F-3ASR
Table of Contents

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 9, 2020.

Registration No. 333-                

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM F-3

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

BioNTech SE

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

 

Not Applicable

(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)

 

Federal Republic of Germany   98-151-1032

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

 

An der Goldgrube 12

D-55131 Mainz

Germany

Tel: +49 6131-9084-0

(Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, Including Area Code, of Registrant’s Principal Executive Offices)

 

 

BioNTech US Inc.

40 Erie St., Suite 110

Cambridge, MA 02139

+1 (617) 337-4701

(Name, Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, Including Area Code, of Agent For Service)

 

 

Copies to:

 

Paul Claydon

Brian K. Rosenzweig

Matthew T. Gehl

Covington & Burling LLP

265 Strand

London WC2R 1BH

United Kingdom

+44 20 7067 2000

 

Jochen Dieselhorst

Peter Versteegen

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater PartG mbB

Hohe Bleichen 7

20354 Hamburg

Germany

+49 40 36 90 60

 

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time after the effective date of this registration statement.

If only securities being registered on this Form are being offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans, please check the following box.  ☐

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box.  ☒

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

If this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction I.C. or a post-effective amendment thereto that shall become effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act, check the following box.  ☒

If this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction I.C. filed to register additional securities or additional classes of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box.  ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933.

Emerging growth company  ☒

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, 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 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.

 

 

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of Each Class of

Securities to be Registered (1)

 

Amount

to Be

Registered

 

Proposed

Maximum

Offering Price

Per Unit

 

Proposed

Maximum

Aggregate

Offering Price

 

Amount of

Registration Fee

Ordinary shares, no par value per share

  (2)   (2)   (2)   (3)

Debt securities

  (2)   (2)   (2)   (3)

Rights to subscribe for ordinary shares (including rights to subscribe for American Depositary Shares)

  (2)   (2)   (2)   (3)

Purchase Contracts

  (2)   (2)   (2)   (3)

Units

  (2)   (2)   (2)   (3)

Ordinary shares, no par value per share, offered pursuant to sales agreement

      $500,000,000.00   $54,550.00 (4)

Total

      $500,000,000.00   $54,550.00

 

 

(1)

Any securities registered hereunder may be sold separately or in combination with other securities registered hereunder. All ordinary shares will be represented by American Depositary Shares, or ADSs, with each ADS representing one ordinary share. ADSs issuable upon deposit of the ordinary shares registered hereby are registered pursuant to a separate Registration Statement on Form F-6 (File No. 333-233898).

(2)

Omitted pursuant to General Instruction II.F to Form F-3. An indeterminate aggregate initial offering price or number of securities of each identified class is being registered as may from time to time be issued at indeterminate prices, including securities that may be issued upon exercise, conversion or exchange of, or pursuant to anti-dilution adjustments with respect to any securities that provide for that issuance or adjustment. Separate consideration may or may not be received for securities that are issuable on exercise, conversion or exchange of other securities.

(3)

In accordance with Rules 456(b) and 457(r) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the registrant is deferring payment of the registration fee. In connection with the securities offered hereby, the registrant will pay “pay-as-you-go registration fees” in accordance with Rule 456(b) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

(4)

Calculated pursuant to Rule 457(o) and Rule 457(r) under the Securities Act.

 

 

 


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EXPLANATORY NOTE

This registration statement contains two prospectuses:

 

   

a base prospectus that covers the offering, issuance and sale of an unspecified amount of the registrant’s ordinary shares represented by ADSs, debt securities, rights to subscribe for ordinary shares or ADSs, purchase contracts and units; and

 

   

a sales agreement prospectus supplement that covers the offering and sale of up to $500 million of the registrant’s ADSs that may be issued and sold under the sales agreement among the registrant, Jefferies LLC and SVB Leerink LLC.

The base prospectus immediately follows this explanatory note. The specific terms of any securities to be offered pursuant to the base prospectus will be specified in a prospectus supplement to the base prospectus. The sales agreement prospectus supplement immediately follows the base prospectus.

 

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PROSPECTUS

Ordinary Shares Represented by American Depositary Shares, Debt Securities, Rights to Subscribe for Ordinary Shares or American Depositary Shares, Purchase Contracts and Units

 

LOGO

BioNTech SE

 

 

We or any selling security holder may offer and sell from time to time, in one or more offerings, ordinary shares represented by American Depositary Shares, or ADSs, debt securities, rights to subscribe for ordinary shares of ADSs, purchase contracts or units, which we collectively refer to as the “securities.” We or any selling security holder may offer and sell any combination of the securities described in this prospectus in different series, at times, in amounts, at prices and on terms to be determined at or prior to the time of each offering. This prospectus describes the general terms of these securities and the general manner in which these securities will be offered. We will provide the specific terms of these securities in supplements to this prospectus. To the extent that any selling security holder resells any securities, the selling security holder may be required to provide you with this prospectus and a prospectus supplement identifying and containing specific information about the selling security holder and the terms of the securities being offered. The prospectus supplements will also describe the specific manner in which these securities will be offered and may also supplement, update or amend information contained in this prospectus. You should read this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement before you invest.

The securities covered by this prospectus may be offered through one or more underwriters, dealers and agents, or directly to purchasers. The names of underwriters, dealers or agents, if any, will be included in a supplement to this prospectus. For general information about the distribution of securities offered, please see “Plan of Distribution” beginning on page 41.

ADSs representing our ordinary shares are listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “BNTX.”

Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 6 of this prospectus and any risk factors described in applicable prospectus supplement and our Securities and Exchange Commission filings that are incorporated by reference in this prospectus.

As of the date of this prospectus, we are an “emerging growth company” and a “foreign private issuer” as defined under the U.S. federal securities laws and, as such, are eligible for reduced public company disclosure requirements. See “Prospectus Summary—Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company and a Foreign Private Issuer” for additional information.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

Prospectus dated November 9, 2020


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

     1  

TRADEMARKS, SERVICE MARKS AND TRADE NAMES

     2  

ABOUT THE COMPANY

     3  

RISK FACTORS

     6  

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     7  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     9  

DIVIDEND POLICY

     10  

DESCRIPTION OF SHARE CAPITAL AND ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION (SATZUNG)

     11  

DESCRIPTION OF AMERICAN DEPOSITARY SHARES

     27  

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

     35  

DESCRIPTION OF RIGHTS TO SUBSCRIBE FOR ORDINARY SHARES OR ADSs

     37  

DESCRIPTION OF PURCHASE CONTRACTS

     38  

DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

     39  

SELLING SECURITY HOLDERS

     40  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     41  

EXPENSES OF THE OFFERING

     43  

LEGAL MATTERS

     43  

EXPERTS

     43  

SERVICE OF PROCESS AND ENFORCEMENT OF LIABILITIES

     44  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     44  

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION BY REFERENCE

     46  


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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is a part of a registration statement that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, using a “shelf” registration process. Under this shelf registration process, we may, from time to time, sell any combination of the securities described in this prospectus and selling security holders may, from time to time, offer such securities owned by them.

This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities that may be offered by us and/or selling security holders. Each time we or selling security holders sell securities, we will provide a prospectus supplement accompanied by this prospectus. The prospectus supplement will contain specific information about the nature of the persons offering securities and the terms the securities being offered at that time. The prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus.

Before buying any of securities that we and/or any selling security holders are offering, you should carefully read both this prospectus and any prospectus supplement with all of the information incorporated by reference herein, as well as the additional information described under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information” and “Incorporation of Certain Information by Reference.” These documents contain important information that you should consider when making your investment decision. We have filed or incorporated by reference exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. You should read the exhibits carefully for provisions that may be important to you.

To the extent there is a conflict between the information contained in this prospectus, on the one hand, and the information contained in any prospectus supplement or in any document incorporated by reference in this prospectus, on the other hand, you should rely on the information in this prospectus, provided that if any statement in one of these documents is inconsistent with a statement in another document having a later date—for example, a prospectus supplement or a document incorporated by reference in this prospectus—the statement in the document having the later date modifies or supersedes the earlier statement.

Neither we nor any selling security holders, underwriters, dealers or agents have authorized anyone to provide you with information that is different from that contained in this prospectus, any amendment or supplement to this prospectus, or any free writing prospectus we or a selling security holder may authorize to be delivered or made available to you. Neither we nor any selling security holders, underwriters, dealers or agents take responsibility for, or provide assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. This prospectus does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities other than the securities described in this prospectus or an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy such securities in any circumstances in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful.

The information included in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement and the documents incorporated by reference herein is accurate only as of their respective dates, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or the documents incorporated by reference herein or the sale of any securities. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed materially since those dates.

For investors outside the United States: Neither we nor any underwriters, dealers or agents have taken any action that would permit the offering or possession or distribution of this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than in the United States. Persons outside the United States who come into possession of this prospectus must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, the offering of the securities described herein and the distribution of this prospectus outside of the United States.

Unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, all references in this prospectus to the terms “BioNTech,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to BioNTech SE and our wholly owned subsidiaries.

 

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TRADEMARKS, SERVICE MARKS AND TRADE NAMES

The BioNTech SE logo, FixVac®, RiboMab®, RiboCytokine®, RECON® and NEO-STIM and other trademarks or service marks of BioNTech appearing in this prospectus are the property of the Company. Solely for convenience, some of the trademarks, service marks, logos and trade names referred to in this prospectus are presented without the ® and symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the rights of the applicable licensors to these trademarks, service marks and trade names. This prospectus contains additional trademarks, service marks and trade names of others. All trademarks, service marks and trade names appearing in this prospectus are, to our knowledge, the property of their respective owners. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trademarks, service marks, copyrights or trade names to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, any other companies.

 

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ABOUT THE COMPANY

We are a next generation immunotherapy company pioneering novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases. We exploit a wide array of computational discovery and therapeutic drug platforms for the rapid development of novel biopharmaceuticals. Our broad portfolio of oncology product candidates includes individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based therapies, innovative chimeric antigen receptor T cells, bi-specific checkpoint immuno-modulators, targeted cancer antibodies and small molecules. Based on our deep expertise in mRNA vaccine development and in-house manufacturing capabilities, we and our collaborators are developing multiple mRNA vaccine candidates for a range of infectious diseases alongside its diverse oncology pipeline. We have established a broad set of relationships with multiple global pharmaceutical collaborators, including Genmab, Sanofi, Bayer Animal Health, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Regeneron, Genevant, Fosun Pharma and Pfizer.

We were incorporated on June 2, 2008 as Petersberg 91, V V AG, a German stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft). We changed our name to BioNTech AG on December 11, 2008. On March 8, 2019, we converted to a European stock corporation (Societas Europaea, or SE) under the laws of Germany and the European Union called BioNTech SE. We completed our initial public offering in October 2019. ADSs representing our ordinary shares are currently listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “BNTX.”

Our principal executive offices are located at An der Goldgrube 12, D-55131 Mainz, Germany. Our telephone number is +49 6131-9084-0. Our website address is http://www.biontech.de. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not a part of this prospectus and is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus. We have included our website address as an inactive textual reference only.

Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company and a Foreign Private Issuer

Emerging Growth Company

As of the date of this prospectus, we are an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. As such, we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to publicly traded entities that are not emerging growth companies. These exemptions include:

 

   

the ability to include only two years of audited financial statements and only two years of related Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations disclosure;

 

   

an exemption from the auditor attestation requirement in the assessment of our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as amended;

 

   

to the extent that we no longer qualify as a foreign private issuer, (i) reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements and (ii) exemptions from the requirement to hold a non-binding advisory vote on executive compensation, including golden parachute compensation; and

 

   

an exemption from compliance with the requirement that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has adopted regarding a supplement to the auditor’s report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements.

As a result, the information contained in this prospectus may be different from the information you receive from other public companies in which you hold shares.

 

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Section 107 of the JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards applicable to public companies. This provision allows an emerging growth company to delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. This transition period is only applicable under U.S. GAAP. As a result, we will adopt new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required or permitted by the IASB.

We may take advantage of these provisions for up to five years from the completion of our initial public offering or until such earlier time that we are no longer an emerging growth company. We would cease to be an emerging growth company upon the earliest to occur of: (i) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion, (ii) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt securities during the previous three years and (iii) the first day of the year following the first year in which, as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the market value of our common equity held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million. As of June 30, 2020, which was the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the market value of our common equity held by non-affiliates exceeded $700 million. Consequently, we expect that we will cease to be an emerging growth company no later than December 31, 2020, and we expect to qualify as a large accelerated filer as of that date. As a result, we expect that, as of December 31, 2020, we will be required to adhere to, among other things, the auditor attestation requirement in the assessment of internal control over financial reporting and compliance with the requirement that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has adopted regarding a supplement to the auditor’s report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements. For additional information, please see “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2019, incorporated by reference herein.

Foreign Private Issuer

We report under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, as a non-U.S. company with foreign private issuer status. Even after we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, as long as we continue to qualify as a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we are exempt from certain provisions of the Exchange Act that are applicable to U.S. domestic public companies, including:

 

   

the rules under the Exchange Act requiring domestic filers to issue financial statements prepared under U.S. GAAP;

 

   

the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act;

 

   

the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their share ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time; and

 

   

the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q containing unaudited financial statements and other specified information, and current reports on Form 8-K upon the occurrence of specified significant events.

Notwithstanding these exemptions, we will file with the SEC, within four months after the end of each fiscal year, or such applicable time as required by the SEC, an annual report on Form 20-F containing financial statements audited by an independent registered public accounting firm.

We may take advantage of these exemptions until such time as we are no longer a foreign private issuer. We would cease to be a foreign private issuer at such time as more than 50% of our outstanding voting securities are held by U.S. residents and any of the following three circumstances applies: (i) the majority of our executive officers or directors are U.S. citizens or residents, (ii) more than 50% of our assets are located in the United States or (iii) our business is administered principally in the United States.

 

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Both foreign private issuers and emerging growth companies also are exempt from certain more stringent executive compensation disclosure rules. Thus, as long as we remain a foreign private issuer, even after we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, we will continue to be exempt from the more stringent compensation disclosures required of companies that are neither an emerging growth company nor a foreign private issuer.

 

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RISK FACTORS

Before making a decision to invest in our securities, you should carefully consider the risks described under “Risk Factors” in the applicable prospectus supplement and in our then most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F, and any updates to those risk factors in our reports on Form 6-K incorporated by reference herein, together with all of the other information appearing or incorporated by reference in this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement, in light of your particular investment objectives and financial circumstances.

 

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CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Exchange Act and Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, concerning our business, operations and financial performance and condition, as well as our plans, objectives and expectations for our business operations and financial performance and condition. Many of the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “should,” “target,” “would” and other similar expressions that are predictions of or indicate future events and future trends, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words.

Forward-looking statements are based on our management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, those identified in the section titled “Risk Factors” in this prospectus and in our then most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F, and any updates to those risk factors in our reports on Form 6-K incorporated by reference herein. The following represent some, but not necessarily all, of such factors:

 

   

the initiation, timing, progress, results, and cost of our research and development programs and our current and future preclinical studies and clinical trials, including statements regarding the timing of initiation and completion of studies or trials and related preparatory work, the period during which the results of the trials will become available and our research and development programs;

 

   

the timing of and our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for our product candidates;

 

   

our COVID-19 vaccine development program, including the timing thereof, the data therefrom, and our ability to successfully or profitably commercialize any approved vaccine;

 

   

our ability to supply the quantities of BNT162, our COVID-19 vaccine candidate, to support clinical development and, if approved, market demand, including our production estimates;

 

   

our expectations around the timing of entry, number of potential doses covered and amount of consideration under potential agreements for the supply of BNT162, if approved;

 

   

the impact of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, and the global response thereto;

 

   

our ability to identify research opportunities and discover and develop investigational medicines;

 

   

the ability and willingness of our third-party collaborators to continue research and development activities relating to our development candidates and investigational medicines;

 

   

our expectations regarding the size of the patient populations for our product candidates, if approved for commercial use;

 

   

our estimates of our expenses, ongoing losses, future revenue and capital requirements and our needs for or ability to obtain additional financing;

 

   

our ability to identify, recruit and retain key personnel;

 

   

our and our collaborators’ ability to protect and enforce our intellectual property protection for our proprietary and collaborative product candidates, and the scope of such protection;

 

   

our and our collaborators’ ability to defend third party claims that our activities infringe upon their intellectual property;

 

   

the development of and projections relating to our competitors or our industry;

 

   

our ability to establish a competitive market share for our COVID-19 vaccine candidate, if approved, or any other approved product, given the increasing competitive pressures in our industry;

 

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our ability to establish sales force and distribution capabilities and to commercialize our product candidates, if approved;

 

   

the pricing and reimbursement of our product candidates, if approved;

 

   

the rate and degree of market acceptance of our investigational medicines;

 

   

the amount of and our ability to use net operating losses and research and development credits to offset future taxable income;

 

   

our ability to manage our development and expansion;

   

regulatory developments in the United States and foreign countries;

 

   

our ability to manufacture our product candidates with advantages in turnaround times or manufacturing cost;

   

our ability to minimize and manage product recalls or inventory losses caused by unforeseen events, cold chain interruption and testing difficulties;

   

our ability to implement, maintain and improve effective internal controls;

 

   

our ability to minimize and manage claims for personal injury or death arising from the use of products and product candidates produced by us; and

 

   

our expectations regarding the time during which we will be a foreign private issuer.

The preceding list is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all of our forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus and in the documents incorporated by reference herein speak only as of their respective dates, and unless otherwise required by law, we do not undertake any obligation to update them in light of new information or future developments or to release publicly any revisions to these statements in order to reflect later events or circumstances or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should read this prospectus, any prospectus supplement, the documents incorporated by reference herein and the documents that we have filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part completely and with the understanding that our actual future results or performance may be materially different from what we expect.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

As of the date of this prospectus, we have no specific plan for the use of the net proceeds from an offering or any significant portion thereof. Unless otherwise indicated in a prospectus supplement, the principal purpose of an offering would be to increase our capitalization and financial flexibility and the net proceeds from our sale of the securities will be used for general corporate purposes and other business opportunities. We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of securities by any selling security holder, unless otherwise set forth in a prospectus supplement.

 

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DIVIDEND POLICY

We have never paid or declared any cash dividends on our ordinary shares, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our ordinary shares in the foreseeable future. We intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings to fund the development and expansion of our business. In addition, our ability to pay cash dividends is also limited in certain circumstances under the terms of an agreement we have entered into with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All of the shares represented by the ADSs offered by this prospectus will generally have the same dividend rights as all of our other outstanding shares.

Under German law, we may pay dividends only from the distributable profit (Bilanzgewinn) reflected in our unconsolidated financial statements (as opposed to the consolidated financial statements for us and our subsidiaries) prepared in accordance with the principles set forth in the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch) and adopted by our management board (Vorstand) and the supervisory board (Aufsichtsrat), or, as the case may be, by our shareholders in a shareholders’ meeting. See “Description of Share Capital and Articles of Association (Satzung),” which explains in more detail the procedures we must follow and the German law provisions that determine whether we are entitled to declare a dividend.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF SHARE CAPITAL AND ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION (SATZUNG)

The following description of our share capital is a summary of the rights of our ordinary shares and certain provisions of our articles of association in effect as of November 9, 2020. This summary does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by the provisions of our articles of association filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, as well as to the applicable provisions of German legislation on stock corporations. We encourage you to read our articles of association and applicable German legislation on stock corporations carefully.

General

We were incorporated as a German stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft) with the legal name Petersberg 91. V V AG under the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany on June 2, 2008. We changed our name to BioNTech AG on December 11, 2008. Effective as of March 8, 2019, the date on which the change of legal form and company was registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) of the local court (Amtsgericht) of Mainz, Germany, we converted to a Societas Europaea with the legal name BioNTech SE. We completed our initial public offering in October 2019. The principal legislation under which we operate and our shares are issued are the Council Regulation (EC) No 2157/2001 of October 8, 2001 on the Statute for a European company (SE), the German Law on the Implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 2157/2001 of October 8, 2001 on the Statute for a European company (SE) (Gesetz zur Ausführung der Verordnung (EG) NR. 2157/2001 des Rates vom 8. Oktober 2001 über das Statut der Europäischen Gesellschaft (SE) (SE-Ausführungsgesetz—SEAG)) and the German Stock Corporation Act (Aktiengesetz), in each case as amended.

We are registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) of the local court (Amtsgericht) in Mainz, Germany, under number HRB 48720. Our statutory seat is in Mainz, Germany, and our registered office is An der Goldgrube 12, 55131 Mainz, Germany. Copies of our Articles of Association (Satzung) will be publicly available from the commercial register (Handelsregister) at the local court of Mainz, Germany, electronically at www.unternehmensregister.de and as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part.

Share Capital

We have share capital registered in the commercial register (Handelsregister) in the amount of €246,310,081, which is divided into 246,310,081 registered shares (Namensaktien). All shares are shares with no par value (Stückaktien ohne Nennbetrag) with a notional amount attributable to each ordinary share of €1.00. Each issued ordinary share is fully paid.

Form, Certification and Transferability of Shares

The form and contents of our share certificates, collective share certificates and global share certificates are determined by our Management Board. A shareholder’s right to certification of its shares is excluded, to the extent permitted by law and to the extent that certification is not required by the stock exchange on which the shares or rights or certificates representing them are admitted to trading. We are permitted to issue collective share certificates and global share certificates that represent multiple or all of our shares.

Our shares are freely transferable under German law.

Changes in Our Share Capital During the Last Three Fiscal Years

Our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) amounts to €246,310,081. Since January 1, 2017, (up until and including the capital increase of August 16, 2019, without giving effect to the 18-to-1 stock split which became effective on September 18, 2019), our share capital has changed as follows:

 

   

On September 14, 2017, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 9,083,000 shares;

 

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On February 1, 2018, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 1,254,884 shares;

 

   

On September 12, 2018, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 32,373 shares;

 

   

On October 18, 2018, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 186,715 shares;

 

   

On January 29, 2019, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 282,678 shares;

 

   

On April 24, 2019, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 131,933 shares against contributions in kind (swap of shares in our company against shares in one of our subsidiary companies);

 

   

On June 26, 2019, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 666,123 shares;

 

   

On August 16, 2019, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 333,310 shares;

 

   

On September 18, 2019, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 206,595,492 shares by way of a capital increase from our funds; thus, no contribution by investors was made;

 

   

On September 26, 2019, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 3,038,674 shares;

 

   

On October 14, 2019, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 10,000,000 shares;

 

   

On November 6, 2019, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 517,408 shares;

 

   

On April 23, 2020, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 1,580,777 shares;

 

   

On May 5, 2020, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 2,377,446 shares;

 

   

On May 8, 2020, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 1,935,488 shares;

 

   

On July 24, 2020, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 5,500,000 shares;

 

   

On August 24, 2020, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 16,124 shares; and

 

   

On September 8, 2020, our share capital as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) was increased by issuing 2,595,996 shares.

Anti-takeover Provisions of Our Charter Documents

Our Articles of Association (Satzung) do not include any provisions that would have a direct effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change of control. However, in the event of a hostile takeover, we could use our authorized capital to increase our share capital to issue new shares to an investor at a premium. An increase in the number of shares outstanding could have a negative effect on a party’s ability to carry out a hostile takeover. The provisions of German law relating to public bids and takeovers that require any such bids to be carried out in a

 

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manner designed to safeguard equal and fair treatment to all shareholders and give them a right to be bought out at an adequate compensation where a party acquires “control” (as such term is defined in such provisions) over the relevant company do not apply.

Future Changes to the Share Capital

Authorized Capital

Under the relevant law, the general meeting of a European stock corporation (Societas Europaea) governed by German law can authorize the Management Board to, with the consent of the Supervisory Board, issue shares in a specified aggregate nominal amount of up to 50% of the issued share capital of such company at the time the resolution becomes effective. The shareholders’ authorization becomes effective upon registration in the commercial register (Handelsregister) and may extend for a period of no more than five years thereafter. Under § 4(5) of our Articles of Association (Satzung), the Management Board is authorized to increase our share capital, on one or more occasions, by a total of up to €91,812,171 by issuing, on one or more occasions, up to 91,812,171 new, registered shares with no par value (Genehmigtes Kapital), in each case with consent of the Supervisory Board. This authorization expires on August 18, 2024.

Any new shares issued from the authorized capital will participate in the profits starting with the fiscal year for which the annual financial statements have not yet been submitted to the general meeting at the time of registration of the implementation of the capital increase. Further details of a capital increase from the authorized capital may be specified by the Management Board.

Conditional Capital

Pursuant to § 4(6) of our Articles of Association (Satzung), our share capital is conditionally increased by €21,874,806 through issuance of new, registered shares with no par value (Bedingtes Kapital ESOP 2017/2019). The conditional capital may only be used to issue shares to the holders of option rights granted under our ESOP to members of our Management Board and to certain of our employees.

The conditional capital increase will only be implemented to the extent that stock options under our ESOP are exercised and said stock options are not serviced by our providing treasury shares or through cash payments. Any new shares issued under the conditional capital pursuant to the said § 4(6) of our Articles of Association (Satzung) shall be entitled to dividends from the beginning of the previous financial year in case they are created by the exercise of subscription rights until the start of the annual general meeting of the Company and otherwise from the beginning of the financial year in which they are created as a result of the exercise of the stock options.

Pursuant to § 4(7) of our Articles of Association (Satzung), our share capital is conditionally increased by €87,499,260 through issuance of new, registered shares with no par value (Bedingtes Kapital WSV 2019). The conditional capital may only be used to issue shares to the holders or creditors of option rights or conversion rights or those under an obligation to convert under warrant-linked or convertible bonds avail of their option rights or conversion rights or where they are under an obligation to convert, to the extent they satisfy their obligation to convert, or to the extent that we exercise a right to choose to grant our shares, in whole or in part instead of paying a monetary amount due, and to the extent cash compensation is not granted in each relevant case or treasury shares or shares of another stock-listed company are not utilized for servicing.

Any new shares issued under the said conditional capital pursuant to the said § 4(7) of our Articles of Association shall carry an entitlement to dividends from the beginning of the financial year in which they are created; however, as far as the law permits, the Management Board can confer dividend rights for new shares in derogation of the foregoing.

 

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Preemptive Rights

German law generally provides shareholders with preemptive rights when new shares, convertible bonds, bonds with warrants, profit participation rights or participating bonds are issued. This requirement, however, may also be satisfied by way of a credit institution subscribing for the securities and then offering them to the shareholders for purchase (mittelbares Bezugsrecht).

Further, it is possible for a shareholder resolution approved by three-quarters of the share capital voting on the resolution to exclude preemptive rights both where the general meeting itself resolves that the new securities to be issued and in relation to the authorized capital, i.e., an authorization to the Management Board to, with the consent of the Supervisory Board, resolve on the issuance of new securities; provided, however, that in each case the exclusion or the authorization to so exclude preemptive rights, respectively, must be justified by specific facts, in accordance with established case law of the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH). The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) considers the exclusion of subscription rights justified if it (i) serves a purpose in the company’s interests, (ii) is suitable for attaining such purpose, and (iii) is necessary and appropriate. Additionally, the management board must submit a written report to the shareholders’ meeting in which it presents the reasons for the exclusion of the subscription rights.

Accordingly, under our Articles of Association (Satzung), the Management Board may, with the consent of the Supervisory Board, exclude such preemptive rights in a capital increase from the authorized capital in the following circumstances:

 

   

to exclude fractional amounts from the subscription right;

 

   

in the case of a capital increase against cash contributions, if the issue price of the new shares is not significantly lower than the market price of the company’s shares already listed on the stock exchange at the time the issue price is finally determined. However, this authorization shall only apply subject to the provision that the shares issued excluding subscription rights in accordance with Section 186(3) Sentence 4 AktG may not exceed a total of 10% of the share capital either at the time this authorization takes effect or, if this amount is lower, at the time this authorization is exercised. This limit of 10% of the share capital includes shares which are issued or disposed of during the term of this authorization until the date of its exercise in direct or equivalent application of Section 186(3) Sentence 4 AktG. Shares which are used to service bonds with convertible or option rights or convertible obligations are to be offset against the 10% limit if these bonds were issued under exclusion of shareholder subscription rights in accordance with Section 186(3) Sentence 4 AktG during the entitlement period. Treasury shares are to be offset against the 10% limit, where they were disposed of by the company during the term of this authorization with the exclusion of subscription rights pursuant to or in analogous application of Section 186(3) Sentence 4 AktG;

 

   

in the case of capital increases in exchange for contributions in kind, in particular in order to be able to offer the shares to third parties when purchasing companies, parts of companies or interests in companies as well as licenses or industrial property rights;

 

   

in order to grant subscription rights to new shares to holders of conversion or option rights in respect of bonds issued by the company or its subordinated domestic or foreign Group companies, to the extent to which they would be entitled after exercising their conversion or option rights or after fulfilling an agreed conversion obligation;

 

   

to implement an election dividend by which shareholders are given the option to contribute their dividend entitlements (either in whole or part) as a contribution in kind against issuance of our new shares;

 

   

in case shares are to be issued to a member of our Management Board or to another person who is employed by us or one of our affiliates and a minimum holding period of at least one year and the obligation to transfer back the shares in the event that the beneficiary is not employed by us or one of our affiliated companies for the entire duration of the holding period or any other agreed period is agreed upon. Additional restrictions with regard to the shares issued may be agreed upon;

 

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after listing on Nasdaq, if excluding subscription rights, according to the written declaration of an internationally renowned investment bank, is expedient to the shares’ successful placement in view of the requirements of eligible investors and if the discount by which the issue price of the shares may be below the current stock exchange price at the time the Management Board adopts the resolution on using authorized capital, according to such declaration, does not exceed the extent necessary for a successful placement; and

 

   

in order to be able to satisfy an option to acquire additional ordinary shares or American Depositary Shares that has been agreed with the issuing banks in connection with a public offering of our shares in the form of American Depositary Shares.

The total number of new shares issued from the authorized capital and under exclusion of subscription rights pursuant to bullets one through three and seven above may not exceed 20% of the share capital, either at the time

this authorization becomes effective or, if lower, at the time it is utilized. To be counted against the aforementioned 20% limit are: (i) those shares issued or to be issued to service conversion or option rights or conversion or option obligations or tender rights of the issuer under bonds, if the bonds have been issued during the term of this authorization up to the time of its exercise, excluding the subscription rights of shareholders, as well as, to a certain extent (ii) treasury shares that have been disposed under exclusion of subscription rights during the term of this authorization (except in the case of certain exceptions of the resolution to item no. 8 of the general meeting of August 19, 2019).

Following the registration with the commercial register (Handelsregister) of the change to our Articles of Association (Satzung) resolved upon by our shareholders on June 26, 2020, the list of authorizations to exclude subscription rights will be modified as follows:

 

   

the authorization to exclude subscription rights based on the written declaration of an internationally renowned investment bank (that such exclusion is expedient to the shares’ successful placement and any discount to the current stock exchange price does not exceed the extent necessary for a successful placement) would be deleted; and

 

   

an authorization would be added to exclude subscription rights in capital increases, in each case if excluding subscription rights, according to the assessment by the Management Board, is expedient to the shares’ successful placement in view of the requirements of eligible investors and if the discount by which the issue price of the shares may be below the current stock exchange price at the time the Management Board adopts the resolution on using authorized capital, according to the assessment by the Management Board, does not exceed the extent necessary for a successful placement and in any case does not exceed 10% of either the latest available closing price at the time when the issue price is fixed or the volume-weighted average price over a period of up to five trading days ending on the day on which the issue price is so fixed.

For the purposes of limiting the amount of shares to be issued under exclusion of subscription rights to 20% (as described above), this newly introduced authorization would, effective upon registration with the commercial register (Handelsregister), replace the one that will be deleted. Also, in order to calculate the actual maximum number of shares in this regard (as described above), the Articles of Association (Satzung) would no longer reference the share capital at the time the authorization originally came into effect, but the share capital at the time this amendment to the Articles of Association (Satzung), resolved upon by the general meeting of June 26, 2020, will come into effect by way of registration with the commercial register (Handelsregister).

Corporate Purpose of our Company

Our business objective, as described in § 2 of our Articles of Association (Satzung), is to research and develop, as well as to manufacture and market immunological and RNA-based drugs and test methods for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer, infectious diseases and other serious diseases.

 

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Shareholders’ Meetings and Voting Rights

Pursuant to our Articles of Association (Satzung), shareholders’ meetings may be held at our seat or in any municipality in Germany with more than 500,000 inhabitants. Generally, shareholders’ meetings are convened by our Management Board, or our Supervisory Board. Shareholders representing in the aggregate at least five percent of our ordinary shares may, subject to certain formal prerequisites, request that a shareholders’ meeting be convened. Shareholders representing in the aggregate at least five percent of our ordinary shares or owning shares with an aggregate nominal value of at least €500,000 may request the addition of one or several items to the agenda of any shareholders’ meeting. Shareholders’ meetings may be summoned either via publication in the German Federal Gazette (Bundesanzeiger) or via mail or (after the pertinent amendment to the Articles of Association (Satzung), resolved upon by the general meeting of June 26, 2020, has come into effect) via email, in each case generally at least 36 days before the meeting.

Shareholders may participate in and vote in the shareholders’ meeting if they are registered as a shareholder with the Company’s share register. A shareholder who wishes to attend the shareholders’ meeting—either in person or by proxy, which may also be appointed by us (Stimmrechtsvertreter)—must register for the meeting, which registration must occur no later than six days before the meeting (or at a later date, if so determined by our Management Board).

Each share carries one vote at a shareholders’ meeting. Resolutions are, in accordance with our Articles of Association (Satzung), generally taken by simple majority of the votes cast. However, under applicable German and European law, a number of resolutions must be passed by either a three-quarter majority of the votes cast or a three-quarter majority of the share capital represented at the meeting. The fact that in these cases the quorum is determined in relation to the share capital or shares present (as opposed to, for example, all shares eligible to vote) means that holders of a minority of our shares could potentially control the outcome of resolutions.

Claims against Directors and Shareholders’ Derivative Actions

Under German law, generally, the company, rather than its shareholders, is the proper claimant in an action with respect to a wrong committed against the company, or in cases where there is an irregularity in the company’s internal management or supervision. Therefore, such claims may only be raised by the company represented by its management board, or, in the case of a wrong committed by a member of the Management Board, by the Supervisory Board. This concerns, in particular, claims against members of the Management Board or the Supervisory Board.

However, pursuant to German case law, the Supervisory Board is obliged to pursue the company’s claims against the Management Board, unless the interest of the company keeps them from doing so. Further, the Management Board, or, if a claim is against a member of the Management Board, the Supervisory Board, is obliged to pursue the company’s claims against the designated individuals if so resolved by a simple majority of votes cast during a shareholders’ meeting. With a simple majority of votes, shareholders can also request that a representative pursue the claim on behalf of the company. The court may appoint such a representative upon the request of shareholders holding at least 10% of the company’s share capital or a participation of at least €1,000,000 in the share capital.

If the company is unable to fulfill its third-party obligations, the company’s creditors may pursue the company’s damage claims against members of the Management Board for certain wrongdoings.

Under certain circumstances, shareholders can bring forward damage claims of the company against its management on their own behalf. In order to bring forward such a claim one shareholder alone or together with other shareholders needs to hold at least 1% of the company’s share capital or a participation of €100,000 in the share capital. Additionally, the claimant(s) must comply with special claim approval procedures conducted before a competent court which will allow the pertinent request only if there are circumstances justifying the assumption that damage has been afflicted on the company by improper conduct or a gross breach of the law or the articles of association.

 

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Dividend Rights

Under German law, distributions of dividends on shares for a given fiscal year are generally determined by a process in which the Management Board and Supervisory Board submit a proposal to the company’s annual general shareholders’ meeting held in the subsequent fiscal year and such annual general shareholders’ meeting adopts a resolution.

German law provides that a resolution concerning dividends and distribution thereof may be adopted only if the company’s unconsolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with German law show net retained profits. In determining the profit available for distribution, the result for the relevant year must be adjusted for profits and losses brought forward from the previous year and for withdrawals from or transfers to reserves. Certain reserves are required by law and must be deducted when calculating the profit available for distribution.

Shareholders generally participate in profit distributions in proportion to the number of shares they hold. Dividends on shares resolved by the general shareholders’ meeting are paid annually, shortly after the general shareholders’ meeting, in compliance with the rules of the respective clearing system. Dividend payment claims are subject to a three-year statute of limitation in the company’s favor.

Authorization to Purchase and Sell Our Own Shares

We may not purchase our own shares unless authorized by the shareholders’ meeting or in other very limited circumstances as set out in the German Stock Corporation Act. The Company’s shareholders’ meeting held on August 19, 2019 authorized the Management Board until August 18, 2024, provided it complies with the legal requirement of equal treatment, to acquire treasury shares up to a total of 10% of the Company’s share capital at the time of the relevant resolution or at the time the authorization is exercised. These shares held by the Company (including shares attributable to it pursuant to the AktG) must never exceed 10% of the share capital. The shares may be purchased (i) through the stock exchange, (ii) by means of a public offer directed to all shareholders of the Company, (iii) by means of a public invitation to the shareholders to make a sales offer or (iv) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation under very limited circumstances as specified in the authorization. Such shares may not be purchased for trading purposes. The Management Board is authorized to use the shares only as specified in the authorization.

Squeeze-Out of Minority Shareholders

Under German law, the shareholders’ meeting of a stock corporation may resolve, upon request of a shareholder that holds at least 95% of the share capital, that the shares held by any remaining minority shareholders be transferred to the majority shareholder against payment of “adequate cash compensation” (Ausschluss von Minderheitsaktionären). This amount must take into account the full value of the company at the time of the resolution, which is generally determined using the future earnings value method (Ertragswertmethode).

A squeeze-out in the context of a merger (umwandlungsrechtlicher Squeeze-Out) only requires a majority shareholder to hold at least 90% of the share capital.

Liquidation Rights

Apart from liquidation, e.g., as a result of insolvency proceedings, we may be liquidated with a vote of the holders of at least three-quarters of the share capital represented at the shareholders’ meeting at which such a vote is taken. If we are liquidated, any assets remaining after all of our liabilities have been paid off would be distributed among our shareholders in proportion to their holdings in accordance with German statutory law. The German Stock Corporation Act provides certain protections for creditors which must be observed in the event of liquidation.

 

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Differences in Corporate Law

The applicable provisions of the SE Regulation in conjunction with the German Stock Corporation Act as applied to a European stock corporation that has its legal seat in Germany differ from laws applicable to U.S. corporations and their shareholders. Set forth below is a summary of certain differences between the provisions of the SE Regulation in conjunction with the German Stock Corporation Act applicable to us and the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware relating to shareholders’ rights and protections. This summary is not intended to be a complete discussion of the respective rights and it is qualified in its entirety by reference to Delaware law and European and German law.

 

    

European Union/Federal Republic of Germany

  

Delaware

Board System   

A European stock corporation may choose to have a two-tier board structure composed of the Management Board (Vorstand) and the Supervisory Board (Aufsichtsrat). We have chosen this structure.

 

The Management Board is responsible for running the company’s affairs and representing the company in dealings with third parties.

 

The Supervisory Board of a European stock corporation under German law has a control and supervisory function. The Supervisory Board does not actively manage the company but certain Management Board actions require the approval of the Supervisory Board.

  

Under Delaware law, a corporation has a unitary board structure, and it is the responsibility of the board of directors to appoint and oversee the management of the corporation on behalf of and in the best interests of the stockholders of the corporation.

 

Management is responsible for running the corporation and overseeing its day-to-day operations.

Appointment and Number of Directors    Under applicable European and German law, a European stock corporation governed by German law with a share capital of at least €3 million generally must have at least two members on its Management Board and the number of members shall be determined by or in the manner provided in the company’s articles of association.    Under Delaware law, a corporation must have at least one director and the number of directors shall be fixed by or in the manner provided in the bylaws.
   The Supervisory Board must consist of at least three but—depending on the share capital—no more than 21 Supervisory Board members, whereby the number of Supervisory Board members must be divisible by three if this is necessary for the fulfilment of co-determination requirements. The articles of association of the company must specify if the Supervisory Board has more than three members.   

 

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Delaware

   Supervisory Board members are either appointed by the shareholders’ meeting or delegated by one or more individual shareholders if so provided for in the company’s articles of association. If the Supervisory Board consists of fewer members than is required to meet the quorum for resolutions (either statutory or pursuant to the company’s articles of association), a competent court may appoint additional members as needed to meet the quorum. The provisions of German law in relation to employees’ co-determination do not apply to the Company.   
Removal of Directors    Members of the Management Board of a European stock corporation are appointed by the Supervisory Board for a maximum period of six years with an opportunity to be reelected. The articles of association may provide for a shorter term, which in our case is up to five years. The members of the Management Board may be reelected, even repeatedly. The Supervisory Board may remove a member of the Management Board prior to the expiration of his or her term only for cause, such as gross breach of duties (grobe Pflichtverletzung), the inability to manage the business properly (Unfähigkeit zur ordnungsgemäßen Pflichtausübung) or a vote of no-confidence during the shareholders’ meeting (Vertrauensentzug). The shareholders themselves are not entitled to appoint or dismiss the members of the Management Board.    Under Delaware law, any director or the entire board of directors may be removed, with or without cause, by the holders of a majority of the shares then entitled to vote at an election of directors, except (i) unless the certificate of incorporation provides otherwise, in the case of a corporation whose board of directors is classified, stockholders may effect such removal only for cause; or (ii) in the case of a corporation having cumulative voting, if less than the entire board of directors is to be removed, no director may be removed without cause if the votes cast against his removal would be sufficient to elect him if then cumulatively voted at an election of the entire board of directors, or, if there are classes of directors, at an election of the class of directors of which he is a part.
   Under European law, a member of the Supervisory Board of a company may be elected for a term of up to six years. The articles of association may provide for a shorter term. Our Supervisory Board members are, if the general meeting does not resolve on a shorter term, elected for a period up to the end of the general meeting deciding on the discharge for the fourth financial year after the election. Reelection, including repeated reelection, is permissible. Members of the Supervisory Board may be removed   

 

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European Union/Federal Republic of Germany

  

Delaware

   with or without cause by way of a general meeting resolution, with the applicable majority requirement depending on the relevant company’s articles of association.   
Vacancies on the
Board of Directors
   Under the law, vacant positions on the Management Board are filled by the Supervisory Board in accordance with the general rules of appointment, which provide that vacancies are filled by the simple majority of votes of Supervisory Board members present or represented by proxy at the vote (with, under certain circumstances, the chairman having a casting vote), unless otherwise provided by the company’s articles of association. In case of emergencies, a vacant position on the Management Board may be filled by an individual appointed by the court. Vacant positions on the Supervisory Board are filled in accordance with the general rules of appointment.    Under Delaware law, vacancies and newly created directorships may be filled by a majority of the directors then in office (even though less than a quorum) or by a sole remaining director unless (i) otherwise provided in the certificate of incorporation or by-laws of the corporation or (ii) the certificate of incorporation directs that a particular class of stock is to elect such director, in which case a majority of the other directors elected by such class, or a sole remaining director elected by such class, will fill such vacancy.
Annual General Meeting    A European stock corporation which is governed by German law must hold an annual shareholders’ meeting within six months of the end of its fiscal year. The annual shareholders’ meeting must be held at a location determined by the articles of association. If the articles of association do not provide for a specific location, the shareholders’ meeting shall be held at the company’s seat or, if applicable, at the venue (in Germany) where its shares are listed.    Under Delaware law, the annual meeting of stockholders shall be held at such place, on such date and at such time as may be designated from time to time by the board of directors or as provided in the certificate of incorporation or by the bylaws.
General Meeting    Under the law, extraordinary shareholders’ meetings, in addition to the annual shareholders’ meetings, may be called by either the Management Board, or by the Supervisory Board. Shareholders holding at least 5% of the company’s share capital are entitled to request that an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting be convened. In the event that the meeting is not then so convened, a competent court may order that the meeting be convened or authorize the shareholders or their representative to convene the meeting themselves.    Under Delaware law, special meetings of the stockholders may be called by the board of directors or by such person or persons as may be authorized by the certificate of incorporation or by the bylaws.

