DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934, AS AMENDED
As of December 31, 2021, Evolv Technologies Holdings, Inc. had two classes of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). References herein to the “Company,” “Evolv,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to the Evolv Technologies Holdings, Inc.
The following description of our capital stock and certain provisions of our Second Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation (as amended from time to time, the “Certificate of Incorporation”), and Amended and Restated Bylaws (as amended from time to time, the “Bylaws”), is a summary and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws and applicable provisions of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware (the “DGCL”). Our Certificate of Incorporation authorizes capital stock consisting of:
1,100,000,000 shares of Class A common stock, par value $0.0001 per share; and
100,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.0001 per share.
The Company has also registered redeemable warrants, each whole warrant exercisable for one share of Class A common stock at an exercise price of $11.50.
Class A Common Stock
Holders of shares of Class A common stock are entitled to one vote for each share held of record on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders. The holders of Class A common stock do not have cumulative voting rights in the election of directors.
In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up and after payment in full of all amounts required to be paid to creditors and to any future holders of preferred stock having liquidation preferences, if any, the holders of Class A common stock will be entitled to receive pro rata our remaining assets available for distribution. Holders of Class A common stock do not have preemptive, subscription, redemption or conversion rights. There are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to the Class A common stock. The rights, powers, preferences and privileges of holders of the Class A common stock are subject to those of the holders of any shares of preferred stock that the board of directors may authorize and issue in the future.
Under the terms of the Certificate of Incorporation, our board of directors is authorized to direct us to issue shares of preferred stock in one or more series without stockholder approval. Our board of directors has the discretion to determine the rights, powers, preferences, privileges and restrictions, including voting rights, dividend rights, conversion rights, redemption privileges and liquidation preferences, of each series of preferred stock.
The purpose of authorizing our board of directors to issue preferred stock and determine its rights and preferences is to eliminate delays associated with a stockholder vote on specific issuances. The issuance of preferred stock, while providing flexibility in connection with possible acquisitions, future financings and other corporate purposes, could have the effect of making it more difficult for a third party to acquire, or could discourage a third party from seeking to acquire, a majority of the outstanding voting stock.
Additionally, the issuance of preferred stock may adversely affect the holders of Class A common stock by restricting dividends on the Class A common stock, diluting the voting power of the common stock or subordinating the liquidation rights of the Class A common stock. As a result of these or other factors, the issuance of preferred stock could have an adverse impact on the market price of the Class A common stock.
Public Stockholders’ Warrants
Each whole warrant entitles the registered holder to purchase one share of our Class A common stock at a price of $11.50 per share, subject to adjustment as discussed below, at any time after August 15, 2021. The warrants expire five years after the completion of the merger between NHIC Sub Inc. (“Merger Sub”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company a special purpose acquisition company, which is our predecessor, and Evolv Technologies, Inc., dba Evolv Technology, Inc. (“Legacy Evolv”), pursuant to which Merger Sub merged with and into Legacy Evolv, with Legacy Evolv surviving the merger as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company (the “Business Combination”), at 5:00 p.m., New York City time on July 16, 2026, or earlier upon redemption or liquidation. Only whole warrants trade.
We will not be obligated to deliver any shares of Class A common stock pursuant to the exercise of a warrant and will have no obligation to settle such warrant exercise unless a registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), with respect to the shares of Class A common stock underlying the warrants is then effective and a prospectus relating thereto is current, subject to our satisfying our obligations described below with respect to registration. No warrant is exercisable and we are not be obligated to issue shares of Class A common stock upon exercise of a warrant unless common stock issuable upon such warrant exercise has been registered, qualified or deemed to be exempt under the securities laws of the state of residence of the registered holder of the warrants. In the event that the conditions in the two immediately preceding sentences are not satisfied with respect to a warrant, the holder of such warrant will not be entitled to exercise such warrant and such warrant may have no value and expire worthless. In no event will we be required to net cash settle any warrant.
We filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) a registration statement for the registration, under the Securities Act, of the shares of Class A common stock issuable upon exercise of the warrants (the “Registration Statement”). The Registration Statement became effective on September 3, 2021. We are obligated to use our best efforts to maintain the effectiveness of the Registration Statement, and a current prospectus relating thereto, until the expiration of the warrants in accordance with the provisions of the warrant agreement. During any period when we will have failed to maintain an effective registration statement, warrant holders may exercise such warrants on a “cashless basis” in accordance with Section 3(a)(9) of the Securities Act or another exemption. Notwithstanding the above, if the shares of Class A common stock are at the time of any exercise of a warrant not listed on a national securities exchange such that they satisfy the definition of a “covered security” under Section 18(b)(1) of the Securities Act, we may, at our option, require holders of public warrants who exercise their warrants to do so on a “cashless basis” in accordance with Section 3(a)(9) of the Securities Act and, in the event we so elect, we will not be required to file or maintain in effect a registration statement, and in the event we do not so elect, we will be obligated to use our best efforts to register or qualify the shares under applicable blue sky laws to the extent an exemption is not available.
