Southwest Airlines Co.
Extract: Poison Pill Activity: Adoption from a 8-K on 07/03/2024   Download
SEC Document
SEC Filing

On July 2, 2024, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Southwest Airlines Co., a Texas corporation (the “Company”), adopted a shareholder rights plan and declared a dividend of one right (a “Right”) in respect of each of the Company’s issued and outstanding shares of common stock, par value $1.00 per share (“Common Stock”). The dividend is payable to the shareholders of record at the close of business on July 15, 2024 (the “Record Date”). The terms of the Rights are set forth in the Rights Agreement, dated as of July 2, 2024 (as it may be amended from time to time, the “Rights Agreement”), by and between the Company and Equiniti Trust Company, LLC, as rights agent (or any successor rights agent, the “Rights Agent”).

In general terms, the Rights Agreement imposes significant dilution upon any person or group (other than the Company or certain related persons) that is or becomes the beneficial owner of 12.5% (the “Triggering Percentage”) or more of the Company’s outstanding Common Stock without the prior approval of the Board. A person or group that becomes the beneficial owner of the Triggering Percentage or more is called an “Acquiring Person.” Any Rights held by an Acquiring Person will be null and void and may not be exercised. Shareholders that beneficially own the Triggering Percentage or more of the Company’s outstanding Common Stock on the date the plan is adopted, are not considered Acquiring Persons; however, such shareholders generally may not acquire, or obtain the right to acquire, beneficial ownership of one or more additional shares of the Company’s outstanding Common Stock. The term “beneficial ownership” is defined in the Rights Agreement and includes, among other things, certain securities that may be exercised or converted into shares of Common Stock and certain derivative arrangements.

A summary of the terms of the Rights Agreement follows:

The Rights. Each Right initially entitles the registered holder, subject to the terms of the Rights Agreement, to purchase from the Company one ten-thousandth (a “Unit”) of a share of Common Stock, at a price equal to the quotient of $170.00 divided by ten thousand for each Unit of a share of Common Stock, subject to certain adjustments (as adjusted from time to time, the “Exercise Price”). Until a Right is exercised or exchanged, the holder thereof, as such, will have no rights as a shareholder of the Company, including, without limitation, the right to vote or to receive dividends.

Exercisability. Subject to certain exceptions, the Rights will not be exercisable until the earlier to occur of:

 

  (i)

the close of business on the tenth business day after a public announcement or filing that a person has, or group of affiliated or associated persons have, become an Acquiring Person, subject to certain exceptions, or

 

  (ii)

the close of business on the tenth business day after the date that a tender offer or exchange offer is first published or sent or given by any person or group of affiliated or associated persons, the consummation of which would result in such person or group becoming an Acquiring Person.

The date the Rights become exercisable is referred to as the “Distribution Date.” With respect to certificates representing shares of Common Stock outstanding as of the Record Date, until the earlier of the Distribution Date and the Expiration Date (as defined below), the Rights will be evidenced by such certificates for shares of Common Stock registered in the names of the holders thereof, and not by separate Rights Certificates (as defined below). With respect to book entry shares of Common Stock outstanding as of the Record Date, until the earlier of the Distribution Date and the Expiration Date, the Rights will be evidenced by the book entry account system that evidences record ownership of such shares. Until the earlier of the Distribution Date and the Expiration Date, the transfer of any shares of Common Stock outstanding on the Record Date will also constitute the transfer of the Rights associated with such shares of Common Stock. As soon as practicable after the Distribution Date, separate certificates evidencing the Rights (“Rights Certificates”) will be mailed to holders of record of the Common Stock as of the close of business on the Distribution Date, and such Rights Certificates alone will evidence the Rights, subject to certain adjustments. As of and after the Distribution Date, the Rights will be evidenced solely by such Rights Certificates and the Rights shall be transferable separately from the Common Stock.

 

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Flip-In Event. In the event that any person or group of affiliated or associated persons becomes an Acquiring Person, each holder of a Right, other than the Rights beneficially owned by the Acquiring Person, affiliates and associates of the Acquiring Person and certain transferees thereof (which will thereupon become null and void), will, following the Distribution Date, have the right to receive upon exercise of a Right that number of shares of Common Stock (or at the option of the Company, other securities of the Company) having a market value of two times the Exercise Price, unless the Rights were earlier redeemed or exchanged.

