UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

SCHEDULE 14A INFORMATION

 

Proxy Statement Pursuant to Section 14(a) of the

Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

Filed by the Registrant ☒

 

Filed by a Party other than the Registrant ☐

 

Check the appropriate box:

 

Preliminary Proxy Statement

 

Confidential, for Use of the Commission Only (as permitted by Rule 14a-6(e)(2))

 

Definitive Proxy Statement

 

Definitive Additional Materials

 

Soliciting Material under §240.14a-12

 

mPhase Technologies, Inc.

(Name of Registrant as Specified In Its Charter)

 

(Name of Person(s) Filing Proxy Statement, if other than the Registrant)

 

Payment of Filing Fee (Check the appropriate box):

 

No fee required
   
Fee computed on table below per Exchange Act Rules 14a-6(i)(1) and 0-11.

 

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Check box if any part of the fee is offset as provided by Exchange Act Rule 0-11(a)(2) and identify the filing for which the offsetting fee was paid previously. Identify the previous filing by registration statement number, or the Form or Schedule and the date of its filing.

 

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  mPHASE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
  9841 Washingtonian Boulevard, #200
  Gaithersburg, MD 20878
  Tel: (301) 329-2700

 

NOTICE OF 2022 SPECIAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS

 

To Be Held on March        , 2022

 

Dear Stockholder:

 

We are pleased to invite you to attend the 2022 Special Meeting of stockholders (the “Special Meeting”) of mPhase Technologies, Inc. (“mPhase” or the “Company”), which will be held on March      , 2022 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time located at 1101 Wootton Pkwy, #1020, Rockville MD 20852 for the following purposes:

 

  1. To approve an amendment to the Company’s Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation (the “Certificate of Incorporation”) to effect a reverse stock split at a ratio not less than 1-for-10 and not greater than 1-for-45, with the exact ratio to be set within that range at the discretion of our board of directors without further approval or authorization of our stockholders; and

 

  2. To approve and adopt the 2022 Equity and Incentive Plan.

 

Our Board of Directors has fixed February 14, 2022 as the record date (the “Record Date”) for the determination of stockholders entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the Special Meeting and at any adjournment or postponement of the meeting.

  

All stockholders are cordially invited to attend the Special Meeting. Whether or not you expect to attend the Special Meeting, please complete, sign and date the enclosed proxy and return it promptly. If you plan to attend the Special Meeting and wish to vote your shares personally, you may do so at any time before the proxy is voted.

 

IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND:

 

Please note that space limitations make it necessary to limit attendance to stockholders of record only. Registration and seating will begin at 9:30am Eastern Time. Shares of common stock can be voted at the Special Meeting only if the holder is present in person or by valid proxy.

 

For admission to the Special Meeting, each stockholder may be asked to present valid picture identification, such as driver’s license or passport, and proof of stock ownership as of the Record Date, such as the enclosed proxy card or a brokerage statement reflecting stock ownership. Cameras, recording devices and other electronic devices will not be permitted at the meeting.

 

Important Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials for the Special Meeting to be held on March     , 2022 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

 

 

  BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
   
 
Dated: February 8, 2022

Anshu Bhatnagar

  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

 

Whether or not you expect to attend the Special Meeting in person, we urge you to vote your shares at your earliest convenience. This will ensure the presence of a quorum at the Special Meeting. Promptly voting your shares will save mPhase the expenses and extra work of additional solicitation. An addressed envelope for which no postage is required if mailed in the United Stated is enclosed if you wish to vote by mail. Submitting your proxy now will not prevent you from voting your shares at the Special Meeting if you desire to do so, as your proxy is revocable at your option. Your vote is important, so please act today!

 

 

 

 

 

mPHASE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
  9841 Washingtonian Boulevard, #200
  Gaithersburg, MD 20878
  Tel: (301) 329-2700

 

PROXY STATEMENT FOR THE

2022 SPECIAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS

 

To be held on March     , 2022

 

The Board of Directors (the “Board” or “Board of Directors”) of mPhase Technologies, Inc. (“mPhase” or the “Company”) is soliciting your proxy to vote at the 2022 Special Meeting of Stockholders (the “Special Meeting”) to be held at 1101 Wootton Pkwy, #1020, Rockville, MD 20852 on March      , 2022, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, including at any adjournments or postponements of the Special Meeting.

 

Our of Board of Directors is asking you to vote your shares by completing, signing and returning the accompanying proxy card via mail or fax or vote over the Internet. If you attend the Special Meeting in person, you may vote at the Special Meeting even if you have previously returned a proxy card. Please note, however, that if your shares are held of record by a broker, bank or other nominee and you wish to vote at the Special Meeting, you must obtain a proxy issued in your name from that record holder as described in more detail below.

 

We intend to begin mailing this proxy statement, the attached notice of the Special Meeting, the enclosed proxy card, and copies of our Annual Report on Form 10-K and 10-Q for the second quarter ended December 31, 2021 on or about February      , 2022 to all stockholders of record entitled to vote at the Special Meeting. Only stockholders who owned our common stock on February 14, 2022 are entitled to vote at the Special Meeting.

 

 

 

 

mPHASE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

  Page
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THIS PROXY STATEMENT AND VOTING 1
   
PROPOSAL NO. 1: AMENDMENT TO OUR ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION TO EFFECT A REVERSE STOCK SPLIT 6
     
PROPOSAL NO. 2: APPROVAL OF THE COMPANY’S 2022 EQUITY AND INCENTIVE PLAN AND THE RESERVATION OF UP TO 15,000,000 SHARES OF COMMON STOCK FOR THE ISSUANCE THEREUNDER 11
     
OTHER MATTERS 17
   
HOUSEHOLDING 17
   
ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K 18
   

 

 

 

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THIS PROXY STATEMENT AND VOTING

 

What is a proxy?

 

A proxy is the legal designation of another person to vote the stock you own. That other person is called a proxy. If you designate someone as your proxy in a written document, that document is also called a proxy or a proxy card. By completing a proxy card, as more fully described herein, you are designating Anshu Bhatnagar, our Chief Executive Officer as your proxy for the Special Meeting and you are authorizing Mr. Bhatnagar to vote your shares at the Special Meeting as you have instructed on the proxy card. This way, your shares will be voted whether or not you attend the Special Meeting. Even if you plan to attend the Special Meeting, we urge you to vote in one of the ways described below so that your vote will be counted even if you are unable or decide not to attend the Special Meeting.

 

What is a proxy statement?

 

A proxy statement is a document that we are required by regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or “SEC,” to give you when we ask you to sign a proxy card designating Mr. Bhatnagar as proxy to vote on your behalf.

 

Why did you send me this proxy statement?

 

We sent you this proxy statement and the enclosed proxy card because our Board is soliciting your proxy to vote at the 2022 Special Meeting of stockholders. This proxy statement summarizes information related to your vote at the Special Meeting. All stockholders who find it convenient to do so are cordially invited to attend the Special Meeting in person. However, you do not need to attend the meeting to vote your shares. Instead, you may simply complete, sign and return the enclosed proxy card or vote over the Internet.

 

We intend to begin mailing this proxy statement, the attached notice of Special Meeting, the enclosed proxy card, and copies of our Annual Report on Form 10-K and 10-Q for the second quarter ended December 31, 2021 to all stockholders of record entitled to vote at the Special Meeting. Only stockholders who owned our common stock on February 14, 2022 are entitled to vote at the Special Meeting.

 

What Does it Mean if I Receive More than one set of proxy materials?

 

If you receive more than one set of proxy materials, your shares may be registered in more than one name or in different accounts. Please complete, sign, and return each proxy card to ensure that all of your shares are voted.

 

How do I attend the Special Meeting?

 

The Special Meeting will be held on March      , 2022, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time located at 1101 Wootton Pkwy, #1020, Rockville, MD 20852.Information on how to vote in person at the Special Meeting is discussed below.

 

Who is Entitled to Vote?

 

The Board has fixed the close of business on February 14, 2022 as the record date (the “Record Date”) for the determination of stockholders entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the Special Meeting or any adjournment or postponement thereof. On the Record Date, there were shares of [  ] common stock outstanding. Each share of common stock represents one vote that may be voted on each proposal that may come before the Special Meeting.

 

What is the Difference Between Holding Shares as a Record Holder and as a Beneficial Owner (Holding Shares in Street Name)?

 

If your shares are registered in your name with our transfer agent, Worldwide Stock Transfer LLC, you are the “record holder” of those shares. If you are a record holder, these proxy materials have been provided directly to you by the Company.

 

If your shares are held in a stock brokerage account, a bank or other holder of record, you are considered the “beneficial owner” of those shares held in “street name.” If your shares are held in street name, these proxy materials have been forwarded to you by that organization. The organization holding your account is considered to be the stockholder of record for purposes of voting at the Special Meeting. As the beneficial owner, you have the right to instruct this organization on how to vote your shares.

 

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Who May Attend the Special Meeting?

 

Only record holders and beneficial owners of our common stock, or their duly authorized proxies, may attend the Special Meeting. If your shares of common stock are held in street name, you will need to bring a copy of a brokerage statement or other documentation reflecting your stock ownership as of the Record Date.

 

What am I Voting on?

 

There are two matters scheduled for a vote:

 

  1. To approve an amendment to the Company’s Certificate of Incorporation to effect a reverse stock split at a ratio not less than 1-for-10 and not greater than 1-for-45, with the exact ratio to be set within that range at the discretion of our board of directors without further approval or authorization of our stockholders; and

 

  2. To approve and adopt the 2022 Equity and Incentive Plan.

 

What if another matter is properly brought before the Special Meeting?

 

The Board knows of no other matters that will be presented for consideration at the Special Meeting. If any other matters are properly brought before the Special Meeting, it is the intention of the persons named in the accompanying proxy to vote on those matters in accordance with their best judgment.

 

How Do I Vote?

 

Stockholders of Record

 

For your convenience, record holders of our common stock have three methods of voting:

 

1. Vote by Internet. The website address for Internet voting is on your vote instruction form;
   
2. Vote by mail. Mark, date, sign and promptly mail the proxy card; or
   
3. Vote at the Meeting. Attend and vote at the Special Meeting held in person at 1101 Wootton Pkwy, #1020, Rockville, MD, 20852.

 

Beneficial Owners of Shares Held in Street Name

 

For your convenience, beneficial owners of our common stock have three methods of voting:

 

1. Vote by Internet. The website address for Internet voting is on your vote instruction form;
   
2. Vote by mail. Mark, date, sign and promptly mail your vote instruction form; or
   
3. Vote at the Meeting. Obtain a valid legal proxy from the organization that holds your shares and attend and vote at the Special Meeting held in person at 1101 Wootton Pkwy, #1020, Rockville, MD, 20852.

 

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IMPORTANT: If you vote by Internet, please DO NOT mail your proxy card.

 

All shares entitled to vote and represented by a properly completed and executed proxy received before the Special Meeting and not revoked will be voted at the Special Meeting as instructed in a proxy delivered before the Special Meeting. We provide Internet proxy voting to allow you to vote your shares online, with procedures designed to ensure the authenticity and correctness of your proxy vote instructions. However, please be aware that you must bear any costs associated with your Internet access, such as usage charges from Internet access providers and telephone companies.

 

If you do not indicate how your shares should be voted on a matter, the shares represented by your properly completed and executed proxy will be voted as the Board of Directors recommends on the enumerated proposal, with regard to any other matters that may be properly presented at the Special Meeting and on all matters incident to the conduct of the Special Meeting. This authorization would exist, for example, if a stockholder of record merely signs, dates and returns the proxy card but does not indicate how its shares are to be voted on one or more proposals. If other matters properly come before the Special Meeting and you do not provide specific voting instructions, your shares will be voted at the discretion of Mr. Bhatnagar, the Board of Directors’ designated proxy.

 

If you are a registered stockholder and attend the Special Meeting, you may deliver your completed proxy card in person. If your shares are held in “street name” (i.e. shares are held by a broker for you as a beneficial owner) and you wish to vote at the Special Meeting, you will need to obtain a proxy form from the institution that holds your shares. All votes will be tabulated by the inspector of elections appointed for the Special Meeting, who will separately tabulate affirmative and negative votes, abstentions and broker non-votes.

 

We provide Internet proxy voting to allow you to vote your shares online, with procedures designed to ensure the authenticity and correctness of your proxy vote instructions. However, please be aware that you must bear any costs associated with your Internet access, such as usage charges from Internet access providers and telephone companies.

 

How Many Votes do I Have?

 

On each matter to be voted upon, you have one vote for each share of common stock you own as of the close of business on the Record Date.

 

Is My Vote Confidential?

 

Yes, your vote is confidential. Only the inspector of elections, individuals who help with processing and counting your votes and persons who need access for legal reasons will have access to your vote. This information will not be disclosed, except as required by law.

 

What Constitutes a Quorum?

 

To carry on business at the Special Meeting, we must have a quorum. A quorum is present when a majority of the shares entitled to vote, as of the Record Date, are represented in person or by proxy. Thus, shares must be represented in person or by proxy to have a quorum at the Special Meeting. Your shares will be counted towards the quorum only if you submit a valid proxy (or one is submitted on your behalf by your broker, bank or other nominee) or if you vote in person at the Special Meeting. Abstentions and broker non-votes will be counted towards the quorum requirement. Shares owned by us are not considered outstanding or considered to be present at the Special Meeting. If there is not a quorum at the Special Meeting, either the chairperson of the Special Meeting or our stockholders entitled to vote at the Special Meeting may adjourn the Special Meeting.

 

How Will my Shares be Voted if I Give No Specific Instruction?

 

We must vote your shares as you have instructed. If there is a matter on which a stockholder of record has given no specific instruction but has authorized us generally to vote the shares, they will be voted as follows:

 

  1. For” the approval of amendment of the Company’s Certificate of Incorporation to effect a reverse stock split with the exact ratio to be determined at the discretion of the Board of Directors;
     
  2. For” approval of the Company’s adoption of the 2022 Equity and Incentive Plan.

 

This authorization would exist, for example, if a stockholder of record merely signs, dates and returns the proxy card but does not indicate how his, her or its shares are to be voted on one or more proposals. If other matters properly come before the Special Meeting and you do not provide specific voting instructions, your shares will be voted at the discretion of the proxies.

 

If your shares are held in street name, see “What is a Broker Non-Vote?” below regarding the ability of banks, brokers and other such holders of record to vote the uninstructed shares of their customers or other beneficial owners in their discretion.

 

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How are Votes Counted?

 

Votes will be counted by the inspector of election appointed for the Special Meeting, who will separately count, for the election of directors, “For,” “Withhold” and broker non-votes; and, with respect to the other proposals, votes “For” and “Against,” abstentions and broker non-votes. Broker non-votes will not be included in the tabulation of the voting results of any of the proposals and, therefore, will have no effect on such proposals.

