8-K

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, DC 20549

 

 

FORM 8-K

 

 

CURRENT REPORT

PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF

THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Date of report (Date of earliest event reported) January 14, 2021

 

 

DRIVEN BRANDS HOLDINGS INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Delaware   001-39898   74-3595252
(State or other jurisdiction
of incorporation)
  (Commission
File Number)
  (I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

440 S. Church Street, Suite 700

Charlotte, NC 28202

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)

(704) 377-8855

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

(Former Name or Former Address, if Changed Since Last Report)

 

 

Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligation of the registrant under any of the following provisions (see General Instruction A.2. below):

 

Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)

 

Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)

 

Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d-2(b))

 

Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c))

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

Trading
Symbol

 

Name of each exchange
on which registered

Common stock, par value $.01 per share   DRVN   The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (17 CFR §230.405) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (17 CFR §240.12b-2).

Emerging growth company  ☐

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  ☐

 

 

 


Item 1.02 Termination of a Material Definitive Agreement.

On January 20, 2021, Driven Brands Holdings Inc. (the “Company”), an indirect parent of the Car Wash Borrowers (as defined below), in its sole discretion, has caused to be repaid in full the outstanding amounts under (1) that certain First Lien Credit Agreement, dated as of October 3, 2017, as amended and restated on April 10, 2018 (the “First Lien Credit Agreement”), by and among Shine Holdco III Limited (“Shine Holdco III”), Shine Acquisition Co Limited (“Shine Bidco”), Shine Acquisition Co. S.à r.l. (“Car Wash Lux Borrower”), Boing US Holdco, Inc. (“Car Wash US Borrower” and, together with the Car Wash Lux Borrower, the “Car Wash Borrowers”), the lenders party thereto from time to time and Goldman Sachs Bank USA, as administrative agent (the “Agent”), which consisted of a $545 million term loan and a $75 million revolving credit commitment and (2) that certain Second Lien Credit Agreement, dated as of October 3, 2017, as amended and restated on April 10, 2018 (the “Car Wash Second Lien Credit Agreement” and, together with the Car Wash First Lien Credit Agreement, the “Car Wash Senior Credit Agreements”), by and among Shine Holdco III, Shine Bidco, the Car Wash Borrowers, the lenders party thereto from time to time and the Agent, which consisted of a $175 million term loan, and caused to be terminated the Car Wash Senior Credit Agreements. No early termination penalties or prepayment premiums were incurred by the Company in connection with the termination of the Car Wash Senior Credit Agreements.

Item 8.01 Other Events.

On January 20, 2021, the Company completed the initial public offering (the “Offering”) of its common stock, par value $0.01 per share (the “Common Stock”) described in the prospectus (the “Prospectus”), dated January 14, 2021, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), which is deemed to be part of the Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-251615) (as amended, the “Registration Statement”). In the Offering, the Company sold 31,818,182 shares of Common Stock at a purchase price per share of $20.79 (the offering price per share to the public of $22.00 per share minus the underwriting discount and commissions). The Company used the proceeds from the Offering and cash on hand to repay in full the outstanding indebtedness under the Car Wash Senior Credit Agreements as described under Item 1.02 above.

Income Tax Receivable Agreement

In connection with the Offering, the Company entered into the Income Tax Receivable Agreement, dated January 16, 2021, by and among the Company and the stockholders party thereto (the “Tax Receivable Agreement”). The Tax Receivable Agreement is filed herewith as Exhibit 10.1 and is incorporated herein by reference. The terms of the Tax Receivable Agreement are substantially the same as the terms set forth in the form of the agreement previously filed as Exhibit 10.14 to the Registration Statement and as described therein.

2021 Omnibus Incentive Plan

On January 6, 2021, the Company’s Board of Directors approved the 2021 Omnibus Incentive Plan (the “Omnibus Incentive Plan”) and effective January 14, 2021, the Company’s stockholders adopted and approved the Omnibus Incentive Plan substantially in the form previously filed as Exhibit 10.23 to the Registration Statement. The Omnibus Incentive Plan provides for the granting of non-qualified stock options, incentive (qualified) stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock awards, restricted stock units, other stock-based awards, other cash-based awards or any combination of the foregoing to current and prospective employees and directors of, and consultants and advisors to, the Company and its affiliates. For further information regarding the Omnibus Incentive Plan, see “Executive Compensation—Post-IPO Equity Compensation Plans—2021 Omnibus Incentive Plan” in the Prospectus.

A copy of the Omnibus Incentive Plan is filed herewith as Exhibit 10.2 and incorporated herein by reference. The above description of the Omnibus Incentive Plan is not complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to such exhibit.

Employee Stock Purchase Plan

On January 6, 2021, the Company’s Board of Directors approved the Employee Stock Purchase Plan (the “ESPP”) and effective January 14, 2021, the Company’s stockholders adopted and approved the ESPP substantially in the form previously filed as Exhibit 10.24 to the Registration Statement. The ESPP provides employees of the Company with an opportunity to purchase the Company’s Common Stock at a discount, subject to certain limitations set forth in the ESPP. For further information regarding the ESPP, see “Executive Compensation—Post-IPO Equity Compensation Plans—Employee Stock Purchase Plan” in the Prospectus.


A copy of the ESPP is filed herewith as Exhibit 10.3 and incorporated herein by reference. The above description of the ESPP is not complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to such exhibit.

Item 9.01 Financial Statements and Exhibits.

(d) Exhibits.

 

Exhibit No.

  

Description

10.1    Income Tax Receivable Agreement, dated January 16, 2021, by and among Driven Brands Holdings Inc. and the stockholders party thereto
10.2    Driven Brands Holdings Inc. 2021 Omnibus Incentive Plan
10.3    Driven Brands Holdings Inc. Employee Stock Purchase Plan


SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.

Date: January 21, 2021

 

DRIVEN BRANDS HOLDINGS INC.
By:   /s/ Scott O’Melia
Name:   Scott O’Melia
Title:  

Executive Vice President, General

Counsel and Secretary

EX-10.1

Exhibit 10.1

TAX RECEIVABLE AGREEMENT

between

Driven Brands Holdings Inc.,

the TRA Parties

and

TRA Party Representative

Dated as of January 16, 2021

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

 

ARTICLE I DEFINITIONS

     2  
Section 1.1    Definitions      2  

ARTICLE II DETERMINATION OF CERTAIN REALIZED TAX BENEFIT

     11  
Section 2.1    Attribute Schedule      11  
Section 2.2    Tax Benefit Schedule      11  
Section 2.3    Procedures, Amendments      12  

ARTICLE III TAX BENEFIT PAYMENTS

     13  
Section 3.1    Payments      13  
Section 3.2    No Duplicative Payments      14  

ARTICLE IV TERMINATION

     15  
Section 4.1    Early Termination and Breach of Agreement      15  
Section 4.2    Early Termination Notice      16  
Section 4.3    Payment upon Early Termination      16  
Section 4.4    Termination.      17  

ARTICLE V SUBORDINATION; DEFERRAL OF PAYMENTS

     17  
Section 5.1    Subordination      17  
Section 5.2    Compliance with Indebtedness      17  
Section 5.3    Late Payments by the Corporate Taxpayer.      17  

ARTICLE VI NO DISPUTES; CONSISTENCY; COOPERATION

     18  
Section 6.1    Participation in the Corporate Taxpayer’s Tax Matters      18  
Section 6.2    Consistency      18  
Section 6.3    Cooperation      18  

ARTICLE VII MISCELLANEOUS

     19  
Section 7.1    Notices      19  
Section 7.2    No Liability      19  
Section 7.3    Counterparts      20  
Section 7.4    Entire Agreement; No Third-Party Beneficiaries      20  
Section 7.5    Governing Law      20  
Section 7.6    Severability      20  
Section 7.7    Successors; Assignment; Amendments; Waivers      21  
Section 7.8    Construction; Interpretation      22  
Section 7.9    Waiver of Jury Trial      22  
Section 7.10    Jurisdiction and Venue      23  
Section 7.11    Reconciliation      23  
Section 7.12    Withholding      24  
Section 7.13    Admission of the Corporate Taxpayer into a Consolidated Group; Transfers of Corporate Assets      24  
Section 7.14    Confidentiality      25  

 


TAX RECEIVABLE AGREEMENT

This TAX RECEIVABLE AGREEMENT (this “Agreement”), dated as of January 16, 2021, is hereby entered into by and among Driven Brands Holdings Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Corporation”), the Persons listed on Schedule A, as amended from time to time (each, a “TRA Party”), and Driven Equity LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“Driven Equity”), in its capacity as the TRA Party Representative.

RECITALS

WHEREAS, the TRA Parties hold unrestricted capital stock of the Corporation as of the date hereof;

WHEREAS, the Corporation files a consolidated U.S. federal income Tax Return and the Canadian Corporate Subsidiaries file Canadian Tax Returns;

WHEREAS, the Corporation and its Subsidiaries (collectively, the “Company Group”) will be entitled to utilize certain Tax assets that relate to periods (or portions thereof) ending on or prior to, or arrangements in existence on or prior to, the IPO, as well as certain tax deductions which arise in connection with the IPO;

WHEREAS, the parties to this Agreement desire to make certain arrangements with respect to the effect of the Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets on the liability for Taxes of the Company Group;

WHEREAS, the Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets may reduce the reported liability for Taxes that the Company Group might otherwise be required to pay;

WHEREAS, the income, gain, loss, expense, deduction and other Tax items of the Company Group may be affected by the Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets, if any; and

WHEREAS, the parties to this Agreement desire to make certain arrangements with respect to the effect of the Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets on the reported liability for Taxes of the Company Group.

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing and the respective covenants and agreements set forth herein, and intending to be legally bound hereby, the parties hereto agree as follows:

ARTICLE I

DEFINITIONS

Section 1.1 Definitions. As used in this Agreement, the terms set forth in this Article I shall have the following meanings (such meanings to be equally applicable to both the singular and plural forms of the terms defined).

 

2


Actual Tax Liability” means, with respect to any Taxable Year, the actual aggregate liability for U.S. and Canadian federal, state, local and provincial income Taxes of the Company Group using the same methods, elections, conventions and similar practices used on the Company Group’s actual Tax Returns and assuming a state, local, or provincial income tax rate equal to the Combined State Tax Rate or Combined Provincial Tax Rate, as applicable, for such Taxable Year.

Advance Payments” is defined in Section 3.1(b).

Affiliate” means, with respect to any Person, any other Person who directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries, controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, such Person. The term “control” means the ownership of a majority of the voting securities of the applicable Person or the possession, direct or indirect, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of the applicable Person, whether through ownership of voting securities, by contract or otherwise, and the terms “controlled” and “controlling” have meanings correlative thereto.

Agreed Rate” means a per annum rate of LIBOR plus 100 basis points.

Agreement” is defined in the Preamble.

Amended Schedule” is defined in Section 2.3(b).

Attribute Schedule” is defined in Section 2.1.

Bankruptcy Code” means Title 11 of the United States Code.

A “Beneficial Owner” of a security is a Person who directly or indirectly, through any contract, arrangement, understanding, relationship or otherwise, has or shares: (i) voting power, which includes the power to vote, or to direct the voting of, such security and/or (ii) investment power, which includes the power to dispose of, or to direct the disposition of, such security.

Board” means the Board of Directors of the Corporation.

Business Day” means a day, other than Saturday, Sunday or other day on which banks located in New York City, New York are authorized or required by law to close.

Canadian Basis Assets” means (a) the financing expenses, as of the IPO Date, that are deductible in computing the income of a Canadian Subsidiary under the Canadian Tax Act and (b) capital cost allowance that may be claimed by a Canadian Subsidiary, and the reduction of taxable gain attributable to existing tax cost, in respect of intangible assets (and not, for the avoidance of doubt, tangible assets) owned by a Canadian Subsidiary on the IPO Date.

Canadian Corporate Subsidiary” means a Canadian Subsidiary that is a corporation incorporated under the laws of Canada or any province or territory thereof.

Canadian Subsidiary” means a Subsidiary of the Corporation organized under the laws of Canada or any province or territory thereof.

 

3


Canadian Tax Act” means the Income Tax Act (Canada) and the regulations promulgated thereunder, in each case, as amended from time to time.

Change of Control” means the occurrence of any of the following events:

(i) any Person or any group of Persons acting together which would constitute a “group” for purposes of Section 13(d) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, or any successor provisions thereto, excluding (x) a corporation or other entity owned, directly or indirectly, by the stockholders of the Corporation in substantially the same proportions as their ownership of stock in the Corporation and (y) Driven Equity or any of its Affiliates who is or becomes the Beneficial Owner, directly or indirectly, of securities of the Corporation representing more than fifty percent (50%) of the combined voting power of the Corporation’s then outstanding voting securities; or

(ii) the following individuals cease for any reason to constitute a majority of the number of directors of the Corporation then serving: individuals who, on the IPO Date, constitute the Board and any new director whose appointment or election by the Board or nomination for election by the Corporation’s shareholders was approved or recommended by a vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the directors then still in office who either were directors on the IPO Date or whose appointment, election or nomination for election was previously so approved or recommended by the directors referred to in this clause (ii); or

(iii) there is consummated a merger or consolidation of the Corporation with any other corporation or other entity, and, immediately after the consummation of such merger or consolidation, either (x) the Board immediately prior to the merger or consolidation does not constitute at least a majority of the board of directors of the company surviving the merger or consolidation or, if the surviving company is a Subsidiary of any Person, the ultimate parent thereof, or (y) the voting securities of the Corporation immediately prior to such merger or consolidation do not continue to represent or are not converted or exchanged into more than 50% of the combined voting power of the then-outstanding voting securities of the Person resulting from such merger or consolidation or, if the surviving company is a Subsidiary of any Person, the ultimate parent thereof; or

(iv) the shareholders of the Corporation approve a plan of complete liquidation or dissolution of the Corporation or there is consummated an agreement or series of related agreements for the sale, lease or other disposition, directly or indirectly, by the Corporation of all or substantially all of the Corporation’s assets, other than such sale or other disposition by the Corporation of all or substantially all of the Corporation’s assets to an entity, at least 50% of the combined voting power of the voting securities of which are owned by shareholders of the Corporation in substantially the same proportions as their ownership of the Corporation immediately prior to such sale.

 

4


Notwithstanding the foregoing, except with respect to clause (ii) and clause (iii)(x) above, a “Change of Control” shall not be deemed to have occurred by virtue of the consummation of any transaction or series of integrated transactions immediately following which the record holders of the shares of the Corporation immediately prior to such transaction or series of transactions continue to have substantially the same proportionate ownership in, and own substantially all of the shares of, an entity which owns all or substantially all of the assets of the Corporation immediately following such transaction or series of transactions.

Code” means the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

Combined Provincial Tax Rate” means, with respect to any Taxable Year, the sum of the maximum effective rates of Tax imposed on the aggregate net income of a Canadian Corporate Subsidiary in any province in which the Canadian Corporate Subsidiary has a permanent establishment for such Taxable Year, with the maximum effective rate in any province being equal to the product of (i) the percentage of such income allocated to such province for such Taxable Year as indicated on the income Tax Return(s) of the Canadian Corporate Subsidiary and (ii) the maximum combined federal and provincial corporate Tax rate in effect in such jurisdiction in such Taxable Year. As an illustration of the calculation of Combined Provincial Tax Rate for a Taxable Year, if a Canadian Corporate Subsidiary solely files Tax Returns in Ontario and Alberta in a Taxable Year, if the maximum applicable corporate Tax rates in effect in such provinces in such Taxable Year are 11.5% and 10%, respectively, and the allocation of income among such provinces in such Taxable Year is 55% and 45% respectively, then the Combined Provincial Tax Rate for such Taxable Year is equal to 10.83% (i.e., 11.5% multiplied by 55% plus 10% multiplied by 45%).

Combined State Tax Rate” means, with respect to any Taxable Year, the sum of the maximum effective rates of Tax imposed on the aggregate net income of the Company Group in each U.S. state or local jurisdiction in which a member of the Company Group files Tax Returns for such Taxable Year, with the maximum effective rate in any state or local jurisdiction being equal to the product of (i) the percentage of such income allocated to such U.S. state or local jurisdiction for such Taxable Year as indicated on the income or franchise Tax Returns of the Company Group and (ii) the maximum applicable corporate Tax rate in effect in such jurisdiction in such Taxable Year. As an illustration of the calculation of Combined State Tax Rate for a Taxable Year, if the Company Group solely files Tax Returns in State 1 and State 2 in a Taxable Year, the maximum applicable corporate Tax rates in effect in such states in such Taxable Year are 6.5% and 5.5%, respectively, and the apportionment factors for such states in such Taxable Year are 55% and 45% respectively, then the Combined State Tax Rate for such Taxable Year is equal to 6.05% (i.e., 6.5% multiplied by 55% plus 5.5% multiplied by 45%).

Company Group” is defined in the Recitals.

Corporation” is defined in the Preamble.

Cumulative Net Realized Tax Benefit” for a Taxable Year means the cumulative amount of Realized Tax Benefits for all Taxable Years of the Company Group, up to and including such Taxable Year, net of the cumulative amount of Realized Tax Detriments for the same period. The Realized Tax Benefit and Realized Tax Detriment for each Taxable Year shall be determined based on the most recent Tax Benefit Schedules or Amended Schedules, if any, in existence at the time of such determination.

 

5


Default Rate” means a per annum rate of LIBOR plus 500 basis points.

Determination” (a) in the case of any U.S. income Tax, shall have the meaning ascribed to such term in Section 1313(a) of the Code, or any other event (including the execution of IRS Form 870-AD) that finally and conclusively establishes the amount of any liability for Tax and shall also include the acquiescence of a member of the Company Group to the amount of any assessed liability for Tax and (b) in the case of any Canadian income Tax, means a determination made by a Taxing Authority (including pursuant to a settlement) where all rights to object to or appeal from the determination (including any right to obtain relief under a competent authority or similar process) have been exhausted or have expired.

Divestiture” means the sale of any Subsidiary of the Corporation, other than any such sale that (a) is, or is part of, a Change of Control or (b) is part of an internal reorganization (it being understood that if such internal reorganization utilizes any Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets, a Tax Benefit Payment may be due, but no Divestiture Acceleration Payment shall be due).

Divestiture Acceleration Payment” is defined in Section 3.1(d).

Divestiture Effective Dateis defined in Section 3.1(e).

Divestiture Schedule” is defined in Section 3.1(e).

Driven Equity” is defined in the Preamble.

Early Termination Date” means the date of an Early Termination Notice for purposes of determining the Early Termination Payment.

Early Termination Effective Date” is defined in Section 4.2.

Early Termination Notice” is defined in Section 4.2.

Early Termination Payment” is defined in Section 4.3(b).

Early Termination Rate” means a per annum rate of the lesser of (i) 6.5%, compounded annually, and (ii) LIBOR plus 100 basis points.

Early Termination Schedule” is defined in Section 4.2.

Expert” is defined in Section 7.11.

Hypothetical Tax Liability” means, with respect to any Taxable Year, the overall aggregate liability for U.S. and Canadian federal, state, local and provincial income Taxes of the Company Group using the same methods, elections, conventions and similar practices used on the Company Group’s actual Tax Returns, and calculated assuming a state, provincial and local income tax rate equal to the Combined State Tax Rate or Combined Provincial Tax Rate, as applicable, for such Taxable Year, but without taking into account the use of Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets, if any. Hypothetical Tax Liability shall be determined without taking into account the carryover of any Tax item or attribute (or portions thereof) that is available for use because of any Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Asset.

 

6


Independent Directors” means the members of the Board other than members of the Board that have been appointed or designated by a TRA Party or its Affiliates.

Interest Amount” is defined in Section 3.1(b).

IPO” means the initial public offering of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of the Corporation pursuant to the Registration Statement.

IPO Date” means the effective date of the IPO.

IRS” means the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

LIBOR” means during any period, an interest rate per annum equal to the one-year LIBOR reported, on the date two days prior to the first day of such period, on the Telerate Page 3750 (or if such screen shall cease to be publicly available, as reported on Reuters Screen page “LIBOR01” or by any other publicly available source of such market rate) for London interbank offered rates for U.S. dollar deposits for such period; provided, however, that if at any time the Series 2019-3 Variable Funding Senior Secured Notes, Class A-1 issued by Driven Brands Funding LLC (together with any amendment, restatement, waiver, supplement, refinancing or other modification thereof, the “Discontinued Rate Debt Security”) discontinues the use of LIBOR in determining interest rates and applies an alternative benchmark rate, then, during any period, all references in this Agreement to LIBOR shall automatically and without further action by any party refer to the sum of (1) the alternative benchmark rate applied in such period under the Discontinued Rate Debt Security (the “Successor Benchmark”) and (2) the spread adjustment (which may be zero, negative or positive) applied to such Successor Benchmark under the Discontinued Rate Debt Security.

Material Objection Notice” is defined in Section 4.2.

Net Tax Benefit” is defined in Section 3.1(b).

NOLs” means net operating loss carryforwards, capital loss carryforwards, non-capital losses, net capital losses and disallowed interest expense carryforwards under Section 163(j) of the Code, or comparable section of U.S. federal and Canadian federal and provincial tax law, for U.S. federal and Canadian federal and provincial income tax purposes (and not, for the avoidance of doubt, U.S. state and local income tax purposes).

Non-Party Affiliates” is defined in Section 7.2.

Objection Notice” is defined in Section 2.3(a).

Ownership Percentage” means, in the case of any TRA Party as of any time of determination, the percentage set forth opposite such TRA Party’s name on Schedule A.

 

7


Person” means any individual, corporation, firm, partnership, joint venture, limited liability company, estate, trust, business association, organization, governmental entity or other entity.

Post-IPO Tax Assets” means (a) any Tax attribute of the Company Group first arising in a Taxable Year or portion thereof beginning after the IPO Date, which shall include the allocation of any Tax attributes arising in a Straddle Year as set forth in the definition of Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets and shall exclude any Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets and (b) any Tax attribute of any corporation or other entity acquired by the Company Group by purchase, merger, or otherwise (in each case, from a Person or Persons other than a member of Company Group and, in each case, whether or not such corporation or other entity survives) after the IPO Date that relates to periods (or portions thereof) ending on or prior to the date of such acquisition; provided that Post-IPO Tax Assets shall not include any NOL of the Company Group arising in a year following the IPO Date as a result of a Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Asset not being fully utilized, provided, further, that Post-IPO Tax Assets shall not include tax basis in or other tax attributes arising from tangible assets.

Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets” means, in each case, as applied under U.S. and Canadian federal, state, local and provincial law:

(a) the U.S. Basis Assets;

(b) the Canadian Basis Assets;

(c) NOLs and Tax Credits of the Company Group as of the IPO Date;

(d) deductions in respect of the debt issuance costs associated with any indebtedness for borrowed money of the Company Group existing as of the IPO Date; and

(e) deductions in respect of IPO-related expenses of the Company Group;

provided, that (i) in order to determine whether any item described in clauses (a)-(c) is a Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Asset or a Post-IPO Tax Asset, the Taxable Year of each member of the Company Group that includes the IPO Date (the “Straddle Year”) shall be deemed to end as of the end of the IPO Date, and, except as otherwise provided below, the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative shall, acting reasonably, together determine the amount of any such item arising in the Straddle Year, or any portion thereof, that is included in the amount of Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets; and (ii) Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets shall include any Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Asset that becomes an NOL following the IPO Date as a result of such Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Asset not being fully utilized in the year in which it arises.

Realized Tax Benefit” means, for a Taxable Year, the excess, if any, of the Hypothetical Tax Liability over the Actual Tax Liability. If all or a portion of the actual liability for such Taxes for the Taxable Year arises as a result of an audit by a Taxing Authority of any Taxable Year, such liability shall not be included in determining the Realized Tax Benefit unless and until there has been a Determination.

 

8


Realized Tax Detriment” means, for a Taxable Year, the excess, if any, of the Actual Tax Liability over the Hypothetical Tax Liability. If all or a portion of the actual liability for such Taxes for the Taxable Year arises as a result of an audit by a Taxing Authority of any Taxable Year, such liability shall not be included in determining the Realized Tax Detriment unless and until there has been a Determination.

Reconciliation Dispute” is defined in Section 7.11.

Reconciliation Procedures” means the reconciliation procedures as described in Section 7.11.

Registration Statement” means the registration statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-251615) of the Corporation.

Schedule” means any of the following: (i) the Attribute Schedule, (ii) a Tax Benefit Schedule, (iii) an Early Termination Schedule or (iv) a Divestiture Schedule.

Senior Obligations” is defined in Section 5.1.

Straddle Year” is defined in the definition of Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Assets.

Subsidiaries” means, with respect to any Person, as of any date of determination, any other Person as to which such Person, owns, directly or indirectly, or otherwise controls more than fifty percent (50%) of the voting power or other similar interests or the sole general partner interest or managing member or similar interest of such Person.

Tax Benefit Payment” is defined in Section 3.1(b).

Tax Benefit Schedule” is defined in Section 2.2(a).

Tax Credit” means U.S. and Canadian federal, state, local and provincial and non-U.S. and non-Canadian tax credits that may be utilized to offset U.S. or Canadian federal, state, provincial or local income or alternative minimum Tax.

Tax Return” means any return, declaration, report or similar statement required to be filed with respect to Taxes (including any attached schedules), including any information return, claim for refund, amended return and declaration of estimated Tax.

Taxable Year” means a taxable year of the Corporation (or, if the context otherwise requires, the applicable member of the Company Group) as defined in Section 441(b) of the Code or comparable section of U.S. and Canadian federal, state, local and provincial tax law, as applicable (and, therefore, for the avoidance of doubt, may include a period of less than twelve (12) months for which a Tax Return is made), ending on or after the IPO Date.

Taxes” means any and all U.S. and Canadian federal, state, local and provincial taxes, assessments or similar charges that are based on or measured with respect to net income or profits, and any interest related to such Tax.

 

9


Taxing Authority” means any domestic, foreign, federal, national, state, county or municipal or other local government, any subdivision, agency, commission or authority thereof, or any quasi-governmental body exercising any taxing authority or any other authority exercising Tax regulatory authority.

TRA Parties” is defined in the Recitals.

TRA Party Representative” means Driven Equity (or such successor TRA Party Representative appointed in accordance with Section 7.15(a)), acting in its capacity as the TRA Party Representative.

Transferred Tax Attributes” means, in the event of a Divestiture, the Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets attributable to the Subsidiary of the Corporation that is sold in such Divestiture to the extent such Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets are transferred with such Subsidiary under applicable Tax law following the Divestiture (disregarding any limitation on the use of such Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets as a result of the Divestiture) and do not remain under applicable Tax law with the Company Group (other than the Subsidiary that is sold in such Divestiture).

Treasury Regulations” means the final, temporary and proposed regulations under the Code promulgated from time to time (including corresponding provisions and succeeding provisions) as in effect for the relevant taxable period.

U.S. Basis Assets” means U.S. federal, state and local amortization and depreciation deductions, and the reduction of taxable income and gain, attributable to existing tax basis in the intangible assets (and not, for the avoidance of doubt, tangible assets) owned by the Company Group on the IPO Date.

Valuation Assumptions” means, as of an Early Termination Date, the assumptions that in each Taxable Year ending on or after such Early Termination Date, (1) the Company Group will have taxable income sufficient to fully utilize (i) the deductions arising from the Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets during such Taxable Year or future Taxable Years in which such deductions would become available and (ii) any loss or credit carryovers that are Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets available as of such Early Termination Date, (2) the U.S. and Canadian federal Tax rates that will be in effect for each such Taxable Year will be those specified for each such Taxable Year by the Code or Canadian Tax Act, as applicable, as in effect on the Early Termination Date, (3) the Combined State Tax Rate or Combined Provincial Tax Rate, as applicable, that will be in effect for each such Taxable Year will be the Combined State Tax Rate or Combined Provincial Tax Rate for the last Taxable Year calculated under this Agreement prior to the Early Termination Date and (4) any non-amortizable assets will be disposed of on the later of the Early Termination Date or the fifteenth anniversary of the IPO Date in a fully taxable transaction for U.S. and Canadian federal, state, local and provincial income tax purposes; provided that, in the event of a Change of Control or Divestiture, such non-amortizable assets shall be deemed disposed of at the time of sale of the relevant asset (if earlier than such fifteenth anniversary).

Withheld Amounts” is defined in Section 7.12.

 

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ARTICLE II

DETERMINATION OF CERTAIN REALIZED TAX BENEFIT

Section 2.1 Attribute Schedule. Following the IPO Date, at least sixty (60) calendar days prior to the later of the (i) filing of the U.S. federal income Tax Return of the Corporation for the Taxable Year that includes the IPO Date or (ii) the filing of all Canadian federal income Tax Returns of the Canadian Corporate Subsidiaries for the Taxable Year that includes the IPO Date, the Corporation shall deliver to the TRA Party Representative a schedule (the “Attribute Schedule”) that shows, in reasonable detail, the information necessary to perform the calculations required by this Agreement, including estimates of (i) projections of the yearly amount deductions generated by the Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets to be received or utilized by the Company Group after the IPO Date and (ii) any applicable limitations on the use of the Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets for Tax purposes (including under Section 382 of the Code).

Section 2.2 Tax Benefit Schedule.

(a) Tax Benefit Schedule. Within ninety (90) calendar days after the later of the (i) filing of the U.S. federal income Tax Return of the Corporation for any Taxable Year or (ii) filing of all Canadian federal income Tax Returns of the Canadian Corporate Subsidiaries for the Taxable Years of the Canadian Corporate Subsidiaries that end in the same calendar year as such Taxable Year of the Corporation, the Corporation shall provide to the TRA Party Representative a schedule showing, in reasonable detail, the calculation of the Tax Benefit Payment with respect to each TRA Party for such Taxable Year and the calculation of the Realized Tax Benefit or Realized Tax Detriment and, in each case, components thereof (a “Tax Benefit Schedule”). Each Tax Benefit Schedule will become final as provided in Section 2.3(a) and may be amended as provided in Section 2.3(b) (subject to the procedures set forth in Section 2.3(b)).

(b) Applicable Principles. For purposes of calculating the Realized Tax Benefit or Realized Tax Detriment for any period, carryovers or carrybacks of any Tax item attributable to the Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Assets shall be considered to be subject to the rules of the Code and the Treasury Regulations (and any relevant provisions of the Canadian Tax Act, state, provincial or local tax law), as applicable, governing the use, limitation and expiration of carryovers and carrybacks of the relevant type. If a carryover or carryback of any Tax item includes a portion that is attributable to the Pre-IPO and IPO-Related Tax Asset and another portion that is not, such respective portions shall be considered to be used in accordance with the “with and without” methodology.

Section 2.3 Procedures, Amendments.

(a) Procedure. Every time the Corporation delivers to the TRA Party Representative an applicable Schedule under this Agreement, including any Amended Schedule delivered pursuant to Section 2.3(b), the Corporation shall also (x) deliver to the TRA Party

 

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Representative schedules, valuation reports, if any, and work papers, as determined by the Corporation or requested by the TRA Party Representative, providing reasonable detail regarding the preparation of the Schedule and (y) allow the TRA Party Representative reasonable access at no cost to the appropriate representatives at the Company Group, as determined by the Corporation or requested by the TRA Party Representative, in connection with a review of such Schedule. Without limiting the application of the preceding sentence, each time the Corporation delivers to the TRA Party Representative a Tax Benefit Schedule, in addition to the Tax Benefit Schedule duly completed, the Corporation shall deliver to the TRA Party Representative (w) any applicable Tax Returns of the Company Group, (x) the reasonably detailed calculation by the Company Group of the applicable Hypothetical Tax Liability, (y) the reasonably detailed calculation by the Company Group of the applicable Actual Tax Liability and (z) any other work papers as determined by the Corporation or requested by the TRA Party Representative, provided that the Corporation shall be entitled to redact any information that it reasonably believes is unnecessary for purposes of determining the items in the applicable Schedule or amendment thereto. An applicable Schedule or Amended Schedule shall become final and binding on the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative thirty (30) calendar days after the TRA Party Representative receives the applicable Schedule or Amended Schedule unless the TRA Party Representative (i) within thirty (30) calendar days after receiving such Schedule or Amended Schedule, provides the Corporation with notice of a material objection to such Schedule or Amended Schedule (“Objection Notice”) made in good faith or (ii) provides a written waiver of such right of an Objection Notice within the period described in clause (i) above, in which case such Schedule or Amended Schedule becomes binding on the date the waiver is received by the Corporation. If the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative, for any reason, are unable to successfully resolve the issues raised in an Objection Notice within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt by the Corporation of an Objection Notice, the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative shall employ the Reconciliation Procedures, in which case such Schedule or Amended Schedule shall become final and binding ten (10) calendar days after the conclusion of the Reconciliation Procedures.

(b) Amended Schedule. A Schedule may be amended from time to time by the Corporation (i) in connection with a Determination affecting such Schedule, (ii) to correct inaccuracies in the Schedule identified after the date the Schedule was provided to the TRA Party Representative, (iii) to comply with the Expert’s determination under the Reconciliation Procedures, (iv) to reflect a change in the Realized Tax Benefit or Realized Tax Detriment for a Taxable Year attributable to a carryforward of a loss or other tax item to such Taxable Year or (v) to reflect a change in the Realized Tax Benefit or Realized Tax Detriment for a Taxable Year attributable to an amended Tax Return filed for such Taxable Year (any such Schedule, an “Amended Schedule”). The Attribute Schedule shall be appropriately amended by the TRA Party Representative and the Corporation to the extent that, as a result of a Determination, the Company Group is required to calculate its Tax liability in a manner inconsistent with the Attribute Schedule. The Corporation shall provide an Amended Schedule, if any, to the TRA Party Representative within ninety (90) calendar days of the occurrence of an event referenced in clauses (i) through (v) of the first sentence of this Section 2.3(b).

 

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ARTICLE III

TAX BENEFIT PAYMENTS

Section 3.1 Payments.

(a) Payments. Within ten (10) calendar days after a Tax Benefit Schedule delivered to the TRA Party Representative becomes final and binding in accordance with Section 2.3(a), the Corporation shall pay to each TRA Party for such Taxable Year an amount equal to the excess, if any, of (i) the Tax Benefit Payment in respect of such TRA Party for such Taxable Year determined pursuant to Section 3.1(b) over (ii) the aggregate amount of Advance Payments previously made to such TRA Party under this Section 3.1(a) in respect of such Taxable Year. In addition, the Corporation may, at its sole election, make Advance Payments to the TRA Parties in respect of a Taxable Year; provided that, if the Corporation makes Advance Payments, it shall make Advance Payments to all TRA Parties in proportion to their respective amount of anticipated remaining payments under the Agreement (based on such TRA Party’s Ownership Percentage) in respect of such Taxable Year. Each such Tax Benefit Payment or such Advance Payment shall be made by wire transfer of immediately available funds to the bank account previously designated by such TRA Party to the Corporation or as otherwise agreed by the Corporation and such TRA Party. For the avoidance of doubt, no Tax Benefit Payment shall be made in respect of estimated Tax payments.

(b) A “Tax Benefit Payment” in respect of a TRA Party for a Taxable Year means an amount, not less than zero, equal to the portion of the Net Tax Benefit attributable to such TRA Party (based on such TRA Party’s Ownership Percentage) and the Interest Amount with respect thereto. The “Net Tax Benefit” for a Taxable Year shall be an amount equal to the excess, if any, of 85% of the Cumulative Net Realized Tax Benefit as of the end of such Taxable Year over the total amount of payments previously made under Section 3.1(a) (excluding payments attributable to Interest Amounts); provided, for the avoidance of doubt, that no TRA Party shall be required to return any portion of any previously made Tax Benefit Payment or Advance Payment. The “Interest Amount” in respect of a TRA Party shall equal the interest on the amount of the unpaid Net Tax Benefit attributable to such TRA Party (based on such TRA Party’s Ownership Percentage) for a Taxable Year, which interest shall accrue on any unpaid Net Tax Benefit from and after the later of the due date (without extensions) for filing the Corporation’s U.S. federal income Tax Return or a Canadian Corporate Subsidiary’s Canadian federal income Tax Return, as applicable, for such Taxable Year, calculated at the Agreed Rate, until the date such unpaid amounts are paid. “Advance Payments” in respect of a TRA Party for a Taxable Year means any payments made by the Corporation to such TRA Party as an advance of any anticipated Tax Benefit Payment in respect of such TRA Party for any Taxable Year. Notwithstanding the foregoing, for each Taxable Year ending on or after the date of a Change of Control, all Tax Benefit Payments shall be calculated by utilizing the Valuation Assumptions, substituting in each case the term “the date of a Change of Control” for “Early Termination Date.”

 

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(c) In the event of a Divestiture, within ten (10) Business Days after a Divestiture Effective Date, the Corporation shall pay to each TRA Party the portion of the Divestiture Acceleration Payment attributable to such TRA Party (based on such TRA Party’s Ownership Percentage) in respect of such Divestiture. Such payment shall be made by wire transfer of immediately available funds to the bank account previously designated by such TRA Party to the Corporation or as otherwise agreed by the Corporation and such TRA Party.

(d) The “Divestiture Acceleration Payment” as of the date of any Divestiture shall equal the present value, discounted at the Early Termination Rate as of such date, of the Tax Benefit Payments resulting solely from the Transferred Tax Attributes that would be required to be paid by the Corporation to the TRA Parties beginning from the date of such Divestiture calculated using the Valuation Assumptions, substituting in each case the term “the date of the Divestiture” for “Early Termination Date,” provided that the Divestiture Acceleration Payment shall be calculated without giving effect to any limitation on the use of the Transferred Tax Attributes resulting from the Divesture. For purposes of calculating the present value pursuant to this Section 3.1(d) of all Tax Benefit Payments that would be required to be paid, it shall be assumed that absent the Divestiture all Tax Benefit Payments would be paid on the later of the due date (without extensions) for filing the Corporation’s U.S. federal income Tax Return or the applicable Canadian Corporate Subsidiary’s Canadian federal income Tax Return for the applicable Taxable Year.

(e) In the event of a Divestiture, the Corporation shall deliver to the TRA Party Representative no later than ten (10) calendar days prior to such Divestiture or as soon as practicable thereafter, a schedule (a “Divestiture Schedule”) showing in reasonable detail the calculation of the Divestiture Acceleration Payment; provided, that, with respect to any Divesture that occurs prior to or within ten (10) calendar days of the Corporation delivering the Attribute Schedule to the TRA Party Representative pursuant to Section 2.1, the Corporation shall be permitted to deliver the applicable Divestiture Schedule to the TRA Party Representative concurrent with delivery of the Attribute Schedule. The Divestiture Schedule shall become final and binding on the Corporation and the TRA Parties thirty (30) calendar days after the TRA Party Representative receives such Divestiture Schedule or a corresponding Amended Schedule unless the TRA Party Representative (i) within thirty (30) calendar days after receiving such Divestiture Schedule or Amended Schedule, provides the Corporation with a Material Objection Notice made in good faith or (ii) provides a written waiver of such right of a Material Objection Notice within the period described in clause (i) above, in which case such Divestiture Schedule or Amended Schedule becomes binding on the date the waiver is received by the Corporation (such thirty (30)-calendar day date as modified, if at all, by clause (i) or (ii), the “Divestiture Effective Date”). If the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative, for any reason, are unable to successfully resolve the issues raised in such Material Objection Notice within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt by the Corporation of such Material Objection Notice, the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative shall employ the Reconciliation Procedures, in which case such Divestiture Schedule or Amended Schedule shall become final and binding ten (10) calendar days after the conclusion of the Reconciliation Procedures.

Section 3.2 No Duplicative Payments. It is intended that the provisions of this Agreement will not result in duplicative payment of any amount (including interest) required under this Agreement. The provisions of this Agreement shall be construed in the appropriate manner to ensure such intentions are realized.

 

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ARTICLE IV

TERMINATION

Section 4.1 Early Termination and Breach of Agreement.

(a) With the prior written approval of (x) a majority of the Independent Directors and (y) the TRA Party Representative, the Corporation may terminate this Agreement with respect to all amounts payable to the TRA Parties at any time by paying to each TRA Party the portion of the Early Termination Payment attributable to such TRA Party (based on such TRA Party’s Ownership Percentage); provided, however, that this Agreement shall only terminate pursuant to this Section 4.1(a) upon the receipt of the applicable portion of the Early Termination Payment by each TRA Party, and the Corporation shall deliver an Early Termination Notice only if it is able to make the Early Termination Payment at the time required by Section 4.3, and provided, further, that the Corporation may withdraw any notice to execute its termination rights under this Section 4.1(a) prior to the time at which the Early Termination Payment has been paid. Upon payment of the Early Termination Payment by the Corporation in accordance with this Section 4.1(a), the Corporation shall not have any further payment obligations under this Agreement, other than for any (a) Tax Benefit Payments in respect of the TRA Parties agreed to by the Corporation, on one hand, and the TRA Party Representative, on the other, as due and payable but unpaid as of the Early Termination Date and (b) Tax Benefit Payments in respect of the TRA Parties due for the Taxable Year ending with or including the date of the Early Termination Notice (except to the extent that the amount described in clause (b) is included in the Early Termination Payment).

(b) In the event that the Corporation breaches any of its material obligations under this Agreement, whether as a result of failure to make any payment when due, failure to honor any other material obligation required hereunder or by operation of law as a result of the rejection of this Agreement in a case commenced under the Bankruptcy Code or otherwise, then all obligations hereunder shall be accelerated and such obligations shall be calculated as if an Early Termination Notice had been delivered on the date of such breach and shall include (without duplication), but not be limited to, (1) the Early Termination Payment calculated as if an Early Termination Notice had been delivered on the date of a breach, (2) any Tax Benefit Payments in respect of the TRA Parties agreed to by the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative as due and payable but unpaid as of the date of a breach and (3) any Tax Benefit Payments in respect of the TRA Parties due for the Taxable Year ending with or including the date of a breach (except to the extent the amount described in clause (3) is included in the Early Termination Payment); provided that procedures similar to the procedures of Section 4.2 shall apply with respect to the determination of the amount payable by the Corporation pursuant to this sentence. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event that the Corporation breaches this Agreement, the TRA Party Representative shall be entitled to elect to seek specific performance of the terms hereof or to require the Corporation to pay the amounts set forth in clauses (1), (2) and (3) above to the TRA Parties. The parties agree that the failure to make any payment due pursuant to this Agreement within three (3) months of the date such payment is due shall be deemed to be a breach of a material obligation under this Agreement for all purposes of this Agreement, and that it will not be considered to be a breach of a material obligation under this Agreement to make a payment due pursuant to this Agreement within three (3) months of the

 

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date such payment is due. Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement to the contrary, prior to a Change of Control, it shall not be a breach of this Agreement if the Corporation fails to make any Tax Benefit Payment when due to the extent that the Corporation has insufficient funds to make such payment despite using reasonable best efforts to obtain funds to make such payment (including by causing its Subsidiaries to distribute or lend funds for such payment and access any revolving credit facilities or other sources of available credit to fund any such amounts).

Section 4.2 Early Termination Notice. If the Corporation chooses to exercise its right of early termination under Section 4.1(a), the Corporation shall deliver to the TRA Party Representative notice of such intention to exercise such right (“Early Termination Notice”) and a schedule (the “Early Termination Schedule”) specifying the Corporation’s intention to exercise such right and showing in reasonable detail the calculation of the Early Termination Payment. The Early Termination Schedule shall become final and binding on the Corporation and the TRA Parties thirty (30) calendar days after the TRA Party Representative receives such Early Termination Schedule or a corresponding Amended Schedule unless the TRA Party Representative (i) within thirty (30) calendar days after receiving such Early Termination Schedule or Amended Schedule, provides the Corporation with notice of a material objection to such Early Termination Schedule or Amended Schedule (“Material Objection Notice”) made in good faith or (ii) provides a written waiver of such right of a Material Objection Notice within the period described in clause (i) above, in which case such Early Termination Schedule or Amended Schedule becomes binding on the date the waiver is received by the Corporation (such thirty (30)-calendar day date as modified, if at all, by clause (i) or (ii), the “Early Termination Effective Date”). If the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative, for any reason, are unable to successfully resolve the issues raised in such Material Objection Notice within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt by the Corporation of such Material Objection Notice, the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative shall employ the Reconciliation Procedures, in which case such Early Termination Schedule or Amended Schedule shall become final and binding ten (10) calendar days after the conclusion of the Reconciliation Procedures.

Section 4.3 Payment upon Early Termination.

(a) Within three (3) Business Days after an Early Termination Effective Date, the Corporation shall pay to each TRA Party an amount equal to the portion of the Early Termination Payment attributable to such TRA Party (based on such TRA Party’s Ownership Percentage). Such payment shall be made by wire transfer of immediately available funds to a bank account or accounts designated by such TRA Party or as otherwise agreed by the Corporation and such TRA Party.

(b) The “Early Termination Payment” shall equal the present value, discounted at the Early Termination Rate as of the applicable Early Termination Date, of all Tax Benefit Payments that would be required to be paid by the Corporation beginning from the Early Termination Date and applying the Valuation Assumptions, assuming that absent the Early Termination Notice all Tax Benefit Payments would be paid on the later of the due date (without extensions) for filing the Corporation’s U.S. federal income Tax Return or all of the Canadian Corporate Subsidiaries’ Canadian federal income Tax Returns for the applicable Taxable Year.

 

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Section 4.4 Termination. This Agreement shall terminate at the time that all Tax Benefit Payments have been made to the TRA Parties under this Agreement.

