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General Laws

Section 1. As used in this chapter, the following words, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, shall have the following meanings:—

(a) “Associate”, any person who directly or indirectly controls or is controlled by, or is under common control with, a person who is acting or intends to act jointly or in concert with a person in connection with a control share acquisition, “control”, as used in this subsection meaning the possession, direct or indirect, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management or policies of a person, whether through the ownership of voting securities, by contract or otherwise; any corporation or organization of which a person is an officer, director or partner or in which a person performs a similar function; any direct or indirect beneficial owner of ten percent or more of any class of equity securities of a person; any trust or estate in which a person has a beneficial interest not represented by transferable shares or as to which a person serves as trustee or in a similar fiduciary capacity; and any relative or spouse of a person, or any relative of such spouse, any one of whom has the same residence as such person.

(b) “Beneficial ownership”, the sole or shared power to dispose or direct the disposition of shares or the sole or shared power to vote or to direct the voting of shares, whether such power is direct or indirect or through any contract, arrangement, understanding, relationship or otherwise. A person shall not be deemed to be a beneficial owner of shares as to which such person may exercise voting power solely by virtue of a revocable proxy conferring the right to vote. A member of a national securities exchange shall not be deemed to be a beneficial owner of shares held directly or indirectly by it on behalf of another person solely because such member is the record holder of such securities and, pursuant to the rules of such exchange, may direct the vote of such shares, without instruction, on other than contested matters or matters that may affect substantially the rights or privileges of the holders of the shares to be voted but is otherwise precluded by the rules of such exchange from voting without instructions.

(c)(1) “Control share acquisition”, the acquisition by any person of beneficial ownership of shares of an issuing public corporation which, but for the provisions of this chapter, would have voting rights and which, when added to all other shares of such corporation beneficially owned by such person, would entitle such person, upon acquisition of such shares, to vote or direct the voting of shares of such corporation having voting power in the election of directors within any of the following ranges of such voting power:—

(i) one-fifth or more but less than one-third of all voting power;

(ii) one-third or more but less than a majority of all voting power; or

(iii) a majority or more of all voting power.

If this chapter applies to an issuing public corporation at the time a person makes a control share acquisition, all shares of such issuing public corporation the beneficial ownership of which is acquired by such person within ninety days before or after the date on which such person makes an acquisition of beneficial ownership of shares which results in such control share acquisition, regardless of whether this chapter was in effect or applies to such corporation during such ninety day period, and all shares acquired by such person pursuant to a plan to make a control share acquisition, shall be deemed to have been acquired in the same control share acquisition for purposes of this chapter.

(2) Subject to the provisions of the last paragraph of paragraph (1) of subsection (c), a “control share acquisition” shall not include the acquisition of beneficial ownership of shares acquired:

(i) before June twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven; provided, however, that the aggregate of shares of beneficial ownership of which is acquired before such date is within the range of voting power established by paragraph (1).

(ii) pursuant to a contract to acquire shares existing before June twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven;

(iii) during any period after July fifteenth, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven that this chapter does not apply to the issuing public corporation pursuant to the provisions of section two;

(iv) by will or pursuant to the laws of descent and distribution;

(v) pursuant to the satisfaction of a pledge or other security interest created in good faith and not for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this chapter;

(vi) pursuant to a tender offer, merger or consolidation, but only if such tender offer, merger or consolidation is pursuant to an agreement of merger or consolidation to which the issuing public corporation is a party; or

(vii) directly from the issuing public corporation or a wholly-owned subsidiary thereof.

(3) The acquisition of beneficial ownership of shares of an issuing public corporation does not constitute a control share acquisition if the acquisition is made by or from:

(i) a person whose voting rights with respect to shares of such corporation were previously authorized by the stockholders of the corporation in compliance with this chapter, unless such acquisition, when added to all other shares of such corporation beneficially owned by the person making such acquisition, would entitle such acquiring person to vote or direct the voting of shares of such corporation having voting power in the election of directors in excess of the range of voting power within which all shares beneficially owned by such person whose voting rights were previously so authorized had voting power immediately following such authorization; or

(ii) a person whose previous acquisition of beneficial ownership of shares of such corporation would have constituted a control share acquisition but for the provisions of paragraph (2) of subsection (c), unless such later acquisition, when added to all other shares of such corporation beneficially owned by the person making such acquisition, would entitle such acquiring person to vote or direct the voting of shares of such corporation having voting power in the election of directors in excess of the range of voting power within which the person who made such previous acquisition could exercise voting power immediately following such previous acquisition.

(d) “Interested shares”, the shares of an issuing public corporation which are beneficially owned by:

(i) any person who has acquired or proposes to acquire beneficial ownership of shares of such issuing public corporation in a control share acquisition;

(ii) any officer of the issuing public corporation; or

(iii) any employee of the issuing public corporation who is also a director of such corporation.

(e) “Issuing public corporation”, a corporation to which paragraph (a) of section 17.01 of chapter 156D apply, a gas or electric company or combined gas and electric company to which section 3 of chapter 164 apply or an association or trust which pursuant to said section 3 of said chapter 164 owns beneficially a majority of the common stock of such a company; provided, however, that such issuing public corporation has:

(i) two hundred or more stockholders of record; and

(ii) its principal executive office or substantial assets within the commonwealth; and

(iii) either: more than ten percent of its stockholders of record residing within the commonwealth; or more than ten percent of its issued and outstanding shares owned of record by residents of the commonwealth.

The record date for determining the percentages and numbers of stockholders and shares specified in this subsection shall be the last stockholder record date before the control share acquisition as to which the determination is being made or, if earlier, before the date on which a control share acquisition statement relating thereto is filed under the provisions of section three. A stockholder record date is the date fixed by the board of directors or, if applicable, the date when transfer books are closed by the board of directors, in connection with determining stockholders entitled to notice of and vote at a meeting, or to consent or dissent, to receive any dividend or other distribution, or for the purpose of any other lawful action. If a stockholder record date has not been fixed by the board of directors within the preceding four months, the determination shall be made as of the end of the issuing public corporation’s most recent fiscal quarter.

The residence of stockholder is presumed to be the address appearing in the records of the corporation. Shares held of record by brokers or nominees shall be disregarded for purposes of calculating the percentages and numbers specified in this subsection. Any shares of an issuing public corporation allocated to the account of an employee or former employee, or beneficiary of an employee or former employee, of such corporation and held in a plan that is qualified under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and is a defined contribution plan within the meaning of section 414(i) of said Code shall be deemed, for the purposes of clause (iii), to be held of record by the employee, former employee or beneficiary to whose account such shares are allocated.

In the case of an issuing public corporation which is an association or trust, “references to articles of organization” mean the instrument or declaration of trust, references to “by-laws” include publicly announced resolutions of the directors; references to “directors”, the “clerk” and “assistant clerk” mean the individuals performing similar functions; and references to the “corporation” or “such corporation” mean the association or trust.

(f) “Person”, any individual, corporation, partnership, unincorporated association or other entity, and any associate of any such person.

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