We may call the warrants for redemption:
in whole and not in part;
at a price of $0.01 per warrant;
upon not less than 30 days’ prior written notice of redemption (the “30-day redemption period”) to each warrant holder; and
if, and only if, the last reported sale price of the common stock equals or exceeds $18.00 per share (as adjusted for stock splits, stock dividends, reorganizations, recapitalizations and the like) for any 20 trading days within a 30-trading day period ending on the third trading day prior to the date on which we send the notice of redemption to the warrant holders.
We may not exercise our redemption right if the issuance of shares of Class A common stock upon exercise of the warrants is not exempt from registration or qualification under applicable state blue sky laws and we are unable to effect such registration or qualification. We will use our best efforts to register or qualify such shares of Class A common stock under the blue sky laws of the state of residence in those states in which the warrants were offered by us.
We have established the last of the redemption criteria discussed above to prevent a redemption call unless there is at the time of the call a significant premium to the warrant exercise price. If the foregoing conditions are satisfied and we issue a notice of redemption of the warrants, each warrant holder will be entitled to exercise its warrant prior to the scheduled redemption date. However, the price of the Class A common stock may fall below the $18.00 redemption trigger price (as adjusted for stock splits, stock dividends, reorganizations, recapitalizations and the like) as well as the $11.50 warrant exercise price after the redemption notice is issued.
If we call the warrants for redemption as described above, our management will have the option to require any holder that wishes to exercise its warrant to do so on a “cashless basis.” In determining whether to require all holders to exercise their warrants on a “cashless basis,” our management will consider, among other factors, our cash position, the number of warrants that are outstanding and the dilutive effect on our stockholders of issuing the maximum number of shares of Class A common stock issuable upon the exercise of our warrants. If our management takes advantage of this option, all holders of warrants would pay the exercise price by surrendering their warrants for that number of shares of Class A common stock equal to the quotient obtained by dividing (x) the product of the number of shares of Class A common stock underlying the warrants, multiplied by the difference between the exercise price of the warrants and the “fair market value” (defined below) by (y) the fair market value. The “fair market value” shall mean the average last reported sale price of the Class A common stock for the 10 trading days ending on the third trading day prior to the date on which the notice of redemption is sent to the holders of warrants. If our management takes advantage of this option, the notice of redemption will contain the information necessary to calculate the number of shares of Class A common stock to be received upon exercise of the warrants, including the “fair market value” in such case. Requiring a cashless exercise in this manner will reduce the number of shares to be issued and thereby lessen the dilutive effect of a warrant redemption. We believe this feature is an attractive option to us if we do not need the cash from the exercise of the warrants. If we call our warrants for redemption and our management does not take advantage of this option, our sponsor, the anchor investors and their permitted transferees would still be entitled to exercise their private placement warrants for cash or on a cashless basis using the same formula described above that other warrant holders would have been required to use had all warrant holders been required to exercise their warrants on a cashless basis, as described in more detail below.
A holder of a warrant may notify us in writing in the event it elects to be subject to a requirement that such holder will not have the right to exercise such warrant, to the extent that after giving effect to such exercise, such person (together with such person’s affiliates), to the warrant agent’s actual knowledge, would beneficially own in excess of 4.99% or 9.99% (or such other amount as a holder may specify) of the shares of common stock outstanding immediately after giving effect to such exercise.
If the number of outstanding shares of Class A common stock is increased by a stock dividend payable in shares of common stock, or by a split-up of shares of common stock or other similar event, then, on the effective date of such stock dividend, split-up or similar event, the number of shares of Class A common stock issuable on exercise of each warrant will be increased in proportion to such increase in the outstanding shares of Class A common stock. A rights offering to holders of Class A common stock entitling holders to purchase shares of Class A common stock at a price less than the fair market value will be deemed a stock dividend of a number of shares of Class A common stock equal to the product of (i) the number of shares of Class A common stock actually sold in such rights offering (or issuable under any other equity securities sold in such rights offering that are convertible into or exercisable for Class A common stock) and (ii) one (1) minus the quotient of (x) the price per share of Class A common stock paid in such rights offering divided by (y) the fair market value. For these purposes (i) if the rights offering is for securities convertible into or exercisable for Class A common stock, in determining the price payable for Class A common stock, there will be taken into account any consideration received for such rights, as well as any additional amount payable upon exercise or conversion and (ii) fair market value means the volume weighted average price of Class A common stock as reported during the ten (10) trading day period ending on the trading day prior to the first date on which the shares of Class A common stock trade on the applicable exchange or in the applicable market, regular way, without the right to receive such rights.