ARTICLE V

SUBORDINATION; DEFERRAL OF PAYMENTS

Section 5.1 Subordination. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement to the contrary, any Tax Benefit Payment, Early Termination Payment or any other payment required to be made by the Corporation to the TRA Parties under this Agreement shall rank subordinate and junior in right of payment to any principal, interest or other amounts due and payable in respect of any obligations in respect of indebtedness for borrowed money of the Corporation (such obligations, “Senior Obligations”) and shall rank pari passu with all current or future unsecured obligations of the Corporation that are not Senior Obligations. For the avoidance of doubt, any amounts owed by the Corporation under this Agreement are not Senior Obligations.

Section 5.2 Compliance with Indebtedness. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary provided herein, if, at the time any amounts become due and payable hereunder, (a) the Corporation is not permitted, pursuant to the terms its outstanding indebtedness, to pay such amounts, or (b) (i) the Corporation does not have the cash on hand to pay such amounts, and (ii) no Subsidiary of the Corporation is permitted, pursuant to the terms of its outstanding indebtedness, to pay dividends to the Corporation to allow it to pay such amounts, then, in each case, the Corporation shall, by notice to the TRA Party Representative, be permitted to defer the payment of such amounts until the condition described in clause (a) or (b) is no longer applicable, in which case such amounts (together with accrued and unpaid interest thereon as described in the immediately following sentence) shall become due and payable immediately. If the Corporation defers the payment of any such amounts pursuant to the foregoing sentence, such amounts shall accrue interest at the Agreed Rate, from the date that such amounts originally became due and owing pursuant to the terms hereof to the date that such amounts were paid. To the extent the Company Group incurs, creates, assumes or permits to exist any indebtedness after the date hereof, the Corporation shall use commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that any amounts payable hereunder are, as of the later of the date of this Agreement or the date of incurrence of any such indebtedness, reasonably expected to be paid when and as such amounts become due and payable, taking into account any covenants or other restrictions under such indebtedness.

Section 5.3 Late Payments by the Corporation. The amount of all or any portion of any Tax Benefit Payment, Divestiture Payment, Early Termination Payment or other payment under this Agreement not made to the TRA Parties when due under the terms of this Agreement shall, unless Section 5.2 applies, be payable together with any interest thereon, computed at the Default Rate (and, for the avoidance of doubt, not the Agreed Rate) and commencing from the date on which such Tax Benefit Payment, Early Termination Payment or other payment was due and payable or Section 5.2 ceased to apply to such amount, as applicable.

 

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ARTICLE VI

NO DISPUTES; CONSISTENCY; COOPERATION

Section 6.1 Participation in the Company Groups Tax Matters. Except as otherwise provided herein, the Corporation shall have full responsibility for, and sole discretion over, all Tax matters concerning the Company Group, including the preparation, filing or amending of any Tax Return and defending, contesting or settling any issue pertaining to Taxes, subject to a requirement that the Corporation act in good faith in connection with its control of any matter which is reasonably expected to affect the TRA Parties’ rights and obligations under this Agreement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Corporation shall notify the TRA Party Representative of, and keep the TRA Party Representative reasonably informed with respect to, the portion of any audit of any member of the Company Group by a Taxing Authority the outcome of which is reasonably expected to affect the rights and obligations of the TRA Parties’ under this Agreement, and shall provide to the TRA Party Representative reasonable opportunity to provide information and other input to the Corporation and its advisors concerning the conduct of any such portion of such audit.

Section 6.2 Consistency. The Corporation and the TRA Parties agree to report and cause to be reported for all purposes, including U.S. and Canadian federal, state, provincial, local and other non-U.S. Tax purposes and financial reporting purposes, all Tax-related items (including each Tax Benefit Payment) in a manner consistent with that specified by the Corporation in any Schedule required to be provided by or on behalf of the Corporation under this Agreement unless otherwise required by law.

Section 6.3 Cooperation. Each of the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative shall (a) furnish to the other party in a timely manner such information, documents and other materials as the other party may reasonably request for purposes of making any determination or computation necessary or appropriate under this Agreement, preparing any Tax Return or contesting or defending any audit, examination or controversy with any Taxing Authority, (b) make itself available to the other party and its representatives to provide explanations of documents and materials and such other information as the other party or its representatives may reasonably request in connection with any of the matters described in clause (a) above and (c) reasonably cooperate in connection with any such matter, and the Corporation shall reimburse the TRA Party Representative for any reasonable third-party costs and expenses incurred pursuant to this Section; provided that, the TRA Party Representative shall not be required to provide any confidential or proprietary information (as determined in the sole and absolute discretion of the TRA Party Representative) to the Corporation.

ARTICLE VII

MISCELLANEOUS

Section 7.1 Notices. All notices, requests, claims, demands and other communications hereunder shall be in writing and shall be given (and shall be deemed to have been duly given upon receipt) by delivery in person, by overnight courier, e-mail (followed by overnight courier), or by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested) to the other parties hereto as follows:

 

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To the Corporation, to:

Driven Brands Holdings Inc. 400 S. Church Street, Suite 700

Charlotte NC 28202

Attention:     General Counsel

E-mail:         scott.omelia@drivenbrands.com

and

Driven Brands Holdings Inc.

400 S. Church Street, Suite 700

Charlotte NC 28202

Attention:     Tax

E-mail:         deb.moeller@drivenbrands.com

To the TRA Party Representative, to:

Driven Equity LLC

c/o Roark Capital Acquisition LLC

1180 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 2500

Atlanta, Georgia 30309-3521

Attention:     Stephen D. Aronson

E-mail:         sda@roarkcapital.com

with a copy (which shall not constitute notice) to:

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

1285 Avenue of the Americas New York,

New York 10019-6064

Attention:     Jeffrey D. Marell

           Scott M. Sontag

E-mail:         jmarell@paulweiss.com

           ssontag@paulweiss.com

or to such other address as the Person to whom notice is given may have previously furnished to the other in writing in the manner set forth above. Notice to any TRA Party shall be delivered to the last mailing address (and, if applicable, e-mail address) provided by such TRA Party to the Corporation.

Section 7.2 No Liability. Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement to the contrary, none of the TRA Parties, the Corporation or any of their respective Affiliates shall have any claims, obligations, liabilities, causes of action or recourse that may be based upon in respect of, arise under, out or by reason of, be connected with, or relate in any manner to this Agreement, or the negotiation, execution, or performance of this Agreement (including any representation or

 

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warranty made in, in connection with, or as an inducement to, this Agreement) or in connection with the transactions contemplated by this Agreement against, and no liability of any nature in respect of the obligations of any party under this Agreement shall attach to, be imposed on or otherwise be incurred by, any Person who is not a party hereto, including any past, present or future Affiliate, owner, manager, member, general or limited partner, director, officer, employee, agent, advisor or representative of, or financial advisor or lender to, any party hereto or any past, present or future Affiliate, owner, manager, member, general or limited partner, director, officer, employee, agent, advisor or representative of, or financial advisor or lender to, any of the foregoing (collectively, the “Non-Party Affiliates”), whether pursuant to any legal action, the enforcement of any assessment or by virtue of any applicable law, and, to the maximum extent permitted by law, each party hereto hereby waives and releases all such claims, obligations, liabilities, causes of action or recourse against any such Non-Party Affiliates. Without limiting the foregoing, to the maximum extent permitted by law, each party hereby waives and releases any and all rights, claims, demands, or causes of action that may otherwise be available at law or in equity, or granted by statute, to avoid or disregard the entity form of a party hereto or otherwise impose liability of a party hereto on any Non-Party Affiliate, whether granted by statute or based on theories of equity, agency, control, instrumentality, alter ego, domination, sham, single business enterprise, piercing the veil, unfairness, undercapitalization, or otherwise. For the avoidance of doubt, nothing contained herein shall limit or otherwise restrict the ability of any Person that is party to this Agreement to seek recourse against a party to this Agreement in accordance with the terms hereof.

Section 7.3 Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in multiple counterparts, each of which shall be deemed to be an original, but all of which shall constitute one and the same agreement. Delivery of an executed counterpart of a signature page to this Agreement by facsimile or scanned pages shall be effective as delivery of a manually executed counterpart to this Agreement.

Section 7.4 Entire Agreement; No Third-Party Beneficiaries. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement and supersedes all prior agreements and understandings, both written and oral, among the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof. This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure solely to the benefit of each party hereto and their respective successors and permitted assigns, and nothing in this Agreement, express or implied, is intended to or shall confer upon any other Person any right, benefit or remedy of any nature whatsoever under or by reason of this Agreement.

Section 7.5 Governing Law. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law provision or rule (whether of the State of Delaware or any other jurisdiction) that would cause the application of the law of any jurisdiction other than the State of Delaware.

Section 7.6 Severability. Whenever possible, each provision of this Agreement will be interpreted in such a manner as to be effective and valid under applicable law, but if any term or other provision of this Agreement is held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable under applicable law, all other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect so long as the economic or legal substance of the transactions contemplated hereby is not affected in any manner materially adverse to any party hereto. Upon such determination that any term or

 

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other provision of this Agreement is invalid, illegal or unenforceable under applicable law, the parties hereto shall negotiate in good faith to modify this Agreement so as to effect the original intent of the parties as closely as possible in an acceptable manner in order that the transactions contemplated hereby are consummated as originally contemplated to the greatest extent possible.

Section 7.7 Successors; Assignment; Amendments; Waivers.

(a) No TRA Party may assign any of its rights under this Agreement in whole or in part to any Person without the prior written consent of the TRA Party Representative. Each TRA Party that receives such consent may assign any of its rights under this Agreement in whole or in part so long as the transferee has executed and delivered or, in connection with such transfer, executes and delivers to the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative a joinder to this Agreement, in the form of Exhibit A or such other form mutually agreed by the parties, agreeing to become such TRA Party for all purposes of this Agreement, except as otherwise provided in such joinder, provided that any TRA Party holding less than 10% of the rights to payment under this Agreement may only assign its rights under this agreement in whole and not in part pursuant to this Section 7.7(a).

(b) The transferee and transferor of any assignment permitted under this Section 7.7 shall provide the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative a notice (which may be by PDF) of the assignment, which notice must clearly identify the name of the transferor and transferee, the Ownership Percentage being transferred, and contact information for the transferee at least three (3) Business Days prior to the effective date of such assignment. Any assignment, or attempted assignment in violation of this Agreement, including any failure of a purported transferee to enter into a joinder to this Agreement pursuant to Section 7.7(a), shall be null and void, and shall not bind or be recognized by the Corporation or the TRA Party Representative. The Corporation shall maintain at its offices a copy of each notice of assignment received pursuant to this Section 7.7(b) and upon receipt of each such notice shall update Schedule A to reflect such assignment. Schedule A, as may be amended from time to time in accordance with this Section 7.7(b), shall be conclusive absent manifest error, and the Company and the TRA Parties shall treat each Person whose name is recorded on Schedule A pursuant to the terms hereof as a TRA Party hereunder for all purposes of this Agreement.

(c) No provision of this Agreement may be amended or waived unless such amendment or waiver is approved in writing by the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Agreement (including this Section 7.7), the execution and delivery of a joinder to this Agreement pursuant to Section 7.7(a) shall not require the consent of the Corporation.

(d) All of the terms and provisions of this Agreement shall be binding upon, shall inure to the benefit of and shall be enforceable by the parties hereto and their respective successors, assigns, heirs, executors, administrators and legal representatives. The Corporation shall require and cause any direct or indirect successor (whether by purchase, merger, consolidation or otherwise) to all or substantially all of the business or assets of the Corporation, by written agreement, expressly to assume and agree to perform this Agreement in the same manner and to the same extent that the Corporation would be required to perform if no such succession had taken place.

 

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(e) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, the TRA Party Representative shall be permitted and authorized to sell, transfer and assign all of the rights and benefits of the TRA Parties under this Agreement (including the right to receive Tax Benefit Payments and Early Termination Payments) to either (i) the Company (with the prior written approval of a majority of the Independent Directors) or (ii) a third party that is not an Affiliate of the TRA Party Representative. In the event of such a sale, all of the rights and benefits under this Agreement of the TRA Parties immediately prior to such sale (including the right to receive Tax Benefit Payments and Early Termination Payments) shall automatically terminate and convert into the right for each such TRA Party to receive its proportionate share (based on such TRA Party’s Ownership Percentage) of the proceeds of such sale, net of any payment to the TRA Party Representative pursuant to the following sentence. The TRA Party Representative shall be entitled to receive out of the proceeds of such sale any previously unreimbursed costs and expenses of the TRA Party Representative described in Section 7.15(b). Each TRA Party hereby agrees to take such actions and execute such instruments and agreements as are required by the TRA Party Representative or such transferee in order to effectuate any sale, transfer and assignment pursuant to this Section 7.7(e).

Section 7.8 Construction; Interpretation. The term “this Agreement” means this Tax Receivable Agreement, as the same may from time to time be amended, modified, supplemented or restated in accordance with the terms hereof. The headings contained in this Agreement are inserted for convenience only and shall not affect in any way the meaning or interpretation of this Agreement. No party hereto, nor its respective counsel, shall be deemed the drafter of this Agreement for purposes of construing or enforcing the provisions hereof, and all provisions of this Agreement shall be construed according to their fair meaning and not strictly for or against any party, and no presumption or burden of proof will arise favoring or disfavoring any Person by virtue of its authorship of any provision of this Agreement. Unless otherwise indicated to the contrary herein by the context or use thereof: (i) the words “herein,” “hereto,” “hereof” and words of similar import refer to this Agreement as a whole, and not to any particular section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph or clause contained in this Agreement; (ii) masculine gender shall also include the feminine and neutral genders, and vice versa; (iii) words importing the singular shall also include the plural, and vice versa; (iv) the word “include,” “includes” or “including” shall be deemed to be followed by the words “without limitation”; (v) the word “extent” in the phrase “to the extent” shall mean the degree to which a subject or other thing extends, and such phrase shall not mean simply “if”; and (vi) reference to “dollar,” “dollars” or “$” shall be to the lawful currency of the United States.

Section 7.9 Waiver of Jury Trial. The parties to this Agreement each hereby waive, to the fullest extent permitted by law, any right to trial by jury of any claim, demand, action, or cause of action (i) arising under this Agreement or (ii) in any way connected with or related or incidental to the dealings of the parties hereto in respect of this Agreement or any of the transactions related hereto, in each case whether now existing or hereafter arising, and whether in contract, tort, equity or otherwise. The parties to this Agreement each hereby agree and consent that any such claim, demand, action or cause of action shall be decided by court trial without a jury and that the parties to this Agreement may file an original counterpart of a copy of this Agreement with any court as written evidence of the consent of the parties hereto to the waiver of their right to trial by jury.

 

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Section 7.10 Jurisdiction and Venue. Each of the parties hereto (i) submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts of Delaware in any action or proceeding arising out of or relating to this Agreement, (ii) agrees that all claims in respect of the action or proceeding may be heard and determined in any such court and (iii) agrees not to bring any action or proceeding arising out of or relating to this Agreement in any other court. Each of the parties hereto waives any defense of inconvenient forum to the maintenance of any action or proceeding so brought and waives any bond, surety or other security that might be required of any other party with respect thereto. Each party hereto agrees that service of summons and complaint or any other process that might be served in any action or proceeding may be made on such party by sending or delivering a copy of the process to the party to be served at the address of the party and in the manner provided for the giving of notices in Section 7.1. Nothing in this Section 7.10, however, shall affect the right of any party to serve legal process in any other manner permitted by law. Each party hereto agrees that a final, non-appealable judgment in any action or proceeding so brought shall be conclusive and may be enforced by suit on the judgment or in any other manner provided by law.

Section 7.11 Reconciliation. In the event that the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative are unable to resolve a disagreement with respect to the matters governed by Section 2.3, 3.1 or 4.2 within the relevant period designated in this Agreement (“Reconciliation Dispute”), the Reconciliation Dispute shall be submitted for determination to a nationally recognized expert (the “Expert”) in the particular area of disagreement mutually acceptable to both parties. The Expert shall be a partner or principal in a nationally recognized accounting or law firm, and unless the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative agree otherwise, the Expert shall not, and the firm that employs the Expert shall not, have any material relationship with the Company Group or the TRA Party Representative or other actual or potential conflict of interest. If the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative are unable to agree on an Expert within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt by the respondent(s) of written notice of a Reconciliation Dispute, the Expert shall be appointed by the International Chamber of Commerce Centre for Expertise. The Expert shall resolve any matter relating to the Attribute Schedule, the Early Termination Schedule or Amended Schedules thereof within thirty (30) calendar days and shall resolve any matter relating to a Tax Benefit Schedule or an Amended Schedule thereof within fifteen (15) calendar days or as soon thereafter as is reasonably practicable, in each case after the matter has been submitted to the Expert for resolution. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, if the matter is not resolved before any payment that is the subject of a disagreement would be due (in the absence of such disagreement) or any Tax Return reflecting the subject of a disagreement is due, the undisputed amount shall be paid on the date prescribed by this Agreement and such Tax Return may be filed as prepared by the applicable member of the Company Group, subject to adjustment or amendment upon resolution. The costs and expenses relating to the engagement of such Expert or amending any Tax Return shall be borne by the Corporation except as provided in the next sentence. The Corporation and the TRA Party Representative shall bear their own costs and expenses of such proceeding, unless (i) the Expert adopts the TRA Party Representative’s position, in which case the Corporation shall reimburse the TRA Party Representative for any reasonable out-of-pocket costs and expenses in such proceeding, or (ii) the Expert adopts the

 

23


Corporation’s position, in which case the TRA Party Representative shall reimburse the Corporation for any reasonable out-of-pocket costs and expenses in such proceeding. Any dispute as to whether a dispute is a Reconciliation Dispute within the meaning of this Section 7.11 shall be decided by the Expert. The Expert shall finally determine any Reconciliation Dispute, and the determinations of the Expert pursuant to this Section 7.11 shall be final and binding on the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative and may be entered and enforced in any court having jurisdiction.

Section 7.12 Withholding. If the Corporation is required by law to deduct, withhold or make tax payments on behalf of or with respect to any TRA Party as a result of entering this Agreement or making any payment pursuant to this Agreement (such amounts, “Withheld Amounts”), the Corporation may deduct or withhold such amounts and make such tax payments as so required. All Withheld Amounts in respect of a TRA Party shall be repaid by reducing the amount of the current or next succeeding payment or payments which would otherwise have been made to such TRA Party (or such TRA Party’s successor or assignee, if applicable) pursuant to this Agreement. To the extent that any payment pursuant to this Agreement is so reduced by the Corporation, the applicable TRA Party (or such TRA Party’s successor or assignee, if applicable) shall be treated for all purposes of this Agreement as having received such payment unreduced by such Withheld Amounts. This Section 7.12 shall survive any transfer or assignment by a TRA Party.

Section 7.13 Admission of the Corporation into a Consolidated Group; Transfers of Corporate Assets.

(a) If the Corporation is or becomes a member of an affiliated or consolidated group of corporations that files a consolidated income tax return pursuant to Sections 1501 et seq. of the Code, or comparable section of U.S. federal, state or local tax law, then: (i) the provisions of this Agreement shall be applied with respect to the group as a whole; and (ii) Tax Benefit Payments, Early Termination Payments and other applicable items hereunder shall be computed with reference to the consolidated taxable income of the group as a whole.

(b) If the Corporation or any of its Subsidiaries transfers one or more assets to a Person that is not part of the Company Group in a non-taxable transaction or for less than fair market value, for purposes of calculating the amount of any Tax Benefit Payment or Early Termination Payment (e.g., calculating the gross income of the entity and determining the Realized Tax Benefit of such entity) due hereunder the Company Group shall be treated as having disposed of such asset in a fully taxable transaction on the date of such transfer. The consideration deemed to be received by such entity shall be equal to the gross fair market value of the transferred asset. For purposes of this Section 7.13, a transfer of a partnership interest shall be treated as a transfer of the transferring partner’s share of each of the assets and liabilities of that partnership allocated to such partner.

(c) If any Subsidiary of the Corporation ceases to be a Subsidiary of the Corporation at any time, the transaction or event that causes such change shall be treated as a Divestiture of such Subsidiary for purposes of calculating the amount of any payments under this Agreement.

 

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Section 7.14 Confidentiality.

(a) The TRA Parties and each of their assignees acknowledge and agree that the information of the Company Group is confidential and, except in the course of performing any duties as necessary for the Company Group and its Affiliates, as required by law or legal process or to enforce the terms of this Agreement, such Person shall keep and retain in the strictest confidence and not disclose to any Person any confidential matters, acquired pursuant to this Agreement, of the Company Group and its Affiliates and successors learned by the TRA Parties heretofore or hereafter. This Section 7.14 shall not apply to (i) any information that has been made publicly available by the Company Group or any of its Affiliates, becomes public knowledge (except as a result of an act of such TRA Party in violation of this Agreement) or is generally known to the business community and (ii) the disclosure of information to the extent necessary for a TRA Party to prepare and file its Tax Returns, to respond to any inquiries regarding the same from any Taxing Authority, or to prosecute or defend any action, proceeding or audit by any Taxing Authority with respect to such returns.

(b) If a TRA Party or an assignee commits a breach, or threatens to commit a breach, of any of the provisions of this Section 7.14, the Corporation shall have the right and remedy to have the provisions of this Section 7.14 specifically enforced by injunctive relief or otherwise by any court of competent jurisdiction without the need to post any bond or other security, it being acknowledged and agreed that any such breach or threatened breach shall cause irreparable injury to the Corporation and that money damages alone shall not provide an adequate remedy to such Persons. Such rights and remedies shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other rights and remedies available at law or in equity.

Section 7.15 Appointment of the TRA Party Representative.

(a) Without further action of any of the Corporation, the TRA Party Representative or any TRA Party, and as partial consideration of the benefits conferred by this Agreement, the TRA Party Representative is hereby irrevocably appointed, with full power of substitution, to act in the name, place and stead of each TRA Party with respect to the taking by the TRA Party Representative of any and all actions and the making of any decisions required or permitted to be taken by the TRA Party Representative under this Agreement. The power of attorney granted herein is coupled with an interest and is irrevocable and may be delegated by the TRA Party Representative. No bond shall be required of the TRA Party Representative, and the TRA Party Representative shall receive no compensation for its services. The TRA Party Representative may appoint a successor TRA Party Representative by identifying such TRA Party Representative in writing to the Corporation.

(b) Upon written notice to the Corporation from the TRA Party Representative of documented costs and expenses (including fees and disbursements of counsel and accountants) incurred by the TRA Party Representative in connection with the performance of its rights or obligations under this Agreement and the taking of any and all actions in connection therewith (including, without duplication of any payments to the TRA Party Representative in reimbursement of its costs and expenses pursuant to Section 7.7(e), in connection with any transaction described in Section 7.7(e) or which, if consummated, would be described in Section 7.7(e)), the Corporation shall reduce any future payments (if any) due to the

 

25


TRA Parties hereunder pro rata (based on their respective Ownership Percentages) by the amount of such expenses which it shall instead remit directly to the TRA Party Representative. In connection with the performance of its rights and obligations under this Agreement and the taking of any and all actions in connection therewith, the TRA Party Representative shall not be required to expend any of its own funds (though, for the avoidance of doubt, it may do so at any time and from time to time in its sole discretion).