Flip-Over Event. In the event that, after a person or group of affiliated or associated persons has become an Acquiring Person, the Company is acquired in a merger or other business combination transaction or 50% or more of the Company’s consolidated assets or earning power are sold, proper provisions will be made so that each holder of a Right (other than Rights beneficially owned by an Acquiring Person, affiliates and associates of the Acquiring Person and certain transferees thereof, which will have become null and void) will thereafter have the right to receive upon the exercise of a Right that number of shares of common stock of the person with whom the Company has engaged in the foregoing transaction (or its parent) that at the time of such transaction have a market value of two times the Exercise Price of the Right.

Expiration. The Rights are not exercisable until the Distribution Date. The Rights will expire prior to the earliest of (i) the close of business on July 1, 2025; (ii) the time at which the Rights are redeemed pursuant to the Rights Agreement; (iii) the time at which the Rights are exchanged pursuant to the Rights Agreement; and (iv) upon the occurrence of certain transactions (the earliest of (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) is referred to as the “Expiration Date”).

Exchange. At any time after any person or group of affiliated or associated persons becomes an Acquiring Person, the Board, at its option, may, in lieu of allowing the Rights to be exercised, exchange the Rights (other than Rights beneficially owned by such Acquiring Person, affiliates and associates of the Acquiring Person and certain transferees thereof, which will have become null and void), in whole or in part, for shares of Common Stock, at an exchange ratio of one share of Common Stock per outstanding Right (subject to adjustments).

Redemption. At any time before a person becomes an Acquiring Person but prior to the Expiration Date, the Board may authorize the redemption of the Rights in whole, but not in part, at a price of $0.001 per Right (subject to certain adjustments) (the “Redemption Price”), payable, at the option of the Company, in cash, shares of Common Stock or such other consideration as the Board shall determine. The redemption of the Rights may be made effective at such time, on such basis and with such conditions as the Board in its sole discretion may establish. Immediately upon the action of the Board ordering the redemption of the Rights, the right to exercise the Rights will terminate and the only right of the holders of Rights will be to receive the Redemption Price.

Anti-Dilution Provisions. The Exercise Price payable, and the number of shares of Common Stock or other securities or property issuable, upon exercise of the Rights are subject to adjustment from time to time to prevent dilution (i) in the event of a stock dividend on, or a subdivision, combination or reclassification of, the Common Stock, (ii) upon the grant to holders of the Common Stock of certain rights or warrants to subscribe for or purchase Common Stock or convertible securities at less than the then-current market price of the Common Stock or (iii) upon the distribution to holders of the Common Stock of evidences of indebtedness or assets (excluding regular periodic cash dividends or dividends) or of subscription rights or warrants (other than those referred to above). The number of outstanding Rights and the number of shares of Common Stock issuable upon exercise of each Right are also subject to adjustment in the event of a stock split, reverse stock split, stock dividends and other similar transactions involving the Common Stock. With certain exceptions, no adjustment in the Exercise Price will be required unless such adjustment would require an increase or decrease of at least 1% of the Exercise Price. No fractional shares of Common Stock will be issued and, in lieu thereof, an adjustment in cash will be made based on the market price of the Common Stock on the last trading day prior to the date of exercise.

Amendments. For so long as the Rights are redeemable, the Company may from time to time in its sole discretion supplement or amend the Rights Agreement in any respect without the approval of any holders of Rights, and the Rights Agent shall, if the Company so directs, execute such supplement or amendment. At any time when the Rights are not redeemable, the Company may amend or supplement the Rights Agreement without the approval of any holders of Rights, including, without limitation, in order to (i) cure any ambiguity, (ii) correct or supplement any provision of the Rights Agreement

 

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that may be defective or inconsistent with any other provisions of the Rights Agreement, (iii) shorten or lengthen any time period in the Rights Agreement or (iv) otherwise change, amend or supplement any provision that the Company may deem necessary or desirable. However, from and after the time when the Rights are no longer redeemable, the Rights Agreement may not be amended or supplemented in any manner that would, among other things, adversely affect the interests of the holders of Rights (other than holders of Rights that have become null and void).