In addition, if we, at any time while the warrants are outstanding and unexpired, pay a dividend or make a distribution in cash, securities or other assets to the holders of Class A common stock on account of such shares of Class A common stock (or other shares of our capital stock into which the warrants are convertible), other than (a) as described above, (b) certain ordinary cash dividends, (c) to satisfy the redemption rights of the holders of Class A common stock in connection with a proposed initial business combination, (d) to satisfy the redemption rights of the holders of Class A common stock in connection with a stockholder vote to amend our Certificate of Incorporation (i) to modify the substance or timing of the ability of holders of our public shares to seek redemption in connection with our initial business combination or our obligation to redeem 100% of our public shares if we do not complete our initial business combination within 24 months from September 3, 2021 or (ii) with respect to any other provision relating to stockholders’ rights or pre-initial business combination activity, or (e) in connection with the redemption of our public shares upon our failure to complete our initial business combination, then the warrant exercise price will be decreased, effective immediately after the effective date of such event, by the amount of cash and/or the fair market value of any securities or other assets paid on each share of Class A common stock in respect of such event.
If the number of outstanding shares of our Class A common stock is decreased by a consolidation, combination, reverse stock split or reclassification of shares of Class A common stock or other similar event, then, on the effective date of such consolidation, combination, reverse stock split, reclassification or similar event, the number of shares of Class A common stock issuable on exercise of each warrant will be decreased in proportion to such decrease in outstanding shares of Class A common stock.
Whenever the number of shares of Class A common stock purchasable upon the exercise of the warrants is adjusted, as described above, the warrant exercise price will be adjusted by multiplying the warrant exercise price immediately prior to such adjustment by a fraction (x) the numerator of which will be the number of shares of Class A common stock purchasable upon the exercise of the warrants immediately prior to such adjustment, and (y) the denominator of which will be the number of shares of Class A common stock so purchasable immediately thereafter.
In case of any reclassification or reorganization of the outstanding shares of Class A common stock (other than those described above or that solely affects the par value of such shares of Class A common stock), or in the case of any merger or consolidation of us with or into another corporation (other than a consolidation or merger in which we are the continuing corporation and that does not result in any reclassification or reorganization of our outstanding shares of Class A common stock), or in the case of any sale or conveyance to another corporation or entity of the assets or other property of us as an entirety or substantially as an entirety in connection with which we are dissolved, the holders of the warrants will thereafter have the right to purchase and receive, upon the basis and upon the terms and conditions specified in the warrants and in lieu of the shares of our Class A common stock immediately theretofore purchasable and receivable upon the exercise of the rights represented thereby, the kind and amount of shares of stock or other securities or property (including cash) receivable upon such reclassification, reorganization, merger or consolidation, or upon a dissolution following any such sale or transfer, that the holder of the warrants would have received if such holder had exercised their warrants immediately prior to such event. If less than 70% of the consideration receivable by the holders of Class A common stock in such a transaction is payable in the form of common stock in the successor entity that is listed for trading on a national securities exchange or is quoted in an established over-the-counter market, or is to be so listed for trading or quoted immediately following such event, and if the registered holder of the warrant properly exercises the warrant within thirty days following public disclosure of the consummation of such applicable event, the warrant exercise price will be reduced as specified in the warrant agreement based on the Black-Scholes value (as defined in the warrant agreement) of the warrant. The purpose of such exercise price reduction is to provide additional value to holders of the warrants when an extraordinary transaction occurs during the exercise period of the warrants pursuant to which the holders of the warrants otherwise do not receive the full potential value of the warrants in order to determine and realize the option value component of the warrant. This formula is to compensate the warrant holder for the loss of the option value portion of the warrant due to the requirement that the warrant holder exercise the warrant within 30 days of the event. The Black- Scholes model is an accepted pricing model for estimating fair market value where no quoted market price for an instrument is available.