 

What is a Broker Non-Vote?

 

A “broker non-vote” occurs when shares held by a broker in “street name” for a beneficial owner are not voted with respect to a proposal because (1) the broker has not received voting instructions from the stockholder who beneficially owns the shares and (2) the broker lacks the authority to vote the shares at their discretion.

 

How many votes are required to approve each proposal?

 

The table below summarizes the proposals that will be voted on, the vote required to approve each item and how votes are counted:

 

Proposal   Votes Required   Voting Options
         
Proposal No. 1:  

To approve an amendment to the Company’s Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation to effect a reverse stock split

 

 

“FOR”

“AGAINST”

“ABSTAIN”

         
Proposal No. 2:   To approve and adopt the 2022 Equity and Incentive Plan  

“FOR”

“AGAINST” “ABSTAIN”

 

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What is an Abstention?

 

An abstention is a stockholder’s affirmative choice to decline to vote on a proposal. Any stockholder who is present at the Special Meeting, either in person or by proxy, who abstains from voting, will still be counted for purposes of determining whether a quorum exists for the meeting. If you hold your shares in “street name” and you do not instruct your bank, broker or other nominee how to vote, your shares will be included in the determination of the number of shares present at the Special Meeting for determining a quorum at the meeting but may constitute broker non-votes, resulting in no votes being cast on your behalf with respect to certain proposals. See “What is a broker non-vote?”

 

What Are the Voting Procedures?

 

In voting by proxy with regard to the election of directors, you may vote in favor of all nominees, withhold your votes as to all nominees, or withhold your votes as to specific nominees. With regard to other proposals, you may vote in favor of or against the proposal, or you may abstain from voting on the proposal. You should specify your respective choices on the accompanying proxy card or your vote instruction form.

 

Is My Proxy Revocable?

 

If you are a registered stockholder, you may revoke or change your vote at any time before the proxy is voted by filing with our Corporate Secretary, at 1101 Wootton Pkwy, #1020, Rockville, MD, 20852, either a written notice of revocation or a duly executed proxy bearing a later date. If you attend the Special Meeting you may revoke your proxy or change your proxy vote by voting at the meeting. Your attendance at the Special Meeting will not by itself revoke a previously granted proxy.

 

If your shares are held in street name or you hold shares through a retirement or savings plan or other similar plan, please check your voting instruction card or contact your broker, nominee, trustee or administrator to determine whether you will be able to revoke or change your vote.

 

Who is Paying for the Expenses Involved in Preparing this Proxy Statement?

 

All of the expenses involved in preparing, assembling and mailing these proxy materials and all costs of soliciting proxies will be paid by us. In addition to the solicitation by mail, proxies may be solicited by our officers and other employees by telephone or in person. Such persons will receive no compensation for their services other than their regular salaries. Arrangements will also be made with brokerage houses and other custodians, nominees and fiduciaries to forward solicitation materials to the beneficial owners of the shares held of record by such persons, and we may reimburse such persons for reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred by them in forwarding solicitation materials.

 

Do I Have Dissenters’ Rights of Appraisal?

 

Neither the adoption by the board of directors nor the approval by the majority of the amendment to our Certificate of Incorporation provides shareholders any right to dissent and obtain appraisal of or payment for such shareholder’s shares under the New Jersey corporate law, the articles of incorporation or the bylaws.

 

How can I Find out the Results of the Voting at the Special Meeting?

 

Preliminary voting results will be announced at the Special Meeting. In addition, final voting results will be disclosed in a Current Report on Form 8-K that we expect to file with the SEC within four business days after the Special Meeting. If final voting results are not available to us in time to file a Current Report on Form 8-K with the SEC within four business days after the Special Meeting, we intend to file a Current Report on Form 8-K to publish preliminary results and, within four business days after the final results are known to us, file an additional Current Report on Form 8-K to publish the final results.

 

Do the Company’s Executive Officers and Directors have an Interest in Any of the Matters to Be Acted Upon at the Special Meeting?

 

Members of the Board and executive officers of mPhase do not have any substantial interest, direct or indirect, in Proposal No. 1 or 2.

 

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PROPOSAL 1:

 

AMENDMENT TO OUR ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION TO EFFECT A REVERSE STOCK SPLIT

 

Our Board has determined it may be advisable and in the best interest of the Company and its shareholders and is submitting to the shareholders for their approval a proposed amendment to our Articles of Incorporation that would allow the Board, if the Board determined that such action would be in the best interests of the Company in light of the factors discussed below, to effect a reverse stock split of our issued and outstanding common stock and treasury stock (the “Reverse Split”) at a ratio ranging from 1-for-10 or to 1-for-45,  with the final ratio to be determined by the Board in its discretion following the approval by the shareholders, without the proportional reduction in the number of shares of common stock the Company is authorized to issue.

 

If the Board, following the approval by the shareholders, decides in its discretion to effect the Reverse Split, it would set the Reverse Split ratio from the range described in this Proposal 1 and the Articles of Incorporation would be amended accordingly. Approval of this Reverse Split proposal will authorize the Board in its discretion to effect the Reverse Split at any of the ratios within the range described above, or not to effect the Reverse Split. A form of the Articles of Amendment to the Company’s Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation that would be filed with the Secretary of State of New Jersey to effect the Reverse Split is set forth in Appendix A (the “Amendment”). However, such form is subject to amendment to include such changes as may be required by the office of the Secretary of State of New Jersey or as the Board deems necessary and advisable to effect the Reverse Split. If at any time prior to the effectiveness of the filing of the Amendment with the New Jersey Secretary of State, the Board determines that it would not be in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders to effect the Reverse Split, in accordance with New Jersey law and notwithstanding the approval by the shareholders, the Board may abandon the Reverse Split without further action by the shareholders.

 

We believe that giving the Board the discretion to set the ratio within the stated range will provide us with the flexibility to implement the Reverse Split in a manner designed to maximize the anticipated benefits for our shareholders. By voting in favor of the Reverse Split, you are expressly authorizing the Board to select one ratio from among the ratios set forth in this Proposal 1. If the shareholders approve this Proposal 1, the Board would effect the Reverse Split only upon the Board’s determination that the Reverse Split would be in the best interest of the Company and its shareholders at that time. In determining whether to implement the Reverse Split and selecting the Reverse Split ratio, our Board will consider several factors, including:

 

  the initial listing requirements of The Nasdaq Stock Market (“Nasdaq”), including the minimum bid price requirement;
  the historical trading price and trading volume of our common stock;
  the then prevailing trading price and trading volume for our common stock;
  the anticipated impact of the Reverse Split on the trading price of and market for our common stock; and
  the prevailing general market and economic conditions.

 

If approved by the shareholders, the authorization to effect the Reverse Split will remain effective until our common stock is listed on a national securities exchange or one year from the date of the Special Meeting, whichever is earlier.

 

Appendix A as provided with this Proxy Statement does not purport to be a complete description of the entirety of the Company’s Articles of Incorporation, and merely only provides the material amendment that is relevant to this Section. Such descriptions are qualified in their entirely by reference to the full text of the Company’s Articles of Incorporation effective on the date of this Proxy Statement.

 

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Reasons for the Reverse Split

 

The purpose of the Reverse Split is to increase the market price of our common stock in connection with the potential up-listing of the Common Stock to the Nasdaq. The Board intends to implement the Reverse Split only if it believes that a decrease in the number of shares outstanding is likely to improve the trading price for our common stock on a split adjusted basis.

 

The Board believes that effecting the Reverse Stock Split may be desirable for a number of reasons, including:

 

  List our Common Stock on The Nasdaq. Our common stock is currently quoted on the OTCMKTS market under the symbol “XDSL”. The high and low sales prices of our common stock over the past thirty days were $.230 and $.186 per share. We intend to apply to have our common stock listed on Nasdaq. We expect that the Reverse Split will increase the market price of our common stock so that we will be able to meet the minimum bid price requirements of the listing rules of Nasdaq.
     
  Broaden our Investor Base. We believe the Reverse Split may increase the price of our common stock and thus may allow a broader range of institutional investors with the ability to invest in our common stock. For example, many funds and institutions have investment guidelines and policies that prohibit them from investing in stocks trading below a certain threshold. We believe that increased institutional investor interest in the Company and our common stock will potentially increase the overall market for our common stock.
     
  Increase Analyst and Broker Interest. We believe the Reverse Split would help increase analyst and broker-dealer interest in our common stock as many brokerage and investment advisory firms’ policies can discourage analysts, advisors, and broker-dealers from following or recommending companies with low stock prices. Because of the trading volatility and lack of liquidity often associated with lower-priced stocks, many broker-dealers have adopted investment guidelines, policies and practices that either prohibit or discourage them from investing in or trading such stocks or recommending them to their customers. Some of those guidelines, policies and practices may also function to make the processing of trades in lower-priced stocks economically unattractive to broker-dealers. While we recognize that we will remain a “penny stock” under the SEC rules, if our common stock is not listed on the Nasdaq, we expect the increase in the stock price resulting from the Reverse Split will position us better if our business continues to grow as we anticipate. Additionally, because brokers’ commissions and dealer mark-ups/mark-downs on transactions in lower-priced stocks generally represent a higher percentage of the stock price than commissions and mark-ups/mark-downs on higher-priced stocks, the current average price per share of our common stock can result in shareholders or potential shareholders paying transaction costs representing a higher percentage of the total share value than would otherwise be the case if the share price were substantially higher.

 

Certain Risks Associated with the Reverse Split

 

If the Reverse Split does not result in a proportionate increase in the price of our common stock, we may not be able to list our common stock on the Nasdaq.

 

We expect that the Reverse Split of will increase the market price of our common stock so that we will be able to meet the minimum bid price requirement of the listing rules of the Nasdaq. However, the effect of Reverse Split upon the market price of our common stock cannot be predicted with certainty, and the results of reverse stock splits by companies in similar circumstances have been varied. It is possible that the market price of our common stock following the Reverse Split will not increase sufficiently for us to be in compliance with the minimum bid price requirement. If we are unable meet the minimum bid price requirement, we may be unable to list our shares on the Nasdaq markets.

 

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Even if the Reverse Split achieves the requisite increase in the market price of our common stock, we cannot assure you that we will be able to continue to comply with the minimum bid price requirement of either the Nasdaq.

 

Even if the reverse stock split achieves the requisite increase in the market price of our common stock to be in compliance with the minimum bid price of either the Nasdaq, there can be no assurance that the market price of our common stock following the Reverse Split will remain at the level required for continuing compliance with that requirement. It is not uncommon for the market price of a company’s common stock to decline in the period following a reverse stock split. If the market price of our common stock declines following the effectuation of the Reverse Split, the percentage decline may be greater than would occur in the absence of a reverse stock split. In any event, other factors unrelated to the number of shares of our common stock outstanding, such as negative financial or operational results, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock and jeopardize our ability to meet or maintain either the Nasdaq market’s minimum bid price requirement.

 

Even if the Reverse Split increases the market price of our common stock, our stock price could fall, and we could be delisted from the Nasdaq market.

 

The Nasdaq market require that the trading price of its listed stocks remain above one dollar in order for the stock to remain listed. If a listed stock trades below one dollar for more than 30 consecutive trading days, then it is subject to delisting. In addition, to maintain a listing on the Nasdaq, we must satisfy minimum financial and other continued listing requirements and standards, including those regarding director independence and independent committee requirements, minimum shareholders’ equity, and certain corporate governance requirements. If we are unable to satisfy these requirements or standards, we could be subject to delisting. Such a delisting would likely have a negative effect on the price of our common stock and would impair your ability to sell or purchase our common stock when you wish to do so. In the event of a delisting, we would expect to take actions to restore our compliance with the listing requirements, but we can provide no assurance that any such action taken by us would allow our common stock to become listed again, stabilize the market price or improve the liquidity of our common stock, prevent our common stock from dropping below the minimum bid price requirement, or prevent future non-compliance with the listing requirements.

 

The Reverse Split may decrease the liquidity of our common stock.

 

The liquidity of the shares of our common stock may be affected adversely by the reverse stock split given the reduced number of shares that will be outstanding following the Reverse Split, especially if the market price of our common stock does not increase as a result of the Reverse Split. In addition, the Reverse Split may increase the number of shareholders who own odd lots (less than 100 shares) of our common stock, creating the potential for such shareholders to experience an increase in the cost of selling their shares and greater difficulty effecting such sales.

 

Following the Reverse Split, the resulting market price of our common stock may not attract new investors, including institutional investors, and may not satisfy the investing requirements of those investors. Consequently, the trading liquidity of our common stock may not improve.

 

Although we believe that a higher market price of our common stock may help generate greater or broader investor interest, there can be no assurance that the Reverse Split will result in a share price that will attract new investors, including institutional investors. In addition, there can be no assurance that the market price of our common stock will satisfy the investing requirements of those investors. As a result, the trading liquidity of our common stock may not necessarily improve.

 

Principal Effects of the Reverse Split

 

If approved and implemented, the principal effects of the Reverse Split would include the following:

 

  the number of outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock and treasury stock will decrease based on the Reverse Split ratio selected by the Board;
  the number of shares of the Company’s common stock held by individual shareholders will decrease based on the Reverse Split ratio selected by the Board, and the number of shareholders who own “odd lots” of less than 100 shares of our common stock will increase;
  the number of shares common stock reserved for issuance under our stock incentive plans will be reduced proportionally based on the Reverse Split ratio selected by the Board (along with any other appropriate adjustments or modifications); and
  the exercise price of our outstanding stock options and warrants and the conversion price of our outstanding convertible securities, including debt securities, and the number of shares reserved for issuance upon exercise or conversion thereof will be adjusted in accordance with their terms based on the Reverse Split ratio selected by the Board.

 

The Reverse Split will not change the number of authorized shares of our common stock or preferred stock, or the par value of the common stock or preferred stock.

 

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Fractional Shares

 

No fractional shares will be issued in connection with the Reverse Split. We will round up any fractional shares resulting from the Reverse Split to the nearest whole share.

 

No Going Private Transaction

 

Notwithstanding the decrease in the number of outstanding shares of common stock following the proposed Reverse Stock Split, the Board does not intend for this transaction to be the first step in a “going private transaction” within the meaning of Rule 13e-3 under the Exchange Act.

 

Procedure for Implementing the Reverse Split

 

The Reverse Split, if approved by our shareholders, would become effective following the filing of the Amendment with the Secretary of State of the State of New Jersey as of the time of filing or such other time set forth in the Amendment (the “Effective Time”). The Effective Time of the Reverse Split will be determined by our Board based on its evaluation as to when such action will be the most advantageous to us and our shareholders. Beginning at the Effective Time, each certificate representing shares of our common stock will be deemed for all corporate purposes to evidence ownership of the number of whole shares into which the shares previously represented by the certificate were combined pursuant to the Reverse Split. The form of the Amendment to implement the Reverse Split is attached to this Proxy Statement as Appendix B. The Reverse Split alone will have no effect on our authorized capital stock, and the total number of authorized shares will remain the same as before the Reverse Split. After the Effective Time, our common stock will have a new Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures (“CUSIP”) number, which is a number used to identify our equity securities.

