Equity Distribution Agreement

Ion Geophysical Corporation Up to $20,000,000 of Common Stock Equity Distribution Agreement

Exhibit 1.1

 

ION GEOPHYSICAL CORPORATION

 

UP TO $20,000,000 OF COMMON STOCK

 

EQUITY DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT

 

December 22, 2016

 

Evercore Group L.L.C.

55 East 52nd Street

New York, NY 10055

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

ION Geophysical Corporation, a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), confirms its agreement (this “Agreement”) with Evercore Group L.L.C. (“Evercore”) as follows:

 

1.                                      Registration Statement and Prospectus.

 

The Company agrees that, from time to time during the term of this Agreement, on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth herein, it may issue and sell through Evercore, acting as sales agent and/or principal, shares (the “Shares”) of its authorized but unissued common stock, par value $0.01 per share, having an aggregate gross sales price of up to Twenty Million Dollars ($20,000,000) (the “Maximum Amount”).  The shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of the Company to be outstanding after giving effect to the sales contemplated hereby are hereinafter referred to as the “Common Stock.”  Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, the parties hereto agree that compliance with the limitations set forth in this Section 1 regarding the number and aggregate sale price of the Shares issued and sold under this Agreement shall be the sole responsibility of the Company, and Evercore shall have no obligation in connection with such compliance.  The issuance and sale of the Shares through Evercore will be effected pursuant to the Registration Statement (as defined below), although nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as requiring the Company to use the Registration Statement to issue the Shares.  The Company agrees that whenever it determines to sell Shares directly to Evercore as principal it will enter into a separate written agreement containing the terms and conditions of such sale.

 

The Company has prepared and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) a registration statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-213769) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and the rules and regulations of the Commission promulgated thereunder (the “Securities Act Regulations”), and such amendments to such registration statement (including post-effective amendments) as may have been required to the date of this Agreement.  Such registration statement, as amended (including any post-effective amendments), has been declared effective by the Commission.  Such registration statement, at any given time, including amendments thereto to such time (including post-effective amendments), the exhibits and any schedules thereto at such time, the documents incorporated by reference therein pursuant to Item 12 of Form S-3 under the Securities Act at such time and the documents and information otherwise deemed to be a part thereof or included therein by Rule 430B under the Securities Act or otherwise pursuant to the Securities Act Regulations at such

 



 

time, is herein called the “Registration Statement.”

 

The Company is filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424 under the Securities Act a final prospectus supplement relating to the Shares (the “Prospectus Supplement”) to a form of base prospectus included in the Registration Statement in the form heretofore delivered to Evercore.  Such base prospectus in the form in which it appears in the Registration Statement is hereinafter called the “Base Prospectus.”  Such Prospectus Supplement, in the form in which it shall be filed with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) (including the Base Prospectus as so supplemented), together with the most recent Interim Prospectus Supplement (as defined in Section 6(c) below), if any, is hereinafter called the “Prospectus.”  Any reference herein to the Base Prospectus, the Prospectus Supplement, any Interim Prospectus Supplement or the Prospectus shall be deemed to include the documents incorporated by reference therein.  For purposes of this Agreement, “free writing prospectus” has the meaning set forth in Rule 405 under the Securities Act. “Permitted Free Writing Prospectuses” means the documents, if any, listed on Schedule I hereto, and “broadly available road show” means a “bona fide electronic road show” as defined in Rule 433(h)(5) under the Securities Act that has been made available without restriction to any person. The terms “supplement”, “amendment”, and “amend” as used herein with respect to the Registration Statement, the Base Prospectus, the Prospectus Supplement, any Interim Prospectus Supplement or the Prospectus shall include all documents subsequently filed by the Company with the Commission pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), that are deemed to be incorporated by reference therein (the “Incorporated Documents”).

 

2.                                      Representations and Warranties of the Company.  The Company represents and warrants to, and agrees with, Evercore, as of the date hereof and as of each Representation Date (as defined below), as of the time of each sale of any Shares pursuant to this Agreement and as of each Settlement Date (as defined below), as follows.  For purposes of this Section 2, references to the Company shall include the Company and each of its subsidiaries, as applicable.

 

(a)                                 Exchange Act Registration.  The Common Stock is registered pursuant to Section 12(b) under the Exchange Act.  The Company has taken no action designed to, or likely to have the effect of, terminating the registration of the shares of Common Stock under the Exchange Act, nor has the Company received any notification that the Commission is contemplating terminating such registration.

 

(b)                                 Stock Exchange Listing.  The Common Stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “Exchange”), and the Company has taken no action designed to, or likely to, have the effect of delisting the Common Stock from the Exchange, nor has the Company received any notification that the Exchange is contemplating terminating such listing except as otherwise described in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package (as defined below) and the Prospectus. The Company has filed a listing application for the issuance of additional shares with the Exchange to list the Shares.

 

(c)                                  No Stop Orders, etc.  No stop order suspending the effectiveness of the Registration Statement is in effect and no proceedings for such purpose have been instituted or are pending or, to the best knowledge of the Company, are contemplated or

 



 

threatened by the Commission.  The Company has complied, to the Commission’s satisfaction, with all requests of the Commission for additional or supplemental information.  No order preventing or suspending the use of any Prospectus has been issued by the Commission and each Prospectus, at the time of filing or the time of first use within the meaning of the Securities Act Regulations, complied in all material respects with the requirements of the Securities Act and the Securities Act Regulations and did not contain an untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading; except that the foregoing shall not apply to statements in or omissions from any Prospectus in reliance upon, and in conformity with, Agent Information.

 

(d)                                 Compliance with Securities Act; Disclosures.  (i) At the respective times the Registration Statement and each amendment thereto became effective (each, an “Effective Date”), (ii) at each deemed effective date with respect to Evercore pursuant to Rule 430B(f)(2) under the Securities Act (each, a “Deemed Effective Time”), (iii) as of each time Shares are sold pursuant to this Agreement (each, a “Time of Sale”), (iv) at each Settlement Date (as defined below) and (v) at all times during which a prospectus is required by the Securities Act to be delivered (whether physically or through compliance with Rule 172 under the Securities Act or any similar rule) in connection with any sale of Shares (the “Delivery Period”), the Registration Statement complied and will comply in all material respects with the requirements of the Securities Act and the Securities Act Regulations; (ii) the Base Prospectus complied at the time it was filed with the Commission, complies as of the date hereof and, as of each Time of Sale and at all times during the Delivery Period, will comply in all material respects with the Securities Act Regulations; (iii) each of the Prospectus Supplement, any Interim Prospectus Supplement and the Prospectus will comply, as of the date that it is filed with the Commission, as of each Time of Sale, as of each Settlement Date and at all times during the Delivery Period, in all material respects with the Securities Act Regulations and (iv) the Incorporated Documents, when they were filed with the Commission, conformed in all material respects to the requirements of the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations of the Commission promulgated thereunder (the “Exchange Act Regulations”), were filed on a timely basis with the Commission, and did not contain an untrue statement of a material fact or omitted to state a material fact necessary to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading; and any further Incorporated Documents so filed and incorporated by reference, when they are filed with the Commission, will conform in all material respects to the requirements of the Exchange Act and the Exchange Act Regulations, will be filed on a timely basis with the Commission and will not contain an untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading.  As of the date hereof, at each Effective Date and at each Deemed Effective Time, the Registration Statement did not and will not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading.  As of each Time of Sale, the Prospectus, as amended or supplemented at such Time of Sale, and any Permitted Free Writing Prospectus, considered together (collectively, the “General Disclosure

 



 

Package”), did not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading.  As of its date, the Prospectus did not contain an untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading.  At any Settlement Date, the Prospectus (as amended and supplemented at such Settlement Date) did not and will not contain an untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading. The representations and warranties set forth in the four immediately preceding sentences do not apply to statements in or omissions from the Registration Statement or any post-effective amendment thereto, the Prospectus or any amendments or supplements thereto, or the General Disclosure Package, made in reliance upon and in conformity with written information furnished to the Company by Evercore, expressly for use in the preparation thereof.  For purposes of this Agreement, the only information so furnished shall be Evercore’s name (the “Agent Information”).

 

Any free writing prospectus that the Company is required to file pursuant to Rule 433(d) under the Securities Act has been, or will be, filed with the Commission in accordance with the requirements of the Securities Act and the Securities Act Regulations. Each free writing prospectus that the Company has filed, or is required to file, pursuant to Rule 433(d) under the Securities Act or that was prepared by or on behalf of or used or referred to by the Company complies or will comply in all material respects with the requirements of the Securities Act and the Securities Act Regulations.  Each free writing prospectus, as of its issue date and at all subsequent times through the completion of the public offer and sale of the Shares or until any earlier date that the Company notified or notifies Evercore, did not, does not and will not include any material information that conflicted, conflicts or will conflict with the information contained in the Registration Statement or the Prospectus.  Each broadly available road show, if any, when considered together with the General Disclosure Package, does not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading. Except for the Permitted Free Writing Prospectuses, if any, and electronic road shows, if any, each furnished to Evercore before first use, the Company has not prepared, used or referred to, and will not, without Evercore’s prior consent, prepare, use or refer to, any free writing prospectus.

 

(e)                                  Prior Securities Transactions.  No securities of the Company have been sold by the Company or by or on behalf of, or for the benefit of, any person or persons controlling, controlled by or under common control with the Company, except as disclosed in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus.

 

(f)                                   Regulations.  The disclosures in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus concerning the effects of federal, state, local and all foreign regulation on the Company’s business are correct in all material respects and no other such regulations are required to be disclosed in the Registration Statement, the

 



 

General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus which are not so disclosed.

 

(g)                                  No Material Adverse Change.  Since the respective dates as of which information is given in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, except as otherwise specifically stated therein: (i) there has been no material adverse change in the financial position or results of operations of the Company, nor any change or development that, singularly or in the aggregate, would involve a material adverse change or a prospective material adverse change, in or affecting the condition (financial or otherwise), results of operations, business, assets or prospects of the Company (a “Material Adverse Change”); (ii) there have been no material transactions entered into by the Company, other than as contemplated pursuant to this Agreement; and (iii) no officer or director of the Company has resigned from any position with the Company.

 

(h)                                 Recent Securities Transactions, etc. Subsequent to the respective dates as of which information is given in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, and except as may otherwise be indicated or contemplated herein or disclosed in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, the Company has not: (i) issued any securities or incurred any liability or obligation, direct or contingent, for borrowed money; or (ii) declared or paid any dividend or made any other distribution on or in respect to its capital stock.

 

(i)                                     Disclosures in Commission Filings. Since September 1, 2015, (i) none of the Company’s filings with the Commission (“SEC Filings”) contained any untrue statement of a material fact or omitted to state any material fact necessary in order to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading; and (ii) the Company has made all filings with the Commission required under the Exchange Act and the Exchange Act Regulations.

 

(j)                                    Independent Accountants. To the knowledge of the Company, each of Grant Thornton LLP and Ernst & Young LLP (each, an “Auditor”), whose report is filed with the Commission as part of the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, is an independent registered public accounting firm as required by the Securities Act and the Securities Act Regulations and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. The Auditors have not, during the respective periods covered by the financial statements included in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, provided to the Company any non-audit services, as such term is used in Section 10A(g) of the Exchange Act.