(c) The TRA Party Representative shall not be liable to any TRA Party for any act of the TRA Party Representative arising out of or in connection with the acceptance or administration of its duties under this Agreement, except to the extent any liability, loss, damage, penalty, fine, cost or expense is actually incurred by such TRA Party as a proximate result of the gross negligence, bad faith or willful misconduct of the TRA Party Representative (it being understood that any act done or omitted pursuant to the advice of legal counsel shall be conclusive evidence of such good faith and reasonable judgment). The TRA Party Representative shall not be liable for, and shall be indemnified by the TRA Parties (on a several but not joint basis) for, any liability, loss, damage, penalty or fine incurred by the TRA Party Representative (and any cost or expense incurred by the TRA Party Representative in connection therewith and herewith and not previously reimbursed pursuant to subsection (b) above) arising out of or in connection with the acceptance or administration of its duties under this Agreement, except to the extent that any such liability, loss, damage, penalty, fine, cost or expense is the proximate result of the gross negligence, bad faith or willful misconduct of the TRA Party Representative (it being understood that any act done or omitted pursuant to the advice of legal counsel shall be conclusive evidence of such good faith and reasonable judgment); provided, however, in no event shall any TRA Party be obligated to indemnify the TRA Party Representative hereunder for any liability, loss, damage, penalty, fine, cost or expense to the extent (and only to the extent) that the aggregate amount of all liabilities, losses, damages, penalties, fines, costs and expenses indemnified by such TRA Party hereunder is or would be in excess of the aggregate payments under this Agreement actually remitted to such TRA Party. Each TRA Party’s receipt of any and all benefits to which such TRA Party is entitled under this Agreement, if any, is conditioned upon and subject to such TRA Party’s acceptance of all obligations, including the obligations of this Section 7.15(c), applicable to such TRA Party under this Agreement.

(d) Any decision, act, consent or instruction of the TRA Party Representative shall constitute a decision of TRA Parties and shall be final, binding and conclusive upon each TRA Party, and the Corporation may rely upon any decision, act, consent or instruction of the TRA Party Representative as being the decision, act, consent or instruction of each TRA Party. The Corporation is hereby relieved from any liability to any person for any acts done by the Corporation in accordance with any such decision, act, consent or instruction of the TRA Party Representative.

[The remainder of this page is intentionally left blank]

 

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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Corporation, each TRA Party and the TRA Party Representative have duly executed this Agreement as of the date first written above.

 

Driven Brands Holdings Inc.
By:   /s/ Scott O’Melia
  Name: Scott O’Melia
  Title: Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

 

[Signature Page to Tax Receivable Agreement]


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Corporation, each TRA Party and the TRA Party Representative have duly executed this Agreement as of the date first written above.

 

Driven Equity LLC
By:   /s/ Stephen D. Aronson
  Name: Stephen D. Aronson
  Title:   General Counsel and Secretary
RC IV Cayman ICW Holdings LLC
By:   /s/ Stephen D. Aronson
  Name: Stephen D. Aronson
  Title:   Manager

 

[Signature Page to Tax Receivable Agreement]


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Corporation, each TRA Party and the TRA Party Representative have duly executed this Agreement as of the date first written above.

 

TRA Party
By:   /s/ Aaron Jansen
  Name: Aaron Jansen
By:   /s/ Anna Spenceley
  Name: Anna Spenceley
By:   /s/ Arlo Johnson
  Name: Arlo Johnson
By:   /s/ Artemio Garza
  Name: Artemio Garza
By:   /s/ Avi Levine
  Name: Avi Levine
By:   /s/ Blair H. Boggs
  Name: Blair H. Boggs
By:   /s/ Blake Kidwell
  Name: Blake Kidwell
By:   /s/ Brandon Tullier
  Name: Brandon Tullier
By:   /s/ Brannan Lahoda
  Name: Brannan Lahoda

 

[Signature Page to Tax Receivable Agreement]


By:   /s/ Brett Downs
  Name: Brett Downs
By:   /s/ Brett Meinberg
  Name: Brett Meinberg
By:   /s/ Brian Newton
  Name: Brian Newton
By:   /s/ Brian Nicholson
  Name: Brian Nicholson
By:   /s/ Brian Romanzo
  Name: Brian Romanzo
By:   /s/ Charles D. Browning
  Name: Charles D. Browning
By:   /s/ Christopher J. Kozina
  Name: Christopher J. Kozina
By:   /s/ Christopher T. Dawson
  Name: Christopher T. Dawson
By:   /s/ Claire Barton
  Name: Claire Barton
By:   /s/ Curtis Roberts
  Name: Curtis Roberts

 

[Signature Page to Tax Receivable Agreement]


By:   /s/ Cynthia Mitsumasu
  Name: Cynthia Mitsumasu
By:   /s/ Daniel Rivera
  Name: Daniel Rivera
By:   /s/ Dave Schaefers
  Name: Dave Schaefers
By:   /s/ David McCullough
  Name: David McCullough
By:   /s/ David Trevan
  Name: David Trevan
By:   /s/ Dean Fisher
  Name: Dean Fisher
By:   /s/ Dennis Elliott
  Name: Dennis Elliott
By:   /s/ Douglas M. Danstrom
  Name: Douglas M. Danstrom
By:   /s/ Edward David Pearson
  Name: Edward David Pearson
By:   /s/ Edward T. Moore, Jr.
  Name: Edward T. Moore, Jr.

 

[Signature Page to Tax Receivable Agreement]


By:   /s/ Eric Wollenhaupt
  Name: Eric Wollenhaupt
By:   /s/ Erick Bickett
  Name: Erick Bickett
By:   /s/ Erika Keil
  Name: Erika Keil
By:   /s/ Frank C. Petrane
  Name: Frank C. Petrane
By:   /s/ Frank Soccorsi
  Name: Frank Soccorsi
By:   /s/ Gabriel Mendoza
  Name: Gabriel Mendoza
By:   /s/ Greg Brening
  Name: Greg Brening
By:   /s/ Henry Robert III
  Name: Henry Robert III
By:   /s/ Ivona Adkins
  Name: Ivona Adkins
By:   /s/ Jason Moore
  Name: Jason Moore

 

[Signature Page to Tax Receivable Agreement]


By:   /s/ Jason Ryan
  Name: Jason Ryan

 

By:   /s/ Jay Kurzman
  Name: Jay Kurzman

 

By:   /s/ Jean Jacquemetton
  Name: Jean Jacquemetton

 

By:   /s/ Jeff Labanovich
  Name: Jeff Labanovich

 

  Maize Consulting Inc.
By:   /s/ Jeff Maize
  Name: Jeff Maize, President

 

By:   /s/ Jeff Todd
  Name: Jeff Todd

 

By:   /s/ Jeffrey Lasher
  Name: Jeffrey Lasher

 

By:   /s/ Jessica Greene Callahan
  Name: Jessica Greene Callahan

 

By:   /s/ Jim Cole
  Name: Jim Cole

 

By:   /s/ John Baumgartner
  Name: John Baumgartner

 

[Signature Page to Tax Receivable Agreement]


By:   /s/ John D. Snodgrass
  Name: John D. Snodgrass

 

By:   /s/ John Teddy
  Name: John Teddy

 

By:   /s/ Jon Gaiman
  Name: Jon Gaiman

 

By:   /s/ Jonathan Booth
  Name: Jonathan Booth

 

By:   /s/ Jonathan Fitzpatrick
  Name: Jonathan Fitzpatrick

 

By:   /s/ Jonathan White
  Name: Jonathan White

 

By:   /s/ Jorge Planta
  Name: Jorge Planta

 

By:   /s/ Jose Costa
  Name: Jose Costa

 

By:   /s/ Jose R. Rivera
  Name: Jose R. Rivera

 

By:   /s/ Julian Hart
  Name: Julian Hart

 

[Signature Page to Tax Receivable Agreement]


By:   /s/ Keith H. McDonald
  Name: Keith H. McDonald
By:   /s/ Kenneth Keala
  Name: Kenneth Keala
By:   /s/ Kerry Sewell
  Name: Kerry Sewell
By:   /s/ Kristi Ochoa
  Name: Kristi Ochoa
By:   /s/ Kyle Marshall
  Name: Kyle Marshall
By:   /s/ Kyle J. Truxillo
  Name: Kyle J. Truxillo
By:   /s/ Lisa Jackson
  Name: Lisa Jackson
By:   /s/ Logan Sumner
  Name: Logan Sumner
By:   /s/ Marc Graham
  Name: Marc Graham
By:   /s/ Marcel van Brakel
  Name: Marcel van Brakel

 

[Signature Page to Tax Receivable Agreement]


By:   /s/ Mark Nason
  Name: Mark Nason
By:   /s/ Michael B. Lopez
  Name: Michael B. Lopez
By:   /s/ Michael Macaluso
  Name: Michael Macaluso
By:   /s/ Michael Osovski
  Name: Michael Osovski
By:   /s/ Michael Smith
  Name: Michael Smith
By:   /s/ Nilesh Pandya
  Name: Nilesh Pandya
By:   /s/ Patrick Dillard
  Name: Patrick Dillard
By:   /s/ Paul Smith
  Name: Paul Smith
By:   /s/ Peter J. Frey
  Name: Peter J. Frey
By:   /s/ Peter Swinburn
  Name: Peter Swinburn

 

[Signature Page to Tax Receivable Agreement]


By:   /s/ Phillip Raines Wise, Jr.
  Name: Phillip Raines Wise, Jr.
By:   /s/ Raymond Drew Milligan
  Name: Raymond Drew Milligan
By:   /s/ Raymond Guidry III
  Name: Raymond Guidry III
By:   /s/ Rebecca Fretty
  Name: Rebecca Fretty
By:   /s/ Rebecca Zweier
  Name: Rebecca Zweier
By:   /s/ Rebekah Horowitz
  Name: Rebekah Horowitz
By:   /s/ Rick Puckett
  Name: Rick Puckett
By:   /s/ Robert Cambruzzi II
  Name: Robert Cambruzzi II
By:   /s/ Robert D. Benjamin
  Name: Robert D. Benjamin
By:   /s/ Robert Fillman
  Name: Robert Fillman

 

[Signature Page to Tax Receivable Agreement]


By:   /s/ Russ Slocum
  Name: Russ Slocum
By:   /s/ Sabrina Thring
  Name: Sabrina Thring
By:   /s/ Shelly Bickett
  Name: Shelly Bickett
By:   /s/ Simon Tisminesky
  Name: Simon Tisminesky
By:   /s/ Stephen Belko
  Name: Stephen Belko
By:   /s/ Stephen P. Jackson
  Name: Stephen P. Jackson
By:   /s/ Steven D. Collins
  Name: Steven D. Collins
By:   /s/ Summer Nunn
  Name: Summer Nunn
By:   /s/ Suzanne Smith
  Name: Suzanne Smith
By:   /s/ Ted Rippey
  Name: Ted Rippey

 

[Signature Page to Tax Receivable Agreement]


By:   /s/ Thomas Mangas
  Name: Thomas Mangas
By:   /s/ Timothy Livsey
  Name: Timothy Livsey
By:   /s/ Timothy Lucey
  Name: Timothy Lucey
By:   /s/ Timothy Walton
  Name: Timothy Walton
By:   /s/ Usman Azhar
  Name: Usman Azhar
By:   /s/ Wayne Munnelly
  Name: Wayne Munnelly
By:   /s/ William Bailey
  Name: William Bailey
By:   /s/ William J. Derwin
  Name: William J. Derwin
By:   /s/ William MacDonald
  Name: William MacDonald
By:   /s/ Zachary Pfeiffer
  Name: Zachary Pfeiffer

 

[Signature Page to Tax Receivable Agreement]


Exhibit A

Form of Joinder

This JOINDER (this “Joinder”) to the Tax Receivable Agreement, dated as of [•], by and among the Corporation and the TRA Party Representative (as defined therein) (the “Tax Receivable Agreement”), dated as of [•], by and among the Corporation and [•] (“Permitted Transferee”).

WHEREAS, on [•], Permitted Transferee acquired (the “Acquisition”) the right to receive any and all payments that may become due and payable under the Tax Receivable Agreement attributable to [•] (“Transferor”) [as described in greater detail in Annex A to this Joinder] (the “Acquired Interests”) from Transferor; and

WHEREAS, Transferor, in connection with the Acquisition, has required Permitted Transferee to execute and deliver this Joinder pursuant to Section 7.7(a) of the Tax Receivable Agreement.

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing and the respective covenants and agreements set forth herein, and intending to be legally bound hereby, the parties hereto agree as follows:

Section 1.01 Definitions. To the extent capitalized words used in this Joinder are not defined in this Joinder, such words shall have the respective meanings set forth in the Tax Receivable Agreement.

Section 1.02 Joinder. Permitted Transferee hereby acknowledges and agrees to replace Transferor as a TRA Party for all purposes of the Tax Receivable Agreement.

Section 1.03 Notice. Any notice, request, consent, claim, demand, approval, waiver or other communication hereunder to Permitted Transferee shall be delivered or sent to Permitted Transferee at the address set forth on the signature page hereto in accordance with Section 7.1 of the Tax Receivable Agreement.

Section 1.04 Governing Law. This Joinder shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law provision or rule (whether of the State of Delaware or any other jurisdiction) that would cause the application of the law of any jurisdiction other than the State of Delaware.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, this Joinder has been duly executed and delivered by Permitted Transferee as of the date first above written.

 

[PERMITTED TRANSFEREE]
By:    
  Name:
  Title:
Address for notices:

 

EX-10.2

Exhibit 10.2

Driven Brands Holdings Inc.

2021 Omnibus Incentive Plan

1. Purpose. The Driven Brands Holdings Inc. 2021 Omnibus Incentive Plan (as amended from time to time, the “Plan”) is intended to help Driven Brands Holdings Inc., a Delaware corporation (including any successor thereto, the “Company”), and its Affiliates (i) attract and retain key personnel by providing them the opportunity to acquire an equity interest in the Company or other incentive compensation measured by reference to the value of Common Stock or a targeted dollar value if denominated in cash, and (ii) align the interests of key personnel with those of the Company’s stockholders.

2. Effective Date; Duration. The effective date of the Plan is January 14, 2021 (the “Effective Date”), which is the date that the Plan was approved by the stockholders of the Company. The expiration date of the Plan, on and after which date no Awards may be granted, shall be the tenth anniversary of the Effective Date; provided, however, that such expiration shall not affect Awards then outstanding, and the terms and conditions of the Plan shall continue to apply to such Awards.

3. Definitions. The following definitions shall apply throughout the Plan:

(a) “Affiliate” means any person or entity that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by or is under common control with the Company. The term “control” (including, with correlative meaning, the terms “controlled by” and “under common control with”), as applied to any person or entity, means the possession, directly or indirectly, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of such person or entity, whether through the ownership of voting or other securities, by contract or otherwise.

(b) “Award” means any Incentive Stock Option, Nonqualified Stock Option, Stock Appreciation Right, Restricted Stock, Restricted Stock Unit, Other Stock-Based Award, or Other Cash-Based Award granted under the Plan.

(c) “Award Agreement” means the agreement (whether in written or electronic form) or other instrument or document evidencing any Award granted under the Plan.

(d) “Beneficial Ownership” has the meaning set forth in Rule 13d-3 promulgated under Section 13 of the Exchange Act.

(e) “Board” means the Board of Directors of the Company.

(f) “Cause” in the case of a particular Award, unless the applicable Award Agreement states otherwise, (i) shall have the meaning given such term (or term of similar import) in any employment, consulting, change-in-control, severance or any other agreement between the Participant and the Company or an Affiliate, or severance plan in which the Participant is eligible to participate, in either case in effect at the time of the Participant’s termination of employment or service with the Company and its Affiliates, or (ii) if “cause” or term of similar import is not defined in, or in the absence of, any such employment, consulting, change-in-control, severance or any other agreement between the Participant and the Company or an Affiliate, or severance plan in which the Participant is eligible to participate, means: (A) embezzlement, theft, misappropriation or conversion, or attempted embezzlement, theft, misappropriation or conversion, by Participant of any property, funds or business opportunity of the Company or any of its Subsidiaries; (B) willful failure or refusal by Participant to perform any directive of the Board or the Chief Executive Officer or the duties of his or her employment which continues for a period of thirty (30) days following notice thereof by the Board or the Chief Executive Officer to Participant; (C) any act by Participant constituting a felony (or its equivalent in any non-United States jurisdiction) or otherwise


involving theft, fraud, dishonesty, misrepresentation or moral turpitude; (D) indictment for, conviction of, or plea of nolo contendere (or a similar plea) to, or the failure of Participant to contest his or her prosecution for, any other criminal offense; (E) any violation of any law, rule or regulation relating in any way to the business or activities of the Company or its Subsidiaries, or other law that is violated during the course of Participant’s performance of services, regulatory disqualification or failure to comply with any legal or compliance policies or code of ethics, code of business conduct, conflicts of interest policy or similar policies of the Company or its Subsidiaries; (F) gross negligence or material willful misconduct on the part of Participant in the performance of his or her duties as an employee, officer or director of the Company or any of its Subsidiaries; (G) Participant’s breach of fiduciary duty or duty of loyalty to the Company or any of its Subsidiaries; (H) any act or omission to act of Participant intended to materially harm or damage the business, property, operations, financial condition or reputation of the Company or any of its Subsidiaries; (I) Participant’s failure to cooperate, if requested by the Board, with any investigation or inquiry into the business practices, whether internal or external, or the Company and its Subsidiaries or Participant, including Participant’s refusal to be deposed or to provide testimony or evidence at any trial, proceeding or inquiry; (J) any chemical dependence of Participant which materially interferes with the performance of his or her duties and responsibilities to the Company or any of its Subsidiaries; or (K) Participant’s voluntary resignation or other termination of employment effected by Participant at any time when the Company could effect such termination with Cause.

(g) “Change in Control” means, in the case of a particular Award, unless the applicable Award Agreement (or any employment, consulting, change-in-control, severance or other agreement between the Participant and the Company or an Affiliate) states otherwise, the first to occur of any of the following events:

(i) the acquisition by any Person or related “group” (as such term is used in Section 13(d) and Section 14(d) of the Exchange Act) of Persons, or Persons acting jointly or in concert, of Beneficial Ownership (including control or direction) of 50% or more (on a fully diluted basis) of either (A) the then-outstanding shares of Common Stock, including Common Stock issuable upon the exercise of options or warrants, the conversion of convertible stock or debt, and the exercise of any similar right to acquire such Common Stock (the “Outstanding Company Common Stock”), or (B) the combined voting power of the then-outstanding voting securities of the Company entitled to vote in the election of directors (the “Outstanding Company Voting Securities”), but excluding any acquisition by the Company or any of its Affiliates, or the Investor, its Permitted Transferees or any of their respective Affiliates or by any employee benefit plan sponsored or maintained by the Company or any of its Affiliates;

(ii) a change in the composition of the Board such that members of the Board during any consecutive 12-month period (the “Incumbent Directors”) cease to constitute a majority of the Board. Any person becoming a director through election or nomination for election approved by a valid vote of at least two-thirds of the Incumbent Directors shall be deemed an Incumbent Director; provided, however, that no individual becoming a director as a result of an actual or threatened election contest, as such terms are used in Rule 14a-12 of Regulation 14A promulgated under the Exchange Act, or as a result of any other actual or threatened solicitation of proxies or consents by or on behalf of any person other than the Board, shall be deemed an Incumbent Director;

(iii) the approval by the stockholders of the Company of a plan of complete dissolution or liquidation of the Company; and

 

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(iv) the consummation of a reorganization, recapitalization, merger, amalgamation, consolidation, statutory share exchange or similar form of corporate transaction involving the Company (a “Business Combination”), or sale, transfer or other disposition of all or substantially all of the business or assets of the Company to an entity that is not an Affiliate of the Company (a “Sale”), unless immediately following such Business Combination or Sale: (A) more than 50% of the total voting power of the entity resulting from such Business Combination or the entity that acquired all or substantially all of the business or assets of the Company in such Sale (in either case, the “Surviving Company”), or the ultimate parent entity that has Beneficial Ownership of sufficient voting power to elect a majority of the board of directors (or analogous governing body) of the Surviving Company (the “Parent Company”), is represented by the Outstanding Company Voting Securities that were outstanding immediately prior to such Business Combination or Sale (or, if applicable, is represented by shares into which the Outstanding Company Voting Securities were converted pursuant to such Business Combination or Sale), and such voting power among the holders thereof is in substantially the same proportion as the voting power of the Outstanding Company Voting Securities among the holders thereof immediately prior to the Business Combination or Sale, (B) no Person (other than any employee benefit plan sponsored or maintained by the Surviving Company or the Parent Company) is or becomes the beneficial owner, directly or indirectly, of 50% or more of the total voting power of the outstanding voting securities eligible to elect members of the board of directors (or the analogous governing body) of the Parent Company (or, if there is no Parent Company, the Surviving Company), and (C) at least a majority of the members of the board of directors (or the analogous governing body) of the Parent Company (or, if there is no Parent Company, the Surviving Company) following the consummation of the Business Combination or Sale were Board members at the time of the Board’s approval of the execution of the initial agreement providing for such Business Combination or Sale.

(h) “Code” means the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and any successor thereto. References to any section of the Code shall be deemed to include any regulations or other interpretative guidance under such section, and any amendments or successors thereto.

(i) “Committee” means the Compensation Committee of the Board or subcommittee thereof if required with respect to actions taken to comply with Rule 16b-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act in respect of Awards or, if no such Compensation Committee or subcommittee thereof exists, or if the Board otherwise takes action hereunder on behalf of the Committee, the Board.

(j) “Common Stock” means the common stock of the Company, par value $0.01 per share (and any stock or other securities into which such common stock may be converted or into which it may be exchanged).

(k) “Disability” means cause for termination of the Participant’s employment or service due to a determination that the Participant is disabled in accordance with a long-term disability insurance program maintained by the Company or a determination by the U.S. Social Security Administration that the Participant is totally disabled.

(l) “$” shall refer to the United States dollars.

(m) “Eligible Director” means a director who satisfies the conditions set forth in Section 4(a) of the Plan.

(n) “Eligible Person” means any (i) individual employed by the Company or a Subsidiary; provided, however, that no such employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement shall be an Eligible Person, (ii) director or officer of the Company or a Subsidiary, (iii) consultant or advisor to the Company or an Affiliate who may be offered securities registrable on Form S-8 under the Securities Act, or (iv) prospective employee, director, officer, consultant or advisor who has accepted an offer of employment or service from the Company or its Subsidiaries (and would satisfy the provisions of clause (i), (ii) or (iii) above once such individual begins employment with or providing services to the Company or a Subsidiary).

