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SEC Filings

20-F
AC IMMUNE SA filed this Form 20-F on 03/21/2019
Entire Document
 

 

Our status as a Swiss corporation means that our shareholders enjoy certain rights that may limit our flexibility to raise capital, issue dividends and otherwise manage ongoing capital needs.

 

Swiss law reserves for approval by shareholders certain corporate actions over which a board of directors would have authority in some other jurisdictions. For example, the payment of dividends and cancellation of treasury shares must be approved by shareholders. Swiss law also requires that our shareholders themselves resolve to, or authorize our board of directors to, increase our share capital. While our shareholders may authorize share capital that can be issued by our board of directors without additional shareholder approval, Swiss law limits this authorization to 50% of the issued share capital at the time of the authorization. The authorization, furthermore, has a limited duration of up to two years and must be renewed by the shareholders from time to time thereafter in order to be available for raising capital. Additionally, subject to specified exceptions, including exceptions explicitly described in our articles of association, Swiss law grants pre-emptive subscription rights to existing shareholders to subscribe for new issuances of shares. Swiss law also does not provide as much flexibility in the various rights and regulations that can attach to different categories of shares as do the laws of some other jurisdictions. These Swiss law requirements relating to our capital management may limit our flexibility, and situations may arise where greater flexibility would have provided benefits to our shareholders.

 

Swiss law restricts our ability to pay dividends.

 

The proposal to pay future dividends to shareholders will effectively be at the discretion of our board of directors and subject to approval by, in their discretion, our shareholders after taking into account various factors including our business prospects, liquidity requirements, financial performance and new product development. In addition, payment of future dividends is subject to certain limitation pursuant to Swiss law or by our articles of association. Accordingly, investors cannot rely on dividend income from our common shares and any returns on an investment in our common shares will likely depend entirely upon any future appreciation in the price of our common shares. Dividends paid on our common shares are subject to Swiss Federal withholding tax, except if paid out of reserves from capital contributions (apports de capital).

 

See “Item 10. Additional Information- E. Taxation—Swiss Tax Considerations” for a summary of certain Swiss tax consequences regarding dividends distributed to holders of our common shares.

 

Shareholders in countries with a currency other than Swiss Francs face additional investment risks from currency exchange rate fluctuations in connection with their holding of our common shares

 

Any future payments of dividends, if any, will likely be denominated in Swiss Francs. The foreign currency equivalent of any dividend, if any, paid on our common shares or received in connection with any sale of our common shares could be adversely affected by the depreciation of the Swiss Franc against such other currency.

 

We are a foreign private issuer and, as a result, we are not subject to U.S. proxy rules and are subject to Exchange Act reporting obligations that, to some extent, are more lenient and less frequent than those of a U.S. domestic public company.

 

We are reporting under the Exchange Act as a non-U.S. company with foreign private issuer status. Because we qualify as a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act and although we are subject to Swiss laws and regulations with regard to such matters and intend to furnish quarterly financial information to the SEC, we are exempt from certain provisions of the Exchange Act that are applicable to U.S. domestic public companies, including (i) the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act; (ii) the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their stock ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time; and (iii) the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q containing unaudited financial and other specified information, or current reports on Form 8-K, upon the occurrence of specified significant events. In addition, foreign private issuers are not required to file their annual report on Form 20-F until four months after the end of each financial year, while U.S. domestic issuers that are accelerated filers are required to file their annual report on Form 10-K within 75 days after the end of each fiscal year. Foreign private issuers are also exempt from the Regulation Fair Disclosure, aimed at preventing issuers from making selective disclosures of material information. As a result of the above, you may not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of companies that are not foreign private issuers.

 

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