 

(k)                                 Financial Statements, etc. The financial statements, including the notes thereto and supporting schedules included in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, comply in all material respects with the requirements of the Securities Act and the Securities Act Regulations and fairly present the financial position and the results of operations of the Company at the dates and for the periods to which they apply; and such financial statements have been prepared in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), consistently applied throughout the periods involved (provided that unaudited interim financial

 



 

statements are subject to year-end audit adjustments that are not expected to be material in the aggregate and do not contain all footnotes required by GAAP); and the supporting schedules included in the Registration Statement present fairly the information required to be stated therein. Except as included therein, no historical or pro forma financial statements are required to be included in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package or the Prospectus under the Securities Act or the Securities Act Regulations. The pro forma and pro forma as adjusted financial information and the related notes, if any, included in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus have been properly compiled and prepared in accordance with the applicable requirements of the Securities Act and the Securities Act Regulations and present fairly the information shown therein, and the assumptions used in the preparation thereof are reasonable and the adjustments used therein are appropriate to give effect to the transactions and circumstances referred to therein. All disclosures contained in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package or the Prospectus regarding “non-GAAP financial measures” (as such term is defined by the rules and regulations of the Commission), if any, comply with Regulation G of the Exchange Act and Item 10 of Regulation S-K of the Securities Act, to the extent applicable. Each of the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus discloses all material off-balance sheet transactions, arrangements, obligations (including contingent obligations), and other relationships of the Company with unconsolidated entities or other persons that may have a material current or future effect on the Company’s financial condition, changes in financial condition, results of operations, liquidity, capital expenditures, capital resources, or significant components of revenues or expenses. Except as disclosed in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, (a) the Company has not incurred any material liabilities or obligations, direct or contingent, or entered into any material transactions other than in the ordinary course of business, (b) the Company has not declared or paid any dividends or made any distribution of any kind with respect to its capital stock, (c) there has not been any change in the capital stock of the Company, or, other than in the ordinary course of business, any grants under any stock compensation plan, and (d) there has not been any material adverse change in the Company’s long-term or short-term debt. The interactive data in eXtensible Business Reporting Language included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus truly, accurately and fairly presents the information called for in all material respects and has been prepared in accordance with the Commission’s rules and guidelines applicable thereto.

 

(l)                                     Authorized Capital; Options, etc. The Company had, at the date or dates indicated in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, the duly authorized, issued and outstanding capitalization as set forth therein.  Except as set forth in, or contemplated by, the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, on the Effective Date, at each Time of Sale and each Settlement Date, there will be no stock options, warrants, or other rights to purchase or otherwise acquire any authorized but unissued shares of Common Stock of the Company or any security convertible or exercisable into shares of Common Stock of the Company, or any contracts or commitments to issue or sell shares of Common Stock or any such options, warrants, rights or convertible securities.

 



 

(m)                             Valid Issuance of Securities, etc.

 

(i)                                     Outstanding Securities. All issued and outstanding securities of the Company issued prior to the transactions contemplated by this Agreement have been duly authorized and validly issued and are fully paid and non-assessable; the holders thereof have no rights of rescission with respect thereto, and are not subject to personal liability by reason of being such holders; and none of such securities were issued in violation of the preemptive rights of any holders of any security of the Company or similar contractual rights granted by the Company. The authorized shares of Common Stock conform in all material respects to all statements relating thereto contained in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus. The offers and sales of the outstanding shares of Common Stock were at all relevant times either registered under the Securities Act and the applicable state securities or “blue sky” laws or, based in part on the representations and warranties of the purchasers of such shares, exempt from such registration requirements.

 

(ii)                                  Securities Sold Pursuant to this Agreement. The Shares have been duly authorized for issuance and sale and, when issued and paid for, will be validly issued, fully paid and non-assessable; the holders thereof are not and will not be subject to personal liability by reason of being such holders; the Shares are not and will not be subject to the preemptive rights of any holders of any security of the Company or similar contractual rights granted by the Company; and all corporate action required to be taken for the authorization, issuance and sale of the Shares has been duly and validly taken. The Shares conform in all material respects to all statements with respect thereto contained in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus.

 

(n)                                 Registration Rights of Third Parties. Except as set forth in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, or in any SEC Filings, no holders of any securities of the Company or any rights exercisable for or convertible or exchangeable into securities of the Company have the right to require the Company to register any such securities of the Company under the Securities Act or to include any such securities in a registration statement to be filed by the Company.

 

(o)                                 Validity and Binding Effect of Agreements. This Agreement has been duly and validly authorized by the Company, and, when executed and delivered, will constitute the valid and binding agreements of the Company, enforceable against the Company in accordance with their respective terms, except: (i) as such enforceability may be limited by bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization or similar laws affecting creditors’ rights generally; (ii) as enforceability of any indemnification or contribution provision may be limited under the federal and state securities laws; and (iii) that the remedy of specific performance and injunctive and other forms of equitable relief may be subject to equitable defenses and to the discretion of the court before which any proceeding therefor may be brought.

 

(p)                                 No Conflicts, etc. The execution, delivery and performance by the

 



 

Company of this Agreement and all ancillary documents, the consummation by the Company of the transactions herein and therein contemplated and the compliance by the Company with the terms hereof and thereof do not and will not, with or without the giving of notice or the lapse of time or both: (i) result in a breach of, or conflict with any of the terms and provisions of, or constitute a default under, or result in the creation, modification, termination or imposition of any lien, charge or encumbrance upon any property or assets of the Company pursuant to the terms of any agreement or instrument to which the Company is a party; (ii) result in any violation of the provisions of the Company’s Restated Certificate of Incorporation (as the same may be amended or restated from time to time, the “Charter”) or the bylaws of the Company; or (iii) violate any existing applicable law, rule, regulation, judgment, order or decree of any governmental authority as of the date hereof, except, in the case of clauses (i) and (iii), for such breaches, conflicts, defaults, liens, charges, encumbrances or violations that would not or reasonably be expected to result in a Material Adverse Change.

 

(q)                                 No Defaults; Violations. No material default exists in the due performance and observance of any term, covenant or condition of any material license, contract, indenture, mortgage, deed of trust, note, loan or credit agreement, or any other agreement or instrument evidencing an obligation for borrowed money, or any other material agreement or instrument to which the Company is a party or by which the Company may be bound or to which any of the properties or assets of the Company is subject. The Company is not in violation of any term or provision of its Charter or bylaws, or in violation of any material franchise, license, permit, applicable law, rule, regulation, judgment or decree of any governmental authority.

 

(r)                                    Corporate Power; Licenses; Consents.

 

(i)                                     Conduct of Business. Except as described in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, the Company has all requisite corporate power and authority, and has all necessary material authorizations, approvals, orders, licenses, certificates and permits of and from all governmental regulatory officials and bodies that it needs as of the date hereof to conduct its business as described in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus.

 

(ii)                                  Transactions Contemplated Herein. The Company has all corporate power and authority to enter into this Agreement and to carry out the provisions and conditions hereof, and all consents, authorizations, approvals and orders required in connection therewith have been obtained. No consent, authorization or order of, and no filing with, any court, government agency or other body is required for the valid issuance, sale and delivery of the Shares and the consummation of the transactions and agreements contemplated by this Agreement and as contemplated by the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, except with respect to applicable federal and state securities laws and the rules and regulations of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”).

 



 

(s)                                   Litigation; Governmental Proceedings. There is no material action, suit, proceeding, inquiry, arbitration, investigation, litigation or governmental proceeding pending or, to the Company’s knowledge, threatened against, or involving the Company or, to the Company’s knowledge, any executive officer or director which has not been disclosed in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus or in connection with the Company’s listing application for the listing of the Shares on the Exchange.

 

(t)                                    Good Standing.  The Company has been duly organized and is validly existing as a corporation and is in good standing under the laws of the State of Delaware as of the date hereof, and is duly qualified to do business and is in good standing in each other jurisdiction in which its ownership or lease of property or the conduct of business requires such qualification, except where the failure to qualify, singularly or in the aggregate, would not have or reasonably be expected to result in a Material Adverse Change.

 

(u)                                 Insurance. The Company carries or is entitled to the benefits of insurance, with reputable insurers, in such amounts and covering such risks which the Company believes are adequate, and all such insurance is in full force and effect. The Company has no reason to believe that it will not be able (i) to renew its existing insurance coverage as and when such policies expire or (ii) to obtain comparable coverage from similar institutions as may be necessary or appropriate to conduct its business as now conducted and at a cost that would not result in a Material Adverse Change.

 

(v)                                 Transactions Affecting Disclosure to FINRA.

 

(i)                                     Finder’s Fees. Except as described in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, there are no claims, payments, arrangements, agreements or understandings relating to the payment of a finder’s, consulting or origination fee by the Company or any officer or director of the Company with respect to the sale of the Shares hereunder or any other arrangements, agreements or understandings of the Company or, to the Company’s knowledge, any of its shareholders that may affect Evercore’s compensation, as determined by FINRA.

 

(ii)                                  Payments Within Twelve (12) Months. Except as described in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, the Company has not made any direct or indirect payments (in cash, securities or otherwise) to: (i) any person, as a finder’s fee, consulting fee or otherwise, in consideration of such person raising capital for the Company or introducing to the Company persons who raised or provided capital to the Company; (ii) any FINRA member; or (iii) any person or entity that has any direct or indirect affiliation or association with any FINRA member, within the twelve (12) months prior to the Effective Date, other than the payment to Evercore as provided hereunder in connection with sale of Shares.

 



 

(iii)                               Information. All information provided by the Company in its FINRA questionnaire to Evercore’s counsel specifically for use by Evercore’s counsel in connection with its Public Offering System filings (and related disclosure) with FINRA is true, correct and complete in all material respects.

 

(w)                               Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Neither the Company nor, to the Company’s knowledge, any director, officer, agent, employee or affiliate of the Company or any other person acting on behalf of the Company, has, directly or indirectly, given or agreed to give any money, gift or similar benefit (other than legal price concessions to customers in the ordinary course of business) to any customer, supplier, employee or agent of a customer or supplier, or official or employee of any governmental agency or instrumentality of any government (domestic or foreign) or any political party or candidate for office (domestic or foreign) or other person who was, is, or may be in a position to help or hinder the business of the Company (or assist it in connection with any actual or proposed transaction) that (i) might subject the Company to any damage or penalty in any civil, criminal or governmental litigation or proceeding, (ii) if not given in the past, might have had a Material Adverse Change or (iii) if not continued in the future, might adversely affect the assets, business, operations or prospects of the Company. The Company has taken reasonable steps to ensure that its accounting controls and procedures are sufficient to cause the Company to comply in all material respects with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended.

 

(x)                                 Compliance with OFAC. Neither the Company nor, to the Company’s knowledge, any director, officer, agent, employee or affiliate of the Company or any other person acting on behalf of the Company, is currently subject to any U.S. sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“OFAC”), and the Company will not, directly or indirectly, use the proceeds of the sale of Shares hereunder, or lend, contribute or otherwise make available such proceeds to any subsidiary, joint venture partner or other person or entity, for the purpose of financing the activities of any person currently subject to any U.S. sanctions administered by OFAC.

