The "control share" provisions of the MGCL provide that "control shares" of a Maryland corporation (defined as shares which, when aggregated with all other shares controlled by the stockholder, entitle the stockholder to exercise one of three increasing ranges of voting power in the election of directors) acquired in a "control share acquisition" (defined as the acquisition of issued and outstanding "control shares," subject to certain exceptions) have no voting rights except to the extent approved by our stockholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, excluding votes entitled to be cast by the acquirer of control shares, our officers and our employees who are also our directors. Our bylaws contain a provision exempting from the control share acquisition statute any and all acquisitions by any person of our shares of stock. There can be no assurance that this provision will not be amended or eliminated at any time in the future.
The "unsolicited takeover" provisions of the MGCL permit our Board of Directors, without stockholder approval and regardless of what is currently provided in our charter or bylaws, to implement certain provisions if we have a class of equity securities registered under the Exchange Act and at least three independent directors. These provisions may have the effect of inhibiting a third party from making an acquisition proposal for us or of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in our control under circumstances that otherwise could provide the holders of shares of our common stock with the opportunity to realize a premium over the then current market price.
Our Articles of Amendment and Restatement provide that our Board of Directors is classified. The Preferred Stock Directors, serving in Class I and Class II, were designated by our Senior Noteholders and the Common Stock Directors, serving in Class III, were designated by us. The initial terms of the Class I directors will expire at our annual meeting in 2018, the Class II directors in 2019 and the Class III directors in 2020, with directors being elected thereafter to serve three-year terms. During the period commencing on the WIMC Effective Date and terminating on February 9, 2020, for so long as any preferred stock is outstanding, only the holders of preferred stock, voting separately as a class, will be entitled to elect Preferred Stock Directors, and Preferred Stock Directors will be nominated by, and Preferred Stock Director vacancies will be filled by, the Preferred Stock Directors then in office. During such period, only the holders of our successor common stock, voting separately as a class, will be entitled to elect the Common Stock Directors, and Common Stock Directors will be nominated by, and Common Stock Director vacancies will be filled by, the Common Stock Directors then in office.
From the WIMC Effective Date to and including August 9, 2019, we may not, without the approval of at least seven (7) of the nine (9) members of the Board of Directors then in office, (i) sell all or substantially all of our assets, (ii) enter into any transaction pursuant to which a change in control (as defined in the Articles of Amendment and Restatement) would occur, (iii) increase or decrease the size of the Board of Directors, or (iv) amend, alter or repeal certain provisions of our Articles of Amendment and Restatement.
Our authorized but unissued shares of common and preferred stock may prevent a change in our control.
Our charter authorizes us to issue additional authorized but unissued shares of common or preferred stock. In addition, our Board of Directors may, without stockholder approval, classify or reclassify any unissued shares of common or preferred stock into other classes or series of stock and set the preferences, rights and other terms of the classified or reclassified shares. As a result, our Board of Directors may establish a class or series of shares of common or preferred stock that could delay or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium price for our shares of common stock.
Risks Related to Our Relationship with Walter Energy
We may become liable for U.S. federal income taxes allegedly owed by the Walter Energy consolidated group for 2009 and prior tax years. We cannot predict how Walter Energy’s recent bankruptcy filing in Alabama may affect the outcome of these matters.
We may become liable for U.S. federal income taxes allegedly owed by the Walter Energy consolidated group for 2009 and prior tax years. Under federal law, each member of a consolidated group for U.S. federal income tax purposes is severally liable for the federal income tax liability of each other member of the consolidated group for any year in which it was a member of the consolidated group at any time during such year. Certain of our former subsidiaries (which were subsequently merged or otherwise consolidated with certain of our current subsidiaries) were members of the Walter Energy consolidated tax group prior to our spin-off from Walter Energy on April 17, 2009. As a result, to the extent the Walter Energy consolidated group’s federal income taxes (including penalties and interest) for such tax years are not favorably resolved on the merits or otherwise paid, we could be liable for such amounts.