The warrants will be issued in registered form under a warrant agreement between Continental Stock Transfer & Trust Company, as warrant agent, and us. You should review a copy of the warrant agreement, which is filed as an exhibit to our Registration Statement on Form S-1/A filed with the SEC on September 2, 2021, for a complete description of the terms and conditions applicable to the warrants. The warrant agreement provides that the terms of the warrants may be amended without the consent of any holder to cure any ambiguity or correct any defective provision, but requires the approval by the holders of at least a majority of the then outstanding warrants to make any change that adversely affects the interests of the registered holders of public warrants.
In addition, if we issue additional shares of common stock or equity-linked securities for capital raising purposes in connection with the closing of our initial business combination at a newly issued price of less than $9.20 per share of common stock (with such issue price or effective issue price to be determined in good faith by our board of directors and, in the case of any such issuance to our initial stockholders or their affiliates, without taking into account any founder shares or private placement securities held by them, as applicable, prior to such issuance), the exercise price of the warrants will be adjusted (to the nearest cent) to be equal to 115% of the newly issued price.
The warrants may be exercised upon surrender of the warrant certificate on or prior to the expiration date at the offices of the warrant agent, with the exercise form on the reverse side of the warrant certificate completed and executed as indicated, accompanied by full payment of the exercise price (or on a cashless basis, if applicable), by certified or official bank check payable to us, for the number of warrants being exercised. The warrant holders do not have the rights or privileges of holders of Class A common stock and any voting rights until they exercise their warrants and receive shares of Class A common stock. After the issuance of shares of Class A common stock upon exercise of the warrants, each holder will be entitled to one (1) vote for each share held of record on all matters to be voted on by stockholders.
No fractional shares will be issued upon exercise of the warrants. If, upon exercise of the warrants, a holder would be entitled to receive a fractional interest in a share, we will, upon exercise, round down to the nearest whole number the number of shares of Class A common stock to be issued to the warrant holder.
Declaration and payment of any dividend is subject to the discretion of our board of directors. The time and amount of dividends is dependent upon, among other things, our business prospects, results of operations, financial condition, cash requirements and availability, debt repayment obligations, capital expenditure needs, contractual restrictions, covenants in the agreements governing current and future indebtedness, industry trends, the provisions of Delaware law affecting the payment of dividends and distributions to stockholders and any other factors or considerations our board of directors may regard as relevant.
We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings to fund the development and growth of our business, and therefore do not anticipate declaring or paying any cash dividends on our Class A common stock in the foreseeable future.
Our Certificate of Incorporation, Bylaws and the DGCL contain provisions that may delay, defer or discourage another party from acquiring control of us. We expect that these provisions, which are summarized below, will discourage coercive takeover practices or inadequate takeover bids. These provisions are also designed to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to first negotiate with our board of directors, which may result in an improvement of the terms of any such acquisition in favor of our stockholders. However, they also give our board of directors the power to discourage acquisitions that some stockholders may favor.
Authorized but Unissued Shares
The authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock are available for future issuance without stockholder approval, subject to any limitations imposed by the listing standards of the Nasdaq Stock Market. These additional shares may be used for a variety of corporate finance transactions, acquisitions and employee benefit plans. The existence of authorized but unissued and unreserved common stock and preferred stock could make more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of us by means of a proxy contest, tender offer, merger or otherwise.
Classified Board of Directors
Our Certificate of Incorporation provides that our board of directors is divided into three classes of directors, with the classes to be as nearly equal in number as possible, and with each director serving a three- year term. As a result, approximately one-third of our board of directors will be elected each year. The classification of directors has the effect of making it more difficult for stockholders to change the composition of our board of directors.
Stockholder Action; Special Meetings of Stockholders
Our Certificate of Incorporation provides that stockholders may not take action by written consent, but may only take action at annual or special meetings of stockholders. As a result, a holder controlling a majority of capital stock would not be able to amend the Bylaws or remove directors without holding a meeting of stockholders called in accordance with the Bylaws. Further, our Certificate of Incorporation provides that only the chairperson of our board of directors, a majority of our board of directors, our Chief Executive Officer or our President may call special meetings of stockholders, thus prohibiting a stockholder from calling a special meeting.
These provisions might delay the ability of stockholders to force consideration of a proposal or for stockholders controlling a majority of capital stock to take any action, including the removal of directors.