 

(y)                                 Money Laundering Laws. The operations of the Company are and have been conducted at all times in compliance with applicable financial recordkeeping and reporting requirements of the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act of 1970, as amended, the money laundering statutes of all jurisdictions, the rules and regulations thereunder and any related or similar rules, regulations or guidelines, issued, administered or enforced by any governmental authority (collectively, the “Money Laundering Laws”); and no action, suit or proceeding by or before any governmental authority involving the Company with respect to the Money Laundering Laws is pending or, to the best knowledge of the Company, threatened.

 

(z)                                  Officers’ Certificate. Any certificate signed by any duly authorized officer of the Company and delivered to Evercore or to Evercore’s counsel shall be deemed a representation and warranty by the Company to Evercore as to the matters covered thereby.

 



 

(aa)                          Subsidiaries. Each subsidiary of the Company has been duly organized and is validly existing as a corporation, limited or general partnership or limited liability company, as the case may be, in good standing under the laws of the jurisdiction of its organization, has power and authority to own, lease and operate its properties and to conduct its business as described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus and is duly qualified as a foreign corporation, limited or general partnership or limited liability company, as the case may be, to transact business and is in good standing in each jurisdiction in which such qualification is required, whether by reason of the ownership or leasing of property or the conduct of business, except where the failure so to qualify or to be in good standing would not result in a Material Adverse Change; except as otherwise disclosed in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, all of the issued and outstanding capital stock of each such subsidiary that is a corporation, all of the issued and outstanding partnership interests of each such subsidiary that is a limited or general partnership and all of the issued and outstanding limited liability company interests, membership interests or other similar interests of each such subsidiary that is a limited liability company have been duly authorized and validly issued, are fully paid and (except in the case of general partnership interests) non-assessable and are owned by the Company, directly or through subsidiaries, free and clear of any lien; and none of the outstanding shares of capital stock, partnership interests or limited liability company interests, membership interests or other similar interests of any such subsidiary was issued in violation of any preemptive rights, rights of first refusal or other similar rights of any securityholder of such subsidiary or any other person.  The only subsidiaries of the Company are the subsidiaries listed on Exhibit C hereto and Exhibit C accurately sets forth whether each such subsidiary is a corporation, limited or general partnership or limited liability company and the jurisdiction of organization of each such subsidiary and, in the case of any subsidiary that is a partnership or limited liability company, its general partners and managing members, respectively. Any subsidiaries of the Company that are “significant subsidiaries” as defined by Rule 1-02 of Regulation S-X are listed on Exhibit C hereto under the caption “Material Subsidiaries.”

 

(bb)                          Related Party Transactions. There are no business relationships or related party transactions involving the Company or any other person required to be described in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus that have not been described as required.

 

(cc)                            Board of Directors. The Board of Directors of the Company is comprised of the persons set forth under the heading of the Company’s definitive proxy statement dated April 14, 2016 captioned “Election of Directors.” The qualifications of the persons serving as board members and the overall composition of the board comply with the Exchange Act, the Exchange Act Regulations, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the rules promulgated thereunder (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”) applicable to the Company and the listing rules of the Exchange. At least one member of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of the Company qualifies as an “audit committee financial expert,” as such term is defined under Regulation S-K and the listing rules of the Exchange. In addition, at least a majority of the persons serving on the Board of Directors qualify as “independent,” as defined under the listing rules of the Exchange.

 



 

(dd)                          Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance.

 

(i)                                     Disclosure Controls. Other than as disclosed in our SEC filings, the Company has developed and currently maintains disclosure controls and procedures that will comply with Rule 13a-15 or 15d-15 under the Exchange Act Regulations, and such controls and procedures are effective to ensure that all material information concerning the Company will be made known on a timely basis to the individuals responsible for the preparation of the Company’s Exchange Act filings and other public disclosure documents.

 

(ii)                                  Compliance. The Company is, or at each Settlement Data will be, in material compliance with the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act applicable to it, and has implemented or will implement such programs and taken reasonable steps to ensure the Company’s future compliance (not later than the relevant statutory and regulatory deadlines therefor) with all of the material provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

 

(iii)                               Accounting Controls. The Company maintains systems of “internal control over financial reporting” (as defined under Rules 13a-15 and 15d-15 under the Exchange Act Regulations) that comply with the requirements of the Exchange Act and have been designed by, or under the supervision of, its principal executive and principal financial officers, or persons performing similar functions, to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with GAAP, including, but not limited to, internal accounting controls sufficient to provide reasonable assurance that (i) transactions are executed in accordance with management’s general or specific authorizations; (ii) transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP and to maintain asset accountability; (iii) access to assets is permitted only in accordance with management’s general or specific authorization; and (iv) the recorded accountability for assets is compared with the existing assets at reasonable intervals and appropriate action is taken with respect to any differences.  Except as disclosed in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, the Company is not aware of any material weaknesses in its internal controls.  The Company’s auditors and the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of the Company have been advised of: (i) all significant deficiencies and material weaknesses in the design or operation of internal controls over financial reporting which are known to the Company’s management; and (ii) any fraud known to the Company’s management, whether or not material, that involves management or other employees who have a significant role in the Company’s internal controls over financial reporting.

 

(ee)                            No Investment Company Status. The Company is not and, after giving effect to the sale of Shares and the application of the proceeds thereof as described in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus, will not be, required to register as an “investment company,” as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended.

 



 

(ff)                              No Labor Disputes. No material labor dispute with the employees of the Company exists or, to the knowledge of the Company, is imminent.

 

(gg)                            Intellectual Property Rights. The Company owns or possesses or has valid rights to use all patents, patent applications, trademarks, service marks, trade names, trademark registrations, service mark registrations, copyrights, licenses, inventions, trade secrets and similar rights (“Intellectual Property Rights”) necessary for the conduct of its business as currently carried on and as described in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus. To the knowledge of the Company, no action or use by the Company necessary for the conduct of its business as currently carried on and as described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus will involve or give rise to any infringement of, or license or similar fees for, any Intellectual Property Rights of others.  The Company has not received any notice alleging any such infringement, fee or conflict with asserted Intellectual Property Rights of others.  Except as would not reasonably be expected to result, individually or in the aggregate, in a Material Adverse Change, (A) to the knowledge of the Company, there is no infringement, misappropriation or violation by third parties of any of the Intellectual Property Rights owned by the Company; (B) there is no pending or, to the knowledge of the Company, threatened action, suit, proceeding or claim by others challenging the rights of the Company in or to any such Intellectual Property Rights, and the Company is unaware of any facts which would form a reasonable basis for any such claim, that would, individually or in the aggregate, together with any other claims in this Section 2(gg), reasonably be expected to result in a Material Adverse Change; (C) the Intellectual Property Rights owned by the Company and, to the knowledge of the Company, the Intellectual Property Rights licensed to the Company have not been adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, and there is no pending or, to the Company’s knowledge, threatened action, suit, proceeding or claim by others challenging the validity or scope of any such Intellectual Property Rights, and the Company is unaware of any facts which would form a reasonable basis for any such claim that would, individually or in the aggregate, together with any other claims in this Section 2(gg), reasonably be expected to result in a Material Adverse Change; (D) there is no pending or, to the Company’s knowledge, threatened action, suit, proceeding or claim by others that the Company infringes, misappropriates or otherwise violates any Intellectual Property Rights or other proprietary rights of others, the Company has not received any written notice of such claim and the Company is unaware of any other facts which would form a reasonable basis for any such claim that would, individually or in the aggregate, together with any other claims in this Section 2(gg), reasonably be expected to result in a Material Adverse Change; and (E) to the Company’s knowledge, no employee of the Company is in or has ever been in violation in any material respect of any term of any employment contract, patent disclosure agreement, invention assignment agreement, non-competition agreement, non-solicitation agreement, nondisclosure agreement or any restrictive covenant to or with a former employer where the basis of such violation relates to such employee’s employment with the Company, or actions undertaken by the employee while employed with the Company and could reasonably be expected to result, individually or in the aggregate, in a Material Adverse Change.  To the Company’s knowledge, all material technical information developed by and belonging to the Company which has not been patented has been kept confidential.  The Company is not a

 



 

party to or bound by any options, licenses or agreements with respect to the Intellectual Property Rights of any other person or entity that are required to be set forth in the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus and are not described therein.  The Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus contain in all material respects the same description of the matters set forth in the preceding sentence.  None of the technology employed by the Company has been obtained or is being used by the Company in violation of any contractual obligation binding on the Company or, to the Company’s knowledge, any of its officers, directors or employees, or otherwise in violation of the rights of any persons.

 

(hh)                          Taxes. The Company has filed all returns (as hereinafter defined) required to be filed with taxing authorities prior to the date hereof or has duly obtained extensions of time for the filing thereof.  The Company has paid all taxes (as hereinafter defined) shown as due on such returns that were filed and has paid all taxes imposed on or assessed against the Company.  The provisions for taxes payable, if any, shown on the financial statements filed with or as part of the Registration Statement are sufficient for all accrued and unpaid taxes, whether or not disputed, and for all periods to and including the dates of such consolidated financial statements.  Except as disclosed in writing to Evercore, (i) no issues have been raised (and are currently pending) by any taxing authority in connection with any of the returns or taxes asserted as due from the Company, and (ii) no waivers of statutes of limitation with respect to the returns or collection of taxes have been given by or requested from the Company.  The term “taxes” mean all federal, state, local, foreign and other net income, gross income, gross receipts, sales, use, ad valorem, transfer, franchise, profits, license, lease, service, service use, withholding, payroll, employment, excise, severance, stamp, occupation, premium, property, windfall profits, customs, duties or other taxes, fees, assessments or charges of any kind whatever, together with any interest and any penalties, additions to tax or additional amounts with respect thereto.  The term “returns” means all returns, declarations, reports, statements and other documents required to be filed in respect to taxes.

 

(ii)                                  ERISA Compliance. The Company and any “employee benefit plan” (as defined under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, and the regulations and published interpretations thereunder (collectively, “ERISA”)) established or maintained by the Company or its “ERISA Affiliates” (as defined below) are in compliance in all material respects with ERISA.  “ERISA Affiliate” means, with respect to the Company, any member of any group of organizations described in Sections 414(b), (c), (m) or (o) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and the regulations and published interpretations thereunder (the “Code”) of which the Company is a member.  No “reportable event” (as defined under ERISA) has occurred or is reasonably expected to occur with respect to any “employee benefit plan” established or maintained by the Company or any of its ERISA Affiliates.  No “employee benefit plan” established or maintained by the Company or any of its ERISA Affiliates, if such “employee benefit plan” were terminated, would have any “amount of unfunded benefit liabilities” (as defined under ERISA).  Neither the Company nor any of its ERISA Affiliates has incurred or reasonably expects to incur any material liability under (i) Title IV of ERISA with respect to termination of, or withdrawal from, any “employee benefit

 



 

plan” or (ii) Sections 412, 4971, 4975 or 4980B of the Code.  Each “employee benefit plan” established or maintained by the Company or any of its ERISA Affiliates that is intended to be qualified under Section 401(a) of the Code is so qualified and, to the knowledge of the Company, nothing has occurred, whether by action or failure to act, which would cause the loss of such qualification.