 

Effect on Beneficial Owners of Common Stock

 

Upon implementing the Reverse Split, we intend to treat shares held by shareholders through a bank, broker, custodian or other nominee in the same manner as the shareholders whose shares are registered in their names. Banks, brokers, custodians or other nominees will be instructed to effect the Reverse Split for their beneficial holders holding our common stock in street name. However, these banks, brokers, custodians or other nominees may have different procedures than registered shareholders for processing the Reverse Split. Shareholders who hold shares of our common stock with a bank, broker, custodian or other nominee and who have any questions in this regard are encouraged to contact their banks, brokers, custodians or other nominees.

 

Effect on Registered “Book-Entry” Holders of Common Stock

 

Certain registered holders of our common stock may hold some or all of their shares electronically in book-entry form with Worldwide Stock Transfer, LLC, our transfer agent (the “Transfer Agent”). These shareholders do not have stock certificates evidencing their ownership of the common stock. They are, however, provided with a statement reflecting the number of shares registered in their accounts.

 

Shareholders who hold shares electronically in book-entry form with the Transfer Agent will not need to act in connection with the Reverse Split. The Reverse Split will automatically be reflected in the Transfer Agent’s records and on their next statement.

 

Exchange of Stock Certificates

 

Until surrendered as contemplated herein, any physical stock certificates possessed by the shareholders shall be deemed at and after the effective time of the Reverse Split to represent the number of whole shares of our common stock resulting from the Reverse Split. If the Reverse Split is effected, shareholders holding certificated shares (i.e., shares represented by one or more physical stock certificates) may be able to exchange their old stock certificate(s) for shares held electronically in book-entry form representing the appropriate number of whole shares of our common stock resulting from the Reverse Split. This means that, instead of receiving a new stock certificate, shareholders holding certificated shares prior to the effective time of the Reverse Split will receive a statement of holding indicating the number of shares held by them electronically in book-entry form after giving effect to the Reverse Split. Shareholders of record upon the effective time of the Reverse Split will be furnished the necessary materials and instructions for the surrender and exchange of their old certificate(s) at the appropriate time by our Transfer Agent. Any shareholder whose old certificate(s) have been lost, destroyed or stolen will be entitled to new shares in book-entry form only after complying with the requirements that we and our Transfer Agent customarily apply in connection with lost, stolen or destroyed certificates.

 

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Accounting Matters

 

The Reverse Split and the related proposed amendment to our Articles of Incorporation will not affect the par value of our common stock, which will remain having no par value per share. Our shareholders’ equity, in the aggregate, will remain unchanged. However, after the Reverse Split, net income or loss per share, and other per share amounts, will be increased because there will be fewer shares of common stock outstanding. In future financial statements, net income or loss per share and other per share amounts for periods ending before the Reverse Split would be recast to give retroactive effect to the Reverse Split.

 

Certain Federal Income Tax Consequences

 

Each shareholder is advised to consult their own tax advisor as the following discussion may be limited, modified or not apply based on your particular situation.

 

The following discussion of the material U.S. federal income tax consequences of the Reverse Split is based on the current provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), Treasury regulations promulgated under the Code, Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) rulings and pronouncements and judicial decisions now in effect. Those legal authorities are subject to change at any time by legislative, judicial or administrative action, possibly with retroactive effect to the Reverse Split. No ruling from the IRS with respect to the matters discussed below has been requested, and there is no assurance that the IRS or a court would agree with the conclusions set forth in this discussion. The following discussion assumes that the pre-split shares of common stock were, and post-split shares will be, held as “capital assets” as defined in the Code. This discussion may not address certain U.S. federal income tax consequences that may be relevant to particular shareholders in light of their specific circumstances or to certain types of shareholders (like dealers in securities, insurance companies, foreign individuals and entities, financial institutions and tax-exempt entities) that may be subject to special treatment under the U.S. federal income tax laws. This discussion also does not address any tax consequences under state, local or foreign laws.

 

PLEASE CONSULT YOUR OWN TAX ADVISOR REGARDING THE U.S. FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL, AND FOREIGN INCOME AND OTHER TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE REVERSE SPLIT IN YOUR PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE AND THE LAWS OF ANY OTHER TAXING JURISDICTION.

 

We will not recognize any gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a result of the Reverse Split.

 

A shareholder will not recognize gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes on the exchange of pre-Reverse Split shares of our common stock for post-Reverse Split shares of our common stock in the Reverse Split. A shareholder’s aggregate tax basis in the post-Reverse Split shares of our common stock the shareholder receives in the Reverse Split will be the same as the shareholder’s aggregate tax basis in the pre-Reverse Split shares of our common stock the shareholder surrenders in exchange therefor. A shareholder’s holding period for the post-Reverse Split shares of our common stock the shareholder receives in the Reverse Split will include the shareholder’s holding period for the pre-Reverse Split shares of our common stock the shareholder surrenders in exchange therefor. Shareholders who have different bases or holding periods for pre-Reverse Split shares of our common stock should consult their tax advisors regarding their bases or holding periods in their post-Reverse Split common stock.

 

Effect of Not Obtaining the Required Vote of Approval

 

The failure of shareholders to approve the Reverse Stock Proposal could prevent us from meeting the Nasdaq minimum bid price requirement (the “Minimum Bid Price Requirement”), among other things, unless the market price of our common stock increases above the Minimum Bid Price Requirement without a reverse split. If we are unable to uplist our common stock to Nasdaq, interest in our common stock may decline and certain institutions may not have the ability to trade in our common stock, all of which could have a material adverse effect on the liquidity or trading volume of our common stock. If our common stock becomes significantly less liquid due to our inability to qualify for listing on Nasdaq, our shareholders may not have the ability to liquidate their investments in our common stock when desired and we believe our access to capital would become significantly diminished as a result.

 

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Interests of Directors and Executive Officers in this Proposal

 

All of our directors and executive officers have a direct interest in increasing the value of our shares. Therefore, they have an interest in the approval of this proposal as it is expected it will lead to an increase in the value of our shares. However, the Board does not believe this interest is different from that of any other shareholder.

 

Anti-Takeover Effects of the Reverse Split

 

The effective increase in our authorized and unissued shares as a result of the Reverse Split could potentially be used by our Board to thwart a takeover attempt. The overall effects of this might be to discourage, or make it more difficult to engage in, a merger, tender offer or proxy contest, or the acquisition or assumption of control by a holder of a large block of our securities and the removal of incumbent management. The Reverse Split could make the accomplishment of a merger or similar transaction more difficult, even if it is beneficial to the shareholders. Our Board might use the additional shares to resist or frustrate a third-party transaction, favored by a majority of the independent shareholders that would provide an above-market premium, by issuing additional shares to frustrate the takeover effort.

 

As discussed above, the principal goals of the Company in effecting the Reverse Split are to list our securities on Nasdaq and increase the ability of institutions to purchase our common stock and stimulate the interest in our common stock by analysts and brokers. This Reverse Split is not the result of management’s knowledge of an effort to accumulate the Company’s securities or to obtain control of the Company by means of a merger, tender offer, solicitation or otherwise.

 

Neither our Articles of Incorporation nor our Bylaws presently contain any provisions having anti-takeover effects and the Reverse Split proposal is not a plan by our Board to adopt a series of amendments to our Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws to institute an anti-takeover provision. We do not have any plans or proposals to adopt other provisions or enter into other arrangements that may have material anti-takeover consequences.

 

Vote Required

 

Approval of the reverse stock split requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares outstanding at the Special Meeting. If approved by the shareholders at the Company’s Special Meeting, the Amendment to implement the Reverse Split will be filed with the New Jersey Secretary of State and will become effective.

 

Board Recommendation

 

The Board of Directors recommends that you vote “FOR” Proposal 1. Proxies solicited by the Board of Directors will be voted “FOR” the Proposal 1 unless shareholders specify a contrary vote.

 

PROPOSAL 2:

 

APPROVAL OF THE COMPANY’S 2022 EQUITY AND INCENTIVE PLAN AND THE RESERVATION OF UP TO 15,000,000 SHARES OF COMMON STOCK FOR ISSUANCE THEREUNDER

 

The Company’s 2022 Equity Incentive Plan (the “2022 Plan”) was adopted by the Board on February 4, 2022, and we are requesting approval of this new equity compensation plan because we need to be able to issue equity awards to service providers in order to motivate and retain such persons and to further align their interests with those of our Stockholders. The 2022 Plan will only become effective if approved by the Stockholders. If approved, the 2022 Plan will be effective immediately, subject to any restrictions on the issuance of awards under the 2022 Plan because of a lack of available or reserved shares of Common Stock to underlie such awards.

 

Having an adequate number of shares available for future equity compensation grants is necessary to promote our long-term success and the creation of Stockholder value by:

 

  Enabling us to continue to attract and retain the services of key service providers who would be eligible to receive grants;
     
  Aligning participants’ interests with Stockholders’ interests through incentives that are based upon the performance of our Common Stock; and
     
  Motivating participants, through equity incentive awards, to achieve long-term growth in the Company’s business, in addition to short-term financial performance.

 

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The 2022 Plan has identified the number of shares of Common Stock reserved for issuance as 15,000,000. The 2022 Plan will provide for the grant of incentive stock options (“ISOs”), non-qualified stock options (“NQSOs”), stock appreciation rights (“SARs”), other equity awards and/or cash awards to employees, directors and consultants. The 2022 Plan will remain in effect until the earlier of (i) the time the Board decides to amend the Plan and (ii) the date upon which the 2022 Plan is terminated pursuant to its terms, and in any event subject to the maximum share limit.

 

On February 4, 2022, our Board adopted the 2022 Plan and authorized the reservation of up to 15,000,000 shares of Common Stock for issuance thereunder, subject to availability. To the extent that there are no authorized and unreserved shares of Common Stock available, the awards underlying the 2022 Plan will not be issuable until such time, and from time to time, as shares of Common Stock are available to be reserved and in such amounts as are available. Assuming all 15,000,000 shares become available and the Company may issue the full amount of awards under the 2022 Plan, the number of shares available for issuance under the 2022 Plan shall constitute approximately [  ]% of our issued and outstanding shares of Common Stock as of the Record Date. The 2022 Plan is intended to provide us with a sufficient number of shares to satisfy our equity grant requirements until our 2022 Special Meeting of Stockholders, based on the current scope and structure of our equity incentive programs and the rate at which we expect to grant stock options, restricted stock, and/or other forms of equity compensation.

 

When approving the reservation of up to 15,000,000 shares of Common Stock issuable pursuant to the 2022 Plan, the Board considered a number of factors, including those set forth below:

 

  Alignment with our Stockholders. Achieving superior, long-term results for our Stockholders remains one of our primary objectives. We believe that stock ownership enhances the alignment of the long-term economic interests of our employees and our Stockholders.
     
  Attract, Motivate and Retain Key Employees. We compete for employees in a variety of geographic and talent markets and strive to maintain compensation programs that are competitive in order to attract, motivate and retain key employees. If we are unable to grant equity as part of our total compensation strategy, our ability to attract and retain all levels of talent we need to operate our business successfully would be significantly harmed.
     
  Balanced Approach to Compensation. We believe that a balanced approach to compensation - using a mix of salaries, performance-based bonus incentives and long-term equity incentives (including performance based equity) encourages management to make decisions that favor long-term stability and profitability, rather than short-term results.

 

Set forth below is a summary of the 2022 Plan, which is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the 2022 Plan, a copy of which is included as Appendix B to this Proxy Statement. If there is any inconsistency between the following summary of the 2022 Plan and Appendix B, the full text of the 2022 Plan included as Appendix B shall govern.

 

Key Features of the 2022 Plan

 

Certain key features of the 2022 Plan are summarized as follows:

 

  If not terminated earlier by the Board, the 2022 Plan will terminate on at a time the Board amends or removes the Plan.
     
  Up to a maximum aggregate of 15,000,000 shares of Common Stock may be issued under the 2022 Plan, subject to availability. The maximum number of shares that may be issued pursuant to the exercise of ISOs is also 15,000,000, subject to availability.
     
  The 2022 Plan will generally be administered by the Board or the Compensation Committee (the “2022 Plan Committee”). The Board may also designate a separate committee to make awards to employees who are not officers subject to the reporting requirements of Section 16 of the Exchange Act.
     
  Employees, consultants and Board members are eligible to receive awards, provided that the 2022 Plan Committee has the discretion to determine (i) who shall receive any awards, and (ii) the terms and conditions of such awards.
     
  Awards may consist of ISOs, NQSOs, restricted stock, SARs, other equity awards and/or cash awards.
     
  Stock options and SARs may not be granted at a per share exercise price below the fair market value of a share of our Common Stock on the date of grant.
     
  Stock options and SARs may not be repriced or exchanged without Stockholder approval.
     
  The maximum exercisable term of stock options and SARs may not exceed [ten] years.
     
  Awards are subject to recoupment of compensation policies adopted by the Company.
     
  The aggregate amount of all cash compensation (including annual retainers and other fees, whether or not granted under the 2002 Plan) plus the aggregate grant date fair market value of all awards issued under the 2022 Plan (or under any other incentive plan) provided to any non-employee director during any single calendar year may not exceed $300,000.

 

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Background and Purpose of the 2022 Plan. The purpose of the 2022 Plan is to promote our long-term success and the creation of Stockholder value by:

 

  Attracting and retaining the services of key employees who would be eligible to receive grants as selected participants;
     
  Motivating selected participants through equity-based compensation that is based upon the performance of our Common Stock; and
     
  Further aligning selected participants’ interests with the interests of our Stockholders, through the award of equity compensation grants which increases their interest in the Company, to achieve long-term growth over short-term performance.

 

The 2022 Plan permits the grant of the following types of equity-based incentive awards: (1) stock options (which can be either ISOs or NQSOs), (2) SARs, (3) restricted stock, (4) other equity awards and (5) cash awards. The vesting of awards can be based on either continuous service and/or performance goals. Awards are evidenced by a written agreement between the selected participant and the Company.

 

Eligibility to Receive Awards. Employees, consultants and Board members of the Company and certain of our affiliated companies are eligible to receive awards under the 2022 Plan. The 2022 Plan Committee will determine, in its discretion, the selected participants who will be granted awards under the 2022 Plan.

