Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 13.1. Corporations
Chapter 9. Virginia Stock Corporation Act
11/13/2019

§ 13.1-718. Action on a plan of merger or share exchange.

A. Subject to the provisions of subdivision F 4, in the case of a domestic corporation that is (i) a party to a merger, (ii) an acquired entity in a share exchange, or (iii) the acquiring entity in a share exchange:

1. The plan of merger or share exchange shall first be adopted by the board of directors.

2. Except as provided in subsections F and G and in §§ 13.1-719 and 13.1-719.1, after adopting the plan of merger or share exchange the board of directors shall submit the plan to the shareholders for their approval. The board of directors shall also transmit to the shareholders a recommendation that the shareholders approve the plan or, in the case of an offer referred to in subsection G, that the shareholders tender their shares to the offeror in response to the offer, unless the board of directors makes a determination that because of conflicts of interest or other special circumstances it should not make such a recommendation, in which case the board of directors shall inform the shareholders of the basis for that determination.

B. The board of directors may set conditions for the approval of the plan of merger or share exchange by the shareholders or the effectiveness of the plan of merger or share exchange.

C. If the plan of merger or share exchange is required to be approved by the shareholders, and if the approval is to be given at a meeting, the corporation shall notify each shareholder, whether or not entitled to vote, of the meeting of shareholders at which the plan is to be submitted for approval. The notice shall state that the purpose, or one of the purposes, of the meeting is to consider the plan and shall contain or be accompanied by a copy or summary of the plan. If the corporation is to be merged into an existing domestic or foreign corporation or eligible entity and its shareholders are to receive shares or other eligible interests or the right to receive shares or other eligible interests in the survivor, the notice shall also include or be accompanied by a copy or summary of the articles of incorporation and bylaws or organic rules of the survivor. If the corporation is to be merged into a domestic or foreign corporation or eligible entity and a new domestic or foreign corporation or eligible entity is to be created pursuant to the merger, the notice shall include or be accompanied by a copy or a summary of the articles of incorporation and bylaws or organic rules of the new corporation or eligible entity.

D. Unless the articles of incorporation, or the board of directors acting pursuant to subsection B, require a greater vote, approval of the plan of merger or share exchange requires the approval of each voting group entitled to vote on the plan by more than two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast by that voting group. The articles of incorporation may provide for a greater or lesser vote than that provided for in this subsection or a vote by separate voting groups so long as the vote provided for is not less than a majority of all the votes cast on the plan by each voting group entitled to vote on the plan of merger or share exchange at a meeting at which a quorum of the voting group exists.

E. Separate voting by voting groups is required:

1. Except as otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation, on a plan of merger by each class or series of shares that:

a. Is to be converted under the plan of merger into shares, other securities, eligible interests, obligations, rights to acquire shares, other securities or eligible interests, cash, other property, or any combination of the foregoing, or is proposed to be eliminated without being converted into any of the foregoing; or

b. Would be entitled to vote as a separate group on a provision in the plan that, if contained in a proposed amendment to articles of incorporation, would require action by separate voting groups under § 13.1-708;

2. Except as otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation, on a plan of share exchange, by each class or series of shares included in the exchange, with each class or series constituting a separate voting group;

3. On a plan of merger, if the voting group is entitled under the articles of incorporation to vote as a voting group to approve a plan of merger; and

4. On a plan of share exchange, if the voting group is entitled under the articles of incorporation to vote as a voting group to approve a plan of share exchange.

F. Unless the articles of incorporation otherwise provide, approval by the corporation's shareholders of a plan of merger or share exchange is not required if:

1. The corporation will survive the merger or is the acquiring corporation in a share exchange;

2. Except for amendments permitted by § 13.1-706, its articles of incorporation will not be changed;

3. Each shareholder of the corporation whose shares were outstanding immediately before the effective time of the merger or share exchange will hold the same number of shares, with identical preferences, limitations, and rights immediately after the effective time of the merger or share exchange; and

4. With respect to shares of the surviving corporation in a merger or the shares of the acquiring entity in a share exchange entity that are entitled to vote unconditionally in the election of directors, the number of shares outstanding immediately after the merger or share exchange, plus the number of shares issuable as a result of the merger or share exchange, either by the conversion of securities issued pursuant to the merger or share exchange or the exercise of options, rights, and warrants issued pursuant to the merger or share exchange, will not exceed by more than 20 percent the total number of shares of the surviving corporation outstanding immediately before the merger or share exchange.

