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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

302A.671 CONTROL SHARE ACQUISITIONS.

Subdivision 1.Application.

(a) Unless otherwise expressly provided in the articles or in bylaws approved by the shareholders of an issuing public corporation, this section applies to a control share acquisition. A shareholder's proposal to amend the corporation's articles or bylaws to cause this section to be inapplicable to the corporation requires the vote set forth in subdivision 4a, paragraph (b), in order for it to be effective, unless it is approved by a committee of the board comprised solely of directors who:

(1) are neither officers nor employees of, nor were during the five years preceding the formation of the committee officers or employees of, the corporation or a related organization;

(2) are neither acquiring persons nor affiliates or associates of an acquiring person;

(3) were not nominated for election as directors by an acquiring person or an affiliate or associate of an acquiring person; and

(4) were directors at the time an acquiring person became an acquiring person or were nominated, elected, or recommended for election as directors by a majority of those directors.

(b) The shares of an issuing public corporation acquired by an acquiring person in a control share acquisition that exceed the threshold of voting power of any of the ranges specified in subdivision 2, paragraph (d), shall have only the voting rights as shall be accorded to them pursuant to subdivision 4a.

Subd. 2.Information statement.

An acquiring person shall deliver to the issuing public corporation at its principal executive office an information statement containing all of the following:

(a) the identity and background of the acquiring person, including the identity and background of each member of any partnership, limited partnership, syndicate, or other group constituting the acquiring person, and the identity and background of each affiliate and associate of the acquiring person, including the identity and background of each affiliate and associate of each member of such partnership, syndicate, or other group; provided, however, that with respect to a limited partnership, the information need only be given with respect to a partner who is denominated or functions as a general partner and each affiliate and associate of the general partner;

(b) a reference that the information statement is made under this section;

(c) the number and class or series of shares of the issuing public corporation beneficially owned, directly or indirectly, before the control share acquisition by each of the persons identified pursuant to paragraph (a);

(d) the number and class or series of shares of the issuing public corporation acquired or proposed to be acquired pursuant to the control share acquisition by each of the persons identified pursuant to paragraph (a) and specification of which of the following ranges of voting power in the election of directors that, except for this section, resulted or would result from consummation of the control share acquisition:

(1) at least 20 percent but less than 33-1/3 percent;

(2) at least 33-1/3 percent but less than or equal to 50 percent;

(3) over 50 percent; and

(e) the terms of the control share acquisition or proposed control share acquisition, including, but not limited to, the source of funds or other consideration and the material terms of the financial arrangements for the control share acquisition; plans or proposals of the acquiring person (including plans or proposals under consideration) to (1) liquidate or dissolve the issuing public corporation, (2) sell all or a substantial part of its assets, or merge it or exchange its shares with any other person, (3) change the location of its principal place of business or its principal executive office or of a material portion of its business activities, (4) change materially its management or policies of employment, (5) change materially its charitable or community contributions or its policies, programs, or practices relating thereto, (6) change materially its relationship with suppliers or customers or the communities in which it operates, or (7) make any other material change in its business, corporate structure, management or personnel; and other objective facts as would be substantially likely to affect the decision of a shareholder with respect to voting on the control share acquisition.

If any material change occurs in the facts set forth in the information statement, including but not limited to any material increase or decrease in the number of shares of the issuing public corporation acquired or proposed to be acquired by the persons identified pursuant to paragraph (a), the acquiring person shall promptly deliver to the issuing public corporation at its principal executive office an amendment to the information statement containing information relating to the material change. An increase or decrease or proposed increase or decrease equal, in the aggregate for all persons identified pursuant to paragraph (a), to one percent or more of the total number of outstanding shares of any class or series of the issuing public corporation shall be deemed "material" for purposes of this paragraph; an increase or decrease or proposed increase or decrease of less than this amount may be material, depending upon the facts and circumstances.

Subd. 3.Meeting of shareholders.

