DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES
REGISTERED UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934, AS AMENDED
The American Depositary Shares (ADSs), each representing two common shares of ATA Creativity Global (we, our, the Company, or us), are registered under Section 12(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and are listed and traded on the Nasdaq Global Market. This exhibit contains a description of the rights of (i) the holders of our common shares and (ii) the holders of our ADSs. Our common shares underlying the ADSs are held by Citibank, N.A., as depositary, and holders of our ADSs are not treated as holders of our common shares.
Our authorized share capital is US$5,000,000, divided into 500,000,000 common shares, par value US$0.01 per share. Our common shares may be certificated or uncertificated, and ownership is not recognized until registered in our Register of Members. No shares shall be issued as bearer securities. Our common shares are not available to the market; rather, our ADSs are traded on the Nasdaq Global Market.
We are an exempted company limited by shares, with limited liability incorporated under the Companies Act (as amended) of the Cayman Islands (the Companies Act), on September 22, 2006. Our shareholders who are non-residents of the Cayman Islands may freely hold and vote their common shares. A Cayman Islands exempted company:
is a company that conducts its business outside the Cayman Islands;
is exempted from certain requirements of the Companies Act, including the filing of an annual return of its shareholders with the Registrar of Companies and holding an annual general meeting;
does not have to make its register of members open to inspection;
may obtain an undertaking against the imposition of any future taxation; and
may issue shares with no par value.
Our affairs are governed by our fourth amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, as amended (the Memorandum and Articles of Association) and the Companies Act. The following summarizes the material terms of our Memorandum and Articles of Association and the Companies Act insofar as they relate to the material terms of our common shares. This summary is not complete, and you should read our Memorandum and Articles of Association, which were filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) and are incorporated by reference as an exhibit to the annual report of which this exhibit is a part.
The following discussion primarily addresses our common shares and the rights of holders of common shares. The holders of our ADSs are not to be treated as our shareholders and will be required to surrender their ADSs for cancellation and withdrawal from the depositary facility in which the common shares are held in order to receive the shares that their ADSs represent, and to exercise shareholders rights in respect of the common shares. However, the holders of ADSs generally have the right under the deposit agreement to instruct the depositary bank to exercise the voting rights for the common shares represented by their ADSs. See Description of American Depositary Shares below.
Subject to the companys regulatory requirements, an annual general meeting and any extraordinary general meeting shall be called by not less than ten clear days notice in writing. Notice of every general meeting will be given to all of our shareholders other than those that, under the provisions of our Memorandum and Articles of Association or the terms of issue of the common shares they hold, are not entitled to receive such notices from us, and also to our principal external auditors. Extraordinary general meetings may be called only by the chairman of our board of directors or a majority of our board of directors and may not be called by any other person.
A meeting called by shorter notice than that mentioned above, nevertheless, subject to the Companies Act, will be deemed to have been duly called, if it is so agreed (1) in the case of a meeting called as an annual general meeting by all of our shareholders entitled to attend and vote at the meeting; (2) in the case of any other meeting, by a majority in number of our shareholders having a right to attend and vote at the meeting, being a majority together holding not less than 95% in nominal value of the issued common shares giving that right.
All general meetings (including an annual general meeting, any adjourned meeting or postponed meeting) may be held as a physical meeting, a hybrid meeting or an electronic meeting, as may be determined by the person or persons calling the meeting or, in absence of such determination, as may be determined by our board of directors in its absolute discretion. Two shareholders present in person or by proxy that represent not less than one-third in nominal value of our total issued and outstanding voting shares will constitute a quorum. Any shareholder or any proxy attending and participating in an electronic meeting or a hybrid meeting by means of electronic facilities is deemed to be present at and shall be counted in the quorum. No business other than the appointment of a chairman may be transacted at any general meeting unless a quorum is present at the commencement of business. If present, the chairman of our board of directors shall be the chairman presiding at any shareholders meetings.
A corporation being a shareholder shall be deemed for the purpose of our Memorandum and Articles of Association to be present in person if represented by its duly authorized representative being the person appointed by resolution of the directors or other governing body of such corporation to act as its representative at the relevant general meeting or at any relevant general meeting of any class of our shareholders. Such duly authorized representative shall be entitled to exercise the same powers on behalf of the corporation that he represents as that corporation could exercise if it were our individual shareholder.
The quorum for a separate general meeting of the holders of a separate class of shares is described in Modification of Rights below.
Voting Rights Attaching to the Shares
Subject to any special rights or restrictions as to voting attached to any shares, in the case of a physical general meeting, on a show of hands every shareholder who is present in person or by proxy (or, in the case of a shareholder being a corporation, by its duly authorized representative) shall have one vote, and at any general meeting on a poll every shareholder present in person or by proxy (or, in the case of a shareholder being a corporation, by its duly authorized representative) shall have one vote for each fully paid share of which such shareholder is the holder.
Under our Memorandum and Articles of Association, a resolution put to the vote of a meeting other than a physical meeting, shall be decided by way of a poll. A resolution put to the vote of a physical meeting shall be decided on a show of hands unless voting by way of a poll is required by the rules of the Nasdaq Global Market, or a poll is demanded by (i) the chairman of the meeting, (ii) at least three shareholders present in person or in the case of a shareholder being a corporation by its duly authorized representative or by proxy for the time being entitled to vote at the meeting, (iii) any shareholder or shareholders present in person or in the case of a shareholder being a corporation by its duly authorized representative or by proxy and representing not less than one-tenth of the total voting rights of all shareholders having the right to vote at the meeting, (iv) by a shareholder or shareholders present in person or in the case of a shareholder being a corporation by its duly authorized representative or by proxy and holding shares in the Company conferring a right to vote at a meeting being shares on which an aggregate sum has been paid up equal to not less than one-tenth of the total sum paid on all shares conferring that right, or (v) if required by the rules of the Nasdaq Global Market, by any director or directors of the Company who, individually or collectively, hold proxies in respect of shares representing 5% or more of the total voting rights at such meeting.
No shareholder shall be entitled to vote or be reckoned in a quorum, in respect of any share, unless such shareholder is duly registered as our shareholder at the applicable record date for that meeting and all calls or installments due by such shareholder to us have been paid.
If a recognized clearing house (or its nominee(s)), being a corporation, is our shareholder, it may authorize such person or persons as it thinks fit to act as its representative(s) at any meeting or at any meeting of any class of shareholders provided that, if more than one person is so authorized, the authorization shall specify the number and class of shares in respect of which each such person is so authorized. A person authorized pursuant to this provision is entitled to exercise the same powers on behalf of the recognized clearing house (or its nominee(s)) as if such person was the registered holder of our shares held by that clearing house (or its nominee(s)) including the right to vote individually on a show of hands.
Protection of Minority Shareholders
The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands may, on the application of shareholders holding not less than one-fifth of our shares in issue, appoint an inspector to examine our affairs and to report thereon in a manner as the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands shall direct.
Any shareholder may petition that the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands may make a winding up order, if the court is of the opinion that it is just and equitable that we should be wound up.
Claims against us by our shareholders must, as a general rule, be based on the general laws of contract or tort applicable in the Cayman Islands or their individual rights as shareholders as established by our Memorandum and Articles of Association.
The Cayman Islands courts ordinarily would be expected to follow English case law precedents which permit a minority shareholder to commence a representative action against, or derivative actions in our name to challenge (1) an act which is ultra vires or illegal, (2) an act which constitutes a fraud against the minority and the wrongdoers are themselves in control of us, and (3) an irregularity in the passing of a resolution which requires a qualified (or special) majority.
There are no pre-emption rights applicable to the issue of new shares under either Cayman Islands law or our Memorandum and Articles of Association.
Subject to any special rights, privileges or restrictions as to the distribution of available surplus assets on liquidation for the time being attached to any class or classes of shares, (1) if we are wound up and the assets available for distribution among our shareholders are more than sufficient to repay the whole of the capital paid up at the commencement of the winding up, the excess shall be distributed pari passu among those shareholders in proportion to the amount paid up at the commencement of the winding up on the shares held by them, respectively; and (2) if we are wound up and the assets available for distribution among the shareholders as such are insufficient to repay the whole of the paid-up capital, those assets shall be distributed so that, as nearly as may be, the losses shall be borne by the shareholders in proportion to the capital paid up at the commencement of the winding up on the shares held by them, respectively.