 

Non-Employee Director Limitations. With respect to our non-employee directors, the 2022 Plan provides that any non-employee director serving in the following positions cannot receive awards in any fiscal year which in the aggregate exceeds the following: $300,000 in any calendar year. Provided that the Board affirmatively acts to implement such a process, the 2022 Plan also provides that non-employee directors may elect to receive stock grants or stock units (which would be issued under the 2022 Plan) in lieu of fees that would otherwise be paid in cash.

 

Shares Subject to the 2022 Plan. The maximum number of shares of Common Stock that can be issued under the 2022 Plan is 15,000,000 shares. The shares underlying forfeited or terminated awards (without payment of consideration), or unexercised awards become available again for issuance under the 2022 Plan. The 2022 Plan also imposes certain share grant limits such as the limit on grants to non-employee directors described above and other limits that are intended to comply with the legal requirements of Section 422 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) and which are discussed elsewhere in this proposal. No fractional shares may be issued under the 2022 Plan. No shares will be issued with respect to a participant’s award unless applicable tax withholding obligations have been satisfied by the participant. To the extent that there are no authorized and unreserved shares of Common Stock available for the 2022 Plan, the awards underlying the 2022 Plan will not be issuable until such time, and from time to time, as shares of Common Stock are available and in such amounts as are available.

 

Administration of the 2022 Plan. The 2022 Plan will be administered by the 2022 Plan Committee. Subject to the terms of the 2022 Plan, the 2022 Plan Committee has the sole discretion, with among other things, to:

 

  Select the individuals who will receive awards;
     
  Determine the terms and conditions of awards (for example, performance conditions, if any, and vesting schedule);
     
  Correct any defect, supply any omission, or reconcile any inconsistency in the 2022 Plan or any award agreement;
     
  Accelerate the vesting, extend the post-termination exercise term or waive restrictions of any awards at any time and under such terms and conditions as it deems appropriate, subject to the limitations set forth in the 2022 Plan;
     
  Permit a participant to defer compensation to be provided by an award; and
     
  Interpret the provisions of the 2022 Plan and outstanding awards.

 

The 2022 Plan Committee may suspend vesting, settlement, or exercise of awards pending a determination of whether a selected participant’s service should be terminated for cause (in which case outstanding awards would be forfeited). Awards may be subject to any policy that the Board may implement on the recoupment of compensation (referred to as a “clawback” policy). The members of the Board, the 2022 Plan Committee and their delegates shall be indemnified by the Company to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law for actions taken or not taken regarding the 2022 Plan. In addition, the 2022 Plan Committee may use the 2022 Plan to issue shares under other plans or sub-plans as may be deemed necessary or appropriate, such as to provide for participation by non-U.S. employees and those of any of our subsidiaries and affiliates.

 

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Types of Awards.

 

Stock Options. A stock option is the right to acquire shares at a fixed exercise price over a fixed period of time. The 2022 Plan Committee will determine, among other terms and conditions, the number of shares covered by each stock option and the exercise price of the shares subject to each stock option, but such per share exercise price cannot be less than the fair market value of a share of our Common Stock on the date of grant of the stock option. The fair market value of a share of our Common Stock for the purposes of pricing our awards shall be equal to the closing price for our Common Stock as reported by the OTC Markets or such other principal trading market on which our securities are traded on the date of determination. Stock options may not be repriced or exchanged without Stockholder approval, and no re-load options may be granted under the 2022 Plan.

 

Stock options granted under the 2022 Plan may be either ISOs or NQSOs. As required by the Code and applicable regulations, ISOs are subject to various limitations not imposed on NQSOs. For example, the exercise price for any ISO granted to any employee owning more than 10% of our Common Stock may not be less than 110% of the fair market value of the Common Stock on the date of grant, and such ISO must expire no later than five years after the grant date. ISOs may not be transferred other than upon death, or to a revocable trust where the participant is considered the sole beneficiary of the stock option while it is held in trust. In order to comply with Treasury Regulation Section 1.422-2(b), the 2022 Plan provides that all 15,000,000 shares may be issued pursuant to the exercise of ISOs, subject to the availability of underlying shares of Common Stock.

 

A stock option granted under the 2022 Plan generally cannot be exercised until it becomes vested. The 2022 Plan Committee establishes the vesting schedule of each stock option at the time of grant. The maximum term for stock options granted under the 2022 Plan may not exceed ten years from the date of grant although the 2022 Plan Committee may establish a shorter period at its discretion. The exercise price of each stock option granted under the 2022 Plan must be paid in full at the time of exercise, either with cash, or through a broker-assisted “cashless” exercise and sale program, or net exercise, or through another method approved by the 2022 Plan Committee. The optionee must also make arrangements to pay any taxes that are required to be withheld at the time of exercise.

 

SARs. A SAR is the right to receive, upon exercise, an amount equal to the difference between the fair market value of the shares on the date of the SAR’s exercise and the aggregate exercise price of the shares covered by the exercised portion of the SAR. The 2022 Plan Committee determines the terms of SARs, including the exercise price (provided that such per share exercise price cannot be less than the fair market value of a share of our Common Stock on the date of grant), the vesting and the term of the SAR. The maximum term for SARs granted under the 2022 Plan may not exceed ten years from the date of grant, subject to the discretion of the 2022 Plan Committee to establish a shorter period. Settlement of a SAR may be in shares of Common Stock or in cash, or any combination thereof, as the 2022 Plan Committee may determine. SARs may not be repriced or exchanged without Stockholder approval.

 

Restricted Stock. A restricted stock award is the grant of shares of our Common Stock to a selected participant and such shares may be subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture until specific conditions or goals are met. The restricted shares may be issued with or without cash consideration being paid by the selected participant as determined by the 2022 Plan Committee. The 2022 Plan Committee also will determine any other terms and conditions of an award of restricted stock. In determining whether an award of restricted stock should be made, and/or the vesting schedule for any such award, the 2022 Plan Committee may impose whatever conditions to vesting it determines to be appropriate. During the period of vesting, the participant will not be permitted to transfer the restricted shares but will generally have voting and dividend rights (subject to vesting) with respect to such shares.

 

Other Awards. The 2022 Plan also provides that other equity awards, which derive their value from the value of our shares or from increases in the value of our shares, may be granted. In addition, cash awards may also be issued. Substitute awards may be issued under the 2022 Plan in assumption of or substitution for or exchange for awards previously granted by an entity which we (or an affiliate) acquire.

 

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Limited Transferability of Awards. Awards granted under the 2022 Plan generally are not transferrable other than by will or by the laws of descent and distribution. However, the 2022 Plan Committee may in its discretion permit the transfer of awards other than ISOs. Generally, where transfers are permitted, they will be permitted only by gift to a member of the selected participant’s immediate family or to a trust or other entity for the benefit of the selected participant and/or member(s) of his or her immediate family.

 

Termination of Employment, Death or Disability. The 2022 Plan generally determines the effect of the termination of employment on awards, which determination may be different depending on the nature of the termination, such as terminations due to cause, resignation, death, or disability and the status of the award as vested or unvested, unless the award agreement or a selected participant’s employment agreement or other agreement provides otherwise.

 

Dividends and Dividend Equivalents. Any dividend equivalents distributed in the form of shares under the 2022 Plan will count against the 2022 Plan’s maximum share limit. The 2022 Plan also provides that dividend equivalents will not be paid or accrue on unexercised stock options or unexercised SARs. Dividends and dividend equivalents that may be paid or accrue with respect to unvested Awards shall be subject to the same vesting conditions as the underlying award and shall only be distributed to the extent that such vesting conditions are satisfied.

 

Adjustments upon Changes in Capitalization.

 

In the event of the following actions:

 

  stock split of our outstanding shares of Common Stock;
     
  stock dividend;
     
  dividend payable in a form other than shares in an amount that has a material effect on the price of the shares;
     
  consolidation;
     
  combination or reclassification of the shares;
     
  recapitalization;
     
  spin-off; or
     
  other similar occurrences,

 

then the following shall each be equitably and proportionately adjusted by the 2022 Plan Committee:

 

  maximum number of shares that can be issued under the 2022 Plan (including the ISO share grant limit);
     
  number and class of shares issued under the 2022 Plan and subject to each award;
     
  exercise prices of outstanding awards; and
     
  number and class of shares available for issuance under the 2022 Plan.

 

Change in Control. In the event that we are a party to a merger or other reorganization or similar transaction, outstanding 2022 Plan awards will be subject to the agreement pertaining to such merger or reorganization. Such agreement may provide for (i) the continuation of the outstanding awards by us if we are a surviving corporation, (ii) the assumption or substitution of the outstanding awards by the surviving entity or its parent, (iii) full exercisability and/or full vesting of outstanding awards, or (iv) cancellation of outstanding awards either with or without consideration, in all cases with or without consent of the selected participant. The Board or the 2022 Plan Committee need not adopt the same rules for each award or selected participant.

 

The 2022 Plan Committee will decide the effect of a change in control of the Company on outstanding awards. The 2022 Plan Committee may, among other things, provide that awards will fully vest and/or be canceled upon a change in control, or fully vest upon an involuntary termination of employment following a change in control. The 2022 Plan Committee may also include in an award agreement provisions designed to minimize potential negative income tax consequences for the participant or the Company that could be imposed under the golden parachute tax rules of Section 280G of the Code.

 

Term of the 2022 Plan. If not terminated earlier by the Board, the 2022 Plan will terminate on at a time the Board amends or removes the Plan. Outstanding awards shall continue to be governed by their terms after the termination of the 2022 Plan.

 

Governing Law. The 2022 Plan shall be governed by the laws of the State of New Jersey (which is the state of our incorporation) except for conflict of law provisions.

 

Amendment and Termination of the 2022 Plan. The Board generally may amend or terminate the 2022 Plan at any time and for any reason, except that it must obtain Stockholder approval of material amendments to the extent required by applicable laws, regulations or rules.

 

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Certain Federal Income Tax Information

 

The following is a general summary, as of the date this Proxy Statement is filed, of the federal income tax consequences to us and to U.S. participants for awards granted under the 2022 Plan. The federal tax laws may change and the federal, state and local tax consequences for any participant will depend upon his or her individual circumstances. This summary is not intended to be exhaustive and does not discuss the tax consequences of a participant’s death or provisions of income tax laws of any municipality, state or other country. We advise participants to consult with a tax advisor regarding the tax implications of their awards under the 2022 Plan.

 

Incentive Stock Options. For federal income tax purposes, the holder of an ISO has no taxable income at the time of the grant or exercise of the ISO. If such person retains the Common Stock acquired under the ISO for a period of at least two years after the stock option is granted and one year after the stock option is exercised, any gain upon the subsequent sale of the Common Stock will be taxed as a long-term capital gain. A participant who disposes of shares acquired by exercise of an ISO prior to the expiration of two years after the stock option is granted or before one year after the stock option is exercised will realize ordinary income equal to the lesser of (i) the excess of the fair market value over the exercise price of the shares on the date of exercise, or (ii) the excess of the amount realized on the disposition over the exercise price for the shares. Any additional gain or loss recognized upon any later disposition of the shares would be a short- or long-term capital gain or loss, depending on whether the shares have been held by the participant for more than one year. Utilization of losses is subject to special rules and limitations.

 

Nonstatutory Stock Options. A participant who receives a nonstatutory stock option generally will not realize taxable income on the grant of such option, but will realize ordinary income at the time of exercise of the stock option equal to the difference between the option exercise price and the fair market value of the stock on the date of exercise.

 

Restricted Stock. A participant will generally not have taxable income upon grant of unvested restricted shares unless he or she elects to be taxed at that time pursuant to an election under Code Section 83(b). Instead, he or she will recognize ordinary income at the time(s) of vesting equal to the fair market value (on each vesting date) of the shares or cash received minus any amount paid for the shares, if any.

 

Stock Units. No taxable income is generally reportable when unvested stock units are granted to a participant. Upon settlement of the vested stock units, the participant will recognize ordinary income in an amount equal to the fair market value of the shares issued or payment received in connection with the vested stock units.

 

Stock Appreciation Rights. No taxable income is generally reportable when a stock appreciation right is granted to a participant. Upon exercise, the participant will recognize ordinary income in an amount equal to the amount of cash received plus the fair market value of any shares received.

 

Income Tax Effects for the Company. We generally will be entitled to a tax deduction in connection with an award under the 2022 Plan in an amount equal to the ordinary income realized by a participant at the time the participant recognizes such income (for example, upon the exercise of an nonqualified stock option or vesting of restricted stock).

 

Internal Revenue Code Section 162(m) Deduction Limitation. Section 162(m) of the Code places a limit of $1 million on the amount of compensation that we may deduct in any one fiscal year with respect to our executive officers and other persons who are subject to Code Section 162(m). Therefore, compensation derived from 2022 Plan awards may not be fully deductible by the Company.

 

Internal Revenue Code Section 280G. For certain persons, if a change in control of the Company causes an award to vest or become newly payable, or if the award was granted within one year of a change in control and the value of such award or vesting or payment, when combined with all other payments in the nature of compensation contingent on such change in control, equals or exceeds the dollar limit provided in Section 280G of the Code (generally, this dollar limit is equal to three times the five-year historical average of the individual’s Annual compensation received from the Company), then the entire amount exceeding the individual’s average Annual compensation will be considered an excess parachute payment. The recipient of an excess parachute payment must pay a 20% excise tax on this excess amount and the Company cannot deduct the excess amount from its taxable income.

 

16

 

 

Internal Revenue Code Section 409A. Section 409A of the Code governs the federal income taxation of certain types of nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements. A violation of Section 409A of the Code generally results in an acceleration of the recognition of income of amounts intended to be deferred and the imposition of a federal excise tax of 20% on the employee over and above the income tax owed, plus possible penalties and interest. The types of arrangements covered by Section 409A of the Code are broad and may apply to certain awards available under the 2022 Plan (such as stock units). The intent is for the 2022 Plan, including any awards available thereunder, to comply with the requirements of Section 409A of the Code to the extent applicable. As required by Code Section 409A, certain nonqualified deferred compensation payments to specified employees may be delayed to the seventh month after such employee’s separation from service.

 

New Plan Benefits. All 2022 Plan awards are granted at the 2022 Plan Committee’s discretion, subject to the limitations contained in the 2022 Plan. Future benefits and amounts that will be received or allocated under the 2022 Plan are not presently determinable. As of the Record Date, the fair market value of a share of our Common Stock (as determined by the closing price quoted by the OTCMKTS on that date) was $[*].

 

Existing Plan Benefits. As of the Record Date, no awards have been granted under the 2022 Plan.

 

Vote Required

 

The affirmative vote of a majority of the Shares present in person or represented by proxy and entitled to vote on the subject matter at the Special Meeting is required to approve the 2022 Stock Plan.