G. Unless the articles of incorporation otherwise provide, approval by the corporation's shareholders of a plan of merger or share exchange is not required if:

1. The plan of merger or share exchange expressly (i) permits or requires such a merger or share exchange to be effected under this subsection and (ii) provides that such merger or share exchange be effected as soon as practicable following the consummation of the offer referred to in subdivision 3 if such merger or share exchange is effected under this subsection;

2. Another party to the merger, the acquiring entity in the share exchange, or a parent of another party to the merger or the acquiring entity in the share exchange, makes an offer to purchase, on the terms provided in the plan of merger or share exchange, any and all of the outstanding shares of the corporation that, absent this subsection, would be entitled to vote on the plan of merger or share exchange, except that the offer may exclude shares of the corporation that are owned at the commencement of the offer by the corporation, the offeror, or any parent of the offeror, or by any wholly owned subsidiary of any of the foregoing;

3. The offer discloses that the plan of merger or share exchange provides that the merger or share exchange will be effected as soon as practicable following the satisfaction of the requirement set forth in subdivision 7 and that the shares of the corporation that are not tendered in response to the offer will be treated as set forth in subdivision 8;

4. The offer remains open for at least 10 business days;

5. The offeror purchases all shares properly tendered in response to the offer and not properly withdrawn;

6. The shares listed below are collectively entitled to cast at least the minimum number of votes on the merger or share exchange that, absent this subsection, would be required by this chapter and by the articles of incorporation for the approval of the merger or share exchange by the shareholders and by any other voting group entitled to vote on the merger or share exchange at a meeting at which all shares entitled to vote on the approval were present and voted:

a. Shares purchased by the offeror in accordance with the offer;

b. Shares otherwise owned by the offeror or by any parent of the offeror or any wholly owned subsidiary of any of the foregoing; and

c. Shares subject to an agreement that they are to be transferred, contributed, or delivered to the offeror, any parent of the offeror, or any wholly owned subsidiary of any of the foregoing in exchange for shares or eligible interests in such offeror, parent, or subsidiary;

7. The offeror or a wholly owned subsidiary of the offeror merges with or into, or effects a share exchange in which it acquires shares of, the corporation; and

8. Each outstanding share of each class or series of shares of the corporation that the offeror is offering to purchase in accordance with the offer, and that is not purchased in accordance with the offer, is to be converted in the merger into, or into the right to receive, or is to be exchanged in the share exchange for, or for the right to receive, the same amount and kind of securities, eligible interests, obligations, rights, cash, or other property to be paid or exchanged in accordance with the offer for each share of that class or series of shares that is tendered in response to the offer, except that shares of the corporation that are owned by the corporation or that are described in subdivision G 6 a or c need not be converted into or exchanged for the consideration described in this subdivision.

9. As used in this subsection:

"Offer" means the offer referred to in subdivision 3.

"Offeror" means the person making the offer.

"Parent" of any entity means a person that owns, directly or indirectly, through one or more wholly owned subsidiaries, all of the outstanding shares or eligible interests in that entity.

"Wholly owned subsidiary" of a person means an entity of or in which that person owns, directly or indirectly, through one or more wholly owned subsidiaries, all of the outstanding shares or eligible interests.

H. If a corporation has not yet issued shares and its articles of incorporation do not otherwise provide, its board of directors may adopt and approve a plan of merger or share exchange on behalf of the corporation without shareholder action.

I. If as a result of a merger or share exchange one or more shareholders of a domestic corporation would become subject to new interest holder liability, approval of the plan of merger or share exchange requires the signing in connection with the transaction, by each such shareholder, of a separate written consent to become subject to such new interest holder liability, unless in the case of a shareholder that already has interest holder liability with respect to such domestic corporation, (i) the new interest holder liability is with respect to a domestic or foreign corporation, which may be a different or the same domestic corporation in which the person is a shareholder, and (ii) the terms and conditions of the new interest holder liability are substantially identical to those of the existing interest holder liability, other than for changes that eliminate or reduce such interest holder liability.

J. Shares tendered in response to an offer shall be deemed, for purposes of this section, to have been purchased in accordance with the offer at the earliest time as of which the offeror has irrevocably accepted those shares for payment and either (i) in the case of shares represented by certificates, the offeror, or the offeror's designated depository or other agent, has physically received the certificates representing those shares or (ii) in the case of shares without certificates, those shares have been transferred into the account of the offeror or its designated depository or other agent, or an agent's message relating to those shares has been received by the offeror or its designated depository or other agent.

Code 1950, § 13.1-70; 1956, c. 428; 1975, c. 500; 1985, c. 522; 1991, c. 109; 2005, c. 765; 2006, cc. 363, 663; 2007, c. 165; 2010, c. 782; 2015, c. 611; 2019, c. 734.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.