 

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European Union/Federal Republic of Germany

  

Delaware

Notice of General
Meetings
  

Under applicable European and German law, unless a longer period is otherwise provided for in the articles of association or applies because of registration requirements stipulated in the articles of association, the shareholders must be given at least 30 days’ advance notice of the shareholders’ meeting. Such notices must at least specify the name of the company, the statutory seat of the company, and the location, date and time of the shareholders’ meeting. In addition, the invitation must contain the agenda items as well as the Management Board’s and the Supervisory Board’s voting proposal for each agenda item and, depending on the circumstances, certain further information.

If all shareholders entitled to attend the shareholders’ meeting are present or represented and do not object to the meeting being held, the formalities of calling and holding of a shareholders’ meeting do not apply.

   Under Delaware law, unless otherwise provided in the certificate of incorporation or bylaws, written notice of any meeting of the stockholders must be given to each stockholder entitled to vote at the meeting not less than ten nor more than 60 days before the date of the meeting and shall specify the place, date, hour, and purpose or purposes of the meeting.
Proxy   

A shareholder may designate another person to attend, speak and vote at a shareholders’ meeting of the company on such shareholder’s behalf by proxy.

 

With respect to Management Board meetings, a Management Board member may transmit its (written or verbal) vote via another Management Board member.

 

With respect to Supervisory Board meetings, a Supervisory Board member may participate in voting by issuing a written vote to another Supervisory Board member or any third party entitled to attend the Supervisory Board meeting.

   Under Delaware law, at any meeting of stockholders, a stockholder may designate another person to act for such stockholder by proxy, but no such proxy shall be voted or acted upon after three years from its date, unless the proxy provides for a longer period. A director of a Delaware corporation may not issue a proxy representing the director’s voting rights as a director.
Preemptive Rights    Under the law applicable to European stock corporations governed by German law, existing shareholders have a statutory subscription right for any additional issue of shares or any security convertible into shares pro rata to the nominal value of their respective holdings in the company, unless (i) shareholders representing three-quarters of the registered share capital present at the shareholders’ meeting    Under Delaware law, stockholders have no preemptive rights to subscribe to additional issues of stock or to any security convertible into such stock unless, and except to the extent that, such rights are expressly provided for in the certificate of incorporation.

 

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   have resolved upon the whole or partial exclusion of the subscription right and (ii) there exists good and objective cause for such exclusion. No separate resolution on the exclusion of subscription rights is required if all shareholders waive their statutory subscription rights.   
Authority to Allot    Under applicable European and German law, the Management Board may not allot shares, grant rights to subscribe for or to convert any security into shares unless a shareholder resolution to that effect has been passed at the company’s shareholders’ meeting granting the Management Board with such authority—subject to the approval of the Supervisory Board—in each case in accordance with the provisions of the German Stock Corporation Act.    Under Delaware law, if the corporation’s certificate of incorporation so provides, the board of directors has the power to authorize the issuance of stock. It may authorize capital stock to be issued for consideration consisting of cash, any tangible or intangible property or any benefit to the corporation or any combination thereof. It may determine the amount of such consideration by approving a formula. In the absence of actual fraud in the transaction, the judgment of the directors as to the value of such consideration is conclusive.
Liability of
Directors and
Officers
  

Under German law, any provision, whether contained in the company’s articles of association or any contract or otherwise, that purports to exempt a Management or Supervisory Board member from any liability that would otherwise attach to such board member in connection with any negligence, default, breach of duty or breach of trust in relation to the company is void.

Under German law, members of both the Management Board and members of the Supervisory Board are liable to the company, and in certain cases to third parties or shareholders, for any damage caused to them due to a breach of such member’s duty of care. Apart from insolvency or special circumstances, only the company has the right to claim damages from members of either board. The company may waive claims for damages against a negligent Management or Supervisory Board member only after the expiry of three years.

  

Under Delaware law, a corporation’s certificate of incorporation may include a provision eliminating or limiting the personal liability of a director to the corporation and its stockholders for damages arising from a breach of fiduciary duty as a director. However, no provision can limit the liability of a director for:

 

•  any breach of the director’s duty of loyalty to the corporation or its stockholders;

 

•  acts or omissions not in good faith or that involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law;

 

•  intentional or negligent payment of unlawful dividends or stock purchases or redemptions; or

 

•  any transaction from which the director derives an improper personal benefit.

 

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Voting Rights    Under the relevant European and German law, each share, except for statutory non-voting preferred shares (nicht stimmberechtigte Vorzugsaktien), entitles its holder to vote at the shareholders’ meeting with, in the case of no-par value shares, each share conferring one vote. While German law does not provide for a minimum attendance quorum for shareholders’ meetings, the company’s articles of association may so provide. In general, resolutions adopted at a shareholders’ meeting may be passed by a simple majority of votes cast, unless a higher majority is required by law or under the company’s articles of association.    Delaware law provides that, unless otherwise provided in the certificate of incorporation, each stockholder is entitled to one vote for each share of capital stock held by such stockholder.
Shareholder Vote on Certain Transactions    Under applicable European and German law, certain shareholders’ resolutions of fundamental importance require the vote of at least three-quarters of the share capital present or represented in the voting at the time of adoption of the resolution. Resolutions of fundamental importance include, in particular, capital increases with exclusion of subscription rights, capital decreases, the creation of authorized or conditional share capital, the dissolution of a company, a merger into or with another company, split-offs and split-ups, the conclusion of inter-company agreements (Unternehmensverträge), in particular domination agreements (Beherrschungsverträge) and profit and loss transfer agreements (Ergebnisabführungsverträge).   

Generally, under Delaware law, unless the certificate of incorporation provides for the vote of a larger portion of the stock, completion of a merger, consolidation, sale, lease or exchange of all or substantially all of a corporation’s assets or dissolution requires:

 

•  the approval of the board of directors; and

 

•  approval by the vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding stock or, if the certificate of incorporation provides for more or less than one vote per share, a majority of the votes of the outstanding stock of a corporation entitled to vote on the matter.

Standard of Conduct for Directors    Under applicable European and German law, both Management and Supervisory Board members must conduct their affairs with “the care and diligence of a prudent business man” and act in the best interest of the company. The scope of the fiduciary duties of Management and Supervisory Board members is generally determined by European and German legislation and by the courts.    Delaware law does not contain specific provisions setting forth the standard of conduct of a director. The scope of the fiduciary duties of directors is generally determined by the courts of the State of Delaware. In general, directors have a duty to act without self-interest, on a well-informed basis and in a manner they reasonably believe to be in the best interest of the stockholders.

 

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Delaware

  

Statutory and fiduciary duties of members of the Management Board to the company include, among others:

 

•  to act in accordance with the law, the company’s articles of association and the rules of procedure for the Management Board, if any;

 

•  to report to the Supervisory Board on a regular basis as well as on certain important occasions;

 

•  to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence;

 

•  to maintain a proper accounting system;

 

•  to not compete, directly or indirectly, with the company without permission by the supervisory board; and

 

•  to secure that no further transactions are made in case of insolvency.

 

Statutory and fiduciary duties of members of the Supervisory Board to the company include, among others:

 

•  to effectively supervise the Management Board’s handling of the company’s affairs;

 

•  to evaluate and issue a resolution on certain transactions which can only be conducted by the Management Board after approval of the Supervisory Board;

 

•  to approve the company’s financial statements;

 

•  to appoint the Management Board members and to represent the company in transactions between the company and members of the Management Board; and

  

Directors of a Delaware corporation owe fiduciary duties of care and loyalty to the corporation and to its stockholders. The duty of care generally requires that a director act in good faith, with the care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise under similar circumstances. Under this duty, a director must inform himself of all material information reasonably available regarding a significant transaction. The duty of loyalty requires that a director act in a manner he reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the corporation. He must not use his corporate position for personal gain or advantage. In general, but subject to certain exceptions, actions of a director are presumed to have been made on an informed basis, in good faith and in the honest belief that the action taken was in the best interests of the corporation. However, this presumption may be rebutted by evidence of a breach of one of the fiduciary duties. Delaware courts have also imposed a heightened standard of conduct upon directors of a Delaware corporation who take any action designed to defeat a threatened change in control of the corporation.

 

In addition, under Delaware law, when the board of directors of a Delaware corporation approves the sale or break-up of a corporation, the board of directors may, in certain circumstances, have a duty to obtain the highest value reasonably available to the stockholders.

 

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European Union/Federal Republic of Germany

  

Delaware

  

•  to approve service contracts between individual members of the Supervisory Board and the company.

  
Stockholder Actions   

Under German law, generally, the company, rather than its shareholders, is the proper claimant in an action with respect to a wrong committed against the company, or in cases where there is an irregularity in the company’s internal management or supervision. Therefore, such claims may only be raised by the company represented by its Management Board, or, in the case of a wrong committed by a member of the Management Board, by the Supervisory Board.

 

Additionally, pursuant to German case law, the Supervisory Board is obliged to pursue the company’s claims against the Management Board, unless the interest of the company keeps them from doing so.

 

The Management Board, or, if a claim is against a member of the Management Board, the Supervisory Board, is obliged to pursue the company’s claims against the designated individuals if so resolved by a simple majority of votes cast during a shareholders’ meeting. With a simple majority of votes, shareholders can request that a representative pursues the claim on behalf of the company.

If the company is unable to fulfill its third-party obligations, the company’s creditors may pursue the company’s damage claims against members of the Management Board for certain wrongdoings.

 

Under certain circumstances, shareholders can bring forward damage claims of the company against its management on their own behalf. In order to bring forward such a claim one shareholder alone or together with other shareholders needs to hold at least one percent of the company’s share capital or a participation of €100,000 in the share

  

Under Delaware law, a stockholder may initiate a derivative action to enforce a right of a corporation if the corporation fails to enforce the right itself. The complaint must:

 

•  state that the plaintiff was a stockholder at the time of the transaction of which the plaintiff complains or that the plaintiffs shares thereafter devolved on the plaintiff by operation of law; and

 

•  either (i) allege with particularity the efforts made by the plaintiff to obtain the action the plaintiff desires from the directors and the reasons for the plaintiff’s failure to obtain the action, or (ii) or state the reasons for not making the effort.

 

Additionally, the plaintiff must remain a stockholder through the duration of the derivative suit. The action will not be dismissed or compromised without the approval of the Delaware Court of Chancery.

 

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Delaware

   capital. Additionally, the claimant(s) need(s) to pass through special claim approval procedures.   

Stock Exchange Listing

ADSs representing our ordinary shares are listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “BNTX.”

 

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DESCRIPTION OF AMERICAN DEPOSITARY SHARES

American Depositary Shares

The Bank of New York Mellon, as depositary, will register and deliver the American Depositary Shares, or the ADSs. Each ADS will represent one share (or a right to receive one share) deposited with The Bank of New York Mellon SA/NV as custodian for the depositary in Germany. Each ADS will also represent any other securities, cash or other property which may be held by the depositary. The deposited shares together with any other securities, cash or other property held by the depositary are referred to as the deposited securities. The depositary’s office at which the ADSs will be administered and its principal executive office are located at 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10286.

You may hold ADSs either (i) directly (a) by having an American Depositary Receipt, or an ADR, which is a certificate evidencing a specific number of ADSs registered in your name, or (b) by having uncertificated ADSs registered in your name, or (ii) indirectly by holding a security entitlement in ADSs through your broker or other financial institution that is a direct or indirect participant in The Depository Trust Company, or DTC. If you hold ADSs directly, you are a registered ADS holder, or an ADS holder. This description assumes you are an ADS holder. If you hold the ADSs indirectly, you must rely on the procedures of your broker or other financial institution to assert the rights of ADS holders described in this section. You should consult with your broker or financial institution to find out what those procedures are.

Registered holders of uncertificated ADSs will receive statements from the depositary confirming their holdings.

As an ADS holder, we will not treat you as one of our shareholders and you will not have shareholder rights. European and German law governs shareholder rights. The depositary will be the holder of the shares underlying your ADSs. As a registered holder of ADSs, you will have ADS holder rights. A deposit agreement among us, the depositary, ADS holders and all other persons indirectly or beneficially holding ADSs sets out ADS holder rights as well as the rights and obligations of the depositary. New York law governs the deposit agreement and the ADSs.

The following is a summary of the material provisions of the deposit agreement. For more complete information, you should read the entire deposit agreement and the form of ADR. Those documents are filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part.

Dividends and Other Distributions

How will ADS holders receive dividends and other distributions on the shares?

The depositary has agreed to pay or distribute to ADS holders the cash dividends or other distributions it or the custodian receives on shares or other deposited securities, upon payment or deduction of its fees and expenses. You will receive these distributions in proportion to the number of shares your ADSs represent.

Cash. The depositary will convert any cash dividend or other cash distribution we pay on the shares into U.S. dollars, if it can do so on a reasonable basis and can transfer the U.S. dollars to the United States. If that is not possible or if any government approval is needed and cannot be obtained, the deposit agreement allows the depositary to distribute the foreign currency only to those ADS holders to whom it is possible to do so. It will hold the foreign currency it cannot convert for the account of the ADS holders who have not been paid. It will not invest the foreign currency and it will not be liable for any interest.

Before making a distribution, any withholding taxes, or other governmental charges that must be paid will be deducted. The depositary will distribute only whole U.S. dollars and cents and will round fractional cents to the nearest whole cent. If the exchange rates fluctuate during a time when the depositary cannot convert the foreign currency, you may lose some of the value of the distribution.

 

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Shares. The depositary may distribute additional ADSs representing any shares we distribute as a dividend or free distribution. The depositary will only distribute whole ADSs. It will sell shares which would require it to deliver a fraction of an ADS (or ADSs representing those shares) and distribute the net proceeds in the same way as it does with cash. If the depositary does not distribute additional ADSs, the outstanding ADSs will also represent the new shares. The depositary may sell a portion of the distributed shares (or ADSs representing those shares) sufficient to pay its fees and expenses in connection with that distribution.

Rights to purchase additional shares. If we offer holders of our securities any rights to subscribe for additional shares or any other rights, the depositary may (i) exercise those rights on behalf of ADS holders, (ii) distribute those rights to ADS holders or (iii) sell those rights and distribute the net proceeds to ADS holders, in each case after deduction or upon payment of its fees and expenses. To the extent the depositary does not do any of those things, it will allow the rights to lapse. In that case, you will receive no value for them. The depositary will exercise or distribute rights only if we ask it to and provide satisfactory assurances to the depositary that it is legal to do so. If the depositary will exercise rights, it will purchase the securities to which the rights relate and distribute those securities or, in the case of shares, new ADSs representing the new shares, to subscribing ADS holders, but only if ADS holders have paid the exercise price to the depositary. U.S. securities laws may restrict the ability of the depositary to distribute rights or ADSs or other securities issued on exercise of rights to all or certain ADS holders, and the securities distributed may be subject to restrictions on transfer.

Other Distributions. The depositary will send to ADS holders anything else we distribute on deposited securities by any means it thinks is legal, fair and practical. If it cannot make the distribution in that way, the depositary has a choice. It may decide to sell what we distributed and distribute the net proceeds, in the same way as it does with cash. Or, it may decide to hold what we distributed, in which case ADSs will also represent the newly distributed property. However, the depositary is not required to distribute any securities (other than ADSs) to ADS holders unless it receives satisfactory evidence from us that it is legal to make that distribution. The depositary may sell a portion of the distributed securities or property sufficient to pay its fees and expenses in connection with that distribution. U.S. securities laws may restrict the ability of the depositary to distribute securities to all or certain ADS holders, and the securities distributed may be subject to restrictions on transfer.

The depositary is not responsible if it decides that it is unlawful or impractical to make a distribution available to any ADS holders. We have no obligation to register ADSs, shares, rights or other securities under the Securities Act. We also have no obligation to take any other action to permit the distribution of ADSs, shares, rights or anything else to ADS holders. This means that you may not receive the distributions we make on our shares or any value for them if it is illegal or impractical for us to make them available to you.

Deposit, Withdrawal and Cancellation

How are ADSs issued?

The depositary will deliver ADSs if you or your broker deposits shares or evidence of rights to receive shares with the custodian. Upon payment of its fees and expenses and of any taxes or charges, such as stamp taxes or stock transfer taxes or fees, the depositary will register the appropriate number of ADSs in the names you request and will deliver the ADSs to or upon the order of the person or persons that made the deposit.

How can ADS holders withdraw the deposited securities?

You may surrender your ADSs to the depositary for the purpose of withdrawal. Upon payment of its fees and expenses and of any taxes or charges, such as stamp taxes or stock transfer taxes or fees, the depositary will deliver the shares and any other deposited securities underlying the ADSs to the ADS holder or a person the ADS holder designates at the office of the custodian. Or, at your request, risk and expense, the depositary will deliver the deposited securities at its office, if feasible. However, the depositary is not required to accept surrender of ADSs to the extent it would require delivery of a fraction of a deposited share or other security. The depositary may charge you a fee and its expenses for instructing the custodian regarding delivery of deposited securities.

 

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How do ADS holders interchange between certificated ADSs and uncertificated ADSs?

You may surrender your ADR to the depositary for the purpose of exchanging your ADR for uncertificated ADSs. The depositary will cancel that ADR and will send to the ADS holder a statement confirming that the ADS holder is the registered holder of uncertificated ADSs. Upon receipt by the depositary of a proper instruction from a registered holder of uncertificated ADSs requesting the exchange of uncertificated ADSs for certificated ADSs, the depositary will execute and deliver to the ADS holder an ADR evidencing those ADSs.

Voting Rights

How do ADS holders vote?

ADS holders may instruct the depositary how to vote the number of deposited shares their ADSs represent. If we request the depositary to solicit your voting instructions (and we are not required to do so), the depositary will notify you of a shareholders’ meeting and send or make voting materials available to you. Those materials will describe the matters to be voted on and explain how ADS holders may instruct the depositary how to vote. For instructions to be valid, they must reach the depositary by a date set by the depositary. The depositary will try, as far as practical, subject to the laws of the State of New York and the provisions of our articles of association or similar documents, to vote or to have its agents vote the shares or other deposited securities as instructed by ADS holders. If we do not request the depositary to solicit your voting instructions, you can still send voting instructions, and, in that case, the depositary may try to vote as you instruct, but it is not required to do so.

Except by instructing the depositary as described above, you won’t be able to exercise voting rights unless you surrender your ADSs and withdraw the shares. However, you may not know about the meeting enough in advance to withdraw the shares. In any event, the depositary will not exercise any discretion in voting deposited securities and it will only vote or attempt to vote as instructed or as described in the following sentence. If (i) we asked the depositary to solicit your instructions at least 30 days before the meeting date, (ii) the depositary does not receive voting instructions from you by the specified date and (iii) we confirm to the depositary that:

 

   

we wish the depositary to vote uninstructed shares;

 

   

we reasonably do not know of any substantial shareholder opposition to a particular question; and

 

   

the particular question is not materially adverse to the interests of shareholders,

the depositary will consider you to have authorized and directed it to vote the number of deposited securities represented by your ADSs in favor of any resolution that we proposed in the invitation to the shareholders’ meeting.

We cannot assure you that you will receive the voting materials in time to ensure that you can instruct the depositary to vote your shares. In addition, the depositary and its agents are not responsible for failing to carry out voting instructions or for the manner of carrying out voting instructions. This means that you may not be able to exercise voting rights and there may be nothing you can do if your shares are not voted as you requested.

In order to give you a reasonable opportunity to instruct the depositary as to the exercise of voting rights relating to deposited securities, if we request the depositary to act, we agree to give the depositary notice of any such meeting and details concerning the matters to be voted upon at least 30 days in advance of the meeting date.

 

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Fees and Expenses

 

Persons depositing or withdrawing
shares or ADS holders must pay:
   For:
$5.00 (or less) per 100 ADSs (or portion of 100 ADSs)   

Issuance of ADSs, including issuances resulting from a distribution of shares or rights or other property

Cancellation of ADSs for the purpose of withdrawal, including if the deposit agreement terminates

$.05 (or less) per ADS    Any cash distribution to ADS holders
A fee equivalent to the fee that would be payable if securities distributed to you had been shares and the shares had been deposited for issuance of ADSs    Distribution of securities distributed to holders of deposited securities (including rights) that are distributed by the depositary to ADS holders
$.05 (or less) per ADS per calendar year    Depositary services
Registration or transfer fees    Transfer and registration of shares on our share register to or from the name of the depositary or its agent when you deposit or withdraw shares
Expenses of the depositary   

Cable and facsimile transmissions (when expressly provided in the deposit agreement)

Converting foreign currency to U.S. dollars

Taxes and other governmental charges the depositary or the custodian has to pay on any ADSs or shares underlying ADSs, such as stock transfer taxes, stamp duty or withholding taxes    As necessary
Any charges incurred by the depositary or its agents for servicing the deposited securities    As necessary

The depositary collects its fees for delivery and surrender of ADSs directly from investors depositing shares or surrendering ADSs for the purpose of withdrawal or from intermediaries acting for them. The depositary collects fees for making distributions to investors by deducting those fees from the amounts distributed or by selling a portion of distributable property to pay the fees. The depositary may collect its annual fee for depositary services by deduction from cash distributions or by directly billing investors or by charging the book-entry system accounts of participants acting for them. The depositary may collect any of its fees by deduction from any cash distribution payable (or by selling a portion of securities or other property distributable) to ADS holders that are obligated to pay those fees. The depositary may generally refuse to provide fee-attracting services until its fees for those services are paid.

From time to time, the depositary may make payments to us to reimburse us for costs and expenses generally arising out of establishment and maintenance of the ADS program, waive fees and expenses for services provided to us by the depositary or share revenue from the fees collected from ADS holders. In performing its duties under the deposit agreement, the depositary may use brokers, dealers, foreign currency dealers or other service providers that are owned by or affiliated with the depositary and that may earn or share fees, spreads or commissions.

The depositary may convert currency itself or through any of its affiliates and, in those cases, acts as principal for its own account and not as agent, advisor, broker or fiduciary on behalf of any other person and earns revenue, including, without limitation, transaction spreads, that it will retain for its own account. The revenue is based on, among other things, the difference between the exchange rate assigned to the currency conversion made under the deposit agreement and the rate that the depositary or its affiliate receives when buying or selling foreign currency for its own account. The depositary makes no representation that the exchange rate used or obtained in

 

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any currency conversion under the deposit agreement will be the most favorable rate that could be obtained at the time or that the method by which that rate will be determined will be the most favorable to ADS holders, subject to the depositary’s obligations under the deposit agreement. The methodology used to determine exchange rates used in currency conversions is available upon request.

Payment of Taxes

You will be responsible for any taxes or other governmental charges payable on your ADSs or on the deposited securities represented by any of your ADSs. The depositary may refuse to register any transfer of your ADSs or allow you to withdraw the deposited securities represented by your ADSs until those taxes or other charges are paid. It may apply payments owed to you or sell deposited securities represented by your ADSs to pay any taxes owed and you will remain liable for any deficiency. If the depositary sells deposited securities, it will, if appropriate, reduce the number of ADSs to reflect the sale and pay to ADS holders any proceeds, or send to ADS holders any property, remaining after it has paid the taxes.

Tender and Exchange Offers; Redemption, Replacement or Cancellation of Deposited Securities

The depositary will not tender deposited securities in any voluntary tender or exchange offer unless instructed to do by an ADS holder surrendering ADSs and subject to any conditions or procedures the depositary may establish.

If deposited securities are redeemed for cash in a transaction that is mandatory for the depositary as a holder of deposited securities, the depositary will call for surrender of a corresponding number of ADSs and distribute the net redemption money to the holders of called ADSs upon surrender of those ADSs.

If there is any change in the deposited securities such as a sub-division, combination or other reclassification, or any merger, consolidation, recapitalization or reorganization affecting the issuer of deposited securities in which the depositary receives new securities in exchange for or in lieu of the old deposited securities, the depositary will hold those replacement securities as deposited securities under the deposit agreement. However, if the depositary decides it would not be lawful and practical to hold the replacement securities because those securities could not be distributed to ADS holders or for any other reason, the depositary may instead sell the replacement securities and distribute the net proceeds upon surrender of the ADSs.

If there is a replacement of the deposited securities and the depositary will continue to hold the replacement securities, the depositary may distribute new ADSs representing the new deposited securities or ask you to surrender your outstanding ADRs in exchange for new ADRs identifying the new deposited securities.

If there are no deposited securities underlying ADSs, including if the deposited securities are cancelled, or if the deposited securities underlying ADSs have become apparently worthless, the depositary may call for surrender or of those ADSs or cancel those ADSs upon notice to the ADS holders.

Amendment and Termination

How may the deposit agreement be amended?

We may agree with the depositary to amend the deposit agreement and the ADRs without your consent for any reason. If an amendment adds or increases fees or charges, except for taxes and other governmental charges or expenses of the depositary for registration fees, facsimile costs, delivery charges or similar items, or prejudices a substantial right of ADS holders, it will not become effective for outstanding ADSs until 30 days after the depositary notifies ADS holders of the amendment. At the time an amendment becomes effective, you are considered, by continuing to hold your ADSs, to agree to the amendment and to be bound by the ADRs and the deposit agreement as amended.

 

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How may the deposit agreement be terminated?

The depositary will initiate termination of the deposit agreement if we instruct it to do so. The depositary may initiate termination of the deposit agreement if:

 

   

60 days have passed since the depositary told us it wants to resign but a successor depositary has not been appointed and accepted its appointment;

 

   

we delist the ADSs from an exchange in the United States on which they were listed and do not list the ADSs on another exchange in the United States or make arrangements for trading of ADSs on the U.S. over-the-counter market;

 

   

we delist our ordinary shares from an exchange outside the United States on which they were listed and do not list the shares on another exchange outside the United States;

 

   

the depositary has reason to believe the ADSs have become, or will become, ineligible for registration on Form F-6 under the Securities Act;

 

   

we appear to be insolvent or enter insolvency proceedings

 

   

all or substantially all the value of the deposited securities has been distributed either in cash or in the form of securities;

 

   

there are no deposited securities underlying the ADSs or the underlying deposited securities have become apparently worthless; or

 

   

there has been a replacement of deposited securities.

If the deposit agreement will terminate, the depositary will notify ADS holders at least 90 days before the termination date. At any time after the termination date, the depositary may sell the deposited securities. After that, the depositary will hold the money it received on the sale, as well as any other cash it is holding under the deposit agreement, unsegregated and without liability for interest, for the pro rata benefit of the ADS holders that have not surrendered their ADSs. Normally, the depositary will sell as soon as practicable after the termination date.

After the termination date and before the depositary sells, ADS holders can still surrender their ADSs and receive delivery of deposited securities, except that the depositary may refuse to accept a surrender for the purpose of withdrawing deposited securities or reverse previously accepted surrenders of that kind that have not settled if it would interfere with the selling process. The depositary may refuse to accept a surrender for the purpose of withdrawing sale proceeds until all the deposited securities have been sold. The depositary will continue to collect distributions on deposited securities, but, after the termination date, the depositary is not required to register any transfer of ADSs or distribute any dividends or other distributions on deposited securities to the ADSs holder (until they surrender their ADSs) or give any notices or perform any other duties under the deposit agreement except as described in this paragraph.

Limitations on Obligations and Liability

Limits on our Obligations and the Obligations of the Depositary; Limits on Liability to Holders of ADSs

The deposit agreement expressly limits our obligations and the obligations of the depositary. It also limits our liability and the liability of the depositary. We and the depositary:

 

   

are only obligated to take the actions specifically set forth in the deposit agreement without negligence or bad faith, and the depositary will not be a fiduciary or have any fiduciary duty to holders of ADSs;

 

   

are not liable if we are or it is prevented or delayed by law or by events or circumstances beyond our or its ability to prevent or counteract with reasonable care or effort from performing our or its obligations under the deposit agreement;

 

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are not liable if we or it exercises discretion permitted under the deposit agreement;

 

   

are not liable for the inability of any holder of ADSs to benefit from any distribution on deposited securities that is not made available to holders of ADSs under the terms of the deposit agreement, or for any special, consequential or punitive damages for any breach of the terms of the deposit agreement;

 

   

have no obligation to become involved in a lawsuit or other proceeding related to the ADSs or the deposit agreement on your behalf or on behalf of any other person;

 

   

may rely upon any documents we believe or it believes in good faith to be genuine and to have been signed or presented by the proper person;

 

   

are not liable for the acts or omissions of any securities depository, clearing agency or settlement system; and

 

   

the depositary has no duty to make any determination or provide any information as to our tax status, or any liability for any tax consequences that may be incurred by ADS holders as a result of owning or holding ADSs or be liable for the inability or failure of an ADS holder to obtain the benefit of a foreign tax credit, reduced rate of withholding or refund of amounts withheld in respect of tax or any other tax benefit.

In the deposit agreement, we and the depositary agree to indemnify each other under certain circumstances.

Requirements for Depositary Actions

Before the depositary will deliver or register a transfer of ADSs, make a distribution on ADSs, or permit withdrawal of shares, the depositary may require:

 

   

payment of stock transfer or other taxes or other governmental charges and transfer or registration fees charged by third parties for the transfer of any shares or other deposited securities;

 

   

satisfactory proof of the identity and genuineness of any signature or other information it deems necessary; and

 

   

compliance with regulations it may establish, from time to time, consistent with the deposit agreement, including presentation of transfer documents.

The depositary may refuse to deliver ADSs or register transfers of ADSs when the transfer books of the depositary or our transfer books are closed or at any time if the depositary or we think it advisable to do so.

Your Right to Receive the Shares Underlying your ADSs

ADS holders have the right to cancel their ADSs and withdraw the underlying shares at any time except:

 

   

when temporary delays arise because (i) the depositary has closed its transfer books or we have closed our transfer books, (ii) the transfer of shares is blocked to permit voting at a shareholders’ meeting or (iii) we are paying a dividend on our shares;

 

   

when you owe money to pay fees, taxes and similar charges; or

 

   

when it is necessary to prohibit withdrawals in order to comply with any laws or governmental regulations that apply to ADSs or to the withdrawal of shares or other deposited securities.

This right of withdrawal may not be limited by any other provision of the deposit agreement.

 

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Direct Registration System

In the deposit agreement, all parties to the deposit agreement acknowledge that the Direct Registration System, or DRS, and Profile Modification System, or Profile, will apply to the ADSs. DRS is a system administered by DTC that facilitates interchange between registered holding of uncertificated ADSs and holding of security entitlements in ADSs through DTC and a DTC participant. Profile is a feature of DRS that allows a DTC participant, claiming to act on behalf of a registered holder of uncertificated ADSs, to direct the depositary to register a transfer of those ADSs to DTC or its nominee and to deliver those ADSs to the DTC account of that DTC participant without receipt by the depositary of prior authorization from the ADS holder to register that transfer.

In connection with and in accordance with the arrangements and procedures relating to DRS/Profile, the parties to the deposit agreement understand that the depositary will not determine whether the DTC participant that is claiming to be acting on behalf of an ADS holder in requesting registration of transfer and delivery as described in the paragraph above has the actual authority to act on behalf of the ADS holder (notwithstanding any requirements under the Uniform Commercial Code). In the deposit agreement, the parties agree that the depositary’s reliance on and compliance with instructions received by the depositary through the DRS/Profile system and in accordance with the deposit agreement will not constitute negligence or bad faith on the part of the depositary.

Shareholder Communications; Inspection of Register of Holders of ADSs

The depositary will make available for your inspection at its office all communications that it receives from us as a holder of deposited securities that we make generally available to holders of deposited securities. The depositary will send you copies of those communications or otherwise make those communications available to you if we ask it to. You have a right to inspect the register of holders of ADSs, but not for the purpose of contacting those holders about a matter unrelated to our business or the ADSs.

Jury Trial Waiver

The deposit agreement provides that, to the extent permitted by law, ADS holders waive the right to a jury trial of any claim they may have against us or the depositary arising out of or relating to our shares, the ADSs or the deposit agreement, including any claim under the U.S. federal securities laws. If we or the depositary opposed a jury trial demand based on the waiver, the court would determine whether the waiver was enforceable in the facts and circumstances of that case in accordance with applicable case law.

You will not, by agreeing to the terms of the deposit agreement, be deemed to have waived our or the depositary’s compliance with U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

The debt securities will be our direct general obligations. The debt securities will be either senior debt securities or subordinated debt securities and may be secured or unsecured and may be convertible into other securities, including ADSs. The debt securities will be issued under one or more separate indentures between our company and a financial institution that will act as trustee. Senior debt securities will be issued under a senior indenture. Subordinated debt securities will be issued under a subordinated indenture. Each of the senior indenture and the subordinated indenture is referred to individually as an indenture and collectively as the indentures. Each of the senior debt trustee and the subordinated debt trustee is referred to individually as a trustee and collectively as the trustees. The material terms of any indenture will be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement.

In addition, we will describe the particular terms of each series of debt securities in a prospectus supplement relating to that series, which we will file with the SEC.

The prospectus supplement will set forth, to the extent required, the following terms of the debt securities in respect of which the prospectus supplement is delivered:

 

   

the title of the series;

 

   

the aggregate principal amount;

 

   

the issue price or prices, expressed as a percentage of the aggregate principal amount of the debt securities;

 

   

any limit on the aggregate principal amount;

 

   

the date or dates on which principal is payable;

 

   

the interest rate or rates (which may be fixed or variable) or, if applicable, the method used to determine such rate or rates;

 

   

the date or dates on which interest, if any, will be payable and any regular record date for the interest payable;

 

   

the place or places where principal and, if applicable, premium and interest, is payable;

 

   

the terms and conditions upon which we may, or the holders may require us to, redeem or repurchase the debt securities;

 

   

the denominations in which such debt securities may be issuable, if other than denomination of $1,000, or any integral multiple of that number;

 

   

whether the debt securities are to be issuable in the form of certificated debt securities or global debt securities;

 

   

the portion of principal amount that will be payable upon declaration of acceleration of the maturity date if other than the principal amount of the debt securities;

 

   

the currency of denomination;

 

   

the designation of the currency, currencies or currency units in which payment of principal and, if applicable, premium and interest, will be made;

 

   

if payments of principal and, if applicable, premium or interest, on the debt securities are to be made in one or more currencies or currency units other than the currency of denominations, the manner in which exchange rate with respect to such payments will be determined;

 

   

if amounts of principal and, if applicable, premium and interest may be determined by reference to an index based on a currency or currencies, or by reference to a commodity, commodity index, stock exchange index, or financial index, then the manner in which such amounts will be determined;

 

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the provisions, if any, relating to any collateral provided for such debt securities;

 

   

any events of default;

 

   

the terms and conditions, if any, for conversion into or exchange for ordinary shares or ADSs;

 

   

any depositaries, interest rate calculation agents, exchange rate calculation agents, or other agents; and

 

   

the terms and conditions, if any, upon which the debt securities shall be subordinated in right of payment to other indebtedness of our company.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF RIGHTS TO SUBSCRIBE FOR ORDINARY SHARES OR ADSs

We may issue rights to subscribe for our ordinary shares or ADSs. Rights to subscribe for new ordinary shares would be transferable and rights to subscribe for new ADSs may or may not be transferable. In connection with any offering of rights, we may or may not enter into a standby arrangement with one or more underwriters or other purchasers pursuant to which the underwriters or other purchasers may be required to purchase any securities remaining unsubscribed after such offering.

The terms of the rights to subscribe for shares of our ordinary shares or ADSs will be set forth in a prospectus supplement which we will file with the SEC, and which will describe, among other things:

 

   

the exercise price;

 

   

the aggregate number of rights to be issued;

 

   

the number of ordinary shares or ADSs purchasable upon exercise of each right;

 

   

the procedures and limitations relating to the exercise of the rights;

 

   

the date upon which the exercise of rights will commence;

 

   

the record date, if any, to determine who is entitled to the rights;

 

   

the expiration date;

 

   

the extent to which the rights are transferable;

 

   

information regarding the trading of rights, including the stock exchanges, if any, on which the rights will be listed;

 

   

the extent to which the rights may include an over-subscription privilege with respect to unsubscribed ordinary shares or ADSs;

 

   

if applicable, the material terms of any standby underwriting or purchase arrangement entered into by us in connection with the offering of the rights; and

 

   

any other material terms of the rights.

As permitted under German law, if we obtain binding, irrevocable agreements from certain existing shareholders not to transfer or exercise rights to be granted in a future rights offering, we may attempt to sell the new shares represented by such rights either before or after the rights offering. In addition, if fewer than all of the subscription rights issued in any rights offering are exercised, we may offer any unsubscribed securities directly to persons other than shareholders, to or through agents, underwriters or dealers or through a combination of such methods, including pursuant to standby arrangements, as described in the applicable prospectus supplement.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF PURCHASE CONTRACTS

We may issue purchase contracts for the purchase or sale of equity securities issued by us.

Each purchase contract will entitle the holder thereof to purchase or sell, and obligate us to sell or purchase, on specified dates, such equity securities issued by us at a specified purchase price, which may be based on a formula, as set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement. The applicable prospectus supplement will also specify the methods by which the holders may purchase or sell such securities and any acceleration, cancellation or termination provisions or other provisions relating to the settlement of a purchase contract.

Any purchase contracts we issue will be physically settled by delivery of the securities. The purchase contracts may require the holders thereof to secure their obligations in a specified manner to be described in the applicable prospectus supplement. Alternatively, purchase contracts may require holders to satisfy their obligations thereunder when the purchase contracts are issued. Our obligation to settle such pre-paid purchase contracts on the relevant settlement date may constitute indebtedness.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

As specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, we may issue units of any combination of the other types of securities offered under this prospectus in one or more series. The applicable prospectus supplement will describe:

 

   

the terms of the units and of the separate constituent securities comprising the units, including whether and under what circumstances the securities comprising the units may be traded separately;

 

   

a description of the terms of any unit agreement governing the units; and

 

   

a description of the provisions for the payment, settlement, transfer or exchange of the units.

 

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SELLING SECURITY HOLDERS

Selling security holders are persons or entities that, directly or indirectly, have acquired or will from time to time acquire from us, our securities in various private transactions. Such selling security holders may be parties to registration rights agreements with us, or we otherwise may have agreed or will agree to register their securities for resale. The initial purchasers of our securities, as well as their transferees, pledgees, donees or successors, all of whom we refer to as “selling security holders,” may from time to time offer and sell the securities pursuant to this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement.

The applicable prospectus supplement will set forth the name of each selling security holder and the number of and type of securities beneficially owned by such selling security holder that are covered by such prospectus supplement. The applicable prospectus supplement also will disclose whether any of the selling security holders have held any position or office with, have been employed by or otherwise have had a material relationship with us during the three years prior to the date of the prospectus supplement.

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

We and/or any selling security holder may sell the securities in one or more of the following ways (or in any combination) from time to time:

 

   

through underwriters or dealers;

 

   

directly to a limited number of purchasers or to a single purchaser;

 

   

in “at the market offerings,” within the meaning of Rule 415(a)(4) of the Securities Act, to or through a market maker or into an existing trading market on an exchange or otherwise;

 

   

through agents; or

 

   

through any other method permitted by applicable law and described in the applicable prospectus supplement.

The prospectus supplement will state the terms of the offering of the securities, including:

 

   

the name or names of any underwriters, dealers or agents;

 

   

the purchase price of such securities and the proceeds to be received by us, if any;

 

   

any underwriting discounts or agency fees and other items constituting underwriters’ or agents’ compensation;

 

   

any public offering price;

 

   

any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers; and

 

   

any securities exchanges on which the securities may be listed.

Any public offering price and any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers may be changed from time to time.

If underwriters are used in the sale, the securities will be acquired by the underwriters for their own account and may be resold from time to time in one or more transactions, including:

 

   

negotiated transactions;

 

   

at a fixed public offering price or prices, which may be changed;

 

   

at market prices prevailing at the time of sale;

 

   

at prices related to prevailing market prices; or

 

   

at negotiated prices.

Unless otherwise stated in a prospectus supplement, the obligations of the underwriters to purchase any securities will be conditioned on customary closing conditions and the underwriters will be obligated to purchase all of such series of securities, if any are purchased.

The securities may be sold through agents from time to time. The prospectus supplement will name any agent involved in the offer or sale of the securities and any commissions paid to them. Generally, any agent will be acting on a best efforts basis for the period of its appointment.

Sales to or through one or more underwriters or agents in at the market offerings will be made pursuant to the terms of a distribution agreement with the underwriters or agents. Such underwriters or agents may act on an agency basis or on a principal basis. During the term of any such agreement, shares may be sold on a daily basis on any stock exchange, market or trading facility on which the ADSs are traded, in privately negotiated

 

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transactions or otherwise as agreed with the underwriters or agents. The distribution agreement will provide that any ADS sold will be sold at negotiated prices or at prices related to the then prevailing market prices for the ADSs. Therefore, exact figures regarding proceeds that will be raised or commissions to be paid cannot be determined at this time and will be described in a prospectus supplement. Pursuant to the terms of the distribution agreement, we may also agree to sell, and the relevant underwriters or agents may agree to solicit offers to purchase, blocks of ADSs or our ordinary shares. The terms of each such distribution agreement will be described in a prospectus supplement.

We and/or any selling security holder may authorize underwriters, dealers or agents to solicit offers by certain purchasers to purchase the securities at the public offering price set forth in the prospectus supplement pursuant to delayed delivery contracts providing for payment and delivery on a specified date in the future. The contracts will be subject only to those conditions set forth in the prospectus supplement, and the prospectus supplement will set forth any commissions paid for solicitation of these contracts.

Underwriters and agents may be entitled under agreements entered into with us to indemnification by us against certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or to contribution with respect to payments which the underwriters or agents may be required to make.

The prospectus supplement may also set forth whether or not underwriters may over-allot or effect transactions that stabilize, maintain or otherwise affect the market price of the securities at levels above those that might otherwise prevail in the open market, including, for example, by entering stabilizing bids, effecting syndicate covering transactions or imposing penalty bids.

Underwriters and agents may be customers of, engage in transactions with, or perform services for us and our affiliates in the ordinary course of business.

Each series of securities will be a new issue of securities and will have no established trading market, other than ADSs representing our ordinary shares, which are listed on Nasdaq Global Select Market. Any underwriters to whom securities are sold for public offering and sale may make a market in the securities, but such underwriters will not be obligated to do so and may discontinue any market making at any time without notice. The securities, other than ADSs representing our ordinary shares, may or may not be listed on a national securities exchange.

 

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EXPENSES OF THE OFFERING

The following table sets forth the expenses (other than underwriting discounts and commissions or agency fees and other items constituting underwriters’ or agents’ compensation, if any) expected to be incurred by us in connection with a possible offering of securities registered under this registration statement:

 

Expenses    Amount  

Securities and Exchange Commission registration fee

   $ (1)(2

FINRA filing fee

     225,500  

Printing and engraving expenses

     (2

Legal fees and expenses

     (2

Accounting fees and expenses

     (2

Depositary’s fees

     (2

Miscellaneous costs

     (2
  

 

 

 

Total

   $ (2
  

 

 

 

 

(1)

Omitted because the registration fee is being deferred pursuant to Rule 456(b) and Rule 457(r) under the Securities Act.

(2)

These fees and expenses depend on the securities offered and the number of issuances, and accordingly cannot be estimated at this time and will be reflected in the applicable prospectus supplement.

LEGAL MATTERS

The validity of the securities and certain other matters of German law will be passed upon for us by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater PartG mbB, Hamburg, Germany. Certain matters of U.S. law will be passed upon for us by Covington & Burling LLP, New York, New York. Members of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater PartG mbB are the beneficial owners of less than 1% of our ordinary shares.

EXPERTS

The consolidated financial statements of BioNTech SE appearing in BioNTech SE’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2019 have been audited by Ernst & Young GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, independent registered public accounting firm, as set forth in their report thereon, included therein, and incorporated herein by reference. Such consolidated financial statements are incorporated herein by reference in reliance upon such report given on the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing. The registered business address of Ernst & Young GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft is Börsenplatz 1, 50667 Cologne, Germany.