If we are wound up, the liquidator may with the sanction of our special resolution and any other sanction required by the Companies Act, divide among our shareholders in specie or kind the whole or any part of our assets (whether or not they shall consist of properties of the same kind) and may, for such purpose, set such value as the liquidator deems fair upon any property to be divided and may determine how such division shall be carried out as between the shareholders or different classes of shareholders. The liquidator may also vest any part of these assets in trustees upon such trusts for the benefit of the shareholders as the liquidator shall think fit, but so that no shareholder will be compelled to accept any shares or other property upon which there is a liability.
Modification of Rights
Except with respect to share capital (as described below) and the location of the registered office, alterations to our Memorandum and Articles of Association may only be made by special resolution, meaning a majority of not less than two-thirds of votes cast at a shareholders meeting.
Subject to the Companies Act and without prejudice to the provisions relating to share rights in our Memorandum and Articles of Association, all or any of the special rights attached to shares of any class (unless otherwise provided for by the terms of issue of the shares of that class) may be varied, modified or abrogated with the sanction of a special resolution passed at a separate general meeting of the holders of the shares of that class. The provisions of our Memorandum and Articles of Association relating to general meetings shall apply similarly to every such separate general meeting, but so that the quorum for the purposes of any such separate general meeting or at its adjourned meeting shall be a person or persons together holding (or represented by proxy) on the date of the relevant meeting not less than one-third in nominal value of the issued shares of that class, that every holder of shares of the class shall be entitled on a poll to one vote for every such share held by such holder and that any holder of shares of that class present in person or by proxy may demand a poll.
The special rights conferred upon the holders of any class of shares shall not, unless otherwise expressly provided in the rights attaching to or the terms of issue of such shares, be deemed to be varied, modified or abrogated by the creation or issue of further shares ranking pari passu therewith.
Alteration of Capital
We may from time to time by the vote of a majority of the shares entitled to vote thereon (an ordinary resolution):
increase our capital by such sum, to be divided into shares of such amounts, as the resolution shall prescribe;
consolidate and divide all or any of our share capital into shares of larger amounts than our existing shares;
cancel any shares which, at the date of the passing of the resolution, have not been taken or agreed to be taken by any person, and diminish the amount of our share capital by the amount of the shares so cancelled subject to the provisions of the Companies Act;
sub-divide our shares or any of them into shares of smaller amounts than is fixed by our fourth amended and restated memorandum of association, subject nevertheless to the Companies Act, and so that the resolution whereby any share is sub-divided may determine that, as between the holders of the shares resulting from such subdivision, one or more of the shares may have any such preferred, deferred or other rights, or be subject to any such restrictions as compared with the others as we have power to attach to unissued or new shares; and
divide our shares into several classes and without prejudice to any special rights previously conferred on the holders of existing shares, attach to these shares respectively any preferential, deferred, qualified or special rights, privileges, conditions or such restrictions that in the absence of any such determination in general meeting may be determined by our directors.
We may, by the vote of two-thirds of the votes entitled to vote thereon (a special resolution), subject to any confirmation or consent required by the Companies Act, reduce our share capital or any capital redemption or other undistributable reserve in any manner authorized by law.
Transfer of Shares
Subject to any applicable restrictions set forth in our Memorandum and Articles of Association, any of our shareholders may transfer all or any of his or her shares by an instrument of transfer in the usual or common form or in a form prescribed by the Nasdaq Global Market or in any other form that our directors may approve.
Our directors may decline to register any transfer of any share which is not paid up or on which we have a lien. Our directors may also decline to register any transfer of any share unless:
the instrument of transfer is lodged with us accompanied by the certificate for the shares to which it relates and such other evidence as our directors may reasonably require to show the right of the transferor to make the transfer;
the instrument of transfer is in respect of only one class of share;
the instrument of transfer is properly stamped (in circumstances where stamping is required); and
a fee of such maximum sum as the Nasdaq Global Market may determine to be payable or such lesser sum as our directors may from time to time require is paid to us in respect thereof.
If our directors refuse to register a transfer, they shall, within two months after the date on which the instrument of transfer was lodged, send to each of the transferor and the transferee notice of such refusal.
The registration of transfers may, on notice being given by announcement or by electronic communication or by advertisement in such one or more newspapers or by any other means in accordance with the requirements of the Nasdaq Global Market, be suspended and the register closed at such times and for such periods as our directors may from time to time determine; provided, however, that the registration of transfers shall not be suspended nor the register closed for more than 30 days in any year as our directors may determine, unless the Members by ordinary resolution approve to extend the period of 30 days in respect of any year.
We are empowered by the Companies Act and our Memorandum and Articles of Association to purchase our own shares, subject to certain restrictions. Our directors may only exercise this power on our behalf, subject to the Companies Act, our Memorandum and Articles of Association and to any applicable requirements imposed from time to time by the Nasdaq Global Market, the SEC, or by any other recognized stock exchange on which our securities are listed.
Subject to the Companies Act, our directors may declare dividends in any currency to be paid to our shareholders. Dividends may be declared and paid out of our profits, realized or unrealized, or from any reserve set aside from profits which our directors determine is no longer needed. Our board of directors may also declare and pay dividends out of the share premium account or any other fund or account that can be authorized for this purpose in accordance with the Companies Act.
Except in so far as the rights attaching to, or the terms of issue of, any share otherwise provides, (1) all dividends shall be declared and paid according to the amounts paid up on the shares in respect of which the dividend is paid, but no amount paid up on a share in advance of calls shall be treated for this purpose as paid up on that share; and (2) all dividends shall be apportioned and paid pro rata according to the amounts paid up on the shares during any portion or portions of the period in respect of which the dividend is paid.
Our directors may also pay any dividend that is payable on any shares semi-annually or on any other dates, whenever our financial position, in the opinion of our directors, justifies such payment.
Our directors may deduct from any dividend or bonus payable to any shareholder all sums of money (if any) presently payable by such shareholder to us on account of calls or otherwise.
No dividend or other money payable by us on or in respect of any share shall bear interest against us.
In respect of any dividend proposed to be paid or declared on our share capital, our directors may resolve and direct that (1) such dividend be satisfied wholly or in part in the form of an allotment of shares credited as fully paid up, provided that our shareholders entitled thereto will be entitled to elect to receive such dividend (or part thereof if our directors so determine) in cash in lieu of such allotment or (2) the shareholders entitled to such dividend will be entitled to elect to receive an allotment of shares credited as fully paid up in lieu of the whole or such part of the dividend as our directors may think fit. Our directors may also resolve in respect of any particular dividend that, notwithstanding the foregoing, a dividend may be satisfied wholly in the form of an allotment of shares credited as fully paid up without offering any right to shareholders to elect to receive such dividend in cash in lieu of such allotment.
Any dividend, interest or other sum payable in cash to the holder of shares may be paid by check or dividend warrant sent by mail addressed to the holder at his registered address, or addressed to such person and at such addresses as the holder may direct. Every check or dividend warrant shall, unless the holder or joint holders otherwise direct, be made payable to the order of the holder or, in the case of joint holders, to the order of the holder whose name stands first on the register in respect of such shares, and shall be sent at his or their risk and payment of the check or dividend warrant by the bank on which it is drawn shall constitute a good discharge to us.
All dividends unclaimed for one year after having been declared may be invested or otherwise made use of by our board of directors for the benefit of our company until claimed. Any dividend unclaimed after a period of six years from the date of declaration of such dividend shall be forfeited and shall revert to us.
Whenever our directors have resolved that a dividend be paid or declared, our directors may further resolve that such dividend be satisfied wholly or in part by the distribution of specific assets of any kind, and in particular of paid up shares, debentures or warrants to subscribe for our securities or securities of any other company. Where any difficulty arises with regard to such distribution, our directors may settle it as they think expedient. In particular, our directors may issue fractional certificates, ignore fractions altogether or round the same up or down, fix the value for distribution purposes of any such specific assets, determine that cash payments shall be made to any of our shareholders upon the footing of the value so fixed in order to adjust the rights of the parties, vest any such specific assets in trustees as may seem expedient to our directors, and appoint any person to sign any requisite instruments of transfer and other documents on behalf of the persons entitled to the dividend, which appointment shall be effective and binding on our shareholders.
We are entitled to sell any shares of a shareholder who is untraceable, provided that:
all checks or warrants in respect of dividends of such shares, being not less than three in total number, for any sums payable in cash to the holder of such shares have remained un-cashed for a period of 12 years prior to the publication of the advertisement and during the three months referred to below;
we have not during that time received any indication of the existence of the shareholder or person entitled to such shares by death, bankruptcy or operation of law; and
we have caused an advertisement to be published in newspapers in the manner stipulated by our Memorandum and Articles of Association, giving notice of our intention to sell these shares, and a period of three months has elapsed since such advertisement and the Nasdaq Global Market has been notified of such intention.