 

THE BOARD RECOMMENDS A VOTE FOR THE APPROVAL OF THE 2022 Plan AND THE RESERVATION OF UP TO 15,000,000 SHARES FOR ISSUANCE THEREUNDER, AND PROXIES SOLICITED BY THE BOARD WILL BE VOTED IN FAVOR THEREOF UNLESS A STOCKHOLDER HAS INDICATED OTHERWISE ON THE PROXY.

 

OTHER MATTERS

 

The board of directors knows of no other business, which will be presented to the Special Meeting. If any other business is properly brought before the Special Meeting, proxies in the enclosed form will be voted in accordance with the judgment of the persons voting the proxies.

 

We will bear the cost of soliciting proxies in the accompanying form. In addition to the use of the mails, proxies may also be solicited by our directors, officers or other employees, personally or by telephone, facsimile or email, none of whom will be compensated separately for these solicitation activities.

 

If you do not plan to attend the Special Meeting, in order that your shares may be represented and in order to assure the required quorum, please sign, date and return your proxy promptly. In the event you are able to attend the Special Meeting, at your request, we will cancel your previously submitted proxy.

 

HOUSEHOLDING

 

The SEC has adopted rules that permit companies and intermediaries (e.g., brokers) to satisfy the delivery requirements for proxy statements and other Special Meeting materials with respect to two or more stockholders sharing the same address by delivering a proxy statement or other Special Meeting materials addressed to those stockholders. This process, which is commonly referred to as householding, potentially provides extra convenience for stockholders and cost savings for companies. Stockholders who participate in householding will continue to be able to access and receive separate proxy cards.

 

If you share an address with another stockholder and have received multiple copies of our proxy materials, you may write or call us at the address and phone number below to request delivery of a single copy of the notice and, if applicable, other proxy materials in the future. We undertake to deliver promptly upon written or oral request a separate copy of the proxy materials, as requested, to a stockholder at a shared address to which a single copy of the proxy materials was delivered. If you hold stock as a record stockholder and prefer to receive separate copies of our proxy materials either now or in the future, please contact us at 9841 Washington Boulevard, #200, Gaithersburg, MD 20878 Attn: Corporate Secretary. If your stock is held through a brokerage firm or bank and you prefer to receive separate copies of our proxy materials either now or in the future, please contact your brokerage firm or bank.

 

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ANNUAL REPORT

 

Additional copies of our Annual Report on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q for the second quarter ended December 31, 2021 may be requested by contacting the Company at 9841 Washingtonian Boulevard, #200, Gaithersburg, MD 20878.

 

  BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
   
   
  Anshu Bhatnagar
  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
February 8, 2022  

 

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PROXY CARD

 

mPHASE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

 

PROXY FOR SPECIAL MEETING TO BE HELD ON MARCH     , 2022
THIS PROXY IS SOLICITED ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

The undersigned hereby appoints, [    ], as proxy, with full power of substitution, to represent and to vote all the shares of common stock of mPhase Technologies, Inc. (the “Company”), which the undersigned would be entitled to vote, at the Company’s Special Meeting of Stockholders to be held on March     , 2022 and at any adjournments thereof, subject to the directions indicated on this Proxy Card.

 

In their discretion, the proxy is authorized to vote upon any other matter that may properly come before the meeting or any adjournments thereof.

 

THIS PROXY WILL BE VOTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS MADE, BUT IF NO CHOICES ARE INDICATED, THIS PROXY WILL BE VOTED FOR THE ELECTION OF ALL DIRECTOR NOMINEES AND FOR THE PROPOSALS LISTED ON THE REVERSE SIDE.

 

IMPORTANT — This Proxy must be signed and dated below.

 

The Special Meeting of Stockholders of mPhase Technologies, Inc. will be held at the following location 1101 Wootton Pkwy, #1020, Rockville, MD, 20852 on March     , 2022. The proxy statement, notice of the Special Meeting, a copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K and 10-Q for the second quarter ended December 31, 2021, and this proxy card are being mailed to all stockholders eligible to vote at the Special Meeting.

 

THIS IS YOUR PROXY
YOUR VOTE IS IMPORTANT!

 

Dear Stockholder:

 

You are cordially invited to our 2022 Special stockholder meeting. Please read the proxy statement which describes the proposals and presents other important information, and complete, sign and return your proxy promptly in the enclosed envelope.

 

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS RECOMMENDS A VOTE FOR PROPOSALS 1 and 2.

 

1. Proposal to Amend the Articles of Incorporation to Effect a Reverse Stock Split  

FOR

 

AGAINST

 

ABSTAIN

             
2. Proposal to approve and adopt the 2022 Equity and Incentive Plan  

FOR

 

AGAINST

 

ABSTAIN

 

Important: Please sign exactly as name appears on this proxy. When signing as attorney, executor, trustee, guardian, corporate officer, etc., please indicate full title.

 

Dated: ________________, 2022  
   
Signature  
 
Signature  
 
(Joint Owners)  
Name(printed)  
Title              

 

 

 

 

YOUR VOTE IS IMPORTANT

 

VOTE BY INTERNET:

 

1. BEFORE THE MEETING: Go to

 

Use the Internet to transmit your voting instructions and for electronic delivery of information. Vote by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March     , 2022. Have your proxy card and control number in hand when you access the web site and follow the instructions.

 

2. DURING THE MEETING: Go to

 

You may attend the Meeting and vote during the Special Meeting.

 

VOTE BY MAIL:

 

Please mark, sign and date your proxy card and return it in the postage-paid envelope we have provided.

 

YOUR CONTROL NUMBER IS:

 

REMINDER: You may vote your proxy by Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Internet voting is available through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, prevailing time, on March     , 2022.

 

Your Internet vote authorizes the named proxies to vote in the same manner as if you attended the meeting.

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX A

 

Amendment to Articles of Incorporation of mPhase Technologies, Inc. for Reverse Stock Split

 

Paragraph IV – Shares of Common Stock shall be amended to add the following section:

 

Section 5. Reverse Stock SplitEffective upon the filing of this Certificate of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State of the State of New Jersey (the “Effective Time”), the shares of the Corporation’s Common Stock issued and outstanding immediately prior to the Effective Time (the “Old Common Stock”), will be automatically reclassified as and combined into shares of Common Stock (the “New Common Stock”) such that each [ ] ([ ]) shares of Old Common Stock shall be reclassified as and combined into one share of New Common Stock. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, no fractional shares of New Common Stock shall be issued to the holders of record of Old Common Stock in connection with the foregoing reclassification of shares of Old Common Stock. Stockholders who, immediately prior to the Effective Time, own a number of shares of Old Common Stock, which is not evenly divisible by [ ] shall, with respect to such fractional interest, be entitled to receive one (1) whole share of Common Stock in lieu of a fraction of a share of New Common Stock. Each stock certificate that, immediately prior to the Effective Time represented shares of Old Common Stock shall, from and after the Effective Time, automatically and without the necessity of presenting the same for exchange, represent that number of whole shares of New Common Stock into which the shares of Old Common Stock represented by such certificate shall have been reclassified; provided, however, that each holder of record of a certificate that represented shares of Old Common Stock shall receive, upon surrender of such certificate, a new certificate representing the number of whole shares of New Common Stock into which the shares of Old Common Stock represented by such certificate shall have been reclassified as set forth above. In conjunction with the Reverse Stock Split, no stockholder holding at least a round lot (100 shares) prior to the Reverse Stock Split shall have less than one round lot (100 shares) after the Reverse Stock Split.

 

 
 

 

APPENDIX B

 

mPHASE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

2022 EQUITY AND INCENTIVE PLAN

 

SECTION 1. GENERAL PURPOSE OF THE PLAN: DEFINITIONS

 

The name of the plan is the mPHASE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 2022 EQUITY AND INCENTIVE PLAN (the “Plan”). The purpose of the Plan is to encourage, retain and enable the officers, employees, directors, Consultants and other key persons of mPHASE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., a New Jersey corporation (including any successor entity, the “Company”) and its Subsidiaries, upon whose judgment, initiative and efforts the Company largely depends for the successful conduct of its business, to acquire a proprietary interest in the Company.

 

The following terms shall be defined as set forth below:

 

“Affiliate” of any Person means a Person that directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries, controls, is controlled by or is under common control with the first mentioned Person. A Person shall be deemed to control another Person if such first Person possesses directly or indirectly the power to direct, or cause the direction of, the management and policies of the second Person, whether through the ownership of voting securities, by contract or otherwise.

 

“Award” or “Awards,” except where referring to a particular category of grant under the Plan, shall include Incentive Stock Options, Non-Qualified Stock Options, Stock Appreciation Rights (“SAR”), Restricted Stock Awards (including preferred stock), Unrestricted Stock Awards, Restricted Stock Units, Performance Awards or any combination of the foregoing.

 

“Award Agreement” means a written or electronic agreement setting forth the terms and provisions applicable to an Award granted under the Plan. Each Award Agreement may contain terms and conditions in addition to those set forth in the Plan; provided, however, in the event of any conflict in the terms of the Plan and the Award Agreement, the terms of the Plan shall govern.

 

“Board” means the Board of Directors of the Company.

 

“Cause” shall have the meaning as set forth in the Award Agreement(s). In the case that any Award Agreement does not contain a definition of “Cause,” it shall mean (i) the grantee’s dishonest statements or acts with respect to the Company or any Affiliate of the Company, or any current or prospective customers, suppliers vendors or other third parties with which such entity does business; (ii) the grantee’s commission of (A) a felony or (B) any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, deceit, dishonesty or fraud; (iii) the grantee’s failure to perform his assigned duties and responsibilities to the reasonable satisfaction of the Company which failure continues, in the reasonable judgment of the Company, after written notice given to the grantee by the Company; (iv) the grantee’s gross negligence, willful misconduct or insubordination with respect to the Company or any Affiliate of the Company; or (v) the grantee’s material violation of any provision of any agreement(s) between the grantee and the Company relating to noncompetition, nonsolicitation, nondisclosure and/or assignment of inventions.

 

“Chief Executive Officer” means the Chief Executive Officer of the Company or, if there is no Chief Executive Officer, then the President of the Company.

 

“Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and any successor Code, and related rules, regulations and interpretations.

 

“Committee” means the Committee of the Board referred to in Section 2.

 

“Consultant” means any entity or natural person that provides bona fide services to the Company (including a Subsidiary), and such services are not in connection with the offer or sale of securities in a capital-raising transaction and do not directly or indirectly promote or maintain a market for the Company’s securities.

 

“Disability” means such condition which renders a Person (A) unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or can be expect to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months, (B) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months, receiving income replacement benefits for a period of not less than 3 months under an accident and health plan covering employees of the Company, (C) determined to be totally disabled by the Social Security Administration, or (D) determined to be disabled under a disability insurance program which provides for a definition of disability that meets the requirements of this section.

 

“Effective Date” means the date on which the Plan is adopted as set forth in this Plan.

 

“Exchange Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the rules and regulations thereunder.

 

1

 

 

“Fair Market Value” of the Stock on any given date means the fair market value of the Stock determined in good faith by the Committee based on the reasonable application of a reasonable valuation method that is consistent with Section 409A of the Code. If the Stock is admitted to trade on a national securities exchange, the determination shall be made by reference to the closing price reported on such exchange. If there is no closing price for such date, the determination shall be made by reference to the last date preceding such date for which there is a closing price. If the date for which Fair Market Value is determined is the first day when trading prices for the Stock are reported on a national securities exchange, the Fair Market Value shall be the “Price to the Public” (or equivalent).

 

“Good Reason” shall have the meaning as set forth in the Award Agreement(s). In the case that any Award Agreement does not contain a definition of “Good Reason,” it shall mean (i) a material diminution in the grantee’s base salary except for across-the-board salary reductions similarly affecting all or substantially all similarly situated employees of the Company or (ii) a change of more than 100 miles in the geographic location at which the grantee provides services to the Company, so long as the grantee provides at least 90 days’ notice to the Company following the initial occurrence of any such event and the Company fails to cure such event within 30 days thereafter.

 

“Grant Date” means the date that the Committee designates in its approval of an Award in accordance with applicable law as the date on which the Award is granted, which date may not precede the date of such Committee approval.

 

“Holder” means, with respect to an Award or any Shares, the Person holding such Award or Shares, including the initial recipient of the Award or any Permitted Transferee.

 

“Incentive Stock Option” means any Stock Option designated and qualified as an “incentive stock option” as defined in Section 422 of the Code.

 

“Non-Qualified Stock Option” means any Stock Option that is not an Incentive Stock Option.

 

“Option” or “Stock Option” means any option to purchase shares of Stock granted pursuant to Section 5.

 

“Permitted Transferees” shall mean any of the following to whom a Holder may transfer Shares hereunder (as set forth in Section 10(a)(ii)(A)): the Holder’s child, stepchild, grandchild, parent, step-parent, grandparent, spouse, former spouse, sibling, niece, nephew, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law, including adoptive relationships, any person sharing the Holder’s household (other than a tenant or employee), a trust in which these persons have more than fifty percent of the beneficial interest, a foundation in which these persons control the management of assets, and any other entity in which these persons own more than fifty percent of the voting interests; provided, however, that any such trust does not require or permit distribution of any Shares during the term of the Award Agreement unless subject to its terms. Upon the death of the Holder, the term Permitted Transferees shall also include such deceased Holder’s estate, executors, administrators, personal representatives, heirs, legatees and distributees, as the case may be.

 

“Person” shall mean any individual, corporation, partnership (limited or general), limited liability company, limited liability partnership, association, trust, joint venture, unincorporated organization or any similar entity.

 

“Restricted Stock Award” means Awards granted pursuant to Section 7 and “Restricted Stock” means Shares issued pursuant to such Awards.

 

“Restricted Stock Unit” means an Award of phantom stock units to a grantee, which may be settled in cash or Shares as determined by the Committee, pursuant to Section 9.

 

“Sale Event” means the consummation of i) a change in the ownership of the Company, ii) a change in effective control of the Company, or iii) a change in the ownership of a substantial portion of the assets of the Company. The occurrence of a Sale Event shall be acknowledged by the plan administrator or board of directors, by strictly applying these provisions without any discretion to deviate from the objective application of the definitions provided herein; provided, however, that any capital raising event, or a merger effected solely to change the Company’s domicile shall not constitute a “Sale Event.”

 

Except as otherwise provided herein, a change in the ownership of the Company occurs on the date that any one person, or more than one person acting as a group acquires ownership of stock of the Company that, together with stock held by such person or group, constitutes more than 50 percent of the total fair market value or total voting power of the stock of the Company. However, if any one person, or more than one person acting as a group, is considered to own more than 50 percent of the total fair market value or total voting power of the stock of the Company the acquisition of additional stock by the same person or persons is not considered to cause a change in the ownership of the Company (or to cause a change in the effective control of the Company). An increase in the percentage of stock owned by any one person, or persons acting as a group, as a result of a transaction in which the corporation acquires its stock in exchange for property will be treated as an acquisition of stock for purposes of this section. This section applies only when there is a transfer of stock of the Company (or issuance of stock) which remains outstanding after the transaction.