 

(jj)                                Compliance with Laws. The Company: (A) is and at all times has been in compliance with all statutes, rules, or regulations applicable to the ownership, testing, development, manufacture, packaging, processing, use, distribution, marketing, labeling, promotion, sale, offer for sale, storage, import, export or disposal of any product manufactured or distributed by the Company (“Applicable Laws”), except as could not, individually or in the aggregate, reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Change; (B) has not received any notice of adverse finding, warning letter, untitled letter or other correspondence or notice from any governmental authority alleging or asserting noncompliance with any Applicable Laws or any licenses, certificates, approvals, clearances, authorizations, permits and supplements or amendments thereto required by any such Applicable Laws (“Authorizations”), except as could not, individually or in the aggregate, reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Change; (C) possesses all material Authorizations and such Authorizations are valid and in full force and effect and is not in material violation of any term of any such Authorizations; (D) has not received notice of any claim, action, suit, proceeding, hearing, enforcement, investigation, arbitration or other action from any governmental authority or third party alleging that any product, service or activity is in violation of any Applicable Laws or Authorizations and has no knowledge that any such governmental authority or third party is considering any such claim, litigation, arbitration, action, suit, investigation or proceeding; (E) has not received notice that any governmental authority has taken, is taking or intends to take action to limit, suspend, modify or revoke any Authorizations and has no knowledge that any such governmental authority is considering such action; (F) has filed, obtained, maintained or submitted all material reports, documents, forms, notices, applications, records, claims, submissions and supplements or amendments as required by any Applicable Laws or Authorizations and that all such reports, documents, forms, notices, applications, records, claims, submissions and supplements or amendments were complete and correct in all material respects on the date filed (or were corrected or supplemented by a subsequent submission); and (G) has not, either voluntarily or involuntarily, initiated, conducted, or issued or caused to be initiated, conducted or issued, any recall, market withdrawal or replacement, safety alert, post-sale warning or other notice or action relating to any product or any alleged product defect or violation and, to the Company’s knowledge, no third party has initiated, conducted or intends to initiate any such notice or action.

 

(kk)                          Ineligible Issuer. At the time of filing the Registration Statement and any post-effective amendment thereto, at the time of effectiveness of the Registration Statement and any amendment thereto, at the earliest time thereafter that the Company or another offering participant made a bona fide offer (within the meaning of Rule 164(h)(2) of the Securities Act Regulations) of the Shares and at the date hereof, the Company was not and is not an “ineligible issuer,” as defined in Rule 405, without taking account of any determination by the Commission pursuant to Rule 405 that it is not necessary that

 



 

the Company be considered an ineligible issuer.

 

(ll)                                  Smaller Reporting Company. As of the time of filing of the Registration Statement, the Company was a “smaller reporting company,” as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act Regulations.

 

(mm)                  Industry Data. The statistical and market-related data included in each of the Registration Statement, the General Disclosure Package and the Prospectus are based on or derived from sources that the Company reasonably and in good faith believes are reliable and accurate or represent the Company’s good faith estimates that are made on the basis of data derived from such sources.

 

(nn)                          Margin Securities. The Company owns no “margin securities” as that term is defined in Regulation U of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve Board”), and none of the proceeds from the sale of the Shares will be used, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of purchasing or carrying any margin security, for the purpose of reducing or retiring any indebtedness which was originally incurred to purchase or carry any margin security or for any other purpose which might cause any of the shares of Common Stock to be considered a “purpose credit” within the meanings of Regulation T, U or X of the Federal Reserve Board.

 

(oo)                          Form S-3. The conditions for use of Form S-3, set forth in the General Instructions thereto, have been satisfied.

 

3.                                      Sale of Shares.

 

(a)                                 Placements.  Each time that the Company wishes to issue and sell Shares hereunder (each, a “Placement”), it will notify Evercore by either telephone or email notice (or other method mutually agreed to in writing by the parties) (a “Placement Notice”) containing the parameters in accordance with which it desires the Shares to be sold, which shall at a minimum include the number of Shares to be issued (the “Placement Shares”), the time period during which sales are requested to be made, any limitation on the number of Shares that may be sold in any one day and any minimum price below which sales may not be made, and if the notification is in writing, a form of which containing such minimum sales parameters necessary is attached hereto as Exhibit A.  The Placement Notice shall originate from any of the individuals from the Company set forth on Exhibit B (with a copy to each of the other individuals from the Company listed on such Exhibit), and shall be addressed to, if by telephone, one, or, if by email, each, of the individuals from Evercore set forth on Exhibit B, as such Exhibit B may be amended from time to time by delivery to the other party of written notice thereof.  If Evercore wishes to accept such proposed terms included in the Placement Notice (which it may decline to do for any reason in its sole discretion) or, following discussion with the Company, wishes to accept amended terms, Evercore will, prior to 4:30 p.m. (New York City time) on the Trading Day (as defined below) following the Trading Day on which such Placement Notice is delivered to Evercore, issue to the Company a notice by email (or other method mutually agreed to in writing by the parties) addressed to all of the individuals from the Company and Evercore set forth on Exhibit B setting forth the terms

 



 

that Evercore is willing to accept.  Where the terms provided in the Placement Notice are amended as provided for in the immediately preceding sentence, such terms will not be binding on the Company or Evercore until the Company delivers to Evercore an acceptance by email (or other method mutually agreed to in writing by the parties) of all of the terms of such Placement Notice, as amended (the “Acceptance”), which email shall be addressed to all of the individuals from the Company and Evercore set forth on Exhibit B.  The Placement Notice (as amended by the corresponding Acceptance, if applicable) shall be effective upon receipt by the Company of Evercore’s acceptance of the terms of the Placement Notice or upon receipt by Evercore of the Company’s Acceptance, as the case may be, unless and until (i) the entire amount of the Placement Shares has been sold, (ii) in accordance with the notice requirements set forth in the second sentence of this paragraph, the Company terminates the Placement Notice, (iii) the Company issues a subsequent Placement Notice with parameters superseding those on the earlier dated Placement Notice (as amended by the corresponding Acceptance, if applicable), (iv) this Agreement has been terminated under the provisions of Section 12 or (v) either party shall have suspended the sale of the Placement Shares in accordance with Section 3(c) below.  The amount of any discount, commission or other compensation to be paid by the Company to Evercore in connection with the sale of the Placement Shares shall be calculated in accordance with the terms set forth in Section 4.  It is expressly acknowledged and agreed that neither the Company nor Evercore will have any obligation whatsoever with respect to a Placement or any Placement Shares unless and until the Company delivers a Placement Notice to Evercore and either (i) Evercore accepts the terms of such Placement Notice or (ii) where the terms of such Placement Notice are amended, the Company accepts such amended terms by means of an Acceptance pursuant to the terms set forth above, and then only upon the terms specified in the Placement Notice (as amended by the corresponding Acceptance, if applicable) and herein.  In the event of a conflict between the terms of this Agreement and the terms of a Placement Notice (as amended by the corresponding Acceptance, if applicable), the terms of the Placement Notice (as amended by the corresponding Acceptance, if applicable) will control.

 

(b)                                 Sale of Placement Shares.  On the basis of the representations and warranties herein contained and subject to the terms and conditions herein set forth, upon Evercore’s acceptance of the terms of a Placement Notice or upon receipt by Evercore of an Acceptance, as the case may be, and unless the sale of the Placement Shares described therein has been declined, suspended, or otherwise terminated in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, Evercore, for the period specified in the Placement Notice (as amended by the corresponding Acceptance, if applicable), will use its commercially reasonable efforts to sell such Placement Shares up to the amount specified, and otherwise in accordance with the terms of such Placement Notice (as amended by the corresponding Acceptance, if applicable).  Evercore will provide written confirmation to the Company no later than the opening of the Trading Day immediately following the Trading Day on which it has made sales of Placement Shares hereunder setting forth the number of Placement Shares sold on such day, the compensation payable by the Company to Evercore pursuant to Section 4 with respect to such sales, and the Net Proceeds (as defined below) payable to the Company, with an itemization of the deductions made by Evercore (as set forth in Section 5(a)) from the gross proceeds that it

 



 

receives from such sales.  Subject to the terms of the Placement Notice (as amended by the corresponding Acceptance, if applicable), Evercore may sell Placement Shares by any method permitted by law deemed to be an “at the market” offering as defined in Rule 415 of the Securities Act, including without limitation sales made directly on the Exchange, on any other existing trading market for the Common Stock or to or through a market maker.  Subject to the terms of the Placement Notice (as amended by the corresponding Acceptance, if applicable) and the rules and regulations of the Exchange or such other exchange or market on which the Common Stock is listed, Evercore may also sell Placement Shares by any other method permitted by law, including but not limited to privately negotiated transactions.  The Company acknowledges and agrees that (i) there can be no assurance that Evercore will be successful in selling Placement Shares, (ii) Evercore will incur no liability or obligation to the Company or any other person or entity if it does not sell Placement Shares for any reason other than a failure by Evercore to use its commercially reasonable efforts to sell such Placement Shares as required under this Section 3 and (iii) Evercore shall be under no obligation to purchase Shares on a principal basis pursuant to this Agreement, except as otherwise agreed by Evercore in the Placement Notice (as amended by the corresponding Acceptance, if applicable).  For the purposes hereof, “Trading Day” means any day on which shares of Common Stock are purchased and sold on the principal market on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted.

 

(c)                                  Suspension of Sales.  The Company or Evercore may, upon notice to the other party in writing (including by email correspondence to each of the individuals of the other party set forth on Exhibit B, if receipt of such correspondence is actually acknowledged by any of the individuals to whom the notice is sent, other than via auto-reply) or by telephone (confirmed immediately by verifiable facsimile transmission or email correspondence to each of the individuals of the other party set forth on Exhibit B), suspend any sale of Placement Shares; provided, however, that such suspension shall not affect or impair either party’s obligations with respect to any Placement Shares sold hereunder prior to the receipt of such notice.  Each of the parties agrees that no such notice under this Section 3(c) shall be effective against the other unless it is made to one of the individuals named on Exhibit B hereto, as such Exhibit may be amended from time to time.

 

4.                                      Fees and Expense Reimbursement.

 

(a)                                 The compensation to Evercore for sales of the Shares with respect to which Evercore acts as sales agent hereunder shall be equal to 2.0% of the gross offering proceeds of the sale of such Shares. The Company may sell Shares to Evercore as principal at compensation agreed upon at the relevant Time of Sale.

 

(b)                                 The Company shall from time to time on demand reimburse Evercore for its reasonable documented out-of-pocket expenses, including the reasonable fees and disbursements of counsel for Evercore and those expenses and fees set forth in Section 6(i), incurred by Evercore in connection with the transactions and other matters contemplated hereunder, including, for the avoidance of doubt, ongoing maintenance and due diligence expenses associated herewith.

 



 

(c)                                  The amounts payable to Evercore pursuant to Section 4(a) and 4(b) above shall not exceed Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars ($800,000) in the aggregate.