Advance Notice Requirements for Stockholder Proposals and Director Nominations
In addition, our Bylaws establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting or special meeting of stockholders. Generally, in order for any matter to be “properly brought” before a meeting, the matter must be (a) specified in a notice of meeting given by or at the direction of our board of directors, (b) if not specified in a notice of meeting, otherwise brought before the meeting by our board of directors or the chairperson of the meeting, or (c) otherwise properly brought before the meeting by a stockholder present in person who (1) was a stockholder both at the time of giving the notice and at the time of the meeting, (2) is entitled to vote at the meeting, and (3) has complied with the advance notice procedures specified in our Bylaws or properly made such proposal in accordance with Rule 14a-8 under the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations thereunder, which proposal has been included in the proxy statement for the annual meeting. Further, for business to be properly brought before an annual meeting by a stockholder, the stockholder must (a) provide timely notice in writing and in proper form to the secretary and (b) provide any updates or supplements to such notice at the times and in the forms required by our Bylaws. To be timely, a stockholder’s notice must be delivered to, or mailed and received at, our principal executive offices not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days prior to the one-year anniversary of the preceding year’s annual meeting; provided, however, that if the date of the annual meeting is more than 30 days before or more than 60 days after such anniversary date, notice by the stockholder to be timely must be so delivered, or mailed and received, not later than the 90th day prior to such annual meeting or, if later, the 10th day following the day on which public disclosure of the date of such annual meeting was first made.
Stockholders at an annual meeting or special meeting may only consider proposals or nominations specified in the notice of meeting or brought before the meeting by or at the direction of our board of directors or by a qualified stockholder of record on the record date for the meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has delivered timely written notice in proper form to our secretary of the stockholder’s intention to bring such business before the meeting. These provisions could have the effect of delaying stockholder actions that are favored by the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities until the next stockholder meeting.
Amendment of Certificate of Incorporation or Bylaws
Our Bylaws may be amended or repealed by a majority vote of our board of directors or by the holders of at least sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the voting power of all of the then-outstanding shares entitled to vote generally in the election of directors, voting together as a single class. The affirmative vote of a majority of our board of directors and at least sixty-six and two-thirds percent in voting power of the outstanding shares entitled to vote would be required to amend certain provisions of our Certificate of Incorporation
Section 203 of the DGCL
We are subject to Section 203 of the DGCL, which prohibits persons deemed to be “interested stockholders” from engaging in a “business combination” with a publicly held Delaware corporation for three years following the date these persons become interested stockholders unless the business combination is, or the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder was, approved in a prescribed manner or another prescribed exception applies. Generally, an “interested stockholder” is a person who, together with affiliates and associates, owns, or within three years prior to the determination of interested stockholder status did own, 15% or more of a corporation’s voting stock. Generally, a “business combination” includes a merger, asset or stock sale, or other transaction resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. The existence of this provision may have an anti-takeover effect with respect to transactions not approved in advance by the board of directors.
Limitations on Liability and Indemnification of Officers and Directors
Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws provide indemnification and advancement of expenses for our directors and officers to the fullest extent permitted by the DGCL, subject to certain limited exceptions. We have entered into indemnification agreements with each of our directors and officers. In some cases, the provisions of those indemnification agreements may be broader than the specific indemnification provisions contained under Delaware law. In addition, as permitted by Delaware law, our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws include provisions that eliminate the personal liability of directors for monetary damages resulting from breaches of certain fiduciary duties as a director. The effect of this provision is to restrict our rights and the rights of our stockholders in derivative suits to recover monetary damages against a director for breach of fiduciary duties as a director.
These provisions may be held not to be enforceable for violations of the federal securities laws of the United States.
Dissenters’ Rights of Appraisal and Payment
Under the DGCL, with certain exceptions, our stockholders have appraisal rights in connection with a merger or consolidation of our company. Pursuant to Section 262 of the DGCL, stockholders who properly demand and perfect appraisal rights in connection with such merger or consolidation have the right to receive payment of the fair value of their shares as determined by the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Stockholders’ Derivative Actions
Under the DGCL, any of our stockholders may bring an action in our name to procure a judgment in its favor, also known as a derivative action, provided that the stockholder bringing the action is a holder of the our shares at the time of the transaction to which the action relates.
Our Certificate of Incorporation provides that unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, is the sole and exclusive forum for: (i) any derivative action brought by a stockholder on behalf of Evolv, (ii) any claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, stockholders or employees, (iii) any claim against us arising under our Certificate of Incorporation, Bylaws or the DGCL or (iv) any claim against us governed by the internal affairs doctrine. Our Certificate of Incorporation designates the federal district courts of the United States of America as the exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act.