 

2

 

 

A change in the effective control of the Company occurs only on either of the following dates: (1) The date any one person, or more than one person acting as a group acquires (or has acquired during the 12-month period ending on the date of the most recent acquisition by such person or persons) ownership of stock of the Company possessing 30 percent or more of the total voting power of the stock of the Company; (2) The date a majority of members of the Company’s board of directors is replaced during any 12-month period by directors whose appointment or election is not endorsed by a majority of the members of the Company’s board of directors before the date of the appointment or election.

 

A change in the ownership of a substantial portion of the Company’s assets occurs on the date that any one person, or more than one person acting as a group acquires (or has acquired during the 12- month period ending on the date of the most recent acquisition by such person or persons) assets from the Company that have a total gross fair market value equal to or more than 40 percent of the total gross fair market value of all of the assets of the Company immediately before such acquisition or acquisitions. For this purpose, gross fair market value means the value of the assets of the corporation, or the value of the assets being disposed of, determined without regard to any liabilities associated with such assets.

 

“Section 409A” means Section 409A of the Code and the regulations and other guidance promulgated thereunder.

 

“Securities Act” means the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the rules and regulations thereunder.

 

“Service Relationship” means any relationship as a full-time employee, part-time employee, director or other key person (including Consultants) of the Company or any Subsidiary or any successor entity (e.g., a Service Relationship shall be deemed to continue without interruption in the event an individual’s status changes from full-time employee to part-time employee or Consultant).

 

“Shares” means shares of Stock.

 

“Stock” means the Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share, of the Company.

 

Stock Appreciation Right” or “SAR” means any right to receive from the Company upon exercise by an optionee or settlement, in cash, Shares, or a combination thereof, the excess of (i) the Fair Market Value of one Share on the date of exercise or settlement over (ii) the exercise price of the right on the date of grant, or if granted in connection with an Option, on the date of grant of the Option.

 

“Subsidiary” means any corporation or other entity (other than the Company) in which the Company has more than a 50 percent interest, either directly or indirectly.

 

“Ten Percent Owner” means an employee who owns or is deemed to own (by reason of the attribution rules of Section 424(d) of the Code) more than 10 percent of the combined voting power of all classes of stock of the Company or any parent of the Company or any Subsidiary.

 

“Termination Event” means the termination of the Award recipient’s Service Relationship with the Company and its Subsidiaries for any reason whatsoever, regardless of the circumstances thereof, and including, without limitation, upon death, disability, retirement, discharge or resignation for any reason, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. The following shall not constitute a Termination Event: (i) a transfer to the service of the Company from a Subsidiary or from the Company to a Subsidiary, or from one Subsidiary to another Subsidiary or (ii) an approved leave of absence for military service or sickness, or for any other purpose approved by the Committee, if the individual’s right to re-employment is guaranteed either by a statute or by contract or under the policy pursuant to which the leave of absence was granted or if the Committee otherwise so provides in writing.

 

“Unrestricted Stock Award” means any Award granted pursuant to Section 8 and “Unrestricted Stock” means Shares issued pursuant to such Awards.

 

SECTION 2. ADMINISTRATION OF PLAN; COMMITTEE AUTHORITY TO SELECT GRANTEES AND DETERMINE AWARDS

 

(a) Administration of Plan. The Plan shall be administered by the Compensation Committee of the Board, comprised of not less than three directors or the Board of Directors in the absence of a Compensation Committee of the Board. All references herein to the “Committee” shall be deemed to refer to the group then responsible for administration of the Plan at the relevant time (i.e., either the Board of Directors or a committee or committees of the Board, as applicable).

 

(b) Powers of Committee. The Committee shall have the power and authority to grant Awards consistent with the terms of the Plan, including the power and authority:

 

(i) to select the individuals to whom Awards may from time to time be granted;

 

(ii) to determine the time or times of grant, and the amount, if any, of Incentive Stock Options, Non-Qualified Stock Options, SARs, Restricted Stock Awards, Unrestricted Stock Awards, Restricted Stock Units, or any combination of the foregoing, granted to any one or more grantees;

 

(iii) to determine the number and types of Shares to be covered by any Award and, subject to the provisions of the Plan, the price, exercise price, conversion ratio or other price relating thereto;

 

3

 

 

(iv) to determine and, subject to Section 13, to modify from time to time the terms and conditions, including restrictions, not inconsistent with the terms of the Plan, of any Award, which terms and conditions may differ among individual Awards and grantees, and to approve the form of Award Agreements;

 

(v) to accelerate at any time the exercisability or vesting of all or any portion of any Award; (vi) to impose any limitations on Awards, including limitations on transfers, repurchase provisions and the like, and to exercise repurchase rights or obligations;

 

(vii) subject to Section 5(a)(ii) and any restrictions imposed by Section 409A, to extend at any time the period in which Stock Options may be exercised; and

 

(viii) at any time to adopt, alter and repeal such rules, guidelines and practices for administration of the Plan and for its own acts and proceedings as it shall deem advisable; to interpret the terms and provisions of the Plan and any Award (including Award Agreements); to make all determinations it deems advisable for the administration of the Plan; to decide all disputes arising in connection with the Plan; and to otherwise supervise the administration of the Plan.

 

All decisions and interpretations of the Committee shall be binding on all persons, including the Company and all Holders.

 

(c) Award Agreement. Awards under the Plan shall be evidenced by Award Agreements that set forth the terms, conditions and limitations for each Award.

 

(d) Indemnification. Neither the Board nor the Committee, nor any member of either or any delegate thereof, shall be liable for any act, omission, interpretation, construction or determination made in good faith in connection with the Plan, and the members of the Board and the Committee (and any delegate thereof) shall be entitled in all cases to indemnification and reimbursement by the Company in respect of any claim, loss, damage or expense (including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising or resulting therefrom to the fullest extent permitted by law and/or under the Company’s governing documents, including its certificate of incorporation or bylaws, or any directors’ and officers’ liability insurance coverage which may be in effect from time to time and/or any indemnification agreement between such individual and the Company.

 

(e) Foreign Award Recipients. Notwithstanding any provision of the Plan to the contrary, in order to comply with the laws in other countries in which the Company and any Subsidiary operate or have employees or other individuals eligible for Awards, the Committee, in its sole discretion, shall have the power and authority to: (i) determine which Subsidiaries, if any, shall be covered by the Plan; (ii) determine which individuals, if any, outside the United States are eligible to participate in the Plan; (iii) modify the terms and conditions of any Award granted to individuals outside the United States to comply with applicable foreign laws; (iv) establish subplans and modify exercise procedures and other terms and procedures, to the extent the Committee determines such actions to be necessary or advisable (and such subplans and/or modifications shall be attached to the Plan as appendices); provided, however, that no such subplans and/or modifications shall increase the share limitation contained in Section 3(a) hereof; and (v) take any action, before or after an Award is made, that the Committee determines to be necessary or advisable to obtain approval or comply with any local governmental regulatory exemptions or approvals.

 

SECTION 3. STOCK ISSUABLE UNDER THE PLAN; MERGERS AND OTHER TRANSACTIONS; SUBSTITUTION

 

(a) Stock Issuable. The maximum number of Shares reserved and available for issuance under the Plan shall be 15,000,000 Shares (the “Share Reserve”), subject to adjustment as provided in Section 3(b) and the following sentence regarding the annual increase. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Board may act prior to January 1st of a given year to provide that there will be no January 1st increase in the Share Reserve for such year or that the increase in the Share Reserve for such year will be a lesser number of shares of Stock than would otherwise occur pursuant to the preceding sentence. If a Stock Award or any portion thereof (i) expires or otherwise terminates without all of the shares covered by such Stock Award having been issued or (ii) is settled in cash (i.e., the Participant receives cash rather than stock), the Shares subject to such Stock Award, to the extent of any such expiration, termination or settlement, will again be available for issuance under the Plan. If any shares of Stock issued pursuant to a Stock Award are forfeited back to or repurchased by the Company because of the failure to meet a contingency or condition required to vest such shares in the Participant, then the shares that are forfeited or repurchased will revert to and again become available for issuance under the Plan. Any shares reacquired by the Company in satisfaction of tax withholding obligations on a Stock Award or as consideration for the exercise or purchase price of a Stock Award will again become available for issuance under the Plan. For purposes of this limitation, the Shares underlying any Awards that are forfeited, canceled, reacquired by the Company prior to vesting, satisfied without the issuance of Stock or otherwise terminated (other than by exercise) shall be added back to the Shares available for issuance under the Plan. Subject to such overall limitations, Shares may be issued up to such maximum number pursuant to any type or types of Award. The value of any Shares granted to a non-employee director of the Company, solely for services as a director, when added to any annual cash payments or awards, shall not exceed an aggregate value of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) in any calendar year.

 

4

 

 

(b) Changes in Stock. Subject to Section 3(c) hereof, if, as a result of any reorganization, recapitalization, reclassification, stock dividend, stock split, reverse stock split or other similar change in the Company’s capital stock, the outstanding Shares are increased or decreased or are exchanged for a different number or kind of shares or other securities of the Company, or additional Shares or new or different shares or other securities of the Company or other non-cash assets are distributed with respect to such Shares or other securities, in each case, without the receipt of consideration by the Company, or, if, as a result of any merger or consolidation, or sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company, the outstanding Shares are converted into or exchanged for other securities of the Company or any successor entity (or a parent or subsidiary thereof), the Committee shall make an appropriate and proportionate adjustment in (i) the maximum number of Shares reserved for issuance under the Plan, (ii) the number and kind of Shares or other securities subject to any then outstanding Awards under the Plan, (iii) the repurchase price, if any, per Share subject to each outstanding Award, and (iv) the exercise price for each Share subject to any then outstanding Stock Options under the Plan, without changing the aggregate exercise price (i.e., the exercise price multiplied by the number of Stock Options) as to which such Stock Options remain exercisable. The Committee shall in any event make such adjustments as may be required by the laws of New Jersey and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. The adjustment by the Committee shall be final, binding and conclusive. No fractional Shares shall be issued under the Plan resulting from any such adjustment, but the Committee in its discretion may make a cash payment in lieu of fractional shares.

 

(c) Sale Events.

 

(i) Options.

 

(A) In the case of and subject to the consummation of a Sale Event, the Plan and all outstanding Options and SARs issued hereunder shall become one hundred percent (100%) vested upon the effective time of any such Sale Event. New stock options or other awards of the successor entity or parent thereof shall be substituted therefor, with an equitable or proportionate adjustment as to the number and kind of shares and, if appropriate, the per share exercise prices, as such parties shall agree (after taking into account any acceleration hereunder and/or pursuant to the terms of any Award Agreement).

 

(B) In the event of the termination of the Plan and all outstanding Options and SARs issued hereunder pursuant to Section 3(c), each Holder of Options shall be permitted, within a period of time prior to the consummation of the Sale Event as specified by the Committee, to exercise all such Options or SARs which are then exercisable or will become exercisable as of the effective time of the Sale Event; provided, however, that the exercise of Options not exercisable prior to the Sale Event shall be subject to the consummation of the Sale Event.

 

(C) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Section 3(c)(i)(A), in the event of a Sale Event, the Company shall have the right, but not the obligation, to make or provide for a cash payment to the Holders of Options, without any consent of the Holders, in exchange for the cancellation thereof, in an amount equal to the difference between (A) the value as determined by the Committee of the consideration payable per share of Stock pursuant to the Sale Event (the “Sale Price”) times the number of Shares subject to outstanding Options being cancelled (to the extent then vested and exercisable, including by reason of acceleration in connection with such Sale Event, at prices not in excess of the Sale Price) and (B) the aggregate exercise price of all such outstanding vested and exercisable Options.

 

(ii) Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Unit Awards.

 

(A) In the case of and subject to the consummation of a Sale Event, all unvested Restricted Stock and unvested Restricted Stock Unit Awards issued hereunder shall become one hundred percent (100%) vested, with an equitable or proportionate adjustment as to the number and kind of shares subject to such awards as such parties shall agree (after taking into account any acceleration hereunder and/or pursuant to the terms of any Award Agreement).

 

(B) Such Restricted Stock shall be repurchased from the Holder thereof at the then Fair Market Value of such shares, (subject to adjustment as provided in Section 3(b)) for such Shares.

 

(C) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Section 3(c)(ii)(A), in the event of a Sale Event, the Company shall have the right, but not the obligation, to make or provide for a cash payment to the Holders of Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Unit Awards, without consent of the Holders, in exchange for the cancellation thereof, in an amount equal to the Sale Price times the number of Shares subject to such Awards, to be paid at the time of such Sale Event or upon the later vesting of such Awards.

 

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SECTION 4. ELIGIBILITY

 

Grantees under the Plan will be such full or part-time officers and other employees, directors, Consultants and key persons of the Company and any Subsidiary who are selected from time to time by the Committee in its sole discretion; provided, however, that Awards shall be granted only to those individuals described in Rule 701(c) of the Securities Act.

 

SECTION 5. STOCK OPTIONS

 

Upon the grant of a Stock Option, the Company and the grantee shall enter into an Award Agreement. The terms and conditions of each such Award Agreement shall be determined by the Committee, and such terms and conditions may differ among individual Awards and grantees.

 

Stock Options granted under the Plan may be either Incentive Stock Options or Non-Qualified Stock Options. Incentive Stock Options may be granted only to employees of the Company or any Subsidiary that is a “subsidiary corporation” within the meaning of Section 424(f) of the Code. To the extent that any Option does not qualify as an Incentive Stock Option, it shall be deemed a Non-Qualified Stock Option.

 

(a) Terms of Stock Options. The Committee in its discretion may grant Stock Options to those individuals who meet the eligibility requirements of Section 4. Stock Options shall be subject to the following terms and conditions and shall contain such additional terms and conditions, not inconsistent with the terms of the Plan, as the Committee shall deem desirable.

 

(i) Exercise Price. The exercise price per share for the Shares covered by a Stock Option shall be determined by the Committee at the time of grant but shall not be less than 100 percent of the Fair Market Value on the Grant Date. In the case of an Incentive Stock Option that is granted to a Ten Percent Owner, the exercise price per share for the Shares covered by such Incentive Stock Option shall not be less than 110 percent of the Fair Market Value on the Grant Date.

 

(ii) Option Term. The term of each Stock Option shall be fixed by the Committee, but no Stock Option shall be exercisable more than ten years from the Grant Date. In the case of an Incentive Stock Option that is granted to a Ten Percent Owner, the term of such Stock Option shall be no more than five years from the Grant Date.

