Our Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors is divided into three classes, with each class holding office for staggered three-year terms. The classification of directors may have the effect of making it more difficult for our stockholders to change the composition of the Board of Directors in a relatively short period of time. In addition, the classified board provision could have the effect of discouraging a third party from attempting to gain control of us, even though such an attempt might be beneficial to us and our stockholders. Accordingly, the classified board provision, if effective, could delay, defer or prevent a change in control of our company.
Certain Provisions of Delaware Law
We are subject to the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, or the DGCL, an anti-takeover law. In general, this statute provides that, except in certain limited circumstances, a corporation shall not engage in any “business combination” with an “interested stockholder” for a period of three years after the date of the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. A “business combination” includes mergers, asset sales and other transactions resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. Subject to certain exceptions, for purposes of Section 203 of the DGCL, an “interested stockholder” is a person who, together with affiliates, owns, or within three years did own, 15% or more of the corporation’s voting stock. This provision could have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control of our Company.
Liability of Directors and Officers
As permitted by Delaware law, our charter contains a provision that eliminates the personal liability of the directors to us and our stockholders for monetary damages for breaches of fiduciary duties as directors, except that such provision does not apply to any breach that involves:
a breach of a director’s duty of loyalty to our company;
any act or omission not in good faith or which involves intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law;
a transaction from which the director derives an improper personal benefit; or
the payment of dividends or the approval of stock repurchases or redemptions that are unlawful under the DGCL.
Our by-laws provide that we shall indemnify (a) any person who was or is a party or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending or completed action, suit or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative (other than an action by or in the right of our company) by reason of the fact that he is or was one of our directors, officers or employees, or is or was serving at our request as a director, officer or employee of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise, against expenses (including attorneys’ fees), judgments, fines and amounts paid in settlement, actually and reasonably incurred by him or her in connection with such action, suit or proceeding, provided such person acted in good faith and in a manner he or she reasonably believed to be in, or not opposed to, our best interests, and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was illegal, and (b) any person who was or is a party or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending or completed action or suit by us or in our name to procure a judgment in its favor by reason of the fact that he or she is or was one of our directors, officers or employees, or is or was serving at our request as a director, officer or employee of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise, against expenses (including attorneys’ fees) actually and reasonably incurred by him or her in connection with the defense or settlement of such action or suit if he or she acted in good faith and in a manner he or she reasonably believed to be in, or not opposed to, our best interests and except that no indemnification shall be made in respect of any claim, issue or matter as to which such person shall have been adjudged to be liable for negligence or misconduct in the performance of his or her duty to us unless and only to the extent that the Court of Chancery of Delaware or the court in which such action or suit was brought shall determine upon application that, despite the adjudication of liability but in view of all the circumstances of the case, such person is fairly and reasonably entitled to indemnity for such expenses which the Court of Chancery or such other court shall deem proper.