The net proceeds of any such sale shall belong to us, and when we receive these net proceeds we shall become indebted to the former shareholder for an amount equal to such net proceeds.
Differences in Corporate Law
The Companies Act is modeled after similar laws in England but does not follow recent changes in English laws. In addition, the Companies Act differs from laws applicable to United States corporations and their shareholders. Set forth below is a summary of the significant differences between the provisions of the Companies Act applicable to us and the laws applicable to companies incorporated in the United States.
Mergers and Similar Arrangements. The Companies Act permits mergers and consolidations between Cayman Islands companies and between Cayman Islands companies and non-Cayman Islands companies. For these purposes, (a) merger means the merging of two or more constituent companies and the vesting of their undertaking, property and liabilities in one of such companies as the surviving company and (b) a consolidation means the combination of two or more constituent companies into a combined company and the vesting of the undertaking, property and liabilities of such companies in the consolidated company. In order to effect such a merger or consolidation, the directors of each constituent company must approve a written plan of merger or consolidation, which must then be authorized by (a) a special resolution of the shareholders of each constituent company, and (b) such other authorization, if any, as may be specified in such constituent companys articles of association. The written plan of merger or consolidation must be filed with the Registrar of Companies together with, among others, a declaration as to the solvency of the consolidated or surviving company, a statement of the assets and liabilities of each constituent company and an undertaking that a copy of the certificate of merger or consolidation will be given to the members and creditors of each constituent company and that notification of the merger or consolidation will be published in the Cayman Islands Gazette. Dissenting shareholders have the right to be paid the fair value of their shares (which, if not agreed between the parties, will be determined by the Cayman Islands court) if they follow the required procedures, subject to certain exceptions. Court approval is not required for a merger or consolidation which is effected in compliance with these statutory procedures.
A merger between a Cayman parent company and its Cayman subsidiary or subsidiaries does not require authorization by a resolution of shareholders of that Cayman subsidiary if a copy of the plan of merger is given to every member of that Cayman subsidiary to be merged unless that member agrees otherwise. For this purpose a company is a parent of a subsidiary if it holds issued shares that together represent at least ninety percent (90%) of the votes at a general meeting of the subsidiary.
The consent of each holder of a fixed or floating security interest over a constituent company is required unless this requirement is waived by a court in the Cayman Islands.
Save in certain limited circumstances, a shareholder of a Cayman constituent company who dissents from the merger or consolidation is entitled to payment of the fair value of his shares (which, if not agreed between the parties, will be determined by the Cayman Islands court) upon dissenting to the merger or consolidation, provided that the dissenting shareholder complies strictly with the procedures set out in the Companies Act. The exercise of dissenter rights will preclude the exercise by the dissenting shareholder of any other rights to which he or she might otherwise be entitled by virtue of holding shares, save for the right to seek relief on the ground that the merger or consolidation is void or unlawful.
Separate from the statutory provisions relating to mergers and consolidations, the Companies Act also contains statutory provisions that facilitate the reconstruction and amalgamation of companies by way of schemes of arrangement, provided that the arrangement is approved by a majority in number of each class of shareholders or creditors with whom the arrangement is to be made, and who must in addition represent seventy-five per cent in value of each such class of shareholders or creditors, as the case may be, that are present and voting either in person or by proxy at a meeting, or meetings, convened for that purpose. The convening of the meetings and subsequently the arrangement must be sanctioned by the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands. While a dissenting shareholder has the right to express to the court the view that the transaction ought not to be approved, the court can be expected to approve the arrangement if it determines that:
the statutory provisions as to the required majority vote have been met;
the shareholders have been fairly represented at the meeting in question and the statutory majority are acting bona fide without coercion of the minority to promote interests adverse to those of the class;
the arrangement is such that may be reasonably approved by an intelligent and honest man of that class acting in respect of his interest; and
the arrangement is not one that would more properly be sanctioned under some other provision of the Companies Act.
The Companies Act also contains a statutory power of compulsory acquisition which may facilitate the squeeze out of dissentient minority shareholder upon a tender offer. When a tender offer is made and accepted by holders of 90.0% of the shares affected within four months, the offeror may, within a two-month period commencing on the expiration of such four-month period, by notice in the prescribed manner require the holders of the remaining shares to transfer such shares to the offeror on the terms of the offer. An objection can be made to the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands but this is unlikely to succeed in the case of an offer which has been so approved unless there is evidence of fraud.
If an arrangement and reconstruction by way of scheme of arrangement is thus approved and sanctioned, or if a tender offer is made and accepted, in accordance with the foregoing statutory procedures, a dissenting shareholder would have no rights comparable to appraisal rights which would otherwise ordinarily be available to dissenting shareholders of Delaware corporations, providing rights to receive payment in cash for the judicially determined value of the shares.
Shareholders Suits. In principle, we will normally be the proper plaintiff to sue for a wrong done to us as a company, and as a general rule a derivative action may not be brought by a minority shareholder. However, based on English authorities, which would in all likelihood be of persuasive authority in the Cayman Islands, the Cayman Islands court can be expected to follow and apply the common law principles (namely the rule in Foss v. Harbottle and the exceptions thereto) so that a non-controlling shareholder may be permitted to commence a class action against or derivative actions in the name of the company to challenge actions where:
a company acts or proposes to act illegally or ultra vires;
the act complained of, although not ultra vires, could only be effected duly if authorized by more than a simple majority vote that has not been obtained; and
those who control the company are perpetrating a fraud on the minority.
Corporate Governance. Cayman Islands laws do not restrict transactions with directors, requiring only that directors exercise a duty of care and owe a fiduciary duty to the companies for which they serve. Under our Memorandum and Articles of Association, subject to any separate requirement for audit committee approval under the applicable rules of the Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. or unless disqualified by the chairman of the relevant board meeting, so long as a director discloses the nature of his interest in any contract or arrangement which he is interested in, such a director may vote in respect of any contract or proposed contract or arrangement in which such director is interested and may be counted in the quorum at such meeting.
Indemnification of Directors and Executive Officers and Limitation of Liability. The ability of Cayman Islands companies to provide in their articles of association for indemnification of officers and directors is limited, insofar as it is not permissible for the directors to contract out of the core fiduciary duties they owe to the company, nor would any indemnity be effective if it were held by the Cayman Islands courts to be contrary to public policy, which would include any attempt to provide indemnification against civil fraud or the consequences of committing a crime. Our Memorandum and Articles of Association provide that our directors and officers shall be indemnified against all actions, costs, charges, losses, damages and expenses they shall or may incur or sustain by or by reason of any act done, concurred in or omitted in or about the execution of their duty, or supposed duty, in their respective offices or trusts; and none of them shall be answerable for the acts, receipts, neglects or defaults of the other or others of them or for joining in any receipts for the sake of conformity, or for any bankers or other persons with whom any moneys or effects belonging to the Company shall or may be lodged or deposited for safe custody, or for insufficiency or deficiency of any security upon which any moneys of or belonging to the Company shall be placed out on or invested, or for any other loss, misfortune or damage which may happen in the execution of their respective offices, or in relation thereto; provided that such indemnity shall not extend to any matter in respect of any fraud or dishonesty which may attach to any of our directors and officers. In addition, each shareholder agrees to waive any claim or right of action he might have, whether individually or by or in the right of the Company, against any director on account of any action taken by such director, or the failure of such director to take any action in the performance of his duties with or for the Company; provided that such waiver shall not extend to any matter in respect of any fraud or dishonesty which may attach to such director.
Anti-Takeover Provisions in Our Memorandum and Articles of Association. Some provisions of our Memorandum and Articles of Association may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company or management that shareholders may consider favorable, including provisions that authorize our board of directors to issue preferred shares in one or more series and to designate the price, rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions of such preferred shares without any further vote or action by our shareholders, and the fact that we have a classified board of directors, with three classes of directors, each of which stands for election in a given year to serve for a term of three years, unless a director earlier resigns or is removed.
However, under Cayman Islands law, our directors may only exercise the rights and powers granted to them under our Memorandum and Articles of Association, as amended and restated from time to time, for a proper purpose and for what they believe in good faith to be in the best interests of our company.