The financial statements of Neon Therapeutics, Inc. incorporated in this Prospectus by reference to Neon Therapeutics, Inc.’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 have been so incorporated in reliance on the report (which contains an explanatory paragraph relating to Neon Therapeutics, Inc.’s ability to continue as a going concern as described in Note 1 to the financial statements) of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.

 

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SERVICE OF PROCESS AND ENFORCEMENT OF LIABILITIES

We are incorporated and currently existing under European laws and the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany. In addition, all of our directors and officers reside outside of the United States and our assets and those of our non-U.S. subsidiaries are located outside of the United States. As a result, it may not be possible for investors to effect service of process on us or those persons in the United States or to enforce in the United States judgments obtained in U.S. courts against us or those persons based on the civil liability or other provisions of the U.S. securities laws or other laws.

Awards of punitive damages in actions brought in the United States or elsewhere may be unenforceable in Germany. In addition, actions brought in a German court against BioNTech or the members of our supervisory Board and Management Board, our senior management and the experts named herein to enforce liabilities based on U.S. federal securities laws may be subject to certain restrictions; in particular, German courts generally do not award punitive damages. An award for monetary damages under the U.S. securities laws would be considered punitive if it does not seek to compensate the claimant for loss or damage suffered and is intended to punish the defendant. The enforceability of any judgment in Germany will depend on the particular facts of the case as well as the laws and treaties in effect at the time.

Litigation in the Federal Republic of Germany is also subject to rules of procedure that differ from the U.S. rules, including with respect to the taking and admissibility of evidence, the conduct of the proceedings and the allocation of costs. Proceedings in Germany would have to be conducted in the German language, and all documents submitted to the court would, in principle, have to be translated into German. For these reasons, it may be difficult for a U.S. investor to bring an original action in a German court predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws against us, certain members of our Management and Supervisory Boards and senior management and the experts named in this prospectus. The United States and Germany do not currently have a treaty providing for recognition and enforcement of judgments (other than arbitration awards) in civil and commercial matters, though recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Germany is possible in accordance with applicable German laws. Even if a judgment against our company, the members of our Management Board, Supervisory Board, senior management or the experts named in this prospectus based on the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws is obtained, a U.S. investor may not be able to enforce it in U.S. or German courts.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We are subject to the information reporting requirements of the Exchange Act that are applicable to foreign private issuers. Accordingly, we are required to file reports and other information with the SEC, including annual reports on Form 20-F and reports on Form 6-K. The SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding registrants that file electronically with the SEC. These filings and our filings with the SEC are available to the public through the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

We have filed with the SEC a “shelf” registration statement on Form F-3 under the Securities Act, relating to the securities that may be offered by this prospectus. This prospectus is a part of that registration statement, but does not contain all of the information in the registration statement. We have omitted parts of the registration statement in accordance with the rules and regulations of the SEC. For more detail about us and the securities that may be offered by this prospectus, you may examine the registration statement on Form F-3 and the exhibits filed with it at the website listed in the previous paragraph.

As a foreign private issuer, we are exempt under the Exchange Act from, among other things, the rules prescribing the furnishing and content of proxy statements, and our board members, executive officers and principal shareholders are exempt from the reporting and short-swing profit recovery provisions contained in

 

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Section 16 of the Exchange Act. In addition, we are not required under the Exchange Act to file periodic reports and financial statements with the SEC as frequently or as promptly as U.S. companies whose securities are registered under the Exchange Act.

We will send our transfer agent a copy of all notices of our general meetings of shareholders and other reports, communications and information that are made generally available to shareholders. The transfer agent has agreed to mail to all shareholders a notice containing the information (or a summary of the information) contained in any notice of a meeting of our shareholders received by the transfer agent and will make available to all shareholders such notices and all such other reports and communications received by the transfer agent.

We maintain a corporate website at https://www.biontech.de. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not a part of this prospectus and is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus. We have included our website address as an inactive textual reference only.

 

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INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION BY REFERENCE

We file annual and special reports and other information with the SEC (File Number 001-39081). These filings contain important information that does not appear in this prospectus. The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” information into this prospectus, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to other documents which we have filed or will file with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is deemed to be part of this prospectus, except to the extent superseded by information contained herein or by information contained in documents filed with the SEC after the date of this prospectus. We are incorporating by reference in this prospectus the documents listed below:

 

   

Our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, filed with the SEC on March 31, 2020;

 

   

Our Form 6-K filed with the SEC on May 12, 2020, containing our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements as of and for the three months ended March  31, 2020, our Form 6-K filed with the SEC on August 11, 2020, containing our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements as of and for the three and six months ended June 30, 2020, and our Form 6-K filed with the SEC on November 9, 2020, containing certain unaudited pro forma financial information;

 

   

Neon Therapeutics, Inc.’s audited consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2019 and 2018 and for the years then ended and the audit report of the independent registered public accounting firm, included on pages F-1 through F-28 of Neon Therapeutics, Inc.’s Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 2, 2020;

 

   

Neon Therapeutics, Inc.’s unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements as of March 31, 2020 and for the three-month periods ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 included in Item 1 of Neon Therapeutics, Inc.’s Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on May 1, 2020; and

 

   

The description of the ADSs and ordinary shares contained in our Form 8-A filed with the SEC on October 7, 2019, including any amendment or report filed for the purpose of updating such description.

All subsequent annual reports on Form 20-F, Form 40-F or Form 10-K that we file with the SEC and all subsequent filings on Forms 10-Q and 8-K filed by us with the SEC pursuant to the Exchange Act, after the date hereof and prior to the termination or expiration of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, shall be incorporated by reference. We may incorporate by reference any reports on Form 6-K that we furnish to the SEC that we specifically identify in such form or in any applicable prospectus supplement as being incorporated by reference into this prospectus or such prospectus supplement after the date hereof and prior to the completion of an offering of securities under this prospectus.

We will provide to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom this prospectus is delivered, a copy of these filings, at no cost, upon written or oral request to us at the following address:

BioNTech SE

An der Goldgrube 12

D-55131 Mainz

Germany

Attention: James Ryan, Vice President, Legal and IP

Our SEC filings are also available (free of charge) from our web site at www.biontech.de. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not a part of this prospectus and is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus. We have included our website address as an inactive textual reference only.

 

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Ordinary Shares Represented by American Depositary Shares,

Debt Securities, Rights to Subscribe for Ordinary Shares or

American Depositary Shares, Purchase Contracts and Units

 

LOGO

 

  

 

PROSPECTUS

 

 

November 9, 2020

 

 

 


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PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

Up to $500,000,000

 

 

LOGO

BioNTech SE

Ordinary Shares

Represented by American Depositary Shares

 

 

We have entered into a sales agreement with Jefferies LLC, or Jefferies, and SVB Leerink LLC, or SVB Leerink, dated November 9, 2020, relating to the sale of our ordinary shares, with no par value, represented by American Depositary Shares, or ADSs, offered by this prospectus supplement. In accordance with the terms of the sales agreement, under this prospectus supplement, we may offer and sell ADSs having an aggregate offering price of up to $500 million from time to time through Jefferies and SVB Leerink, referred to together as the sales agents and each individually as a sales agent.

Sales of ADSs, if any, under this prospectus supplement will be made by any method permitted that is deemed an “at the market offering” as defined in Rule 415(a)(4) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, including sales made directly on or through the Nasdaq Global Select Market, the existing trading market for ADSs representing our ordinary shares, sales made to or through a market maker other than on an exchange or otherwise and/or any other method permitted by law. The sales agents are not required to sell any specific amount, but will each act as our sales agent using commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its normal trading and sales practices. There is no arrangement for funds to be received in an escrow, trust or similar arrangement.

Each sales agent will be entitled to compensation at a commission rate of up to 3% of the gross sales price of the ADS sold by such sales agent under the sales agreement. See “Plan of Distribution” beginning on page S-26 for additional information regarding the compensation to be paid to the sales agents. In connection with the sale of the ADSs on our behalf, each sales agent may be deemed to be an “underwriter” within the meaning of the Securities Act and the compensation of the sales agents may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts. We have also agreed to provide indemnification and contribution to the sales agents with respect to certain liabilities, including civil liabilities under the Securities Act.

ADSs representing our ordinary shares are listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “BNTX.” On November 6, 2020, the last reported sale price of the ADSs on the Nasdaq Global Select Market was $92.00.

Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-7 of this prospectus supplement and in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings that are incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement.

As of the date of this prospectus supplement, we are an “emerging growth company” and a “foreign private issuer” as defined under the U.S. federal securities laws and, as such, are eligible for reduced public company disclosure requirements. See “Prospectus Summary—Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company and a Foreign Private Issuer” for additional information.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

 

Jefferies   SVB Leerink  

Prospectus supplement dated November 9, 2020


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

     S-1  

TRADEMARKS, SERVICE MARKS AND TRADE NAMES

     S-2  

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

     S-3  

RISK FACTORS

     S-7  

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     S-9  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     S-11  

DIVIDEND POLICY

     S-12  

CAPITALIZATION

     S-13  

DILUTION

     S-14  

TAXATION

     S-15  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     S-26  

LEGAL MATTERS

     S-28  

EXPERTS

     S-28  

SERVICE OF PROCESS AND ENFORCEMENT OF LIABILITIES

     S-28  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     S-29  

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION BY REFERENCE

     S-30  


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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

This document consists of two parts. The first part is this prospectus supplement, which describes the specific terms of this offering. The second part is the accompanying prospectus, which is part of a registration statement that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, using a “shelf” registration process.

The accompanying prospectus describes more general information, some of which may not apply to this offering. Under this shelf registration process, we may, from time to time, sell ADSs having an aggregate offering price of up to $500 million under this prospectus supplement at prices and on terms to be determined by market conditions at the time of the offering.

Before buying any of the ADSs that we are offering, you should carefully read both this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus together with all of the information incorporated by reference herein, as well as the additional information described under the headings “Where You Can Find More Information” and “Incorporation of Certain Information by Reference.” These documents contain important information that you should consider when making your investment decision.

To the extent there is a conflict between the information contained in this prospectus supplement, on the one hand, and the information contained in the accompanying prospectus or in any document incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, on the other hand, you should rely on the information in this prospectus supplement, provided that if any statement in one of these documents is inconsistent with a statement in another document having a later date—for example, a document incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement—the statement in the document having the later date modifies or supersedes the earlier statement.

Neither we nor the sales agents have authorized anyone to provide you with information that is different from that contained in this prospectus supplement, any amendment to this prospectus supplement, or any free writing prospectus we may authorize to be delivered or made available to you. Neither we nor the sales agents take responsibility for, or provide assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. This prospectus supplement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities other than the securities described in this prospectus supplement or an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy such securities in any circumstances in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful.

The information included in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein is accurate only as of their respective dates, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or the documents incorporated by reference herein or the sale of any securities. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since materially those dates.

For investors outside the United States: Neither we nor any underwriters, dealers or agents have taken any action that would permit this offering or possession or distribution of this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than in the United States. Persons outside the United States who come into possession of this prospectus must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, the offering of the ADSs representing our ordinary shares and the distribution of this prospectus outside of the United States.

Unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, all references in this prospectus to the terms “BioNTech,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to BioNTech SE and our wholly owned subsidiaries.

Our financial information is presented in Euros. For the convenience of the reader, we have translated some of our financial information into U.S. dollars. Unless otherwise indicated, these translations were made at the rate of €1.00 to $1.1870, the exchange rate published by the German Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) on November 6, 2020. Such U.S. dollar amounts are not necessarily indicative of the amounts of U.S. dollars that could actually have been purchased upon exchange of Euros at the date indicated. All references in this prospectus to “$” mean U.S. dollars and all references to “€” mean Euros.

 

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TRADEMARKS, SERVICE MARKS AND TRADE NAMES

The BioNTech SE logo, FixVac®, RiboMab®, RiboCytokine®, RECON® and NEO-STIM and other trademarks or service marks of BioNTech appearing in this prospectus supplement are the property of the Company. Solely for convenience, some of the trademarks, service marks, logos and trade names referred to in this prospectus supplement are presented without the ® and symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the rights of the applicable licensors to these trademarks, service marks and trade names. This prospectus supplement contains additional trademarks, service marks and trade names of others. All trademarks, service marks and trade names appearing in this prospectus supplement are, to our knowledge, the property of their respective owners. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trademarks, service marks, copyrights or trade names to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, any other companies.

 

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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This summary highlights selected information contained elsewhere in this prospectus supplement and in the documents incorporated by reference herein. This summary does not contain all of the information you should consider before making an investment decision. You should read this entire prospectus supplement carefully, especially the risks of investing in the ADSs representing our ordinary shares discussed under “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-7 of this prospectus supplement, along with our consolidated financial statements and notes to those consolidated financial statements and the other information incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement.

We are a next generation immunotherapy company pioneering novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases. We exploit a wide array of computational discovery and therapeutic drug platforms for the rapid development of novel biopharmaceuticals. Our broad portfolio of oncology product candidates includes individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based therapies, innovative chimeric antigen receptor T cells, bi-specific checkpoint immuno-modulators, targeted cancer antibodies and small molecules. Based on our deep expertise in mRNA vaccine development and in-house manufacturing capabilities, we and our collaborators are developing multiple mRNA vaccine candidates for a range of infectious diseases alongside its diverse oncology pipeline. We have established a broad set of relationships with multiple global pharmaceutical collaborators, including Genmab, Sanofi, Bayer Animal Health, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Regeneron, Genevant, Fosun Pharma and Pfizer.

We were incorporated on June 2, 2008 as Petersberg 91, V V AG, a German stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft). We changed our name to BioNTech AG on December 11, 2008. On March 8, 2019, we converted to a European stock corporation (Societas Europaea, or SE) under the laws of Germany and the European Union called BioNTech SE. We completed our initial public offering in October 2019. ADSs representing our ordinary shares are currently listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “BNTX.”

Our principal executive offices are located at An der Goldgrube 12, D-55131 Mainz, Germany. Our telephone number is +49 6131-9084-0. Our website address is http://www.biontech.de. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not a part of this prospectus supplement and is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement. We have included our website address as an inactive textual reference only.

Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company and a Foreign Private Issuer

Emerging Growth Company

As of the date of this prospectus supplement, we are an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. As such, we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to publicly traded entities that are not emerging growth companies. These exemptions include:

 

   

the ability to include only two years of audited financial statements and only two years of related Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations disclosure;

 

   

an exemption from the auditor attestation requirement in the assessment of our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as amended;

 

   

to the extent that we no longer qualify as a foreign private issuer, (i) reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements and (ii) exemptions from the requirement to hold a non-binding advisory vote on executive compensation, including golden parachute compensation; and



 

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an exemption from compliance with the requirement that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has adopted regarding a supplement to the auditor’s report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements.

As a result, the information contained in this prospectus supplement may be different from the information you receive from other public companies in which you hold shares.

Section 107 of the JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards applicable to public companies. This provision allows an emerging growth company to delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. This transition period is only applicable under U.S. GAAP. As a result, we will adopt new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required or permitted by the IASB.

We may take advantage of these provisions for up to five years from the completion of our initial public offering or until such earlier time that we are no longer an emerging growth company. We would cease to be an emerging growth company upon the earliest to occur of: (i) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion, (ii) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt securities during the previous three years and (iii) the first day of the year following the first year in which, as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the market value of our common equity held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million. As of June 30, 2020, which was the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the market value of our common equity held by non-affiliates exceeded $700 million. Consequently, we expect that we will cease to be an emerging growth company no later than December 31, 2020, and we expect to qualify as a large accelerated filer as of that date. As a result, we expect that, as of December 31, 2020, we will be required to adhere to, among other things, the auditor attestation requirement in the assessment of internal control over financial reporting and compliance with the requirement that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has adopted regarding a supplement to the auditor’s report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements. For additional information, please see “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2019, incorporated by reference herein.

Foreign Private Issuer

We report under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, as a non-U.S. company with foreign private issuer status. Even after we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, as long as we continue to qualify as a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we are exempt from certain provisions of the Exchange Act that are applicable to U.S. domestic public companies, including:

 

   

the rules under the Exchange Act requiring domestic filers to issue financial statements prepared under U.S. GAAP;

 

   

the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act;

 

   

the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their share ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time; and

 

   

the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q containing unaudited financial statements and other specified information, and current reports on Form 8-K upon the occurrence of specified significant events.



 

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Notwithstanding these exemptions, we will file with the SEC, within four months after the end of each fiscal year, or such applicable time as required by the SEC, an annual report on Form 20-F containing financial statements audited by an independent registered public accounting firm.

We may take advantage of these exemptions until such time as we are no longer a foreign private issuer. We would cease to be a foreign private issuer at such time as more than 50% of our outstanding voting securities are held by U.S. residents and any of the following three circumstances applies: (i) the majority of our executive officers or directors are U.S. citizens or residents, (ii) more than 50% of our assets are located in the United States or (iii) our business is administered principally in the United States.

Both foreign private issuers and emerging growth companies also are exempt from certain more stringent executive compensation disclosure rules. Thus, as long as we remain a foreign private issuer, even after we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, we will continue to be exempt from the more stringent compensation disclosures required of companies that are neither an emerging growth company nor a foreign private issuer.



 

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THE OFFERING

 

ADSs Offered by Us

ADSs, each representing one ordinary share, having an aggregate offering price of up to $500 million.

 

Manner of Offering

“At the market offering” that may be made from time to time through our sales agents, Jefferies and SVB Leerink. See “Plan of Distribution.”

 

Use of Proceeds

We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering, together with our other cash resources, primarily to fund research and development expenses for our clinical and preclinical research and development activities and for working capital and general corporate purposes. We may also use a portion of the net proceeds to in-license or acquire or invest in complementary technologies, products, businesses or assets, either alone or together with a collaborator. However, we have no current plans, commitments or obligations to do so. See “Use of Proceeds.”

 

Risk Factors

You should carefully consider the risks described under “Risk Factors” in this prospectus supplement and in our then most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F, and any updates to those risk factors in our reports on Form 6-K incorporated by reference herein, for a discussion of factors to consider carefully before deciding to purchase ADSs.

 

Nasdaq Global Select Market Symbol

ADSs representing our ordinary shares are listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “BNTX.”


 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in the ADSs representing our ordinary shares involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the following risks, together with all of the other information contained in this prospectus and in our filings with the SEC that we have incorporated by reference in this prospectus. If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition could suffer materially. In such event, the trading price of the ADSs representing our ordinary shares could decline and you might lose all or part of your investment.

Additional Risks Related to Ownership of the ADSs and This Offering

You may experience immediate and substantial dilution in the book value of your investment.

The offering price per ADS in this offering may exceed the net tangible book value per ADS prior to this offering. Assuming that an aggregate of $500 million of ADSs are sold at an assumed public offering price of $92.00 per ADS, which was the last reported sale price of the ADSs on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on November 6, 2020, and after deducting estimated commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, you would experience immediate dilution of $86.37 per ADS, representing the difference between our as adjusted net tangible book value per share as of September 30, 2020 after giving effect to this offering and the assumed offering price. See “Dilution.”

Holders of the ADSs may not be able to participate in any future preemptive subscription rights issues or elect to receive dividends in shares, which may cause additional dilution to their holdings.

Under German law, the existing shareholders of a company generally have a preemptive right in proportion to the amount of shares they hold in connection with any issuance of ordinary shares, convertible bonds, bonds with warrants, profit participation rights and participating bonds. However, our shareholders in a shareholders’ meeting may vote, by a majority representing at least three-quarters of the share capital represented at the meeting, to waive this preemptive right provided that, from the company’s perspective, there exists good and objective cause for such waiver.

The deposit agreement provides that the depositary need not make rights available to you unless the distribution to ADS holders of both the rights and any related securities are either registered under the Securities Act or exempted from registration under the Securities Act. We are under no obligation to file a registration statement with respect to any such rights or securities or to endeavor to cause such a registration statement to be declared effective. Moreover, we may not be able to establish an exemption from registration under the Securities Act. Accordingly, ADS holders may be unable to participate in our future rights offerings and may experience dilution in their holdings. In addition, if the depositary is unable to sell rights that are not exercised or not distributed or if the sale is not lawful or reasonably practicable, it will allow the rights to lapse, in which case you will receive no value for these rights.

The actual number of ADSs we will sell under the sales agreement and the gross proceeds resulting from such sales is uncertain.

Subject to certain limitations in the sales agreement and compliance with applicable law, we have the discretion to deliver a placement notice to the sales agents at any time throughout the term of the sales agreement. The number of ADSs that are sold by a sales agent after we deliver a placement notice will fluctuate based on the market price of the ADSs representing our ordinary shares during the sales period and limits we set in the placement notice. Because the price per ADS sold will fluctuate based on the market price of the ADSs representing our ordinary shares during the sales period, it is not possible at this stage to predict the number of ADSs that will be ultimately sold or the gross proceeds that will result from such sales.

 

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The ADSs offered hereby will be sold in “at the market offerings,” and investors who buy ADSs at different times will likely pay different prices.

Investors who purchase ADSs in this offering at different times will likely pay different prices, and so may experience different outcomes in their investment results. We will have discretion, subject to market demand, to vary the timing, prices and numbers of ADSs sold, and subject to certain limitations in the sales agreement, there is no minimum or maximum sales price. Investors may experience a decline in the value of their ADSs as a result of ADS sales made at prices lower than the prices they paid.

We have broad discretion in the use of our cash, cash equivalents and investments, including the net proceeds from this offering, and we may not use them effectively.

Our management will have broad discretion in the application of our cash, cash equivalents and investments, including the net proceeds from this offering, and could spend the proceeds in ways that do not improve our results of operations or enhance the value of our ordinary shares. The failure by our management to apply these funds effectively could result in financial losses that could have a material adverse impact on our business, cause the price of the ADSs to decline, and delay the development of our product candidates. Pending their use, we may invest our cash, cash equivalents and investments, including the net proceeds from this offering, in a manner that does not produce income or that loses value. See “Use of Proceeds” for more information.

 

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CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Exchange Act and Section 27A of the Securities Act concerning our business, operations and financial performance and condition, as well as our plans, objectives and expectations for our business operations and financial performance and condition. Many of the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus supplement can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “should,” “target,” “would” and other similar expressions that are predictions of or indicate future events and future trends, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words.

Forward-looking statements are based on our management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, those identified in the section titled “Risk Factors” in this prospectus supplement and in our then most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F, and any updates to those risk factors in our reports on Form 6-K incorporated by reference herein. The following represent some, but not necessarily all, of such factors:

 

   

the initiation, timing, progress, results, and cost of our research and development programs and our current and future preclinical studies and clinical trials, including statements regarding the timing of initiation and completion of studies or trials and related preparatory work, the period during which the results of the trials will become available and our research and development programs;

 

   

the timing of and our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for our product candidates;

 

   

our COVID-19 vaccine development program, including the timing thereof, the data therefrom, and our ability to successfully or profitably commercialize any approved vaccine;

 

   

our ability to supply the quantities of BNT162, our COVID-19 vaccine candidate, to support clinical development and, if approved, market demand, including our production estimates;

 

   

our expectations around the timing of entry, number of potential doses covered and amount of consideration under potential agreements for the supply of BNT162, if approved;

 

   

the impact of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, and the global response thereto;

 

   

our ability to identify research opportunities and discover and develop investigational medicines;

 

   

the ability and willingness of our third-party collaborators to continue research and development activities relating to our development candidates and investigational medicines;

 

   

our expectations regarding the size of the patient populations for our product candidates, if approved for commercial use;

 

   

our estimates of our expenses, ongoing losses, future revenue and capital requirements and our needs for or ability to obtain additional financing;

 

   

our ability to identify, recruit and retain key personnel;

 

   

our and our collaborators’ ability to protect and enforce our intellectual property protection for our proprietary and collaborative product candidates, and the scope of such protection;

 

   

our and our collaborators’ ability to defend third party claims that our activities infringe upon their intellectual property;

 

   

the development of and projections relating to our competitors or our industry;

 

   

our ability to establish a competitive market share for our COVID-19 vaccine candidate, if approved, or any other approved product, given the increasing competitive pressures in our industry;

 

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our ability to establish sales force and distribution capabilities and to commercialize our product candidates, if approved;

 

   

the pricing and reimbursement of our product candidates, if approved;

 

   

the rate and degree of market acceptance of our investigational medicines;

 

   

the amount of and our ability to use net operating losses and research and development credits to offset future taxable income;

 

   

our ability to manage our development and expansion;

 

   

regulatory developments in the United States and foreign countries;

 

   

our ability to manufacture our product candidates with advantages in turnaround times or manufacturing cost;

 

   

our ability to minimize and manage product recalls or inventory losses caused by unforeseen events, cold chain interruption and testing difficulties;

 

   

our ability to implement, maintain and improve effective internal controls;

 

   

our ability to minimize and manage claims for personal injury or death arising from the use of products and product candidates produced by us; and

 

   

our expectations regarding the time during which we will be a foreign private issuer.

The preceding list is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all of our forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus supplement and in the documents incorporated by reference herein speak only as of their respective dates, and unless otherwise required by law, we do not undertake any obligation to update them in light of new information or future developments or to release publicly any revisions to these statements in order to reflect later events or circumstances or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should read this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, the documents incorporated by reference herein and the documents that we have filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus form a part completely and with the understanding that our actual future results or performance may be materially different from what we expect.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We may sell the ADSs representing our ordinary shares having aggregate sales proceeds of up to $500 million from time to time. The number of ADSs to be sold shall not exceed 5,524,506 ordinary shares held in treasury and the aggregate sales proceeds may be less than $500 million, depending on the market price of the ADSs representing our ordinary shares at the time of sale. Because there is no minimum offering amount required as a condition to close this offering, the actual total public offering amount, commissions and proceeds to us, if any, are not determinable at this time.

We anticipate that we will use the net proceeds from this offering, together with our other cash resources, primarily to fund research and development expenses for our clinical and preclinical research and development activities and for working capital and general corporate purposes. We may also use a portion of the net proceeds to in-license or acquire or invest in complementary technologies, products, businesses or assets, either alone or together with a collaborator. However, we have no current plans, commitments or obligations to do so.

Our expected use of the net proceeds from this offering represents our current intentions based on our present plans and business condition, which could change as our plans and business conditions evolve. The amounts and timing of our actual use of the net proceeds from this offering will vary depending on numerous factors, including the progress of our clinical development of our product candidates, including our ongoing clinical trials. As a result, we cannot predict with certainty all of the particular uses for any net proceeds to be received or the amounts that we will actually spend on the uses set forth above. Our management will have broad discretion in the application of any net proceeds.

Pending our use of any net proceeds, we plan to invest the net proceeds in short- and intermediate-term interest-bearing financial instruments.

 

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DIVIDEND POLICY

We have never paid or declared any cash dividends on our ordinary shares, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our ordinary shares in the foreseeable future. We intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings to fund the development and expansion of our business. In addition, our ability to pay cash dividends is also limited in certain circumstances under the terms of an agreement we have entered into with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All of the shares represented by the ADSs offered by this prospectus will generally have the same dividend rights as all of our other outstanding shares.

Under German law, we may pay dividends only from the distributable profit (Bilanzgewinn) reflected in our unconsolidated financial statements (as opposed to the consolidated financial statements for us and our subsidiaries) prepared in accordance with the principles set forth in the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch) and adopted by our management board (Vorstand) and the supervisory board (Aufsichtsrat), or, as the case may be, by our shareholders in a shareholders’ meeting. See “Description of Share Capital and Articles of Association (Satzung),” which explains in more detail the procedures we must follow and the German law provisions that determine whether we are entitled to declare a dividend.

 

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CAPITALIZATION

The table below sets forth our cash and cash equivalents and our total capitalization as of September 30, 2020:

 

   

on an actual basis;

 

   

on an as adjusted basis to give effect to the sale of ADSs in the aggregate amount of up to $500 million at an assumed public offering price of $92.00 per ADS, which was the last reported sale price of the ADSs on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on November 6, 2020, and after deducting estimated commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

Our capitalization will be adjusted based on the actual public offering price and actual number of ADSs sold, including the amount by which actual offering expenses are higher or lower than estimated. You should read this table in conjunction with the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our Forms 20-F and 6-K and in our consolidated financial statements and related notes incorporated by reference herein.

 

    As of September 30, 2020  
    Actual      As Adjusted   
(in thousands except number of shares)   (unaudited)  

Cash and cash equivalents

  990,461      1,398,759  
 

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total debt (1)

  105,315      105,315  

Equity

    

Ordinary shares, no par value per share: 246,310,081 shares, actual and as adjusted

    

Share capital

    246,310        246,310  

Capital reserve

    1,441,631        1,844,494  

Treasury shares

    (5,525      (90

Accumulated losses

    (776,541      (776,541

Other reserves

    21,808        21,808  
 

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total equity

  927,683        1,335,981  
 

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total capitalization

  1,032,998      1,441,296  
 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1)

Total debt does not include the fair value of the embedded derivative bifurcated from the convertible note disclosed in other financial liabilities.

The number of our ordinary shares issued and outstanding is based on 246,310,081 ordinary shares outstanding (including 5,524,506 shares held in treasury) as of September 30, 2020 and excludes:

 

   

16,255,361 ordinary shares available for issuance upon the exercise of options outstanding as of September 30, 2020;

 

   

230,044 ordinary shares available for issuance upon the exercise of options expected to be granted in 2021 and 2022 under our long-term incentive program as of September 30, 2020; and

 

   

5,389,401 ordinary shares available for future issuance under our Employee Stock Ownership Plan or any future share option plan as of September 30, 2020 (after taking into account the issuance of options expected to be granted in 2021 and 2022).

As permitted by German law, we plan to use our existing treasury shares as the source of ADSs to be sold in this offering. Accordingly, the number of our ordinary shares outstanding after giving effect to this offering is the same as the number of our ordinary shares outstanding prior to this offering. The number of ADSs to be sold shall not exceed 5,524,506 ordinary shares held in treasury and the aggregate sales proceeds may be less than $500 million, depending on the market price of the ADSs representing our ordinary shares at the time of sale.

 

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DILUTION

If you invest in ADSs in this offering, your ownership interest will be diluted immediately to the extent of the difference between the price you pay in this offering and the net tangible book value per ADS after this offering.

Net tangible book value per ADS represents the amount of our total assets less our total liabilities, excluding intangible assets, divided by the number of our ordinary shares outstanding as of September 30, 2020. As of September 30, 2020, we had a historical net tangible book value of €759.0 million ($900.9 million), corresponding to a net tangible book value per ordinary share of €3.08 ($3.66) (equivalent to $3.66 per ADS).

After giving effect to the assumed sale by us of $500 million of ADSs at an assumed public offering price of $92.00 per ADS, which was the last reported sale price of the ADSs on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on November 6, 2020, and after deducting estimated commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, our as adjusted net tangible book value as of September 30, 2020 would have been €1.17 billion ($1.39 billion), corresponding to a net tangible book value per ordinary share of €4.74 ($5.63) (equivalent to $5.63 per ADS). This represents an immediate increase in net tangible book value of €1.66 ($1.97) per ordinary share (equivalent to $1.97 per ADS) to existing shareholders and immediate dilution of $86.37 per ADS to new investors purchasing ADSs in this offering. Dilution per ADS to new investors is determined by subtracting our as adjusted net tangible book value per ADS from the assumed public offering price per ADS paid by new investors.

The following table illustrates this dilution on a per-ADS basis. The as adjusted information is illustrative only and will change based on the actual price to the public, the actual number of ADSs sold and other terms of the offering determined at the time ADSs are sold pursuant to this prospectus supplement. The ADSs sold in this offering, if any, will be sold from time to time at various prices.

 

Assumed public offering price per ADS

      $ 92.00  

Net tangible book value per ADS as of September 30, 2020

   $ 3.66     

Increase in net tangible book value per ADS attributable to this offering

   $ 1.97     

As adjusted net tangible book value per ADS after giving effect to this offering

      $ 5.63  

Dilution per ADS to new investors participating in this offering

      $ 86.37  

The number of our ordinary shares issued and outstanding is based on 246,310,081 ordinary shares outstanding (including 5,524,506 shares held in treasury) as of September 30, 2020 and excludes:

 

   

16,255,361 ordinary shares available for issuance upon the exercise of options outstanding as of September 30, 2020;

 

   

230,044 ordinary shares available for issuance upon the exercise of options expected to be granted in 2021 and 2022 under our long-term incentive program as of September 30, 2020; and

 

   

5,389,401 ordinary shares available for future issuance under our Employee Stock Ownership Plan or any future share option plan as of September 30, 2020 (after taking into account the issuance of options expected to be granted in 2021 and 2022).

As permitted by German law, we plan to use our existing treasury shares as the source of ADSs to be sold in this offering. Accordingly, the number of our ordinary shares outstanding after giving effect to this offering is the same as the number of our ordinary shares outstanding prior to this offering. The number of ADSs to be sold shall not exceed 5,524,506 ordinary shares held in treasury and the aggregate sales proceeds may be less than $500 million, depending on the market price of the ADSs representing our ordinary shares at the time of sale.

We may choose to raise additional capital due to market conditions or strategic considerations even if we believe we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans. To the extent that additional capital is raised through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, the issuance of such securities may result in further dilution to our shareholders.

 

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TAXATION

German Taxation

The following discussion addresses certain German tax consequences of acquiring, owning or disposing of the ADSs. With the exception of “—Taxation of Holders Tax Resident in Germany” below, which provides an overview of dividend taxation and of capital gains taxation with respect to holders that are residents of Germany, this discussion applies only to U.S. treaty beneficiaries (defined below) that acquire ADSs in the offering.

This discussion is based on domestic German tax laws, including, but not limited to, circulars issued by German tax authorities, which, e.g., are not binding on the German courts, and the Treaty (defined below). It is based upon tax laws in effect at the time of filing of this prospectus. These laws are subject to change, possibly with retroactive effect. For example, certain member states of the European Union are considering introducing a financial transaction tax (Finanztransaktionssteuer) which, if and when introduced, may also be applicable on sales and/or transfer of ADSs. In addition, in Germany, for example, there are currently ongoing discussions on an increase of the top tax rate, which may also have an effect on the German tax consequences of acquiring, owning and disposing of the ADSs. There is no assurance that German tax authorities will not challenge one or more of the tax consequences described in this section.

In addition, this discussion is based upon the assumption that each obligation in the deposit agreement and any related agreement will be performed in accordance with its terms. It does not purport to be a comprehensive or exhaustive description of all German tax considerations that may be of relevance in the context of acquiring, owning and disposing of ADSs.

The tax information presented in this prospectus is not a substitute for tax advice. Prospective holders of ADSs should consult their own tax advisors regarding the German tax consequences of the purchase, ownership, disposition, donation or inheritance of ADSs in light of their particular circumstances, including the effect of any state, local, or other foreign or domestic laws or changes in tax law or interpretation. The same applies with respect to the rules governing the refund of any German dividend withholding tax (Kapitalertragsteuer) withheld. Only an individual tax consultation can appropriately account for the particular tax situation of each investor.

General

Based on the circular issued by the German Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF-Schreiben), dated May 24, 2013, reference number IV C 1-S2204/12/10003, as amended by the circular dated December 18, 2018 (reference number IV C 1 – S 2204/12/10003), in respect of the taxation of American Depositary Receipts, or ADRs, on domestic shares, or the ADR Tax Circular, for German tax purposes, the ADSs should represent a beneficial ownership interest in the underlying shares of BioNTech and qualify as ADRs for the purpose of the ADR Tax Circular. If the ADSs qualify as ADRs under the ADR Tax Circular, dividends will accordingly be attributable to holders of the ADSs for German tax purposes, and not to the legal owner of the ordinary shares (i.e., the financial institution on behalf of which the ordinary shares are stored at a domestic depository for the ADS holders). Furthermore, holders of the ADSs should, in light of the ADR Tax Circular, be treated as beneficial owners of the capital of BioNTech with respect to capital gains (see below in section “—German Taxation of Capital Gains of the U.S. Treaty Beneficiaries of the ADSs”). However, investors should note that circulars published by the German tax authorities (including the ADR Tax Circular) are not, e.g., binding on German courts, including German tax courts, and it is unclear whether a German court would follow the ADR Tax Circular in determining the German tax treatment of the ADSs. For the purpose of this German tax section, it is assumed that the ADSs qualify as ADRs within the meaning of the ADR Tax Circular.

 

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Taxation of Holders Not Tax Resident in Germany

The following discussion describes selected German tax consequences of acquiring the ADSs, owning the ADSs and disposing of the ADSs to a holder that is a U.S. treaty beneficiary. For purposes of this discussion, a “U.S. treaty beneficiary” is a resident of the United States for purposes of the Convention between the Federal Republic of Germany and United States of America for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital and Certain Other Taxes of 1989, as amended by the Protocol as of June 4, 2008 (Abkommen zwischen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika zur Vermeidung der Doppelbesteuerung und zur Verhinderung der Steuerverkürzung auf dem Gebiet der Steuern vom Einkommen und vom Vermögen und einiger anderer Steuern in der Fassung vom 4. Juni 2008), hereinafter referred to as the “Treaty,” who is eligible for relevant benefits under the Treaty.

A holder will be a U.S. treaty beneficiary entitled to full Treaty benefits in respect of the ADSs if it is, inter alia:

 

   

the beneficial owner of the ADSs (and the dividends paid with respect thereto);

 

   

a U.S. tax resident corporation or individual;

 

   

not also a resident of Germany for German tax purposes; and

 

   

not subject to the limitation on benefits (i.e., anti-treaty shopping) article of the Treaty that applies in limited circumstances.

Special rules apply to pension funds and certain other tax-exempt investors.

This discussion does not address the treatment of ADSs that are (i) held in connection with a permanent establishment or fixed base through which a U.S. treaty beneficiary carries on business or performs personal services in Germany or (ii) part of business assets for which a permanent representative in Germany has been appointed.

General Rules for the Taxation of Holders Not Tax Resident in Germany

Non-German resident holders of ADSs are subject to German taxation with respect to German source income (beschränkte Steuerpflicht). According to the ADR Tax Circular, income from the shares should be attributed to the holder of the ADSs for German tax purposes. As a consequence, income from the ADSs should be treated as German source income.

German Withholding Taxation of Dividends of the U.S. Treaty Beneficiaries of the ADSs

Generally, the full amount of a dividend distributed by BioNTech to a non-German resident holder which does not maintain a permanent establishment or other taxable presence in Germany is subject to (final) German withholding tax at an aggregate rate of 26.375% (that amount consists of 25% on dividends distributed plus solidarity surcharge of 5.5% on the amount of the withholding tax). The basis for the withholding tax is generally the dividend approved for distribution by our general shareholder’s meeting.

German withholding tax is withheld and remitted to the German tax authorities by (i) the disbursing agent (i.e., the German credit institution, financial services institution, securities trading enterprise or securities trading bank (each as defined in the German Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz) and in each case including a German branch of a foreign enterprise, but excluding a foreign branch of a German enterprise)) that holds or administers the underlying shares in custody and (a) disburses or credits the dividend income from the underlying shares, (b) disburses or credits the dividend income from the underlying shares on delivery of the dividend coupons or (c) disburses such dividend income to a foreign agent; or (ii) the central securities depository (Wertpapiersammelbank) in terms of the German Depositary Act (Depotgesetz) holding the underlying shares in a collective deposit, if such central securities depository disburses the dividend income from the underlying

 

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shares to a foreign agent, regardless of whether a holder must report the dividend for tax purposes and regardless of whether or not a holder is a resident of Germany. Dividend payments, to the extent funded from BioNTech’s tax-recognized contribution account (steuerliches Einlagekonto), do not, subject to certain prerequisites, form part of the taxable dividend income but should lower the holder’s acquisition costs for the ADSs.

Pursuant to the Treaty, the German withholding tax may generally not exceed (i) 15% of the gross amount of the dividends received by a U.S. treaty beneficiary other than a company holding ADSs which represent 10% or more of the voting shares in BioNTech, and (ii) 5% of the gross amount of the dividends received by a U.S. treaty beneficiary that is a company holding ADSs which represent 10% or more of the voting shares in BioNTech. The excess of the total withholding tax, including the solidarity surcharge, over the maximum rate of withholding tax permitted by the Treaty is refunded to U.S. treaty beneficiaries upon application. For example, for a declared dividend of 100, a U.S. treaty beneficiary initially receives 73.625 (100 minus the 26.375% withholding tax including solidarity surcharge). A U.S. treaty beneficiary other than a company holding ADSs which represent 10% or more of the voting shares in BioNTech is entitled to a partial refund from the German tax authorities in the amount of 11.375% of the gross dividend (of 100). As a result, the U.S. treaty beneficiary ultimately receives a total of 85 (85% of the declared dividend) following the refund of the excess withholding. However, it should be noted that there is uncertainty as to how the German tax authorities will apply the refund process to dividends on the ADSs with respect to non-German resident holders. Further, such refund is subject to the German anti-avoidance treaty shopping rule (as described below in “—Withholding Tax Refund for U.S. Treaty Beneficiaries”).

German Withholding Taxation of Capital Gains of the U.S. Treaty Beneficiaries of the ADSs

The capital gains from the disposition of the ADSs realized by a non-German resident holder which does not maintain a permanent establishment or other taxable presence in Germany would be treated as German source income and be subject to German tax if the ADSs qualify as a Qualifying Participation. A Qualifying Participation exists if a holder at any time during the five years preceding the disposition, directly or indirectly, owned at least 1% of BioNTech’s share capital, irrespective of whether through the ADSs or shares of BioNTech. If such holder had acquired the ADSs without consideration, the previous owner’s holding period and quota would be taken into account.

Pursuant to the Treaty, capital gains from the disposal of a Qualifying Participation realized by a U.S. treaty beneficiary are, however, generally exempt from German taxation. Pursuant to the Treaty, U.S. treaty beneficiaries are not subject to German tax in relation to capital gains from the disposal of a Qualifying Participation even under the circumstances described in the preceding paragraph and therefore should not be subject to German taxation on capital gains from the disposition of the ADSs.

German statutory law requires the disbursing agent to levy withholding tax on capital gains from the sale of ADSs or other securities held in a custodial account in Germany. With regard to the German taxation of capital gains, disbursing agent means a German credit institution, financial services institution, securities trading enterprise or securities trading bank (each as defined in the German Banking Act and, in each case including a German branch if a foreign enterprise, but excluding a foreign branch of a German enterprise) that holds the ADSs in custody or administers the ADSs for the investor or conducts sales or other dispositions and disburses or credits the income from the ADSs to the holder of the ADSs. The German statutory law does not explicitly condition the obligation to withhold taxes on capital gains being subject to taxation in Germany under German statutory law or on an applicable income tax treaty permitting Germany to tax such capital gains.

However, a circular issued by the German Federal Ministry of Finance, dated January 18, 2016, reference number IV C 1-S2252/08/10004 :017, as most recently amended by circular dated September 16, 2019, reference number IV C 1-S2252/08/10004 :027, provides that taxes need not be withheld when the holder of the custody account is not a resident of Germany for tax purposes and the income is not subject to German taxation. The circular further states that there is no obligation to withhold such tax even if the non-resident holder owns at least 1% of the share capital of a German corporation. While circulars issued by the German Federal Ministry of

 

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Finance are generally only to be adhered to by the German tax authorities but are not binding on the German courts, in practice, the disbursing agents nevertheless typically rely on guidance contained in such circulars. Therefore, a disbursing agent would only withhold tax at 26.375% on capital gains derived by a U.S. treaty beneficiary from the sale of ADSs held in a custodial account in Germany in the event that the disbursing agent did not follow the abovementioned guidance. In this case, the U.S. treaty beneficiary may be entitled to claim a refund of the withholding tax from the German tax authorities under the Treaty, as described below in “—Withholding Tax Refund for U.S. Treaty Beneficiaries.” A refund of taxes withheld on capital gains from the disposition of the ADSs which do not qualify as Qualifying Participations may also be claimed based on German statutory domestic law.

