Certain provisions of Maryland law could inhibit a change in control.
Certain provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law ("MGCL") that are applicable to Maryland real estate investment trusts may have the effect of deterring a third party from making a proposal to acquire us or of impeding a change in our control under circumstances that otherwise could provide the holders of our common shares with the opportunity to realize a premium over the then-prevailing market price of our common shares, including:
"business combination" provisions that, subject to limitations, prohibit certain business combinations between us and an "interested shareholder" (defined generally as any person who beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the voting power of our voting shares or an affiliate or associate of ours who was the beneficial owner, directly or indirectly, of 10% or more of the voting power of our then outstanding voting shares at any time within the two-year period immediately prior to the date in question) for five years after the most recent date on which the shareholder becomes an interested shareholder, and thereafter impose fair price and/or supermajority and shareholder voting requirements on these combinations; and
"control share" provisions that provide that "control shares" of our company (defined as voting shares that, when aggregated with other shares controlled by the shareholder, entitle the shareholder to exercise one of three increasing ranges of voting power in electing trustees) acquired in a "control share acquisition" (defined as the direct or indirect acquisition of ownership or control of issued and outstanding "control shares") have no voting rights except to the extent approved by our shareholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, excluding all interested shares.
As permitted by Maryland law, we have elected, by resolution of our board of trustees, to opt out of the business combination provisions of the MGCL and that resolution may not be repealed absent the approval by our shareholders, however, there can be no assurance that the resolution adopted by the board will not be amended or eliminated at some time in the future. Pursuant to a provision in our bylaws, we have elected to exempt any acquisition of our shares from the control share provisions of the MGCL and our bylaws prohibit the repeal, amendment or alteration of this provision without the approval by our shareholders; however, there can be no assurance that this provision will not be amended or eliminated at some time in the future.
Certain advance notice provisions of our bylaws may inhibit a change in control.
Our bylaws provide that (a) with respect to an annual meeting of shareholders, nominations of individuals for election to our board of trustees and the proposal of other business to be considered by shareholders may be made only (i) pursuant to our notice of the meeting, (ii) by the board of trustees or (iii) by a shareholder who was a shareholder of record at the time of the notice of the meeting and at the time of the annual meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting and has complied with the advance notice procedures set forth in the bylaws, and (b) with respect to special meetings of shareholders, only the business specified in our notice of meeting may be brought before the meeting of shareholders and nominations of individuals for election to the board of trustees may be made only (A) pursuant to our notice of the meeting, (B) by the board of trustees, or (C) provided that the board of trustees has determined that directors shall be elected at such meeting, by a shareholder who was a shareholder of record at the time of the notice of the meeting and at the time of the special meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting and has complied with the advance notice provisions set forth in the bylaws. These advance notice provisions may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a transaction or a change in control of our company that might involve a premium to the market price of our common stock or otherwise be in our shareholders' best interests.
Termination of the employment agreements with our executive officers could be costly and prevent a change in control.
The employment agreements that we entered into with each of our executive officers provide that, if their employment with us terminates under certain circumstances (including upon a change in our control), we are required to pay them severance compensation, including accelerating the vesting of their respective equity awards, thereby making it costly to terminate their employment without cause. Furthermore, these provisions could delay or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium paid for our common shares or otherwise be in the best interests of our shareholders.
Our declaration of trust contains provisions that make the removal of our trustees difficult, which could make it difficult for our shareholders to effect changes to our management.
Our declaration of trust provides that, subject to the rights of the holders of one or more classes or series of preferred shares to elect or remove one or more trustees, a trustee may be removed only for cause and only by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast in the election of trustees and that our board of trustees has the exclusive power to fill vacant trusteeships, even if the remaining trustees do not constitute a quorum. These provisions make it