Directors Fiduciary Duties. Under Delaware corporate law, a director of a Delaware corporation has a fiduciary duty to the corporation and its shareholders. This duty has two components: the duty of care and the duty of loyalty. The duty of care requires that a director act in good faith, with the care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise under similar circumstances. Under this duty, a director must inform himself of all material information reasonably available regarding a significant transaction. The duty of loyalty requires that a director act in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the corporation and its stockholders. He or she must not use his or her corporate position for personal gain or advantage. This duty prohibits self-dealing by a director and mandates that the best interest of the corporation and its shareholders take precedence over any interest possessed by a director, officer or controlling shareholder and not shared by the shareholders generally. In general, actions of a director are presumed to have been made on an informed basis, in good faith and in the honest belief that the action taken was in the best interests of the corporation. However, this presumption may be rebutted by evidence of a breach of one of the fiduciary duties. Should such evidence be presented concerning a transaction by a director, a director must prove the procedural fairness of the transaction and that the transaction was of fair value to the corporation.
As a matter of Cayman Islands law, a director of a Cayman Islands company is in the position of a fiduciary with respect to the company and therefore he owes duties to the company including the followinga duty to act in good faith in the best interests of the company, a duty not to make a personal profit based on his or her position as director (unless the company permits him to do so), a duty not to put himself in a position where the interests of the company conflict with his or her personal interest or his or her duty to a third party and a duty to exercise powers for the purpose for which such powers were intended. A director of a Cayman Islands company owes to the company a duty to act with diligence, skill and care. A director must exercise the skill and care of a reasonably diligent person having both (a) the general knowledge, skill and experience that may reasonably be expected of a person in the same position (an objective test), and (b) if greater, the general knowledge, skill and experience that that director actually possesses (a subjective test).
Shareholder Proposals. Under the SECs rules and regulations, a shareholder has the right to put any proposal before the annual meeting of shareholders of a public company, provided it complies with the notice provisions in the governing documents. The Delaware General Corporation Law does not provide shareholders an express right to put any proposal before the annual meeting of shareholders, but in keeping with common law, Delaware corporations generally afford shareholders an opportunity to make proposals and nominations provided that they comply with the notice provisions in the certificate of incorporation or bylaws. A special meeting may be called by the board of directors or any other person authorized to do so in the governing documents, but shareholders may be precluded from calling special meetings.
Cayman Islands law does not provide shareholders with any right to table resolutions at a general meeting. Our Memorandum and Articles of Association provide that, an annual general meeting of the Company shall be held in each year other than the year of the Companys incorporation; each general meeting, other than an annual general meeting, shall be called an extraordinary general meeting, which may be called only by the chairman of our board of directors or a majority of our board of directors and may not be called by any other person. As an exempted Cayman Islands company, we are not obliged by law to hold shareholders annual general meetings under the Companies Act.
Cumulative Voting. Under the Delaware General Corporation Law, cumulative voting for elections of directors is not permitted unless the corporations certificate of incorporation specifically provides for it. Cumulative voting potentially facilitates the representation of minority shareholders on a board of directors since it permits the minority shareholder to cast all the votes to which the shareholder is entitled on a single director, which increases the shareholders voting power with respect to electing such director. Cayman Islands law does not prohibit cumulative voting, but our Memorandum and Articles of Association do not provide for cumulative voting. As a result, our shareholders are not afforded any less protections or rights on this issue than shareholders of a Delaware corporation.
Appointment of Directors. The shareholders may by ordinary resolution elect any person to be a director to fill a casual vacancy, and by special resolution elect any person to be a director as an addition to the existing board of directors. The directors may appoint any person as a director to fill a casual vacancy on the board of directors or as an addition to the existing board of directors. Any director appointed by the board of directors to fill a casual vacancy shall, unless designated by the board of directors as a class A director, a class B director or a class C director, hold office until the first general meeting after his appointment and be subject to re-election at such meeting, and any director appointed by the board of directors as an addition to the existing board of directors shall hold office only until the next following annual general meeting of the Company and shall then be eligible for re-election.
Removal of Directors. Under the Delaware General Corporation Law, a director of a corporation with a classified board may be removed only for cause with the approval of a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote, unless the certificate of incorporation provides otherwise. Under our Memorandum and Articles of Association, directors may be removed at any time by special resolution of our shareholders notwithstanding any agreement between the Company and such director (but without prejudice to any claim for damages under such agreement).
Transactions with Interested Shareholders. The Delaware General Corporation Law contains a business combination statute applicable to Delaware public corporations whereby, unless the corporation has specifically elected not to be governed by such statute in its certificate of incorporation or bylaws, it is prohibited from engaging in certain business combinations with an interested shareholder for three years following the date that such person becomes an interested shareholder. An interested shareholder generally is a person or a group who or which owns or owned 15% or more of the targets outstanding voting stock or who or which is an affiliate or associate of the corporation and owned 15% or more of the corporations outstanding voting stock within the past three years. This has the effect of limiting the ability of a potential acquirer to make a two-tiered bid for the target in which all shareholders would not be treated equally. The statute does not apply if, among other things, prior to the date on which such shareholder becomes an interested shareholder, the board of directors approves either the business combination or the transaction which resulted in the person becoming an interested shareholder. This encourages any potential acquirer of a Delaware corporation to negotiate the terms of any acquisition transaction with the targets board of directors.
Cayman Islands law has no comparable statute. As a result, we cannot avail ourselves of the types of protections afforded by the Delaware business combination statute. However, although Cayman Islands law does not regulate transactions between a company and its significant shareholders, it does provide that such transactions must be entered into bona fide in the best interests of the company and for a proper corporate purpose and not with the effect of constituting a fraud on the minority shareholders.
Dissolution; Winding Up. Under the Delaware General Corporation Law, unless the board of directors approves the proposal to dissolve, dissolution must be approved by shareholders holding 100% of the total voting power of the corporation. Only if the dissolution is initiated by the board of directors may it be approved by a simple majority of the corporations outstanding shares. Delaware law allows a Delaware corporation to include in its certificate of incorporation a supermajority voting requirement in connection with dissolutions initiated by the board.
Under Cayman Islands law, a company may be wound up by either an order of the courts of the Cayman Islands or by a special resolution of its shareholders or, if the company is unable to pay its debts as they fall due, by an ordinary resolution of its shareholders. The court has authority to order winding up in a number of specified circumstances including where it is, in the opinion of the court, just and equitable to do so. Under the Companies Act and our Memorandum and Articles of Association, our company may be dissolved, liquidated or wound up by a special resolution of our shareholders.
Variation of Rights of Shares. Under the Delaware General Corporation Law, a corporation may vary the rights of a class of shares with the approval of a majority of the outstanding shares of such class, unless the certificate of incorporation provides otherwise. Under our Memorandum and Articles of Association, subject to the Companies Act and without prejudice to the provisions relating to share rights in our Memorandum and Articles of Association, we may only vary the rights attached to any class of shares (subject to the terms of issue of the shares of that class) with the sanction of a special resolution passed at a separate general meeting of the holders of the shares of that class.
Amendment of Governing Documents. Under the Delaware General Corporation Law, a corporations certificate of incorporation may be amended only if adopted and declared advisable by the board of directors and approved by a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote and the bylaws may be amended with the approval of a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote and may, if so provided in the certificate of incorporation, also be amended by the board of directors. Under the Companies Act, our Memorandum and Articles of Association may only be amended by special resolution of our shareholders.
Rights of Non-Resident or Foreign Shareholders. There are no limitations imposed by our Memorandum and Articles of Association on the rights of non-resident or foreign shareholders to hold or exercise voting rights on our shares. In addition, there are no provisions in our Memorandum and Articles of Association governing the ownership threshold above which shareholder ownership must be disclosed.
Directors Power to Issue Shares. Under our Memorandum and Articles of Association, our board of directors is empowered to issue or allot shares or grant options and warrants with or without preferred, deferred, qualified or other special rights or restrictions.
Issuance of Additional Common Shares or Preferred Shares
Our Memorandum and Articles of Association authorizes our board of directors to issue additional common shares from time to time as our board of directors shall determine, to the extent of available authorized but unissued shares.
Our Memorandum and Articles of Association authorize our board of directors to establish from time to time one or more series of preferred shares and to determine, with respect to any series of preferred shares, the terms and rights of that series, including:
the designation of the series;
the number of shares of the series;
the dividend rights, dividend rates, conversion rights, voting rights; and
the rights and terms of redemption and liquidation preferences.
Our board of directors may issue series of preferred shares without action by our shareholders to the extent of authorized but unissued shares. Accordingly, the issuance of preferred shares may adversely affect the rights of the holders of the common shares. In addition, the issuance of preferred shares may be used as an anti-takeover device without further action on the part of the shareholders. Issuance of preferred shares may dilute the voting power of holders of common shares.
Subject to applicable regulatory requirements, our board of directors may issue additional common shares without action by our shareholders to the extent of available authorized but unissued shares. The issuance of additional common shares may be used as an anti-takeover device without further action on the part of the shareholders. Such issuance may dilute the voting power of existing holders of common shares.