Withholding Tax Refund for U.S. Treaty Beneficiaries

U.S. treaty beneficiaries are generally eligible for treaty benefits under the Treaty, as described above in “—Taxation of Holders Not Tax Resident in Germany.” Accordingly, U.S. treaty beneficiaries are in general entitled to claim a refund of (i) the portion of the otherwise applicable 26.375% German withholding tax (Kapitalertragsteuer) on dividends that exceeds the applicable Treaty rate and (ii) the full amount of German withholding tax (Kapitalertragsteuer) on capital gains from the disposition of ADSs. The application for such claim is generally to be filed with the Federal Central Office of Taxation (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern) within four years after the end of the calendar year in which the capital gains or dividends have been received (bezogen).

However, in respect of dividends, the refund described in the preceding paragraph is only possible if, due to special rules on the restriction of withholding tax credit, the following three cumulative requirements are met: (i) the holder must qualify as beneficial owner of the ADSs for an uninterrupted minimum holding period of 45 days within a period starting 45 days prior to and ending 45 days after the due date of the dividends, (ii) the holder has to bear at least 70% of the change in value risk related to the ADSs during the minimum holding period as described under (i) of this paragraph and has not entered into (acting by itself or through a related party) hedging transactions which lower the change in value risk by more than 30%, and (iii) the holder must not be obliged to fully or largely compensate directly or indirectly the dividends to third parties. If these requirements are not met, then for a holder not being tax-resident in Germany who applied for a full or partial refund of the withholding tax pursuant to a double taxation treaty, no refund is available. This restriction generally does only apply if (a) the German tax underlying the refund application is below a tax rate of 15% based on the gross amount of the dividends and (b) the holder does not directly own 10% or more of the shares of BioNTech and is subject to income taxes in its state of residence, without being tax-exempt. The restriction of the withholding tax credit does not apply if the holder has beneficially owned the ADSs for at least one uninterrupted year until receipt (Zufluss) of the dividends.

In general, as previously discussed, investors should note that it is unclear how the German tax administration will apply the refund process to dividends on the ADSs. Further, such refund is subject to the German anti-avoidance treaty shopping rule. Generally, this rule requires that the U.S. treaty beneficiary (in case it is a non-German resident company) maintains its own administrative substance and conducts its own business activities. In particular, a foreign company has no right to a full or partial refund to the extent persons holding ownership interests in BioNTech would not be entitled to the refund if they derived the income directly and the gross income realized by the foreign company is not caused by the business activities of the foreign company, and there are either no economic or other considerable reasons for the interposition of the foreign company, or the foreign company does not participate in general commerce by means of a business organization with resources appropriate for its business purpose. However, this shall not apply if the foreign company’s principal class of stock is regularly traded in substantial volume on a recognized stock exchange, or if the foreign company is subject to the provisions of the German Investment Tax Act (Investmentsteuergesetz). Whether or not and to which extent the anti-avoidance treaty shopping rule applies to the ADSs has to be analyzed on a case by case basis taking into account all relevant tests. In addition, the interpretation of these tests is disputed and to date no published decisions of the German Federal Finance Court exist in this regard.

 

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Due to the legal structure of the ADSs, only limited guidance from the German tax authorities exists on the practical application of the procedure with respect to the ADSs and the respective limitations.

Recently, the German tax authorities have indicated that for ADR programs (which are considered comparable to ADS programs) a collective tax certificate in connection with a withholding of tax amounts may no longer be issued by the domestic depositary of the shares upon request of the foreign depositary agents. Rather, individual tax certificates need to be issued which might delay a potential refund procedure. Moreover, the simplified refund procedure based on electronic data exchange (Datenträgerverfahren) for claims for reimbursement based on ADRs has been temporarily suspended by the tax authorities.

Taxation of Holders Tax Resident in Germany

This subsection provides an overview of dividend taxation and of capital gains taxation with regard to the general principles applicable to ADS holders that are tax resident in Germany. A holder is a German tax resident if, in case of an individual, he or she maintains a domicile (Wohnsitz) or a usual residence (gewöhnlicher Aufenthalt) in Germany or if, in case of a corporation, it has its place of management (Geschäftsleitung) or registered seat (Sitz) in Germany.

The German dividend and capital gains taxation rules applicable to German tax residents require a distinction between ADSs held as private assets (Privatvermögen) and such held as business assets (Betriebsvermögen).

ADSs as Private Assets (Privatvermögen)

If the ADSs are held as private assets by a German tax resident, dividends and capital gains (other than capital gains from the disposition of a Qualifying Participation) are taxed as investment income and are principally subject to 25% German flat income tax on capital income (Abgeltungsteuer) (plus a 5.5% solidarity surcharge (Solidaritätszuschlag) thereon, resulting in an aggregate rate of 26.375%), which is levied in the form of withholding tax (Kapitalertragsteuer). In other words, once deducted, the holder’s income tax liability on the dividends will be settled. Dividend payments to the extent funded from BioNTech’s tax-recognized contribution account (steuerliches Einlagekonto), do not, subject to certain prerequisites, form part of the taxable dividend income but lower the holder’s acquisition costs for the ADSs.

Holders of ADSs may apply to have their capital investment income assessed in accordance with the general rules and with an individual’s personal income tax rate if this would result in a lower tax burden in which case actually incurred expenses are not deductible. The holder would be taxed on gross personal investment income (including dividends or gains with respect to ADSs), less the saver’s allowance of €801 for an individual or €1,602 for a married couple and a registered civil union (eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft) filing taxes jointly. The deduction of expenses related to the investment income (including dividends or gains with respect to ADSs) is generally not possible for private investors.

Losses resulting from the disposal of ADSs can only be offset against capital gains from the sale of any shares (Aktien) and other ADSs. If, however, a holder holds a Qualifying Participation, 60% of any capital gains resulting from the sale and transfer are taxable at the holder’s personal income tax rate (plus 5.5% solidarity surcharge thereon). Conversely, 60% of any capital losses are recognized for tax purposes.

Church tax generally has to be withheld, if applicable, based on an automatic data access procedure, unless the holder of ADSs has filed a blocking notice (Sperrvermerk) with the Federal Central Tax Office. Where church tax is not levied by way of withholding, it is determined by means of income tax assessment.

As of 2021, the basis for the calculation of the solidarity surcharge (Solidaritätszuschlag) will be reduced for certain individual persons being subject to tax assessments (other than withholding taxes), and in certain cases, the solidarity surcharge will be abolished. However, the abolition or reduction of the solidarity surcharge is not applicable to corporations. In addition, the abolition or reduction of the solidarity surcharge will not affect

 

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withholding taxes. Solidarity surcharge will still be levied at 5.5% on the full withholding tax amount and withheld accordingly. There will not be any separate refund of such withheld solidarity surcharge (regardless of the aforementioned exemption limits) in case the withholding tax cannot be refunded either.

ADSs as Business Assets (Betriebsvermögen)

In case the ADSs are held as business assets, the taxation depends on the legal form of the holder (i.e., whether the holder is a corporation or an individual).

Irrespective of the legal form of the holder, dividends are subject to the aggregate withholding tax rate of 26.375%. The withholding tax is generally creditable against the respective holder’s corporate income tax or income tax liability. Due to special rules on the restriction of withholding tax credits in respect of dividends, a full withholding tax credit requires that the following three cumulative requirements are met: (i) the holder must qualify as beneficial owner of the ADSs for an uninterrupted minimum holding period of 45 days occurring within a period starting 45 days prior to and ending 45 days after the due date of the dividends, (ii) the holder has to bear at least 70% of the change in value risk related to the ADSs during the minimum holding period as described under (i) of this paragraph and has not entered into (acting by itself or through a related party) hedging transactions which lower the change in value risk for more than 30%, and (iii) the holder must not be obliged to fully or largely compensate directly or indirectly the dividends to third parties. If these requirements are not met, three-fifths of the withholding tax imposed on the dividends must not be credited against the holder’s corporate income tax or income tax liability, but may, upon application, be deducted from the holder’s tax base for the relevant tax assessment period. A holder that is generally subject to German income tax or corporate income tax and that has received gross dividends without any deduction of withholding tax due to a tax exemption without qualifying for a full tax credit under the aforementioned requirements has to notify the competent local tax office accordingly, has to file withholding tax returns for a withholding tax of 15% of the relevant dividends in accordance with statutory formal requirements and has to make a payment in the amount of the omitted withholding tax deduction. The special rules on the restriction of withholding tax credit (and the corresponding notification and payment obligations) do not apply to a holder whose overall dividend earnings within an assessment period do not exceed €20,000 or that has been the beneficial owner of the ADSs for at least one uninterrupted year until receipt (Zufluss) of the dividends.

To the extent the amount withheld exceeds the income tax liability, the withholding tax will be refunded, provided that certain requirements are met (including the aforementioned requirements).

Special rules apply to credit institutions (Kreditinstitute), financial services institutions (Finanzdienstleistungsinstitute), financial enterprises (Finanzunternehmen), life insurance and health insurance companies, and pension funds.

In principle, dividends that a corporation receives from German or foreign corporations are subject to corporate income tax (and solidarity surcharge thereon) at a rate of 15.825% and also subject to trade tax of between 7.0% and generally 19.0% depending on the multiplier applied by the relevant municipality. However, with regard to holders in the legal form of a corporation, capital gains are in general effectively 95% tax exempt from corporate income tax (including solidarity surcharge). Dividends are also generally 95% tax exempt from corporate income tax (including solidarity surcharge), inter alia, if the holder held at least 10% of the registered share capital (Grundkapital oder Stammkapital) of BioNTech at the beginning of the calendar year, or Qualifying Dividends. Five percent of the capital gains and five percent of the Qualifying Dividends are treated as non-deductible business expenses, respectively, and, as such, are subject to corporate income tax (including solidarity surcharge); actual business expenses incurred to generate dividends may be deducted. The acquisition of a participation of at least 10% in the course of a calendar year is deemed to have occurred at the beginning of such calendar year for the determination of whether a dividend is a Qualifying Dividend. Participations in the share capital of BioNTech held through a partnership, including co-entrepreneurships (Mitunternehmerschaften), are attributable to the respective partner only on a pro rata basis at the ratio of its entitlement to the profits of the partnership.

 

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Capital gains and dividend income of a German tax resident corporation are generally subject to German trade tax of between 7.0% and generally 19.0% depending on the multiplier applied by the relevant municipality. The aforementioned 95% exemption for capital gains generally applies also for trade tax purposes.

However, the amount of any dividends after deducting business expenses related to the dividends is not subject to trade tax if the corporation held at least 15% of BioNTech’s registered share capital at the beginning of the relevant tax assessment period. In the latter case, the aforementioned exemption of 95% of the dividend income also applies for trade tax purposes. Losses from the sale of ADSs are generally not tax deductible for corporate income tax and trade tax purposes.

With regard to individuals holding ADSs as business assets, 60% of dividends and capital gains are taxed at the individual’s personal income tax rate (plus 5.5% solidarity surcharge thereon). Correspondingly, only 60% of business expenses related to the dividends and capital gains as well as losses from the sale of ADSs are principally deductible for income tax purposes. The dividend income and 60% of the capital gains are generally subject to trade tax, which is fully or partly creditable against the individual’s personal income tax by a lump-sum method. Dividends (after deduction of business expenses economically related thereto) are exempt from trade tax if the holder held at least 15% of BioNTech’s registered share capital at the beginning of the relevant tax assessment period. As of 2021, the basis for the calculation of the solidarity surcharge (Solidaritätszuschlag) will be reduced for certain individual persons being subject to tax assessments (other than withholding taxes), and in certain cases, the solidarity surcharge will be abolished, subject to the limitations described above in “—ADSs as Private Assets (Privatvermögen).”

German Inheritance and Gift Tax (Erbschaft- und Schenkungsteuer)

The transfer of ADSs to another person by inheritance or gift generally should be subject to German inheritance and gift tax only if:

 

(i)

the decedent or donor or heir, beneficiary or other transferee (a) maintained his or her domicile or a usual residence in Germany, (b) had its place of management or registered office in Germany at the time of the transfer, (c) is a German citizen who has spent no more than five consecutive years outside of Germany without maintaining a domicile in Germany or (d) is a German citizen who serves for a German entity established under public law and is remunerated for his or her service from German public funds (including family members who form part of such person’s household, if they are German citizens) and is only subject to estate or inheritance tax in his or her country of domicile or usual residence with respect to assets located in such country (special rules apply to certain former German citizens who neither maintain a domicile nor have their usual residence in Germany);

 

(ii)

at the time of the transfer, the ADSs are held by the decedent or donor as business assets forming part of a permanent establishment in Germany or for which a permanent representative in Germany has been appointed; or

 

(iii)

the ADSs subject to such transfer form part of a portfolio that represents at the time of the transfer 10% or more of the registered share capital of BioNTech and that has been held directly or indirectly by the decedent or donor, either alone or together with related persons.

The Agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on inheritances and gifts as of December 21, 2000 (Abkommen zwischen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika zur Vermeidung der Doppelbesteuerung auf dem Gebiet der Nachlass-, Erbschaft- und Schenkungssteuern in der Fassung vom 21. Dezember 2000), hereinafter referred to as the “United States-Germany Inheritance and Gifts Tax Treaty,” provides that the German inheritance tax or gift tax can, with certain restrictions, only be levied in the cases of (i) and (ii) above. Special provisions apply to certain German citizens living outside of Germany and former German citizens.

 

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Other Taxes

No German transfer tax, value-added tax, stamp duty or similar taxes are assessed on the purchase, sale or other transfer of ADSs. Provided that certain requirements are met, an entrepreneur may, however, opt for value-added tax on transactions that are otherwise tax-exempt. Net wealth tax (Vermögensteuer) is currently not imposed in Germany.

Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations

The following discussion describes material U.S. federal income tax considerations relating to the acquisition, ownership and disposition of ADSs by a U.S. Holder (as defined below) that acquires the ADSs representing our ordinary shares and holds them as a capital asset. This discussion is based on the tax laws of the United States, including the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, Treasury regulations promulgated or proposed thereunder, and administrative and judicial interpretations thereof, all as in effect on the date hereof. These tax laws are subject to change, possibly with retroactive effect, and subject to differing interpretations that could affect the tax consequences described herein. This section does not address the treatment of a holder of ADSs other than a U.S. Holder (as defined below), nor does it address the tax treatment under the laws of any state, local or foreign taxing jurisdiction.

For purposes of this discussion, a “U.S. Holder” is a beneficial owner of the ADSs representing our ordinary shares that, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, is:

 

   

an individual who is a citizen or resident of the United States;

 

   

a corporation, or other entity taxable as a corporation created or organized in or under the laws of the United States, a state therein or the District of Columbia;

 

   

an estate the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source; or

 

   

a trust if (i) a court within the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over the trust’s administration and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust or (ii) a valid election under the Treasury regulations is in effect for the trust to be treated as a U.S. person.

This discussion does not address all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation that may be applicable to U.S. Holders in light of their particular circumstances or status (including, for example, banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies, broker and dealers in securities or currencies, traders that have elected to mark securities to market, regulated investment companies, real estate investment trusts, partnerships or other pass-through entities, corporations that accumulate earnings to avoid U.S. federal income tax, tax-exempt organizations, pension plans, persons that hold more than 10% of our stock (by vote or by value), persons that hold the ADSs representing our ordinary shares as part of a straddle, hedge or other integrated investment, persons subject to alternative minimum tax or whose “functional currency” is not the U.S. dollar).

If a partnership (including any entity or arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes) holds the ADSs representing our ordinary shares, the tax treatment of a person treated as a partner in the partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes generally will depend on the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. Partnerships (and other entities or arrangements so treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes) and their partners should consult their own tax advisors.

In general, and taking into account the earlier assumptions, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, a holder of ADSs will be treated as the owner of the shares represented by those ADSs. Exchanges of shares for ADSs, and ADSs for shares, will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax.

 

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This discussion addresses only U.S. Holders and does not discuss any tax considerations other than U.S. federal income tax considerations. Prospective investors are urged to consult their own tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal, state and local, and foreign tax consequences of the purchase, ownership, and disposition of ADSs.

Dividends

Under the U.S. federal income tax laws, and subject to the passive foreign investment company, or PFIC, rules discussed below, the gross amount of any dividend we pay out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits (as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes) is includible in income for a U.S. Holder and subject to U.S. federal income taxation. Dividends paid to a noncorporate U.S. Holder that constitute qualified dividend income will be taxable at a preferential tax rate applicable to long-term capital gains, provided that the U.S. Holder holds the ADSs for more than 60 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the ex-dividend date and meets other holding period requirements. Dividends we pay with respect to the ADSs generally will be qualified dividend income.

A U.S. Holder must include any German tax withheld from the dividend payment, as described above under “—German Taxation—General Rules for the Taxation of Holders Not Tax Resident in Germany,” in the gross amount of dividend paid even though the holder does not in fact receive it. The dividend is taxable to the holder when the depositary receives the dividend, actually or constructively. Because we are not a U.S. corporation, the dividend will not be eligible for the dividends-received deduction generally allowed to U.S. corporations in respect of dividends received from other U.S. corporations. The amount of the dividend distribution includible in a U.S. Holder’s income will be the U.S. dollar value of the Euro payments made, determined at the spot Euro/U.S. dollar rate on the date the dividend distribution is includible in income, regardless of whether the payment is in fact converted into U.S. dollars. Generally, any gain or loss resulting from currency exchange fluctuations during the period from the date the dividend payment is included in income to the date the payment is converted into U.S. dollars will be treated as ordinary income or loss and will not be eligible for the special tax rate applicable to qualified dividend income. Such gain or loss generally will be income or loss from sources within the United States for foreign tax credit limitation purposes.

To the extent a distribution with respect to ADSs exceeds our current or accumulated earnings and profits, as determined under U.S. federal income tax principles, the distribution will be treated, first, as a tax-free return of the U.S. Holder’s investment, up to the holder’s adjusted tax basis, in its ADSs, and, thereafter, as capital gain, which is subject to the tax treatment described below in “—Gain on Sale, Exchange or Other Taxable Disposition.”

Subject to certain limitations, the German tax withheld in accordance with the Treaty and paid over to the German taxing authority will be creditable or deductible against a U.S. Holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability. To the extent a refund of the tax withheld is available to a U.S. Holder under German law or under the Treaty, the amount of tax withheld that is refundable will not be eligible for credit against a U.S. Holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability. See “—German Taxation—Withholding Tax Refund for U.S. Treaty Beneficiaries” above for the procedures for obtaining a tax refund.

Gain On Sale, Exchange or Other Taxable Disposition

Subject to the PFIC rules described below under “—Passive Foreign Investment Company Considerations”, a U.S. Holder that sells, exchanges or otherwise disposes of ADSs in a taxable disposition generally will recognize capital gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes equal to the difference between the U.S. dollar value of the amount realized and the holder’s tax basis, determined in U.S. dollars, in the ADSs. Gain or loss recognized on such a sale, exchange or other disposition of ADSs generally will be long-term capital gain if the U.S. Holder’s holding period in the ADSs exceeds one year. Long-term capital gains of non-corporate U.S. Holders are generally taxed at preferential rates. The gain or loss generally will be income or loss from sources within the United States for foreign tax credit limitation purposes. A U.S. Holder’s ability to deduct capital losses is subject to limitations.

 

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Passive Foreign Investment Company Considerations

We do not believe that we should be treated as, and do not expect to become, a PFIC. Because the determination of our PFIC status is made annually based on the factual tests described below, however, we cannot provide any assurances regarding our PFIC status for the current or future taxable years or that the IRS will agree with our conclusion regarding our PFIC status.

If we were classified as a PFIC in any taxable year, a U.S. Holder would be subject to special rules with respect to distributions on and sales, exchanges and other dispositions of the ADSs. We will be treated as a PFIC for any taxable year in which at least 75% of our gross income is “passive income” or at least 50% of our gross assets during the taxable year (based on the average of the fair market values of the assets determined at the end of each quarterly period) are assets that produce or are held for the production of passive income. Passive income for this purpose generally includes, among other things, dividends, interest, rents, royalties, gains from commodities and securities transactions, and gains from assets that produce passive income. However, rents and royalties received from unrelated parties in connection with the active conduct of a trade or business are not considered passive income for purposes of the PFIC test. In determining whether we are a PFIC, a pro rata portion of the income and assets of each corporation in which we own, directly or indirectly, at least a 25% interest (by value) is taken into account.

If we were a PFIC with respect to a U.S. Holder, then unless such U.S. Holder makes one of the elections described below, a special tax regime would apply to the U.S. Holder with respect to (i) any “excess distribution” (generally, aggregate distributions in any year that are greater than 125% of the average annual distribution received by the holder in the shorter of the three preceding years or the holder’s holding period for the ADSs) and (ii) any gain realized on the sale or other disposition of the ADSs. Under this regime, any excess distribution and realized gain will be treated as ordinary income and will be subject to tax as if (a) the excess distribution or gain had been realized ratably over the U.S. Holder’s holding period, (b) the amount deemed realized in each year had been subject to tax in each year of that holding period at the highest marginal rate for such year (other than income allocated to the current period or any taxable period before we became a PFIC, which would be subject to tax at the U.S. Holder’s regular ordinary income rate for the current year and would not be subject to the interest charge discussed below), and (c) the interest charge generally applicable to underpayments of tax had been imposed on the taxes deemed to have been payable in those years. If we were determined to be a PFIC, this tax treatment for U.S. Holders would apply also to indirect distributions and gains deemed realized by U.S. Holders in respect of stock of any of our subsidiaries determined to be PFICs. In addition, dividend distributions would not qualify for the lower rates of taxation applicable to long-term capital gains discussed above under “—Taxation of Dividends.”

A U.S. Holder that holds the ADSs at any time during a taxable year in which we are classified as a PFIC generally will be required to continue to treat such ADSs as ADSs in a PFIC, even if we no longer satisfy the income and asset tests described above, unless the U.S. Holder elects to recognize gain, which will be taxed under the excess distribution rules as if such ADSs had been sold on the last day of the last taxable year for which we were a PFIC.

Certain elections may be available to a U.S. Holder if we were a PFIC that might alleviate some of the adverse consequences of PFIC status and would result in an alternative treatment of the ADSs.

U.S. Holders are urged to consult their tax advisors as to our status as a PFIC, and the tax consequences to them if we were a PFIC, including the reporting requirements and the desirability of making, and the availability of, a qualified electing fund election or a mark-to-market election with respect to the ADSs.

Net Investment Income Tax

Non-corporate U.S. Holders that are individuals, estates or trusts and whose income exceeds certain thresholds generally are subject to a 3.8% tax on all or a portion of their net investment income, which may include their

 

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gross dividend income and net gains from the disposition of ADSs. A U.S. Holder that is an individual, estate or trust is encouraged to consult its tax advisor regarding the applicability of this net investment income tax to its income and gains in respect of any investment in ADSs.

Information Reporting with Respect to Foreign Financial Assets

Individual U.S. Holders may be subject to certain reporting obligations on IRS Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets) with respect to the ADSs for any taxable year during which the U.S. Holder’s aggregate value of these and certain other “specified foreign financial assets” exceed a threshold amount that varies with the filing status of the individual. This reporting obligation also applies to domestic entities formed or availed of to hold, directly or indirectly, specified foreign financial assets, including the ADSs. Significant penalties can apply if U.S. Holders are required to make this disclosure and fail to do so.

U.S. Holders who acquire ADSs for cash may be required to file IRS Form 926 (Return by a U.S. Transferor of Property to a Foreign Corporation) with the IRS and to supply certain additional information to the IRS if (i) immediately after the transfer, the U.S. Holder owns directly or indirectly (or by attribution) at least 10% of our total voting power or value or (ii) the amount of cash transferred to us in exchange for ADSs, when aggregated with all related transfers under applicable regulations, exceeds $100,000. Substantial penalties may be imposed on a U.S. Holder that fails to comply with this reporting requirement.

Information Reporting and Backup Withholding

In general, information reporting, on IRS Form 1099, will apply to dividends in respect of ADSs and the proceeds from the sale, exchange or redemption of ADSs that are paid to a holder of ADSs within the United States (and in certain cases, outside the United States), unless such holder is an exempt recipient such as a corporation. Backup withholding (currently at a 24% rate) may apply to such payments if a holder of ADSs fails to provide a taxpayer identification number (generally on an IRS Form W-9) or certification of other exempt status or fails to report in full dividend and interest income.

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. A U.S. Holder generally may obtain a refund of any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules that exceed the U.S. Holder’s income tax liability by filing a refund claim with the IRS.

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

We have entered into a sales agreement with Jefferies and SVB Leerink, under which we may offer and sell up to $500 million of ADSs representing our ordinary shares from time to time through Jefferies and SVB Leerink acting as agents. Sales of ADSs, if any, under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus will be made by any method that is deemed to be an “at the market offering” as defined in Rule 415(a)(4) under the Securities Act.

Each time we wish to issue and sell ADSs under the sales agreement, we will notify Jefferies or SVB Leerink of the number of ADSs to be issued, the dates on which such sales are anticipated to be made, any limitation on the number of ADSs to be sold in any one day and any minimum price below which sales may not be made. Once we have so instructed a sales agent, unless such sales agent declines to accept the terms of such notice, such sales agent has agreed to use its commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its normal trading and sales practices to sell such shares up to the amount specified on such terms. The obligations of the sales agents under the sales agreement to sell the ADSs are subject to a number of conditions that we must meet.

The settlement of sales of ADSs between us and the applicable sales agent is generally anticipated to occur on the second trading day following the date on which the sale was made. Sales of ADSs as contemplated in this prospectus supplement will be settled through the facilities of The Depository Trust Company or by such other means as we and the applicable sales agent may agree upon. There is no arrangement for funds to be received in an escrow, trust or similar arrangement.

We will pay the sales agent a commission equal to 3% of the aggregate gross proceeds we receive from the sale of ADSs by such sales agent. Because there is no minimum offering amount required as a condition to close this offering, the actual total public offering amount, commissions and proceeds to us, if any, are not determinable at this time. In addition, we have agreed to reimburse the sales agents for the fees and disbursements of its counsel, payable upon execution of the sales agreement, in an amount not to exceed $75,000, in addition to certain ongoing disbursements of its legal counsel. We estimate that the total expenses for the offering, excluding any commissions or expense reimbursement payable to the sales agents under the terms of the sales agreement, will be approximately $350,000. The remaining sale proceeds, after deducting any other transaction fees, will equal our net proceeds from the sale of such ADSs.

The applicable sales agent will provide written confirmation to us before the open on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on the day following each day on which ADSs are sold under the sales agreement. Each confirmation will include the number of ADSs sold on that day, the aggregate gross proceeds of such sales and the proceeds to us.

In connection with the sale of ADSs on our behalf, the sales agents may be deemed to be an “underwriter” within the meaning of the Securities Act, and the compensation of the sales agents will be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts. We have agreed to indemnify the sales agents against certain liabilities, including civil liabilities under the Securities Act. We have also agreed to contribute to payments the sales agents may be required to make in respect of such liabilities.

The offering of ADSs pursuant to the sales agreement will terminate upon the earlier of (i) the sale of all ADSs subject to the sales agreement and (ii) the termination of the sales agreement as permitted therein. Either sales agent may terminate the sales agreement, with respect to such sales agent’s rights and obligations under the sales agreement, at any time upon ten days’ prior notice. We may terminate the sales agreement with respect to either or both sales agents at any time upon ten days’ prior notice.

This summary of the material provisions of the sales agreement does not purport to be a complete statement of its terms and conditions. A copy of the sales agreement is filed as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement forms a part.

 

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The sales agents and their respective affiliates may in the future provide various investment banking, commercial banking, financial advisory and other financial services for us and our affiliates, for which services they may in the future receive customary fees. In the course of its business, the sales agents may actively trade our securities for their own accounts or for the accounts of customers, and, accordingly, the sales agents may at any time hold long or short positions in such securities.

A prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus in electronic format may be made available on a website maintained by the sales agents, and the sales agents may distribute the prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus electronically.

 

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LEGAL MATTERS

The validity of the ordinary shares and certain other matters of German law will be passed upon for us by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater PartG mbB, Hamburg, Germany. Certain matters of U.S. law will be passed upon for us by Covington & Burling LLP, New York, New York. Members of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater PartG mbB are the beneficial owners of less than 1% of our ordinary shares. Legal counsel to the sales agents in connection with this offering are Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Frankfurt, Germany with respect to German law and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, New York, New York with respect to U.S. law.

EXPERTS

The consolidated financial statements of BioNTech SE appearing in BioNTech SE’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2019 have been audited by Ernst & Young GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, independent registered public accounting firm, as set forth in their report thereon, included therein, and incorporated herein by reference. Such consolidated financial statements are incorporated herein by reference in reliance upon such report given on the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing. The registered business address of Ernst & Young GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft is Börsenplatz 1, 50667 Cologne, Germany.

The financial statements of Neon Therapeutics, Inc. incorporated in this Prospectus by reference to Neon Therapeutics, Inc.’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 have been so incorporated in reliance on the report (which contains an explanatory paragraph relating to Neon Therapeutics, Inc.’s ability to continue as a going concern as described in Note 1 to the financial statements) of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.

SERVICE OF PROCESS AND ENFORCEMENT OF LIABILITIES

We are incorporated and currently existing under European laws and the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany. In addition, all of our directors and officers reside outside of the United States and our assets and those of our non-U.S. subsidiaries are located outside of the United States. As a result, it may not be possible for investors to effect service of process on us or those persons in the United States or to enforce in the United States judgments obtained in U.S. courts against us or those persons based on the civil liability or other provisions of the U.S. securities laws or other laws.

Awards of punitive damages in actions brought in the United States or elsewhere may be unenforceable in Germany. In addition, actions brought in a German court against BioNTech or the members of our supervisory Board and Management Board, our senior management and the experts named herein to enforce liabilities based on U.S. federal securities laws may be subject to certain restrictions; in particular, German courts generally do not award punitive damages. An award for monetary damages under the U.S. securities laws would be considered punitive if it does not seek to compensate the claimant for loss or damage suffered and is intended to punish the defendant. The enforceability of any judgment in Germany will depend on the particular facts of the case as well as the laws and treaties in effect at the time.

Litigation in the Federal Republic of Germany is also subject to rules of procedure that differ from the U.S. rules, including with respect to the taking and admissibility of evidence, the conduct of the proceedings and the allocation of costs. Proceedings in Germany would have to be conducted in the German language, and all documents submitted to the court would, in principle, have to be translated into German. For these reasons, it may be difficult for a U.S. investor to bring an original action in a German court predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws against us, certain members of our Management and

 

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Supervisory Boards and senior management and the experts named in this prospectus supplement. The United States and Germany do not currently have a treaty providing for recognition and enforcement of judgments (other than arbitration awards) in civil and commercial matters, though recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Germany is possible in accordance with applicable German laws. Even if a judgment against our company, the members of our Management Board, Supervisory Board, senior management or the experts named in this prospectus supplement based on the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws is obtained, a U.S. investor may not be able to enforce it in U.S. or German courts.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We are subject to the information reporting requirements of the Exchange Act that are applicable to foreign private issuers. Accordingly, we are required to file reports and other information with the SEC, including annual reports on Form 20-F and reports on Form 6-K. The SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding registrants that file electronically with the SEC. These filings and our filings with the SEC are available to the public through the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

We have filed with the SEC a “shelf” registration statement on Form F-3 under the Securities Act, relating to the securities offered by this prospectus supplement. This prospectus supplement is a part of that registration statement, but does not contain all of the information in the registration statement. We have omitted parts of the registration statement in accordance with the rules and regulations of the SEC. For more detail about us and the securities offered by this prospectus supplement, you may examine the registration statement on Form F-3 and the exhibits filed with it at the website listed in the previous paragraph.

As a foreign private issuer, we are exempt under the Exchange Act from, among other things, the rules prescribing the furnishing and content of proxy statements, and our board members, executive officers and principal shareholders are exempt from the reporting and short-swing profit recovery provisions contained in Section 16 of the Exchange Act. In addition, we are not required under the Exchange Act to file periodic reports and financial statements with the SEC as frequently or as promptly as U.S. companies whose securities are registered under the Exchange Act.

We will send our transfer agent a copy of all notices of our general meetings of shareholders and other reports, communications and information that are made generally available to shareholders. The transfer agent has agreed to mail to all shareholders a notice containing the information (or a summary of the information) contained in any notice of a meeting of our shareholders received by the transfer agent and will make available to all shareholders such notices and all such other reports and communications received by the transfer agent.

We maintain a corporate website at https://www.biontech.de. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not a part of this prospectus supplement and is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement. We have included our website address as an inactive textual reference only.

 

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INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION BY REFERENCE

We file annual and special reports and other information with the SEC (File Number 001-39081). These filings contain important information that does not appear in this prospectus supplement. The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” information into this prospectus supplement, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to other documents which we have filed or will file with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is deemed to be part of this prospectus supplement, except to the extent superseded by information contained herein or by information contained in documents filed with the SEC after the date of this prospectus supplement. We are incorporating by reference in this prospectus supplement the documents listed below:

 

   

Our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, filed with the SEC on March 31, 2020;

 

   

Our Form 6-K filed with the SEC on May 12, 2020, containing our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements as of and for the three months ended March  31, 2020, our Form 6-K filed with the SEC on August 11, 2020, containing our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements as of and for the three and six months ended June 30, 2020, our Form 6-K filed with the SEC on November 9, 2020, relating to BNT162b2, and our Form 6-K filed with the SEC on November 9, 2020, containing certain unaudited pro forma financial information;

 

   

Neon Therapeutics, Inc.’s audited consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2019 and 2018 and for the years then ended and the audit report of the independent registered public accounting firm, included on pages F-1 through F-28 of Neon Therapeutics, Inc.’s Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 2, 2020;

 

   

Neon Therapeutics, Inc.’s unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements as of March 31, 2020 and for the three-month periods ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 included in Item 1 of Neon Therapeutics, Inc.’s Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on May 1, 2020; and

 

   

The description of the ADSs and ordinary shares contained in our Form 8-A filed with the SEC on October 7, 2019, including any amendment or report filed for the purpose of updating such description.

All subsequent annual reports on Form 20-F, Form 40-F or Form 10-K that we file with the SEC and all subsequent filings on Forms 10-Q and 8-K filed by us with the SEC pursuant to the Exchange Act, after the date hereof and prior to the termination of this offering, shall be incorporated by reference. We may incorporate by reference any reports on Form 6-K that we furnish to the SEC that we specifically identify in such form or in any applicable prospectus supplement as being incorporated by reference into this prospectus or such prospectus supplement after the date hereof and prior to the completion of an offering of securities under this prospectus.

We will provide to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom this prospectus is delivered, a copy of these filings, at no cost, upon written or oral request to us at the following address:

BioNTech SE

An der Goldgrube 12

D-55131 Mainz

Germany

Attention: James Ryan, Vice President, Legal and IP

Our SEC filings are also available (free of charge) from our web site at www.biontech.de. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not a part of this prospectus supplement and is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement. We have included our website address as an inactive textual reference only.

 

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Up to $500,000,000

 

LOGO

Ordinary Shares

Represented by American Depositary Shares

 

 

PROSPECTUS

 

 

 

Jefferies    SVB Leerink

 

 

November 9, 2020

 

 

 


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PART II

INFORMATION NOT REQUIRED IN THE PROSPECTUSES

Item 8. Indemnification of Directors and Officers

As a German European public company with limited liability, we are—insofar as applicable pursuant to the SE Regulation and the German law on the implementation of the SE (SEAG)—subject to the German Stock Corporation Act (Aktiengesetz), as amended. Under German law, we may not indemnify members of our Management Board and Supervisory Board to the extent the relevant claim or loss has arisen as a result of the breach by the member of his or her duties owed to us. Otherwise we are required under the law to indemnify our Management Board and Supervisory Board members from and against any liabilities arising out of or in connection with their services to us.

We provide directors’ and officers’ liability insurance for the members of our Management and Supervisory Boards against civil liabilities, which they may incur in connection with their activities on behalf of our company.

Insofar as indemnification of liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted to our board, executive officers, or persons controlling us pursuant to the foregoing provisions, we have been informed that, in the opinion of the SEC, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is therefore unenforceable.

Item 9. Exhibits

(a) The following documents are filed as part of this registration statement:

 

Exhibit
No.
  

Exhibit

1.1*    Form of Underwriting Agreement
1.2    Sales Agreement, dated November 9, 2020, among the Registrant, Jefferies LLC and SVB Leerink LLC
2.1    Agreement and Plan of Merger by and among the Registrant, Endor Lights, Inc. and Neon Therapeutics, Inc., dated January  15, 2020 (incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form F-4 (File No. 333-237515), filed with the SEC on March 31, 2020)
4.1    Form of Specimen American Depositary Receipt (included in Exhibit 4.3)
4.2    Registrant’s Specimen Certificate for Ordinary Shares (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.2 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form F-1 (File No. 333-233688), filed with the SEC on September 9, 2019)
4.3    Deposit Agreement among the Registrant, the depositary and holders and beneficial owners of the American Depositary Shares, dated October 9, 2019 (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.3 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form F-1 (File No. 333-239970), filed with the SEC on July 21, 2020)
4.4    Form of Senior Indenture
4.5    Form of Subordinated Indenture
4.6*    Form of Senior Note
4.7*    Form of Subordinated Note
4.8*    Form of Purchase Contract
4.9*    Form of Subscription Rights Agreement

 

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Exhibit
No.
  

Exhibit

4.10*    Form of Unit Agreement and/or Certificate
5.1    Opinion of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater PartG mbB
5.2    Opinion of Covington & Burling LLP
23.1    Consent of Ernst & Young GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
23.2    Consent of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
23.3    Consent of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater PartG mbB (included in Exhibit 5.1)
23.4    Consent of Covington & Burling LLP (included in Exhibit 5.2)
24.1    Powers of Attorney (included on signature page)
25.1    Statement of Eligibility on Form T-1 for Senior Indenture
25.2    Statement of Eligibility on Form T-1 for Subordinated Indenture

 

*

To be filed, if necessary, by amendment

Item 10. Undertakings

(a) The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes:

(1) To file, during any period in which offers or sales are being made, a post-effective amendment to this registration statement:

(i) To include any prospectus required by Section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act;

(ii) To reflect in the prospectus any facts or events arising after the effective date of the registration statement (or the most recent post-effective amendment thereof) which, individually or in the aggregate, represent a fundamental change in the information set forth in the registration statement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any increase or decrease in volume of securities offered (if the total dollar value of securities offered would not exceed that which was registered) and any deviation from the low or high end of the estimated maximum offering range may be reflected in the form of prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the Commission, pursuant to Rule 424(b) if, in the aggregate, the changes in volume and price represent no more than 20% change in the maximum aggregate offering price set forth in the “Calculation of Registration Fee” table in the effective registration statement; and

(iii) To include any material information with respect to the plan of distribution not previously disclosed in the registration statement or any material change to such information in the registration statement;

provided, however, that:

(A) Paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (a)(1)(ii) of this section do not apply if the registration statement is on Form S-8, and the information required to be included in a post-effective amendment by those paragraphs is contained in reports filed with or furnished to the Commission by the registrant pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act that are incorporated by reference in the registration statement; and

(B) Paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (a)(1)(ii) and (a)(1)(iii) of this section do not apply if the registration statement is on Form S-3 or Form F-3 and the information required to be included in a post-effective amendment by those paragraphs is contained in reports filed with or furnished to the Commission by the registrant pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act that are incorporated by reference in the registration statement, or is contained in a form of prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) that is part of the registration statement.

 

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(C) Provided further, however, that paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (a)(1)(ii) do not apply if the registration statement is for an offering of asset-backed securities on Form S-1 or Form S-3, and the information required to be included in a post-effective amendment is provided pursuant to Item 1100(c) of Regulation AB.

(2) That, for the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act, each such post-effective amendment shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.

(3) To remove from registration by means of a post-effective amendment any of the securities being registered which remain unsold at the termination of the offering.

(4) To file a post-effective amendment to the registration statement to include any financial statements required by Item 8.A of Form 20-F at the start of any delayed offering or throughout a continuous offering. Financial statements and information otherwise required by Section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act need not be furnished, provided that the registrant includes in the prospectus, by means of a post-effective amendment, financial statements required pursuant to this paragraph (a)(4) and other information necessary to ensure that all other information in the prospectus is at least as current as the date of those financial statements. Notwithstanding the foregoing, with respect to registration statements on Form F-3, a post-effective amendment need not be filed to include financial statements and information required by Section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act or Item 8.A of Form 20-F if such financial statements and information are contained in periodic reports filed with or furnished to the Commission by the registrant pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act that are incorporated by reference in the Form F-3.

(5) That, for the purpose of determining liability under the Securities Act to any purchaser:

(A) Each prospectus filed by the registrant pursuant to Rule 424(b)(3) shall be deemed to be part of the registration statement as of the date the filed prospectus was deemed part of and included in the registration statement; and

(B) Each prospectus required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2), (b)(5), or (b)(7) as part of a registration statement in reliance on Rule 430B relating to an offering made pursuant to Rule 415(a)(1)(i), (vii), or (x) for the purpose of providing the information required by Section 10(a) of the Securities Act shall be deemed to be part of and included in the registration statement as of the earlier of the date such form of prospectus is first used after effectiveness or the date of the first contract of sale of securities in the offering described in the prospectus. As provided in Rule 430B, for liability purposes of the issuer and any person that is at that date an underwriter, such date shall be deemed to be a new effective date of the registration statement relating to the securities in the registration statement to which that prospectus relates, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof. Provided, however, that no statement made in a registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement or made in a document incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference into the registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement will, as to a purchaser with a time of contract of sale prior to such effective date, supersede or modify any statement that was made in the registration statement or prospectus that was part of the registration statement or made in any such document immediately prior to such effective date.

(6) That, for the purpose of determining liability of the registrant under the Securities Act to any purchaser in the initial distribution of the securities, the undersigned registrant undertakes that in a primary offering of securities of the undersigned registrant pursuant to this registration statement, regardless of the underwriting method used to sell the securities to the purchaser, if the securities are offered or sold to such purchaser by means of any of the following communications, the undersigned registrant will be a seller to the purchaser and will be considered to offer or sell such securities to such purchaser:

(A) Any preliminary prospectus or prospectus of the undersigned registrant relating to the offering required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424;

 

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(B) Any free writing prospectus relating to the offering prepared by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant or used or referred to by the undersigned registrant;

(C) The portion of any other free writing prospectus relating to the offering containing material information about the undersigned registrant or its securities provided by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant; and

(D) Any other communication that is an offer in the offering made by the undersigned registrant to the purchaser.

(b) The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes that, for purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act, each filing of the registrant’s annual report pursuant to Section 13(a) or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act (and, where applicable, each filing of an employee benefit plan’s annual report pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act) that is incorporated by reference in the registration statement shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.

(c) Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted to directors, officers and controlling persons of the registrant pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, the registrant has been advised that in the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is, therefore, unenforceable. In the event that a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than the payment by the registrant of expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the registrant in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, the registrant will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.

(d) The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes that:

(1) For purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act, the information omitted from the form of prospectus filed as part of this registration statement in reliance upon Rule 430A and contained in a form of prospectus filed by the registrant pursuant to Rule 424(b) (1) or (4) or 497(h) under the Securities Act shall be deemed to be part of this registration statement as of the time it was declared effective.

(2) For the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act, each post-effective amendment that contains a form of prospectus shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.

(e) The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes to file an application for the purpose of determining the eligibility of the trustee to act under subsection (a) of Section 310 of the Trust Indenture Act (“Act”) in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed by the Commission under Section 305(b)(2) of the Act.

 

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Table of Contents

SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, the registrant certifies that it has reasonable grounds to believe that it meets all of the requirements for filing on Form F-3 and has duly caused this registration statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in Mainz, Germany on November 9, 2020.