 

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(o) “Exchange Act” means the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and any successor thereto. References to any section of (or rule promulgated under) the Exchange Act shall be deemed to include any rules, regulations or other interpretative guidance under such section or rule, and any amendments or successors thereto.

(p) “Exercise Price” has the meaning set forth in Section 7(b) of the Plan.

(q) “Fair Market Value” means, (i) with respect to Common Stock on a given date, (x) if the Common Stock is listed on a national securities exchange, the closing sales price of a share of Common Stock reported on such exchange on such date, or if there is no such sale on that date, then on the last preceding date on which such a sale was reported, or (y) if the Common Stock is not listed on any national securities exchange, the amount determined by the Committee in good faith to be the fair market value of the Common Stock, or (ii) with respect to any other property on any given date, the amount determined by the Committee in good faith to be the fair market value of such other property as of such date; provided, however, as to any Awards with a date of grant that is the date of the pricing of the Company’s initial public offering (if any), “Fair Market Value” shall be equal to the per share price at which the Common Stock is offered to the public in connection with such initial public offering.

(r) “Incentive Stock Option” means an Option that is designated by the Committee as an incentive stock option as described in Section 422 of the Code and otherwise meets the requirements set forth in the Plan.

(s) “Intrinsic Value” with respect to an Option or SAR means (i) the excess, if any, of the price or implied price per Share in a Change in Control or other event over (ii) the exercise or hurdle price of such Award multiplied by (iii) the number of Shares covered by such Award.

(t) “Immediate Family Members” has the meaning set forth in Section 14(b)(ii) of the Plan.

(u) “Indemnifiable Person” has the meaning set forth in Section 4(e) of the Plan.

(v) “Investor” means, collectively, the investment funds managed, sponsored or advised by Roark Capital Management, LLC A reference to a member of Investor is a reference to any such investment fund.

(w) “NASDAQ” means the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

(x) “Nonqualified Stock Option” means an Option that is not designated by the Committee as an Incentive Stock Option.

(y) “Option” means an Award granted under Section 7 of the Plan.

(z) “Option Period” has the meaning set forth in Section 7(c) of the Plan.

(aa) “Other Cash-Based Award” means an Award granted under Section 10 of the Plan that is denominated and/or payable in cash, including cash awarded as a bonus or upon the attainment of specific performance criteria or as otherwise permitted by the Plan or as contemplated by the Committee.

(bb) “Other Stock-Based Award” means an Award granted under Section 10 of the Plan.

 

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(cc) “Participant” has the meaning set forth in Section 6 of the Plan.

(dd) “Performance Conditions” means specific levels of performance of the Company (and/or one or more Affiliates, divisions or operational and/or business units, product lines, brands, business segments, administrative departments, units, or any combination of the foregoing), which may be determined in accordance with GAAP or on a non-GAAP basis, including without limitation, on the following measures: (i) net earnings or net income (before or after taxes); (ii) basic or diluted earnings per share (before or after taxes); (iii) net revenue or net revenue growth; (iv) gross revenue or gross revenue growth, gross profit or gross profit growth; (v) net operating profit (before or after taxes); (vi) return measures (including, but not limited to, return on investment, assets, net assets, capital, gross revenue or gross revenue growth, invested capital, equity or sales); (vii) cash flow measures (including, but not limited to, operating cash flow, free cash flow and cash flow return on capital), which may but are not required to be measured on a per-share basis; (viii) earnings before or after taxes, interest, depreciation, and amortization (including EBIT and EBITDA); (ix) gross or net operating margins; (x) productivity ratios; (xi) share price (including, but not limited to, growth measures and total shareholder return); (xii) expense targets or cost reduction goals, general and administrative expense savings; (xiii) operating efficiency; (xiv) customer satisfaction; (xv) working capital targets; (xvi) measures of economic value added or other ‘‘value creation’’ metrics; (xvii) enterprise value; (xviii) stockholder return; (xix) client or customer retention; (xx) competitive market metrics; (xxi) employee retention; (xxii) personal targets, goals or completion of projects (including but not limited to succession and hiring projects, completion of specific acquisitions, reorganizations or other corporate transactions or capital-raising transactions, expansions of specific business operations and meeting divisional or project budgets); (xxiii) system-wide sales; (xxiv) cost of capital, debt leverage year-end cash position or book value; (xxv) strategic objectives, development of new product lines and related revenue, sales and margin targets, or international operations; (xxvi) store growth or (xxvii) same store sales growth; or any combination of the foregoing. Any one or more of the aforementioned performance criteria may be stated as a percentage of another performance criteria, or used on an absolute or relative basis to measure the of the Company and/or one or more Affiliates as a whole or any divisions or operational and/or business units, product lines, brands, business segments, administrative departments of the Company and/or one or more Affiliates or any combination thereof, as the Committee may deem appropriate, or any of the above performance criteria may be compared to the performance of a group of comparator companies, or a published or special index that the Committee deems appropriate, or as compared to various stock market indices. The Performance Conditions may include a threshold level of performance below which no payment shall be made (or no vesting shall occur), levels of performance at which specified payments shall be made (or specified vesting shall occur), and a maximum level of performance above which no additional payment shall be made (or at which full vesting shall occur). The Committee shall have the authority to make equitable adjustments to the Performance Conditions as may be determined by the Committee, in its sole discretion.

(ee) “Permitted Transferee” has the meaning set forth in Section 14(b)(ii) of the Plan.

(ff) “Person” has the meaning given in Section 3(a)(9) of the Exchange Act, as modified and used in Sections 13(d) and 14(d) thereof, except that such term shall not include (i) the Company or any of its Subsidiaries, (ii) a trustee or other fiduciary holding securities under an employee benefit plan of the Company or any of its Affiliates, (iii) an underwriter temporarily holding securities pursuant to an offering of such securities, or (iv) a corporation owned, directly or indirectly, by the stockholders of the Company in substantially the same proportions as their ownership of Common Stock of the Company.

(gg) “Released Unit” has the meaning set forth in Section 9(d)(ii) of the Plan.

(hh) “Restricted Period” has the meaning set forth in Section 9(a) of the Plan.

 

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(ii) “Restricted Stock” means an Award of Common Stock, subject to certain specified restrictions, granted under Section 9 of the Plan.

(jj) “Restricted Stock Unit” means an Award of an unfunded and unsecured promise to deliver shares of Common Stock, cash, other securities or other property, subject to certain specified restrictions, granted under Section 9 of the Plan.

(kk) “SAR Period” has the meaning set forth in Section 8(c) of the Plan.

(ll) “Securities Act” means the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and any successor thereto. Reference in the Plan to any section of (or rule promulgated under) the Securities Act shall be deemed to include any rules, regulations or other interpretative guidance under such section or rule, and any amendments or successor provisions to such section, rules, regulations or other interpretive guidance.

(mm) “Strike Price” has the meaning set forth in Section 8(b) of the Plan.

(nn) “Stock Appreciation Right” or “SAR” means an Award granted under Section 8 of the Plan.

(oo) “Subsidiary” means any corporation or other entity a majority of whose outstanding voting stock or voting power is beneficially owned directly or indirectly by the Company.

(pp) “Substitute Awards” has the meaning set forth in Section 5(e) of the Plan.

4. Administration.

(a) The Committee shall administer the Plan, and shall have the sole and plenary authority to (i) designate Participants, (ii) determine the type, size, and terms and conditions of Awards to be granted and to grant such Awards, (iii) determine the method by which an Award may be settled, exercised, canceled, forfeited, suspended, or repurchased by the Company, (iv) determine the circumstances under which the delivery of cash, property or other amounts payable with respect to an Award may be deferred, either automatically or at the Participant’s or Committee’s election, (v) interpret, administer, reconcile any inconsistency in, correct any defect in and supply any omission in the Plan and any Award granted under the Plan, (vi) establish, amend, suspend, or waive any rules and regulations and appoint such agents as the Committee shall deem appropriate for the proper administration of the Plan, (vii) accelerate the vesting, delivery or exercisability of, or payment for or lapse of restrictions on, or waive any condition in respect of, Awards, and (viii) make any other determination and take any other action that the Committee deems necessary or desirable for the administration of the Plan or to comply with any applicable law. To the extent required to comply with the provisions of Rule 16b-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act (if applicable and if the Board is not acting as the Committee under the Plan), or any exception or exemption under applicable securities laws or the applicable rules of the NASDAQ or any other securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted, as applicable, it is intended that each member of the Committee shall, at the time such member takes any action with respect to an Award under the Plan, be (1) a “non-employee director” within the meaning of Rule 16b-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act and/or (2) an “independent director” under the rules of the NASDAQ or any other securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted, or a person meeting any similar requirement under any successor rule or regulation (“Eligible Director”). However, the fact that a Committee member shall fail to qualify as an Eligible Director shall not invalidate any Award granted or action taken by the Committee that is otherwise validly granted or taken under the Plan.

 

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(b) The Committee may delegate all or any portion of its responsibilities and powers to any person(s) selected by it, except for grants of Awards to persons who are non-employee members of the Board or are otherwise subject to Section 16 of the Exchange Act. Any such delegation may be revoked by the Committee at any time.

(c) As further set forth in Section 14(f) of the Plan, the Committee shall have the authority to amend the Plan and Awards to the extent necessary to permit participation in the Plan by Eligible Persons who are located outside of the United States on terms and conditions comparable to those afforded to Eligible Persons located within the United States; provided, however, that no such action shall be taken without stockholder approval if such approval is required by applicable securities laws or regulation or NASDAQ listing guidelines.

(d) Unless otherwise expressly provided in the Plan, all designations, determinations, interpretations, and other decisions regarding the Plan or any Award or any documents evidencing Awards granted pursuant to the Plan shall be within the sole discretion of the Committee, may be made at any time and shall be final, conclusive and binding upon all persons and entities, including, without limitation, the Company, any Affiliate, any Participant, any holder or beneficiary of any Award, and any stockholder of the Company.

(e) No member of the Board or the Committee, nor any employee or agent of the Company (each such person, an “Indemnifiable Person”), shall be liable for any action taken or omitted to be taken or any determination made with respect to the Plan or any Award hereunder (unless constituting fraud or a willful criminal act or willful criminal omission). Each Indemnifiable Person shall be indemnified and held harmless by the Company against and from any loss, cost, liability, or expense (including attorneys’ fees) that may be imposed upon or incurred by such Indemnifiable Person in connection with or resulting from any action, suit or proceeding to which such Indemnifiable Person may be involved as a party, witness or otherwise by reason of any action taken or omitted to be taken or determination made under the Plan or any Award Agreement and against and from any and all amounts paid by such Indemnifiable Person with the Company’s approval (not to be unreasonably withheld), in settlement thereof, or paid by such Indemnifiable Person in satisfaction of any judgment in any such action, suit or proceeding against such Indemnifiable Person, and the Company shall advance to such Indemnifiable Person any such expenses promptly upon written request (which request shall include an undertaking by the Indemnifiable Person to repay the amount of such advance if it shall ultimately be determined as provided below that the Indemnifiable Person is not entitled to be indemnified); provided, that the Company shall have the right, at its own expense, to assume and defend any such action, suit or proceeding, and once the Company gives notice of its intent to assume the defense, the Company shall have sole control over such defense with counsel of recognized standing of the Company’s choice. The foregoing right of indemnification shall not be available to an Indemnifiable Person to the extent that a final judgment or other final adjudication (in either case not subject to further appeal) binding upon such Indemnifiable Person determines that the acts or omissions or determinations of such Indemnifiable Person giving rise to the indemnification claim resulted from such Indemnifiable Person’s fraud or willful criminal act or willful criminal omission or that such right of indemnification is otherwise prohibited by law or by the Company’s certificate of incorporation or by-laws. The foregoing right of indemnification shall not be exclusive of or otherwise supersede any other rights of indemnification to which such Indemnifiable Persons may be entitled under the Company’s certificate of incorporation or by-laws, as a matter of law, individual indemnification agreement or contract or otherwise, or any other power that the Company may have to indemnify such Indemnifiable Persons or hold them harmless.

(f) The Board may at any time and from time to time grant Awards and administer the Plan with respect to such Awards. In any such case, the Board shall have all the authority granted to the Committee under the Plan.

 

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5. Grant of Awards; Shares Subject to the Plan; Limitations.

(a) Awards. The Committee may grant Awards to one or more Eligible Persons. All Awards granted under the Plan shall vest and become exercisable in such manner and on such date or dates or upon such event or events as determined by the Committee, including, without limitation, attainment of Performance Conditions.

(b) Share Limits. Subject to Section 11 of the Plan and subsection (e) below, the following limitations apply to the grant of Awards: (i) no more than 12,533,984 shares of Common Stock may be reserved for issuance and delivered in the aggregate pursuant to Awards granted under the Plan (the “Share Pool”); (ii) no more than 12,533,984 shares of Common Stock may be delivered pursuant to the exercise of Incentive Stock Options granted under the Plan; and (iii) the maximum amount (based on the Fair Market Value of shares of Common Stock on the date of grant as determined in accordance with applicable financial accounting rules) of Awards that may be granted in any single fiscal year to any non-employee member of the Board, taken together with any cash fees paid to such non-employee member of the Board in respect of service as a member of the Board during such fiscal year, shall be $500,000; provided, that the foregoing limitation shall not apply in respect of any Awards issued to (x) a non-employee director in connection with the Company’s initial public offering of shares of Common Stock, or in respect of any one-time equity grant upon his or her appointment to the Board or (y) a non-executive chairman of the Board, provided, that the non-employee director receiving such additional compensation does not participate in the decision to award such compensation.

(c) Share Counting. The Share Pool shall be reduced, on the date of grant, by the relevant number of shares of Common Stock for each Award granted under the Plan that is valued by reference to a share of Common Stock; provided that Awards that are valued by reference to shares of Common Stock but are required to be paid in cash pursuant to their terms shall not reduce the Share Pool. If and to the extent that Awards originating from the Share Pool terminate, expire, or are cash-settled, canceled, forfeited, exchanged, or surrendered without having been exercised, vested, or settled, the shares of Common Stock subject to such Awards shall again be available for Awards under the Share Pool. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following shares of Common Stock shall not become available for issuance under the Plan: (i) shares of Common Stock tendered by Participants, or withheld by the Company, as full or partial payment to the Company upon the exercise of Stock Options granted under the Plan; (ii) shares of Common Stock reserved for issuance upon the grant of Stock Appreciation Rights, to the extent that the number of reserved shares of Common Stock exceeds the number of shares of Common Stock actually issued upon the exercise of the Stock Appreciation Rights; and (iii) shares of Common Stock withheld by, or otherwise remitted to, the Company to satisfy a Participant’s tax withholding obligations upon the exercise of Options or SARs granted under the Plan. Shares of Common Stock withheld by, or otherwise remitted to the Company to satisfy a Participant’s tax withholding obligations upon the lapse of restrictions on, or settlement of, an Award other an Option or SAR shall again be available for Awards under the Share Pool.

(d) Source of Shares. Shares of Common Stock delivered by the Company in settlement of Awards may be authorized and unissued shares, shares held in the treasury of the Company, shares purchased on the open market or by private purchase, or a combination of the foregoing.

(e) Substitute Awards. The Committee may grant Awards in assumption of, or in substitution for, outstanding awards previously granted by the Company or any Affiliate or an entity directly or indirectly acquired by the Company or with which the Company combines (“Substitute Awards”), and such Substitute Awards shall not be counted against the aggregate number of shares of Common Stock available for Awards (i.e., Substitute Awards will not be counted against the Share Pool); provided, that Substitute Awards issued or intended as “incentive stock options” within the meaning of Section 422 of the Code shall be counted against the aggregate number of Incentive Stock Options available under the Plan.

 

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6. Eligibility. Participation shall be limited to Eligible Persons who have been selected by the Committee and who have entered into an Award Agreement with respect to an Award granted to them under the Plan (each such Eligible Person, a “Participant”).

7. Options.

(a) Generally. Each Option shall be subject to the conditions set forth in the Plan and in the applicable Award Agreement. All Options granted under the Plan shall be Nonqualified Stock Options unless the Award Agreement expressly states otherwise. Incentive Stock Options shall be granted only subject to and in compliance with Section 422 of the Code, and only to Eligible Persons who are employees of the Company and its Affiliates and who are eligible to receive an Incentive Stock Option under the Code. If for any reason an Option intended to be an Incentive Stock Option (or any portion thereof) shall not qualify as an Incentive Stock Option, then, to the extent of such nonqualification, such Option or portion thereof shall be regarded as a Nonqualified Stock Option properly granted under the Plan.

(b) Exercise Price. The exercise price (“Exercise Price”) per share of Common Stock for each Option (that is not a Substitute Award) shall not be less than 100% of the Fair Market Value of such share, determined as of the date of grant. Any modification to the Exercise Price of an outstanding Option shall be subject to the prohibition on repricing set forth in Section 13(b).

(c) Vesting, Exercise and Expiration. The Committee shall determine the manner and timing of vesting, exercise and expiration of Options. The period between the date of grant and the scheduled expiration date of the Option (“Option Period”) shall not exceed ten years, unless the Option Period (other than in the case of an Incentive Stock Option) would expire at a time when trading in the shares of Common Stock is prohibited by the Company’s insider-trading policy or a Company-imposed “blackout period,” in which case the Option Period shall be extended automatically (other than with respect to Options with an Exercise Price as of the end of the Option Period (prior to any such extension) that is not less than the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock at such time) until the 30th day following the expiration of such prohibition (so long as such extension shall not violate Section 409A of the Code). The Committee may accelerate the vesting and/or exercisability of any Option, which acceleration shall not affect any other terms and conditions of such Option.

(d) Method of Exercise and Form of Payment. No shares of Common Stock shall be delivered pursuant to any exercise of an Option until the Participant has paid the Exercise Price to the Company in full, and an amount equal to any U.S. federal, state and local income and employment taxes and non-U.S. income and employment taxes, social contributions and any other tax-related items required to be withheld. Options may be exercised by delivery of written or electronic notice of exercise to the Company or its designee (including a third-party administrator) in accordance with the terms of the Option and the Award Agreement accompanied by payment of the Exercise Price and such applicable taxes. The Exercise Price and delivery of all applicable required withholding taxes shall be payable (i) in cash or by check, cash equivalent and/or shares of Common Stock valued at the Fair Market Value at the time the Option is exercised (including, pursuant to procedures approved by the Committee, by means of attestation of ownership of a sufficient number of shares of Common Stock in lieu of actual delivery of such shares to the Company) or any combination of the foregoing; provided, that such shares of Common Stock are not subject to any pledge or other security interest; or (ii) by such other method as elected by the Participant and that the Committee may permit, in its sole discretion, including without limitation: (A) in the form of other property having a Fair Market Value on the date of exercise equal to the Exercise Price and all applicable required withholding taxes; (B) if there is a public market for the shares of Common Stock at

 

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such time, by means of a broker-assisted “cashless exercise” pursuant to which the Company or its designee (including third-party administrators) is delivered a copy of irrevocable instructions to a stockbroker to sell the shares of Common Stock otherwise deliverable upon the exercise of the Option and to deliver promptly to the Company an amount equal to the Exercise Price and all applicable required withholding taxes against delivery of the shares of Common Stock to settle the applicable trade; or (C) by means of a “net exercise” procedure effected by withholding the minimum number of shares of Common Stock otherwise deliverable in respect of an Option that are needed to pay for the Exercise Price and all applicable required withholding taxes. No fractional shares of Common Stock shall be issued or delivered pursuant to the Plan or any Award, and the Committee shall determine whether cash, other securities or other property shall be paid or transferred in lieu of any fractional shares of Common Stock, or whether such fractional shares of Common Stock or any rights thereto shall be canceled, terminated or otherwise eliminated.

(e) Notification upon Disqualifying Disposition of an Incentive Stock Option. Each Participant awarded an Incentive Stock Option under the Plan shall notify the Company in writing immediately after the date on which the Participant makes a disqualifying disposition of any Common Stock acquired pursuant to the exercise of such Incentive Stock Option. A disqualifying disposition is any disposition (including, without limitation, any sale) of such Common Stock before the later of (i) two years after the date of grant of the Incentive Stock Option and (ii) one year after the date of exercise of the Incentive Stock Option. The Company may, if determined by the Committee and in accordance with procedures established by the Committee, retain possession, as agent for the applicable Participant, of any Common Stock acquired pursuant to the exercise of an Incentive Stock Option until the end of the period described in the preceding sentence, subject to complying with any instruction from such Participant as to the sale of such Common Stock.

(f) Compliance with Laws. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in no event shall the Participant be permitted to exercise an Option in a manner that the Committee determines would violate the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or any other applicable law or the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission or the applicable rules and regulations of any securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the Common Stock of the Company is listed or quoted.

(g) Incentive Stock Option Grants to 10% Stockholders. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Section 7, if an Incentive Stock Option is granted to a Participant who owns stock representing more than ten percent of the voting power of all classes of stock of the Company or of a parent or subsidiary of the Company (within the meaning of Sections 424(e) and 424(f) of the Code), the Option Period shall not exceed five years from the date of grant of such Option and the Exercise Price shall be at least 110% of the Fair Market Value (on the date of grant) of the shares subject to the Option.

(h) $100,000 Per Year Limitation for Incentive Stock Options. To the extent that the aggregate Fair Market Value (determined as of the date of grant) of shares of Common Stock for which Incentive Stock Options are exercisable for the first time by any Participant during any calendar year (under all plans of the Company) exceeds $100,000, such excess Incentive Stock Options shall be treated as Nonqualified Stock Options.

8. Stock Appreciation Rights (SARs).

(a) Generally. Each SAR shall be subject to the conditions set forth in the Plan and the Award Agreement. Any Option granted under the Plan may include a tandem SAR. The Committee also may award SARs independent of any Option.

 

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(b) Strike Price. The strike price (“Strike Price”) per share of Common Stock for each SAR (that is not a Substitute Award) shall not be less than 100% of the Fair Market Value of such share, determined as of the date of grant; provided, however, that a SAR granted in tandem with (or in substitution for) an Option previously granted shall have a Strike Price equal to the Exercise Price of the corresponding Option. Any modification to the Strike Price of an outstanding SAR shall be subject to the prohibition on repricing set forth in Section 13(b).

(c) Vesting and Expiration. A SAR granted in tandem with an Option shall vest and become exercisable and shall expire according to the same vesting schedule and expiration provisions as the corresponding Option. A SAR granted independently of an Option shall vest and become exercisable and shall expire in such manner and on such date or dates determined by the Committee and shall expire after such period, not to exceed ten years, as may be determined by the Committee (the “SAR Period”); provided, however, that notwithstanding any vesting or exercisability dates set by the Committee, the Committee may accelerate the vesting and/or exercisability of any SAR, which acceleration shall not affect the terms and conditions of such SAR other than with respect to vesting and/or exercisability. If the SAR Period would expire at a time when trading in the shares of Common Stock is prohibited by the Company’s insider trading policy or a Company-imposed “blackout period,” the SAR Period shall be automatically extended (other than with respect to SARs with a Strike Price as of the end of the SAR Period (prior to any such extension) that is not less than the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock at such time) until the 30th day following the expiration of such prohibition (so long as such extension shall not violate Section 409A of the Code).