Inspection of Books and Records
Holders of our common shares have no general right under Cayman Islands law to inspect or obtain copies of our list of shareholders or our corporate records. However, our Memorandum and Articles of Association provide that our register of members will be open to inspection for such times and on such days as our board of directors shall determine. Our accounting and other records are not available for inspection (other than by the board of directors) unless otherwise provided by applicable law, authorized by the board of the directors, or by the shareholders in a general meeting. However, we will provide our shareholders with annual audited financial statements.
DESCRIPTION OF AMERICAN DEPOSITARY SHARES
American Depositary Shares are frequently referred to as ADSs and represent ownership interests in securities that are on deposit with a depositary bank. ADSs may be represented by certificates that are commonly known as American Depositary Receipts or ADRs.
Citibank, N.A. (the depositary or the depositary bank) has agreed to act as the depositary bank for the American Depositary Shares. Citibank, N.A.s depositary offices are located at 388 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10013, U.S.A. A depositary bank typically appoints a custodian to safekeep the securities on deposit. In this case, the custodian is Citibank Hong Kong (the custodian). We appointed Citibank, N.A. as depositary bank pursuant to a deposit agreement, which has been filed with the SEC under cover of a Registration Statement on Form F-6 and is incorporated by reference as an exhibit to the annual report of which this exhibit is a part.
We are providing you with a summary description of the material terms of the ADSs and of your material rights as an owner of ADSs. Please remember that summaries by their nature lack the precision of the information summarized and that a holders rights and obligations as an owner of ADSs will be determined by reference to the terms of the deposit agreement and not by this summary. The portions of this summary description that are italicized describe matters that may be relevant to the ownership of ADSs but that may not be contained in the deposit agreement. This summary is not complete, and you should read the entire deposit agreement.
Each ADS represents rights with regard to two common shares on deposit with the custodian, including the right to receive any other property received by the depositary bank or the custodian on behalf of the owner of the ADS but that has not been distributed to the owners of ADSs because of legal restrictions or practical considerations, and to instruct the depositary bank how you would like to vote the common shares which your ADSs represent. We and the depositary bank may agree to change the ADS-to-common share ratio by amending the deposit agreement. This amendment may give rise to, or change, the depositary fees payable by ADS owners. The custodian, the depositary bank and their respective nominees will hold all deposited property for the benefit of the holders and beneficial owners of ADSs. The deposited property does not constitute the proprietary assets of the depositary bank, the custodian or their nominees. Beneficial ownership in the deposited property will under the terms of the deposit agreement be vested in the beneficial owners of the ADSs. The depositary bank, the custodian and their respective nominees will be the record holders of the deposited property represented by the ADSs for the benefit of the holders and beneficial owners of the corresponding ADSs. A beneficial owner of ADSs may or may not be the holder of ADSs. Beneficial owners of ADSs will be able to receive, and to exercise beneficial ownership interests in, the deposited property only through the registered holders of the ADSs, the registered holders of the ADSs (on behalf of the applicable ADS owners) only through the depositary bank, and the depositary bank (on behalf of the owners of the corresponding ADSs) directly, or indirectly, through the custodian or their respective nominees, in each case upon the terms of the deposit agreement.
If you are an owner of ADSs, you are party to the deposit agreement and therefore will be bound to its terms and to the terms of the ADR that represents your ADSs. The deposit agreement and the ADRs specify our rights and obligations as well as your rights and obligations as an owner of ADSs and those of the depositary bank. As a holder of our ADSs, you appoint the depositary bank to act on your behalf in certain circumstances. The deposit agreement and the ADRs are governed by New York law. However, our obligations to the holders of common shares will continue to be governed by the laws of the Cayman Islands, which may be different from the laws of the United States.
In addition, applicable laws and regulations may require you to satisfy reporting requirements and obtain regulatory approvals in certain circumstances. You are solely responsible for complying with such reporting requirements and obtaining such approvals. Neither the depositary bank, the custodian, us nor any of their or our respective agents or affiliates shall be required to take any actions whatsoever on your behalf to satisfy such reporting requirements or obtain such regulatory approvals under applicable laws and regulations.
As an owner of ADSs, we will not treat you as one of our shareholders and you will not have direct shareholder rights. The depositary bank will hold on your behalf the shareholder rights attached to the common shares underlying your ADSs. As an owner of ADSs you will be able to exercise the shareholders rights for the common shares represented by your ADSs through the depositary bank only to the extent contemplated in the deposit agreement. To exercise any shareholder rights not contemplated in the deposit agreement you will, as an ADS owner, need to arrange for the cancellation of your ADSs and become a direct shareholder.
The manner in which you own the ADSs (e.g., in a brokerage account vs. as registered holder, or as holder of certificated vs. uncertificated ADSs) may affect your rights and obligations, and the manner in which, and extent to which, the depositary banks services are made available to you. As an owner of ADSs, you may hold your ADSs either by means of an ADR registered in your name, through a brokerage account, or through an account established by the depositary bank in your name reflecting the registration of uncertificated ADSs directly on the books of the depositary bank (commonly referred to as the direct registration system). The direct registration system reflects the uncertificated (book-entry) registration of ownership of ADSs by the depositary bank. Under the direct registration system, ownership of ADSs is evidenced by periodic statements issued by the depositary bank to the holders of the ADSs. The direct registration system includes automated transfers between the depositary bank and The Depository Trust Company (DTC), the central book-entry clearing and settlement system for equity securities in the United States. If you decide to hold your ADSs through your brokerage or safekeeping account, you must rely on the procedures of your broker or bank to assert your rights as an ADS owner. Banks and brokers typically hold securities such as ADSs through clearing and settlement systems such as DTC. The procedures of such clearing and settlement systems may limit your ability to exercise your rights as an owner of ADSs. Please consult with your broker or bank if you have any questions concerning these limitations and procedures. All ADSs held through DTC will be registered in the name of a nominee of DTC. No ADSs will be issued in bearer form. This summary description assumes you have opted to own the ADSs directly by means of an ADR registered in your name and, as such, we will refer to you as the holder. When we refer to you, we assume the reader owns ADSs and will own ADSs at the relevant time. If you hold your ADSs through a brokerage, please consult your broker for their own procedures regarding the topics discussed below.
The registration of the common shares in the name of the depositary bank or the custodian shall, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, vest in the depositary bank or the custodian the record ownership in the applicable common shares with the beneficial ownership rights and interests in such common shares being at all times vested with the beneficial owners of the ADSs representing the common shares. The depositary bank or the custodian shall at all times be entitled to exercise the beneficial ownership rights in all deposited property, in each case only on behalf of the holders and beneficial owners of the ADSs representing the deposited property.
The depositary bank shall arrange, at our request and expense, to provide copies thereof to all holders or make such notices, reports and other communications, including proxy soliciting materials, available to all holders on a basis similar to that for holders of common shares or on such other basis as we may advise the depositary bank or as may be required by any applicable law, regulation or stock exchange requirement.
On or before the first date on which we give notice, by publication or otherwise, of any meeting of holders of common shares or of any adjourned meeting or of the taking of any action by such holders other than at a meeting, or of the taking of any action in respect of any cash or other distributions or the offering of any rights in respect of our common shares, we will transmit to the depositary bank and the custodian a copy of the notice thereof in the English language but otherwise in the form given or to be given to holders of our common shares. The Company shall also furnish to the custodian and the depositary bank a summary, in English, of any applicable provisions or proposed provisions of the Memorandum and Articles of Association that may be relevant or pertain to such notice of meeting or be the subject of a vote thereat.
The depositary bank will, at our expense, make available a copy of any such notices, reports or communications issued by us and delivered to the depositary bank for inspection by the holders of the ADSs at the depositary banks principal office, at the office of the custodian and at any other designated transfer office.
Dividends and Distributions
As a holder, you generally have the right to receive the distributions we make on the securities deposited with the custodian bank. Your receipt of these distributions may be limited, however, by practical considerations and legal limitations. Holders will receive such distributions under the terms of the deposit agreement in proportion to the number of ADSs held as of a specified record date.
Distributions of Cash
Whenever we make a cash distribution for the securities on deposit with the custodian, we will give prior notice thereof to the depositary bank and we will deposit the funds with the custodian. Upon receipt of confirmation of the deposit of the requisite funds, the depositary bank will arrange, if necessary, for the funds to be converted into U.S. dollars and for the distribution of the U.S. dollars to the holders, subject to the laws of the Cayman Islands and regulations.