 

BIONTECH SE
By:   /s/ PROF. UGUR SAHIN, M.D.
  Name: Prof. Ugur Sahin, M.D.
  Title: Chief Executive Officer

POWER OF ATTORNEY

KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that each person whose signature appears below hereby constitutes and appoints Prof. Ugur Sahin, M.D., Özlem Türeci, Sean Marett, Sierk Poetting and Ryan Richardson and each of them, individually, as his true and lawful attorneys-in-fact and agents, with full power of substitution and resubstitution, for him and in his name, place and stead in any and all capacities, in connection with this registration statement, including to sign in the name and on behalf of the undersigned, this registration statement and any and all amendments hereto, including post-effective amendments and registration statements filed pursuant to Rule 462 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and to file the same, with all exhibits thereto, and other documents in connection therewith, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, granting unto such attorneys-in-fact and agents, and each of them, full power and authority to do and perform each and every act and thing requisite and necessary to be done in and about the premises, as fully to all intents and purposes as he might or could do in person, hereby ratifying and confirming all that said attorneys-in-fact and agents, or his substitute, may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, this registration statement has been signed by the following persons on November 9, 2020 in the capacities indicated:

 

Name

  

Title

 

Date

/s/ PROF. UGUR SAHIN, M.D.

Prof. Ugur Sahin, M.D.

   Chief Executive Officer
(principal executive officer)
  November 9, 2020

/s/ DR. SIERK POETTING, PH.D.

Dr. Sierk Poetting, Ph.D.

   Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer
(principal accounting officer)
  November 9, 2020

/s/ HELMUT JEGGLE

Helmut Jeggle

   Chair of the Supervisory Board   November 9, 2020

/s/ MICHAEL MOTSCHMANN

Michael Motschmann

   Director   November 9, 2020

/s/ PROF. CHRISTOPH HUBER, M.D.

Prof. Christoph Huber, M.D.

   Director   November 9, 2020

/s/ DR. ULRICH WANDSCHNEIDER

Dr. Ulrich Wandschneider

   Director   November 9, 2020


Table of Contents

SIGNATURE OF AUTHORIZED U.S. REPRESENTATIVE OF REGISTRANT

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the undersigned, the duly authorized representative in the United States of BioNTech SE has signed this registration statement on November 9, 2020.

 

BIONTECH US INC.

/s/ BRIAN KICKHAM

Name: Brian Kickham

Title: Secretary

EX-1.2

Exhibit 1.2

SALES AGREEMENT

November 9, 2020

JEFFERIES LLC

520 Madison Avenue

New York, New York 10022

SVB LEERINK LLC

1301 Avenue of the Americas, 12th Floor

New York, New York 10019

Ladies and Gentlemen:

BioNTech SE, a European stock corporation (Societas Europaea) incorporated in Germany and governed by the laws of the European Union and the Federal Republic of Germany and registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) of the local court (Amtsgericht) of Mainz, Federal Republic of Germany, under number HRB 48720 (the “Company”), proposes, subject to the terms and conditions stated herein, to sell from time to time through Jefferies LLC and SVB Leerink LLC, as sales agents and/or principals (each, an “Agent” and collectively, the “Agents”), up to 5,524,506 ordinary registered shares (Namensaktien) of the Company with no par value and a notional amount attributable to each share of €1.00 (“Ordinary Shares”) in the form of American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”).

The ADSs to be sold from time to time hereunder have been issued, pursuant to a deposit agreement (the “Deposit Agreement”), dated October 9, 2019, among the Company and The Bank of New York Mellon as depositary (the “Depositary”). Each ADS will initially represent the right to receive one Ordinary Share deposited with the Depositary pursuant to the Deposit Agreement.

 

Section 1.

DEFINITIONS

(a) Certain Definitions. For purposes of this Agreement, capitalized terms used herein and not otherwise defined shall have the following respective meanings:

Affiliate” of a Person means another Person that directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries, controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, such first-mentioned Person. The term “control” (including the terms “controlling,” “controlled by” and “under common control with”) means the possession, direct or indirect, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of a Person, whether through the ownership of voting securities, by contract or otherwise.

Agency Period” means the period commencing on the date of this Agreement and expiring on the earliest to occur of (x) the date on which the Agents shall have placed the Maximum Program Amount pursuant to this Agreement and (y) the date this Agreement is terminated pursuant to Section 7.

Commission” means the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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

Floor Price” means the minimum price set by the Company in the Issuance Notice below which the Designated Agent (as defined below) shall not sell Shares during the applicable period set forth in the Issuance Notice, which may be adjusted by the Company at any time during the period set forth in the Issuance Notice by delivering written notice of such change to the Designated Agent and which in no event shall be less than $1.00 without the prior written consent of the Designated Agent, which may be withheld in the Designated Agent’s sole discretion.

Issuance Amount” means the aggregate Sales Price of the Shares to be sold by the Designated Agent pursuant to any Issuance Notice.


Issuance Notice” means a written notice delivered to the Designated Agent by the Company in accordance with this Agreement in the form attached hereto as Exhibit A that is executed by its Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Strategy Officer or Chief Commercial Officer & Chief Business Officer.

Issuance Notice Date” means any Trading Day during the Agency Period that an Issuance Notice is delivered pursuant to Section 3(b)(i).

Issuance Price” means the Sales Price less the Selling Commission.

Maximum Program Amount” means the lesser of (i) the number or dollar amount of Ordinary Shares in the form of ADSs registered under the effective Registration Statement (defined below) pursuant to which the offering is being made, (ii) the number or dollar amount of Ordinary Shares in the form of ADSs permitted to be sold under Form F-3 (including General Instruction I.B.5 thereof, if applicable), (iii) the number or dollar amount of ADSs for which the Company has filed a Prospectus (defined below), or (iv) 5,524,506 ADSs.

Person” means an individual or a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, trust, incorporated or unincorporated association, joint venture, joint stock company, governmental authority or other entity of any kind.

Principal Market” means The Nasdaq Global Select Market or such other national securities exchange on which the ADSs are then listed.

Sales Price” means the actual sale execution price of each Share placed by the Designated Agent pursuant to this Agreement.

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

Selling Commission” means three percent (3%) of the gross proceeds of Shares sold pursuant to this Agreement, or as otherwise agreed between the Company and the Agents with respect to any Shares sold pursuant to this Agreement.

Settlement Date” means the second business day following each Trading Day during the period set forth in the Issuance Notice on which Shares are sold pursuant to this Agreement, when the Company shall deliver to the Designated Agent the amount of Shares sold on such Trading Day and the Designated Agent shall deliver to the Company the Issuance Price received on such sales.

Shares” shall mean the Company’s ADSs and underlying Ordinary Shares issued or issuable pursuant to this Agreement.

Trading Day” means any day on which the Principal Market is open for trading.

 

Section 2.

REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES OF THE COMPANY

The Company represents and warrants to, and agrees with, the Agents that, unless such representation, warranty or agreement specifies otherwise, as of (1) the date of this Agreement, (2) each Issuance Notice Date, (3) each Settlement Date, (4) each Triggering Event Date (as defined below) with respect to which the Company is required to deliver a certificate pursuant to Section 4(o) and (5) as of each Time of Sale (each of the times referenced above is referred to herein as a “Representation Date”), except as may be disclosed in the Prospectus (including any documents incorporated by reference therein and any supplements thereto) on or before a Representation Date:

(a) Registration Statement. The Company has prepared and will file with the Commission a shelf registration statement on Form F-3 that contains a base prospectus (the “Base Prospectus”). Such registration statement registers the sale by the Company of the Shares under the Securities Act. The Company may file one or more additional registration statements from time to time that will contain a base prospectus and related prospectus or prospectus supplement, if applicable, with respect to the Shares. Except where the context otherwise requires, such registration statement(s), including any information deemed to be a part thereof pursuant to Rule 430B under

 

2


the Securities Act, including all financial statements, exhibits and schedules thereto and all documents incorporated or deemed to be incorporated therein by reference pursuant to Item 6 of Form F-3 under the Securities Act as from time to time amended or supplemented, is herein referred to as the “Registration Statement,” and the prospectus supplement relating to the sale of the Shares and constituting a part of such registration statement(s), together with the Base Prospectus and any prospectus supplement filed with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act relating to a particular sale of the Shares, including all documents incorporated or deemed to be incorporated therein by reference pursuant to Item 6 of Form F-3 under the Securities Act, in each case, as from time to time amended or supplemented, is referred to herein as the “Prospectus,” except that if any revised prospectus is provided to the Agents by the Company for use in connection with the offering of the Shares that is not required to be filed by the Company pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act, the term “Prospectus” shall refer to such revised prospectus from and after the time it is first provided to the Agents for such use. The registration statement on Form F-6 (File No. 333-233898) relating to the ADSs have been filed with the Commission and have become effective (such registration statement on Form F-6, including all exhibits thereto, as amended at the time such registration statement became effective, being hereinafter referred to as the “ADS Registration Statement”).

As used in this Agreement, the terms “amendment” or “supplement” when applied to the Registration Statement, the ADS Registration Statement or the Prospectus shall be deemed to include the filing by the Company with the Commission of any document under the Exchange Act after the date hereof that is or is deemed to be incorporated therein by reference. All references in this Agreement to financial statements and schedules and other information which is “contained,” “included” or “stated” in the Registration Statement, the ADS Registration Statement or the Prospectus (and all other references of like import) shall be deemed to mean and include all such financial statements and schedules and other information which is or is deemed to be incorporated by reference in or otherwise deemed under the Securities Act to be a part of or included in the Registration Statement, the ADS Registration Statement or the Prospectus, as the case may be, as of any specified date; and all references in this Agreement to amendments or supplements to the Registration Statement, the ADS Registration Statement or the Prospectus shall be deemed to mean and include, without limitation, the filing of any document under the Exchange Act which is or is deemed to be incorporated by reference in or otherwise deemed under the Securities Act to be a part of or included in the Registration Statement, the ADS Registration Statement or the Prospectus, as the case may be, as of any specified date.

At the time the Registration Statement becomes effective, the Company will have met the then-applicable requirements for use of Form F-3 under the Securities Act. During the Agency Period, each time the Company files an annual report on Form 20-F, the Company will meet the then-applicable requirements for use of Form F-3 under the Securities Act.

(b) Compliance with Registration Requirements. The Registration Statement and the ADS Registration Statement have become effective or have been declared effective by the Commission under the Securities Act. The Company has complied to the Commission’s satisfaction with all requests of the Commission for additional or supplemental information in connection therewith, if any. No stop order suspending the effectiveness of the Registration Statement or the ADS Registration Statement is in effect and no proceedings for such purpose have been instituted or are pending or, to the knowledge of the Company, are threatened by the Commission.

The Prospectus, when filed, complied in all material respects with the Securities Act and, if filed with the Commission through its Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval system (“EDGAR”) (except as may be permitted by Regulation S-T under the Securities Act), was identical to the copy thereof delivered to the Agents for use in connection with the sale of the Shares. Each of the Registration Statement, the ADS Registration Statement, and any post-effective amendment thereto, at the time it became effective, as of the date of each Issuance Notice, if any, at each Time of Sale (as defined below), if any, and as of each Settlement Date, if any, complied and will comply in all material respects with the Securities Act and did not and will not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein not misleading. As of the date of this Agreement, the Prospectus and any Free Writing Prospectus (as defined below) considered together (collectively, the “Time of Sale Information”) did not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading. The Prospectus, as amended or supplemented, as of its date, as of the date of each Issuance Notice, if any, at each Time of Sale, if any, and as of each Settlement Date, if any, did not and will not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary in

 

3


order to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading. The representations and warranties set forth in the three immediately preceding sentences do not apply to statements in or omissions from the Registration Statement, the ADS Registration Statement, or any post-effective amendment thereto, or the Prospectus, or any amendments or supplements thereto, made in reliance upon and in conformity with information relating to the Agents furnished to the Company in writing by the Agents expressly for use therein, it being understood and agreed that the only such information furnished by the Agents to the Company consists of the information described in Section 6 below. There are no contracts or other documents required to be described in the Prospectus or to be filed as exhibits to the Registration Statement which have not been described or filed as required. The Registration Statement and the offer and sale of the Shares as contemplated hereby meet the requirements of Rule 415 under the Securities Act and comply in all material respects with said rule.

(c) Free Writing Prospectus. Any Free Writing Prospectus that the Company is required to file pursuant to Rule 433(d) under the Securities Act has been, or will be, filed with the Commission in accordance with the requirements of the Securities Act. Each Free Writing Prospectus that the Company has filed, or is required to file, pursuant to Rule 433(d) under the Securities Act or that was prepared by or on behalf of or used or referred to by the Company complies or will comply in all material respects with the requirements of Rule 433 under the Securities Act including timely filing with the Commission or retention where required and legending, and each such Free Writing Prospectus, as of its issue date, as of the date of each Issuance Notice, if any, and at each Time of Sale, if any, and as of each Settlement Date, if any, did not, does not and will not include any information that conflicted, conflicts with or will conflict with the information contained in the Registration Statement, the ADS Registration Statement or the Prospectus, including any document incorporated by reference therein. Except for the Free Writing Prospectuses, if any, and electronic road shows, if any, furnished to you before first use, the Company has not prepared, used or referred to, and will not, without your prior consent, prepare, use or refer to, any Free Writing Prospectus.

(d) Incorporated Documents. The documents incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, when they were filed with the Commission conformed in all material respects to the requirements of the Exchange Act, and none of such documents contained any untrue statement of a material fact or omitted to state a material fact necessary to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading.

(e) Financial Statements. The financial statements (including the related notes thereto) of the Company and its consolidated subsidiaries and of any other company, including Neon Therapeutics, Inc. (“Neon”), each of which are included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, comply in all material respects with the applicable requirements of the Securities Act and the Exchange Act and present fairly in all material respects the financial position of the Company and its consolidated subsidiaries or of such other company (as applicable) as of the dates indicated and the results of their respective operations and the respective changes in their cash flows for the periods specified. The financial statements of the Company and its consolidated subsidiaries have been prepared in conformity with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board applied on a consistent basis throughout the periods covered thereby, except as may be expressly stated in the related notes thereto, and except in the case of unaudited financial statements, which are subject to normal year-end adjustments and do not contain certain footnotes as permitted by the applicable rules of the Commission, and any supporting schedules included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus present fairly in all material respects the information required to be stated therein. The financial statements of Neon have been prepared in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”) applied on a consistent basis throughout the periods covered thereby, and any supporting schedules included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus present fairly in all material respects the information required to be stated therein. The financial statements of all other companies included or incorporated by reference into the Registration Statement and the Prospectus have been prepared in conformity with GAAP or IFRS applied on a consistent basis throughout the periods covered thereby, and any supporting schedules included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus present fairly in all material respects the information required to be stated therein. The other financial information included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus has been derived from the accounting records of the Company and its consolidated subsidiaries or of such other company and presents fairly in all material respects the information shown thereby. All disclosures included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus regarding “non-GAAP financial measures” (as such term is defined by the rules and regulations of the Commission) comply in all material respects with Regulation G of the Exchange Act and Item 10 of Regulation S-K of the Securities Act, to the extent applicable.

 

4


The pro forma financial statements (including the related notes thereto) of the Company and its consolidated subsidiaries included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus have been prepared in conformity with IFRS and the Commission’s rules and guidelines with respect to pro forma financial statements and have been properly compiled on the bases described therein, and the assumptions used in the preparation thereof are reasonable and the adjustments used therein are appropriate to give effect to the transactions and circumstances referred to therein. The pro forma financial statements present fairly in all material respects the financial position of the Company and its consolidated subsidiaries as of the dates indicated and the results of their operations and the changes in their cash flows for the periods specified.

(f) No Material Adverse Change. Except as disclosed in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, subsequent to the respective dates as of which information is given in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, (i) there has not been any material change in the capital stock (other than the sale of Shares hereunder and the issuance of Ordinary Shares upon exercise of stock options and warrants described as outstanding in, and the grant of options and awards under existing equity incentive plans described in, the Registration Statement and the Prospectus), short-term debt or long-term debt of the Company or any of its subsidiaries, or any dividend or distribution of any kind declared, set aside for payment, paid or made by the Company on any class of capital stock, or any material adverse change, or any development involving a prospective material adverse change, in or affecting the business, properties, management, financial position, stockholders’ equity, results of operations or prospects of the Company and its subsidiaries taken as a whole; (ii) neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries has entered into any transaction or agreement (whether or not in the ordinary course of business) that is material to the Company and its subsidiaries taken as a whole or incurred any liability or obligation, direct or contingent, that is material to the Company and its subsidiaries taken as a whole; and (iii) neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries has sustained any loss or interference with its business that is material to the Company and its subsidiaries taken as a whole and that is either from fire, explosion, flood or other calamity, whether or not covered by insurance, or from any labor disturbance or dispute or any action, order or decree of any court or arbitrator or governmental or regulatory authority, except in each case as disclosed in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus.

(g) Organization and Good Standing. The Company and each of its subsidiaries have been duly organized (and are in good standing, to the extent such concept is applicable) under the laws of their respective jurisdictions of organization, are validly existing and are duly qualified to do business (and are in good standing, to the extent such concept is applicable), in each jurisdiction in which their respective ownership or lease of property or the conduct of their respective businesses requires such qualification, and have all power and authority necessary to own or hold their respective properties and to conduct the businesses as described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, except where the failure to be so qualified (or in good standing, to the extent such concept is applicable) or have such power or authority would not, individually or in the aggregate, reasonably be expected to have a material adverse effect on the business, properties, management, financial position, stockholders’ equity, results of operations or prospects of the Company and its subsidiaries taken as a whole or on the performance by the Company of its obligations under the Transaction Documents (as defined below) (a “Material Adverse Effect”). The Company does not own or control, directly or indirectly, any corporation, association or other entity other than as disclosed in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus.

(h) Capitalization. The Company has a capitalization as set forth in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus under the heading “Capitalization”. All the outstanding Ordinary Shares of the Company have been duly authorized and validly issued and are fully paid and non-assessable (nicht nachschusspflichtig) and are not subject to any pre-emptive or similar rights other than those described in the Registration statement and the Prospectus. Except as described in or expressly contemplated by the Registration Statement and the Prospectus (including for the avoidance of doubt descriptions in reports or documents incorporated by reference into the Registration Statement or the Prospectus), there are no outstanding rights (including, without limitation, pre-emptive rights), warrants or options to acquire, or instruments convertible into or exchangeable for, any Ordinary Shares or other equity interest in the Company or any of its subsidiaries, or any contract, commitment, agreement, understanding or arrangement of any kind relating to the issuance of any Ordinary Shares or other equity interest of the Company or any such subsidiary, any such convertible or exchangeable securities or any such rights, warrants or options. The Ordinary Shares of the Company conform in all material respects to the descriptions thereof contained in the Registration

 

5


Statement and the Prospectus. All the outstanding shares of capital stock or other equity interests of each subsidiary owned, directly or indirectly, by the Company have been duly authorized and validly issued, are fully paid and non-assessable (nicht nachschusspflichtig) and are owned directly or indirectly by the Company, free and clear of any lien, charge, encumbrance, security interest, restriction on voting or transfer or any other claim of any third party.

(i) Share Options. With respect to the share options or performance shares (the “Share Options”) granted pursuant to the share-based compensation plans of the Company and its subsidiaries (the “Company Share Plans”), (i) each grant of a Share Option was duly authorized no later than the date on which the grant of such Share Option was by its terms to be effective by all necessary corporate action, including, as applicable, approval by the management board and supervisory board of the Company (or a duly constituted and authorized committee thereof) and any required shareholder approval by the necessary number of votes or written consents, and the award agreement governing such grant (if any) was duly executed and delivered by each party thereto, (ii) each such grant was made in accordance with the terms of the applicable Company Share Plans, the Exchange Act and all other applicable laws and regulatory rules or requirements, including the rules of the Principal Market, and (iii) each such grant was properly accounted for in accordance with IFRS in the financial statements (including the related notes) of the Company.

(j) Sales Agreement. This Agreement has been duly authorized, executed and delivered by the Company.

(k) Deposit Agreement. The Deposit Agreement has been duly authorized, executed and delivered by the Company and, assuming due authorization, execution and delivery by the Depositary, constitutes a valid and legally binding agreement of the Company enforceable against the Company in accordance with its terms, except as the enforceability thereof may be limited by bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization or similar laws relating to or affecting creditors’ rights generally or by general equitable principles. The Shares are duly and validly issued and the persons in whose names the Shares are registered will be entitled to the rights specified therein and in the Deposit Agreement. The Deposit Agreement conforms in all material respects to the descriptions thereof in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus.

(l) The Shares. The Ordinary Shares underlying the Shares have been duly authorized by the Company and, when delivered and paid for as provided herein, will be validly issued, will be fully paid and non-assessable and will conform to the descriptions thereof in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus. The Shares, when delivered and paid for as provided herein, will conform to the descriptions thereof in the Registration Statement and Prospectus. The issuance of the Ordinary Shares underlying the Shares was not, and the sale of the Shares is not, subject to any pre-emptive or similar rights the exercise and transfer of which have not been validly and irrevocably waived or otherwise validly and irrevocably declined. The Shares, when delivered against payment thereof, will be freely transferable to or for the account of the Designated Agent and the initial purchasers thereof. There are no restrictions on subsequent transfers of the Shares under the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany.

(m) No Violation or Default. Neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries is (i) in violation of its articles of association or similar organizational documents, (ii) in default, and no event has occurred that, with notice or lapse of time or both, would constitute such a default, in the due performance or observance of any term, covenant or condition contained in any indenture, mortgage, deed of trust, loan agreement or other agreement or instrument to which the Company or any of its subsidiaries is a party or by which the Company or any of its subsidiaries is bound or to which any property or asset of the Company or any of its subsidiaries is subject or (iii) in violation of any law or statute or any judgment, order, rule or regulation of any court or arbitrator or governmental or regulatory authority, except, in the case of clauses (ii) and (iii) above, for any such default or violation that would not, individually or in the aggregate, reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect.

(n) No Conflicts. The execution, delivery and performance by the Company of each of this Agreement and the Deposit Agreement (collectively, the “Transaction Documents”), the issuance of the Ordinary Shares underlying the Shares, the deposit of the underlying Ordinary Shares, the sale of the Shares, and the consummation of the transactions contemplated by the Transaction Documents and the Prospectus will not (i) conflict with or result in a breach or violation of any of the terms or provisions of, or constitute a default under, result in the termination, modification or acceleration of, or result in the creation or imposition of any lien, charge or encumbrance upon any property, right or asset of the Company or any of its subsidiaries pursuant to, any indenture, mortgage, deed of trust, loan agreement or other agreement or instrument to which the Company or any of its subsidiaries is a party or by

 

6


which the Company or any of its subsidiaries is bound or to which any property, right or asset of the Company or any of its subsidiaries is subject, (ii) result in any violation of the provisions of the articles of association or similar organizational documents of the Company or any of its subsidiaries or (iii) result in the violation of any law or statute or any judgment, order, rule or regulation of any court or arbitrator or governmental or regulatory authority, except, in the case of clauses (i) and (iii) above, for any such conflict, breach, violation, default, lien, charge or encumbrance that would not, individually or in the aggregate, reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect.

(o) No Consents Required. No consent, approval, authorization, order, registration or qualification of or with any court or arbitrator or governmental or regulatory authority is required for the execution, delivery and performance by the Company of each of the Transaction Documents, the issuance of the Ordinary Shares underlying the Shares, the sale of the Shares and the consummation of the transactions contemplated by the Transaction Documents, except for the registration of the capital increase(s) in relation to such Ordinary Shares with the commercial register, if any, and the registration of the Shares under the Securities Act and such consents, approvals, authorizations, orders and registrations or qualifications as may be required by the Principal Market, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and under applicable state securities laws in connection with the purchase and distribution of the Shares as contemplated hereunder.

(p) Legal Proceedings. Except as described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, (i) there are no legal, governmental or regulatory investigations, actions, demands, claims, suits, arbitrations, inquiries or proceedings (“Actions”) pending to which the Company or any of its subsidiaries is a party or to which any property of the Company or any of its subsidiaries is subject that would, individually or in the aggregate, if determined adversely to the Company or any of its subsidiaries, reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect and (ii) to the knowledge of the Company, no such Actions are threatened or contemplated by any governmental or regulatory authority or threatened by others. There are no current or pending Actions that are required under the Securities Act to be described in the Registration Statement or the Prospectus that are not so described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus.

(q) Independent Accountants for the Company. Ernst & Young GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft or any accounting firm who has certified certain financial statements of the Company and its subsidiaries that are included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, is an independent registered public accounting firm with respect to the Company and its subsidiaries within the applicable rules and regulations adopted by the Commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) and as required by the Securities Act.

(r) Independent Accountants for Neon. To the Company’s knowledge, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, who has certified certain financial statements of Neon, was an independent registered public accounting firm with respect to Neon within the applicable rules and regulations adopted by the Commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) and as required by the Securities Act at the time PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP audited the financial statements of Neon included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus.

(s) Independent Accountants for Other Companies. To the Company’s knowledge, each accounting firm who has certified certain financial statements of companies other than the Company that are included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus was an independent registered public accounting firm with respect to such company within the applicable rules and regulations adopted by the Commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) and as required by the Securities Act at the time such accounting firm audited the financial statements of such other company included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus.

(t) Title to Real and Personal Property. The Company and its subsidiaries have good and marketable title in fee simple (in the case of real property) to, or have valid rights to lease or otherwise use, all items of real and personal property that are material to the respective businesses of the Company and its subsidiaries, in each case free and clear of all liens, encumbrances, claims and defects and imperfections of title except those that (i) do not materially interfere with the use made and proposed to be made of such property by the Company and its subsidiaries or (ii) would not reasonably be expected, individually or in the aggregate, to have a Material Adverse Effect.

 

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(u) Intellectual Property. Except as described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, (i) the Company and its subsidiaries own or have a valid and enforceable right to use all (1) patents, patent applications, trademarks, service marks, trade names, Internet domain name registrations (and all applications for, and all goodwill associated with, such trademarks, service marks, trade names and Internet domain name registrations), copyrights, copyright registrations, licenses and trade secret rights, in each case, in any jurisdiction throughout the world (collectively, “Intellectual Property Rights”) and (2) inventions, know-how, software, databases, systems, procedures, and other intellectual property (including trade secrets and proprietary or confidential information) (collectively, “Intellectual Property Assets”) used or held for use in any material respect, or otherwise necessary for, the conduct of their respective businesses as currently conducted and as proposed to be conducted as described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus; (ii) the Company’s and its subsidiaries’ conduct of their respective businesses does not infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate, and has not infringed, misappropriated or otherwise violated, any Intellectual Property Rights or Intellectual Property Assets of any third party in any material respect (it being understood that the foregoing representation in this clause (ii) is made to the Company’s knowledge with respect to patents); (iii) the Company and its subsidiaries have not received notice of any pending or threatened action, suit, or proceeding by any third party that would reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect on the Company’s or any of its subsidiaries’ respective businesses as presently conducted and as proposed to be conducted as described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, (A) challenging the Company’s or any of its subsidiaries’ rights in or to any of the Intellectual Property Rights or Intellectual Property Assets owned by or licensed to the Company or any of its subsidiaries, (B) challenging the validity, enforceability or scope of any of the Intellectual Property Rights owned by or licensed to the Company or any of its subsidiaries, or (C) alleging that the Company or any of its subsidiaries has infringed, misappropriated or otherwise violated any Intellectual Property Rights or Intellectual Property Assets of any third party; (iv) to the knowledge of the Company, neither the Intellectual Property Rights nor the Intellectual Property Assets of the Company and its subsidiaries are being materially infringed, misappropriated or otherwise violated by any third party; (v) other than as would not reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect, all Intellectual Property Rights and Intellectual Property Assets owned by the Company or any of its subsidiaries are solely and exclusively owned by the Company or such subsidiaries and all other Intellectual Property Rights and Intellectual Property Assets used or held for use by the Company or any of its subsidiaries are licensed to the Company or such subsidiaries, and the Company and its subsidiaries hold all of such ownership and license rights, in each case, free and clear of all liens, encumbrances, defects or other restrictions; (vi) other than as would not reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect, the Company and its subsidiaries are not aware of any facts that could result in a finding that any of the Intellectual Property Rights owned by or licensed to the Company is invalid or unenforceable; (vii) other than as would not reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect, the Company and its subsidiaries have taken reasonable steps in accordance with customary industry practice to maintain and protect any confidential information and trade secrets of the Company and its subsidiaries and to protect any confidential information provided to them by any third party; (viii) other than as would not reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect, the Company and its subsidiaries have taken commercially reasonable actions to maintain and to protect all patents and trademark and copyright and Internet domain name registrations (including all applications therefor) owned by the Company or any of its subsidiaries, including payment of applicable maintenance fees, filing of applicable statements of use, timely response office actions, and disclosure of any required information; and (ix) other than as would not reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect, all personnel (including founders, current and former employees, consultants, contractors, representatives, and agents) involved in the development of Intellectual Property Rights or Intellectual Property Assets for or on behalf of the Company or any of its subsidiaries have signed written and enforceable confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with the Company or any of its subsidiaries pursuant to which the Company or any of its subsidiaries either (A) has obtained sole and exclusive ownership of such Intellectual Property Rights or Intellectual Property Assets, or (B) has obtained a valid right to exploit such Intellectual Property Rights or Intellectual Property Assets, sufficient for the conduct of the business as currently conducted and as proposed to be conducted as described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus.

(v) Regulatory Matters; Products and Product Candidates. Except as described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, the Company (collectively with its subsidiaries): (i) has operated and currently operates its business in compliance in all material respects with applicable provisions of the Health Care Laws (as defined below) of the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), the Department of Health and Human Services and any comparable foreign or other regulatory authority to which they are subject (collectively, the “Applicable Regulatory Authorities”) applicable to the ownership, testing, development, manufacture, packaging, processing, use, distribution, storage, import, export or disposal of any of the Company’s or its subsidiaries’ product candidates

 

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or any product manufactured or distributed by the Company; (ii) has not received any FDA Form 483, written notice of adverse finding, warning letter, untitled letter or other correspondence or written notice from any court or arbitrator or governmental or regulatory authority alleging or asserting non-compliance with (A) any Health Care Laws or (B) any licenses, certificates, approvals, clearances, exemptions, authorizations, permits and supplements or amendments thereto required by any such Health Care Laws (“Regulatory Authorizations”); (iii) possesses all Regulatory Authorizations required to conduct its business as currently conducted, except where the failure to possess the same would not, individually or in the aggregate, have a Material Adverse Effect, and such Regulatory Authorizations are valid and in full force and effect and the Company is not in violation, in any material respect, of any term of any such Regulatory Authorizations; (iv) has not received written notice of any claim, action, suit, proceeding, hearing, enforcement, investigation, arbitration or other action from the Applicable Regulatory Authorities or any other third party alleging that any product of the Company is in material violation of any Health Care Laws or Regulatory Authorizations and has no knowledge that the Applicable Regulatory Authorities or any other third party is considering any such claim, litigation, arbitration, action, suit, investigation or proceeding; (v) has not received written notice that any of the Applicable Regulatory Authorities has taken, is taking or intends to take action to limit, suspend, modify or revoke any material Regulatory Authorizations and has no knowledge that any of the Applicable Regulatory Authorities is considering such action; (vi) has filed, obtained, maintained or submitted all material reports, documents, forms, notices, applications, records, claims, submissions and supplements or amendments as required by any Health Care Laws or Regulatory Authorizations and that all such reports, documents, forms, notices, applications, records, claims, submissions and supplements or amendments were materially complete and correct on the date filed (or were materially corrected or supplemented by a subsequent submission); (vii) is not a party to and does not have any ongoing reporting obligations pursuant to any corporate integrity agreements, deferred prosecution agreements, monitoring agreements, consent decrees, settlement orders, plans of correction or similar agreements with or imposed by any Applicable Regulatory Authority; and (viii) along with its employees, officers and directors, has not been excluded, suspended or debarred from participation in any government health care program or human clinical research and, to the knowledge of the Company, is not subject to a governmental inquiry, investigation, proceeding, or other similar action that could reasonably be expected to result in debarment, suspension, or exclusion.

The term “Health Care Laws” means Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1395-1395hhh (the Medicare statute); Title XIX of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1396-1396v (the Medicaid statute); the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b); the civil False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seq.; the criminal False Claims Act, 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7b(a); any criminal laws relating to health care fraud and abuse, including but not limited to 18 U.S.C. Sections 286 and 287 and the health care fraud criminal provisions under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1320d et seq., (“HIPAA”); the Civil Monetary Penalties Law, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1320a-7a and 1320a-7b; the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7h; the Exclusion Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7; HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 17921 et seq.; the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. §§ 301 et seq.; the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq.; the regulations promulgated pursuant to such laws; and any similar federal, state and local laws and regulations.

(w) Preclinical Studies and Clinical Trials. Except as described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, the pre-clinical studies and clinical trials conducted by or, to the knowledge of the Company, on behalf of or sponsored by the Company, or in which the Company has participated that are described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus or the results of which are referred to in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, as applicable, were, and if still pending are, being conducted in all material respects in accordance with standard medical and scientific research standards and procedures for products or product candidates comparable to those being developed by the Company and all applicable statutes and all applicable rules and regulations of the Regulatory Authorities and current Good Clinical Practices and Good Laboratory Practices. The descriptions in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus of the results of such studies and trials are, to the knowledge of the Company, accurate and complete in all material respects and fairly present the data derived therefrom. The Company has no knowledge of any other studies or trials not described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus the results of which are inconsistent with or which the Company reasonably believes call into question the results described or referred to in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus. The Company has not received any written notices or correspondence from the Regulatory Authorities or any other governmental agency requiring or threatening the termination, modification or suspension of any pre-clinical studies or clinical trials that are described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus or the results of which are referred to in the Registration

 

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Statement and the Prospectus other than ordinary course communications with respect to modifications in connection with the design and implementation of such studies or trials, and, to the Company’s knowledge, there are no reasonable grounds for the same.

(x) No Undisclosed Relationships. No relationship, direct or indirect, exists between or among the Company or any of its subsidiaries, on the one hand, and the directors, officers, shareholders, customers, suppliers or other affiliates of the Company or any of its subsidiaries, on the other, that is required by the Securities Act to be described in each of the Registration Statement and the Prospectus and that is not so described in such documents.

(y) Investment Company Act. The Company is not and, after giving effect to the offering and sale of the Shares and the application of the proceeds thereof as described in the Prospectus, will not be required to register as an “investment company” or an entity “controlled” by an “investment company” within the meaning of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and the rules and regulations of the Commission thereunder (collectively, the “Investment Company Act”).

(z) Taxes. The Company and its subsidiaries have paid all federal, state, local and foreign taxes and filed all tax returns required to be paid or filed through the date that this representation is made, except as may be being contested in good faith and by appropriate proceedings, or where the failure to pay or file such taxes or tax returns would not reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect. Except as disclosed in each of the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, there is no tax deficiency that has been, or could reasonably be expected to be, asserted against the Company or any of its subsidiaries or any of their respective properties or assets that has or would reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect, except for any tax deficiency being contested in good faith and for which appropriate reserves have been provided in accordance with IFRS.

(aa) Licenses and Permits. The Company and its subsidiaries possess all licenses, sub-licenses, certificates, permits and other authorizations issued by, and have made all declarations and filings with, the appropriate federal, state, local or foreign governmental or regulatory authorities that are necessary for the ownership or lease of their respective properties or the conduct of their respective businesses as described in each of the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, except where the failure to possess or make the same would not, individually or in the aggregate, reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect. Except as described in each of the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries has received written notice of any revocation or modification of any such license, sub-license, certificate, permit or authorization or has any reason to believe that any such license, sub-license, certificate, permit or authorization will not be renewed in the ordinary course, except where such revocation or modification would not reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect.

(bb) No Labor Disputes. No labor disturbance by or dispute with employees of the Company or any of its subsidiaries exists or, to the knowledge of the Company, is contemplated or threatened, and the Company is not aware of any existing or imminent labor disturbance by, or dispute with, the employees of any of its or its subsidiaries’ principal suppliers, contractors or customers, except as would not reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect. Neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries has received any written notice of cancellation or termination with respect to any collective bargaining agreement that is material to the Company to which it is a party.

(cc) Certain Environmental Matters. Except any such matter as would not, individually or in the aggregate, reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect, (i) the Company and its subsidiaries (A) are in compliance with all applicable federal, state, local and foreign laws (including common law), rules, regulations, requirements, decisions, judgments, decrees, orders and other legally enforceable requirements relating to pollution or the protection of human health or safety, the environment, natural resources, hazardous or toxic substances or wastes, pollutants or contaminants (collectively, “Environmental Laws”); (B) have received and are in compliance with all permits, licenses, certificates or other authorizations or approvals required of them under any Environmental Laws to conduct their respective businesses; and (C) have not received written notice of any actual or potential liability or obligation under or relating to, or any actual or potential violation of, any Environmental Laws, including for the investigation or remediation of any disposal or release of hazardous or toxic substances or wastes, pollutants or contaminants, and have no knowledge of any event or condition that would reasonably be expected to result in any such notice, and (ii) there are no costs or liabilities associated with Environmental Laws of or relating to the Company or its subsidiaries. Except as described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, (x) there is no

 

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proceeding that is pending, or that is known to be contemplated, against the Company or any of its subsidiaries under any Environmental Laws in which a governmental entity is also a party, other than such proceeding regarding which it is reasonably believed no monetary sanctions of $100,000 or more will be imposed, (y) the Company and its subsidiaries are not aware of any facts or issues regarding compliance with Environmental Laws, or liabilities or other obligations under Environmental Laws or concerning hazardous or toxic substances or wastes, pollutants or contaminants, that would reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect, and (z) none of the Company or its subsidiaries anticipates material capital expenditures relating to any Environmental Laws.

(dd) Compliance with ERISA. Except as disclosed in the Registration Statement or the Prospectus, neither the Company nor any of its ERISA Affiliates (as defined hereafter) has any liability (contingent or otherwise) under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”) with respect to any “employee benefit plan,” as defined in Section 3(3) of ERISA. An “ERISA Affiliate” of any person or entity means any other person or entity which, together with that person or entity, could be treated as a single employer under Section 414(b), (c), (m) or (o) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”). Each “employee benefit plan,” as defined in Section 3(3) of ERISA that is maintained for the benefit of the employees of the Company or its affiliates has been maintained in material compliance with its terms and the requirements of applicable law. The Registration Statement and the Prospectus identify each employment, severance or other similar agreement, arrangement or policy and each material plan or arrangement required to be disclosed pursuant to the Securities Act providing for insurance coverage (including any self-insured arrangements), workers’ compensation, disability benefits, severance benefits, supplemental unemployment benefits, vacation benefits or retirement benefits, or deferred compensation, profit-sharing, bonuses, stock options, stock appreciation rights or other forms of incentive compensation, or post-retirement insurance, compensation or benefits that is entered into, maintained or contributed to, as the case may be, by the Company or any of its affiliates for the benefit of any officer or director or former officer or director of the Company or any of its affiliates. These agreements, arrangements, policies or plans are referred to collectively as “Benefit Arrangements.” Except as disclosed in the Registration Statement or the Prospectus, each Benefit Arrangement has been maintained in material compliance with its terms and with the requirements of applicable law and there is no liability in respect of post-retirement health and medical benefits for retired employees of the Company or any of its affiliates, other than medical benefits required to be continued under applicable law.

(ee) Disclosure Controls. The Company maintains an effective system of “disclosure controls and procedures” (as defined in Rule 13a-15(e) of the Exchange Act) that complies in all material respects with the requirements of the Exchange Act and that has been designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by the Company in reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the Commission’s rules and forms, including controls and procedures designed to ensure that such information is accumulated and communicated to the Company’s management as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure. The Company has carried out an evaluation of its effectiveness of its disclosure controls and procedures to the extent required by Rule 13a-15 of the Exchange Act.

(ff) Accounting Controls. The Company and its subsidiaries maintain systems of “internal control over financial reporting” (as defined in Rule 13a-15(f) of the Exchange Act) that comply in all material respects with the requirements of the Exchange Act and have been designed by, or under the supervision of, their respective principal executive and principal financial officers, or persons performing similar functions, to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with IFRS. The Company and its subsidiaries maintain internal accounting controls that are designed to be sufficient to provide reasonable assurance that (i) transactions are executed in accordance with management’s general or specific authorizations; (ii) transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in conformity with IFRS and to maintain asset accountability; (iii) access to assets is permitted only in accordance with management’s general or specific authorization; and (iv) the recorded accountability for assets is compared with the existing assets at reasonable intervals and appropriate action is taken with respect to any differences. Except as disclosed in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, there are no material weaknesses in the Company’s internal controls. The Company’s auditors and the Audit Committee of the supervisory board (Aufsichtsrat) of the Company have been advised of: (i) all significant deficiencies and material weaknesses in the design or operation of internal controls over financial reporting which have adversely affected or are reasonably likely to adversely affect the Company’s ability to record, process, summarize and report financial information; and (ii) any fraud, whether or not material, that involves management or other employees who have a significant role in the Company’s internal controls over financial reporting.

 

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(gg) Insurance. The Company and its subsidiaries have insurance covering their respective properties, operations, personnel and businesses, including business interruption insurance, which insurance is in such amounts and insures against such losses and risks as are generally maintained by similarly situated companies and which the Company believes are adequate to protect the Company and its subsidiaries and their respective businesses. Neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries has (i) received written notice from any insurer or agent of such insurer that capital improvements or other expenditures are required or necessary to be made in order to continue such insurance or (ii) any reason to believe that it will not be able to renew its existing insurance coverage as and when such coverage expires or to obtain comparable coverage from similar insurers as may be necessary to continue its business as now conducted at a cost that would not reasonably be expected to have a Material Adverse Effect.

(hh) Cybersecurity; Data Protection. Except as described in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, the information technology assets and equipment, computers, systems, networks, hardware, software, websites, applications and databases owned by, or leased or licensed to, the Company or any of its subsidiaries (collectively, “IT Systems”), to the knowledge of the Company, are adequate for, and operate and perform in all material respects as required in connection with, the operation of the business of the Company and its subsidiaries as currently conducted, and to the Company’s knowledge are free and clear of all material bugs, errors, defects, Trojan horses, time bombs, malware and other corruptants; the Company and its subsidiaries have implemented and maintained commercially reasonable controls, policies, procedures, and safeguards to maintain and protect their material confidential information and the integrity, continuous operation, redundancy and security of all IT Systems and data (including all personal, personally identifiable, sensitive, confidential or regulated data of their respective customers, employees, suppliers, vendors and any third-party data maintained by or on behalf of them (“Personal Data”)) used in connection with their businesses; to the knowledge of the Company, there have been no material breaches, violations, outages, unauthorized uses of, accesses to or other compromise of or relating to any of the Company’s or any of its subsidiaries’ Personal Data or IT Systems, except for those that have been remedied without material cost or liability or the duty to notify any third party; there are no material incidents under internal review or investigations relating to any security breach or other compromise of the Company’s or any of its subsidiaries’ Personal Data or IT Systems and the Company and its subsidiaries have not been notified of, and have no knowledge of any event or condition that would reasonably be expected to result in, any security breach or other compromise to their IT Systems or Personal Data; the Company and its subsidiaries have implemented commercially reasonable backup and disaster recovery technology consistent with industry standards and practices; and the Company and its subsidiaries are presently in material compliance with all applicable laws or statutes and all judgments, orders, rules and regulations of any court or arbitrator or governmental or regulatory authority and internal policies, procedures and contractual obligations relating to the security of IT Systems and the privacy, collection, use, transfer, storage, protection, disposal or disclosure of Personal Data and to the protection of such IT Systems and Personal Data from unauthorized use, access, misappropriation or modification.

