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Boston College Law School

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Genzyme's top-up option

The Genzyme-Sanofi transaction is being structured as a tender offer with a back end short form merger (merger agreement).  To accomplish the short merger, they are employing a top-up option.  The top-up option language is below.  The option is triggered when the purchaser owns 75% of the outstanding shares.  I love the math of these things.  Right now, Genzyme has about 300,000,000 261,778,425  shares issued and outstanding on a base of 690,000,000 authorized shares.  If Sanofi gets 75% of the shares in the tender, then Genzyme will have to issue an additional 300,000,000 390,000,000 shares (essentially all of the authorized stock) to bring Sanofi up to 90% so they can accomplish the short form merger.   The Delaware courts have passed on even more dilutive top-up option – provided they don’t adversely affect the appraisal rights stockholders who haven’t tendered, etc (see In re Cogent).  Massachusetts hasn’t though. I suspect that if they look at this, they’ll conclude no-harm, no-foul.  In any event, Genzyme reminds us that when we start talking about top-up options, we had better make sure the seller has sufficient authorized shares – as Genzyme does - to make it work

 

Section 1.5 Top-Up Option.

          (a) Subject to the terms and conditions set forth herein, the Company hereby grants to Purchaser an irrevocable option (the “Top-Up Option”) to purchase, at a price per share equal to the greater of (i) the closing price of a Share on Nasdaq the last trading day prior to the exercise of the Top-Up Option or (ii) the Cash Consideration, that number of newly issued Shares (the “Top-Up Shares”) equal to the lowest number of Shares that, when added to the number of Shares owned by Purchaser at the time of exercise of the Top-Up Option (after giving effect to the issuance of the Top-Up Shares but excluding from Purchaser’s ownership, but not from the outstanding Shares, Shares tendered pursuant to guaranteed delivery procedures that have not yet been delivered in settlement or satisfaction of such guarantee), constitutes one Share more than ninety percent (90%) of all outstanding Shares (assuming the issuance of the Top-Up Shares). The Top-Up Option will only be exercised one time by Purchaser in whole but not in part, and only if clauses (x) and (y) of the following sentence are satisfied. The Top-Up Option will be exercised by Purchaser, and Parent will cause Purchaser to exercise the Top-Up Option, promptly (but in no event later than one (1) Business Day) after the Acceptance Time or the expiration of a Subsequent Offering Period, as applicable, if (x) at the Acceptance Time or the expiration of such Subsequent Offering Period, as applicable, Purchaser owns in the aggregate at least seventy-five percent (75%) of all Shares then outstanding (excluding from Purchaser’s ownership, but not from the outstanding Shares, Shares tendered pursuant to guaranteed delivery procedures that have not yet been delivered in settlement or satisfaction of such guarantee) and (y) after giving effect to the exercise of the Top-Up Option, Purchaser would own in the aggregate one Share more than ninety percent (90%) of the number of outstanding Shares (after giving effect to the issuance of the Top-Up Shares but excluding Shares tendered pursuant to guaranteed delivery procedures that have not yet been delivered in settlement or satisfaction of such guarantee); providedhowever, that the obligation of Purchaser to exercise the Top-Up Option and the obligation of the Company to deliver Top-Up Shares upon the exercise of the Top-Up Option is subject to the conditions that (A) no provision of any applicable Law and no applicable order, injunction or other judgment shall prohibit the exercise of the Top-Up Option or the delivery of the Top-Up Shares in respect of such exercise, (B) Purchaser irrevocably commits upon acquisition of the Top-Up Shares to effect the Merger pursuant to Section 2.7, and (C) the number of Top-Up Shares to be issued pursuant to the Top-Up Option does not exceed the number of authorized and unissued shares of Company Common Stock less the maximum number of shares of Company Common Stock potentially necessary for issuance with respect to outstanding Company Equity Awards or other obligations of the Company. The parties will cooperate to ensure that the issuance of the Top-Up Shares is accomplished consistent with all applicable Laws, including compliance with an applicable exemption from registration under the Securities Act. The Top-Up Option shall terminate concurrently with the termination of this Agreement. Purchaser may assign the Top-Up Option and its rights and obligations pursuant to this Section 1.5, in its sole discretion, to Parent.

 -bjmq

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mergers/2011/02/genzymes-top-up-option.html

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