2013 Maryland Code
CORPORATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS
§ 3-603 - Business combinations -- Exemptions


MD Corp & Assn Code § 3-603 (2013) What's This?

§3-603.

(a) For purposes of this section:

(1) “Announcement date” means the first general public announcement of the proposal or intention to make a proposal of the business combination or its first communication generally to stockholders of the corporation, whichever is earlier;

(2) “Determination date” means the most recent date on which the interested stockholder became an interested stockholder; and

(3) “Valuation date” means:

(i) For a business combination voted upon by stockholders, the latter of the day prior to the date of the stockholders’ vote or the day 20 days prior to the consummation of the business combination; and

(ii) For a business combination not voted upon by stockholders, the date of the consummation of the business combination.

(b) The vote required by § 3-602(b) of this subtitle does not apply to a business combination as defined in § 3-601(e)(1) of this subtitle if each of the following conditions is met:

(1) The aggregate amount of the cash and the market value as of the valuation date of consideration other than cash to be received per share by holders of common stock in such business combination is at least equal to the highest of the following:

(i) The highest per share price (including any brokerage commissions, transfer taxes and soliciting dealers’ fees) paid by the interested stockholder for any shares of common stock of the same class or series acquired by it within the 5-year period immediately prior to the announcement date of the proposal of the business combination, plus an amount equal to interest compounded annually from the earliest date on which the highest per share acquisition price was paid through the valuation date at the rate for 1-year United States Treasury obligations from time to time in effect, less the aggregate amount of any cash dividends paid and the market value of any dividends paid in other than cash, per share of common stock from the earliest date through the valuation date, up to the amount of the interest; or

(ii) The highest per share price (including any brokerage commissions, transfer taxes and soliciting dealers’ fees) paid by the interested stockholder for any shares of common stock of the same class or series acquired by it on, or within the 5-year period immediately before, the determination date, plus an amount equal to interest compounded annually from the earliest date on which the highest per share acquisition price was paid through the valuation date at the rate for 1-year United States Treasury obligations from time to time in effect, less the aggregate amount of any cash dividends paid and the market value of any dividends paid in other than cash, per share of common stock from the earliest date through the valuation date, up to the amount of the interest; or

(iii) The market value per share of common stock of the same class or series on the announcement date, plus an amount equal to interest compounded annually from that date through the valuation date at the rate for 1-year United States Treasury obligations from time to time in effect, less the aggregate amount of any cash dividends paid and the market value of any dividends paid in other than cash, per share of common stock from that date through the valuation date, up to the amount of the interest; or

(iv) The market value per share of common stock of the same class or series on the determination date, plus an amount equal to interest compounded annually from that date through the valuation date at the rate for 1-year United States Treasury obligations from time to time in effect, less the aggregate amount of any cash dividends paid and the market value of any dividends paid in other than cash, per share of common stock from that date through the valuation date, up to the amount of the interest; or

(v) The price per share equal to the market value per share of common stock of the same class or series on the announcement date or on the determination date, whichever is higher, multiplied by the fraction of:

1. The highest per share price (including any brokerage commissions, transfer taxes and soliciting dealers’ fees) paid by the interested stockholder for any shares of common stock of the same class or series acquired by it within the 5-year period immediately prior to the announcement date, over

2. The market value per share of common stock of the same class or series on the first day in such 5-year period on which the interested stockholder acquired any shares of common stock.

(2) The aggregate amount of the cash and the market value as of the valuation date of consideration other than cash to be received per share by holders of shares of any class or series of outstanding stock other than common stock in the business combination is at least equal to the highest of the following (whether or not the interested stockholder has previously acquired any shares of the particular class or series of stock):

(i) The highest per share price (including any brokerage commissions, transfer taxes and soliciting dealers’ fees) paid by the interested stockholder for any shares of such class or series of stock acquired by it within the 5-year period immediately prior to the announcement date of the proposal of the business combination, plus an amount equal to interest compounded annually from the earliest date on which the highest per share acquisition price was paid through the valuation date at the rate for 1-year United States Treasury obligations from time to time in effect, less the aggregate amount of any cash dividends paid and the market value of any dividends paid in other than cash, per share of the class or series of stock from the earliest date through the valuation date, up to the amount of the interest; or