(ii) No Unlawful Payments. Neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries nor any member of the Company’s management board or supervisory board or subsidiaries nor, to the knowledge of the Company, any employee of, or any agent, affiliate or other person associated with or acting on behalf of, the Company or any of its subsidiaries has (i) used any corporate funds for any unlawful contribution, gift, entertainment or other unlawful expense relating to political activity; (ii) made or taken an act in furtherance of an offer, promise or authorization of any direct or indirect unlawful payment or benefit to any foreign or domestic government official or employee, including of any government-owned or controlled entity or of a public international organization, or any person acting in an official capacity for or on behalf of any of the foregoing, or any political party or party official or candidate for political office; (iii) violated or is in violation of any provision of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, or any applicable law or regulation implementing the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, or committed an offence under the Bribery Act 2010 of the United Kingdom or any other applicable anti-bribery or anti-corruption law; or (iv) made, offered, agreed, requested or taken an act in furtherance of any unlawful bribe or other unlawful benefit, including, without limitation, any rebate, payoff, influence payment, kickback or other unlawful or improper payment or benefit. The Company and its subsidiaries have each instituted, maintain and enforce, policies and procedures designed to promote and ensure compliance with all applicable anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws.

 

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(jj) Compliance with Anti-Money Laundering Laws. The operations of the Company and its subsidiaries are and have been conducted at all times in compliance with applicable financial recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including those of the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act of 1970, as amended, the applicable money laundering statutes of all jurisdictions where the Company or any of its subsidiaries conducts business, the rules and regulations thereunder and any related or similar rules, regulations or guidelines issued, administered or enforced by any governmental agency (collectively, the “Anti-Money Laundering Laws”) and no action, suit or proceeding by or before any court or governmental agency, authority or body or any arbitrator involving the Company or any of its subsidiaries with respect to the Anti-Money Laundering Laws is pending or, to the knowledge of the Company, threatened.

(kk) No Conflicts with Sanctions Laws. Neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries nor any member of the Company’s management board or supervisory board or subsidiaries nor to the knowledge of the Company, any employee of, or any agent, affiliate or other person associated with or acting on behalf of, the Company or any of its subsidiaries is currently the subject or the target of any sanctions administered or enforced by the U.S. government (including, without limitation, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury or the U.S. Department of State and including, without limitation, the designation as a “specially designated national” or “blocked person”), the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, Her Majesty’s Treasury or other relevant sanctions authority (collectively, “Sanctions”), nor is the Company or any of its subsidiaries located, organized or resident in a country or territory that is the subject or target of Sanctions, including, without limitation, Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria (each, a “Sanctioned Country”). The Company will not directly or indirectly use the proceeds of the offering of the Shares hereunder, or lend, contribute or otherwise make available such proceeds to any subsidiary, joint venture partner or other person or entity (i) to fund or facilitate any activities of or business with any person that, at the time of such funding or facilitation, is the subject or target of Sanctions, (ii) to fund or facilitate any activities of or business in any Sanctioned Country or (iii) in any other manner that will result in a violation by any person (including any person participating in the transaction, whether as underwriter, advisor, investor or otherwise) of Sanctions, except in cases where compliance with extraterritorial provisions in any such sanctions would be unlawful for the Company. For the past five (5) years, the Company and its subsidiaries have not knowingly engaged in and are not now knowingly engaged in any dealings or transactions with any person that at the time of the dealing or transaction is or was the subject or the target of Sanctions or with any Sanctioned Country.

(ll) No Restrictions on Subsidiaries. Subject to the requirements of applicable law and the availability of distributable reserves (in such jurisdictions where relevant restrictions apply), no subsidiary of the Company is currently prohibited, directly or indirectly, under any agreement or other instrument to which it is a party or is subject, from paying any dividends to the Company, from making any other distribution on such subsidiary’s capital stock or similar ownership interest, from repaying to the Company any loans or advances to such subsidiary from the Company or from transferring any of such subsidiary’s properties or assets to the Company or any other subsidiary of the Company.

(mm) No Broker’s Fees. Except for the pertinent arrangements with Blättchen Financial Advisors or pursuant to this Agreement, neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries is a party to any contract, agreement or understanding with any person (other than this Agreement) that would give rise to a valid claim against the Company or any of its subsidiaries or any Agent for a brokerage commission, finder’s fee or like payment in connection with the offering and sale of the Shares.

(nn) No Registration Rights. No person has the right to require the Company or any of its subsidiaries to register any securities for sale under the Securities Act by reason of the filing of the Registration Statement with the Commission or the sale of Shares, except for such rights as have been duly waived.

(oo) No Stabilization. Neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries nor, to the Company’s knowledge, any of its affiliates has taken, directly or indirectly, without giving effect to activities of the Agents, any action designed to or that could reasonably be expected to cause or result in any stabilization or manipulation of the price of the ADSs.

(pp) Margin Rules. Neither the sale and delivery of the Shares nor the application of the proceeds thereof by the Company as described in the Prospectus will violate Regulation T, U or X of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or any other regulation of such Board of Governors.

 

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(qq) Forward-Looking Statements. No forward-looking statement (within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act) included or incorporated by reference in any of the Registration Statement or the Prospectus has been made or reaffirmed without a reasonable basis or has been disclosed other than in good faith.

(rr) Statistical and Market Data. Nothing has come to the attention of the Company that has caused the Company to believe that the statistical and market-related data included or incorporated by reference in each of the Registration Statement and the Prospectus is not based on or derived from sources that are reliable and accurate in all material respects.

(ss) Sarbanes-Oxley Act. There is and has been no failure on the part of the Company or any of the Company’s directors or officers, in their capacities as such, to comply with any provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as amended, and the rules and regulations promulgated in connection therewith (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”) applicable to the Company as of the date the Company became subject to such provisions, including Section 402 related to loans.

(tt) Status under the Securities Act. At the time of filing the Registration Statement and any post-effective amendment thereto, at the earliest time thereafter that the Company or any offering participant made a bona fide offer (within the meaning of Rule 164(h)(2) under the Securities Act) of the Shares and at the date that this representation is made, the Company was not and is not an “ineligible issuer,” as defined in Rule 405 under the Securities Act.

(uu) No Ratings. There are no debt securities, convertible securities or preferred stock issued or guaranteed by the Company or any of its subsidiaries that are rated by a “nationally recognized statistical rating organization”, as such term is defined in Section 3(a)(62) under the Exchange Act.

(vv) Stamp Taxes. No stamp duties or other issuance or transfer taxes (for the avoidance of doubt this does not include any value added tax or similar taxes) are payable by or on behalf of the Agents in the Federal Republic of Germany, the United States or any political subdivision or tax authority thereof solely in connection with (i) the execution, delivery and performance of the Transaction Documents or (ii) the sale and delivery by the Agents of the Shares as contemplated herein and in the Prospectus.

(ww) No Immunity. Except as provided by laws or statutes generally applicable to transactions of the type described in this Agreement, neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries or their respective properties or assets has immunity under German, U.S. federal or New York state law from any legal action, suit or proceeding, from the giving of any relief in any such legal action, suit or proceeding, from set-off or counterclaim, from the jurisdiction of any German, U.S. federal or New York state court, from service of process, attachment upon or prior to judgment, or attachment in aid of execution of judgment, or from execution of a judgment, or other legal process or proceeding for the giving of any relief or for the enforcement of a judgment, in any such court with respect to their respective obligations, liabilities or any other matter under or arising out of or in connection herewith; and, to the extent that the Company or any of its subsidiaries or any of their respective properties, assets or revenues may have or may hereafter become entitled to any such right of immunity in any such court in which proceedings arising out of, or relating to the transactions contemplated by the Transaction Documents, may at any time be commenced, the Company has, pursuant to Section 8(i) of this Agreement, waived, and it will waive, or will cause its subsidiaries to waive, such right to the extent permitted by law.

(xx) Enforcement of Foreign Judgments. Any final judgment for a fixed or determined sum of money rendered by any U.S. federal or New York state court located in the State of New York having jurisdiction under its own laws in respect of any suit, action or proceeding against the Company based upon any of the Transaction Documents would be declared enforceable against the Company by the courts of the Federal Republic of Germany, without reconsideration or reexamination of the merits.

(yy) Valid Choice of Law. The choice of laws of the State of New York as the governing law of the Transaction Documents is a valid choice of law under the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany and will be honored by the courts of the Federal Republic of Germany, subject to the restrictions described under the caption “Service of Process and Enforcement of Liabilities” in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus. The Company has the power to submit, and pursuant to Section 8(g) of this Agreement and Section 7.6 of the Deposit Agreement,

 

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has legally, validly, effectively and irrevocably submitted, to the personal jurisdiction of each New York state and United States federal court sitting in the City of New York and has validly and irrevocably waived any objection to the laying of venue of any suit, action or proceeding brought in such court.

(zz) Indemnification and Contribution. The indemnification and contribution provisions set forth in Section 6 hereof do not contravene German law or public policy.

(aaa) Passive Foreign Investment Company. The Company was not a “passive foreign investment company” (“PFIC”) as defined in Section 1297 of the Code for its most recently completed taxable year and the Company does not expect to be a PFIC for the current tax year.

(bbb) Dividends. Except as disclosed in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, no approvals are currently required in the Federal Republic of Germany in order for the Company to pay dividends or other distributions declared by the Company to the holders of Ordinary Shares and for the Depositary to distribute such dividends or other distributions to holders of ADSs. Under current laws and regulations of the Federal Republic of Germany and any political subdivision thereof, any amount payable with respect to the Ordinary Shares or ADSs upon liquidation of the Company or upon redemption thereof and dividends and other distributions declared and payable on the share capital of the Company may be paid by the Company and distributed by the Depositary in United States dollars or euros and freely transferred out of the Federal Republic of Germany, and without the necessity of obtaining any governmental authorization in the Federal Republic of Germany or any political subdivision or taxing authority thereof or therein.

(ccc) Legality. The legality, validity, enforceability or admissibility into evidence of any of the Registration Statement, the Prospectus, this Agreement or the Shares in any jurisdiction in which the Company is organized or does business is not dependent upon such document being submitted into, filed or recorded with any court or other authority in any such jurisdiction on or before the date that this representation is made or that any tax, imposition or charge be paid in any such jurisdiction on or in respect of any such document.

(ddd) Legal Action. A holder of the Shares and each Agent is entitled to sue as plaintiff in the court of the jurisdiction of formation and domicile of the Company for the enforcement of its respective rights under this Agreement and such access to such courts will not be subject to any conditions which are not applicable to residents of such jurisdiction or a company incorporated in such jurisdiction except that plaintiffs not residing in the Federal Republic of Germany may be required to guarantee payment of a possible order for payment of costs or damages at the request of the defendant.

(eee) Foreign Private Issuer. The Company is a “foreign private issuer” as defined in Rule 405 under the Securities Act.

(fff) Personal Liability of Shareholders and ADS Holders. No holder of the Shares after the consummation of the transactions contemplated by the Transaction Documents is or will be subject to any personal liability in respect of any liability of the Company by virtue only of its holding of any such Shares. Except as set forth in the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, there are no limitations on the rights of holders of the Shares to hold, vote or transfer their Shares.

Any certificate signed by any officer or representative of the Company or any of its subsidiaries and delivered to the Agents or counsel for the Agents in connection with a sale of Shares shall be deemed a representation and warranty by the Company to the Agents as to the matters covered thereby on the date of such certificate.

The Company acknowledges that the Agents and, for purposes of the opinions to be delivered pursuant to Section 4(o) hereof, counsel to the Company and counsel to the Agents, will rely upon the accuracy and truthfulness of the foregoing representations and hereby consents to such reliance.

Section 3.    SALE OF SHARES

(a) Sale of Securities. On the basis of the representations, warranties and agreements herein contained, but subject to the terms and conditions herein set forth, the Company and the Agents agree that the Company may

 

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from time to time seek to sell Shares through an Agent named in the applicable Issuance Notice, acting as sales agent, or directly to an Agent acting as principal (either such agent, the “Designated Agent”), as follows, up to the Maximum Program Amount, based on and in accordance with Issuance Notices as the Company may deliver, during the Agency Period.

 

  (b)

Mechanics of Issuances.

(i) Issuance Notice. Upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth herein, on any Trading Day during the Agency Period on which the conditions set forth in Section 5(a) and Section 5(b) shall have been satisfied, the Company may deliver to the Designated Agent an Issuance Notice; provided, however, that (A) in no event may the Company deliver an Issuance Notice to the extent that (x) the sum of the aggregate Sales Price of the requested Shares set forth in the Issuance Notice, plus the aggregate Sales Price of all Shares issued under all previous Issuance Notices effected pursuant to this Agreement would exceed the Maximum Program Amount, or (y) the sum of the aggregate number of requested Shares set forth in the Issuance Notice, plus the aggregate number of all Shares issued under all previous Issuance Notices effected pursuant to this Agreement would exceed the Maximum Program Amount, (B) prior to delivery of any Issuance Notice, the period set forth for any previous Issuance Notice shall have expired or been terminated, and (C) any sales of the Shares shall be effected by or through the Designated Agent on any single given day and the Company shall in no event request that more than one Agent offer or sell the Shares pursuant to this Agreement on the same day. An Issuance Notice shall be considered delivered on the Trading Day that it is received by e-mail to the persons set forth in Schedule B hereto and confirmed by the Company by telephone (including a voicemail message to the persons so identified), with the understanding that, with adequate prior written notice, the Agents may modify the list of such persons from time to time. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, the parties hereto agree that compliance with the limitation set forth in this Section 3(b)(i) on the aggregate Sales Price and aggregate number of Shares that may be issued and sold under this Agreement from time to time shall be the sole responsibility of the Company, and that the Agents shall have no obligation in connection with such compliance.

(ii) Agent Efforts. Upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in this Agreement, upon the receipt of an Issuance Notice, the Designated Agent will use its commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its normal sales and trading practices to place the Shares with respect to which the Designated Agent has agreed to act as sales agent, subject to, and in accordance with the information specified in, the Issuance Notice, unless the sale of the Shares described therein has been suspended, cancelled or otherwise terminated in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. For the avoidance of doubt, the Company and the Designated Agent may modify an Issuance Notice at any time provided they both agree in writing to any such modification.

(iii) Method of Offer and Sale. The Shares may be offered and sold (A) in privately negotiated transactions with the consent of the Company; (B) as block transactions; or (C) by any other method permitted by law deemed to be an “at the market offering” as defined in Rule 415(a)(4) under the Securities Act, including sales made directly on the Principal Market or sales made into any other existing trading market of the ADSs; provided that the Sales Price shall not represent a discount exceeding 5% below the prevailing market price of the ADSs on the Principal Market. Nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to require any party to agree to the method of offer and sale specified in the preceding sentence, and (except as specified in clauses (A) and (B) above) the method of placement of any Shares by the Designated Agent shall be at the Designated Agent’s discretion.

(iv) Confirmation to the Company. If acting as sales agent hereunder, the Designated Agent will provide written confirmation to the Company no later than the opening of the Trading Day next following the Trading Day on which it has placed Shares hereunder setting forth the number of Shares sold on such Trading Day, the corresponding Sales Price and the Issuance Price payable to the Company in respect thereof.

(v) Settlement. Each sale of Shares will be settled on the applicable Settlement Date for such sale of Shares and, subject to the provisions of Section 5, on or before each Settlement Date, the Company will, or will cause its transfer agent to, electronically transfer the Shares being sold by crediting the Designated Agent or its designee’s account at The Depository Trust Company through its Deposit/Withdrawal At Custodian (DWAC) System, or by such other means of delivery as may be mutually agreed upon by the parties hereto and, upon receipt of such Shares, which in all cases shall be freely tradable, transferable, registered shares in good deliverable form, the Designated Agent will deliver, by wire transfer of immediately available funds, the related Issuance Price in same day funds delivered to an account designated by the Company prior to the Settlement Date. The Company may sell Shares to the Designated Agent as principal at a price agreed upon at each relevant time Shares are sold pursuant to this Agreement (each, a “Time of Sale”).

 

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(vi) Suspension or Termination of Sales. Consistent with standard market settlement practices, the Company or the Designated Agent may, upon notice to the other party hereto in writing or by telephone (confirmed immediately by verifiable email), suspend any sale of Shares, and the period set forth in an Issuance Notice shall immediately terminate; provided, however, that (A) such suspension and termination shall not affect or impair either party’s obligations with respect to any Shares placed or sold hereunder prior to the receipt of such notice; (B) if the Company suspends or terminates any sale of Shares after the Designated Agent confirms such sale to the Company, the Company shall still be obligated to comply with Section 3(b)(v) with respect to such Shares; and (C) if the Company defaults in its obligation to deliver Shares on a Settlement Date, the Company agrees that it will hold the Designated Agent harmless against any loss, claim, damage or expense (including, without limitation, penalties, interest and reasonable and documented legal fees and expenses), as incurred, arising out of or in connection with such default by the Company. The parties hereto acknowledge and agree that, in performing its obligations under this Agreement, the Agents may borrow ADSs from stock lenders in the event that the Company has not delivered Shares to settle sales as required by subsection (v) above, and may use the Shares to settle or close out such borrowings. The Company agrees that no such notice shall be effective against the Designated Agent unless it is made to the persons identified in writing by the Designated Agent pursuant to Section 3(b)(i).

(vii) No Guarantee of Placement, Etc. The Company acknowledges and agrees that (A) there can be no assurance that the Designated Agent will be successful in placing Shares; (B) the Designated Agent will incur no liability or obligation to the Company or any other Person if it does not sell Shares; and (C) the Designated Agent shall be under no obligation to purchase Shares on a principal basis pursuant to this Agreement, except as otherwise specifically agreed by the Designated Agent and the Company.

(viii) Material Non-Public Information. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, the Company and the Agents agree that the Company shall not deliver any Issuance Notice to any Agent, and the Agents shall not be obligated to place any Shares, while the Company is in possession of material non-public information.

(c) Fees. As compensation for services rendered, the Company shall pay to the Designated Agent, on the applicable Settlement Date, the Selling Commission for the applicable Issuance Amount (including, if applicable, with respect to any suspended or terminated sale pursuant to Section 3(b)(vi) but only for Shares actually sold by the Agent) by the Designated Agent deducting the Selling Commission from the applicable Issuance Amount. For the avoidance of doubt, the Company shall not be required to pay to the Agent any Selling Commission with respect to any Issuance Notice, except to the extent Shares are placed pursuant thereto.

(d) Expenses. The Company agrees to pay all costs, fees and expenses incurred in connection with the performance of its obligations hereunder and in connection with the transactions contemplated hereby, including without limitation (i) all expenses incident to the sale and delivery of the Shares (including all printing and engraving costs); (ii) all fees and expenses of the Depositary and any registrar and transfer agent of the Shares; (iii) all necessary issue, transfer and other stamp taxes in connection with (A) the delivery of the Ordinary Shares underlying the Shares to the Depositary in the manner contemplated by the Deposit Agreement, (B) the delivery of the Shares (or the ADRs evidencing the Shares) by the Depositary to or for the account of the Agent in the manner contemplated by this Agreement and the Deposit Agreement, (C) the sale and delivery by the Agent of the Shares to the initial purchasers thereof, and (D) the execution and delivery of this Agreement; (iv) all fees and expenses of the Company’s counsel, independent public or certified public accountants and other advisors; (v) all costs and expenses incurred in connection with the preparation, printing, filing, shipping and distribution of the Registration Statement (including financial statements, exhibits, schedules, consents and certificates of experts), the Prospectus, any Free Writing Prospectus (as defined below) prepared by or on behalf of, used by, or referred to by the Company, and all amendments and supplements thereto, and this Agreement; (vi) all filing fees, attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred by the Company or the Agents in connection with qualifying or registering (or obtaining exemptions from the qualification or registration of) all or any part of the Shares for offer and sale under the state securities or blue sky laws or the provincial securities laws of Canada, and, if requested by the Agents, preparing and printing a “Blue Sky Survey” or memorandum and a “Canadian wrapper,” and any supplements thereto, advising the Agents of such qualifications, registrations, determinations and exemptions; (vii) the reasonable fees and disbursements of the Agents’ counsel, including the reasonable fees and expenses of counsel for the Agents in connection with FINRA

 

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review, if any, and approval of the Agents’ participation in the offering and distribution of the Shares; (viii) the filing fees incident to FINRA review, if any; and (ix) the fees and expenses associated with listing the Shares on the Principal Market. The fees and disbursements of Agents’ counsel pursuant to subsections (vi) and (vii) above shall not exceed (A) $75,000 in connection with the execution of this Agreement for the Agents’ counsel and (B) $15,000 in connection with each Triggering Event Date (as defined below) on which the Company is required to provide a certificate pursuant to Section 4(o).

Section 4.    ADDITIONAL COVENANTS

The Company covenants and agrees with the Agents as follows, in addition to any other covenants and agreements made elsewhere in this Agreement:

(a) Exchange Act Compliance. During the Agency Period, the Company shall (i) file, on a timely basis, with the Commission all reports and documents required to be filed under Section 13, 14 or 15 of the Exchange Act in the manner and within the time periods required by the Exchange Act; and (ii) either (A) include in its annual reports on Form 20-F or reports on Form 6-K which include the Company’s quarterly financial information, a summary detailing, for the relevant reporting period, (1) the number of Shares sold through the Agents pursuant to this Agreement and (2) the net proceeds received by the Company from such sales or (B) prepare a prospectus supplement containing, or include in such other filing permitted by the Securities Act or Exchange Act (each an “Interim Prospectus Supplement”), such summary information and, at least once a quarter and subject to this Section 4, file such Interim Prospectus Supplement pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act (and within the time periods required by Rule 424(b) and Rule 430B under the Securities Act).

(b) Securities Act Compliance. After the date of this Agreement, the Company shall promptly advise the Agents in writing (i) of the receipt of any comments of, or requests for additional or supplemental information from, the Commission relating to the Registration Statement or the Prospectus; (ii) of the time and date of any filing of any post-effective amendment to the Registration Statement, the ADS Registration Statement, or any amendment or supplement to the Prospectus, any Free Writing Prospectus; (iii) of the time and date that any post-effective amendment to the Registration Statement or the ADS Registration Statement becomes effective; and (iv) of the issuance by the Commission of any stop order suspending the effectiveness of the Registration Statement, the ADS Registration Statement or any post-effective amendment thereto, or any amendment or supplement to the Prospectus or of any order preventing or suspending the use of any Free Writing Prospectus or the Prospectus, or of any proceedings to remove, suspend or terminate from listing or quotation the ADSs from any securities exchange upon which they are listed for trading or included or designated for quotation, or of the threatening or initiation of any proceedings for any of such purposes. If the Commission shall enter any such stop order at any time, the Company will use its best efforts to obtain the lifting of such order as soon as practicable. Additionally, the Company agrees that it shall comply with the provisions of Rule 424(b) and Rule 433, as applicable, under the Securities Act and will use its reasonable efforts to confirm that any filings made by the Company under such Rule 424(b) or Rule 433 were received in a timely manner by the Commission.

(c) Amendments and Supplements to the Prospectus and Other Securities Act Matters. If any event shall occur or condition exist as a result of which it is necessary to amend or supplement the Prospectus so that the Prospectus does not include an untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances when the Prospectus is delivered to a purchaser, not misleading, or if in the opinion of the Agents or counsel for the Agents it is otherwise necessary to amend or supplement the Prospectus to comply with applicable law, including the Securities Act, the Company agrees (subject to Section 4(d) and 4(f)) to promptly prepare, file with the Commission and furnish at its own expense to the Agents, amendments or supplements to the Prospectus (including by filing a document incorporated by reference therein) so that the statements in the Prospectus as so amended or supplemented will not include an untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances when the Prospectus is delivered to a purchaser, not be misleading or so that the Prospectus, as amended or supplemented, will comply with applicable law including the Securities Act. Neither the Agents’ consent to, or delivery of, any such amendment or supplement shall constitute a waiver of any of the Company’s obligations under Sections 4(d) and 4(f).

 

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(d) Agent’s Review of Proposed Amendments and Supplements. Prior to amending or supplementing the Registration Statement, the ADS Registration Statement or the Prospectus (excluding any amendment or supplement through incorporation of any report filed under the Exchange Act), the Company shall furnish to the Agents for review, a reasonable amount of time prior to the proposed time of filing or use thereof, a copy of each such proposed amendment or supplement, insofar as such proposed amendment or supplement relates to the transactions contemplated hereby, and the Company shall not file or use any such proposed amendment or supplement without the Agents’ prior consent, and to file with the Commission within the applicable period specified in Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act any prospectus required to be filed pursuant to such Rule.

(e) Use of Free Writing Prospectus. Neither the Company nor any Agent has prepared, used, referred to or distributed, or will prepare, use, refer to or distribute, without the other party’s prior written consent, any “written communication” that constitutes a “free writing prospectus” as such terms are defined in Rule 405 under the Securities Act with respect to the offering contemplated by this Agreement (any such free writing prospectus being referred to herein as a “Free Writing Prospectus”).

(f) Free Writing Prospectuses. The Company shall furnish to the Agents for review, a reasonable amount of time prior to the proposed time of filing or use thereof, a copy of each proposed free writing prospectus or any amendment or supplement thereto to be prepared by or on behalf of, used by, or referred to by the Company and the Company shall not file, use or refer to any proposed free writing prospectus or any amendment or supplement thereto without the Agents’ consent, which shall not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned or delayed. The Company shall furnish to the Agents, without charge, as many copies of any free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of, or used by the Company, as the Agents may reasonably request. If at any time when a prospectus is required by the Securities Act (including, without limitation, pursuant to Rule 173(d)) to be delivered in connection with sales of the Shares (but in any event if at any time through and including the date of this Agreement) there occurred or occurs an event or development as a result of which any free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of, used by, or referred to by the Company conflicted or would conflict with the information contained in the Registration Statement or the ADS Registration Statement or included or would include an untrue statement of a material fact or omitted or would omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances prevailing at that subsequent time, not misleading, the Company shall promptly amend or supplement such free writing prospectus to eliminate or correct such conflict or so that the statements in such free writing prospectus as so amended or supplemented will not include an untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances prevailing at such subsequent time, not misleading, as the case may be; provided, however, that prior to amending or supplementing any such free writing prospectus, the Company shall furnish to the Agents for review, a reasonable amount of time prior to the proposed time of filing or use thereof, a copy of such proposed amended or supplemented free writing prospectus and the Company shall not file, use or refer to any such amended or supplemented free writing prospectus without the Agents’ consent, which shall not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned or delayed.

(g) Filing of Agent Free Writing Prospectuses. The Company shall not take any action that would result in the Agents or the Company being required to file with the Commission pursuant to Rule 433(d) under the Securities Act a free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of the Agents that the Agents otherwise would not have been required to file thereunder.

(h) Copies of Registration Statement and Prospectus. After the date of this Agreement through the last time that a prospectus is required by the Securities Act (including, without limitation, pursuant to Rule 173(d)) to be delivered in connection with sales of the Shares, the Company agrees to furnish the Agents with copies (which may be electronic copies) of the Registration Statement and each amendment thereto, and with copies of the Prospectus and each amendment or supplement thereto in the form in which it is filed with the Commission pursuant to the Securities Act or Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act, both in such quantities as the Agents may reasonably request from time to time; and, if the delivery of a prospectus is required under the Securities Act or under the blue sky or securities laws of any jurisdiction at any time on or prior to the applicable Settlement Date for any period set forth in an Issuance Notice in connection with the offering or sale of the Shares and if at such time any event has occurred as a result of which the Prospectus as then amended or supplemented would include an untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state any material fact necessary in order to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made when such Prospectus is delivered, not misleading, or, if for any other

 

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reason it is necessary during such same period to amend or supplement the Prospectus or to file under the Exchange Act any document incorporated by reference in the Prospectus in order to comply with the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, to notify the Agents and to request that the Agents suspend offers to sell Shares (and, if so notified, the Agents shall cease such offers as soon as practicable); and if the Company decides to amend or supplement the Registration Statement, the ADS Registration Statement or the Prospectus as then amended or supplemented, to advise the Agents promptly by telephone (with confirmation in writing) and to prepare and cause to be filed promptly with the Commission an amendment or supplement to the Registration Statement, the ADS Registration Statement or the Prospectus as then amended or supplemented that will correct such statement or omission or effect such compliance, including by filing a document incorporated by reference therein; provided, however, that if during such same period any Agent is required to deliver a prospectus in respect of transactions in the Shares, the Company shall promptly prepare and file with the Commission such an amendment or supplement.

(i) Blue Sky Compliance. The Company shall cooperate with the Agents and counsel for the Agents to qualify or register the Shares for sale under (or obtain exemptions from the application of) the state securities or blue sky laws or Canadian provincial securities laws of those jurisdictions designated by the Agents, shall comply with such laws and shall continue such qualifications, registrations and exemptions in effect so long as required for the distribution of the Shares. The Company shall not be required to qualify as a foreign corporation or to take any action that would subject it to general service of process in any such jurisdiction where it is not presently qualified or where it would be subject to taxation as a foreign corporation. The Company will advise the Agents promptly of the suspension of the qualification or registration of (or any such exemption relating to) the Shares for offering, sale or trading in any jurisdiction or any initiation or threat of any proceeding for any such purpose, and in the event of the issuance of any order suspending such qualification, registration or exemption, the Company shall use its best efforts to obtain the withdrawal thereof as soon as practicable.

(j) Earnings Statement. As soon as practicable, the Company will make generally available to its security holders and to the Agents an earnings statement (which need not be audited) covering a period of at least twelve months beginning with the first fiscal quarter of the Company occurring after the date of this Agreement which shall satisfy the provisions of Section 11(a) of the Securities Act and Rule 158 under the Securities Act; provided that the Company shall be deemed to have furnished such statements to its security holders and the Sales Agents to the extent they are filed on the Commission’s EDGAR system or any successor to such system.

(k) Listing; Reservation of Shares. The Company will (i) use commercially reasonable efforts to maintain the listing of the Shares on the Principal Market and (ii) reserve and keep available at all times, free of preemptive rights, Shares for the purpose of enabling the Company to satisfy its obligations under this Agreement.

(l) Transfer Agent; Deposit Agreement. The Company shall engage and maintain, at its expense, a registrar and transfer agent for the Shares. The Company agrees that it will comply with the Deposit Agreement so that ADRs evidencing the relevant Shares will, assuming compliance by the Depositary with its obligations under the Deposit Agreement, be executed (and, if applicable, countersigned) and delivered by the Depositary against receipt of such underlying Ordinary Shares to the Designated Agent at the Settlement Date, and to otherwise comply with the terms of the Deposit Agreement, including without limitation, the covenants set forth in the Deposit Agreement.

(m) Due Diligence. During the term of this Agreement, the Company will reasonably cooperate with any reasonable due diligence review conducted by the Agents in connection with the transactions contemplated hereby, including, without limitation, providing information and making available documents and senior corporate officers, during normal business hours and at the Company’s principal offices, as the Agents may reasonably request from time to time.

(n) Representations and Warranties. The Company acknowledges that each delivery of an Issuance Notice and each delivery of Shares on a Settlement Date shall be deemed to be (i) an affirmation to the Agents that the representations and warranties of the Company contained in or made pursuant to this Agreement are true and correct as of the date of such Issuance Notice or of such Settlement Date, as the case may be, as though made at and as of each such date, except as may be disclosed in the Prospectus (including any documents incorporated by reference therein and any supplements thereto); and (ii) an undertaking that the Company will advise the Agents if any of such representations and warranties will not be true and correct as of the Settlement Date for the Shares relating to such Issuance Notice, as though made at and as of each such date (except that such representations and warranties shall be deemed to relate to the Registration Statement and the Prospectus as amended and supplemented relating to such Shares).

 

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(o) Deliverables at Triggering Event Dates; Certificates. The Company agrees that on or prior to the date of the first Issuance Notice and, during the term of this Agreement after the date of the first Issuance Notice, upon:

(A) the filing of the Prospectus or the amendment or supplement of any Registration Statement or Prospectus (other than a prospectus supplement relating solely to an offering of securities other than the Shares or a prospectus filed pursuant to Section 4(a)(ii)(B)), by means of a post-effective amendment, sticker or supplement, but not by means of incorporation of documents by reference into the Registration Statement or Prospectus;

(B) the filing with the Commission of an annual report on Form 20-F (including any Form 20-F/A containing amended financial information or a material amendment to the previously filed annual report on Form 20-F);

(C) the filing with the Commission of a report on Form 6-K containing quarterly financial information of the Company (including any Form 6-K/A containing amended financial information or a material amendment to the previously filed annual report on Form 6-K/A);

(any such event, a “Triggering Event Date”), the Company shall furnish the Agents with a certificate on or prior to each Triggering Event Date, dated the date of delivery, in the form and substance satisfactory to the Agents and their counsel, substantially similar to the form attached as Exhibit B hereto. The requirement to provide a certificate under this Section 4(o) shall be automatically waived for any Triggering Event Date occurring at a time when no Issuance Notice is pending or a suspension is in effect, which waiver shall continue until the earlier to occur of the date the Company delivers instructions for the sale of Shares hereunder (which for such calendar quarter shall be considered a Triggering Event Date) and the next occurring Triggering Event Date. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Company subsequently decides to sell Shares following a Triggering Event Date when a suspension was in effect and did not provide the Agents with a certificate under this Section 4(o), then before the Company delivers the instructions for the sale of Shares or the Designated Agent sells any Shares pursuant to such instructions, the Company shall provide the Agents with a certificate in conformity with this Section 4(o) dated as of the date that the instructions for the sale of Shares are issued.

(p) Legal Opinions. On or prior to the date of the first Issuance Notice and on or prior to each Triggering Event Date with respect to which the Company is obligated to deliver a certificate pursuant to Section 4(o) for which no waiver is applicable and excluding the date of this Agreement,

(A) the written legal opinion and negative assurance letter of Covington & Burling LLP, U.S. counsel for the Company, in form and substance reasonably satisfactory to the Agents and their counsel;

(B) the written legal opinion of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater PartG mbB, German counsel for the Company, in form and substance reasonably satisfactory to the Agents and their counsel;

(C) the written legal opinions of each of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, intellectual property counsel for the Company, each in form and substance reasonably satisfactory to the Agents and their counsel; provided, however, that each such intellectual property counsel shall only be required to deliver such written opinions (x) on or prior to the date of the first Issuance Notice and (y) on or prior to each Triggering Event Date with respect to which the Company is obligated to deliver a certificate pursuant to Section 4(o)(B) for which no waiver is applicable or the date of the first Issuance Notice thereafter, whichever is earlier;

(D) an intellectual property certificate of the Vice President, Legal & Intellectual Property of the Company in form and substance reasonably satisfactory to the Agents and their counsel; provided, however, that such intellectual property certificate shall only be required to be delivered (x) on or prior to the date of the first Issuance Notice and (y) on or prior to each Triggering Event Date with respect to which the Company is obligated to deliver a certificate pursuant to Section 4(o)(B) for which no waiver is applicable or the date of the first Issuance Notice thereafter, whichever is earlier; and

 

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(E) a negative assurance letter of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, counsel to the Agents;

In lieu of such opinions for subsequent periodic filings, in the discretion of the Agent, the Company may furnish a reliance letter from such counsel to the Agents, permitting the Agents to rely on a previously delivered opinion letter, modified as appropriate for any passage of time or Triggering Event Date (except that statements in such prior opinion shall be deemed to relate to the Registration Statement and the Prospectus as amended or supplemented as of such Triggering Event Date).

(q) Comfort Letter. On or prior to the date of the first Issuance Notice and on or prior to each Triggering Event Date with respect to which the Company is obligated to deliver a certificate pursuant to Section 4(o) for which no waiver is applicable and excluding the date of this Agreement, the Company shall cause Ernst & Young GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, the independent registered public accounting firm who has audited the financial statements included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement, to furnish the Agents a comfort letter, dated the date of delivery, in form and substance reasonably satisfactory to the Agents and their counsel, substantially similar to the form previously provided to the Agents and their counsel; provided, however, that any such comfort letter will only be required on the Triggering Event Date specified to the extent that the Triggering Event Date filing contains financial statements filed with the Commission under the Exchange Act and incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference into a Prospectus. If requested by the Agents, the Company shall also cause a comfort letter to be furnished to the Agents within ten (10) Trading Days of the date of occurrence of any material transaction or event requiring the filing of a current report on Form 6-K containing material amended financial information of the Company, including the restatement of the Company’s financial statements. The Company shall be required to furnish no more than one comfort letter hereunder per calendar quarter.

On or prior to the date of the first Issuance Notice, the Company shall cause PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the independent registered public accounting firm who has audited the financial statements of Neon included or incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement, to furnish the Agents a comfort letter, dated the date of delivery, in form and substance reasonably satisfactory to the Agents and their counsel, substantially similar to the form previously provided to the Agents and their counsel.

(r) Officer’s Certificate. On or prior to the date of the first Issuance Notice and on or prior to each Triggering Event Date with respect to which the Company is obligated to deliver a certificate pursuant to Section 4(o) for which no waiver is applicable, and excluding the date of this Agreement, the Company shall furnish the Agents a certificate executed by an Officer of the Company, signing in such capacity, dated the date of delivery, in the form and substance satisfactory to the Agents and their counsel, substantially similar to the form attached as Exhibit C hereto.

(s) Agent’s Own Account; Clients’ Account. The Company consents to each Agent trading, in compliance with applicable law, in the ADSs for such Agent’s own account and for the account of its clients at the same time as sales of the Shares occur pursuant to this Agreement.

(t) Investment Limitation. The Company shall not invest, or otherwise use the proceeds received by the Company from its sale of the Shares in such a manner as would require the Company or any of its subsidiaries to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act.

(u) Market Activities. The Company will not take, directly or indirectly, any action designed to or that might be reasonably expected to cause or result in stabilization or manipulation of the price of the Shares or any other reference security, whether to facilitate the sale or resale of the Shares or otherwise, and the Company will, and shall use commercially reasonable efforts to cause each of its affiliates to, comply with all applicable provisions of Regulation M. If the limitations of Rule 102 of Regulation M (“Rule 102”) do not apply with respect to the Shares or any other reference security pursuant to any exception set forth in Section (d) of Rule 102, then promptly upon notice from the Agents (or, if later, at the time stated in the notice), the Company will, and shall use commercially reasonable efforts to cause each of its affiliates to, comply with Rule 102 as though such exception were not available but the other provisions of Rule 102 (as interpreted by the Commission) did apply. The Company shall promptly notify the Agents if it no longer meets the requirements set forth in Section (d) of Rule 102.

 

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(v) Notice of Other Sale. Without the written consent of the Agents, the Company will not, directly or indirectly, offer to sell, sell, contract to sell, grant any option to sell or otherwise dispose of any Ordinary Shares, ADSs or securities convertible into or exchangeable for Ordinary Shares or ADSs (other than Shares hereunder), warrants or any rights to purchase or acquire Ordinary Shares or ADSs, during the period beginning on the Trading Day immediately prior to the date on which any Issuance Notice is delivered to the Agents hereunder and ending on the earlier of the Trading Day immediately following: (A) the Settlement Date with respect to Shares sold pursuant to such Issuance Notice, and (B) the date an Issuance Notice is cancelled if no Shares have been sold pursuant to such Issuance Notice; and will not directly or indirectly enter into any other “at the market” or continuous equity transaction to offer to sell, sell, contract to sell, grant any option to sell or otherwise dispose of any Ordinary Shares or ADSs (other than the Shares offered pursuant to this Agreement) or securities convertible into or exchangeable for Ordinary Shares or ADSs, warrants or any rights to purchase or acquire, Ordinary Shares prior to the termination of this Agreement; provided, however, that such restrictions will not be required in connection with any Ordinary Shares or other securities of the Company issued or issuable (i) under Company Share Plans, as in effect on the date of this Agreement or subsequently disclosed in filings by the Company available on EDGAR or otherwise in writing to the agent, (ii) as consideration for mergers, acquisitions, other business combinations, strategic alliances, joint ventures, marketing or distribution arrangements, collaboration arrangements, co-promotion agreements, intellectual property license agreements, or offered and sold in privately negotiated transactions with vendors, strategic partners or potential strategic partners occurring after the date of this Agreement which are not used for capital raising purposes, provided that the aggregate number of the shares issued pursuant to clause (ii) shall not exceed more than five percent (5%) of the total number of outstanding Ordinary Shares immediately prior to such issuance or (iii) upon exchange, conversion or redemption of securities or the exercise or vesting of options or other equity awards outstanding at the date of this Agreement.

(w) Tax Indemnity. The Company will indemnify and hold harmless the Agents against any documentary, stamp, registration or similar issuance tax, including any interest and penalties, on the sale of the Shares pursuant to Section 3 and on the execution and delivery of this Agreement. All indemnity payments to be made by the Company hereunder in respect of this Section 4(w) shall be made without withholding or deduction for or on account of any present or future German taxes, duties or governmental shares whatsoever unless the Company is compelled by law to deduct or withhold such taxes, duties or charges. In that event, except for any net income, capital gains or franchise taxes imposed on the Agents by the Federal Republic of Germany or the United States or any political subdivision of tax authority thereof or therein as a result of any present or former connection (other than any connection resulting from the transactions contemplated by the Transaction Documents) between the Agents and the jurisdiction imposing such withholding or deductions, the Company shall pay such additional amounts as may be necessary in order to ensure that the net amounts received after such withholding or deductions shall equal the amounts that would have been received if no withholding or deduction has been made.

Section 5.    CONDITIONS TO DELIVERY OF ISSUANCE NOTICES AND TO SETTLEMENT

(a) Conditions Precedent to the Right of the Company to Deliver an Issuance Notice and the Obligation of the Agents to Sell Shares. The right of the Company to deliver an Issuance Notice hereunder is subject to the satisfaction, on the date of delivery of such Issuance Notice, and the obligation of the Designated Agent to use its commercially reasonable efforts to place Shares during the applicable period set forth in the Issuance Notice is subject to the satisfaction, on each Trading Day during the applicable period set forth in the Issuance Notice, of each of the following conditions:

(i) Accuracy of the Company’s Representations and Warranties; Performance by the Company. The Company shall have delivered the certificate required to be delivered pursuant to Section 4(o) on or before the date on which delivery of such certificate is required pursuant to Section 4(o). The Company shall have performed, satisfied and complied with all covenants, agreements and conditions required by this Agreement to be performed, satisfied or complied with by the Company at or prior to such date, including, but not limited to, the covenants contained in Section 4(p), Section 4(q) and Section 4(r).

(ii) No Injunction. No statute, rule, regulation, executive order, decree, ruling or injunction shall have been enacted, entered, promulgated or endorsed by any court or governmental authority of competent jurisdiction or any self-regulatory organization having authority over the matters contemplated hereby that prohibits or directly and materially adversely affects any of the transactions contemplated by this Agreement, and no proceeding shall have been commenced that may have the effect of prohibiting or materially adversely affecting any of the transactions contemplated by this Agreement.

 

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(iii) No Material Adverse Effect. Except as disclosed in the Prospectus and the Time of Sale Information, (A) in the judgment of the Agents there shall not have occurred any Material Adverse Effect; and (B) there shall not have occurred any downgrading, nor shall any notice have been given of any intended or potential downgrading or of any review for a possible change that does not indicate the direction of the possible change, in the rating accorded any securities of the Company or any of its subsidiaries by any “nationally recognized statistical rating organization” as such term is defined for purposes of Section 3(a)(62) of the Exchange Act.

(iv) No Suspension of Trading in or Delisting of ADSs; Other Events. The trading of the ADSs (including without limitation the Shares) shall not have been suspended by the Commission, the Principal Market or FINRA and the ADSs (including without limitation the Shares) shall have been approved for listing or quotation on and shall not have been delisted from the Principal Market. There shall not have occurred (and be continuing in the case of occurrences under clauses (A) and (B) below) any of the following (A) trading or quotation in any of the Company’s securities shall have been suspended or limited by the Commission or by the Principal Market or trading in securities generally on either the Principal Market shall have been suspended or limited, or minimum or maximum prices shall have been generally established on any of such stock exchanges by the Commission or the FINRA; (B) a general banking moratorium shall have been declared by any of federal or New York, authorities; or (C) there shall have occurred any outbreak or escalation of national or international hostilities or any crisis or calamity, or any change in the United States or international financial markets, or any substantial change or development involving a prospective substantial change in United States’ or international political, financial or economic conditions, as in the judgment of the Agents is material and adverse and makes it impracticable to market the Shares in the manner and on the terms described in the Prospectus or to enforce contracts for the sale of securities.

