 7 (or such additional limitations as may be included in an Award agreement).
(b) Terms. The exercise price per Share of a Stock Appreciation Right shall be an amount determined by the Committee but in no event shall such amount be less than the Fair Market Value of a Share on the date the Stock Appreciation Right is granted; provided, however, that notwithstanding the foregoing in the case of a Stock Appreciation Right granted in conjunction with an Option, or a portion thereof, the exercise price may not be less than the Option Price of the related Option. Each Stock Appreciation Right granted independent of an Option shall entitle a Participant upon exercise to an amount equal to (i) the excess of (A) the Fair Market Value on the exercise date of one Share over (B) the exercise price per Share, times (ii) the number of Shares covered by the Stock Appreciation Right. Each Stock Appreciation Right granted in conjunction with an Option, or a portion thereof, shall entitle a Participant to surrender to the Company the unexercised Option, or any portion thereof, and to receive from the Company in exchange therefore an amount equal to (i) the excess of (A) the Fair Market Value on the exercise date of one Share over (B) the Option Price per Share, times (ii) the number of Shares covered by the Option, or portion thereof, which is surrendered. Payment shall be made in Shares or in cash, or partly in Shares and partly in cash (any such Shares valued at such Fair Market Value), all as shall be determined by the Committee. Stock Appreciation Rights may be exercised from time to time upon actual receipt by the Company of written notice of exercise stating the number of Shares with respect to which the Stock Appreciation Right is being exercised. The date a notice of exercise is received by the Company shall be the exercise date. No fractional Shares will be issued in payment for Stock Appreciation Rights, but instead cash will be paid for a fraction or, if the Committee should so determine, the number of Shares will be rounded downward to the next whole Share.
(c) Limitations. The Committee may impose, in its discretion, such conditions upon the exercisability or transferability of Stock Appreciation Rights as it may deem fit.
8. Restricted Stock
(a) Grant. Subject to the provisions of the Plan, the Committee shall determine the number of Shares of Restricted Stock to be granted to each Participant, the duration of the period during which, and the conditions, if any, under which, the Restricted Stock may be forfeited to the Company, and the other terms and conditions of such Awards; provided that not less than 80% of the Shares of Restricted Stock shall remain subject to forfeiture for at least three years after the date of grant, subject to earlier termination of such potential for forfeiture in whole or in part in the event of a Change in Control or the death, disability or other termination of the Participants Employment.
(b) Transfer Restrictions. Shares of Restricted Stock may not be sold, assigned, transferred, pledged or otherwise encumbered, except as provided in the Plan or the applicable Award agreement. Certificates, or other evidence of ownership, issued in respect of Shares of Restricted Stock shall be registered in the name of the Participant and deposited by such Participant, together with a stock power endorsed in blank, with the Company. After the lapse of the restrictions applicable to such Shares of Restricted Stock, the Company shall deliver such certificates, or other evidence of ownership, to the Participant or the Participants legal representative.
(c) Dividends. Dividends paid on any Shares of Restricted Stock may be paid directly to the Participant, withheld by the Company subject to vesting of the Restricted Shares pursuant to the terms of the applicable Award agreement, or may be reinvested in additional Shares of Restricted Stock, as determined by the Committee in its sole discretion.
(d) Performance-Based Grants. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, certain Shares of Restricted Stock granted under this Section 8 may, at the discretion of the Committee, be granted in a manner which is intended to be deductible by the Company under Section 162(m) of the Code (or any successor section thereto). The restrictions applicable to such Restricted Stock shall lapse based wholly or partially on the attainment of written performance goals approved by the Committee for a performance period established by the Committee (i) while the outcome for that performance period is substantially uncertain and (ii) no more than 90 days after the commencement of the performance period to which the performance goal relates or, if less, the number of days which is equal to 25 percent of the relevant performance period. The performance goals, which must be objective, shall be based upon one or more of the criteria set forth in Section 9(b) below. The Committee shall determine in its discretion whether, with respect to a performance period, the applicable performance goals have been met with respect to a given Participant and, if they have, shall so certify prior to the release of the restrictions on the Shares.