 

(iii) Exercisability; Rights of a Stockholder. Stock Options shall become exercisable and/or vested at such time or times, whether or not in installments, as shall be determined by the Committee at or after the Grant Date. The Award Agreement may permit a grantee to exercise all or a portion of a Stock Option immediately at grant; provided that the Shares issued upon such exercise shall be subject to restrictions and a vesting schedule identical to the vesting schedule of the related Stock Option, such Shares shall be deemed to be Restricted Stock for purposes of the Plan, and the optionee may be required to enter into an additional or new Award Agreement as a condition to exercise of such Stock Option. An optionee shall have the rights of a stockholder only as to Shares acquired upon the exercise of a Stock Option and not as to unexercised Stock Options. An optionee shall not be deemed to have acquired any Shares unless and until a Stock Option shall have been exercised pursuant to the terms of the Award Agreement and this Plan and the optionee’s name has been entered on the books of the Company as a stockholder.

 

(iv) Method of Exercise. Stock Options may be exercised by an optionee in whole or in part, by the optionee giving written or electronic notice of exercise to the Company, specifying the number of Shares to be purchased. Payment of the purchase price may be made by one or more of the following methods (or any combination thereof) to the extent provided in the Award Agreement:

 

(A) In cash, by certified or bank check, by wire transfer of immediately available funds, or other instrument acceptable to the Committee;

 

(B) If permitted by the Committee, by the optionee delivering to the Company a promissory note, if the Board has expressly authorized the loan of funds to the optionee for the purpose of enabling or assisting the optionee to effect the exercise of his or her Stock Option; provided, that at least so much of the exercise price as represents the par value of the Stock shall be paid in cash if required by state law;

 

(C) If permitted by the Committee, through the delivery (or attestation to the ownership) of Shares that have been purchased by the optionee on the open market or that are beneficially owned by the optionee and are not then subject to restrictions under any Company plan. To the extent required to avoid variable accounting treatment under applicable accounting rules, such surrendered Shares if originally purchased from the Company shall have been owned by the optionee for at least six months. Such surrendered Shares shall be valued at Fair Market Value on the exercise date;

 

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(D) If permitted by the Committee and by the optionee delivering to the Company a properly executed exercise notice together with irrevocable instructions to a broker to promptly deliver to the Company cash or a check payable and acceptable to the Company for the purchase price; provided that in the event the optionee chooses to pay the purchase price as so provided, the optionee and the broker shall comply with such procedures and enter into such agreements of indemnity and other agreements as the Committee shall prescribe as a condition of such payment procedure; or

 

(E) If permitted by the Committee, and only with respect to Stock Options that are not Incentive Stock Options, by a “net exercise” arrangement pursuant to which the Company will reduce the number of Shares issuable upon exercise by the largest whole number of Shares with a Fair Market Value that does not exceed the aggregate exercise price.

 

Payment instruments will be received subject to collection. No certificates for Shares so purchased will be issued to the optionee or, with respect to uncertificated Stock, no transfer to the optionee on the records of the Company will take place, until the Company has completed all steps it has deemed necessary to satisfy legal requirements relating to the issuance and sale of the Shares, which steps may include, without limitation, (i) receipt of a representation from the optionee at the time of exercise of the Option that the optionee is purchasing the Shares for the optionee’s own account and not with a view to any sale or distribution of the Shares or other representations relating to compliance with applicable law governing the issuance of securities, (ii) the legending of the certificate (or notation on any book entry) representing the Shares to evidence the foregoing restrictions, and (iii) obtaining from optionee payment or provision for all withholding taxes due as a result of the exercise of the Option. The delivery of certificates representing the shares of Stock (or the transfer to the optionee on the records of the Company with respect to uncertificated Stock) to be purchased pursuant to the exercise of a Stock Option will be contingent upon (A) receipt from the optionee (or a purchaser acting in his or her stead in accordance with the provisions of the Stock Option) by the Company of the full purchase price for such Shares and the fulfillment of any other requirements contained in the Award Agreement or applicable provisions of laws and (B) if required by the Company, the optionee shall have entered into any stockholders agreements or other agreements with the Company and/or certain other of the Company’s stockholders relating to the Stock. In the event an optionee chooses to pay the purchase price by previously-owned Shares through the attestation method, the number of Shares transferred to the optionee upon the exercise of the Stock Option shall be net of the number of Shares attested to by the Optionee.

 

(c) Termination. Any portion of a Stock Option that is not vested and exercisable on the date of termination of an optionee’s Service Relationship shall immediately expire and be null and void. Once any portion of the Stock Option becomes vested and exercisable, the optionee’s right to exercise such portion of the Stock Option (or the optionee’s representatives and legatees as applicable) in the event of a termination of the optionee’s Service Relationship shall continue until the earliest of: (i) the date which is: (A) 12 months following the date on which the optionee’s Service Relationship terminates due to death or Disability (or such longer period of time as determined by the Committee and set forth in the applicable Award Agreement), or (B) three months following the date on which the optionee’s Service Relationship terminates if the termination is due to any reason other than death or Disability (or such longer period of time as determined by the Committee and set forth in the applicable Award Agreement), or (ii) the Expiration Date set forth in the Award Agreement; provided that notwithstanding the foregoing, an Award Agreement may provide that if the optionee’s Service Relationship is terminated for Cause, the Stock Option shall terminate immediately and be null and void upon the date of the optionee’s termination and shall not thereafter be exercisable.

 

SECTION 6. STOCK APPRECIATION RIGHTS

 

The Committee is authorized to grant SARs to optionees with the following terms and conditions and with such additional terms and conditions, in either case not inconsistent with the provisions of the Plan, as the Committee shall determine:

 

(a) SARs may be granted under the Plan to optionees either alone or in addition to other Awards granted under the Plan and may, but need not, relate to specific Option granted under Section 5.

 

(b) The exercise price per Share under a SAR shall be determined by the Committee, provided, however, that except in the case of a substitute Award, such exercise price shall not be less than the fair market value of a Share on the date of grant of such SAR.

 

(c) The term of each SAR shall be fixed by the Committee but shall not exceed 10 years from the date of grant of such SAR.

 

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(d) The Committee shall determine the time or times at which a SAR may be exercised or settled in whole or in part. Unless otherwise determined by the Committee or unless otherwise set forth in an Award Agreement, the provisions set forth in Section 5 above with respect to exercise of an Award following termination of service shall apply to any SAR. The Committee may specify in an Award Agreement that an “in-the-money” SAR shall be automatically exercised on its expiration date.

 

SECTION 7. RESTRICTED STOCK AWARDS

 

(a) Nature of Restricted Stock Awards. The Committee may, in its sole discretion, grant (or sell at par value or such other purchase price determined by the Committee) to an eligible individual under Section 4 hereof a Restricted Stock Award under the Plan. The Committee shall determine the restrictions and conditions applicable to each Restricted Stock Award at the time of grant. Conditions may be based on the type of stock upon which restrictions are placed, continuing employment (or other Service Relationship), achievement of pre-established performance goals and objectives and/or such other criteria as the Committee may determine. Upon the grant of a Restricted Stock Award, the Company and the grantee shall enter into an Award Agreement. The terms and conditions of each such Award Agreement shall be determined by the Committee, and such terms and conditions may differ among individual Awards and grantees.

 

(b) Rights as a Stockholder. Upon the grant of the Restricted Stock Award and payment of any applicable purchase price, a grantee of Restricted Stock shall be considered the record owner of and shall be entitled to vote the Restricted Stock if, and to the extent, such Shares are entitled to voting rights, subject to such conditions contained in the Award Agreement. The grantee shall be entitled to receive all dividends and any other distributions declared on the Shares; provided, however, that the Company is under no duty to declare any such dividends or to make any such distribution. Unless the Committee shall otherwise determine, certificates evidencing the Restricted Stock shall remain in the possession of the Company until such Restricted Stock is vested as provided in subsection (d) below of this Section, and the grantee shall be required, as a condition of the grant, to deliver to the Company a stock power endorsed in blank and such other instruments of transfer as the Committee may prescribe.

 

(c) Restrictions. Restricted Stock may not be sold, assigned, transferred, pledged or otherwise encumbered or disposed of except as specifically provided herein or in the Award Agreement. Except as may otherwise be provided by the Committee either in the Award Agreement or, subject to Section 13 below, in writing after the Award Agreement is issued, if a grantee’s Service Relationship with the Company and any Subsidiary terminates, the Company or its assigns shall have the right, as may be specified in the relevant instrument, to repurchase some or all of the Shares subject to the Award at such purchase price as is set forth in the Award Agreement.

 

(d) Vesting of Restricted Stock. The Committee at the time of grant shall specify in the Award Agreement the date or dates and/or the attainment of pre-established performance goals, objectives and other conditions on which the substantial risk of forfeiture imposed shall lapse and the Restricted Stock shall become vested, subject to such further rights of the Company or its assigns as may be specified in the Award Agreement.

 

SECTION 8. UNRESTRICTED STOCK AWARDS

 

The Committee may, in its sole discretion, grant (or sell at par value or such other purchase price determined by the Committee) to an eligible person under Section 4 hereof an Unrestricted Stock Award under the Plan. Unrestricted Stock Awards may be granted in respect of past services or other valid consideration, or in lieu of cash compensation due to such grantee.

 

SECTION 9. RESTRICTED STOCK UNITS

 

(a) Nature of Restricted Stock Units. The Committee may, in its sole discretion, grant to an eligible person under Section 4 hereof Restricted Stock Units under the Plan. The Committee shall determine the restrictions and conditions applicable to each Restricted Stock Unit at the time of grant. Vesting conditions may be based on continuing employment (or other Service Relationship), achievement of pre-established performance goals and objectives which may be based on targets for revenue, revenue growth, EBITDA, net income, earnings per share and/or other such criteria as the Committee may determine. Upon the grant of Restricted Stock Units, the grantee and the Company shall enter into an Award Agreement. The terms and conditions of each such Award Agreement shall be determined by the Committee and may differ among individual Awards and grantees. On or promptly following the vesting date or dates applicable to any Restricted Stock Unit, but in no event later than March 15 of the year following the year in which such vesting occurs, such Restricted Stock Unit(s) shall be settled in the form of cash or shares of Stock, as specified in the Award Agreement. Restricted Stock Units may not be sold, assigned, transferred, pledged, or otherwise encumbered or disposed of.

 

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(b) Rights as a Stockholder. A grantee shall have the rights of a stockholder only as to Shares, if any, acquired upon settlement of Restricted Stock Units. A grantee shall not be deemed to have acquired any such Shares unless and until the Restricted Stock Units shall have been settled in Shares pursuant to the terms of the Plan and the Award Agreement, the Company shall have issued and delivered a certificate representing the Shares to the grantee (or transferred on the records of the Company with respect to uncertificated stock), and the grantee’s name has been entered in the books of the Company as a stockholder.

 

(c) Termination. Except as may otherwise be provided by the Committee either in the Award Agreement or in writing after the Award Agreement is issued, a grantee’s right in all Restricted Stock Units that have not vested shall automatically terminate upon the grantee’s cessation of Service Relationship with the Company and any Subsidiary for any reason.

 

SECTION 10. TRANSFER RESTRICTIONS; COMPANY RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL; COMPANY REPURCHASE RIGHTS

 

(a) Restrictions on Transfer.

 

(i) Non-Transferability of Certain Awards. Restricted Stock awards granted under Section 7, Stock Options, SARs and, prior to exercise, the Shares issuable upon exercise of such Stock Option, shall not be transferable by the optionee otherwise than by will, or by the laws of descent and distribution, and all Stock Options shall be exercisable, during the optionee’s lifetime, only by the optionee, or by the optionee’s legal representative or guardian in the event of the optionee’s incapacity. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Committee, in its sole discretion, may provide in the Award Agreement regarding a given Stock Option or Restricted Stock award that the optionee may transfer by gift, without consideration for the transfer, his or her Non-Qualified Stock Options to his or her family members (as defined in Rule 701 of the Securities Act), to trusts for the benefit of such family members, or to partnerships in which such family members are the only partners (to the extent such trusts or partnerships are considered “family members” for purposes of Rule 701 of the Securities Act), provided that the transferee agrees in writing with the Company to be bound by all of the terms and conditions of this Plan and the applicable Award Agreement, including the execution of a stock power upon the issuance of Shares. Stock Options, SARs and the Shares issuable upon exercise of such Stock Options, shall be restricted as to any pledge, hypothecation, or other transfer, including any short position, any “put equivalent position” (as defined in the Exchange Act) or any “call equivalent position” (as defined in the Exchange Act) prior to exercise.

 

(ii) Shares. No Shares shall be sold, assigned, transferred, pledged, hypothecated, given away or in any other manner disposed of or encumbered, whether voluntarily or by operation of law, unless (i) the transfer is in compliance with the terms of the applicable Award Agreement, all applicable securities laws (including, without limitation, the Securities Act), and with the terms and conditions of this Section 10, (ii) the transfer does not cause the Company to become subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, and the transferee consents in writing to be bound by the provisions of the Plan and the Award Agreement, including this Section 10. In connection with any proposed transfer, the Committee may require the transferor to provide at the transferor’s own expense an opinion of counsel to the transferor, satisfactory to the Committee, that such transfer is in compliance with all foreign, federal and state securities laws (including, without limitation, the Securities Act). Any attempted transfer of Shares not in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Section 10 shall be null and void, and the Company shall not reflect on its records any change in record ownership of any Shares as a result of any such transfer, shall otherwise refuse to recognize any such transfer and shall not in any way give effect to any such transfer of Shares. The Company shall be entitled to seek protective orders, injunctive relief and other remedies available at law or in equity including, without limitation, seeking specific performance or the rescission of any transfer not made in strict compliance with the provisions of this Section 10. Subject to the foregoing general provisions, and unless otherwise provided in the applicable Award Agreement, Shares may be transferred pursuant to the following specific terms and conditions (provided that with respect to any transfer of Restricted Stock, all vesting and forfeiture provisions shall continue to apply with respect to the original recipient):

 

(A) Transfers to Permitted Transferees. The Holder may transfer any or all of the Shares to one or more Permitted Transferees; provided, however, that following such transfer, such Shares shall continue to be subject to the terms of this Plan (including this Section 10) and such Permitted Transferee(s) shall, as a condition to any such transfer, deliver a written acknowledgment to that effect to the Company and shall deliver a stock power to the Company with respect to the Shares. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Holder may not transfer any of the Shares to a Person whom the Company reasonably determines is a direct competitor or a potential competitor of the Company or any of its Subsidiaries.

 

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(B) Transfers Upon Death. Upon the death of the Holder, any Shares then held by the Holder at the time of such death and any Shares acquired after the Holder’s death by the Holder’s legal representative shall be subject to the provisions of this Plan, and the Holder’s estate, executors, administrators, personal representatives, heirs, legatees and distributees shall be obligated to convey such Shares to the Company or its assigns under the terms contemplated by the Plan and the Award Agreement.