The conversion into U.S. dollars will take place only if practicable and if the U.S. dollars are transferable to the United States. The amounts distributed to holders will be net of the fees, expenses, taxes and governmental charges payable by holders under the terms of the deposit agreement. The depositary bank will apply the same method for distributing the proceeds of the sale of any property (such as undistributed rights) held by the custodian in respect of securities on deposit.
The depositary bank will hold any cash amounts it is unable to distribute in a non-interest bearing account for the benefit of the applicable holders and beneficial owners of ADSs until the distribution can be effected or the funds that the depositary bank holds must be escheated as unclaimed property in accordance with the laws of the relevant states of the United States.
Distributions of Shares
Whenever we make a free distribution of common shares for the securities on deposit with the custodian, we will give prior notice thereof to the depositary bank. The depositary bank will either distribute to holders new ADSs representing the common shares deposited or modify the ADS-to-common shares ratio, in which case each ADS you hold will represent rights and interests in the additional common shares so deposited. Only whole new ADSs will be distributed. Fractional entitlements will be sold and the proceeds of such sale will be distributed as in the case of a cash distribution.
The distribution of new ADSs or the modification of the ADS-to-common shares ratio upon a distribution of common shares will be made net of the fees, expenses, taxes and governmental charges payable by holders under the terms of the deposit agreement. In order to pay such taxes or governmental charges, the depositary bank may sell all or a portion of the new common shares so distributed.
No such distribution of new ADSs will be made if it would violate applicable law or if it is not operationally practicable. If the depositary bank does not distribute new ADSs as described above, it may sell the common shares received upon the terms described in the deposit agreement and will distribute the proceeds of the sale as in the case of a distribution of cash.
Distributions of Rights
Whenever we intend to distribute rights to purchase additional common shares, we will give prior notice to the depositary bank and we will assist the depositary bank in determining whether it is lawful and reasonably practicable to distribute rights to purchase additional ADSs to holders.
The depositary bank will establish procedures to distribute rights to purchase additional ADSs to holders and to enable such holders to exercise such rights if it is lawful and reasonably practicable to make the rights available to holders of ADSs, and if we provide all of the documentation contemplated in the deposit agreement (such as opinions to address the lawfulness of the transaction). You may have to pay fees, expenses, taxes and other governmental charges to subscribe for the new ADSs upon the exercise of your rights. The depositary bank is not obligated to establish procedures to facilitate the distribution and exercise by holders of rights to purchase new common shares other than in the form of ADSs.
The depositary bank will not distribute the rights to you if:
We do not timely request that the rights be distributed to you or we request that the rights not be distributed to you;
We fail to deliver satisfactory documents to the depositary bank; or
It is not reasonably practicable to distribute the rights.
The depositary bank will sell the rights that are not exercised or not distributed if such sale is lawful and reasonably practicable. The proceeds of such sale will be distributed to holders as in the case of a cash distribution. If the depositary bank is unable to sell the rights, it will allow the rights to lapse.
Whenever we intend to distribute a dividend payable at the election of shareholders either in cash or in additional common shares, we will give prior notice thereof to the depositary bank and will indicate whether we wish the elective distribution to be made available to you. In such case, we will assist the depositary bank in determining whether such distribution is lawful and reasonably practicable.
The depositary bank will make the election available to you only if it is reasonably practical and if we have provided all of the documentation contemplated in the deposit agreement. In such case, the depositary bank will establish procedures to enable you to elect to receive either cash or additional ADSs, in each case as described in the deposit agreement.
If the election is not made available to you, you will receive either cash or additional ADSs, depending on what a shareholder would receive upon failing to make an election, as more fully described in the deposit agreement.
Whenever we intend to distribute property other than cash, common shares or rights to purchase additional common shares, we will notify the depositary bank in advance and will indicate whether we wish such distribution to be made to you. If so, we will assist the depositary bank in determining whether such distribution to holders is lawful and reasonably practicable.
If it is reasonably practicable to distribute such property to you and if we provide all of the documentation contemplated in the deposit agreement, the depositary bank will distribute the property to the holders in a manner it deems practicable.
The distribution will be made net of fees, expenses, taxes and governmental charges payable by holders under the terms of the deposit agreement. In order to pay such taxes and governmental charges, the depositary bank may sell all or a portion of the property received.
The depositary bank will not distribute the property to you and will sell the property if:
We do not request that the property be distributed to you or if we ask that the property not be distributed to you;
We do not deliver satisfactory documents to the depositary bank; or
The depositary bank determines that all or a portion of the distribution to you is not reasonably practicable.
The proceeds of such a sale will be distributed to holders as in the case of a cash distribution.
Whenever we decide to redeem any of the securities on deposit with the custodian, we will notify the depositary bank. If it is reasonably practicable and if we provide all of the documentation contemplated in the deposit agreement, the depositary bank will provide a notice of the redemption to the holders.
The custodian will be instructed to surrender the common shares being redeemed against payment of the applicable redemption price. The depositary bank will convert the redemption funds received into U.S. dollars upon the terms of the deposit agreement and will establish procedures to enable holders to receive the net proceeds from the redemption upon surrender of their ADSs to the depositary bank. You may have to pay fees, expenses, taxes and other governmental charges upon the redemption of your ADSs. If less than all ADSs are being redeemed, the ADSs to be retired will be selected by lot or on a pro rata basis, as the depositary bank may determine.
Changes Affecting Shares
The common shares held on deposit for your ADSs may change from time to time. For example, there may be a change in nominal or par value, a split-up, cancellation, consolidation or reclassification of such common shares or a recapitalization, reorganization, merger, consolidation or sale of assets.
If any such change were to occur, your ADSs would, to the extent permitted by law and the deposit agreement, represent the right to receive the property received or exchanged in respect of the common shares held on deposit. The depositary bank may in such circumstances deliver new ADSs to you, amend the deposit agreement, the ADRs and the applicable Registration Statement(s) on Form F-6, or call for the exchange of your existing ADSs for new ADSs and take any other actions that are appropriate to reflect as to the ADSs the change affecting the common shares. If the depositary bank may not lawfully distribute such property to you, the depositary bank may sell such property and distribute the net proceeds to you as in the case of a cash distribution.
Issuance of ADSs upon Deposit of Common Shares
The depositary bank may create ADSs on your behalf if you or your broker deposit common shares with the custodian. The depositary bank will deliver these ADSs to the person you indicate only after you pay any applicable issuance fees and any charges and taxes payable for the transfer of the common shares to the custodian. Your ability to deposit common shares and receive ADSs may be limited by U.S. and Cayman Islands legal considerations applicable at the time of deposit.
The issuance of ADSs may be delayed until the depositary bank or the custodian receives confirmation that all required approvals have been given and that the common shares have been duly transferred to the custodian. The depositary bank will only issue ADSs in whole numbers.
If you make a deposit of common shares, you will be responsible for transferring good and valid title to the depositary bank. As such, you will be deemed to represent and warrant that:
The common shares are duly authorized, validly issued, fully paid, non-assessable and legally obtained.
All preemptive (and similar) rights, if any, with respect to such common shares have been validly waived or exercised.
You are duly authorized to deposit the common shares.
The common shares presented for deposit are free and clear of any lien, encumbrance, security interest, charge, mortgage or adverse claim, and are not, and the ADSs issuable upon such deposit will not be, restricted securities (as defined in the deposit agreement).
The common shares presented for deposit have not been stripped of any rights or entitlements.
If any of the representations or warranties are incorrect in any way, we and the depositary bank may, at your cost and expense, take any and all actions necessary to correct the consequences of the misrepresentations.
Transfer, Combination and Split Up of ADRs
As an ADR holder, you will be entitled to transfer, combine or split up your ADRs and the ADSs evidenced thereby. For transfers of ADRs, you will have to surrender the ADRs to be transferred to the depositary bank and also must:
Ensure that the surrendered ADR is properly endorsed or otherwise in proper form for transfer;
Provide such proof of identity and genuineness of signatures as the depositary bank deems appropriate;
Provide any transfer stamps required by the State of New York or the United States; and
Pay all applicable fees, charges, expenses, taxes and other government charges payable by ADR holders pursuant to the terms of the deposit agreement, upon the transfer of ADRs.
To have your ADRs either combined or split up, you must surrender the ADRs in question to the depositary bank with your request to have them combined or split up, and you must pay all applicable fees, charges and expenses payable by ADR holders, pursuant to the terms of the deposit agreement, upon a combination or split up of ADRs.