9. Other Stock-Based Awards
(a) Generally. The Committee, in its sole discretion, may grant or sell Awards of Shares and Awards that are valued in whole or in part by reference to, or are otherwise based on the Fair Market Value of Shares, such as, for example Restricted Stock Units (Other Stock-Based Awards). Such Other Stock-Based Awards shall be in such form, and dependent on such conditions, as the Committee shall determine, including, without limitation, the right to receive, or vest with respect to, one or more Shares or the equivalent cash value of such Shares (or both) upon the completion of a specified period of service, the occurrence of an event and/or the attainment of performance objectives. Other Stock-Based Awards may be granted alone or in addition to any other Awards granted under the Plan. Subject to the provisions of the Plan, the Committee shall determine the number of Shares to be awarded to a Participant under (or otherwise related to) such Other Stock-Based Awards; whether such Other Stock-Based Awards shall be settled in cash, Shares or a combination of cash and Shares; and all other terms and conditions of such Awards (including, without limitation, the vesting provisions thereof and provisions ensuring that all Shares so awarded and issued shall be fully paid and non-assessable). The maximum amount of Other Stock-Based Awards that may be granted during a calendar year to any Participant shall be: (x) with respect to Other Stock-Based Awards that are denominated or payable in Shares, 6,700 Shares and (y) with respect to Other Stock-Based Awards that are not denominated or payable in Shares, $50,000. Notwithstanding any other provision, with respect to (i) Other Stock-Based Awards settled in Shares that are subject to time-based vesting, not less than 80% of such Other Stock Based Awards payable in Shares shall vest and become payable at least three years after the date of grant, subject to earlier vesting in whole or in part in the event of a Change in Control or the death, disability or other termination of the Participants employment, and (ii) Other Stock-Based Awards settled in Shares that are subject to vesting upon the attainment of performance objectives, the minimum performance period shall be one year.
(b) Performance-Based Awards. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, certain Other Stock-Based Awards granted under this Section 9 may be granted in a manner which is intended to be deductible by the Company under Section 162(m) of the Code (or any successor section thereto) (Performance-Based Awards). A Participants Performance-Based Award shall be determined based on the attainment of written performance goals approved by the Committee for a performance period of not less than one year established by the Committee (i) while the outcome for that performance period is substantially uncertain and (ii) no more than 90 days after the commencement of the performance period to which the performance goal relates or, if less, the number of days which is equal to 25 percent of the relevant performance period. The performance goals, which must be objective, shall be based upon one or more of the following criteria: (i) consolidated earnings before or after taxes (including earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization); (ii) net income; (iii) operating income; (iv) earnings per Share; (v) book value per Share; (vi) return on shareholders equity; (vii) expense management; (viii) return on investment; (ix) improvements in capital structure; (x) profitability of an identifiable business unit or product; (xi) maintenance or improvement of profit margins; (xii) stock price; (xiii) market share; (xiv) revenues or sales; (xv) costs; (xvi) cash flow; (xvii) working capital and (xviii) return on assets. The foregoing criteria may relate to the Company, one or more of its Subsidiaries or one or more of its or their divisions or units, Company-wide or based on geographic area or location, or any combination of the foregoing, and may be applied on an absolute basis and/or be relative to one or more peer group companies or indices, or any combination thereof, all as the Committee shall determine. In addition, to the degree consistent with Section 162(m) of the Code (or any successor section thereto), the performance goals may be calculated without regard to extraordinary items. The Committee shall determine whether, with respect to a performance period, the applicable performance goals have been met with respect to a given Participant and, if they have, shall so certify and ascertain the amount of the applicable Performance-Based Award. No Performance-Based Awards will be paid for such performance period until such certification is made by the Committee. The amount of the Performance-Based Award actually paid to a given Participant may be less than the amount determined by the applicable performance goal formula, at the discretion of the Committee. The amount of the Performance-Based Award determined by the Committee for a performance period shall be paid to the Participant at such time as determined by the Committee in its sole discretion after the end of such performance period; provided, however, that a Participant may, if and to the extent permitted by the Committee and consistent with the provisions of Section 162(m) of the Code and applicable regulations under the Code, elect to defer payment of a Performance-Based Award.
10. Adjustments Upon Certain Events
Notwithstanding any other provisions in the Plan to the contrary, the following provisions shall apply to all Awards granted under the Plan:
(a) Generally. In the event of any change in the outstanding Shares after the Effective Date by reason of any Share dividend or split, reorganization, recapitalization, merger,
consolidation, spin-off, combination, combination or transaction or exchange of Shares or other corporate exchange, or any distribution to shareholders of Shares other than regular cash dividends or any transaction similar to the foregoing, the Committee in its sole discretion and without liability to any person may make such substitution or adjustment, if any, as it deems to be equitable, as to (i) the number or kind of Shares or other securities issued or reserved for issuance pursuant to the Plan or pursuant to outstanding Awards, (ii) the maximum number of Shares for which Awards (including limits established for Restricted Stock or Other Stock-Based Awards) may be granted during a calendar year to any Participant, (iii) the Option Price or exercise price of any Stock Appreciation Right and/or (iv) any other affected terms of such Awards.