(d) Method of Exercise. SARs may be exercised by delivery of written or electronic notice of exercise to the Company or its designee (including a third-party administrator) in accordance with the terms of the Award, specifying the number of SARs to be exercised and the date on which such SARs were awarded.

(e) Payment. Upon the exercise of a SAR, the Company shall pay to the holder thereof an amount equal to the number of shares subject to the SAR that are being exercised multiplied by the excess, if any, of the Fair Market Value of one share of Common Stock on the exercise date over the Strike Price, less an amount equal to any U.S. federal, state and local income and employment taxes and non-U.S. income and employment taxes, social contributions and any other tax-related items required to be withheld. The Company shall pay such amount in cash, in shares of Common Stock valued at Fair Market Value as determined on the date of exercise, or any combination thereof, as determined by the Committee. Any fractional shares of Common Stock shall be settled in cash.

9. Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units.

(a) Generally. Each Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Unit Award shall be subject to the conditions set forth in the Plan and the applicable Award Agreement. The Committee shall establish restrictions applicable to Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units, including the period over which the restrictions shall apply (the “Restricted Period”), and the time or times at which Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units shall become vested (which, for the avoidance of doubt, may include service- and/or performance-based vesting conditions). To the extent permitted in the Committee’s sole discretion, and subject to such rules, approvals, and conditions as the Committee may impose from time to time, an Eligible Person who is a non-employee director may elect to receive all or a portion of such Eligible Person’s cash director fees and other cash director compensation payable for director services provided to the Company by such Eligible Person in any fiscal year, in whole or in part, in the form of Restricted Stock Units. The Committee may accelerate the vesting and/or the lapse of any or all of the restrictions on Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units which acceleration shall not affect any other terms and conditions of such Awards. No share of Common Stock shall be issued at the time an Award of Restricted Stock Units is made, and the Company will not be required to set aside a fund for the payment of any such Award.

 

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(b) Stock Certificates; Escrow or Similar Arrangement. Upon the grant of Restricted Stock, the Committee shall cause share(s) of Common Stock to be registered in the name of the Participant and held in book-entry form subject to the Company’s directions. The Committee may also cause a stock certificate registered in the name of the Participant to be issued. In such event, the Committee may provide that such certificates shall be held by the Company or in escrow rather than delivered to the Participant pending vesting and release of restrictions, in which case the Committee may require the Participant to execute and deliver to the Company or its designee (including third-party administrators) (i) an escrow agreement satisfactory to the Committee, if applicable, and (ii) the appropriate stock power (endorsed in blank) with respect to the Restricted Stock. If the Participant shall fail to execute and deliver the escrow agreement and blank stock power within the amount of time specified by the Committee, the Award shall be null and void. Subject to the restrictions set forth in this Section 9 and the Award Agreement, the Participant shall have the rights and privileges of a stockholder as to such Restricted Stock, including without limitation the right to vote such Restricted Stock.

(c) Restrictions; Forfeiture. Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units awarded to the Participant shall be subject to forfeiture until the expiration of the Restricted Period and the attainment of any other vesting criteria established by the Committee, and shall be subject to the restrictions on transferability set forth in the Award Agreement. In the event of any forfeiture, all rights of the Participant to such Restricted Stock (or as a stockholder with respect thereto), and to such Restricted Stock Units, as applicable, including to any dividends and/or dividend equivalents that may have been accumulated and withheld during the Restricted Period in respect thereof, shall terminate without further action or obligation on the part of the Company. The Committee shall have the authority to remove any or all of the restrictions on the Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units whenever it may determine that, by reason of changes in applicable laws or other changes in circumstances arising after the date of grant of the Restricted Stock Award or Restricted Stock Unit Award, such action is appropriate.

(d) Delivery of Restricted Stock and Settlement of Restricted Stock Units.

(i) Upon the expiration of the Restricted Period with respect to any shares of Restricted Stock and the attainment of any other vesting criteria, the restrictions set forth in the applicable Award Agreement shall be of no further force or effect, except as set forth in the Award Agreement. If an escrow arrangement is used, upon such expiration the Company shall deliver to the Participant or such Participant’s beneficiary (via book-entry notation or, if applicable, in stock certificate form) the shares of Restricted Stock with respect to which the Restricted Period has expired (rounded down to the nearest full share). Dividends, if any, that may have been withheld by the Committee and attributable to the Restricted Stock shall be distributed to the Participant in cash or in shares of Common Stock having a Fair Market Value (on the date of distribution) (or a combination of cash and shares of Common Stock) equal to the amount of such dividends, upon the release of restrictions on the Restricted Stock.

(ii) Unless otherwise provided by the Committee in an Award Agreement, upon the expiration of the Restricted Period and the attainment of any other vesting criteria established by the Committee, with respect to any outstanding Restricted Stock Units, the Company shall deliver to the Participant, or such Participant’s beneficiary (via book-entry notation or, if applicable, in stock certificate form), one share of Common Stock (or other securities or other property, as applicable) for each such outstanding Restricted Stock Unit that has not then been forfeited and with respect to which the Restricted Period has expired and any other such vesting criteria are attained (“Released Unit”); provided, however, that the Committee may elect to (A) pay cash or part cash and part Common Stock in lieu of delivering only shares of Common Stock in respect of such Released Units or (B) defer the delivery of Common Stock (or cash or part Common Stock and part cash, as the case may be) beyond the expiration of the Restricted Period if such extension

 

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would not cause adverse tax consequences under Section 409A of the Code. If a cash payment is made in lieu of delivering shares of Common Stock, the amount of such payment shall be equal to the Fair Market Value of the Common Stock as of the date on which the shares of Common Stock would have otherwise been delivered to the Participant in respect of such Restricted Stock Units.

(iii) To the extent provided in an Award Agreement, the holder of outstanding Restricted Stock Units shall be entitled to be credited with dividend equivalent payments (upon the payment by the Company of dividends on shares of Common Stock) either in cash or, if determined by the Committee, in shares of Common Stock having a Fair Market Value equal to the amount of such dividends as of the date of payment (or a combination of cash and shares of Common Stock) (and interest may, if determined by the Committee, be credited on the amount of cash dividend equivalents at a rate and subject to such terms as determined by the Committee), which accumulated dividend equivalents (and interest thereon, if applicable) shall be payable at the same time as the underlying Restricted Stock Units are settled (in the case of Restricted Stock Units, following the release of restrictions on such Restricted Stock Units), and if such Restricted Stock Units are forfeited, the holder thereof shall have no right to such dividend equivalent payments.

(e) Legends on Restricted Stock. Each certificate representing Restricted Stock awarded under the Plan, if any, shall bear a legend substantially in the form of the following in addition to any other information the Company deems appropriate until the lapse of all restrictions with respect to such Common Stock:

TRANSFER OF THIS CERTIFICATE AND THE SHARES REPRESENTED HEREBY IS RESTRICTED PURSUANT TO THE TERMS OF THE DRIVEN BRANDS HOLDINGS INC. 2021 OMNIBUS INCENTIVE PLAN AND A RESTRICTED STOCK AWARD AGREEMENT, DATED AS OF __________, BETWEEN DRIVEN BRANDS HOLDINGS INC. AND _________. A COPY OF SUCH PLAN AND AWARD AGREEMENT IS ON FILE AT THE PRINCIPAL EXECUTIVE OFFICES OF DRIVEN BRANDS HOLDINGS INC.

10. Other Stock-Based Awards and Other Cash-Based Awards. The Committee may issue unrestricted Common Stock, rights to receive future grants of Awards, or other Awards denominated in Common Stock (including performance shares or performance units), or Awards that provide for cash payments based in whole or in part on the value or future value of shares of Common Stock (“Other Stock-Based Awards”) and Other Cash-Based Awards under the Plan to Eligible Persons, alone or in tandem with other Awards, in such amounts as the Committee shall from time to time determine. Each Other Stock-Based Award shall be evidenced by an Award Agreement, which may include conditions including, without limitation, the payment by the Participant of the Fair Market Value of such shares of Common Stock on the date of grant.

11. Changes in Capital Structure and Similar Events. In the event of (a) any dividend (other than regular cash dividends) or other distribution (whether in the form of cash, shares of Common Stock, other securities or other property), recapitalization, stock split, reverse stock split, reorganization, merger, amalgamation, consolidation, split-up, split-off, spin-off, combination, repurchase or exchange of shares of Common Stock or other securities of the Company, issuance of warrants or other rights to acquire shares of Common Stock or other securities of the Company, or other similar corporate transaction or event (including, without limitation, a Change in Control) that affects the shares of Common Stock, or (b) unusual or nonrecurring events (including, without limitation, a Change in Control) affecting the Company, any Affiliate, or the financial statements of the Company or any Affiliate, or changes in applicable rules, rulings, regulations or other requirements of any governmental body or securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation

 

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service, accounting principles or law, such that in any case an adjustment is determined by the Committee to be necessary or appropriate, then the Committee shall (other than with respect to Other Cash-Based Awards) make any such adjustments in such manner as it may deem equitable, including without limitation any or all of the following:

(i) adjusting any or all of (A) the number of shares of Common Stock or other securities of the Company (or number and kind of other securities or other property) that may be delivered in respect of Awards or with respect to which Awards may be granted under the Plan (including, without limitation, adjusting any or all of the limitations under Section 5 of the Plan) and (B) the terms of any outstanding Award, including, without limitation, (1) the number of shares of Common Stock or other securities of the Company (or number and kind of other securities or other property) subject to outstanding Awards or to which outstanding Awards relate, (2) the Exercise Price or Strike Price with respect to any Award and/or (3) any applicable performance measures (including, without limitation, Performance Conditions and performance periods);

(ii) providing for a substitution or assumption of Awards (or awards of an acquiring company), accelerating the delivery, vesting and/or exercisability of, lapse of restrictions and/or other conditions on, or termination of, Awards or providing for a period of time (which shall not be required to be more than ten (10) days) for Participants to exercise outstanding Awards prior to the occurrence of such event (and any such Award not so exercised shall terminate or become no longer exercisable upon the occurrence of such event); and

(iii) cancelling any one or more outstanding Awards (or awards of an acquiring company) and causing to be paid to the holders thereof, in cash, shares of Common Stock, other securities or other property, or any combination thereof, the value of such Awards, if any, as determined by the Committee (which if applicable may be based upon the price per share of Common Stock received or to be received by other stockholders of the Company in such event), including without limitation, in the case of an outstanding Option or SAR, a cash payment in an amount equal to the excess, if any, of the Fair Market Value (as of a date specified by the Committee) of the shares of Common Stock subject to such Option or SAR over the aggregate Exercise Price or Strike Price of such Option or SAR, respectively (it being understood that, in such event, any Option or SAR having a per-share Exercise Price or Strike Price equal to, or in excess of, the Fair Market Value (as of the date specified by the Committee) of a share of Common Stock subject thereto may be canceled and terminated without any payment or consideration therefor);

provided, however, that the Committee shall make an equitable or proportionate adjustment to outstanding Awards to reflect any “equity restructuring” (within the meaning of the Financial Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718 (or any successor pronouncement thereto)). Except as otherwise determined by the Committee, any adjustment in Incentive Stock Options under this Section 11 (other than any cancellation of Incentive Stock Options) shall be made only to the extent not constituting a “modification” within the meaning of Section 424(h)(3) of the Code, and any adjustments under this Section 11 shall be made in a manner that does not adversely affect the exemption provided pursuant to Rule 16b-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act. The Company shall give each Participant notice of an adjustment hereunder and, upon notice, such adjustment shall be conclusive and binding for all purposes. In anticipation of the occurrence of any event listed in the first sentence of this Section 11, for reasons of administrative convenience, the Committee in its sole discretion may refuse to permit the exercise of any Award during a period of up to 30 days prior to, and/or up to 30 days after, the anticipated occurrence of any such event.

 

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12.

Effect of Termination of Service or a Change in Control on Awards.

(a) Termination. To the extent permitted under Section 409A of the Code, the Committee may provide, by rule or regulation or in any applicable Award Agreement, or may determine in any individual case, the circumstances in which, and to the extent to which, an Award may be exercised, settled, vested, paid or forfeited in the event of the Participant’s termination of service prior to the end of a performance period or vesting, exercise or settlement of such Award.

(b) Change in Control. In the event of a Change in Control, notwithstanding any provision of the Plan to the contrary, the Committee may provide for: (i) continuation or assumption of such outstanding Awards under the Plan by the Company (if it is the surviving corporation) or by the surviving corporation or its parent; (ii) substitution by the surviving corporation or its parent of awards with substantially the same terms and value for such outstanding Awards (in the case of an Option or SAR, the Intrinsic Value at grant of such Substitute Award shall equal the Intrinsic Value of the Award); (iii) acceleration of the vesting (including the lapse of any restrictions, with any performance criteria or other performance conditions deemed met at target) or right to exercise such outstanding Awards immediately prior to or as of the date of the Change in Control, and the expiration of such outstanding Awards to the extent not timely exercised by the date of the Change in Control or other date thereafter designated by the Committee; or (iv) in the case of an Option or SAR, cancelation in consideration of a payment in cash or other consideration to the Participant who holds such Award in an amount equal to the Intrinsic Value of such Award (which may be equal to but not less than zero), which, if in excess of zero, shall be payable upon the effective date of such Change in Control. For the avoidance of doubt, in the event of a Change in Control, the Committee may, in its sole discretion, terminate any Option or SARs for which the exercise or strike price is equal to or exceeds the per share value of the consideration to be paid in the Change in Control transaction without payment of consideration therefor.

 

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Amendments and Termination.

(a) Amendment and Termination of the Plan. The Board may amend, alter, suspend, discontinue, or terminate the Plan or any portion thereof at any time; provided, that no such amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuation or termination shall be made without stockholder approval if such approval is necessary to comply with any tax or regulatory requirement applicable to the Plan (including, without limitation, as necessary to comply with any applicable rules or requirements of any securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the shares of Common Stock may be listed or quoted, for changes in GAAP to new accounting standards); provided, further, that any such amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuance or termination that would materially and adversely affect the rights of any Participant or any holder or beneficiary of any Award theretofore granted shall not to that extent be effective without the consent of the affected Participant, holder or beneficiary, unless the Committee determines that such amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuance or termination is either required or advisable in order for the Company, the Plan or the Award to satisfy any applicable law or regulation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no amendment shall be made to the last proviso of Section 13(b) without stockholder approval.

(b) Amendment of Award Agreements. The Committee may, to the extent not inconsistent with the terms of any applicable Award Agreement or the Plan, waive any conditions or rights under, amend any terms of, or alter, suspend, discontinue, cancel or terminate, any Award theretofore granted or the associated Award Agreement, prospectively or retroactively (including after the Participant’s termination of employment or service with the Company); provided, that any such waiver, amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuance, cancellation or termination that would materially and adversely affect the rights of any Participant with respect to any Award theretofore granted shall not to that extent be effective without the consent of the affected Participant unless the Committee determines that such waiver, amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuance, cancellation or termination is either required or advisable in order for the Company, the Plan or the Award to satisfy any applicable law or regulation; provided, further, that except as otherwise permitted under Section 11 of the Plan, if (i) the Committee reduces the Exercise Price of any Option or the Strike Price of any SAR, (ii) the Committee cancels any outstanding Option or SAR

 

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and replaces it with a new Option or SAR (with a lower Exercise Price or Strike Price, as the case may be) or other Award or cash in a manner that would either (A) be reportable on the Company’s proxy statement or Form 10-K (if applicable) as Options that have been “repriced” (as such term is used in Item 402 of Regulation S-K promulgated under the Exchange Act), or (B) result in any “repricing” for financial statement reporting purposes (or otherwise cause the Award to fail to qualify for equity accounting treatment), (iii) the Committee takes any other action that is considered a “repricing” for purposes of the stockholder approval rules of the applicable securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted, or (iv) the Committee cancels any outstanding Option or SAR that has a per-share Exercise Price or Strike Price (as applicable) at or above the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock on the date of cancellation, and pays any consideration to the holder thereof, whether in cash, securities, or other property, or any combination thereof, then, in the case of the immediately preceding clauses (i) through (iv), any such action shall not be effective without stockholder approval.

 

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General.

(a) Award Agreements; Other Agreements. Each Award under the Plan shall be evidenced by an Award Agreement, which shall be delivered to the Participant and shall specify the terms and conditions of the Award and any rules applicable thereto. In the event of any conflict between the terms of the Plan and any Award Agreement or employment, change-in-control, severance or other agreement in effect with the Participant, the term of the Plan shall control.

(b) Nontransferability.

(i) Each Award shall be exercisable only by the Participant during the Participant’s lifetime, or, if permissible under applicable law, by the Participant’s legal guardian or representative. No Award may be assigned, alienated, pledged, attached, sold or otherwise transferred or encumbered by the Participant other than by will or by the laws of descent and distribution, and any such purported assignment, alienation, pledge, attachment, sale, transfer or encumbrance shall be void and unenforceable against the Company or an Affiliate; provided, that the designation of a beneficiary shall not constitute an assignment, alienation, pledge, attachment, sale, transfer or encumbrance.

(ii) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Committee may permit Awards (other than Incentive Stock Options) to be transferred by the Participant, without consideration, subject to such rules as the Committee may adopt, to (A) any person who is a “family member” of the Participant, as such term is used in the instructions to Form S-8 under the Securities Act or any successor form of registration statements promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (collectively, the “Immediate Family Members”); (B) a trust solely for the benefit of the Participant or the Participant’s Immediate Family Members; (C) a partnership or limited liability company whose only partners or stockholders are the Participant and the Participant’s Immediate Family Members; or (D) any other transferee as may be approved either (1) by the Board or the Committee, or (2) as provided in the applicable Award Agreement; (each transferee described in clause (A), (B), (C) or (D) above is hereinafter referred to as a “Permitted Transferee”); provided, that the Participant gives the Committee advance written notice describing the terms and conditions of the proposed transfer and the Committee notifies the Participant in writing that such a transfer would comply with the requirements of the Plan.

(iii) The terms of any Award transferred in accordance with the immediately preceding paragraph shall apply to the Permitted Transferee, and any reference in the Plan, or in any applicable Award Agreement, to the Participant shall be deemed to refer to the Permitted Transferee, except that (A) Permitted Transferees shall not be entitled to transfer any Award, other

 

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than by will or the laws of descent and distribution; (B) Permitted Transferees shall not be entitled to exercise any transferred Option unless there shall be in effect a registration statement on an appropriate form covering the shares of Common Stock to be acquired pursuant to the exercise of such Option if the Committee determines, consistent with any applicable Award Agreement, that such a registration statement is necessary or appropriate; (C) the Committee or the Company shall not be required to provide any notice to a Permitted Transferee, whether or not such notice is or would otherwise have been required to be given to the Participant under the Plan or otherwise; (D) the consequences of the termination of the Participant’s employment by, or services to, the Company or an Affiliate under the terms of the Plan and the applicable Award Agreement shall continue to be applied with respect to the transferred Award, including, without limitation, that an Option shall be exercisable by the Permitted Transferee only to the extent, and for the periods, specified in the Plan and the applicable Award Agreement; and (E) any non-competition, non-solicitation, non-disparagement, non-disclosure, or other restrictive covenants contained in any Award Agreement or other agreement between the Participant and the Company or any Affiliate shall continue to apply to the Participant and the consequences of the violation of such covenants shall continue to be applied with respect to the transferred Award, including without limitation the clawback and forfeiture provisions of Section 14(t) of the Plan.

(c) Dividends and Dividend Equivalents. The Committee may provide the Participant with dividends or dividend equivalents as part of an Award, payable in cash, shares of Common Stock, other securities, other Awards or other property, on a current or deferred basis, on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Committee, including, without limitation, payment directly to the Participant, withholding of such amounts by the Company subject to vesting of the Award or reinvestment in additional shares of Common Stock, Restricted Stock or other Awards; provided, that no dividends or dividend equivalents shall be payable (i) in respect of outstanding Options or SARs or (ii) in respect of any other Award unless and until the Participant vests in such underlying Award; provided, further, that dividend equivalents may be accumulated in respect of unearned Awards and paid as soon as administratively practicable, but no more than 60 days, after such Awards are earned and become payable or distributable (and the right to any such accumulated dividends or dividend equivalents shall be forfeited upon the forfeiture of the Award to which such dividends or dividend equivalents relate).

(d) Tax Withholding.

(i) The Participant shall be required to pay to the Company or any Affiliate, and the Company or any Affiliate shall have the right (but not the obligation) and is hereby authorized to withhold, from any cash, shares of Common Stock, other securities or other property deliverable under any Award or from any compensation or other amounts owing to the Participant, the amount (in cash, Common Stock, other securities or other property) of any required withholding taxes (up to the maximum permissible withholding amounts) in respect of an Award, its exercise, or any payment or transfer under an Award or under the Plan and to take such other action that the Committee or the Company deem necessary to satisfy all obligations for the payment of such withholding taxes.

(ii) Without limiting the generality of paragraph (i) above, the Committee may permit the Participant to satisfy, in whole or in part, the foregoing withholding liability by (A) payment in cash, (B) the delivery of shares of Common Stock (which shares are not subject to any pledge or other security interest) owned by the Participant having a Fair Market Value on such date equal to such withholding liability or (C) having the Company withhold from the number of shares of Common Stock otherwise issuable or deliverable pursuant to the exercise or settlement of the Award a number of shares with a Fair Market Value on such date equal to such withholding liability. In addition, subject to any requirements of applicable law, the Participant may also satisfy the tax withholding obligations by other methods, including selling shares of Common Stock that would otherwise be available for delivery, provided that the Board or the Committee has specifically approved such payment method in advance.

 

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(e) No Claim to Awards; No Rights to Continued Employment, Directorship or Engagement. No employee, director of the Company, consultant providing service to the Company or an Affiliate, or other person, shall have any claim or right to be granted an Award under the Plan or, having been selected for the grant of an Award, to be selected for a grant of any other Award. There is no obligation for uniformity of treatment of Participants or holders or beneficiaries of Awards. The terms and conditions of Awards and the Committee’s determinations and interpretations with respect thereto need not be the same with respect to each Participant and may be made selectively among Participants, whether or not such Participants are similarly situated. Neither the Plan nor any action taken hereunder shall be construed as giving any Participant any right to be retained in the employ or service of the Company or an Affiliate, or to continue in the employ or the service of the Company or an Affiliate, nor shall it be construed as giving any Participant who is a director any rights to continued service on the Board.