Withdrawal of Shares upon Cancellation of ADSs
As a holder, you will be entitled to present your ADSs to the depositary bank for cancellation and then receive the corresponding number of underlying common shares at the custodians offices. Your ability to withdraw the common shares may be limited by U.S. and Cayman Islands legal considerations applicable at the time of withdrawal. In order to withdraw the common shares represented by your ADSs, you will be required to pay to the depositary bank the fees for cancellation of ADSs and any charges and taxes payable upon the transfer of the common shares being withdrawn. You assume the risk for delivery of all funds and securities upon withdrawal. Once canceled, the ADSs will not have any rights under the deposit agreement.
If you hold ADSs registered in your name, the depositary bank may ask you to provide proof of identity and genuineness of any signature and such other documents as the depositary bank may deem appropriate before it will cancel your ADSs. The withdrawal of the common shares represented by your ADSs may be delayed until the depositary bank receives satisfactory evidence of compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Please keep in mind that the depositary bank will only accept ADSs for cancellation that represent a whole number of securities on deposit.
You will have the right to withdraw the securities represented by your ADSs at any time except for:
Temporary delays that may arise because (i) the transfer books for the common shares or ADSs are closed, or (ii) common shares are immobilized on account of a shareholders meeting or a payment of dividends.
Obligations to pay fees, taxes and similar charges.
Restrictions imposed because of laws or regulations applicable to ADSs or the withdrawal of securities on deposit.
The deposit agreement may not be modified to impair your right to withdraw the securities represented by your ADSs except to comply with mandatory provisions of law.
As a holder, you generally have the right under the deposit agreement to instruct the depositary bank to exercise the voting rights for the common shares represented by your ADSs. The voting rights of holders of common shares are described in Voting Rights Attaching to the Shares above.
At our request, the depositary bank will distribute to you any notice of shareholders meeting received from us together with information explaining how to instruct the depositary bank to exercise the voting rights of the securities represented by ADSs.
If the depositary bank timely receives voting instructions from a holder of ADSs, it will endeavor to vote the securities represented by the holders ADSs in accordance with such voting instructions.
In the event of voting by a show of hands, each shareholder has one vote irrespective of the number of common shares held by such person and the depositary bank shall vote or cause the custodian to vote all the common shares then on deposit in accordance with instructions received from a majority of holders giving voting instructions. In the event of poll voting, each shareholder has an amount of votes equal to the number of common shares held as of record date for the meeting and the depositary bank shall vote or cause the custodian to vote the common shares on deposit in respect of ADSs for which holder of ADSs have timely given voting instructions to the depositary bank.
If the depositary bank timely receives voting instructions from a holder of ADSs that fail to specify the manner in which the depositary bank is to vote the common shares represented by that holders ADSs, the depositary bank will deem the holder to have voted in favor of the items set forth in the voting instructions. If the depositary bank does not timely receive voting instructions from a holder of ADSs and we have timely provided the depositary bank with our notice of meeting and related materials, that holder will be deemed, and the depositary bank will deem that holder to have instructed the depositary bank to give a discretionary proxy to a person designated by us to vote the common shares represented by the ADSs at our discretion, unless:
we have failed to timely provide the depositary bank with our notice of meeting and related voting materials;
we have instructed the depositary bank that we do not wish a discretionary proxy to be given;
we have informed the depositary bank that there is substantial opposition as to a matter to be voted on at the meeting;
a matter to be voted on at the meeting would have a material adverse impact on shareholders; or
voting at the meeting is made on a show of hands.
We have advised the depositary bank that under the Cayman Islands law as in effect as of the date of the deposit agreement, voting at any meeting of shareholders is by show of hands unless a poll is demanded. The depositary bank will not join in demanding a poll, whether or not requested to do so by holders of ADSs. Please see above under Voting Rights Attaching to the Shares.
Please note that the ability of the depositary bank to carry out voting instructions may be limited by practical and legal limitations and the terms of the securities on deposit. We cannot assure you that you will receive voting materials in time to enable you to return voting instructions to the depositary bank in a timely manner.
Fees and Charges
As an ADS holder, you will be required to pay the following fees under the terms of the deposit agreement:
(1) Issuance of ADSs upon deposit of Shares (excluding issuances as a result of distributions described in paragraph (4) below).
Up to U.S. $5.00 per 100 ADSs (or fraction thereof) issued.
(2) Delivery of Deposited Securities against surrender of ADSs.
Up to U.S. $5.00 per 100 ADSs (or fraction thereof) surrendered.
(3) Distribution of cash dividends or other cash distributions (i.e., sale of rights and other entitlements).
Up to U.S. $2.00 per 100 ADSs (or fraction thereof) held.
(4) Distribution of ADSs pursuant to (i) stock dividends or other free stock distributions, or (ii) exercise of rights to purchase additional ADSs.
Up to U.S. $5.00 per 100 ADSs (or fraction thereof) held.
(5) Distribution of securities other than ADSs or rights to purchase additional ADSs (i.e., spin-off shares).
Up to U.S. $5.00 per 100 ADSs (or fraction thereof) held.
(6) Depositary Services.
Up to U.S. $2.00 per 100 ADSs (or fraction thereof) held.
(7) Transfer of ADRs.
U.S. $1.50 per certificate presented for transfer.
As an ADS holder you will also be responsible to pay certain charges such as:
taxes (including applicable interest and penalties) and other governmental charges;
registration fees as may from time to time be in effect for the registration of common shares or other Deposited Securities on the share register and applicable to transfers of common shares or other Deposited Securities to or from the name of the Custodian, the Depositary or any nominees upon the making of deposits and withdrawals, respectively;
cable, telex and facsimile transmission and delivery expenses as are expressly provided in the Deposit Agreement to be at the expense of the person depositing or withdrawing Common shares or Holders and Beneficial Owners of ADSs;
the expenses and charges incurred by the depositary bank in the conversion of foreign currency;
fees and expenses as are incurred by the depositary bank in connection with compliance with exchange control regulations and other regulatory requirements applicable to common shares, Deposited Securities, ADSs and ADRs; and
the fees incurred by the depositary bank, the Custodian, or any nominee in connection with the servicing or delivery of Deposited Securities.
ADS fees and charges for (i) the issuance of ADSs, and (ii) the cancellation of ADSs are charged to the person for whom the ADSs are issued (in the case of ADS issuances) and to the person for whom ADSs are cancelled (in the case of ADS cancellations). In the case of ADSs issued by the depositary bank into DTC, the ADS issuance and cancellation fees and charges may be deducted from distributions made through DTC, and may be charged to the DTC participant(s) receiving the ADSs being issued or the DTC participant(s) holding the ADSs being cancelled, as the case may be, on behalf of the beneficial owner(s) and will be charged by the DTC participant(s) to the account of the applicable beneficial owner(s) in accordance with the procedures and practices of the DTC participants as in effect at the time. ADS fees and charges in respect of distributions and the ADS service fee are charged to the holders as of the applicable ADS record date. In the case of distributions of cash, the amount of the applicable ADS fees and charges is deducted from the funds being distributed. In the case of (i) distributions other than cash and (ii) the ADS service fee, holders as of the ADS record date will be invoiced for the amount of the ADS fees and charges and such ADS fees and charges may be deducted from distributions made to holders of ADSs. For ADSs held through DTC, the ADS fees and charges for distributions other than cash and the ADS service fee may be deducted from distributions made through DTC, and may be charged to the DTC participants in accordance with the procedures and practices prescribed by DTC and the DTC participants in turn charge the amount of such ADS fees and charges to the beneficial owners for whom they hold ADSs. In the case of (i) registration of ADS transfers, the ADS transfer fee will be payable by the ADS Holder whose ADSs are being transferred or by the person to whom the ADSs are transferred, and (ii) conversion of ADSs of one series for ADSs of another series, the ADS conversion fee will be payable by the Holder whose ADSs are converted or by the person to whom the converted ADSs are delivered.
In the event of refusal to pay the depositary bank fees, the depositary bank may, under the terms of the deposit agreement, refuse the requested service until payment is received or may set off the amount of the depositary bank fees from any distribution to be made to the ADS holder. Certain depositary fees and charges (such as the ADS services fee) may become payable shortly after the closing of the ADS offering. Note that the fees and charges you may be required to pay may vary over time and may be changed by us and by the depositary bank. You will receive prior notice of such changes. The depositary bank may reimburse us for certain expenses incurred by us in respect of the ADR program, by making available a portion of the ADS fees charged in respect of the ADR program or otherwise, upon such terms and conditions as we and the depositary bank agree from time to time.