(b) Change in Control. In the event of a Change in Control after the Effective Date, the Committee may, but shall not be obligated to, (A) accelerate, vest or cause the restrictions to lapse with respect to, all or any portion of an Award or (B) cancel Awards for fair value (as determined in the sole discretion of the Committee) which, in the case of Options and Stock Appreciation Rights, may equal the excess, if any, of value of the consideration to be paid in the Change in Control transaction to holders of the same number of Shares subject to such Options or Stock Appreciation Rights (or, if no consideration is paid in any such transaction, the Fair Market Value of the Shares subject to such Options or Stock Appreciation Rights) over the aggregate exercise price of such Options or Stock Appreciation Rights or (C) provide for the issuance of substitute Awards that will substantially preserve the otherwise applicable terms of any affected Awards previously granted hereunder as determined by the Committee in its sole discretion or (D) provide that for a period of at least 30 days prior to the Change in Control, such Options shall be exercisable as to all shares subject thereto and that upon the occurrence of the Change in Control, such Options shall terminate and be of no further force and effect.
11. No Right to Employment or Awards
The granting of an Award under the Plan shall impose no obligation on the Company or a Subsidiary to continue the Employment of a Participant and shall not lessen or affect the Companys or Subsidiarys right to terminate the Employment of such Participant. No Participant or other person shall have any claim to be granted any Award, and there is no obligation for uniformity of treatment of Participants, or holders of Awards. The terms and conditions of Awards and the Committees determinations and interpretations with respect thereto need not be the same with respect to each Participant (whether or not such Participants are similarly situated).
12. Successors and Assigns
The Plan shall be binding on all successors and assigns of the Company and a Participant, including without limitation, the estate of such Participant and the executor, administrator or trustee of such estate, or any receiver or trustee in bankruptcy or representative of the Participants creditors.
13. Nontransferability of Awards
Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, an Award shall not be transferable or assignable by the Participant otherwise than by will or by the laws of descent and distribution. During the lifetime of a Participant, an Award may be exercised only by the Participant. Any Award that is exercisable after the death of a Participant may be exercised by the legatees, personal representatives or distributees of the Participant.
14. Amendments or Termination
The Board or the Committee may amend, alter or discontinue the Plan, but no amendment, alteration or discontinuation shall be made, (a) without the approval of the shareholders of the Company, if such action would (except as is provided in Section 10 of the Plan), increase the total number of Shares reserved for the purposes of the Plan or increase the maximum number of Shares of Restricted Stock or Other Stock-Based Awards that may be awarded hereunder, or the maximum number of Shares for which Awards may be granted to any Participant, (b) without the consent of a Participant, if such action would diminish any of the rights of the Participant under any Award theretofore granted to such Participant under the Plan or (c) to Section 5(b), relating to repricing of Options or Stock Appreciation Rights, to permit such repricing; provided, however, that the Committee may amend the Plan in such manner as it deems necessary to permit the granting of Awards meeting the requirements of the Code or other applicable laws.
15. International Participants
With respect to Participants who may reside or work outside the United States of America and who are not (and who are not expected to be) covered employees within the meaning of Section 162(m) of the Code, the Committee may, in its sole discretion, amend the terms of the Plan or Awards with respect to such Participants in order to conform such terms with the requirements of local law or to obtain more favorable tax or other treatment for a Participant, the Company or a Subsidiary.
16. Other Benefit Plans
All Awards shall constitute a special incentive payment to the Participant and shall not be taken into account in computing the amount of salary or compensation of the Participant for the purpose of determining any benefits under any pension, retirement, profit-sharing, bonus, life insurance or other benefit plan of the Company or under any agreement between the Company and the Participant, unless such plan or agreement specifically provides otherwise.
17. Choice of Law
The Plan shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware without regard to conflicts of laws, and except as otherwise provided in the pertinent Award agreement, any and all disputes between a Participant and the Company or any Subsidiary relating to an Award shall be brought only in a state or federal court of competent jurisdiction sitting in Wilmington, Delaware.
18. Effectiveness of the Plan
The Plan shall be effective as of the Effective Date, subject to the approval of the shareholders of the Company at or prior to the Effective Date.