(f) International Participants. With respect to Participants who reside or work outside of the United States, the Committee may amend the terms of the Plan or appendices thereto, or outstanding Awards, with respect to such Participants, in order to conform such terms with or accommodate the requirements of local laws, procedures or practices or to obtain more favorable tax or other treatment for the Participant, the Company or its Affiliates. Without limiting the generality of this subsection, the Committee is specifically authorized to adopt rules, procedures and sub-plans with provisions that limit or modify rights on death, disability, retirement or other terminations of employment, available methods of exercise or settlement of an Award, payment of income, social insurance contributions or payroll taxes, withholding procedures and handling of any stock certificates or other indicia of ownership that vary with local requirements. The Committee may also adopt rules, procedures or sub-plans applicable to particular Affiliates or locations.

(g) Beneficiary Designation. The Participant’s beneficiary shall be the Participant’s spouse (or domestic partner if such status is recognized by the Company and in such jurisdiction), or if the Participant is otherwise unmarried at the time of death, the Participant’s estate, except to the extent that a different beneficiary is designated in accordance with procedures that may be established by the Committee from time to time for such purpose. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the absence of a beneficiary validly designated under such Committee-established procedures and/or applicable law who is living (or in existence) at the time of death of a Participant residing or working outside the United States, any required distribution under the Plan shall be made to the executor or administrator of the estate of the Participant, or to such other individual as may be prescribed by applicable law.

(h) Termination of Employment or Service. The Committee, in its sole discretion, shall determine the effect of all matters and questions related to the termination of employment of or service of a Participant. Except as otherwise provided in an Award Agreement, or any employment, consulting, change-in-control, severance or other agreement between the Participant and the Company or an Affiliate, unless determined otherwise by the Committee: (i) neither a temporary absence from employment or service due to illness, vacation or leave of absence (including, without limitation, a call to active duty for military service through a Reserve or National Guard unit) nor a transfer from employment or service with the Company to employment or service with an Affiliate (or vice versa) shall be considered a termination of employment or service with the Company or an Affiliate; and (ii) if the Participant’s employment with the Company or its Affiliates terminates, but such Participant continues to provide services with the Company or its Affiliates in a non-employee capacity (including as a non-employee director) (or vice versa), such change in status shall not be considered a termination of employment or service with the Company or an Affiliate for purposes of the Plan.

 

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(i) No Rights as a Stockholder. Except as otherwise specifically provided in the Plan or any Award Agreement, no person shall be entitled to the privileges of ownership in respect of shares of Common Stock that are subject to Awards hereunder until such shares have been issued or delivered to that person.

(j) Government and Other Regulations.

(i) Nothing in the Plan shall be deemed to authorize the Committee or Board or any members thereof to take any action contrary to applicable law or regulation, or rules of the NASDAQ or any other securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted.

(ii) The obligation of the Company to settle Awards in Common Stock or other consideration shall be subject to all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, and to such approvals by governmental agencies as may be required. Notwithstanding any terms or conditions of any Award to the contrary, the Company shall be under no obligation to offer to sell or to sell, and shall be prohibited from offering to sell or selling, any shares of Common Stock pursuant to an Award unless such shares have been properly registered for sale pursuant to the Securities Act with the Securities and Exchange Commission or unless the Company has received an opinion of counsel, satisfactory to the Company, that such shares may be offered or sold without such registration pursuant to and in compliance with the terms of an available exemption. The Company shall be under no obligation to register for sale under the Securities Act any of the shares of Common Stock to be offered or sold under the Plan. The Committee shall have the authority to provide that all shares of Common Stock or other securities of the Company or any Affiliate delivered under the Plan shall be subject to such stop-transfer orders and other restrictions as the Committee may deem advisable under the Plan, the applicable Award Agreement, U.S. federal securities laws, or the rules, regulations and other requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, any securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service upon which such shares or other securities of the Company are then listed or quoted and any other applicable federal, state, local or non-U.S. laws, rules, regulations and other requirements, and, without limiting the generality of Section 9 of the Plan, the Committee may cause a legend or legends to be put on any such certificates of Common Stock or other securities of the Company or any Affiliate delivered under the Plan to make appropriate reference to such restrictions or may cause such Common Stock or other securities of the Company or any Affiliate delivered under the Plan in book-entry form to be held subject to the Company’s instructions or subject to appropriate stop-transfer orders. Notwithstanding any provision in the Plan to the contrary, the Committee reserves the right to add any additional terms or provisions to any Award granted under the Plan that it in its sole discretion deems necessary or advisable in order that such Award complies with the legal requirements of any governmental entity to whose jurisdiction the Award is subject.

(iii) The Committee may cancel an Award or any portion thereof if it determines that legal or contractual restrictions and/or blockage and/or other market considerations would make the Company’s acquisition of shares of Common Stock from the public markets, the Company’s issuance of Common Stock to the Participant, the Participant’s acquisition of Common Stock from the Company and/or the Participant’s sale of Common Stock to the public markets illegal, impracticable or inadvisable. If the Committee determines to cancel all or any portion of an Award in accordance with the foregoing, unless prevented by applicable laws, the Company shall pay to the Participant an amount equal to the excess of (A) the aggregate Fair Market Value of the shares of Common Stock subject to such Award or portion thereof canceled (determined as of the applicable exercise date, or the date that the shares would have been vested or delivered, as applicable), over (B) the aggregate Exercise Price or Strike Price (in the case of an Option or SAR, respectively) or any amount payable as a condition of delivery of shares of Common Stock (in the case of any other Award). Such amount shall be delivered to the Participant as soon as practicable following the cancellation of such Award or portion thereof.

 

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(k) Payments to Persons Other Than Participants. If the Committee shall find that any person to whom any amount is payable under the Plan is unable to care for such person’s affairs because of illness or accident, or is a minor, or has died, then any payment due to such person or such person’s estate (unless a prior claim therefor has been made by a duly appointed legal representative or a beneficiary designation form has been filed with the Company) may, if the Committee so directs the Company, be paid to such person’s spouse, child, or relative, or an institution maintaining or having custody of such person, or any other person deemed by the Committee to be a proper recipient on behalf of such person otherwise entitled to payment. Any such payment shall be a complete discharge of the liability of the Committee and the Company therefor.

(l) Nonexclusivity of the Plan. Neither the adoption of the Plan by the Board nor the submission of the Plan to the stockholders of the Company for approval shall be construed as creating any limitations on the power of the Board to adopt such other incentive arrangements as it may deem desirable, including, without limitation, the granting of stock options or awards otherwise than under the Plan, and such arrangements may be either applicable generally or only in specific cases.

(m) No Trust or Fund Created. Neither the Plan nor any Award shall create or be construed to create a trust or separate fund of any kind or a fiduciary relationship between the Company or any Affiliate, on the one hand, and the Participant or other person or entity, on the other hand. No provision of the Plan or any Award shall require the Company, for the purpose of satisfying any obligations under the Plan, to purchase assets or place any assets in a trust or other entity to which contributions are made or to otherwise segregate any assets, nor shall the Company maintain separate bank accounts, books, records or other evidence of the existence of a segregated or separately maintained or administered fund for such purposes. Participants shall have no rights under the Plan other than as unsecured general creditors of the Company.

(n) Reliance on Reports. Each member of the Committee and each member of the Board (and each such member’s respective designees) shall be fully justified in acting or failing to act, as the case may be, and shall not be liable for having so acted or failed to act in good faith, in reliance upon any report made by the independent registered public accounting firm of the Company and its Affiliates and/or any other information furnished in connection with the Plan by any agent of the Company or the Committee or the Board, other than such member or designee.

(o) Relationship to Other Benefits. No payment under the Plan shall be taken into account in determining any benefits under any pension, retirement, profit sharing, group insurance or other benefit plan of the Company except as otherwise specifically provided in such other plan.

(p) Governing Law. The Plan shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware, without regard to principles of conflicts of laws thereof, or principles of conflicts of laws of any other jurisdiction that could cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Delaware.

(q) Severability. If any provision of the Plan or any Award or Award Agreement is or becomes or is deemed to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable in any jurisdiction or as to any person or entity or Award, or would disqualify the Plan or any Award under any law deemed applicable by the Committee, such provision shall be construed or deemed amended to conform to the applicable laws, or if it cannot be construed or deemed amended without, in the determination of the Committee, materially altering the intent of the Plan or the Award, such provision shall be construed or deemed stricken as to such jurisdiction, person or entity or Award, and the remainder of the Plan and any such Award shall remain in full force and effect.

 

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(r) Obligations Binding on Successors. The obligations of the Company under the Plan shall be binding upon any successor corporation or organization resulting from the merger, consolidation or other reorganization of the Company, or upon any successor corporation or organization succeeding to all or substantially all of the assets and business of the Company.

(s) Section 409A of the Code.

(i) It is intended that the Plan comply with Section 409A of the Code, and all provisions of the Plan shall be construed and interpreted in a manner consistent with the requirements for avoiding taxes or penalties under Section 409A of the Code. Each Participant is solely responsible and liable for the satisfaction of all taxes and penalties that may be imposed on or in respect of such Participant in connection with the Plan or any other plan maintained by the Company, including any taxes and penalties under Section 409A of the Code, and neither the Company nor any Affiliate shall have any obligation to indemnify or otherwise hold such Participant or any beneficiary harmless from any or all of such taxes or penalties. With respect to any Award that is considered “deferred compensation” subject to Section 409A of the Code, references in the Plan to “termination of employment” (and substantially similar phrases) shall mean “separation from service” within the meaning of Section 409A of the Code. For purposes of Section 409A of the Code, each of the payments that may be made in respect of any Award granted under the Plan is designated as a separate payment.

(ii) Notwithstanding anything in the Plan to the contrary, if the Participant is a “specified employee” within the meaning of Section 409A(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Code, no payments or deliveries in respect of any Awards that are “deferred compensation” subject to Section 409A of the Code shall be made to such Participant prior to the date that is six months after the date of such Participant’s “separation from service” within the meaning of Section 409A of the Code or, if earlier, the Participant’s date of death. All such delayed payments or deliveries will be paid or delivered (without interest) in a single lump sum on the earliest date permitted under Section 409A of the Code that is also a business day.

(iii) In the event that the timing of payments in respect of any Award that would otherwise be considered “deferred compensation” subject to Section 409A of the Code would be accelerated upon the occurrence of (A) a Change in Control, no such acceleration shall be permitted unless the event giving rise to the Change in Control satisfies the definition of a change in the ownership or effective control of a corporation, or a change in the ownership of a substantial portion of the assets of a corporation pursuant to Section 409A of the Code and any Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder or (B) a Disability, no such acceleration shall be permitted unless the Disability also satisfies the definition of “disability” pursuant to Section 409A of the Code and any Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder.

(t) Clawback/Forfeiture. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, the Committee may cancel an Award if the Participant, without the consent of the Company, (A) has engaged in or engages in activity that is in conflict with or adverse to the interests of the Company or any Affiliate while employed by or providing services to the Company or any Affiliate, including fraud or conduct contributing to any financial restatements or irregularities or (B) violates a non-competition, non-solicitation, non-disparagement or non-disclosure covenant or agreement with the Company or any Affiliate, as determined by the Committee, or if the Participant’s employment or service is terminated for Cause. The Committee may also provide in an Award Agreement that in any such event the Participant

 

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will forfeit any compensation, gain or other value realized thereafter on the vesting, exercise or settlement of such Award, the sale or other transfer of such Award, or the sale of shares of Common Stock acquired in respect of such Award, and must promptly repay such amounts to the Company. The Committee may also provide in an Award Agreement that if the Participant receives any amount in excess of what the Participant should have received under the terms of the Award for any reason (including without limitation by reason of a financial restatement, mistake in calculations or other administrative error), all as determined by the Committee, then the Participant shall be required to promptly repay any such excess amount to the Company. In addition, the Company shall retain the right to bring an action at equity or law to enjoin the Participant’s activity and recover damages resulting from such activity. Further, to the extent required by applicable law (including, without limitation, Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) and/or the rules and regulations of the NASDAQ or any other securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted, or if so required pursuant to a written policy adopted by the Company, Awards shall be subject (including on a retroactive basis) to clawback, forfeiture or similar requirements (and such requirements shall be deemed incorporated by reference into all outstanding Award Agreements).

(u) No Representations or Covenants With Respect to Tax Qualification. Although the Company may endeavor to (i) qualify an Award for favorable U.S. or non-U.S. tax treatment or (ii) avoid adverse tax treatment, the Company makes no representation to that effect and expressly disavows any covenant to maintain favorable or avoid unfavorable tax treatment. The Company shall be unconstrained in its corporate activities without regard to the potential negative tax impact on holders of Awards under the Plan.

(v) No Interference. The existence of the Plan, any Award Agreement, and the Awards granted hereunder shall not affect or restrict in any way the right or power of the Company, the Board, the Committee, or the stockholders of the Company to make or authorize any adjustment, recapitalization, reorganization, or other change in the Company’s capital structure or its business, any merger or consolidation of the Company, any issue of stock or of options, warrants, or rights to purchase stock or of bonds, debentures, or preferred or prior preference stocks whose rights are superior to or affect the Common Stock or the rights thereof or that are convertible into or exchangeable for Common Stock, or the dissolution or liquidation of the Company or any Affiliate, or any sale or transfer of all or any part of their assets or business, or any other corporate act or proceeding, whether of a similar character or otherwise.

(w) Expenses; Titles and Headings. The expenses of administering the Plan shall be borne by the Company and its Affiliates. The titles and headings of the sections in the Plan are for convenience of reference only, and in the event of any conflict, the text of the Plan, rather than such titles or headings shall control.

(x) Whistleblower Acknowledgments. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, nothing in this Plan or any Award Agreement will (i) prohibit a Participant from making reports of possible violations of federal law or regulation to any governmental agency or entity in accordance with the provisions of and rules promulgated under Section 21F of the Exchange Act or Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or of any other whistleblower protection provisions of federal law or regulation, or (ii) require prior approval by the Company or any of its Affiliates of any reporting described in clause (i).

* * *

As adopted by the Board of Directors of the Company on January 6, 2021.

As approved by the stockholders of the Company on January 14, 2021.

 

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EX-10.3

Exhibit 10.3

Driven Brands Holdings Inc.

Employee Stock Purchase Plan

1. Purpose. The purpose of this Employee Stock Purchase Plan (the “Plan”) of Driven Brands Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), is to provide eligible Employees of the Company and its Designated Subsidiaries with a convenient opportunity to purchase Common Stock of the Company. It is the intention of the Company to have the Plan qualify as an “Employee Stock Purchase Plan” under Section 423 of the Code. The provisions of the Plan shall, accordingly, be construed so as to extend and limit participation in a manner consistent with the requirements of that section of the Code.

2. Definitions. The following definitions shall apply throughout the Plan.

(a) “Board” means the Board of Directors of the Company.

(b) “Code” means the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and any successor thereto. References to any section of the Code shall be deemed to include any regulations or other interpretative guidance under such section, and any amendments or successors thereto.

(c) “Committee” means a committee appointed by the Board. In the absence of a contrary designation by the Board, the Compensation Committee of the Board shall be the Committee hereunder.

(d) “Common Stock” means the common stock of the Company, par value $0.01 per share (and any stock or other securities into which such common stock may be converted or into which it may be exchanged).

(e) “Company” has the meaning set forth in Section 1.

(f) “Compensation” means the base pay (determined on such date as may be established by the Committee) received by an Employee from the Company or a Designated Subsidiary. Base pay shall (i) be determined prior to any salary reduction contributions under a cafeteria plan pursuant to Section 125 of the Code, any salary reduction amounts pursuant to a qualified transportation benefit program pursuant to Section 132(f) of the Code, and any elective deferrals to a nonqualified deferred compensation plan and to a cash or deferred plan pursuant to Section 401(k) of the Code and (ii) exclude any imputed income arising under any group insurance or benefit program, travel expenses, business and relocation expense, and income received in connection with stock options or other equity-based awards.

(g) “Continuous Status as an Employee” means the absence of any interruption or termination of service as an Employee. Continuous Status as an Employee shall not be considered interrupted in the case of (i) sick leave, military leave, or other bona fide leave of absence that is required by law to be considered uninterrupted service or that is otherwise approved by the Committee if the period of such leave does not exceed 90 days, or if longer, so long as the individual’s right to reemployment as an


Employee is guaranteed either by contract or statute; or (ii) transfers between locations of the Company or between and among the Company and its Designated Subsidiaries. For purposes of clarification, the disposition of a Designated Subsidiary shall constitute a termination of the Continuous Status as an Employee of any Employee employed by such Designated Subsidiary.

(h) “Contributions” means all amounts credited to the notional account of a Participant pursuant to the Plan.

(i) “Corporate Transaction” means a sale of all or substantially all of the Company’s assets, or a merger, consolidation, or other capital reorganization of the Company with or into another corporation, or any other transaction or series of related transactions in which the Company’s stockholders immediately prior thereto own less than 50% of the voting stock of the Company (or its successor or ultimate parent company) immediately thereafter, but excluding any acquisition of voting stock by the Company or any of its affiliates or by any employee benefit plan sponsored or maintained by the Company or any of its affiliates.

(j) “Designated Subsidiaries” means all Subsidiaries organized under the laws of any state of the United States of America, except with respect to any of such Subsidiaries that the Committee has determined is not eligible to participate in the Plan.

(k) “Employee” means any person who (i) has had Continuous Status as an Employee of the Company or one of its Designated Subsidiaries for a period of at least sixty (60) days, (ii) is customarily employed thereby for at least 20 hours per week and more than five (5) months in a calendar year, and (iii) is classified as an employee for tax purposes.

(l) “Exchange Act” means the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and any successor thereto. References to any section of (or rule promulgated under) the Exchange Act shall be deemed to include any rules, regulations or other interpretative guidance under such section or rule, and any amendments or successors thereto.

(m) “Fair Market Value” means, for any date, with respect to a Share, the closing sales price of a Share on the primary exchange on which the Common Stock is traded on such date or, in the event that the Common Stock is not traded on such date, then the immediately preceding trading date. In the absence of an established market for Common Stock, the Fair Market Value of a Share shall be determined in good faith by the Committee and such determination shall be conclusive and binding on all persons. The “Fair Market Value” of all other property shall be determined in good faith by the Committee, and such determination shall be conclusive and binding on all persons.

(n) “Indemnifiable Person” shall have the meaning ascribed to it in Section 27.

 

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(o) “Maximum Number of Shares” means, with respect to a given Offering Period, a number of Shares equal to the quotient of (x) $25,000 divided by (y) the Fair Market Value of a Share on the Offering Date.

(p) “New Purchase Date” shall have the meaning ascribed to it in Section 16(b).

(q) “Offering Date” means the first day of each Offering Period, as determined in accordance with Section 3.

(r) “Offering Period” means a period described in Section 3.

(s) “Plan” has the meaning set forth in Section 1.

(t) “Plan Administrator” means the Committee, or such other institution selected by the Committee.

(u) “Participant” means an eligible Employee who has elected to participate in the Plan in accordance with Section 5.

(v) “Purchase Date” means, unless otherwise determined by the Committee, December 31 of each calendar year or, in the event that the Common Stock is not traded on such date, the immediately preceding trading date, as applicable.

(w) “Purchase Price” means, with respect to a given Offering Period, an amount equal to 85% (or such greater percentage as designed by the Committee) of the Fair Market Value of a Share on (i) the Purchase Date or (ii) the Offering Date, whichever amount is lower; provided, that the Purchase Price will in no event be less than the par value of a Share.

(x) “Reserves” shall have the meaning ascribed to it in Section 16(a).

(y) “Rule 16b-3” means Rule 16b-3 adopted under Section 16 of the Exchange Act.

(z) “Securities Act” means the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and any successor thereto. References to any section of (or rule promulgated under) the Securities Act shall be deemed to include any rules, regulations or other interpretative guidance under such section or rule, and any amendments or successors thereto.

(aa) “Share” means a share of Common Stock, as adjusted in accordance with Section 16.

(bb) “Subsidiary” means a corporation which is a “subsidiary corporation” of the Company within the meaning of Section 424(f) of the Code.

 

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3. Offering Periods. The Plan shall be implemented by a series of consecutive Offering Periods commencing on January 1 and ending on December 31 of each calendar year. The Committee shall have the authority to change the duration (subject to a maximum Offering Period of 27 months), frequency, start date, and end dates of Offering Periods.

4. Eligibility. Subject to the requirements of Section 5 and the limitations imposed by Section 423(b) of the Code (and unless different dates are established by the Committee in respect of any Offering Period), a person shall be eligible to participate in an Offering Period if such person is an Employee as of the date on which an election for participation in the Offering is required pursuant to Section 5(b) below; provided, however, that the Committee may provide that an Employee shall not be eligible to participate in an Offering Period if: (i) such Employee is a highly compensated employee within the meaning of Section 423(b)(4)(D) of the Code; (ii) such Employee has not met a service requirement designated by the Committee pursuant to Section 423(b)(4) (A) of the Code (which service requirement may not exceed two years); and/or (iii) such Employee is a citizen or resident of a foreign jurisdiction and the grant of a right to purchase Common Stock under the Plan to such Employee would be prohibited under the laws of such foreign jurisdiction or the grant of a right to purchase Common Stock under the Plan to such Employee in compliance with the laws of such foreign jurisdiction would cause the Plan to violate the requirements of Section 423 of the Code, as determined by the Committee in its sole discretion; provided, further, that any exclusion in clause (i), (ii) or (iii) shall be applied in an identical manner under each Offering Period to all Employees, in accordance with Treasury Regulation Section 1.423-2(e).

5. Participation.

(a) Participation in the Plan is completely voluntary. Except as set forth in Section 7(b) below, participation in one or more of the offerings under the Plan shall neither limit, nor require, participation in any other offering.

(b) An eligible Employee may become a Participant in respect of an Offering Period by electing to participate in the manner approved by the Committee. An Employee who elects to participate in an Offering Period shall do so at least ten (10) days prior to the Offering Date, unless a different time for electing to participate (including following the Offering Date) is set by the Committee.

(c) A Participant’s election shall indicate either a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of such Participant’s Compensation, in either case, as may be determined by the Committee, to be contributed during the applicable Offering Period; provided, however, that a Participant’s election shall be subject to the limitations of Section 7(b).

(d) The deduction rate selected by a Participation shall remain in effect for subsequent Offering Periods unless the Participant (i) submits a new election in the manner approved by the Committee, (ii) withdraws from the Plan, or (iii) terminates employment or otherwise becomes ineligible to participate in the Plan.

 

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6. Method of Payment of Contributions.

(a) Payroll deductions shall be made from a Participant’s Compensation during an Offering Period in an aggregate amount equal to the Participant’s contribution election for such Offering Period. All payroll deductions made by a Participant shall be credited to his or her notional account under the Plan. Participant may not make a prepayment or any additional payments into such notional account. Payroll deductions in respect of any Offering Period shall commence on the Offering Date and shall end on the final day of the final payroll period ending on or prior to the applicable Purchase Date, unless sooner terminated by the Participant as provided in Section 10.

(b) Participants on an authorized leave of absence during an Offering Period may continue to participate in such Offering Period; provided, however, that a Participant on an authorized leave of absence will have contributions suspended during such leave of absence and, absent any other instruction from such Participant, such contributions will resume upon the next payroll following such Participant’s return from such leave of absence.