 

5.                                      Payment, Delivery and Other Obligations.

 

(a)                                 Settlement of Placement Shares.  Unless otherwise specified in the applicable Placement Notice (as amended by the corresponding Acceptance, if applicable), settlement for sales of Placement Shares will occur on the third (3rd) Trading Day (or such earlier day as is industry practice for regular-way trading) following the date on which such sales are made (each, a “Settlement Date”).  The amount of proceeds to be delivered to the Company on a Settlement Date against receipt of the Placement Shares sold (the “Net Proceeds”) will be equal to the aggregate sales price received by Evercore at which such Placement Shares were sold, after deduction for (i) Evercore’s commission, discount or other compensation for such sales payable by the Company pursuant to Section 4(a) hereof, (ii) any other amounts due and payable by the Company to Evercore hereunder pursuant to Section 4(b) hereof, and (iii) any transaction fees imposed by any governmental or self-regulatory organization in respect of such sales.

 

(b)                                 Delivery of Placement Shares.  On or before each Settlement Date, the Company will, or will cause its transfer agent to, electronically transfer the Placement Shares being sold by crediting Evercore’s or its designee’s account (provided Evercore shall have given the Company written notice of such designee prior to the Settlement Date) at The Depository Trust Company through its Deposit and Withdrawal at Custodian System or by such other means of delivery as may be mutually agreed upon by the parties hereto which in all cases shall be freely tradable, transferable, registered shares in good deliverable form.  Evercore will deliver the related Net Proceeds in same day funds to an account designated by the Company on, or prior to, the Settlement Date.  The Company agrees that if the Company, or its transfer agent (if applicable), defaults in its obligation to deliver Placement Shares on a Settlement Date, in addition to and in no way limiting the rights and obligations set forth in Section 9(a) hereto, it will (i) hold Evercore harmless against any loss, liability, claim, damage, or expense whatsoever (including reasonable legal fees and expenses), as incurred, arising out of or in connection with such default by the Company or its transfer agent and (ii) pay to Evercore any commission, discount, or other compensation to which it would otherwise have been entitled absent such default.

 

(c)                                  Denominations; Registration.  The Company shall deliver the Shares, if any, through the facilities of The Depository Trust Company unless Evercore shall otherwise instruct.  If Evercore instructs the Company that any Shares are to be issued in certificated form, certificates for such Shares shall be in such denominations and registered in such names as Evercore may request in writing at least three full business days before the Settlement Date.  Any such certificates will be made available for examination and packaging by Evercore not later than noon (New York time) on the business day prior to the Settlement Date.

 

(d)                                 Limitations on Offering Size.  Under no circumstances shall the Company cause or request the offer or sale of any Shares, if after giving effect to the sale of such

 



 

Shares, the aggregate offering price of the Shares sold pursuant to this Agreement would exceed the lesser of (A) the Maximum Amount, (B) the amount available for offer and sale under the currently effective Registration Statement, and (C) the amount authorized from time to time to be issued and sold under this Agreement by the Company and notified to Evercore in writing.  Under no circumstances shall the Company cause or request the offer or sale of any Shares pursuant to this Agreement at a price lower than the minimum price authorized from time to time by the Company and notified to Evercore in writing.  Further, under no circumstances shall the aggregate offering price of Shares sold pursuant to this Agreement, including any separate underwriting or similar agreement covering principal transactions described in Section 1 of this Agreement, exceed the Maximum Amount.

 

(e)                                  Black-out Limitations.

 

(i)                                     Except as provided in Section 5(e)(ii) below, the Company shall not offer or sell or (except for the Placement Notice issued at the time of execution of this Agreement) instruct Evercore to offer or sell, or modify or issue a replacement Placement Notice to Evercore to offer or sell, any Shares through Evercore as agent, and Evercore shall not be obligated to accept any such instruction to offer or sell or any modified or replacement Placement Notice, (A) during any period in which the Company is, or could be deemed to be, in possession of material non-public information or (B) except as provided in Section 5(e)(ii) hereof, at any time during the period commencing on the 15th day of the last month of a calendar quarter (the “Black-out Commencement Date”) through and including the time that is the 3rd business day following the time that the Company releases its quarterly earnings to the public, usually through the issuance of a press release containing, or otherwise publicly announcing, its earnings, revenues or other operating results for a fiscal period or periods (each, an “Earnings Announcement”).

 

(ii)                                  If the Company wishes to offer or sell Shares (other than the offer or sale of Shares pursuant to the Placement Notice issued at the time of execution of this Agreement) or modify or issue a replacement Placement Notice to Evercore as agent at any time during the period from and including a Black-out Commencement Date through and including the time that is the 3rd business day after an Earnings Announcement, the Company shall first (A) deliver to Evercore (with a copy to counsel to Evercore) an officer’s certificate confirming that the provision of clause (A) of Section 5(e)(i) is satisfied and (B) afford Evercore the opportunity to conduct a due diligence review in accordance with Section 6(p) hereof, and then the provision of clause (B) of Section 5(e)(i) shall not be applicable for the period from and after the time at which the foregoing conditions shall have been satisfied through and including the time that is the 3rd business day following the Earnings Announcement.  For purposes of clarity, the parties hereto agree that the delivery of any officers’ certificate pursuant to this Section 5(e)(ii) shall not relieve the Company from any of its obligations under this Agreement with respect to any Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q or Annual Report on Form 10-K, as the case may be, including, without limitation, the obligation to

 



 

deliver officers’ certificates, opinions and letters of counsel and accountants’ letters as provided in Section 6(l), (m) and (o), respectively, hereof.  Nothing contained in this Section 5(e) shall prevent the Company from instructing Evercore to terminate any offer or sale of Shares.

 

6.                                      CovenantsThe Company covenants with Evercore as follows:

 

(a)                                 To furnish to Evercore copies of the Registration Statement (excluding exhibits) and copies of the Prospectus (or the Prospectus as amended or supplemented) in such quantities as Evercore may from time to time reasonably request. In case Evercore is required to deliver, under the Securities Act (whether physically or through compliance with Rule 172 under the Securities Act or any similar rule), a prospectus relating to the Shares after the nine-month period referred to in Section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act, or after the time a post-effective amendment to the Registration Statement is required pursuant to Item 512(a) of Regulation S-K under the Securities Act, upon the request of Evercore, and at its own expense, the Company shall prepare and deliver to Evercore as many copies as Evercore may request of an amended Registration Statement or amended or supplemented prospectus complying with Item 512(a) of Regulation S-K or Section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act, as the case may be.

 

(b)                                 Before amending or supplementing the Registration Statement or the Prospectus, to furnish to Evercore a copy of each such proposed amendment or supplement and not to file any such proposed amendment or supplement to which Evercore reasonably objects (other than any prospectus supplement relating to the offering of securities other than the Common Stock).  To furnish to Evercore a copy of each proposed free writing prospectus to be prepared by or on behalf of, used by, or referred to by the Company and not to use or refer to any proposed free writing prospectus to which Evercore reasonably objects. Not to take any action that would result in Evercore or the Company being required to file with the Commission pursuant to Rule 433(d) under the Securities Act a free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of Evercore that Evercore otherwise would not have been required to file thereunder.

 

(c)                                  To file, subject to Section 6(b) above, promptly all reports and any definitive proxy or information statements required to be filed by the Company with the Commission pursuant to Section 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act subsequent to the date of the Prospectus Supplement and for the duration of the Delivery Period. For the duration of the Delivery Period, to include in its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and in its annual reports on Form 10-K, a summary detailing, for the relevant reporting period, (i) the number of Shares sold through Evercore pursuant to this Agreement, (ii) the net proceeds received by the Company from such sales and (iii) the compensation paid by the Company to Evercore with respect to such sales (or alternatively, prepare a prospectus supplement (each, an “Interim Prospectus Supplement”) with such summary information and, at least once a quarter and subject to Section 6(b) above, file such Interim Prospectus Supplement pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act (and within the time periods required by Rule 424(b) and Rules 430A, 430B or 430C under the Securities Act)).

 



 

(d)                                 Subject to Section 6(c) above, to prepare a Prospectus Supplement at the end of each fiscal quarter, with respect to any Shares sold by the Company pursuant to this Agreement during such fiscal quarter in a form previously approved by Evercore and to file such Prospectus Supplement pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act (and within the time periods required by Rule 424(b) and Rules 430A, 430B or 430C under the Securities Act); to file any Permitted Free Writing Prospectus to the extent required by Rule 433 under the Securities Act; to provide copies of the Prospectus and such Prospectus Supplement and each Permitted Free Writing Prospectus (to the extent not previously delivered or filed on the Commission’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval system or any successor system thereto (collectively, “EDGAR”)) to Evercore via e-mail in “.pdf” format on such filing date to an e-mail account designated by Evercore; and, at Evercore’s request, to also furnish copies of the Prospectus and such Prospectus Supplement to the Exchange and each other exchange or market on which sales were effected, in each case, as may be required by the rules or regulations of the Exchange or such other exchange or market.

 

(e)                                  During the Delivery Period, to advise Evercore, promptly after it receives notice thereof, of the issuance of any stop order by the Commission, of the suspension of the qualification of the Shares for offering or sale in any jurisdiction, of the initiation or threatening of any proceeding for any such purpose, or of any request by the Commission for the amending or supplementing of the Registration Statement, the Prospectus Supplement, the Prospectus or any Permitted Free Writing Prospectus or for additional information; and, in the event of the issuance of any such stop order or of any order preventing or suspending the use of any prospectus relating to the Shares or suspending any such qualification, to use promptly its best efforts to obtain its withdrawal.

 

(f)                                   If, after the date hereof and during the Delivery Period, either (i) any event shall occur or condition exist as a result of which the Prospectus would include any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state any material fact necessary in order to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, or (ii) for any other reason it shall be necessary during such same period to amend or supplement the Prospectus or to file any document in order to comply with the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, to promptly advise Evercore by telephone (with confirmation in writing or electronic mail) and to promptly prepare and file, subject to Section 6(b) above, with the Commission an amendment or supplement to the Registration Statement or the Prospectus which will correct such statement or omission or effect such compliance and to furnish to Evercore as many copies as Evercore may reasonably request of such amendment or supplement.

 

(g)                                  To endeavor to qualify the Shares for offer and sale under the securities or Blue Sky laws of such jurisdictions as Evercore shall reasonably request and to continue such qualifications in effect so long as necessary under such laws for the distribution of the Shares, provided, however, that the Company shall not be required to qualify to do business in any jurisdiction where it is not now qualified or to take any action which would subject it to general or unlimited service of process in any jurisdiction where it is not now subject.

 



 

(h)                                 To make generally available to the Company’s security holders and to Evercore as soon as practicable an earnings statement covering a period of at least twelve months beginning with the first fiscal quarter of the Company occurring after the date of this Agreement which shall satisfy the provisions of Section 11(a) of the Securities Act and the Securities Act Regulations.