(ii) The highest per share price (including any brokerage commissions, transfer taxes and soliciting dealers’ fees) paid by the interested stockholder for any shares of such class or series of stock acquired by it on, or within the 5-year period immediately prior to, the determination date, plus an amount equal to interest compounded annually from the earliest date on which the highest per share acquisition price was paid through the valuation date at the rate for 1-year United States Treasury obligations from time to time in effect, less the aggregate amount of any cash dividends paid and the market value of any dividends paid in other than cash, per share of the class or series of stock from the earliest date through the valuation date, up to the amount of the interest; or

(iii) The highest preferential amount per share to which the holders of shares of such class or series of stock are entitled in the event of any voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the corporation; or

(iv) The market value per share of such class or series of stock on the announcement date, plus an amount equal to interest compounded annually from that date through the valuation date at the rate for 1-year United States Treasury obligations from time to time in effect, less the aggregate amount of any cash dividends paid and the market value of any dividends paid in other than cash, per share of the class or series of stock from that date through the valuation date, up to the amount of the interest; or

(v) The market value per share of such class or series of stock on the determination date, plus an amount equal to interest compounded annually from that date through the valuation date at the rate for 1-year United States Treasury obligations from time to time in effect, less the aggregate amount of any cash dividends paid and the market value of any dividends paid in other than cash, per share of the class or series of stock from that date through the valuation date, up to the amount of the interest; or

(vi) The price per share equal to the market value per share of such class or series of stock on the announcement date or on the determination date, whichever is higher, multiplied by the fraction of:

1. The highest per share price (including any brokerage commissions, transfer taxes and soliciting dealers’ fees) paid by the interested stockholder for any shares of any class of voting stock acquired by it within the 5-year period immediately prior to the announcement date, over

2. The market value per share of the same class of voting stock on the first day in such 5-year period on which the interested stockholder acquired any shares of the same class of voting stock.

(3) The consideration to be received by holders of any class or series of outstanding stock is to be in cash or in the same form as the interested stockholder has previously paid for shares of the same class or series of stock. If the interested stockholder has paid for shares of any class or series of stock with varying forms of consideration, the form of consideration for such class or series of stock shall be either cash or the form used to acquire the largest number of shares of such class or series of stock previously acquired by it.

(4) (i) After the determination date and prior to the consummation of such business combination:

1. There shall have been no failure to declare and pay at the regular date therefor any full periodic dividends (whether or not cumulative) on any outstanding preferred stock of the corporation;

2. There shall have been:

A. No reduction in the annual rate of dividends paid on any class or series of stock of the corporation that is not preferred stock (except as necessary to reflect any subdivision of the stock); and

B. An increase in such annual rate of dividends as necessary to reflect any reclassification (including any reverse stock split), recapitalization, reorganization or any similar transaction which has the effect of reducing the number of outstanding shares of the stock; and

3. The interested stockholder did not become the beneficial owner of any additional shares of stock of the corporation except as part of the transaction which resulted in such interested stockholder becoming an interested stockholder or by virtue of proportionate stock splits or stock dividends.

(ii) The provisions of subparagraph (i)1 and 2 of this paragraph do not apply if no interested stockholder or an affiliate or associate of the interested stockholder voted as a director of the corporation in a manner inconsistent with subparagraph (i)1 and 2 of this paragraph and the interested stockholder, within 10 days after any act or failure to act inconsistent with subparagraph (i)1 and 2 of this paragraph, notifies the board of directors of the corporation in writing that the interested stockholder disapproves thereof and requests in good faith that the board of directors rectify such act or failure to act.

(c) (1) Whether or not such business combinations are authorized or consummated in whole or in part after July 1, 1983 or after the determination date, the provisions of § 3-602 of this subtitle do not apply to business combinations that specifically, generally, or generally by types, as to specifically identified or unidentified existing or future interested stockholders or their affiliates, have been approved or exempted therefrom, in whole or in part, by resolution of the board of directors of the corporation:

(i) Prior to September 1, 1983 or such earlier date as may be irrevocably established by resolution of the board of directors; or

(ii) If involving transactions with a particular interested stockholder or its existing or future affiliates, at any time prior to the most recent time that the interested stockholder became an interested stockholder.