Amendments and Termination
We may agree with the depositary bank to modify the deposit agreement at any time without your consent. We undertake to give holders 30 days prior notice of any modifications that would materially prejudice any of their substantial rights under the deposit agreement. We will not consider to be materially prejudicial to your substantial rights any modifications or supplements that are reasonably necessary for the ADSs to be registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or to be eligible for book-entry settlement, in each case without imposing or increasing the fees and charges you are required to pay. In addition, we may not be able to provide you with prior notice of any modifications or supplements that are required to accommodate compliance with applicable provisions of law.
You will be bound by the modifications to the deposit agreement if you continue to hold your ADSs after the modifications to the deposit agreement become effective. The deposit agreement cannot be amended to prevent you from withdrawing the common shares represented by your ADSs (except to comply with mandatory provisions of law).
We have the right to direct the depositary bank to terminate the deposit agreement. Similarly, the depositary bank may in certain circumstances on its own initiative terminate the deposit agreement. In either case, the depositary bank must give notice to the holders at least 30 days before termination, which notice shall fix a date for termination of the deposit agreement.
After the termination and prior to any sale of the deposited securities held on deposit, you will be able to request the cancellation of your ADSs and the withdrawal of the common shares represented by your ADSs and the delivery of all other property held by the depositary bank in respect of those common shares on the same terms as prior to the termination. During such period, the depositary bank will continue to collect all distributions received on the common shares on deposit (e.g., dividends) but will not distribute any such property to you until you request the cancellation of your ADSs.
At any time after the date fixed for termination of the deposit agreement, the depositary bank may sell the securities held on deposit. The depositary bank will hold the proceeds from such sale and any other funds then held for the holders of ADSs in a non-interest bearing account. At that point, the depositary bank will have no further obligations to holders other than to account for the funds then held for the holders of ADSs still outstanding (after deduction of applicable fees, expenses and taxes).
After termination, your obligations under the deposit agreement as an ADS holder will continue until your ADSs are presented to the depositary bank for cancellation.
Books of Depositary
The depositary bank will maintain ADS holder records at its depositary office. You may inspect such records at such office during regular business hours but solely for the purpose of communicating with other holders in the interest of business matters relating to the ADSs and the deposit agreement.
The depositary bank will maintain in New York facilities to record and process the issuance, cancellation, combination, split-up and transfer of ADRs. These facilities may be closed from time to time, to the extent not prohibited by law.
Limitations on Obligations and Liabilities
The deposit agreement limits our obligations and the depositary banks obligations to you. Please note the following:
We and the depositary bank are obligated only to take the actions specifically stated in the deposit agreement without negligence or bad faith.
The depositary bank disclaims any liability for any failure to carry out voting instructions, for any manner in which a vote is cast or for the effect of any vote, provided that it acts in good faith and in accordance with the terms of the deposit agreement.
The depositary bank disclaims any liability for any failure to determine the lawfulness or practicality of any action, for the content of any document forwarded to you on our behalf or for the accuracy of any translation of such a document, for the investment risks associated with investing in common shares, for the validity or worth of the common shares, for any tax consequences that result from the ownership of ADSs, for the credit-worthiness of any third party, for allowing any rights to lapse under the terms of the deposit agreement, for the timeliness of any of our notices or for our failure to give notice.
We and the depositary bank will not be obligated to perform any act that is inconsistent with the terms of the deposit agreement.
We and the depositary bank disclaim any liability if we or the depositary bank are prevented or forbidden from or subject to any civil or criminal penalty or restraint on account of, or delayed in, doing or performing any act or thing required by the terms of the deposit agreement, by reason of any provision, present or future of any law or regulation, any provision of our Memorandum and Articles of Association, any provision of any securities on deposit or by reason of any act of God or war or other circumstances beyond our control.
We and the depositary bank disclaim any liability by reason of any exercise of, or failure to exercise, any discretion provided for the deposit agreement or in our Memorandum and Articles of Association or in any provisions of securities on deposit.
We and the depositary bank further disclaim any liability for any action or inaction in reliance on the advice or information received from legal counsel, accountants, any person presenting common shares for deposit, any holder of ADSs or authorized representatives thereof, or any other person believed by either of us in good faith to be competent to give such advice or information.
We and the depositary bank also disclaim liability for the inability by a holder to benefit from any distribution, offering, right or other benefit which is made available to holders of common shares but is not, under the terms of the deposit agreement, made available to you.
We and the depositary bank may rely without any liability upon any written notice, request or other document believed to be genuine and to have been signed or presented by the proper parties.
We and the depositary bank also disclaim liability for any consequential or punitive damages for any breach of the terms of the deposit agreement. No disclaimer of any Securities Act liability is intended by any provision of the deposit agreement.
Nothing in the deposit agreement gives rise to a partnership or joint venture, or establishes a fiduciary relationship, among us, the depositary bank and you as ADS holder.
Nothing in the deposit agreement precludes Citibank (or its affiliates) from engaging in transactions in which parties adverse to us or the ADS owners have interests, and nothing in the deposit agreement obligates Citibank to disclose those transactions, or any information obtained in the course of those transactions, to us or to the ADS owners, or to account for any payment received as part of those transactions.
As the above limitations relate to our obligations and the depositarys obligations to you under the deposit agreement, we believe that, as a matter of construction of the clause, such limitations would likely to continue to apply to ADS holders who withdraw the common shares from the ADS facility with respect to obligations or liabilities incurred under the deposit agreement before the cancellation of the ADSs and the withdrawal of the common shares, and such limitations would most likely not apply to ADS holders who withdraw the common shares from the ADS facility with respect to obligations or liabilities incurred after the cancellation of the ADSs and the withdrawal of the common shares and not under the deposit agreement.
In any event, you will not be deemed, by agreeing to the terms of the deposit agreement, to have waived our or the depositarys compliance with U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. In fact, you cannot waive our or the depositarys compliance with U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
You will be responsible for the taxes and other governmental charges payable on the ADSs and the securities represented by the ADSs. We, the depositary bank and the custodian may deduct from any distribution the taxes and governmental charges payable by holders and may sell any and all property on deposit to pay the taxes and governmental charges payable by holders. You will be liable for any deficiency if the sale proceeds do not cover the taxes that are due.
The depositary bank may refuse to issue ADSs, to deliver, transfer, split and combine ADRs or to release securities on deposit until all taxes and charges are paid by the applicable holder. The depositary bank and the custodian may take reasonable administrative actions to obtain tax refunds and reduced tax withholding for any distributions on your behalf. However, you may be required to provide to the depositary bank and to the custodian proof of taxpayer status and residence and such other information as the depositary bank and the custodian may require to fulfill legal obligations. You are required to indemnify us, the depositary bank and the custodian for any claims with respect to taxes based on any tax benefit obtained for you.
Foreign Currency Conversion
The depositary bank will arrange for the conversion of all foreign currency received into U.S. dollars if such conversion is practical, and it will distribute the U.S. dollars in accordance with the terms of the deposit agreement. You may have to pay fees and expenses incurred in converting foreign currency, such as fees and expenses incurred in complying with currency exchange controls and other governmental requirements.
If the conversion of foreign currency is not practical or lawful, or if any required approvals are denied or not obtainable at a reasonable cost or within a reasonable period, the depositary bank may take the following actions in its discretion:
Convert the foreign currency to the extent practical and lawful and distribute the U.S. dollars to the holders for whom the conversion and distribution is lawful and practical.
Distribute the foreign currency to holders for whom the distribution is lawful and practical.
Hold the foreign currency (without liability for interest) for the applicable holders.
Governing Law/Waiver of Jury Trial
The deposit agreement, the ADRs and the ADSs will be interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of New York. The rights of holders of common shares (including common shares represented by ADSs) are governed by the laws of the Cayman Islands.
As an owner of ADSs, you irrevocably agree that any legal action arising out of the Deposit Agreement, the ADSs or the ADRs, involving the Company or the Depositary bank, may only be instituted in a state or federal court in the city of New York.
AS A PARTY TO THE DEPOSIT AGREEMENT, YOU IRREVOCABLY WAIVE, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, YOUR RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY IN ANY LEGAL PROCEEDING ARISING OUT OF THE DEPOSIT AGREEMENT OR THE ADRs AGAINST US AND/OR THE DEPOSITARY BANK.
The deposit agreement provides that, to the extent permitted by law, ADS holders waive the right to a jury trial of any claim they may have against us or the depositary bank arising out of or relating to our common shares, the ADSs or the deposit agreement, including any claim under U.S. federal securities laws. If we or the depositary bank opposed a jury trial demand based on the waiver, the court would determine whether the waiver was enforceable in the facts and circumstances of that case in accordance with applicable case law. However, you will not be deemed, by agreeing to the terms of the deposit agreement, to have waived our or the depositarys compliance with U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.