 

(b) Right of First Refusal. In the event that a Holder desires at any time to sell or otherwise transfer all or any part of his or her Shares (other than shares of Restricted Stock which by their terms are not transferrable), the Holder first shall give written notice to the Company of the Holder’s intention to make such transfer. Such notice shall state the number of Shares that the Holder proposes to sell (the “Offered Shares”), the price and the terms at which the proposed sale is to be made and the name and address of the proposed transferee. At any time within 30 days after the receipt of such notice by the Company, the Company or its assigns may elect to purchase all or any portion of the Offered Shares at the price and on the terms offered by the proposed transferee and specified in the notice. The Company or its assigns shall exercise this right by mailing or delivering written notice to the Holder within the foregoing 30-day period. If the Company or its assigns elect to exercise its purchase rights under this Section 10(b), the closing for such purchase shall, in any event, take place within 45 days after the receipt by the Company of the initial notice from the Holder. In the event that the Company or its assigns do not elect to exercise such purchase right, or in the event that the Company or its assigns do not pay the full purchase price within such 45-day period, the Holder shall be required to pay a transaction processing fee of $10,000 to the Company (unless waived by the Committee) and then may, within 60 days thereafter, sell the Offered Shares to the proposed transferee and at the same price and on the same terms as specified in the Holder’s notice. Any Shares not sold to the proposed transferee shall remain subject to the Plan. If the Holder is a party to any stockholders agreements or other agreements with the Company and/or certain other of the Company’s stockholders relating to the Shares, (i) the transferring Holder shall comply with the requirements of such stockholders agreements or other agreements relating to any proposed transfer of the Offered Shares, and (ii) any proposed transferee that purchases Offered Shares shall enter into such stockholders agreements or other agreements with the Company and/or certain of the Company’s stockholders relating to the Offered Shares on the same terms and in the same capacity as the transferring Holder.

 

(c) Company’s Right of Repurchase.

 

(i) Right of Repurchase for Unvested Shares Issued Upon the Exercise of an Option. Upon a Termination Event, the Company or its assigns shall have the right and option to repurchase from a Holder of Shares acquired upon exercise of a Stock Option which is still subject to a risk of forfeiture as of the Termination Event. Such repurchase rights may be exercised by the Company within the later of (A) six months following the date of such Termination Event or (B) seven months after the acquisition of Shares upon exercise of a Stock Option. The repurchase price shall be equal to the lower of the original per share price paid by the Holder, subject to adjustment as provided in Section 3(b) of the Plan, or the current Fair Market Value of such Shares as of the date the Company elects to exercise its repurchase rights.

 

(ii) Right of Repurchase With Respect to Restricted Stock. Upon a Termination Event, the Company or its assigns shall have the right and option to repurchase from a Holder of Shares received pursuant to a Restricted Stock Award any Shares that are still subject to a risk of forfeiture as of the Termination Event. Such repurchase right may be exercised by the Company within six months following the date of such Termination Event. The repurchase price shall be the lower of the original per share purchase price paid by the Holder, subject to adjustment as provided in Section 3(b) of the Plan, or the current Fair Market Value of such Shares as of the date the Company elects to exercise its repurchase rights.

 

(iii) Procedure. Any repurchase right of the Company shall be exercised by the Company or its assigns by giving the Holder written notice on or before the last day of the repurchase period of its intention to exercise such repurchase right. Upon such notification, the Holder shall promptly surrender to the Company, free and clear of any liens or encumbrances, any certificates representing the Shares being purchased, together with a duly executed stock power for the transfer of such Shares to the Company or the Company’s assignee or assignees. Upon the Company’s or its assignee’s receipt of the certificates from the Holder, the Company or its assignee or assignees shall deliver to him, her or them a check for the applicable repurchase price; provided, however, that the Company may pay the repurchase price by offsetting and canceling any indebtedness then owed by the Holder to the Company.

 

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(d) Escrow Arrangement.

 

(i) Escrow. In order to carry out the provisions of this Section 10 of this Plan more effectively, the Company shall hold any Shares issued pursuant to Awards granted under the Plan in escrow together with separate stock powers executed by the Holder in blank for transfer. The Company shall not dispose of the Shares except as otherwise provided in this Plan. In the event of any repurchase by the Company (or any of its assigns), the Company is hereby authorized by the Holder, as the Holder’s attorney-in-fact, to date and complete the stock powers necessary for the transfer of the Shares being purchased and to transfer such Shares in accordance with the terms hereof. At such time as any Shares are no longer subject to the Company’s repurchase and first refusal rights, the Company shall, at the written request of the Holder, deliver to the Holder a certificate representing such Shares with the balance of the Shares to be held in escrow pursuant to this Section.

 

(ii) Remedy. Without limitation of any other provision of this Plan or other rights, in the event that a Holder or any other Person is required to sell a Holder’s Shares pursuant to the provisions of Sections 10(b) or (c) hereof and in the further event that he or she refuses or for any reason fails to deliver to the Company or its designated purchaser of such Shares the certificate or certificates evidencing such Shares together with a related stock power, the Company or such designated purchaser may deposit the applicable purchase price for such Shares with a bank designated by the Company, or with the Company’s independent public accounting firm, as agent or trustee, or in escrow, for such Holder or other Person, to be held by such bank or accounting firm for the benefit of and for delivery to him, her, them or it, and/or, in its discretion, pay such purchase price by offsetting any indebtedness then owed by such Holder as provided above. Upon any such deposit and/or offset by the Company or its designated purchaser of such amount and upon notice to the Person who was required to sell the Shares to be sold pursuant to the provisions of Sections 10(b) or (c), such Shares shall at such time be deemed to have been sold, assigned, transferred and conveyed to such purchaser, such Holder shall have no further rights thereto (other than the right to withdraw the payment thereof held in escrow, if applicable), and the Company shall record such transfer in its stock transfer book or in any appropriate manner.

 

(e) Lockup Provision. If requested by the Company, a Holder shall not sell or otherwise transfer or dispose of any Shares (including, without limitation, pursuant to Rule 144 under the Securities Act) held by him or her for such period following the effective date of a public offering by the Company of Shares as the Company shall specify reasonably and in good faith. If requested by the underwriter engaged by the Company, each Holder shall execute a separate letter confirming his or her agreement to comply with this Section.

 

(f) Adjustments for Changes in Capital Structure. If, as a result of any reorganization, recapitalization, reclassification, stock dividend, stock split, reverse stock split or other similar change in the Common Stock, the outstanding Shares are increased or decreased or are exchanged for a different number or kind of securities of the Company, the restrictions contained in this Section 10 shall apply with equal force to additional and/or substitute securities, if any, received by Holder in exchange for, or by virtue of his or her ownership of, Shares.

 

(g) Termination. The terms and provisions of Section 10(b) and Section 10(c) (except for the Company’s right to repurchase Shares still subject to a risk of forfeiture upon a Termination Event) shall terminate upon consummation of any Sale Event, in either case as a result of which Shares are registered under Section 12 of the Exchange Act and publicly-traded on any national security exchange.

 

SECTION 11. TAX WITHHOLDING

 

(a) Payment by Grantee. Each grantee shall, no later than the date as of which the value of an Award or of any Shares or other amounts received thereunder first becomes includable in the gross income of the grantee for income tax purposes, pay to the Company, or make arrangements satisfactory to the Committee regarding payment of, any Federal, state, or local taxes of any kind required by law to be withheld by the Company with respect to such income. The Company and any Subsidiary shall, to the extent permitted by law, have the right to deduct any such taxes from any payment of any kind otherwise due to the grantee. The Company’s obligation to deliver stock certificates (or evidence of book entry) to any grantee is subject to and conditioned on any such tax withholding obligations being satisfied by the grantee.

 

(b) Payment in Stock. The Company’s minimum required tax withholding obligation may be satisfied, in whole or in part, by the Company withholding from Shares to be issued pursuant to an Award a number of Shares having an aggregate Fair Market Value (as of the date the withholding is effected) that would satisfy the minimum withholding amount due.

 

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SECTION 12. SECTION 409A AWARDS

 

To the extent that any Award is determined to constitute “nonqualified deferred compensation” within the meaning of Section 409A (a “409A Award”), the Award shall be subject to such additional rules and requirements as may be specified by the Committee from time to time. In this regard, if any amount under a 409A Award is payable upon a “separation from service” (within the meaning of Section 409A) to a grantee who is considered a “specified employee” (within the meaning of Section 409A), then no such payment shall be made prior to the date that is the earlier of (i) six months and one day after the grantee’s separation from service, or (ii) the grantee’s death, but only to the extent such delay is necessary to prevent such payment from being subject to interest, penalties and/or additional tax imposed pursuant to Section 409A. The Company makes no representation or warranty and shall have no liability to any grantee under the Plan or any other Person with respect to any penalties or taxes under Section 409A that are, or may be, imposed with respect to any Award. It is the intent of the Board that payments and benefits under the Plan comply with or be exempt from Section 409A and the regulations and guidance promulgated thereunder and, accordingly, to the maximum extent permitted the Plan shall be interpreted to be in compliance therewith or exempt therefrom. In no event whatsoever shall the Company be liable for any additional tax, interest or penalty that may be imposed upon a Participant by Section 409A or damages to a Participant for failing to comply with Section 409A.

 

SECTION 13. AMENDMENTS AND TERMINATION

 

The Board may, at any time, amend or discontinue the Plan and the Committee may, at any time, amend or cancel any outstanding Award for the purpose of satisfying changes in law or for any other lawful purpose, but no such action shall adversely affect rights under any outstanding Award without the consent of the holder of the Award. The Committee may exercise its discretion to reduce the exercise price of outstanding Stock Options or effect repricing through cancellation of outstanding Stock Options and by granting such holders new Awards in replacement of the cancelled Stock Options. To the extent determined by the Committee to be required either by the Code to ensure that Incentive Stock Options granted under the Plan are qualified under Section 422 of the Code or otherwise, Plan amendments shall be subject to approval by the Company stockholders entitled to vote at a meeting of stockholders. Nothing in this Section 13 shall limit the Board’s or Committee’s authority to take any action permitted pursuant to Section 3(c). The Board reserves the right to amend the Plan and/or the terms of any outstanding Stock Options to the extent reasonably necessary to comply with the requirements of the exemption pursuant to Rule 12h-1 of the Exchange Act.

 

SECTION 14. STATUS OF PLAN

 

With respect to the portion of any Award that has not been exercised and any payments in cash, Stock or other consideration not received by a grantee, a grantee shall have no rights greater than those of a general creditor of the Company unless the Committee shall otherwise expressly so determine in connection with any Award.

 

SECTION 15. GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

(a) No Distribution; Compliance with Legal Requirements. The Committee may require each person acquiring Shares pursuant to an Award to represent to and agree with the Company in writing that such person is acquiring the Shares without a view to distribution thereof. No Shares shall be issued pursuant to an Award until all applicable securities law and other legal and stock exchange or similar requirements have been satisfied. The Committee may require the placing of such stop-orders and restrictive legends on certificates for Stock and Awards, as it deems appropriate.

 

(b) Delivery of Stock Certificates. Stock certificates to grantees under the Plan shall be deemed delivered for all purposes when the Company or a stock transfer agent of the Company shall have mailed such certificates in the United States mail, addressed to the grantee, at the grantee’s last known address on file with the Company; provided that stock certificates to be held in escrow pursuant to Section 10 of the Plan shall be deemed delivered when the Company shall have recorded the issuance in its records. Uncertificated Stock shall be deemed delivered for all purposes when the Company or a stock transfer agent of the Company shall have given to the grantee by electronic mail (with proof of receipt) or by United States mail, addressed to the grantee, at the grantee’s last known address on file with the Company, notice of issuance and recorded the issuance in its records (which may include electronic “book entry” records).

 

(c) No Employment Rights. The adoption of the Plan and the grant of Awards do not confer upon any Person any right to continued employment or Service Relationship with the Company or any Subsidiary.

 

(d) Trading Policy Restrictions. Option exercises and other Awards under the Plan shall be subject to the Company’s insider trading policy-related restrictions, terms and conditions as may be established by the Committee, or in accordance with policies set by the Committee, from time to time.

 

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(e) Designation of Beneficiary. Each grantee to whom an Award has been made under the Plan may designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries to exercise any Award on or after the grantee’s death or receive any payment under any Award payable on or after the grantee’s death. Any such designation shall be on a form provided for that purpose by the Committee and shall not be effective until received by the Committee. If no beneficiary has been designated by a deceased grantee, or if the designated beneficiaries have predeceased the grantee, the beneficiary shall be the grantee’s estate.

 

(f) Legend. Any certificate(s) representing the Shares shall carry substantially the following legend (and with respect to uncertificated Stock, the book entries evidencing such shares shall contain the following notation):

 

The transferability of this certificate and the shares of stock represented hereby are subject to the restrictions, terms and conditions (including repurchase and restrictions against transfers contained in the Plan and any agreements entered into thereunder by and between the company and the holder of this certificate (a copy of which is available at the offices of the company for examination).

 

(g) Information to Holders of Options. In the event the Company is relying on the exemption from the registration requirements of Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act contained in paragraph (f)(1) of Rule 12h-1 of the Exchange Act, the Company shall provide the information described in Ru€701(e)(3), (4) and (5) of the Securities Act to all holders of Options in accordance with the requirements thereunder. The foregoing notwithstanding, the Company shall not be required to provide such information unless the option holder has agreed in writing, on a form prescribed by the Company, to keep such information confidential.

 

SECTION 16. EFFECTIVE DATE OF PLAN

 

The Plan shall become effective upon adoption by the Board and shall be approved by stockholders in accordance with applicable state law and the Company’s articles of incorporation and bylaws within 12 months thereafter. If the stockholders fail to approve the Plan within 12 months after its adoption by the Board of Directors, then any Awards granted or sold under the Plan shall be rescinded and no additional grants or sales shall thereafter be made under the Plan. Subject to such approval by stockholders and to the requirement that no Shares may be issued hereunder prior to such approval, Stock Options and other Awards may be granted hereunder on and after adoption of the Plan by the Board. No grants of Stock Options and other Awards may be made hereunder after the tenth anniversary of the date the Plan is adopted by the Board or the date the Plan is approved by the Company’s stockholders, whichever is earlier.

 

SECTION 17. GOVERNING LAW

 

This Plan, all Awards and any controversy arising out of or relating to this Plan and all Awards shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey as to matters within the scope thereof, without regard to conflict of law principles that would result in the application of any law other than the law of the State of Delaware.

 

DATE ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS: February 04, 2022
   
DATE ADOPTED BY THE  
   
SHAREHOLDERS: __________________________.  

 

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