If the acquiring person so requests in writing at the time of delivery of an information statement pursuant to subdivision 2, and has made, or has made a bona fide written offer to make, a control share acquisition and gives a written undertaking to pay or reimburse the issuing public corporation's expenses of a special meeting, except the expenses of the issuing public corporation in opposing according voting rights with respect to shares acquired or to be acquired in the control share acquisition, within ten days after receipt by the issuing public corporation of the information statement, a special meeting of the shareholders of the issuing public corporation shall be called pursuant to section 302A.433, subdivision 1, for the sole purpose of considering the voting rights to be accorded to shares referred to in subdivision 1, paragraph (b), acquired or to be acquired pursuant to the control share acquisition. The special meeting shall be held no later than 55 days after receipt of the information statement and written undertaking to pay or reimburse the issuing public corporation's expenses of the special meeting, unless the acquiring person agrees to a later date. If the acquiring person so requests in writing at the time of delivery of the information statement, (1) the special meeting shall not be held sooner than 30 days after receipt by the issuing public corporation of the information statement and (2) the record date for the meeting must be at least 30 days prior to the date of the meeting. If no request for a special meeting is made, consideration of the voting rights to be accorded to shares referred to in subdivision 1, paragraph (b), acquired or to be acquired pursuant to the control share acquisition shall be presented at the next special or annual meeting of the shareholders of which notice has not been given, unless prior thereto the matter of the voting rights becomes moot. The issuing public corporation is not required to have the voting rights to be accorded to shares acquired or to be acquired according to a control share acquisition considered at the next special or annual meeting of the shareholders unless it has received the information statement and documents required by subdivision 4 at least 55 days before the meeting. The notice of the meeting shall at a minimum be accompanied by a copy of the information statement (and a copy of any amendment to the information statement previously delivered to the issuing public corporation) and a statement disclosing that the board of the issuing public corporation recommends approval of, expresses no opinion and is remaining neutral toward, recommends rejection of, or is unable to take a position with respect to according voting rights to shares referred to in subdivision 1, paragraph (b), acquired or to be acquired in the control share acquisition. The notice of meeting shall be given at least ten days prior to the meeting. Any amendments to the information statement received after mailing of the notice of the meeting must be mailed promptly to the shareholders by the issuing public corporation.

Subd. 4.Financing.

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this chapter, no call of a special meeting of the shareholders of the issuing public corporation shall be made pursuant to subdivision 3 and no consideration of the voting rights to be accorded to shares referred to in subdivision 1, paragraph (b), acquired or to be acquired pursuant to a control share acquisition shall be presented at any special or annual meeting of the shareholders of the issuing public corporation unless at the time of delivery of the information statement pursuant to subdivision 2, the acquiring person shall have entered into, and shall deliver to the issuing public corporation a copy or copies of, a definitive financing agreement or definitive financing agreements, with one or more responsible financial institutions or other entities having the necessary financial capacity, for any financing of the control share acquisition not to be provided by funds of the acquiring person. A financing agreement is not deemed not definitive for purposes of this subdivision solely because it contains conditions or contingencies customarily contained in term loan agreements with financial institutions.

Subd. 4a.Voting rights.

(a) Shares referred to in subdivision 1, paragraph (b), acquired in a control share acquisition shall have the same voting rights as other shares of the same class or series only if approved by resolution of shareholders of the issuing public corporation at a special or annual meeting of shareholders pursuant to subdivision 3.

(b) The resolution of shareholders must be approved by (1) the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the voting power of all shares entitled to vote including all shares held by the acquiring person, and (2) the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the voting power of all shares entitled to vote excluding all interested shares. A class or series of shares of the issuing public corporation is entitled to vote separately as a class or series if any provision of the control share acquisition would, if contained in a proposed amendment to the articles, entitle the class or series to vote separately as a class or series.

(c) To have the voting rights accorded by approval of a resolution of shareholders, any proposed control share acquisition not consummated prior to the time of the shareholder approval must be consummated within 180 days after the shareholder approval.

(d) Any shares referred to in subdivision 1, paragraph (b), acquired in a control share acquisition that do not have voting rights accorded to them by approval of a resolution of shareholders shall regain their voting rights upon transfer to a person other than the acquiring person or any affiliate or associate of the acquiring person unless the acquisition of the shares by the other person constitutes a control share acquisition, in which case the voting rights of the shares are subject to the provisions of this section.

Subd. 5.Rights of action.

An acquiring person, an issuing public corporation, and shareholders of an issuing public corporation may sue at law or in equity to enforce the provisions of this section and section 302A.449, subdivision 7.

Subd. 6.Redemption.

Unless otherwise expressly provided in the articles or in bylaws approved by the shareholders of an issuing public corporation, the issuing public corporation shall have the option to call for redemption all but not less than all shares referred to in subdivision 1, paragraph (b), acquired in a control share acquisition, at a redemption price equal to the market value of the shares at the time the call for redemption is given, in the event (1) an information statement has not been delivered to the issuing public corporation by the acquiring person by the tenth day after the control share acquisition, or (2) an information statement has been delivered but the shareholders have voted not to accord voting rights to such shares pursuant to subdivision 4a, paragraph (b). The call for redemption shall be given by the issuing public corporation within 30 days after the event giving the issuing public corporation the option to call the shares for redemption and the shares shall be redeemed within 60 days after the call is given.