(c) Notwithstanding the foregoing, to the extent necessary to comply with Section 423(b)(8) of the Code and Section 7(b) herein, a Participant’s payroll deductions may be decreased by the Company to zero during any Offering Period.

7. Grant of Option.

(a) On each Offering Date, each Participant shall be deemed to have been granted an option to purchase as many Shares (rounded down to the nearest whole Share) as may be purchased with his or her Contributions during the related Offering Period at the Purchase Price; provided, however, that such option shall be subject to the limitations set forth in Section 7(b) below and Section 11, and may be reduced pursuant to Section 6, in each case, if applicable.

(b) Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of the Plan, each option to purchase Shares under the Plan shall be limited as necessary to prevent any Employee from (i) immediately after the grant, owning capital stock of the Company and holding outstanding options to purchase capital stock of the Company possessing, in the aggregate, more than 5% of the total combined voting power or value of all classes of stock of the Company or of any Subsidiary, including for this purpose any stock attributed to such Employee pursuant to Section 424(d) of the Code, (ii) acquiring rights to purchase stock under all employee stock purchase plans (as described in Section 423 of the Code or any other similar arrangements maintained by the Company or any of its Subsidiaries) of the Company and its Subsidiaries which accrue at a rate that exceeds $25,000 of the Fair Market Value of such stock (determined at the time such option is granted) for each calendar year in which such option is outstanding and exercisable at any time, or (iii) purchasing, in respect of any Offering Period, more than the Maximum Number of Shares.

 

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8. Exercise of Option; Interest.

(a) Unless a Participant withdraws from the Plan as provided in Section 10, his or her option for the purchase of Shares will be exercised automatically on the applicable Purchase Date, and the number of full Shares subject to the option will be purchased at the applicable Purchase Price with the accumulated Contributions in his or her notional account. No fractional Shares shall be issued. Any amounts accumulated in a Participant’s notional account that are not used to purchase Shares (other than any amount that is not sufficient to purchase a full Share, which shall be automatically carried forward to the next Offering Period) shall be refunded to the Participant as soon as practicable following the Purchase Date. Notwithstanding Section 9 below, the Shares purchased upon exercise of an option hereunder shall be deemed to be transferred to the Participant as of the Purchase Date. During his or her lifetime, a Participant’s option to purchase Shares hereunder is exercisable only by him or her.

(b) At the time an option granted under the Plan is exercised, in whole or in part, or at the time some or all of the Common Stock issued to a Participant under the Plan is disposed of, the Participant must make adequate provisions for any applicable federal, state, or other tax withholding obligations, if any, that arise upon the Purchase Date or the disposition of the Common Stock. At any time, the Company or a Designated Subsidiary may, but will not be obligated to, withhold from the Participant’s compensation the amount necessary to meet applicable withholding obligations, including any withholding required to make available to the Company any tax deductions or benefits attributable to the sale or disposition of Common Stock by the Participant earlier than as described in Section 423(a)(1) of the Code.

(c) No interest will be paid or allowed on any money paid into the Plan or credited to the notional account of any Participant.

9. Delivery. As promptly as practicable after each Purchase Date, the number of Shares purchased by each Participant upon exercise of his or her option shall be deposited into an account established in the Participant’s name with the Plan Administrator. The Committee may determine that no Share purchased in respect of an offering may be transferred out of such Participant’s account with the Plan Administrator other than in connection with a “disposition” (as such term is used in Section 423(a)(1) of the Code) of such Share for the longer of (x) two (2) years following the Offering Date applicable to such Share and (y) one (1) year following the Purchase Date applicable to such Share.

10. Voluntary Withdrawal; Termination of Employment.

(a) A Participant may withdraw all but not less than all the Contributions credited to his or her notional account under the Plan at any time prior to the applicable Purchase Date by giving written notice to the Plan Administrator in the manner directed by the Company. All of the Participant’s Contributions credited to his or her notional account with respect to an Offering Period will be paid to him or her as soon as administratively practicable after receipt of his or her notice of withdrawal, his or her option for the current Offering Period will be automatically terminated, and no further Contributions for the purchase of Shares may be made by the Participant with respect to such Offering Period. A Participant’s withdrawal from the Plan during an Offering Period will not have any effect upon his or her eligibility to participate in a succeeding Offering Period or in any similar plan that may hereafter be adopted by the Company.

 

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(b) Upon termination of the Participant’s Continuous Status as an Employee prior to a Purchase Date for any reason, including retirement or death, the Contributions credited to his or her notional account will be returned to him or her, and his or her option will be automatically terminated; provided, however, that in the event of the death of a Participant, the Company shall deliver the Contributions to the executor or administrator of the estate of the Participant or, if no such executor or administrator has been appointed (to the knowledge of the Company), the Company, in its discretion, may deliver such amounts to the spouse or to any one or more dependents or relatives of the Participant.

11. Shares.

(a) Subject to adjustment as provided in Section 16, the maximum number of Shares that shall be made available for sale under the Plan shall be 1,790,569. If the Committee determines at any time that, on a given Purchase Date, the number of Shares with respect to which options are to be exercised may exceed the number of Shares that are available for sale under the Plan on such Purchase Date, the Company shall make a pro rata allocation of the Shares available for purchase on such Purchase Date, in as uniform a manner as shall be practicable and as it shall determine to be equitable among all Participants exercising options to purchase Common Stock on such Purchase Date, and the Committee may, in its discretion (x) continue all Offering Periods then in effect, or (y) terminate any or all Offering Periods then in effect pursuant to Section 17 below.

(b) Shares to be delivered to a Participant under the Plan will be registered in the name of the Participant.

12. Administration.

(a) Subject to the express provisions of the Plan, the Committee shall administer the Plan and shall have the sole and plenary power to (i) interpret and administer, reconcile any inconsistency in, correct any defect in, and supply any omission in the Plan; (ii) establish, amend, suspend, or waive any rules and regulations and appoint such agents as the Committee shall deem appropriate for the proper administration of the Plan; and (iii) make any other determination and take any other action that the Committee deems necessary or desirable for the administration of the Plan, including, without limitation to the foregoing, by changing the duration (subject to a maximum Offering Period of 27 months), frequency, start date, and end dates of Offering Periods and/or the Purchase Dates. The authority of the Committee includes, without limitation, the authority to (x) determine procedures for setting or changing payroll deduction percentages, and obtaining necessary tax withholdings, and (y) adopt amendments to the Plan in accordance with Section 17. All designations, determinations, interpretations, and other decisions by the Committee (or its delegate) regarding the Plan shall be within the sole discretion of the Committee, may be made at any time, and shall be final, conclusive, and binding upon all persons or entities, including, without limitation, the Company, any affiliate, any Participant, any holder or beneficiary of any option, and any shareholder of the Company. The expenses of administering the Plan shall be borne by the Company.

 

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(b) The Committee may delegate any or all of its authority and obligations under this Plan to such committee or committees (including without limitation, a committee of the Board) or officer(s) of the Company as they may designate.

(c) Nothing in the Plan shall be deemed to authorize the Committee to take any action contrary to applicable law or regulation, or rules of the New York Stock Exchange or any other securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted.

(d) Notwithstanding any delegation of authority hereunder, the Board may itself take any action permitted under the Plan in its discretion at any time, and any reference in this Plan document to the rights and obligations of the Committee shall be construed to apply equally to the Board. Any references to the Board mean the Board only.

13. Transferability. Neither amounts accumulated in a Participant’s notional account nor any rights with regard to the exercise of an option or to receive Shares under the Plan may be assigned, transferred, pledged, or otherwise disposed of in any way (other than by will or by the laws of descent and distribution, or as provided in Section 10) by the Participant. Any such attempt at assignment, transfer, pledge, or other disposition shall be without effect, except that the Company may treat such act as an election to withdraw funds in accordance with Section 10.

14. Use of Funds. All Contributions received or held by the Company under the Plan may be used by the Company for any corporate purpose, and the Company shall not be obligated to segregate such Contributions.

15. Reports. Statements of account will be made available to Participants by the Company or the Plan Administrator in the form and manner designated by the Committee.

16. Adjustments Upon Changes in Capitalization; Corporate Transactions.

(a) Subject to any required action by the stockholders of the Company, (i) the number of Shares covered by each option under the Plan that has not yet been exercised, (ii) the number of Shares that have been authorized for issuance under the Plan but that have not yet been placed under option (collectively, the “Reserves”), (iii) the number of Shares set forth in Section 11 above, and (iv) the Purchase Price for each then-current Offering Period shall, if applicable, be proportionately adjusted for any increase or decrease in the number of issued Shares resulting from a stock split, a reverse stock split, a stock dividend, a subdivision, combination, or reclassification of the Common Stock (including any such change in the number of shares of Common Stock effected in connection with a change in domicile of the Company), or any other increase or decrease in the number of Shares effected without receipt of consideration by the Company, or any increase or decrease in the value of a Share resulting from a spinoff or split-up; provided,

 

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however, that conversion of any convertible securities of the Company shall not be deemed to have been “effected without receipt of consideration.” Such adjustment shall be made by the Committee, whose determination in that respect shall be final, binding, and conclusive. Except as expressly provided above, no issue by the Company of shares of stock of any class, or securities convertible into shares of stock of any class, shall affect, and no adjustment by reason thereof shall be made with respect to, the number or price of Shares subject to an option.

(b) In the event of a dissolution or liquidation of the Company, any Offering Period then in progress will terminate immediately prior to the consummation of such action, unless otherwise provided by the Committee. In the event of a Corporate Transaction, each option outstanding under the Plan shall be assumed or an equivalent option shall be substituted by the successor corporation or a parent or subsidiary of such successor corporation. If the successor corporation (or its parent or subsidiary) refuses to assume or substitute for outstanding options, each Offering Period then in progress shall be shortened and a new Purchase Date shall be set by the Committee (the “New Purchase Date”), as of which New Purchase Date any Offering Period then in progress will terminate. The New Purchase Date shall be on or before the date of consummation of the Corporate Transaction, and the Company shall notify each Participant in writing, at least ten (10) days prior to the New Purchase Date, that the Purchase Date for his or her option has been changed to the New Purchase Date and that his or her option will be exercised automatically on the New Purchase Date, unless prior to such date he or she has withdrawn from the Offering Period as provided in Section 10. For purposes of this Section 16, an option granted under the Plan shall be deemed to be assumed, without limitation, if at the time of issuance of the stock or other consideration upon a Corporate Transaction, each holder of an option under the Plan would be entitled to receive upon exercise of the option the same number and kind of Shares or the same amount of property or cash, or number of securities (or combination thereof) as such holder would have been entitled to receive upon the occurrence of the transaction if the holder had been, immediately prior to the transaction, the holder of the number of shares of Common Stock covered by the option at such time (after giving effect to any adjustments in the number of Shares covered by the option as provided for in this Section 16); provided, however, that if the consideration received in the transaction is not solely common stock of the successor corporation or its parent (as defined in Section 424(e) of the Code), the Committee may, with the consent of the successor corporation, provide for the consideration to be received upon exercise of the option to be solely common stock of the successor corporation or its parent or subsidiary equal in Fair Market Value to the per-Share consideration received by holders of Common Stock in the transaction.

(c) If the Company consummates the sale or transfer of a Designated Subsidiary, business unit, or division to an unaffiliated person or entity, or the spin-off of a Designated Subsidiary, business unit, or division to shareholders during an Offering Period, the Contributions credited to the notional account of each Participant employed by such Designated Subsidiary, business unit, or division, as applicable, as of the time of such sale, transfer, or spin-off with respect the offering to which such Offering Period relates will be returned to the Participant without interest, and the Participant’s option will be automatically terminated.

 

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(d) The existence of the Plan shall not affect or restrict in any way the right or power of the Company, the Board, the Committee, or the shareholders of the Company to make or authorize any adjustment, recapitalization, reorganization, or other change in the Company’s capital structure or its business, any merger or consolidation of the Company, any issue of stock or of options, warrants, or rights to purchase stock or of bonds, debentures, or preferred or prior-preference stocks whose rights are superior to or affect the Common Shares or the rights thereof or that are convertible into or exchangeable for Common Shares, or the dissolution or liquidation of the Company or any Affiliate, or any sale or transfer of all or any part of their assets or business, or any other corporate act or proceeding, whether of a similar character or otherwise.

17. Amendment or Termination.

(a) The Board may amend, alter, suspend, discontinue, or terminate the Plan or any portion thereof at any time; provided, that no such amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuation, or termination shall be made without shareholder approval if such approval is necessary to comply with any tax or regulatory requirement applicable to the Plan (including, without limitation, as necessary to comply with any applicable rules or requirements of any securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the Shares may be listed or quoted); provided, further, that any such amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuance, or termination that would materially and adversely affect the rights of any Participant shall not to that extent be effective without the consent of the affected Participant unless the Committee determines that such amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuance, or termination is either required or advisable in order for the Company or the Plan to satisfy any applicable law or regulation.

(b) Except as provided in Section 16, no such termination of the Plan may affect options previously granted, provided that the Plan or an Offering Period may be terminated by the Board on a Purchase Date or by the Board’s setting a new Purchase Date with respect to an Offering Period then in progress if the Board determines that termination of the Plan and/or the Offering Period is in the best interests of the Company and the stockholders or if continuation of the Plan and/or the Offering Period would cause the Company to incur adverse accounting charges as a result of a change after the effective date of the Plan in the generally accepted accounting principles applicable to the Plan.

(c) Without stockholder consent and without regard to whether any Participant rights may be considered to have been adversely affected, the Committee shall be entitled to change the Offering Periods, limit the frequency and/or number of changes in the amount withheld that may be made during an Offering Period, permit payroll withholding in excess of the amount designated by a Participant in order to adjust for delays or mistakes in the Company’s processing of properly completed withholding elections, establish reasonable waiting and adjustment periods and/or accounting and crediting procedures to ensure that amounts applied toward the purchase of Common Stock for each Participant properly correspond with amounts withheld from the Participant’s Compensation, and establish such other limitations or procedures as the Committee determines in its sole discretion advisable that are consistent with the Plan.

 

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18. No Rights to Continued Employment. Neither the Plan nor any action taken hereunder shall be construed as giving any Participant any right to be retained in the employ or service of the Company or an affiliate, or to continue in the employ or the service of the Company or an affiliate.

19. Beneficiary Designation. The Participant’s beneficiary shall be the Participant’s spouse (or domestic partner if such status is recognized by the Company and in such jurisdiction), or if the Participant is otherwise unmarried at the time of death, the Participant’s estate, except to the extent that a different beneficiary is designated in accordance with procedures that may be established by the Committee from time to time for such purpose. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the absence of a beneficiary validly designated under such Committee-established procedures and/or applicable law who is living (or in existence) at the time of death of a Participant residing or working outside the United States, any required distribution under the Plan shall be made to the executor or administrator of the estate of the Participant, or to such other individual as may be prescribed by applicable law.

20. Equal Rights and Privileges. Notwithstanding any provision of the Plan to the contrary and in accordance with Section 423 of the Code, all eligible Employees who are granted options under the Plan shall have the same rights and privileges.

21. No Rights as a Shareholder. Except as otherwise specifically provided in the Plan, no person shall be entitled to the privileges of ownership in respect of Shares that are subject to options hereunder until such Shares have been issued or delivered to that person.

22. Withholding. To the extent required by applicable federal, state, or local law, a Participant must make arrangements satisfactory to the Company for the payment of any withholding or similar tax obligations that arise in connection with the Plan.

23. Notices. All notices or other communications by a Participant to the Company under or in connection with the Plan shall be deemed to have been duly given when received in the form specified by the Company at the location, or by the person, designated by the Company for the receipt thereof.

24. Conditions Upon Issuance of Shares.

(a) The Plan and the issuance and delivery of Shares under the Plan are subject to compliance with all applicable U.S. federal, state, local, and non-U.S. laws, rules, and regulations (including but not limited to state, U.S. federal, and non-U.S. securities law, and margin requirements) and to such approvals by any listing, regulatory, or governmental authority as may, in the opinion of counsel for the Company, be necessary or advisable in connection therewith. Any securities delivered under the Plan shall be subject to such restrictions, and the person acquiring such securities shall, if requested by the Company, provide such assurances and representations to the Company as the Company may deem necessary or desirable to assure compliance with all applicable legal requirements. To the extent permitted by applicable law, the Plan shall be deemed amended to the extent necessary to conform to such laws, rules, and regulations.

 

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(b) Notwithstanding any terms or conditions of the Plan to the contrary, the Company shall be under no obligation to offer to sell or to sell, and shall be prohibited from offering to sell or selling, any Shares pursuant to the Plan unless such Shares have been properly registered for sale pursuant to the Securities Act with the Securities and Exchange Commission or unless the Company has received an opinion of counsel, satisfactory to the Company, that such Shares may be offered or sold without such registration pursuant to and in compliance with the terms of an available exemption. The Company shall be under no obligation to register for sale under the Securities Act any of the Shares to be offered or sold under the Plan. The Committee shall have the authority to provide that all Shares delivered under the Plan shall be subject to such stop-transfer orders and other restrictions as the Committee may deem advisable under the Plan, U.S. federal securities laws, or the rules, regulations, and other requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission, any securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service upon which such Shares are then listed or quoted and any other applicable federal, state, local or non-U.S. laws, rules, regulations, and other requirements, and the Committee may cause a legend or legends to be put on any such certificates of Common Stock delivered under the Plan to make appropriate reference to such restrictions or may cause such Common Stock delivered under the Plan in book-entry form to be held subject to the Company’s instructions or subject to appropriate stop-transfer orders.

25. Term of Plan; Effective Date. The Plan was adopted by the Board on January 6, 2021, and approved by the Company’s stockholders on January 14, 2021. The Plan shall be effective on January 14, 2021 (the “Effective Date”), and shall continue in force and effect until terminated under Section 17. Unless sooner terminated by the Board, the Plan shall terminate upon the earliest of (i) the ten (10) year anniversary of the Effective Date and (ii) the date on which all shares available for issuance under the Plan have been sold.

26. Additional Restrictions of Rule 16b-3. The terms and conditions of options granted hereunder to, and the purchase of Shares by, persons subject to Section 16 of the Exchange Act shall comply with the applicable provisions of Rule 16b-3. This Plan shall be deemed to contain, and such options shall contain, and the Shares issued upon exercise thereof shall be subject to, such additional conditions and restrictions as may be required by Rule 16b-3 to qualify for the maximum exemption from Section 16 of the Exchange Act with respect to Plan transactions.

27. Indemnification. No member of the Board or the Committee, nor any employee or agent of the Company exercising authority delegated by the Board or the Committee hereunder (each such person, an “Indemnifiable Person”), shall be liable for any action taken or omitted to be taken or any determination made in the administration of the Plan (unless constituting fraud or a willful criminal act or willful criminal omission). Each Indemnifiable Person shall be indemnified and held harmless by the Company against and from any loss, cost, liability, or expense (including attorneys’ fees) that may be imposed upon or incurred by such Indemnifiable Person in connection with or resulting from any action, suit, or proceeding to which such Indemnifiable Person may be involved

 

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as a party or witness or otherwise by reason of any action taken or omitted to be taken or determination made under the Plan and against and from any and all amounts paid by such Indemnifiable Person with the Company’s approval (not to be unreasonably withheld) in settlement thereof, or paid by such Indemnifiable Person in satisfaction of any judgment in any such action, suit, or proceeding against such Indemnifiable Person, and the Company shall advance to such Indemnifiable Person any such expenses promptly upon written request (which request shall include an undertaking by the Indemnifiable Person to repay the amount of such advance if it shall ultimately be determined as provided below that the Indemnifiable Person is not entitled to be indemnified); provided, that the Company shall have the right, at its own expense, to assume and defend any such action, suit, or proceeding, and once the Company gives notice of its intent to assume the defense, the Company shall have sole control over such defense with counsel of recognized standing of the Company’s choice. The foregoing right of indemnification shall not be available to an Indemnifiable Person to the extent that a final judgment or other final adjudication (in either case not subject to further appeal) binding upon such Indemnifiable Person determines that the acts or omissions or determinations of such Indemnifiable Person giving rise to the indemnification claim resulted from such Indemnifiable Person’s fraud or willful criminal act or willful criminal omission or that such right of indemnification is otherwise prohibited by law or by the Company’s certificate of incorporation or by-laws. The foregoing right of indemnification shall not be exclusive of or otherwise supersede any other rights of indemnification to which such Indemnifiable Persons may be entitled under the Company’s certificate of incorporation or by-laws, as a matter of law, individual indemnification agreement or contract or otherwise, or any other power that the Company may have to indemnify such Indemnifiable Persons or hold them harmless.

28. Nonexclusivity of the Plan. Neither the adoption of the Plan by the Board nor the submission of the Plan to the shareholders of the Company for approval shall be construed as creating any limitations on the power of the Board to adopt such other incentive arrangements as it may deem desirable, including, without limitation, the granting of stock options or awards otherwise than under the Plan, and such arrangements may be either applicable generally or only in specific cases.

29. No Trust or Fund Created. The Plan shall not create or be construed to create a trust or separate fund of any kind or a fiduciary relationship between the Company or any affiliate, on the one hand, and the Participant or other person or entity, on the other hand. No provision of the Plan shall require the Company, for the purpose of satisfying any obligations under the Plan, to purchase assets or place any assets in a trust or other entity to which contributions are made or to otherwise segregate any assets, nor shall the Company maintain separate bank accounts, books, records, or other evidence of the existence of a segregated or separately maintained or administered fund for such purposes. Participants shall have no rights under the Plan other than as unsecured general creditors of the Company.

 

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30. Reliance on Reports. Each member of the Committee and each member of the Board (and each such member’s respective designees) shall be fully justified in acting or failing to act, as the case may be, and shall not be liable for having so acted or failed to act in good faith, in reliance upon any report made by the independent registered public accounting firm of the Company and its affiliates and/or any other information furnished in connection with the Plan by any agent of the Company or the Committee or the Board, other than such member or designee.

31. Relationship to Other Benefits. No payment under the Plan shall be taken into account in determining any benefits under any pension, retirement, profit sharing, group insurance, or other benefit plan of the Company except as otherwise specifically provided in such other plan.

32. Governing Law. The Plan shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware, without regard to principles of conflicts of laws thereof, or principles of conflicts of laws of any other jurisdiction that could cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Delaware.

33. Severability. If any provision of the Plan is or becomes or is deemed to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable in any jurisdiction or as to any person or entity, or would disqualify the Plan under any law deemed applicable by the Committee, such provision shall be construed or deemed amended to conform to the applicable laws, or if it cannot be construed or deemed amended without, in the determination of the Committee, materially altering the intent of the Plan, such provision shall be construed or deemed stricken as to such jurisdiction, person, or entity, and the remainder of the Plan shall remain in full force and effect.

34. Titles and Headings. The titles and headings of the sections in the Plan are for convenience of reference only, and in the event of any conflict, the text of the Plan, rather than such titles or headings shall control.

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