(b) Documents Required to be Delivered on each Issuance Notice Date. The Designated Agent’s obligation to use its commercially reasonable efforts to place Shares hereunder shall additionally be conditioned upon the delivery to the Agents on or before the Issuance Notice Date of a certificate in form and substance reasonably satisfactory to the Agents, executed by the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Strategy Officer or Chief Commercial Officer & Chief Business Officer of the Company, to the effect that all conditions to the delivery of such Issuance Notice shall have been satisfied as at the date of such certificate (which certificate shall not be required if the foregoing representations shall be set forth in the Issuance Notice or in the certificate described in Section 4(o)).

(c) No Misstatement or Material Omission. The Agents shall not have advised the Company that the Registration Statement, the Prospectus or the Time of Sale Information, or any amendment or supplement thereto, contains an untrue statement of fact that in the Agents’ reasonable opinion is material, or omits to state a fact that in the Agents’ reasonable opinion is material and is required to be stated therein or is necessary to make the statements therein not misleading.

(d) Deposit Agreement. The Deposit Agreement shall be in full force and effect. The Depositary shall have delivered to the Company certificates reasonably satisfactory to the Designated Agent evidencing the deposit with the Depositary or its nominee of the Ordinary Shares being so deposited against issuance of ADRs evidencing the ADSs to be delivered by the Company at the Settlement Date, and the execution, countersignature (if applicable), and delivery of ADRs evidencing such ADSs pursuant to the Deposit Agreement.

(e) Additional Documents. The Company shall have furnished to the Agents such further certificates and documents as the Agents may reasonably request.

 

Section 6.

INDEMNIFICATION AND CONTRIBUTION

(a) Indemnification of the Agent. The Company agrees to indemnify and hold harmless each Agent, each Agent’s officers and employees, and each person, if any, who controls an Agent within the meaning of the Securities Act or the Exchange Act against any loss, claim, damage, liability or expense, as incurred, to which such Agent or such officer, employee or controlling person may become subject, under the Securities Act, the Exchange Act, other federal or state statutory law or regulation, or the laws or regulations of foreign jurisdictions where Shares

 

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have been offered or sold or at common law or otherwise (including in settlement of any litigation), insofar as such loss, claim, damage, liability or expense (or actions in respect thereof as contemplated below) arises out of or is based upon (i) any untrue statement or alleged untrue statement of a material fact contained in the Registration Statement, or any amendment thereto, including any information deemed to be a part thereof pursuant to Rule 430B under the Securities Act, or the omission or alleged omission therefrom of a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein not misleading; or (ii) any untrue statement or alleged untrue statement of a material fact contained in any Free Writing Prospectus that the Company has used, referred to or filed, or is required to file, pursuant to Rule 433(d) of the Securities Act or the Prospectus (or any amendment or supplement thereto), or the omission or alleged omission therefrom of a material fact necessary in order to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, and to reimburse the applicable Agent(s) and each such officer, employee and controlling person for any and all documented expenses (including the reasonable and documented fees and disbursements of counsel chosen by the applicable Agent(s)) as such expenses are reasonably incurred by the applicable Agent(s) or such officer, employee or controlling person in connection with investigating, defending, settling, compromising or paying any such loss, claim, damage, liability, expense or action; provided, however, that the foregoing indemnity agreement shall not apply to any loss, claim, damage, liability or expense to the extent, but only to the extent, arising out of or based upon any untrue statement or alleged untrue statement or omission or alleged omission made in reliance upon and in conformity with written information furnished to the Company by the Agents expressly for use in the Registration Statement, any such Free Writing Prospectus or the Prospectus (or any amendment or supplement thereto), it being understood and agreed that the only such information furnished by the Agents to the Company consists of the information described in subsection (B) below. The indemnity agreement set forth in this Section 6(a) shall be in addition to any liabilities that the Company may otherwise have.

(b) Indemnification of the Company and Company Officers and Directors. The Agents agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Company, each of its directors, each of its officers who signed the Registration Statement and each person, if any, who controls the Company within the meaning of the Securities Act or the Exchange Act against any loss, claim, damage, liability or expense, as incurred, to which the Company or any such director, officer or controlling person may become subject, under the Securities Act, the Exchange Act, other federal or state statutory law or regulation, or the laws or regulations of foreign jurisdictions where Shares have been offered or sold or at common law or otherwise (including in settlement of any litigation), insofar as such loss, claim, damage, liability or expense (or actions in respect thereof as contemplated below) arises out of or is based upon (i) any untrue statement or alleged untrue statement of a material fact contained in the Registration Statement, or any amendment thereto, including any information deemed to be a part thereof pursuant to Rule 430B under the Securities Act, or the omission or alleged omission therefrom of a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein not misleading; or (ii) any untrue statement or alleged untrue statement of a material fact contained in any Free Writing Prospectus that the Company has used, referred to or filed, or is required to file, pursuant to Rule 433(d) of the Securities Act or the Prospectus (or any amendment or supplement thereto), or the omission or alleged omission therefrom of a material fact necessary in order to make the statements therein, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading; but, for each of (i) and (ii) above, only to the extent arising out of or based upon any untrue statement or alleged untrue statement or omission or alleged omission made in reliance upon and in conformity with written information furnished to the Company by the Agents expressly for use in the Registration Statement, any such Free Writing Prospectus or the Prospectus (or any amendment or supplement thereto), it being understood and agreed that the only such information furnished by the Agents to the Company consists of the information set forth in the second sentence of the ninth paragraph under the caption “Plan of Distribution” in the Prospectus, and to reimburse the Company and each such director, officer and controlling person for any and all documented expenses (including the reasonable and documented fees and disbursements of counsel chosen by the Company) as such expenses are reasonably incurred by the Company or such officer, director or controlling person in connection with investigating, defending, settling, compromising or paying any such loss, claim, damage, liability, expense or action. The indemnity agreement set forth in this Section 6(b) shall be in addition to any liabilities that the Agents or the Company may otherwise have.

(c) Notifications and Other Indemnification Procedures. Promptly after receipt by an indemnified party under this Section 6 of notice of the commencement of any action, such indemnified party will, if a claim in respect thereof is to be made against an indemnifying party under this Section 6, notify the indemnifying party in writing of the commencement thereof, but the omission so to notify the indemnifying party will not relieve it from any liability which it may have to any indemnified party for contribution or otherwise than under the indemnity

 

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agreement contained in this Section 6 or to the extent it is not prejudiced as a proximate result of such failure. In case any such action is brought against any indemnified party and such indemnified party seeks or intends to seek indemnity from an indemnifying party, the indemnifying party will be entitled to participate in, and, to the extent that it shall elect, jointly with all other indemnifying parties similarly notified, by written notice delivered to the indemnified party promptly after receiving the aforesaid notice from such indemnified party, to assume the defense thereof with counsel reasonably satisfactory to such indemnified party; provided, however, if the defendants in any such action include both the indemnified party and the indemnifying party and the indemnified party shall have reasonably concluded that a conflict may arise between the positions of the indemnifying party and the indemnified party in conducting the defense of any such action or that there may be legal defenses available to it and/or other indemnified parties which are different from or additional to those available to the indemnifying party, the indemnified party or parties shall have the right to select separate counsel to assume such legal defenses and to otherwise participate in the defense of such action on behalf of such indemnified party or parties. Upon receipt of notice from the indemnifying party to such indemnified party of such indemnifying party’s election so to assume the defense of such action and approval by the indemnified party of counsel, the indemnifying party will not be liable to such indemnified party under this Section 6 for any legal or other expenses subsequently incurred by such indemnified party in connection with the defense thereof unless (i) the indemnified party shall have employed separate counsel in accordance with the proviso to the preceding sentence (it being understood, however, that the indemnifying party shall not be liable for the fees and expenses of more than one separate counsel (together with local counsel), representing the indemnified parties who are parties to such action), which counsel (together with any local counsel) for the indemnified parties shall be selected in writing by the indemnified party (in the case of counsel for the indemnified parties referred to in Section 6(a) or Section 6(b) above), (ii) the indemnifying party shall not have employed counsel reasonably satisfactory to the indemnified party to represent the indemnified party within a reasonable time after notice of commencement of the action or (iii) the indemnifying party has authorized in writing the employment of counsel for the indemnified party at the expense of the indemnifying party, in each of which cases the fees and expenses of counsel shall be at the expense of the indemnifying party and shall be paid as they are incurred.

(d) Settlements. The indemnifying party under this Section 6 shall not be liable for any settlement of any proceeding effected without its written consent, but if settled with such consent or if there be a final judgment for the plaintiff, the indemnifying party agrees to indemnify the indemnified party against any loss, claim, damage, liability or expense by reason of such settlement or judgment. Notwithstanding the foregoing sentence, if at any time an indemnified party shall have requested an indemnifying party to reimburse the indemnified party for fees and expenses of counsel as contemplated by Section 6(c) hereof, the indemnifying party agrees that it shall be liable for any settlement of any proceeding effected without its written consent if (i) such settlement is entered into more than 60 days after receipt by such indemnifying party of the aforesaid request; and (ii) such indemnifying party shall not have reimbursed the indemnified party in accordance with such request prior to the date of such settlement. No indemnifying party shall, without the prior written consent of the indemnified party, effect any settlement, compromise or consent to the entry of judgment in any pending or threatened action, suit or proceeding in respect of which any indemnified party is or could have been a party and indemnity was or could have been sought hereunder by such indemnified party, unless such settlement, compromise or consent includes an unconditional release of such indemnified party from all liability on claims that are the subject matter of such action, suit or proceeding.

(e) Contribution. If the indemnification provided for in this Section 6 is for any reason held to be unavailable to or otherwise insufficient to hold harmless an indemnified party in respect of any losses, claims, damages, liabilities or expenses referred to therein, then each indemnifying party shall contribute to the aggregate amount paid or payable by such indemnified party, as incurred, as a result of any losses, claims, damages, liabilities or expenses referred to therein (i) in such proportion as is appropriate to reflect the relative benefits received by the Company, on the one hand, and the applicable Agent(s), on the other hand, from the offering of the Shares pursuant to this Agreement; or (ii) if the allocation provided by clause (i) above is not permitted by applicable law, in such proportion as is appropriate to reflect not only the relative benefits referred to in clause (i) above but also the relative fault of the Company, on the one hand, and the applicable Agent(s), on the other hand, in connection with the statements or omissions which resulted in such losses, claims, damages, liabilities or expenses, as well as any other relevant equitable considerations. The relative benefits received by the Company, on the one hand, and the applicable Agent(s), on the other hand, in connection with the offering of the Shares pursuant to this Agreement shall be deemed to be in the same respective proportions as the total gross proceeds from the offering of the Shares (before deducting expenses) received by the Company bear to the total commissions received by the applicable

 

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Agent(s). The relative fault of the Company, on the one hand, and the applicable Agent(s), on the other hand, shall be determined by reference to, among other things, whether any such untrue or alleged untrue statement of a material fact or omission or alleged omission to state a material fact relates to information supplied by the Company, on the one hand, or the applicable Agent(s), on the other hand, and the parties’ relative intent, knowledge, access to information and opportunity to correct or prevent such statement or omission.

The amount paid or payable by a party as a result of the losses, claims, damages, liabilities and expenses referred to above shall be deemed to include, subject to the limitations set forth in Section 6(c), any legal or other fees or expenses reasonably incurred by such party in connection with investigating or defending any action or claim. The provisions set forth in Section 6(c) with respect to notice of commencement of any action shall apply if a claim for contribution is to be made under this Section 6(e); provided, however, that no additional notice shall be required with respect to any action for which notice has been given under Section 6(c) for purposes of indemnification.

The Company and the Agents agree that it would not be just and equitable if contribution pursuant to this Section 6(e) were determined by pro rata allocation or by any other method of allocation which does not take account of the equitable considerations referred to in this Section 6(e).

Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section 6(e), an Agent shall not be required to contribute any amount in excess of the agent fees received by such Agent in connection with the offering contemplated hereby. No person guilty of fraudulent misrepresentation (within the meaning of Section 11(f) of the Securities Act) shall be entitled to contribution from any person who was not guilty of such fraudulent misrepresentation. For purposes of this Section 6(e), each officer and employee of an Agent and each person, if any, who controls an Agent within the meaning of the Securities Act or the Exchange Act shall have the same rights to contribution as such Agent, and each director of the Company, each officer of the Company who signed the Registration Statement, and each person, if any, who controls the Company within the meaning of the Securities Act and the Exchange Act shall have the same rights to contribution as the Company.

 

Section 7.

TERMINATION & SURVIVAL

(a) Term. Subject to the provisions of this Section 7, the term of this Agreement shall continue from the date of this Agreement until the end of the Agency Period, unless earlier terminated by the parties to this Agreement pursuant to this Section 7.

(b) Termination; Survival Following Termination.

(i) Each Agent may terminate this Agreement, solely with respect to its rights and obligations hereunder, and the Company may terminate this Agreement, with respect to one or both Agents, prior to the end of the Agency Period, by giving written notice as required by this Agreement, upon ten (10) Trading Days’ notice to all other parties party to this Agreement; provided that, (A) if the Company terminates this Agreement after an Agent confirms to the Company any sale of Shares, the Company shall remain obligated to comply with Section 3(b)(v) with respect to such Shares and (B) Section 2, Section 6, Section 7 and Section 8 shall survive termination of this Agreement. If termination shall occur prior to the Settlement Date for any sale of Shares, such sale shall nevertheless settle in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. For the avoidance of doubt, the termination by one Agent of its rights and obligations under this Agreement pursuant to this Section 7(b)(i) shall not affect the rights and obligations of the other Agent under this Agreement. Upon termination of this Agreement, the Company shall not have any liability to the Agents for any discount, commission or other compensation with respect to any Shares not otherwise sold by the Agents under this Agreement.

(ii) In addition to the survival provision of Section 7(b)(i), the respective indemnities, agreements, representations, warranties and other statements of the Company, of its officers and of the Agents set forth in or made pursuant to this Agreement will remain in full force and effect, regardless of any investigation made by or on behalf of an Agent or the Company or any of its or their partners, officers or directors or any controlling person, as the case may be, and, anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding, will survive delivery of and payment for the Shares sold hereunder and any termination of this Agreement.

 

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Section 8.

MISCELLANEOUS

(a) Press Releases and Disclosure. The Company may issue a press release describing the material terms of the transactions contemplated hereby as soon as practicable following the date of this Agreement, and may file with the Commission a report on Form 6-K, with this Agreement attached as an exhibit thereto, describing the material terms of the transactions contemplated hereby, and the Company shall consult with the Agents prior to making such disclosures, and the parties hereto shall use all commercially reasonable efforts, acting in good faith, to agree upon a text for such disclosures that is reasonably satisfactory to all parties hereto. No party hereto shall issue thereafter any press release or like public statement (including, without limitation, any disclosure required in reports filed with the Commission pursuant to the Exchange Act) related to this Agreement or any of the transactions contemplated hereby without the prior written approval of the other parties hereto, except as may be necessary or appropriate in the reasonable opinion of the party seeking to make disclosure to comply with the requirements of applicable law or stock exchange rules. If any such press release or like public statement is so required, the party making such disclosure shall consult with the other parties prior to making such disclosure, and the parties shall use all commercially reasonable efforts, acting in good faith, to agree upon a text for such disclosure that is reasonably satisfactory to all parties hereto.

(b) No Advisory or Fiduciary Relationship. The Company acknowledges and agrees that (i) the transactions contemplated by this Agreement, including the determination of any fees, are arm’s-length commercial transactions between the Company and the Agents, (ii) when acting as a principal under this Agreement, an Agent is and has been acting solely as a principal and is not the agent or fiduciary of the Company, or its stockholders, creditors, employees or any other party, (iii) the Agents have not assumed nor will assume an advisory or fiduciary responsibility in favor of the Company with respect to the transactions contemplated hereby or the process leading thereto (irrespective of whether any Agent has advised or is currently advising the Company on other matters) and the Agents do not have any obligation to the Company with respect to the transactions contemplated hereby except the obligations expressly set forth in this Agreement, (iv) the Agents and their respective affiliates may be engaged in a broad range of transactions that involve interests that differ from those of the Company, and (v) Agents have not provided any legal, accounting, regulatory or tax advice with respect to the transactions contemplated hereby and the Company has consulted its own legal, accounting, regulatory and tax advisors to the extent it deemed appropriate.

(c) Research Analyst Independence. The Company acknowledges that the Agents’ research analysts and research departments are required to and should be independent from their respective investment banking divisions and are subject to certain regulations and internal policies, and as such an Agent’s research analysts may hold views and make statements or investment recommendations and/or publish research reports with respect to the Company or the offering that differ from the views of their respective investment banking divisions. The Company understands that the Agents are full service securities firms and as such from time to time, subject to applicable securities laws, may effect transactions for their own account or the account of their customers and hold long or short positions in debt or equity securities of the companies that may be the subject of the transactions contemplated by this Agreement.

(d) Notices. All communications hereunder shall be in writing and shall be mailed, hand delivered or telecopied and confirmed to the parties hereto as follows:

If to the Agents:

Jefferies LLC

520 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10022

Attention: General Counsel

SVB Leerink LLC

1301 Avenue of the Americas, 12th Floor

New York, New York 10019

Attention: Peter M. Fry

Attention: Stuart R. Nayman, Esq.

 

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

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

450 Lexington Avenue

New York, New York 10017

Attention: Deanna L. Kirkpatrick

Attention: Yasin Keshvargar

If to the Company:

BioNTech SE

An der Goldgrube 12

D-55131 Mainz, Germany

Attention: Dr. James Ryan

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

Covington & Burling LLP

620 Eighth Avenue

New York, New York 10018

Attention: Brian Rosenzweig

Attention: Matt Gehl.

Any party hereto may change the address for receipt of communications by giving written notice to the others in accordance with this Section 8(d).

(e) Successors. This Agreement will inure to the benefit of and be binding upon the parties hereto, and to the benefit of the employees, officers and directors and controlling persons referred to in Section 6, and in each case their respective successors, and no other person will have any right or obligation hereunder. The term “successors” shall not include any purchaser of the Shares as such from any Agent merely by reason of such purchase.

(f) Partial Unenforceability. The invalidity or unenforceability of any Article, Section, paragraph or provision of this Agreement shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other Article, Section, paragraph or provision hereof. If any Article, Section, paragraph or provision of this Agreement is for any reason determined to be invalid or unenforceable, there shall be deemed to be made such minor changes (and only such minor changes) as are necessary to make it valid and enforceable.

(g) Governing Law Provisions. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the internal laws of the State of New York applicable to agreements made and to be performed in such state. Any legal suit, action or proceeding arising out of or based upon this Agreement or the transactions contemplated hereby may be instituted in the federal courts of the United States of America located in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York or the courts of the State of New York in each case located in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York (collectively, the “Specified Courts”), and each party irrevocably submits to the exclusive jurisdiction (except for proceedings instituted in regard to the enforcement of a judgment of any such court, as to which such jurisdiction is non-exclusive) of such courts in any such suit, action or proceeding. The Company irrevocably appoints BioNTech USA Holding, LLC, located at 228 E 45th Street, Suite 9e, New York, New York 10017, as its authorized agent in the Borough of Manhattan in The City of New York upon which process may be served in any such suit or proceeding. Service of any process, summons, notice or document by mail to such party’s address set forth above shall be effective service of process for any suit, action or other proceeding brought in any such court. The parties irrevocably and unconditionally waive any objection to the laying of venue of any suit, action or other proceeding in the Specified Courts and irrevocably and unconditionally waive and agree not to plead or claim in any such court that any such suit, action or other proceeding brought in any such court has been brought in an inconvenient forum.

(h) Judgment Currency. The Company agrees to indemnify each Agent, its directors, officers, affiliates and each person, if any, who controls such Agent within the meaning of Section 17 of the Securities Act or Section 20 of the Exchange Act, against any loss incurred by such Agent as a result of any judgment or order being given or made for any amount due hereunder and such judgment or order being expressed and paid in a currency

 

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(the “Judgment Currency”) other than U.S. dollars and as a result of any variation as between (i) the rate of exchange at which the U.S. dollar amount is converted into the Judgment Currency for the purpose of such judgment or order, and (ii) the rate of exchange at which such indemnified person is able to purchase U.S. dollars with the amount of the Judgment Currency actually received by the indemnified person. The foregoing indemnity shall constitute a separate and independent obligation of the Company and shall continue in full force and effect notwithstanding any such judgment or order as aforesaid. The term “rate of exchange” shall include any premiums and costs of exchange payable in connection with the purchase of, or conversion into, the relevant currency.

(i) Waiver of Immunity. To the extent that the Company has or hereafter may acquire any immunity (sovereign or otherwise) from jurisdiction of any court of (i) the Federal Republic of Germany, or any political subdivision thereof, (ii) the United States or the State of New York, (iii) any jurisdiction in which it owns or leases property or assets or from any legal process (whether through service of notice, attachment prior to judgment, attachment in aid of execution, execution, set-off or otherwise) with respect to themselves or their respective property and assets or this Agreement, the Company hereby irrevocably waives such immunity in respect of its obligations under this Agreement to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.

(j) General Provisions. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement of the parties to this Agreement and supersedes all prior written or oral and all contemporaneous oral agreements, understandings and negotiations with respect to the subject matter hereof. This Agreement may be executed in two or more counterparts, each one of which shall be an original, with the same effect as if the signatures thereto and hereto were upon the same instrument, and may be delivered by facsimile transmission or by electronic delivery of a portable document format (PDF) file. Any signature to this Agreement may be delivered by facsimile, electronic mail (including pdf) or any electronic signature complying with the U.S. federal ESIGN Act of 2000 or the New York Electronic Signature and Records Act or other transmission method and any counterpart so delivered shall be deemed to have been duly and validly delivered and be valid and effective for all purposes to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law. This Agreement may not be amended or modified unless in writing by all of the parties hereto, and no condition herein (express or implied) may be waived unless waived in writing by each party whom the condition is meant to benefit. The Article and Section headings herein are for the convenience of the parties only and shall not affect the construction or interpretation of this Agreement.

[Signature Page Immediately Follows]

 

30


If the foregoing is in accordance with your understanding of our agreement, kindly sign and return to the Company the enclosed copies hereof, whereupon this instrument, along with all counterparts hereof, shall become a binding agreement in accordance with its terms.

 

Very truly yours,

 

BIONTECH SE

By:  

/s/ Dr. Sierk Poetting

 

Name:   Dr. Sierk Poetting

 

Title:   Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer

The foregoing Agreement is hereby confirmed and accepted by the Agents in New York, New York as of the date first above written.

 

JEFFERIES LLC
By:  

/s/ Donald Lynaugh

  Name: Donald Lynaugh
  Title:   Managing Director
SVB LEERINK LLC
By:  

/s/ Peter M. Fry

  Name: Peter M. Fry
  Title:   Head of Alternative Equities

 

[Signature Page to Sales Agreement]


EXHIBIT A

FORM OF ISSUANCE NOTICE

[Date]

[Jefferies LLC

520 Madison Avenue

New York, New York 10022]

[SVB Leerink LLC

1301 Avenue of the Americas, 12th Floor

New York, New York 10019]

Attn: [                ]

Reference is made to the Sales Agreement between BioNTech SE (the “Company”) and Jefferies LLC and SVB Leerink LLC dated as of November 9, 2020. The Company confirms that all conditions to the delivery of this Issuance Notice to [Jefferies LLC][SVB Leerink LLC] (the “Agent”) are satisfied as of the date hereof.

Date of Delivery of Issuance Notice (determined pursuant to Section 3(b)(i)):                                 

Issuance Amount (equal to the total Sales Price for such Shares): $                    

Number of days in selling period:                                                  

First date of selling period:                                                  

Last date of selling period:                                                  

Settlement Date(s) if other than standard T+2 settlement:                                                  

Floor Price Limitation (in no event less than $1.00 without the prior written consent of the Agent, which consent may be withheld in the Agent’s sole discretion): $              per Share; provided that notwithstanding the Floor Price, in no event shall the Sales Price with respect to any Shares represent a discount exceeding 5% below the prevailing market price of the Shares on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

Comments:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 

BIONTECH SE
By:  

 

  Name:
  Title:

 


EXHIBIT B

BIONTECH SE

OFFICERS’ CERTIFICATE


EXHIBIT C

BIONTECH SE

OFFICER’S CERTIFICATE


SCHEDULE A

NOTICE PARTIES

EX-4.4

Exhibit 4.4

 

 

BioNTech SE

as the Company

and

Wilmington Trust, National Association

as Trustee

Indenture

Dated as of [                    ]

Senior Debt Securities

 

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

         Page  

ARTICLE ONE Definitions and Other Provisions of General Application

     1  

SECTION 101.

  Definitions.      1  

SECTION 102.

  Compliance Certificates and Opinions.      7  

SECTION 103.

  Form of Documents Delivered to Trustee      7  

SECTION 104.

  Acts of Holders; Record Dates.      8  

SECTION 105.

  Notices, Etc., to Trustee and Company      10  

SECTION 106.

  Notice to Holders; Waiver.      10  

SECTION 107.

  Conflict with Trust Indenture Act      11  

SECTION 108.

  Effect of Headings and Table of Contents.      11  

SECTION 109.

  Successors and Assigns.      12  

SECTION 110.

  Separability Clause; Entire Agreement      12  

SECTION 111.

  Benefits of Indenture.      12  

SECTION 112.

  Governing Law and Submission to Jurisdiction.      12  

SECTION 113.

  Certain Tax Matters.      12  

SECTION 114.

  Legal Holidays      12  

SECTION 115.

  Force Majeure      13  

SECTION 116.

  Execution in Counterparts; Electronic Signatures.      13  

SECTION 117.

  Waiver of Jury Trial      13  

ARTICLE TWO Security Forms

     14  

SECTION 201.

  Forms Generally.      14  

SECTION 202.

  Form of Face of Security.      14  

SECTION 203.

  Form of Reverse of Security.      16  

SECTION 204.

  Form of Legend for Global Securities.      19  

SECTION 205.

  Form of Trustee’s Certificate of Authentication      19  

ARTICLE THREE The Securities

     20  

SECTION 301.

  Amount Unlimited; Issuable in Series.      20  

SECTION 302.

  Denominations      22  

SECTION 303.

  Execution, Authentication, Delivery and Dating.      22  

SECTION 304.

  Temporary Securities      24  

SECTION 305.

  Registration, Registration of Transfer and Exchange.      24  

SECTION 306.

  Mutilated, Destroyed, Lost and Stolen Securities      26  

SECTION 307.

  Payment of Interest; Interest Rights Preserved.      27  

SECTION 308.

  Persons Deemed Owners.      28  

SECTION 309.

  Cancellation.      29  

SECTION 310.

  Computation of Interest.      29  

SECTION 311.

  CUSIP Numbers.      29  

ARTICLE FOUR Satisfaction and Discharge

     29  

SECTION 401.

  Satisfaction and Discharge of Indenture.      30  

SECTION 402.

  Application of Trust Money.      31  

ARTICLE FIVE Remedies

     31  

SECTION 501.

  Events of Default.      31  

 

i


SECTION 502.

  Acceleration of Maturity; Rescission and Annulment.      32  

SECTION 503.

  Collection of Indebtedness and Suits for Enforcement by Trustee.      33  

SECTION 504.

  Trustee May File Proofs of Claim.      34  

SECTION 505.

  Trustee May Enforce Claims Without Possession of Securities.      34  

SECTION 506.

  Application of Money Collected      34  

SECTION 507.

  Limitation on Suits.      35  

SECTION 508.

  Unconditional Right of Holders to Receive Principal, Premium and Interest.      35  

SECTION 509.

  Restoration of Rights and Remedies      36  

SECTION 510.

  Rights and Remedies Cumulative      36  

SECTION 511.

  Delay or Omission Not Waiver.      36  

SECTION 512.

  Control by Holders.      36  

SECTION 513.

  Waiver of Past Defaults.      37  

SECTION 514.

  Undertaking for Costs      37  

SECTION 515.

  Waiver of Usury, Stay or Extension Laws      37  

ARTICLE SIX The Trustee

     38  

SECTION 601.

  Certain Duties and Responsibilities.      38  

SECTION 602.

  Notice of Defaults      39  

SECTION 603.

  Certain Rights of Trustee      39  

SECTION 604.

  Not Responsible for Recitals or Issuance of Securities.      41  

SECTION 605.

  May Hold Securities.      41  

SECTION 606.

  Money Held in Trust      41  

SECTION 607.

  Compensation and Reimbursement.      41  

SECTION 608.

  Conflicting Interests      42  

SECTION 609.

  Corporate Trustee Required; Eligibility      42  

SECTION 610.

  Resignation and Removal; Appointment of Successor.      43  

SECTION 611.

  Acceptance of Appointment by Successor      44  

SECTION 612.

  Merger, Conversion, Consolidation or Succession to Business      45  

SECTION 613.

  Preferential Collection of Claims Against Company      45  

SECTION 614.

  Appointment of Authenticating Agent      45  

ARTICLE SEVEN Holders’ Lists and Reports by Trustee and Company

     47  

SECTION 701.

  Company to Furnish Trustee Names and Addresses of Holders      47  

SECTION 702.

  Preservation of Information; Communications to Holders.      47  

SECTION 703.

  Reports by Trustee.      48  

SECTION 704.

  Reports by Company.      48  

ARTICLE EIGHT Consolidation, Amalgamation, Merger, Conveyance, Transfer or Lease

     48  

SECTION 801.

  Company May Consolidate, Etc., Only on Certain Terms      48  

SECTION 802.

  Successor Substituted.      49  

ARTICLE NINE Supplemental Indentures

     50  

SECTION 901.

  Supplemental Indentures Without Consent of Holders      50  

SECTION 902.

  Supplemental Indentures With Consent of Holders      51  

SECTION 903.

  Execution of Supplemental Indentures.      52  

SECTION 904.

  Effect of Supplemental Indentures      52  

SECTION 905.

  Conformity with Trust Indenture Act.      52  

SECTION 906.

  Reference in Securities to Supplemental Indentures      52  

 

 

ii


ARTICLE TEN Covenants

     52  

SECTION 1001.

  Payment of Principal, Premium and Interest.      52  

SECTION 1002.

  Maintenance of Office or Agency      53  

SECTION 1003.

  Money for Securities Payments to Be Held in Trust      53  

SECTION 1004.

  Statement by Officers as to Default.      54  

SECTION 1005.

  Waiver of Certain Covenants      54  

ARTICLE ELEVEN Redemption of Securities

     55  

SECTION 1101.

  Applicability of Article      55  

SECTION 1102.

  Election to Redeem; Notice to Trustee.      55  

SECTION 1103.

  Selection by Trustee of Securities to Be Redeemed.      55  

SECTION 1104.

  Notice of Redemption      56  

SECTION 1105.

  Deposit of Redemption Price.      57  

SECTION 1106.

  Securities Payable on Redemption Date.      57  

SECTION 1107.

  Securities Redeemed in Part.      57  

ARTICLE TWELVE Sinking Funds

     58  

SECTION 1201.

  Applicability of Article      58  

SECTION 1202.

  Satisfaction of Sinking Fund Payments with Securities.      58  

SECTION 1203.

  Redemption of Securities for Sinking Fund      58  

ARTICLE THIRTEEN Defeasance and Covenant Defeasance

     59  

SECTION 1301.

  Company’s Option to Effect Defeasance or Covenant Defeasance.      59  

SECTION 1302.

  Defeasance and Discharge.      59  

SECTION 1303.

  Covenant Defeasance      59  

SECTION 1304.

  Conditions to Defeasance or Covenant Defeasance      60  

SECTION 1305.

  Deposited Money and U.S. Government Obligations to Be Held in Trust; Miscellaneous Provisions.      61  

SECTION 1306.

  Reinstatement.      62  

 

iii


CROSS-REFERENCE TABLE

 

Trust Indenture Act Section

   Indenture Section     

§310

   (a)       609   
   (b)       608, 610   

§311

   (a)       613   
   (b)       605   

§312

   (a)       701   
   (b)       702   
   (c)       702   

§313

   (a)       703   
   (b)       703   
   (c)       703   
   (d)       703   

§314

   (a)       704   
   (c)       102   
   (e)       102   

§315

   (a)       601, 603   
   (b)       602   
   (c)       601   
   (d)       601, 603   
   (e)       514   

§316

   (a)       512, 513   
   (b)       508   
   (c)       104   

§317

   (a)       503, 504   
   (b)       1003   

§318

   (a)       107   

This Cross-Reference Table does not constitute part of the Indenture and shall not have any bearing on the interpretation of any of its terms or provisions.

 

iv


INDENTURE, dated as of [                    ], between BioNTech SE, a European stock corporation (Societas Europaea) incorporated in Germany and governed by the laws of the European Union and the Federal Republic of Germany and registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) of the local court (Amtsgericht) of Mainz, Federal Republic of Germany, under number HRB 48720 (the “Company”), having its principal office at An der Goldgrube 12, D-55131 Mainz, Germany and Wilmington Trust, National Association, as Trustee (the “Trustee”).

RECITALS OF THE COMPANY

WHEREAS, the Company has duly authorized the execution and delivery of this Indenture to provide for the issuance from time to time of its senior debt securities (the “Securities”), to be issued in one or more series as in this Indenture provided;

WHEREAS, the Company represents that all things necessary to make this Indenture a valid agreement of the Company, in accordance with its terms, have been done; and

WHEREAS, the foregoing recitals are made as representations and statements of fact by the Company and not by the Trustee.

NOW, THEREFORE, THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH:

For and in consideration of the premises and the purchase of the Securities by the Holders thereof, it is mutually agreed, for the equal and proportionate benefit of all Holders of the Securities or of series thereof, as follows:

ARTICLE ONE

DEFINITIONS AND OTHER PROVISIONS OF GENERAL APPLICATION

SECTION 101.    Definitions.

For all purposes of this Indenture, except as otherwise expressly provided or unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) the terms defined in this Article have the meanings assigned to them in this Article and include the plural as well as the singular;

(2) all other terms used herein which are defined in the Trust Indenture Act, either directly or by reference therein, have the meanings assigned to them therein;

(3) all accounting terms not otherwise defined herein have the meanings assigned to them in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;

(4) unless the context otherwise requires, any reference to an “Article” or a “Section” refers to an Article or a Section, as the case may be, of this Indenture; and

(5) the words “herein”, “hereof” and “hereunder” and other words of similar import refer to this Indenture as a whole and not to any particular Article, Section or other subdivision.

 

1


“Act”, when used with respect to any Holder, has the meaning specified in Section 104.

“Affiliate” of any specified Person means any other Person directly or indirectly controlling or controlled by or under direct or indirect common control with such specified Person. For the purposes of this definition, “control” when used with respect to any specified Person means the power to direct the management and policies of such Person, directly or indirectly, whether through the ownership of voting securities, by contract or otherwise; and the terms “controlling” and “controlled” have meanings correlative to the foregoing.

“Agent Member” means any member of, or participant in, the Depositary.

“Applicable Procedures” means, with respect to any transfer or transaction involving a Global Security or beneficial interest therein, the rules and procedures of the Depositary for such Security, in each case to the extent applicable to such transaction and as in effect from time to time.

“Authenticating Agent” means any Person authorized by the Trustee pursuant to Section 614 to act on behalf of the Trustee to authenticate Securities of one or more series.

“Authorized Officer” means two members of the Company’s management board (Vorstand) acting jointly or one such member who has power of single representation, as evidenced to the Trustee by delivery of an incumbency certificate.

“Board of Directors” means the management board (Vorstand) of the Company.

“Board Resolution” means a copy of a resolution certified by an Officer of the Company to have been duly adopted by the Board of Directors and to be in full force and effect on the date of such certification, and delivered to the Trustee.

“Business Day”, when used with respect to any Place of Payment, means (i) each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday which is not a day on which banking institutions in that Place of Payment are authorized or obligated by law or executive order to close, or (ii) a day on which the Corporate Trust Office of the Trustee is not closed for business.

“Commission” means the Securities and Exchange Commission, from time to time constituted, created under the Exchange Act, or, if at any time after the execution of this instrument such Commission is not existing and performing the duties now assigned to it under the Trust Indenture Act, then the body performing such duties at such time.

“Company” means the Person named as the “Company” in the first paragraph of this instrument until a successor Person shall have become such pursuant to the applicable provisions of this Indenture, and thereafter “Company” shall mean such successor Person.

“Company Request” or “Company Order” mean, respectively, the written request or order signed in the name of the Company by an Authorized Officer and delivered to the Trustee.

“Corporate Trust Office” means the principal office of the Trustee at which at any particular time its corporate trust business shall be administered, which office at the date of the

 

2


execution of this Indenture is located at 1100 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19890, Attention: BioNTech SE, Account Manager, or at any other time at such other address as the Trustee may designate from time to time by notice to the Company or the principal corporate trust office of any successor Trustee (or such other address as such successor Trustee may designate from time to time by notice to the Company).

“corporation” means a corporation, association, company, joint-stock company or business trust.

“Covenant Defeasance” has the meaning specified in Section 1303.

“Defaulted Interest” has the meaning specified in Section 307.

“Defeasance” has the meaning specified in Section 1302.

“Depositary” means, with respect to Securities of any series issuable in whole or in part in the form of one or more Global Securities, a clearing agency registered under the Exchange Act that is designated to act as Depositary for such Securities as contemplated by Section 301. “Event of Default” has the meaning specified in Section 501.

“Exchange Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and any statute successor thereto, in each case as amended from time to time.

“Expiration Date” has the meaning specified in Section 104.

“Global Security” means a Security that evidences all or part of the Securities of any series and bears the legend set forth in Section 204 (or such legend as may be specified as contemplated by Section 301 for such Securities) issued to the Depositary or its nominee for such series, and registered in the name of such Depositary or its nominee.

“Holder” means a Person in whose name a Security is registered in the Security Register.

“Indenture” means this instrument as originally executed and as it may from time to time be supplemented or amended by one or more indentures supplemental hereto entered into pursuant to the applicable provisions hereof, including, for all purposes of this instrument and any such supplemental indenture, the provisions of the Trust Indenture Act that are deemed to be a part of and govern this instrument and any such supplemental indenture, respectively. The term “Indenture” shall also include the terms of particular series of Securities established as contemplated by Section 301.

“interest”, when used with respect to an Original Issue Discount Security which by its terms bears interest only after Maturity, means interest payable after Maturity.

“Interest Payment Date”, when used with respect to any Security, means the Stated Maturity of an installment of interest on such Security.

“Investment Company Act” means the Investment Company Act of 1940 and any statute successor thereto, in each case as amended from time to time.

 

3


“Maturity”, when used with respect to any Security, means the date on which the principal of such Security or an installment of principal becomes due and payable as therein or herein provided, whether at the Stated Maturity or by declaration of acceleration, call for redemption or otherwise.

“Notice of Default” means a written notice of the kind specified in Section 501(4).

“Officer” means any member of the Company’s management board (Vorstand), any person registered as a “Prokurist” in the commercial register of the Company, or any Vice President of the Company.

“Officers’ Certificate” means a certificate signed on behalf of the Company by two Officers of the Company, one of whom must be the principal executive officer, the principal financial officer or the principal accounting officer of the Company, and delivered to the Trustee that meets the requirements of Section 103.

“Opinion of Counsel” means a written opinion of counsel, who may be counsel for the Company, and which opinion shall be acceptable to the Trustee and meet the requirements of Section 103.

“Original Issue Discount Security” means any Security which provides for an amount less than the principal amount thereof to be due and payable upon a declaration of acceleration of the Maturity thereof pursuant to Section 502.

“Outstanding”, when used with respect to Securities, means, as of the date of determination, all Securities theretofore authenticated and delivered under this Indenture, except:

(1) Securities theretofore cancelled by the Trustee or delivered to the Trustee for cancellation;

(2) Securities for whose payment or redemption money in the necessary amount has been theretofore deposited with the Trustee or any Paying Agent (other than the Company) in trust or set aside and segregated in trust by the Company (if the Company shall act as its own Paying Agent) for the Holders of such Securities; provided that, if such Securities are to be redeemed, notice of such redemption has been duly given pursuant to this Indenture or provision therefor satisfactory to the Trustee has been made;

(3) Securities as to which Defeasance has been effected pursuant to Section 1302; and

(4) Securities which have been paid pursuant to Section 306 or in exchange for or in lieu of which other Securities have been authenticated and delivered pursuant to this Indenture, other than any such Securities in respect of which there shall have been presented to the Trustee proof satisfactory to it that such Securities are held by a bona fide purchaser in whose hands such Securities are valid obligations of the Company; provided, however, that in determining whether the Holders of the requisite principal amount of the Outstanding Securities have given, made or taken any request, demand, authorization, direction, notice, consent, waiver or other action hereunder as of any date, (A) the principal

 

4


amount of an Original Issue Discount Security which shall be deemed to be Outstanding shall be the amount of the principal thereof which would be due and payable as of such date upon acceleration of the Maturity thereof to such date pursuant to Section 502, (B) if, as of such date, the principal amount payable at the Stated Maturity of a Security is not determinable, the principal amount of such Security which shall be deemed to be Outstanding shall be the amount as specified or determined as contemplated by Section 301, (C) the principal amount of a Security denominated in one or more foreign currencies or currency units which shall be deemed to be Outstanding shall be the U.S. dollar equivalent, determined as of such date in the manner provided as contemplated by Section 301, of the principal amount of such Security (or, in the case of a Security described in Clause (A) or (B) above, of the amount determined as provided in such Clause), and (D) Securities owned by the Company or any other obligor upon the Securities or any Affiliate of the Company or of such other obligor shall be disregarded and deemed not to be Outstanding, except that, in determining whether the Trustee shall be protected in relying upon any such request, demand, authorization, direction, notice, consent, waiver or other action, only Securities which a Responsible Officer of the Trustee actually knows to be so owned shall be so disregarded. Securities so owned which have been pledged in good faith may be regarded as Outstanding if the pledgee establishes to the satisfaction of the Trustee the pledgee’s right so to act with respect to such Securities and that the pledgee is not the Company or any other obligor upon the Securities or any Affiliate of the Company or of such other obligor. Upon the written request of the Trustee, the Company shall furnish to the Trustee promptly an Officers’ Certificate listing and identifying all Securities, if any, known by the Company to be owned by, held by or for the account of the Company, or any other obligor on the Securities or any Affiliate of the Company or such obligor, and subject to the provisions of Section 601, the Trustee shall be entitled to accept such Officers’ Certificate as conclusive evidence of the facts therein set forth and of the fact that all Securities not listed therein are Outstanding for the purpose of any such determination.

“Paying Agent” means the Trustee or any Person authorized by the Company to pay the principal of or any premium or interest on any Securities on behalf of the Company.

“Person” means any individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, trust, unincorporated organization or government or any agency or political subdivision thereof.

“Place of Payment”, when used with respect to the Securities of any series, means the place or places where the principal of and any premium and interest on the Securities of that series are payable as specified as contemplated by Section 301.

“Predecessor Security” of any particular Security means every previous Security evidencing all or a portion of the same debt as that evidenced by such particular Security; and, for the purposes of this definition, any Security authenticated and delivered under Section 306 in exchange for or in lieu of a mutilated, destroyed, lost or stolen Security shall be deemed to evidence the same debt as the mutilated, destroyed, lost or stolen Security.

“Redemption Date”, when used with respect to any Security to be redeemed, means the date fixed for such redemption by or pursuant to this Indenture.

 

5


“Redemption Price”, when used with respect to any Security to be redeemed, means the price at which it is to be redeemed pursuant to this Indenture.

“Regular Record Date” for the interest payable on any Interest Payment Date on the Securities of any series means, unless otherwise provided pursuant to Section 301, the date that is fifteen days next preceding such Interest Payment Date (whether or not a Business Day).