 

(i)                                     The Company, whether or not the transactions contemplated hereunder are consummated or this Agreement is terminated, will pay or cause to be paid  (A) all expenses (including transfer taxes allocated to the respective transferees) incurred in connection with the delivery to Evercore of the Shares, (B) all expenses and fees (including, without limitation, fees and expenses of the Company’s counsel) in connection with the preparation, printing, filing, delivery, and shipping of the Registration Statement (including the financial statements therein and all amendments, schedules, and exhibits thereto), the Shares, the Prospectus, any Permitted Free Writing Prospectus and any amendment thereof or supplement thereto, and the printing, delivery, and shipping of this Agreement and other underwriting documents, including Blue Sky Memoranda (covering the states and other applicable jurisdictions which Evercore shall designate), (C) all filing fees and reasonable fees and disbursements of Evercore’s counsel incurred in connection with the qualification of the Shares for offering and sale by Evercore or by dealers under the securities or blue sky laws of the states and other jurisdictions which Evercore shall designate, (D) the fees and expenses of any transfer agent or registrar, (E) the filing fees and reasonable fees and disbursements of Evercore’s counsel incident to any required review and approval by FINRA of the terms of the sale of the Shares, (F) listing fees, if any, and (G) all other costs and expenses incident to the performance of its obligations hereunder that are not otherwise specifically provided for herein, subject in the case of expenses and fees incurred by Evercore to the limitations in Section 4(b).

 

(j)                                    If the third anniversary of the initial effective date of the Registration Statement occurs before all the Shares have been sold, prior to such third anniversary, to file, subject to Section 6(b), a new shelf registration statement and to take any other action necessary to permit the public offering of the Shares to continue without interruption (references herein to the Registration Statement shall include the new registration statement declared effective by the Commission).

 

(k)                                 To use its commercially reasonable efforts to cause the Shares to be listed for trading on the Exchange and to maintain such listing.

 

(l)                                     Upon commencement of the offering of the Shares under this Agreement (and upon the recommencement of the offering of the Shares under this Agreement following the termination of a suspension of sales hereunder), and each time that (i) the Registration Statement or the Prospectus shall be amended or supplemented (other than a prospectus supplement relating solely to the offering of securities other than the Shares), (ii) there is filed with the Commission any document incorporated by reference into the Prospectus (other than a Current Report on Form 8-K, unless Evercore shall otherwise reasonably request), or (iii) the Shares are delivered to Evercore as principals on a Settlement Date (such commencement date and each such date referred to in (i), (ii) and

 



 

(iii) above, a “Representation Date”), to furnish or cause to be furnished to Evercore a certificate dated and delivered the date of effectiveness of such amendment, the date of filing with the Commission of such supplement or other document, or the relevant Settlement Date, as the case may be, in form reasonably satisfactory to Evercore to the effect that the statements contained in the certificate referred to in Section 8(d) of this Agreement are true and correct at the time of such amendment, supplement, filing, or delivery, as the case may be, as though made at and as of such time modified as necessary to relate to the Registration Statement and the Prospectus as amended and supplemented at the time of delivery of such certificate.

 

(m)                             Upon commencement of the offering of the Shares under this Agreement (and upon the recommencement of the offering of the Shares under this Agreement following the termination of a suspension of sales hereunder) and at each other date specified in Section 8(e), the Company shall cause to be furnished to Evercore, dated as of such date, each in form and substance reasonably satisfactory to Evercore, (i) the written opinion and negative assurance letter of Locke Lord LLP, the Company’s counsel, or other counsel to the Company reasonably acceptable to Evercore, and (ii) the written opinion letter of the General Counsel of the Company, each opinion and letter modified as necessary to relate to the Registration Statement and the Prospectus as amended and supplemented at the time of delivery of such opinion and letter.

 

(n)                                 With respect to Section 6(m) above, in lieu of delivering such opinion or letter for Representation Dates subsequent to the commencement of the offering of the Shares under this Agreement, such counsel may furnish Evercore with a letter (a “Reliance Letter”) to the effect that Evercore may rely on a prior opinion or letter delivered under Section 6(m) to the same extent as if it were dated the date of such letter (except that statements in such prior opinion or letter shall be deemed to relate to the Registration Statement and the Prospectus as amended or supplemented as of such Representation Date).

 

(o)                                 At each date specified in Section 8(f), the Auditors shall deliver to Evercore the comfort letters described in Section 8(f).

 

(p)                                 To comply with any due diligence review or call reasonably requested by Evercore.

 

(q)                                 To reserve and keep available at all times, free of preemptive rights, Shares for the purpose of enabling the Company to satisfy its obligations hereunder.

 

(r)                                    That, subject to compliance with any applicable requirements of Regulation M under the Exchange Act, it consents to Evercore trading in the Common Stock for Evercore’s own account and for the accounts of its clients at the same time as sales of the Shares occur pursuant to this Agreement.

 

(s)                                   That each acceptance by the Company of an offer to purchase the Shares hereunder shall be deemed to be an affirmation to Evercore that the representations and warranties of the Company contained in or made pursuant to this Agreement are true and

 



 

correct as of the date of such acceptance as though made at and as of such date, and an undertaking that such representations and warranties will be true and correct as of the Settlement Date for the Shares relating to such acceptance as though made at and as of such date (except that such representations and warranties shall be deemed to relate to the Registration Statement and the Prospectus as amended and supplemented at such time).

 

(t)                                    Not to sell, offer to sell, contract or agree to sell, hypothecate, pledge, grant any option to sell or otherwise dispose of or agree to dispose of, directly or indirectly, any shares of the Common Stock or securities convertible into or exchangeable or exercisable for the Common Stock or warrants or other rights to purchase the Common Stock or any other securities of the Company that are substantially similar to the Common Stock or permit the registration under the Securities Act of any shares of the Common Stock, except for (i) the registration of the Shares and the sales through Evercore pursuant to this Agreement, (ii) any shares of Common Stock issued by the Company upon the exercise of an option or warrant or the conversion of a security outstanding on the date hereof and referred to in the Prospectus, (iii) any shares of Common Stock issued or options to purchase Common Stock granted pursuant to existing employee benefit plans of the Company or (iv) any shares of Common Stock issued pursuant to any non-employee director stock plan, dividend reinvestment plan or stock purchase plan of the Company, during the Delivery Period, without (A) giving Evercore at least three business days’ prior written notice specifying the nature of the proposed sale and the date of such proposed sale and (B) Evercore suspending activity under this program for such period of time as requested by the Company

 

(u)                                 During the period of three years after the date of this Agreement, the Company will furnish to Evercore as soon as practicable after the end of each fiscal year, a copy of its annual report to stockholders for such year; and the Company will furnish to Evercore (i) as soon as available, a copy of each report and any definitive proxy statement of the Company filed with the Commission under the Exchange Act or mailed to stockholders, and (ii) from time to time, such other information concerning the Company as Evercore may reasonably request in writing.  However, so long as the Company is subject to the reporting requirements of either Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act and is timely filing reports with the Commission on EDGAR, it is not required to furnish such filed reports or statements to Evercore required pursuant to subsection (i) above.

 

(v)                                 If the Company has reason to believe that the exemptive provisions set forth in Rule 101(c)(1) of Regulation M under the Exchange Act are not satisfied with respect to the Company or the Common Stock, it shall promptly notify Evercore and sales of the Placement Shares under this Agreement shall be suspended until that or other exemptive provisions have been satisfied in the judgment of each party; provided, however, that notwithstanding the foregoing, sales of the Placement Shares under this Agreement shall not be suspended with respect to any Placement for which the Company confirms in writing that its actions would not violate Regulation M under the Exchange Act.

 



 

(w)                               The Company shall not request that Evercore sell Placement Shares pursuant to this Agreement if and to the extent that the aggregate of all Placement Shares exceeds 19.9% of the outstanding Common Stock in contravention of the Exchange’s corporate governance listing rules.

 

(x)                                 The Company shall: (i) at a time three business days before the commencement of the offering of the Shares under this Agreement, provide a notice (in the form attached hereto as Exhibit D, the “Investor Notice”) to BGP, Inc., China National Petroleum Corporation (“BGP”), notifying BGP of the commencement of the offering of the Shares under this Agreement, (ii) upon the sale of any Shares under this Agreement, provide a sale confirmation, in the form attached to the Investor Notice as Annex B, to BGP, (iii) so long as this Agreement remains in full force and effect and not terminated hereunder pursuant to Section 12(a) or (b) below or otherwise by mutual agreement of the parties, provide an updated Investor Notice to BGP not more than every one hundred eighty (180) days and (iv) conduct all sales of Shares under this Agreement in conformity with the procedures described in the Investor Notice.

 

7.                                      Covenants of Evercore.  Evercore covenants with the Company not to take any action that would result in the Company being required to file with the Commission under Rule 433(d) a free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of Evercore that otherwise would not be required to be filed by the Company thereunder, but for the action of Evercore.

 

8.                                      Conditions of Evercore’s Obligations.  The obligations of Evercore hereunder with respect to a Placement will be subject to the continuing accuracy and completeness of the representations and warranties of the Company contained in this Agreement or in certificates of any officer of the Company or any subsidiary of the Company delivered pursuant to the provisions hereof, to the performance by the Company of its covenants and other obligations hereunder, and to the following further conditions:

 

(a)                                 If filing of the Prospectus, or any amendment or supplement thereto, or any Permitted Free Writing Prospectus, is required under the Securities Act or the Securities Act Regulations, the Company shall have filed the Prospectus (or such amendment or supplement) or such Permitted Free Writing Prospectus with the Commission in the manner and within the time period so required (without reliance on Rule 424(b)(8) or Rule 164(b)); the Registration Statement shall remain effective and shall be available for (i) all sales of Placement Shares issued pursuant to all prior Placement Notices (each as amended by a corresponding Acceptance, if applicable) and (ii) the sale of all Placement Shares contemplated to be issued by any Placement Notice (each as amended by a corresponding Acceptance, if applicable); no stop order suspending the effectiveness of the Registration Statement or any part thereof, or any amendment thereof, nor suspending or preventing the use of the General Disclosure Package or the Prospectus shall have been issued; no proceedings for the issuance of such an order shall have been initiated or threatened; any request of the Commission for additional information (to be included in the Registration Statement, the Prospectus or the General Disclosure Package or otherwise) shall have been complied with to Evercore’s satisfaction; and FINRA shall have raised no objection to the fairness and reasonableness of the underwriting terms and arrangements.

 



 

(b)                                 Evercore shall not have determined and advised the Company that the Registration Statement, the Prospectus or the General Disclosure Package, or any amendment thereof or supplement thereto, or any Permitted Free Writing Prospectus, contains an untrue statement of fact which, in Evercore’s reasonable opinion, is material, or omits to state a fact which, in Evercore’s reasonable opinion, is material and is required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein not misleading.