(2) Unless by its terms a resolution adopted under this subsection is made irrevocable, it may be altered or repealed by the board of directors, but this shall not affect any business combinations that have been consummated, or are the subject of an existing agreement entered into, prior to the alteration or repeal.

(d) (1) Unless the charter or bylaws of the corporation specifically provides otherwise, the provisions of § 3-602 of this subtitle do not apply to business combinations of a corporation that, on July 1, 1983, had an existing interested stockholder, whether a business combination is with the existing stockholder or with any other person that becomes an interested stockholder after July 1, 1983, or their present or future affiliates, unless, at any time after July 1, 1983, the board of directors of the corporation elects by resolution to be subject, in whole or in part, specifically, generally, or generally by types, as to specifically identified or unidentified interested stockholders, to the provisions of § 3-602 of this subtitle.

(2) The charter or bylaws of the corporation may provide that if the board of directors adopts a resolution under paragraph (1) of this subsection the resolution shall be subject to approval of the stockholders in the manner and by the vote specified in the charter or the bylaws.

(3) An election under this subsection may be added to but may not be altered or repealed except by a charter amendment adopted by a vote of stockholders meeting the requirements of subsection (e)(1)(iii) of this section.

(4) If a corporation elects under this subsection to be included within the provisions of this subtitle generally, without qualification or limitation, it shall file with the Department articles supplementary including a copy of the resolution making the election and a statement describing the manner in which the resolution was adopted. The articles supplementary shall be executed in the manner required by Title 1 of this article. The articles supplementary constitute articles supplementary under § 1-101(f)(2) of this article, but do not constitute an amendment to the charter.

(e) (1) Unless the charter of the corporation provides otherwise, the provisions of § 3-602 of this subtitle do not apply to any business combination of:

(i) A close corporation as defined in § 4-101(b) of this article;

(ii) A corporation having fewer than 100 beneficial owners of its stock;

(iii) A corporation whose original articles of incorporation have a provision, or whose stockholders adopt a charter amendment after June 30, 1983 by a vote of at least 80 percent of the votes entitled to be cast by outstanding shares of voting stock of the corporation, voting together as a single voting group, and two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by persons (if any) who are not interested stockholders of the corporation or affiliates or associates of interested stockholders, voting together as a single voting group, expressly electing not to be governed by the provisions of § 3-602 of this subtitle in whole or in part, or in either case as to business combinations, specifically, generally, or generally by types, or as to identified or unidentified existing or future interested stockholders or their affiliates, provided that, other than in the case of the original articles of incorporation, an amendment may not be effective until 18 months after the vote of stockholders and may not apply to any business combination of the corporation with an interested stockholder (or any affiliate of the interested stockholder) who became an interested stockholder on or before the date of the vote;

(iv) A corporation registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 as an open end investment company;

(v) A corporation registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 as a closed end investment company unless its board of directors adopts a resolution to be subject to § 3-602 of this subtitle on or after June 1, 2000, provided that the resolution shall not be effective with respect to a business combination with any person who has become an interested stockholder before the time that the resolution is adopted; or

(vi) A corporation with an interested stockholder that became an interested stockholder inadvertently, if the interested stockholder:

1. As soon as practicable (but not more than 10 days after the interested stockholder knew or should have known it had become an interested stockholder) divests itself of a sufficient amount of the voting stock of the corporation so that it no longer is the beneficial owner, directly or indirectly, of 10 percent or more of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation; and

2. Would not at any time within the 5-year period preceding the announcement date with respect to the business combination have been an interested stockholder except by inadvertence.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1)(ii) of this subsection, all stockholders of a corporation that have executed an agreement to which the corporation is an executing party governing the purchase and sale of stock of the corporation or a voting trust agreement governing stock of the corporation shall be considered a single beneficial owner of the stock covered by the agreement.

(f) A business combination of a corporation that has a charter provision permitted by § 2-104(b)(5) of this article is subject to the voting requirements of § 3-602 of this subtitle unless one of the requirements or exemptions of subsection (b), (c), (d), or (e) of this section have been met.

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