 

(c)                                  Subsequent to the execution and delivery of this Agreement, there shall not have occurred (i) any change, or any development or event involving a prospective change, in the condition (financial or otherwise), results of operations, business, properties or prospects of the Company and its Subsidiaries taken as a whole which, in the reasonable judgment of Evercore, is material and adverse and makes it impractical or inadvisable to market the Shares; (ii) any downgrading in the rating of any debt securities of the Company by any nationally recognized statistical rating organization, or any public announcement that any such organization has under surveillance or review its rating of any debt securities of the Company (other than an announcement with positive implications of a possible upgrading, and no implication of a possible downgrading, of such rating) or any announcement that the Company has been placed on negative outlook; (iii) any change in U.S. or international financial, political or economic conditions or currency exchange rates or exchange controls, the effect of which is such as to make it, in the reasonable judgment of Evercore, impractical to market or to enforce contracts for the sale of the Shares, whether in the primary market or in respect of dealings in the secondary market; (iv) any suspension or material limitation of trading in securities generally on the Exchange, or any setting of minimum or maximum prices for trading on such exchange; (v) any suspension of trading of any securities of the Company on the Exchange, any other exchange or in the over-the-counter market; (vi) any banking moratorium declared by any U.S. federal or New York authorities; (vii) any major disruption of settlements of securities, payment, or clearance services in the United States or any other country where such securities are listed or (viii) any attack on, outbreak or escalation of hostilities or act of terrorism involving the United States, any declaration of war by Congress or any other national or international calamity or emergency if, in the reasonable judgment of Evercore, the effect of any such attack, outbreak, escalation, act, declaration, calamity or emergency is such as to make it impractical or inadvisable to market the Shares or to enforce contracts for the sale of the Shares.

 

(d)                                 Evercore shall have received on each Representation Date, and on such other dates as may be reasonably requested by Evercore, a certificate, dated such Representation Date and signed by an executive officer of the Company, to the effect set forth in Section 8(c)(i) above and to the effect that (i) the representations and warranties of the Company contained in this Agreement are true and correct as of such Representation Date; (ii) the Company has complied with all of the agreements and satisfied all of the conditions on its part to be performed or satisfied hereunder on or before such Representation Date; (iii) no stop order suspending the effectiveness of the Registration Statement has been issued and no proceeding for that purpose has been initiated or, to the knowledge of the Company, threatened by the Commission; (iv) the Prospectus Supplement, any Interim Prospectus Supplement and each Permitted Free Writing Prospectus have been timely filed with the Commission under the Securities Act

 



 

(in the case of a Permitted Free Writing Prospectus, to the extent required by Rule 433 under the Securities Act), and all requests for additional information on the part of the Commission have been complied with or otherwise satisfied; (v) if delivered on a Representation Date that is not also a Settlement Date, as of such Representation Date, or if delivered on a Settlement Date, at the applicable Time of Sale relating to the Shares, the Registration Statement did not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state any material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein not misleading; (vi) if delivered on a Representation Date that is not also a Settlement Date, as of such Representation Date, or if delivered on a Settlement Date, at the Time of Sale relating to the applicable Shares and at the Settlement Date, the General Disclosure Package did not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state any material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading; provided, however, that no such certificate shall apply to any statements or omissions made in reliance upon and in conformity with the Agent Information; and (vii) the Shares to be sold on that date, if any, have been duly and validly authorized by the Company and that all corporate action required to be taken for the authorization, issuance and sale of the Shares on that date, if any, has been validly and sufficiently taken.

 

(e)                                  Evercore shall have received upon commencement of the offering of the Shares under this Agreement (and upon the recommencement of the offering of the Shares under this Agreement following the termination of a suspension of sales hereunder), on each Representation Date, and on such other dates as may be reasonably requested by Evercore, the written opinion and negative assurance letter of Locke Lord LLP, the Company’s counsel, or other counsel to the Company reasonably acceptable to Evercore, and the written opinion letter of the General Counsel of the Company, each in form and substance satisfactory to Evercore.  In lieu of delivering such opinion or letter for Representation Dates subsequent to the commencement of the offering of the Shares under this Agreement, such counsel may furnish Evercore with a Reliance Letter.

 

(f)                                   Evercore shall have received, upon commencement of the offering of the Shares under this Agreement (and upon the recommencement of the offering of the Shares under this Agreement following the termination of a suspension of sales hereunder) and each time that (i) the Registration Statement or the Prospectus shall be amended or supplemented to include additional financial information, (ii) any Shares are delivered to Evercore as principal on a Settlement Date, (iii) the Company shall file an annual report on Form 10-K or quarterly report on Form 10-Q, (iv) there is filed with the Commission any document (other than an annual report on Form 10-K or quarterly report on Form 10-Q) incorporated by reference into the Prospectus which contains additional amended financial information or (v) on such other dates as may be reasonably requested by Evercore, a customary accountant’s “comfort letter” in form and substance satisfactory to Evercore, from the Auditors (the first such letter, the “Initial Comfort Letter”) and updating the Initial Comfort Letter with any information that would have been included in the Initial Comfort Letter had it been given on such date and modified as necessary to relate to the Registration Statement, the Prospectus Supplement, the Prospectus or any issuer free writing prospectus, as amended and supplemented at the date of such letter.

 



 

(g)                                  The Shares shall have been duly authorized for listing on the Exchange upon official notice of issuance at or prior to the Settlement Date.

 

(h)                                 Unless an exemption is available pursuant to FINRA Rule 5110(b)(7)(c)(i), FINRA shall have confirmed that it has not raised any objection with respect to the fairness and reasonableness of the compensation arrangements hereunder.

 

(i)                                     The Company shall have furnished to Evercore and counsel for Evercore such additional documents, certificates and evidence as Evercore or counsel for Evercore may have reasonably requested.

 

All such opinions, certificates, letters and other documents will be in compliance with the provisions hereof only if they are satisfactory in form and substance to Evercore and counsel for Evercore.  The Company will furnish Evercore with such conformed copies of such opinions, certificates, letters and other documents as Evercore shall reasonably request.

 

9.                                      Indemnification and Contribution.

 

(a)                                 The Company agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Evercore, the directors, officers, employees, agents and representatives of Evercore and each person who controls Evercore within the meaning of either the Securities Act or the Exchange Act against any and all losses, claims, damages or liabilities, joint or several, to which they or any of them may become subject under the Securities Act, the Exchange Act or other Federal or state statutory law or regulation, at common law or otherwise, insofar as such losses, claims, damages or liabilities (or actions in respect thereof) arise out of or are based upon (i) an untrue statement or alleged untrue statement of a material fact contained in the Registration Statement, including the information deemed to be a part of the Registration Statement at the time of effectiveness and at any subsequent time pursuant to Rules 430A and 430B of the Securities Act Regulations, the Prospectus, the General Disclosure Package, or any amendment or supplement thereto (including any Incorporated Documents), any issuer free writing prospectus as defined in Rule 433(h) under the Securities Act, or in any materials or information provided to investors by, or with the approval of, the Company in connection with the marketing of the offering of the Common Stock (“Marketing Materials”), including any roadshow or investor presentations made to investors by the Company (whether in person or electronically) or arise out of or are based upon the omission or alleged omission to state therein a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein not misleading, and will reimburse Evercore for any legal or other expenses reasonably incurred by it in connection with investigating or defending against such loss, claim, damage, liability or action; or (ii) in whole or in part upon any inaccuracy in the representations and warranties of the Company contained herein; or (iii) in whole or in part upon any failure of the Company to perform its obligations hereunder or under law; provided, however, that the Company shall not be liable in any such case to the extent that any such loss, claim, damage, liability or action arises out of or is based upon an untrue statement or alleged untrue statement or omission or alleged omission made in the Registration Statement, the Prospectus, the General Disclosure Package, or any such amendment or supplement, any issuer free writing prospectus or in any Marketing

 



 

Materials, in reliance upon and in conformity with Agent Information. This indemnity will be in addition to any liability that the Company may otherwise have.

 

(b)                                 Evercore agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Company, each of its directors, each of its officers who signs the Registration Statement, and each person who controls the Company within the meaning of either the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, to the same extent as the foregoing indemnity from the Company to Evercore, but only with reference to Agent Information. This indemnity will be in addition to any liability which Evercore may otherwise have.

 

(c)                                  Promptly after receipt by an indemnified party under this Section 6 of notice of the commencement of any action, such indemnified party will, if a claim in respect thereof is to be made against the indemnifying party under this Section 6, notify the indemnifying party in writing of the commencement thereof; but the failure so to notify the indemnifying party (i) will not relieve it from liability under Section 6(a) or 6(b) above unless and to the extent it did not otherwise learn of such action and such failure results in the forfeiture by the indemnifying party of substantial rights and defenses and (ii) will not, in any event, relieve the indemnifying party from any obligations to any indemnified party other than the indemnification obligation provided in Section 6(a) or 6(b). The indemnifying party shall be entitled to appoint counsel of the indemnifying party’s choice at the indemnifying party’s expense to represent the indemnified party in any action for which indemnification is sought (in which case the indemnifying party shall not thereafter be responsible for the fees and expenses of any separate counsel retained by the indemnified party or parties except as set forth below); provided, however, that such counsel shall be reasonably satisfactory to the indemnified party.

 

Notwithstanding the indemnifying party’s election to appoint counsel to represent the indemnified party in an action, the indemnified party shall have the right to employ one separate counsel (in addition to one local counsel for each applicable jurisdiction), and the indemnifying party shall bear the reasonable fees, costs and expenses of such separate counsel if (i) the use of counsel chosen by the indemnifying party to represent the indemnified party would present such counsel with a conflict of interest, (ii) the actual or potential defendants in, or targets of, any such action include both the indemnified party and the indemnifying party and the indemnified party shall have reasonably concluded, based on the advice of counsel, that there may be legal defenses available to it and/or other indemnified parties which are different from or additional to those available to the indemnifying party, (iii) the indemnifying party shall not have employed counsel reasonably satisfactory to the indemnified party to represent the indemnified party within a reasonable time after notice of the institution of such action or (iv) the indemnifying party shall authorize the indemnified party to employ separate counsel at the expense of the indemnifying party (it being understood, however, that the indemnifying party shall not be liable for the expenses of more than one separate counsel (in addition to any local counsel) in any one action or series of related actions in the same jurisdiction representing the indemnified parties who are parties to such action). An indemnifying party will not, without the prior written consent of the indemnified parties (which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned or delayed), settle or

 



 

compromise or consent to the entry of any judgment with respect to any pending or threatened claim, action, suit or proceeding in respect of which indemnification or contribution may be sought hereunder (whether or not the indemnified parties are actual or potential parties to such claim or action) unless such settlement, compromise or consent (i) includes an unconditional release of each indemnified party from all liability arising out of such claim, action, suit or proceeding and (ii) does not include a statement as to or an admission of fault, culpability or failure to act by or on behalf of any indemnified party.

 

(d)           In the event that the indemnity provided in Sections 6(a), 6(b) or 6(c) is unavailable to or insufficient to hold harmless an indemnified party for any reason, the Company and Evercore agree to contribute to the aggregate losses, claims, damages and liabilities (including legal or other expenses reasonably incurred in connection with investigating or defending the same) (collectively “Losses”) to which the Company and Evercore may be subject in such proportion as is appropriate to reflect the relative benefits received by the Company on the one hand and by Evercore on the other hand from the offering of the Shares; provided, however, that in no case shall Evercore be responsible for any amount in excess of total discounts and commissions received by Evercore with respect to the offering of the Shares pursuant to this Agreement. If the allocation provided by the immediately preceding sentence is unavailable for any reason, the Company and Evercore severally shall contribute in such proportion as is appropriate to reflect not only such relative benefits but also the relative fault of the Company on the one hand and of Evercore on the other in connection with the statements or omissions which resulted in such Losses as well as any other relevant equitable considerations. Benefits received by the Company shall be deemed to be equal to the total net proceeds (before deducting expenses) received by the Company from sales of the Shares pursuant to this Agreement, and benefits received by Evercore shall be deemed to be equal to the total discounts and commissions received by Evercore in connection therewith.  Relative fault shall be determined by reference to, among other things, whether any untrue or any alleged untrue statement of a material fact or the omission or alleged omission to state a material fact relates to information provided by the Company on the one hand or Evercore on the other, the intent of the parties and their relative knowledge, access to information and opportunity to correct or prevent such untrue statement or omission.  The Company and Evercore agree that it would not be just and equitable if contribution were determined by pro rata allocation or any other method of allocation which does not take account of the equitable considerations referred to above.  Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section 6(d), no person guilty of fraudulent misrepresentation (within the meaning of Section 11(f) of the Securities Act) shall be entitled to contribution from any person who was not guilty of such fraudulent misrepresentation.  For purposes of this Section 6, each person who controls Evercore within the meaning of either the Securities Act or the Exchange Act and each director, officer, employee, agent and affiliates of Evercore shall have the same rights to contribution as Evercore, and each person who controls any of the Company within the meaning of either the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, each officer of the Company who shall have signed the Registration Statement and each director of the Company shall have the same rights to contribution as the Company, subject in each case to the applicable terms and conditions of this Section 6(d).

 



 

10.          Representations and Agreements to Survive Delivery.  All representations, warranties, and agreements of the Company herein or in certificates delivered pursuant hereto, including but not limited to the agreements of the Company contained in Section 9 hereof, shall remain operative and in full force and effect regardless of any investigation made by or on behalf of Evercore or any controlling person thereof, and shall survive delivery of, and payment for, the Shares to and by Evercore hereunder.

 

11.          Effectiveness.  This Agreement shall become effective upon the execution and delivery hereof by the parties hereto.

 

12.          Termination of this Agreement.

 

(a)           The Company shall have the right, by giving written notice as hereinafter specified, to terminate this Agreement in its sole discretion at any time.  Any such termination shall be without liability of any party to any other party, except that (i) with respect to any pending sale through Evercore for the Company, the obligations of the Company, including, but not limited to, its obligations under Section 5 above, shall remain in full force and effect notwithstanding such termination; and (ii) the provisions of Section 2, Section 4(b) and Section 9 of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect notwithstanding such termination.

 

(b)           Evercore shall have the right, by giving written notice as hereinafter specified, to terminate this Agreement in its sole discretion at any time. Any such termination shall be without liability of any party to any other party except that (i) with respect to any pending sale through Evercore for the Company, the obligations of the Company, including, but not limited to, its obligations under Section 5 above, shall remain in full force and effect notwithstanding such termination; and (ii) the provisions of Section 2, Section 4(b) and Section 9 of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect notwithstanding such termination.

 

(c)           This Agreement shall remain in full force and effect until and unless terminated hereunder pursuant to Section 12(a) or (b) above or otherwise by mutual agreement of the parties; provided that any such termination by mutual agreement or pursuant to this clause (c) shall in all cases be deemed to provide that Section 2, Section 4(b) and Section 9 of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.

 

(d)           Any termination of this Agreement shall be effective on the date specified in such notice of termination; provided that such termination shall not be effective until the close of business on the date of receipt of such notice by Evercore or the Company, as the case may be. If such termination shall occur prior to the Settlement Date for any sale of Shares, such sale shall settle in accordance with the provisions of Section 5.

 

13.          Notices.  Except as otherwise provided herein, all communications hereunder shall be in writing and, if to Evercore, shall be mailed, delivered or telecopied to Evercore Group L.L.C., 55 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10055, Attention:  General Counsel; if to the Company, shall be mailed, delivered or telecopied to the Company at ION Geophysical Corporation, 2105 CityWest Blvd., Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77042, Attention: General

 



 

Counsel; or in each case to such other address as the person to be notified may have requested in writing.  Any party to this Agreement may change such address for notices by sending to the parties to this Agreement written notice of a new address for such purpose.

 

14.          Persons Entitled to Benefit of Agreement.  This Agreement shall inure to the benefit of and be binding upon the parties hereto and their respective successors and assigns and the controlling persons, officers, directors and affiliates referred to in Section 9.  Nothing in this Agreement is intended or shall be construed to give to any other person, firm or corporation any legal or equitable remedy or claim under or in respect of this Agreement or any provision herein contained.  The term “successors and assigns” as herein used shall not include any purchaser, as such purchaser, of any of the Shares from Evercore.

 

15.          Absence of Fiduciary Relationship.  The Company acknowledges that in connection with the offering of the Shares: (i) Evercore has acted at arm’s length and owes no fiduciary duties to the Company or any other person, (ii) Evercore owes the Company only those duties and obligations expressly set forth in this Agreement, and (iii) Evercore may have interests that differ from those of the Company.  The Company waives to the full extent permitted by applicable law any claims it may have against Evercore arising from an alleged breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the sale and distribution of the Shares.

 

16.          Governing Law; Consent to Jurisdiction; Waiver of Jury Trial.  This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York.  Except as set forth below, no claim, counterclaim or dispute of any kind or nature whatsoever arising out of or in any way relating to this Agreement (“Claim”), directly or indirectly, may be commenced, prosecuted or continued in any court other than the courts of the State of New York located in the City and County of New York or in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, which courts shall have jurisdiction over the adjudication of such matters, and the Company consents to the jurisdiction of such courts and personal service with respect thereto.  The Company hereby consents to personal jurisdiction, service and venue in any court in which any Claim arising out of or in any way relating to this Agreement is brought by a third party against Evercore or any indemnified party.  EVERCORE AND THE COMPANY WAIVE ALL RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY IN ANY ACTION, PROCEEDING OR COUNTERCLAIM (WHETHER BASED ON CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE) IN ANY WAY ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THIS AGREEMENT.  THE COMPANY AGREES THAT A FINAL JUDGMENT IN ANY SUCH ACTION, PROCEEDING OR COUNTERCLAIM BROUGHT IN ANY SUCH COURT SHALL BE CONCLUSIVE AND BINDING UPON THE COMPANY AND MAY BE ENFORCED IN ANY OTHER COURTS OR JURISDICTION TO WHICH THE COMPANY IS OR MAY BE SUBJECT, BY SUIT UPON SUCH JUDGMENT.

 

17.          Counterparts.  This Agreement may be executed in one or more counterparts and, if executed in more than one counterpart, the executed counterparts shall each be deemed to be an original and all such counterparts shall together constitute one and the same instrument.

 

[Signature Page Follows]

 



 

Please sign and return to the Company the enclosed duplicates of this letter whereupon this letter will become a binding agreement between the Company and Evercore in accordance with its terms.

 

 

Very truly yours,

 

 

 

ION GEOPHYSICAL CORPORATION

 

 

 

 

 

By

/s/ Jamey S. Seely

 

Name:

Jamey S. Seely

 

Title:

Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

Confirmed as of the date first above-

 

mentioned.

 

 

 

EVERCORE GROUP L.L.C.

 

 

 

 

 

By

/s/ James R. Birle, Jr.

 

 

Name:

James R. Birle, Jr.

 

 

Title:

Senior Managing Director

 

 

 

[Signature Page to Equity Distribution Agreement]

 



 

SCHEDULE I

 

Permitted Free Writing Prospectuses

 

None.

 



 

EXHIBIT A

 

FORM OF PLACEMENT NOTICE

 

From:

[                     

]

 

 

 

Cc:

[`                    

]

 

 

 

To:

[                     

]

 

Subject:  Equity Distribution—Placement Notice

 

Gentlemen:

 

Pursuant to the terms and subject to the conditions contained in the Equity Distribution Agreement between ION Geophysical Corporation (the “Company”) and Evercore Group L.L.C. (“Evercore”) dated December    , 2016 (the “Agreement”), I hereby request on behalf of the Company that Evercore sell up to [·] shares of the Company’s common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at a minimum market price of $[·] per share.

 

[ADDITIONAL SALES PARAMETERS MAY BE ADDED, SUCH AS THE TIME PERIOD IN WHICH SALES ARE REQUESTED TO BE MADE, SPECIFIC DATES THE SHARES MAY NOT BE SOLD ON, THE MANNER IN WHICH SALES ARE TO BE MADE BY EVERCORE, AND/OR THE CAPACITY IN WHICH EVERCORE MAY ACT IN SELLING SHARES (AS PRINCIPAL, AGENT, OR BOTH)]

 



 

EXHIBIT B

 

AUTHORIZED INDIVIDUALS FOR PLACEMENT NOTICES AND ACCEPTANCES

 

Evercore Group L.L.C.

 

Name

 

E-Mail Address

 

Phone

Jordan Webb

 

webb@evercore.com

 

(212) 849-3486

Tejwantie Niranjan

 

tejwantie.niranjan@evercore.com

 

(212) 849-3488

 

ION Geophysical Corporation

 

Name

 

E-Mail Address

 

Phone

Steve Bate

 

steve.bate@iongeo.com

 

281-781-1046

Jamey Seely

 

jamey.seely@iongeo.com

 

713-366-7223

 



 

EXHIBIT C

 

SUBSIDIARIES OF THE COMPANY

 

Subsidiary

 

Jurisdiction

 

 

 

Beijing ION Geophysical Co., Ltd.

 

China

Concept Systems Holdings Limited

 

Scotland

Concept Systems Limited

 

Scotland

GMG/AXIS, Inc.

 

Delaware

GX Technology Australia Pty Ltd.

 

Australia

GX Technology Canada, Ltd.

 

Canada

GX Technology Corporation

 

Texas

GX Technology EAME, Limited

 

UK

GX Technology Imaging Services Limited

 

Egypt

GX Technology Poland Sp. Z o.o.

 

Poland

GX Technology Processamento de Dados Ltda.

 

Brazil

GX Technology Sismica Brasil Ltda.

 

Brazil

GX Technology Trinidad, Ltd.

 

West Indies

I/O Cayman Islands, Ltd.

 

Cayman Islands

I/O International, Ltd.

 

Cayman Islands

I/O International Holdings, Ltd.

 

Cayman Islands

I/O Luxembourg S.à r.l.

 

Luxembourg

I/O Marine Systems Limited

 

UK

I/O Marine Systems, Inc.

 

Louisiana

I/O U.K., LTD.

 

UK

I/O U.K. Holdings Limited

 

Scotland

“Inco” Industrial Components ‘s-Gravenhage B.V.

 

Netherlands

Input/Output Canada, Ltd.

 

Canada

ION China Holdings, Limited

 

Hong Kong

ION Exploration Products (U.S.A.), Inc.

 

Delaware

ION Geophysical CIS LLC

 

Russia

ION Geophysical Sdn. Bhd.

 

Malaysia

ION International Holdings L.P.

 

Bermuda

ION International S.à r.l.

 

Luxembourg

ION International Sales Limited

 

Cyprus

IPOP Management, Inc.

 

Delaware

OceanGeo B.V.

 

Netherlands

Oceangeo Tecnologia de Exploração de Reservatórios do Brasil S.A

 

Brazil

OceanGeo Inc.

 

British Virgin Islands

Sensor Nederland B.V.

 

Netherlands

 



 

EXHIBIT D

 

INVESTOR NOTICE