“Responsible Officer” shall mean, when used with respect to the Trustee, any officer within the corporate trust department of the Trustee, including any vice president, assistant vice president, assistant secretary, assistant treasurer, trust officer or any other officer of the Trustee who customarily performs functions similar to those performed by the Persons who at the time shall be such officers, respectively, or to whom any corporate trust matter is referred because of such person’s knowledge of and familiarity with the particular subject and, in each case, who shall have direct responsibility for the administration of this Indenture.

“Securities” has the meaning stated in the first recital of this Indenture and more particularly means any Securities authenticated and delivered under this Indenture.

“Securities Act” means the Securities Act of 1933 and any statute successor thereto, in each case as amended from time to time.

“Security Register” and “Security Registrar” have the respective meanings specified in Section 305.

“Special Record Date” for the payment of any Defaulted Interest means a date fixed by the Trustee pursuant to Section 307.

“Stated Maturity”, when used with respect to any Security or any installment of principal thereof or interest thereon, means the date specified in such Security as the fixed date on which the principal of such Security or such installment of principal or interest is due and payable.

“Subsidiary” means a corporation more than 50% of the issued and outstanding voting stock of which is owned, directly or indirectly, by the Company or by one or more other Subsidiaries, or by the Company and one or more other Subsidiaries. For the purposes of this definition, “voting stock” means stock or shares which ordinarily have voting power for the election of directors, whether at all times or only so long as no senior class of stock or shares have such voting power by reason of any contingency.

“Trust Indenture Act” means the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 as in force at the date as of which this instrument was executed, except as provided in Section 905; provided, however, that in the event the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 is amended after such date, “Trust Indenture Act” means, to the extent required by any such amendment, the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 as so amended.

“Trustee” means the Person named as the “Trustee” in the first paragraph of this instrument until a successor Trustee shall have become such pursuant to the applicable provisions of this Indenture, and thereafter “Trustee” shall mean or include each Person who is then a Trustee hereunder, and if at any time there is more than one such Person, “Trustee” as used with respect to the Securities of any series shall mean the Trustee with respect to Securities of that series.

 

6


“U.S. Government Obligation” has the meaning specified in Section 1304.

“Vice President”, when used with respect to the Company or the Trustee, means any vice president, whether or not designated by a number or a word or words added before or after the title “vice president”.

SECTION 102.    Compliance Certificates and Opinions.

Upon any application or request by the Company to the Trustee to take any action under any provision of this Indenture, the Company shall furnish to the Trustee such certificates and opinions as may be required under the Trust Indenture Act. Each such certificate or opinion shall be given in the form of an Officers’ Certificate, if to be given by an officer of the Company, stating that all conditions precedent (including covenants compliance with which constitutes a condition precedent), if any, provided for in this Indenture relating to the proposed action have been complied with, or an Opinion of Counsel, if to be given by counsel, stating that in the opinion of such counsel, all such conditions precedent (including covenants compliance with which constitutes a condition precedent), if any, have been complied with, except that in the case of any such application or request as to which the furnishing of such documents is specifically required by any provision of this Indenture relating to such particular application or request, no additional certificate or opinion need be furnished.

Every certificate or opinion with respect to compliance with a condition or covenant provided for in this Indenture shall include:

(1) a statement that each individual signing such certificate or opinion has read such covenant or condition and the definitions herein relating thereto;

(2) a brief statement as to the nature and scope of the examination or investigation upon which the statements or opinions contained in such certificate or opinion are based;

(3) a statement that, in the opinion of each such individual, he has made such examination or investigation as is necessary to enable him to express an informed opinion as to whether or not such covenant or condition has been complied with; and

(4) a statement as to whether, in the opinion of each such individual, such condition or covenant has been complied with.

SECTION 103.    Form of Documents Delivered to Trustee.

In any case where several matters are required to be certified by, or covered by an opinion of, any specified Person, it is not necessary that all such matters be certified by, or covered by the opinion of, only one such Person, or that they be so certified or covered by only one document, but one such Person may certify or give an opinion with respect to some matters and one or more other such Persons as to other matters, and any such Person may certify or give an opinion as to such matters in one or several documents.

Any certificate or opinion of an officer of the Company may be based, insofar as it relates to legal matters, upon a certificate or opinion of, or representations by, counsel, unless such officer

 

7


knows, or in the exercise of reasonable care should know, that the certificate or opinion or representations with respect to the matters upon which his certificate or opinion is based are erroneous. Any such certificate or opinion of counsel may be based, insofar as it relates to factual matters, upon a certificate or opinion of, or representations by, an officer or officers of the Company stating that the information with respect to such factual matters is in the possession of the Company, unless such counsel knows, or in the exercise of reasonable care should know, that the certificate or opinion or representations with respect to such matters are erroneous.

Where any Person is required to make, give or execute two or more applications, requests, consents, certificates, statements, opinions or other instruments under this Indenture, they may, but need not, be consolidated and form one instrument.

SECTION 104.    Acts of Holders; Record Dates.

Any request, demand, authorization, direction, notice, consent, waiver or other action provided or permitted by this Indenture to be given, made or taken by Holders may be embodied in and evidenced by one or more instruments of substantially similar tenor signed by such Holders in person or by agent duly appointed in writing; and, except as herein otherwise expressly provided, such action shall become effective when such instrument or instruments are delivered to the Trustee and, where it is hereby expressly required, to the Company. Such instrument or instruments (and the action embodied therein and evidenced thereby) are herein sometimes referred to as the “Act” of the Holders signing such instrument or instruments. Proof of execution of any such instrument or of a writing appointing any such agent shall be sufficient for any purpose of this Indenture and (subject to Section 601) conclusive in favor of the Trustee and the Company, if made in the manner provided in this Section.

The fact and date of the execution by any Person of any such instrument or writing may be proved by the affidavit of a witness of such execution or by a certificate of a notary public or other officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments of deeds, certifying that the individual signing such instrument or writing acknowledged to him the execution thereof. Where such execution is by a signer acting in a capacity other than his individual capacity, such certificate or affidavit shall also constitute sufficient proof of his authority. The fact and date of the execution of any such instrument or writing, or the authority of the Person executing the same, may also be proved in any other manner which the Trustee deems sufficient.

The ownership of Securities shall be proved by the Security Register.

Any request, demand, authorization, direction, notice, consent, waiver or other Act of the Holder of any Security shall bind every future Holder of the same Security and the Holder of every Security issued upon the registration of transfer thereof or in exchange therefor or in lieu thereof in respect of anything done, omitted or suffered to be done by the Trustee or the Company in reliance thereon, whether or not notation of such action is made upon such Security.

The Company may set any day as a record date for the purpose of determining the Holders of Outstanding Securities of any series entitled to give, make or take any request, demand, authorization, direction, notice, consent, waiver or other action provided or permitted by this Indenture to be given, made or taken by Holders of Securities of such series, provided that the

 

8


Company may not set a record date for, and the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply with respect to, the giving or making of any notice, declaration, request or direction referred to in the next paragraph. If not set by the Company before the first solicitation of a Holder made by any Person in respect of any such matter referred to in the foregoing sentence, the record date for any such matter shall be the 30th day (or, if later, the date of the most recent list of Holders required to be provided pursuant to Section 701) before the first solicitation. If any record date is set pursuant to this paragraph, the Holders of Outstanding Securities of the relevant series on such record date, and no other Holders, shall be entitled to take the relevant action, whether or not such Holders remain Holders after such record date; provided that no such action shall be effective hereunder unless taken on or prior to the applicable Expiration Date by Holders of the requisite principal amount of Outstanding Securities of such series on such record date. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prevent the Company from setting a new record date for any action for which a record date has previously been set pursuant to this paragraph (whereupon the record date previously set shall automatically and with no action by any Person be cancelled and of no effect), and nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to render ineffective any action taken by Holders of the requisite principal amount of Outstanding Securities of the relevant series on the date such action is taken. Promptly after any record date is set pursuant to this paragraph, the Company, at its own expense, shall cause notice of such record date, the proposed action by Holders and the applicable Expiration Date to be given to the Trustee in writing and to each Holder of Securities of the relevant series in the manner set forth in Section 106.

The Trustee may set any day as a record date for the purpose of determining the Holders of Outstanding Securities of any series entitled to join in the giving or making of (i) any Notice of Default, (ii) any request to institute proceedings referred to in Section 507(2) or (iii) any direction referred to in Section 512, in each case with respect to Securities of such series. If any record date is set pursuant to this paragraph, the Holders of Outstanding Securities of such series on such record date, and no other Holders, shall be entitled to join in such notice, declaration, request or direction, whether or not such Holders remain Holders after such record date; provided that no such action shall be effective hereunder unless taken on or prior to the applicable Expiration Date by Holders of the requisite principal amount of Outstanding Securities of such series on such record date. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prevent the Trustee from setting a new record date for any action for which a record date has previously been set pursuant to this paragraph (whereupon the record date previously set shall automatically and with no action by any Person be cancelled and of no effect), and nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to render ineffective any action taken by Holders of the requisite principal amount of Outstanding Securities of the relevant series on the date such action is taken. Promptly after any record date is set pursuant to this paragraph, the Trustee, at the Company’s expense, shall cause notice of such record date, the proposed action by Holders and the applicable Expiration Date to be given to the Company in writing and to each Holder of Securities of the relevant series in the manner set forth in Section 106.

With respect to any record date set pursuant to this Section, the party hereto which sets such record dates may designate any day as the “Expiration Date” and from time to time may change the Expiration Date to any earlier or later day; provided that no such change shall be effective unless notice of the proposed new Expiration Date is given to the other party hereto in writing, and to each Holder of Securities of the relevant series in the manner set forth in Section 106, on or prior to the existing Expiration Date. If an Expiration Date is not designated with respect

 

9


to any record date set pursuant to this Section, the party hereto which set such record date shall be deemed to have initially designated the 180th day after such record date as the Expiration Date with respect thereto, subject to its right to change the Expiration Date as provided in this paragraph.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, no Expiration Date shall be later than the 180th day after the applicable record date.

Without limiting the foregoing, a Holder entitled hereunder to take any action hereunder with regard to any particular Security may do so with regard to all or any part of the principal amount of such Security or by one or more duly appointed agents each of which may do so pursuant to such appointment with regard to all or any part of such principal amount.

SECTION 105.    Notices, Etc., to Trustee and Company.

Any request, demand, authorization, direction, notice, consent, waiver or Act of Holders or other document provided or permitted by this Indenture is duly given if in writing and delivered in person or delivered by registered or certified mail (return receipt requested), facsimile, email or overnight air courier guaranteeing next day delivery, to the other’s address:

(1) If to the Trustee, addressed to the Trustee at its Corporate Trust Office, Attention: BioNTech SE, Account Manager, Email: [                    ], or

(2) If to the Company by the Trustee or by any Holder, addressed to it at the address of its principal office specified in the first paragraph of this instrument, Attention: [                    ], Email: [                    ].

The Company or the Trustee by written notice to the other may designate additional or different addresses for subsequent notices or communications.

All notices and communications will be deemed to have been duly given: at the time delivered by hand, if personally delivered; five Business Days after being deposited in the mail, postage prepaid, if delivered by mail; on the first Business Day after being sent, if sent by facsimile and the sender receives confirmation of successful transmission; upon confirmation of transmittal (but excluding any automatic reply to such email), if sent by email; and the next Business Day after timely delivery to the courier, if sent by overnight air courier guaranteeing next day delivery.

SECTION 106.    Notice to Holders; Waiver.

Where this Indenture provides for notice to Holders of any event, such notice shall be sufficiently given (unless otherwise herein expressly provided) if in writing and mailed, first-class postage prepaid, to each Holder affected by such event, at his address as it appears in the Security Register, not later than the latest date (if any), and not earlier than the earliest date (if any), prescribed for the giving of such notice. In any case where notice to Holders is given by mail, neither the failure to mail such notice, nor any defect in any notice so mailed, to any particular Holder shall affect the sufficiency of such notice with respect to other Holders. Where this Indenture provides for notice in any manner, such notice may be waived in writing by the Person entitled to receive such notice, either before or after the event, and such waiver shall be the equivalent of such notice. Waivers of notice by Holders shall be filed with the Trustee, but such filing shall not be a condition precedent to the validity of any action taken in reliance upon such waiver.

 

10


In case by reason of the suspension of regular mail service or by reason of any other cause it shall be impracticable to give such notice by mail, then such notification as shall be made with the approval of the Trustee shall constitute a sufficient notification for every purpose hereunder.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Indenture or any Security, where this Indenture or any Security provides for notice of any event or any other communication to a holder of a Global Security, such notice shall be sufficiently given if given to the Depositary (or its designee) pursuant to the standing instructions from the Depositary or its designee, including by electronic mail in accordance with accepted practices at the Depositary.

SECTION 107.    Conflict with Trust Indenture Act.

Except as otherwise expressly provided herein, the Trust Indenture Act shall apply as a matter of contract to this Indenture for purposes of interpretation, construction and defining the rights and obligations hereunder, and this Indenture, the Company, and the Trustee shall be deemed for all purposes hereof to be subject to and governed by the Trust Indenture Act. Except as otherwise provided herein, if and to the extent that any provision of this Indenture limits, qualifies or conflicts with the duties imposed by any of Sections 310 to 317, inclusive, of the Trust Indenture Act through operation of Section 318(c) thereof, such imposed duties shall control.

Whenever this Indenture refers to a provision of the Trust Indenture Act, that provision is incorporated by reference in and made a part of this Indenture. The Indenture shall also include those provisions of the Trust Indenture Act required to be included herein by the provisions of the Trust Indenture Reform Act of 1990. The following Trust Indenture Act terms used in this Indenture have the following meanings:

“default” means Event of Default;

“indenture securities” means the Securities;

“indenture trustee” means the Trustee; and “obligor” on the Securities means the Company or any other obligor on the Securities.

All other terms used in this Indenture that are defined in the Trust Indenture Act, defined by Trust Indenture Act reference to another statute or defined by any Commission rule and not otherwise defined herein shall have the meanings assigned to them therein.

SECTION 108.    Effect of Headings and Table of Contents.

The Article and Section headings herein and the Table of Contents are for convenience only and shall not affect the construction hereof.

 

11


SECTION 109.    Successors and Assigns.

All covenants and agreements in this Indenture by the Company shall bind its successors and assigns, whether so expressed or not.

SECTION 110.    Separability Clause; Entire Agreement.

In case any provision in this Indenture or in the Securities shall be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining provisions shall not in any way be affected or impaired thereby. This Indenture and any supplemental indentures hereto set forth the entire agreement and understanding of the parties relates to this transaction and supersedes all prior agreements and understandings, oral or written.

SECTION 111.    Benefits of Indenture.

Nothing in this Indenture or in the Securities, express or implied, shall give to any Person, other than the parties hereto and their successors hereunder, and the Holders, any benefit or any legal or equitable right, remedy or claim under this Indenture.

SECTION 112.    Governing Law and Submission to Jurisdiction.

This Indenture and the Securities shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York.

The Company submits to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of any New York State or United States Federal court sitting in The City of New York over any suit, action or proceeding arising out of or relating to this Indenture or the Securities. The Company irrevocably waives, to the fullest extent permitted by law, any objection which it may now or hereafter have to the laying of venue of any such suit, action or proceeding brought in such a court and any claim that any such suit, action or proceeding brought in such a court has been brought in an inconvenient forum.

SECTION 113.    Certain Tax Matters.

In order to comply with applicable tax laws, rules and regulations (inclusive of directives, guidelines and interpretations promulgated by competent authorities) in effect from time to time (“Applicable Law”) the Company agrees (i) to provide to the Trustee sufficient information about holders or other applicable parties and/or transactions (including any modification to the terms of such transactions) so the Trustee can determine whether it has tax related obligations under Applicable Law, (ii) that the Trustee shall be entitled to make any withholding or deduction from payments under the Indenture to the extent necessary to comply with Applicable Law for which the Trustee shall not have any liability, and (iii) to hold harmless the Trustee for any losses it may suffer due to the actions it takes to comply with such Applicable Law. The terms of this section shall survive the termination of this Indenture.

SECTION 114.    Legal Holidays.

In any case where any Interest Payment Date, Redemption Date or Stated Maturity of any Security shall not be a Business Day at any Place of Payment, then (notwithstanding any other

 

12


provision of this Indenture or of the Securities (other than a provision of any Security which specifically states that such provision shall apply in lieu of this Section)) payment of interest or principal (and premium, if any) need not be made at such Place of Payment on such date, but may be made on the next succeeding Business Day at such Place of Payment with the same force and effect as if made on the Interest Payment Date or Redemption Date, or at the Stated Maturity. No interest shall accrue for the period after that Interest Payment Date, Redemption Date or Stated Maturity, as the case may be, and up to and including the next succeeding Business Day.

SECTION 115.    Force Majeure.

In no event shall the Trustee be responsible or liable for any failure or delay in the performance of its obligations hereunder arising out of or caused by, directly or indirectly, forces beyond its control, including, without limitation, strikes, work stoppages, accidents, acts of war or terrorism, civil or military disturbances, nuclear or natural catastrophes or acts of God, pandemics, epidemics and interruptions, loss or malfunctions of utilities, communications or computer (software and hardware) services or the unavailability of the Federal Reserve Bank wire or telex or other wire or communication facility; it being understood that the Trustee shall use reasonable efforts which are consistent with accepted practices in the banking industry to resume performance as soon as practicable under the circumstances.

SECTION 116.    Execution in Counterparts; Electronic Signatures.

This Indenture may be executed and delivered in any number of counterparts, each of which when so executed and delivered shall be deemed to be an original, and all such counterparts shall together constitute but one and the same instrument. Unless otherwise provided herein or in any other Securities, the words “execute”, “execution”, “signed”, and “signature” and words of similar import used in or related to any document to be signed in connection with this Indenture, or any of the transactions contemplated hereby (including amendments, waivers, consents and other modifications) shall be deemed to include electronic signatures and the keeping of records in electronic form, each of which shall be of the same legal effect, validity or enforceability as a manually executed signature in ink or the use of a paper-based recordkeeping system, as applicable, to the fullest extent and as provided for in any Applicable Law, including the Federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, the New York State Electronic Signatures and Records Act, and any other similar state laws based on the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, provided that, notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the Trustee is not under any obligation to agree to accept electronic signatures in any form or in any format unless expressly agreed to by such Trustee pursuant to procedures approved by such Trustee. If the Person whose signature is on a Security no longer holds that office at the time the Security is authenticated and delivered, the Security shall nevertheless be valid.

SECTION 117.    Waiver of Jury Trial.

EACH OF THE COMPANY AND THE TRUSTEE HEREBY IRREVOCABLY WAIVES, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, ANY AND ALL RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY IN ANY LEGAL PROCEEDING ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THIS INDENTURE, THE SECURITIES OR THE TRANSACTION CONTEMPLATED HEREBY.

 

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ARTICLE TWO

SECURITY FORMS

SECTION 201.    Forms Generally.

The Securities of each series and the Trustee’s certificate of authentication shall be in substantially the form set forth in this Article, or in such other form as shall be established by or pursuant to a Board Resolution or in one or more indentures supplemental hereto, in each case with such appropriate insertions, omissions, substitutions and other variations as are required or permitted by this Indenture, and may have such letters, numbers or other marks of identification and such legends or endorsements placed thereon as may be required to comply with the rules of any securities exchange or Depositary therefor or as may, consistently herewith, be determined by the officers executing such Securities, as evidenced by their execution thereof. If the form of Securities of any series is established by action taken pursuant to a Board Resolution, a copy of an appropriate record of such action shall be certified by an Officer of the Company and delivered to the Trustee at or prior to the delivery of the Company Order contemplated by Section 303 for the authentication and delivery of such Securities.

The definitive securities shall be printed, lithographed or engraved on steel engraved borders or may be produced in any other manner, all as determined by the officers executing such Securities, as evidenced by their execution of such Securities.

SECTION 202.    Form of Face of Security.

THIS SECURITY IS AN UNSECURED SENIOR DEBT OBLIGATION OF BIONTECH SE. THIS SECURITY IS NOT A DEPOSIT OR SAVINGS ACCOUNT AND IS NOT INSURED BY THE FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY OR INSTRUMENTALITY.

[Insert any legend required by the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations thereunder.]

BIONTECH SE

    % Senior Notes due     

 

No.         [$]        

BioNTech SE, a company duly incorporated and existing under the laws of Germany (herein called the “Company”, which term includes any successor Person under the Indenture hereinafter referred to), for value received, hereby promises to pay to                         , or registered assigns, the principal sum of [$]                         on                          [if the Security is to bear interest prior to Maturity, insert , and to pay interest thereon from                          or from the most recent Interest Payment Date to which interest has been paid or duly provided for, semi-annually on                          and                          in each year, commencing                         , at the rate of     % per annum, until the principal hereof is paid or made available for payment [if applicable, insert , provided that any principal and premium, and any such installment of interest, which is overdue shall bear interest at the rate of     % per annum (to the extent that the payment of such interest shall be legally enforceable), from the dates such

 

14


amounts are due until they are paid or made available for payment, and such interest shall be payable on demand]. The interest so payable, and punctually paid or duly provided for, on any Interest Payment Date will, as provided in such Indenture, be paid to the Person in whose name this Security (or one or more Predecessor Securities) is registered at the close of business on the Regular Record Date for such interest, which shall be the          or          (whether or not a Business Day), as the case may be, next preceding such Interest Payment Date. Any such interest not so punctually paid or duly provided for will forthwith cease to be payable to the Holder on such Regular Record Date and may either be paid to the Person in whose name this Security (or one or more Predecessor Securities) is registered at the close of business on a Special Record Date for the payment of such Defaulted Interest to be fixed by the Trustee, notice whereof shall be given to Holders of Securities of this series not less than 10 days prior to such Special Record Date, or be paid at any time in any other lawful manner not inconsistent with the requirements of any securities exchange on which the Securities of this series may be listed, and upon such notice as may be required by such exchange, all as more fully provided in said Indenture].

[If the Security is not to bear interest prior to Maturity, insert The principal of this Security shall not bear interest except in the case of a default in payment of principal upon acceleration, upon redemption or at Stated Maturity and in such case the overdue principal and any overdue premium shall bear interest at the rate of     % per annum (to the extent that the payment of such interest shall be legally enforceable), from the dates such amounts are due until they are paid or made available for payment. Interest on any overdue principal or premium shall be payable on demand. [Any such interest on overdue principal or premium which is not paid on demand shall bear interest at the rate of     % per annum (to the extent that the payment of such interest on interest shall be legally enforceable), from the date of such demand until the amount so demanded is paid or made available for payment. Interest on any overdue interest shall be payable on demand.]]

Payment of the principal of (and premium, if any) and [if applicable, insert any such] interest on this Security will be made at the office or agency of the Company maintained for that purpose in                             , in such coin or currency of the United States of America as at the time of payment is legal tender for payment of public and private debts [if applicable, insert ; provided, however, that at the option of the Company payment of interest may be made by check mailed to the address of the Person entitled thereto as such address shall appear in the Security Register].

Reference is hereby made to the further provisions of this Security set forth on the reverse hereof, which further provisions shall for all purposes have the same effect as if set forth at this place.

Unless the certificate of authentication hereon has been executed by the Trustee referred to on the reverse hereof by manual signature, this Security shall not be entitled to any benefit under the Indenture or be valid or obligatory for any purpose.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Company has caused this instrument to be duly executed.

 

Dated:

 

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BIONTECH SE
By  

 

Attest:                                              

SECTION 203.    Form of Reverse of Security.

This Security is one of a duly authorized issue of securities of the Company (herein called the “Securities”), issued and to be issued in one or more series under an Indenture, dated as of [                    ] (herein called the “Indenture”, which term shall have the meaning assigned to it in such instrument), between the Company and [        ], as Trustee (herein called the “Trustee”, which term includes any successor trustee under the Indenture), and reference is hereby made to the Indenture and all indentures supplemental thereto for a statement of the respective rights, limitations of rights, duties and immunities thereunder of the Company, the Trustee and the Holders of the Securities and of the terms upon which the Securities are, and are to be, authenticated and delivered. This Security is one of the series designated on the face hereof [if applicable, insert , limited in aggregate principal amount to [$]                    ].

[If applicable, insert The Securities of this series are subject to redemption upon not less than 30 days’ notice by mail, [if applicable, insert (1) on              in any year commencing with the year              and ending with the year              through operation of the sinking fund for this series at a Redemption Price equal to 100% of the principal amount, and (2)] at any time [if applicable, insert on or after                     , 20    ], as a whole or in part, at the election of the Company, at the following Redemption Prices (expressed as percentages of the principal amount): If redeemed [if applicable, insert on or before             ,     %, and if redeemed] during the 12-month period beginning              of the years indicated,

 

Year

 

Redemption

Price

 

Year

 

Redemption

Price

and thereafter at a Redemption Price equal to     % of the principal amount, together in the case of any such redemption [if applicable, insert (whether through operation of the sinking fund or otherwise)] with accrued interest to the Redemption Date, but interest installments whose Stated Maturity is on or prior to such Redemption Date will be payable to the Holders of such Securities, or one or more Predecessor Securities, of record at the close of business on the relevant record dates referred to on the face hereof, all as provided in the Indenture.]

[If applicable, insert The Securities of this series are subject to redemption upon not less than 30 days’ notice by mail, (1) on          in any year commencing with the year          and ending with the year          through operation of the sinking fund for this series at the Redemption Prices for redemption through operation of the sinking fund (expressed as percentages of the principal amount) set forth in the table below, and (2) at any time [if applicable, insert on or after         ], as a whole or in part, at the election of the Company, at the Redemption Prices for redemption otherwise than through operation of the sinking fund (expressed as percentages of the principal amount) set forth in the table below: If redeemed during the 12-month period beginning              of the years indicated,

 

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Year

 

Redemption Price For Redemption Through
Operation of the Sinking Fund

 

Redemption Price For Redemption Otherwise Than
Through Operation of the Sinking Fund

and thereafter at a Redemption Price equal to     % of the principal amount, together in the case of any such redemption (whether through operation of the sinking fund or otherwise) with accrued interest to the Redemption Date, but interest installments whose Stated Maturity is on or prior to such Redemption Date will be payable to the Holders of such Securities, or one or more Predecessor Securities, of record at the close of business on the relevant record dates referred to on the face hereof, all as provided in the Indenture.]

[If applicable, insert Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Company may not, prior to         , redeem any Securities of this series as contemplated by [If applicable, insert Clause (2) of] the preceding paragraph as a part of, or in anticipation of, any refunding operation by the application, directly or indirectly, of moneys borrowed having an interest cost to the Company (calculated in accordance with generally accepted financial practice) of less than      % per annum.]

[If applicable, insert The sinking fund for this series provides for the redemption on              in each year beginning with the year              and ending with the year              of [if applicable, insert not less than [$]             (“mandatory sinking fund”) and not more than] [$]             aggregate principal amount of Securities of this series. Securities of this series acquired or redeemed by the Company otherwise than through [if applicable, insert mandatory] sinking fund payments may be credited against subsequent [if applicable, insert mandatory] sinking fund payments otherwise required to be made [if applicable, insert, in the inverse order in which they become due].]

[If the Security is subject to redemption of any kind, insert In the event of redemption of this Security in part only, a new Security or Securities of this series and of like tenor for the unredeemed portion hereof will be issued in the name of the Holder hereof upon the cancellation hereof.]

[If applicable, insert The Indenture contains provisions for defeasance at any time of [the entire indebtedness of this Security] [or] [certain restrictive covenants and Events of Default with respect to this Security] [, in each case] upon compliance with certain conditions set forth in the Indenture.]

[If the Security is not an Original Issue Discount Security, insert If an Event of Default with respect to Securities of this series shall occur and be continuing, the principal of the Securities of this series may be declared due and payable in the manner and with the effect provided in the Indenture.]

[If the Security is an Original Issue Discount Security, insert If an Event of Default with respect to Securities of this series shall occur and be continuing, an amount of principal of the Securities of this series may be declared due and payable in the manner and with the effect provided in the Indenture. Such amount shall be equal to [insert formula for determining the amount]. Upon payment (i) of the amount of principal so declared due and payable and (ii) of interest on any overdue principal, premium and interest (in each case to the extent that the payment of such interest shall be legally enforceable), all of the Company’s obligations in respect of the payment of the principal of and premium and interest, if any, on the Securities of this series shall terminate.]

 

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The Indenture permits, with certain exceptions as therein provided, the amendment thereof and the modification of the rights and obligations of the Company and the rights of the Holders of the Securities of each series to be affected under the Indenture at any time by the Company and the Trustee with the consent of the Holders of not less than a majority in principal amount of the Securities at the time Outstanding of each series to be affected. The Indenture also contains provisions permitting the Holders of specified percentages in principal amount of the Securities of each series at the time Outstanding, on behalf of the Holders of all Securities of such series, to waive compliance by the Company with certain provisions of the Indenture and certain past defaults under the Indenture and their consequences. Any such consent or waiver by the Holder of this Security shall be conclusive and binding upon such Holder and upon all future Holders of this Security and of any Security issued upon the registration of transfer hereof or in exchange herefor or in lieu hereof, whether or not notation of such consent or waiver is made upon this Security.

As provided in and subject to the provisions of the Indenture, the Holder of this Security shall not have the right to institute any proceeding with respect to the Indenture or for the appointment of a receiver or trustee or for any other remedy thereunder, unless such Holder shall have previously given the Trustee written notice of a continuing Event of Default with respect to the Securities of this series, the Holders of not less than 33% in principal amount of the Securities of this series at the time Outstanding shall have made written request to the Trustee to institute proceedings in respect of such Event of Default as Trustee and offered the Trustee indemnity reasonably satisfactory to it, and the Trustee shall not have received from the Holders of a majority in principal amount of Securities of this series at the time Outstanding a direction inconsistent with such request, and shall have failed to institute any such proceeding, for 90 days after receipt of such notice, request and offer of indemnity. The foregoing shall not apply to any suit instituted by the Holder of this Security for the enforcement of any payment of principal hereof or any premium or interest hereon on or after the respective due dates expressed herein.

No reference herein to the Indenture and no provision of this Security or of the Indenture shall alter or impair the obligation of the Company, which is absolute and unconditional, to pay the principal of and any premium and interest on this Security at the times, place and rate, and in the coin or currency, herein prescribed.

As provided in the Indenture and subject to certain limitations therein set forth, the transfer of this Security is registrable in the Security Register, upon surrender of this Security for registration of transfer at the office or agency of the Company maintained under Section 1002 of the Indenture for such purpose, duly endorsed by, or accompanied by a written instrument of transfer in form satisfactory to the Company and the Security Registrar duly executed by, the Holder hereof or his attorney duly authorized in writing, and thereupon one or more new Securities of this series and of like tenor, of authorized denominations and for the same aggregate principal amount, will be issued to the designated transferee or transferees.

The Securities of this series are issuable only in registered form without coupons in denominations of [$]             and any integral multiple thereof. As provided in the Indenture and subject to certain limitations therein set forth, Securities of this series are exchangeable for a like aggregate principal amount of Securities of this series and of like tenor of a different authorized denomination, as requested by the Holder surrendering the same.

 

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No service charge shall be made for any such registration of transfer or exchange, but the Company may require payment of a sum sufficient to cover any tax or other governmental charge payable in connection therewith.

Prior to due presentment of this Security for registration of transfer, the Company, the Trustee and any agent of the Company or the Trustee may treat the Person in whose name this Security is registered as the owner hereof for all purposes, whether or not this Security be overdue, and neither the Company, the Trustee nor any such agent shall be affected by notice to the contrary.

This Security shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York.

All terms used in this Security which are defined in the Indenture shall have the meanings assigned to them in the Indenture.

SECTION 204.    Form of Legend for Global Securities.

Unless otherwise specified as contemplated by Section 301 for the Securities evidenced thereby, every Global Security authenticated and delivered hereunder shall bear a legend in substantially the following form:

THIS SECURITY IS A GLOBAL SECURITY WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE INDENTURE HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AND IS REGISTERED IN THE NAME OF A DEPOSITARY OR A NOMINEE THEREOF. THIS SECURITY MAY NOT BE EXCHANGED IN WHOLE OR IN PART FOR A SECURITY REGISTERED, AND NO TRANSFER OF THIS SECURITY IN WHOLE OR IN PART MAY BE REGISTERED, IN THE NAME OF ANY PERSON OTHER THAN SUCH DEPOSITARY OR A NOMINEE THEREOF, EXCEPT IN THE LIMITED CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED IN THE INDENTURE.

SECTION 205.    Form of Trustees Certificate of Authentication.

The Trustee’s certificates of authentication shall be in substantially the following form:

This is one of the Securities of the series designated therein referred to in the within-mentioned Indenture.

 

[    ]
  As Trustee

By

 

 

  Authorized Officer

Dated:                                         

 

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ARTICLE THREE

THE SECURITIES

SECTION 301.    Amount Unlimited; Issuable in Series.

The aggregate principal amount of Securities which may be authenticated and delivered under this Indenture is unlimited.

The Securities may be issued in one or more series. There shall be established in or pursuant to a Board Resolution and, subject to Section 303, set forth, or determined in the manner provided, in an Officers’ Certificate, or established in one or more indentures supplemental hereto, prior to the issuance of Securities of any series,

(1) the title of the Securities of the series (which shall distinguish the Securities of the series from Securities of any other series);

(2) any limit upon the aggregate principal amount of the Securities of the series which may be authenticated and delivered under this Indenture (except for Securities authenticated and delivered upon registration of transfer of, or in exchange for, or in lieu of, other Securities of the series pursuant to Section 304, 305, 306, 906 or 1107 and except for any Securities which, pursuant to Section 303, are deemed never to have been authenticated and delivered hereunder);

(3) the Person to whom any interest on a Security of the series shall be payable, if other than the Person in whose name that Security (or one or more Predecessor Securities) is registered at the close of business on the Regular Record Date for such interest;

(4) the date or dates on which the principal of any Securities of the series is payable;

(5) the rate or rates at which any Securities of the series shall bear interest, if any, the date or dates from which any such interest shall accrue, the Interest Payment Dates on which any such interest shall be payable and the Regular Record Date for any such interest payable on any Interest Payment Date;

(6) the place or places where the principal of and any premium and interest on any Securities of the series shall be payable, the place or places where the Securities of such series may be presented for registration of transfer or exchange, and the place or places where notices or demands to or upon the Company in respect of the Securities of such series may be made;

(7) the period or periods within which, the price or prices at which and the terms and conditions upon which any Securities of the series may be redeemed, in whole or in part, at the option of the Company and, if other than by a Board Resolution, the manner in which any election by the Company to redeem the Securities shall be evidenced;

(8) the obligation, if any, of the Company to redeem or purchase any Securities of the series pursuant to any sinking fund or analogous provisions or at the option of the Holder thereof and the period or periods within which, the price or prices at which and the terms and conditions upon which any Securities of the series shall be redeemed or purchased, in whole or in part, pursuant to such obligation;

 

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(9) if other than denominations of $2,000 and any integral multiples of $1,000 in excess thereof, the denominations in which Securities of the series shall be issuable;

(10) if the amount of principal of or any premium or interest on any Securities of the series may be determined with reference to an index or pursuant to a formula, the manner in which such amounts shall be determined;

(11) if other than the currency of the United States of America, the currency, currencies or currency units (which, in each instance, shall be acceptable to the Trustee) in which the principal of or any premium or interest on any Securities of the series shall be payable and the manner of determining the equivalent thereof in the currency of the United States of America for any purpose, including for purposes of the definition of “Outstanding” in Section 101;

(12) if the principal of or any premium or interest on any Securities of the series is to be payable, at the election of the Company or the Holder thereof, in one or more currencies or currency units other than that or those in which such Securities are stated to be payable, the currency, currencies or currency units in which the principal of or any premium or interest on such Securities as to which such election is made shall be payable, the periods within which and the terms and conditions upon which such election is to be made and the amount so payable (or the manner in which such amount shall be determined);

(13) if other than the entire principal amount thereof, the portion of the principal amount of any Securities of the series which shall be payable upon declaration of acceleration of the Maturity thereof pursuant to Section 502;

(14) if the principal amount payable at the Stated Maturity of any Securities of the series will not be determinable as of any one or more dates prior to the Stated Maturity, the amount which shall be deemed to be the principal amount of such Securities as of any such date for any purpose thereunder or hereunder, including the principal amount thereof which shall be due and payable upon any Maturity other than the Stated Maturity or which shall be deemed to be Outstanding as of any date prior to the Stated Maturity (or, in any such case, the manner in which such amount deemed to be the principal amount shall be determined);

(15) if applicable, that the Securities of the series, in whole or any specified part, shall be defeasible pursuant to Section 1302 or Section 1303 or both such Sections and, if other than by a Board Resolution, the manner in which any election by the Company to defease such Securities shall be evidenced;

(16) if applicable, that any Securities of the series shall be issuable in whole or in part in the form of one or more Global Securities and, in such case, the respective Depositaries for such Global Securities, the form of any legend or legends which shall be borne by any such Global Security in addition to or in lieu of that set forth in Section 204

 

21


and any circumstances in addition to or in lieu of those set forth in Clause (2) of the last paragraph of Section 305 in which any such Global Security may be exchanged in whole or in part for Securities registered, and any transfer of such Global Security in whole or in part may be registered, in the name or names of Persons other than the Depositary for such Global Security or a nominee thereof;

(17) any addition to or change in the Events of Default which applies to any Securities of the series and any change in the right of the Trustee or the requisite Holders of such Securities to, declare the principal amount thereof due and payable pursuant to Section 502;

(18) any addition to or change in the covenants set forth in Article Ten which applies to Securities of the series; and

(19) any other terms of the Securities of such series (which terms shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Indenture, except as permitted by Section 901(5)).

All Securities of any one series shall be substantially identical except as to denomination and except as may otherwise be provided in or pursuant to the Board Resolution referred to above and (subject to Section 303) set forth, or determined in the manner provided, in the Officers’ Certificate referred to above or in any such indenture supplemental hereto.

If any of the terms of the series are established by action taken pursuant to a Board Resolution, a copy of an appropriate record of such action shall be certified by an Officer of the Company and delivered to the Trustee at or prior to the delivery of the Officers’ Certificate setting forth the terms of the series.

SECTION 302.    Denominations.

The Securities of each series shall be issuable only in registered form without coupons and only in such denominations as shall be specified as contemplated by Section 301. In the absence of any such specified denomination with respect to the Securities of any series, the Securities of such series shall be issuable in denominations of $2,000 and any integral multiples of $1,000 in excess thereof.

SECTION 303.    Execution, Authentication, Delivery and Dating.

The Securities shall be executed on behalf of the Company by an Authorized Officer. The signature of any such officer on the Securities may be manual, electronic or facsimile.

Securities bearing the manual, electronic or facsimile signatures of individuals who were at any time the proper officers of the Company shall bind the Company, notwithstanding that such individuals or any of them have ceased to hold such offices prior to the authentication and delivery of such Securities or did not hold such offices at the date of such Securities.

At any time and from time to time after the execution and delivery of this Indenture, the Company may deliver Securities of any series executed by the Company to the Trustee for authentication, together with a Company Order for the authentication and delivery of such

 

22


Securities, and the Trustee in accordance with the Company Order shall authenticate and deliver such Securities. If the form or terms of the Securities of the series have been established by or pursuant to one or more Board Resolutions as permitted by Sections 201 and 301, in authenticating such Securities, and accepting the additional responsibilities under this Indenture in relation to such Securities, the Trustee shall be entitled to receive, and (subject to Section 601) shall be fully protected in relying upon, an Opinion of Counsel stating,

(1) if the form of such Securities has been established by or pursuant to Board Resolution as permitted by Section 201, that such form has been established in conformity with the provisions of this Indenture;

(2) if the terms of such Securities have been established by or pursuant to Board Resolution as permitted by Section 301, that such terms have been established in conformity with the provisions of this Indenture; and

(3) that such Securities, when authenticated and delivered by the Trustee and issued by the Company in the manner and subject to any conditions specified in such Opinion of Counsel, will constitute valid and legally binding obligations of the Company enforceable in accordance with their terms, subject to bankruptcy, insolvency, fraudulent transfer, reorganization, moratorium and similar laws of general applicability relating to or affecting creditors’ rights and to general equity principles.

If such form or terms have been so established, the Trustee shall not be required to authenticate such Securities if the issue of such Securities pursuant to this Indenture will affect the Trustee’s own rights, duties or immunities under the Securities and this Indenture or otherwise in a manner which is not reasonably acceptable to the Trustee. To the extent that the Trustee is unable to perform the obligations of the Paying Agent or Securities Registrar under the terms of any issue of Securities, the Company shall appoint a separate Paying Agent or Securities Registrar for such issue.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 301 and of the preceding paragraph, if all Securities of a series are not to be originally issued at one time, it shall not be necessary to deliver the Officers’ Certificate otherwise required pursuant to Section 301 or the Opinion of Counsel otherwise required pursuant to such preceding paragraph at or prior to the authentication of each Security of such series if such documents are delivered at or prior to the authentication upon original issuance of the first Security of such series to be issued.

Each Security shall be dated the date of its authentication.

No Security shall be entitled to any benefit under this Indenture or be valid or obligatory for any purpose unless there appears on such Security a certificate of authentication substantially in the form provided for herein executed by the Trustee by manual signature, and such certificate upon any Security shall be conclusive evidence, and the only evidence, that such Security has been duly authenticated and delivered hereunder. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if any Security shall have been authenticated and delivered hereunder but never issued and sold by the Company, and the Company shall deliver such Security to the Trustee for cancellation as provided in Section 309, for all purposes of this Indenture such Security shall be deemed never to have been authenticated and delivered hereunder and shall never be entitled to the benefits of this Indenture.

 

23


SECTION 304.    Temporary Securities.

Pending the preparation of definitive Securities of any series, the Company may execute, and upon Company Order the Trustee shall authenticate and deliver, temporary Securities which are printed, lithographed, typewritten, mimeographed or otherwise produced, in any authorized denomination, substantially of the tenor of the definitive Securities in lieu of which they are issued and with such appropriate insertions, omissions, substitutions and other variations as the officers executing such Securities may determine, as evidenced by their execution of such Securities.

If temporary Securities of any series are issued, the Company will cause definitive Securities of that series to be prepared without unreasonable delay. After the preparation of definitive Securities of such series, the temporary Securities of such series shall be exchangeable for definitive Securities of such series upon surrender of the temporary Securities of such series at the office or agency of the Company in a Place of Payment for that series, without charge to the Holder. Upon surrender for cancellation of any one or more temporary Securities of any series, the Company shall execute and the Trustee shall authenticate and deliver in exchange therefor one or more definitive Securities of the same series, of any authorized denominations and of like tenor and aggregate principal amount. Until so exchanged, the temporary Securities of any series shall in all respects be entitled to the same benefits under this Indenture as definitive Securities of such series and tenor.

SECTION 305.    Registration, Registration of Transfer and Exchange.

The Company shall cause to be kept at the Corporate Trust Office of the Trustee a register (the register maintained in such office and in any other office or agency of the Company in a Place of Payment being herein sometimes collectively referred to as the “Security Register”) in which, subject to such reasonable regulations as it may prescribe, the Company shall provide for the registration of Securities and of transfers of Securities. The Trustee is hereby appointed “Security Registrar” for the purpose of registering Securities and transfers of Securities as herein provided.

Upon surrender for registration of transfer of any Security of a series at the office or agency of the Company in a Place of Payment for that series, the Company shall execute, and the Trustee shall authenticate and deliver, in the name of the designated transferee or transferees, one or more new Securities of the same series, of any authorized denominations and of like tenor and aggregate principal amount.

At the option of the Holder, Securities of any series may be exchanged for other Securities of the same series, of any authorized denominations and of like tenor and aggregate principal amount, upon surrender of the Securities to be exchanged at such office or agency. Whenever any Securities are so surrendered for exchange, the Company shall execute, and the Trustee shall authenticate and deliver, the Securities which the Holder making the exchange is entitled to receive.

 

24


All Securities issued upon any registration of transfer or exchange of Securities shall be the valid obligations of the Company, evidencing the same debt, and entitled to the same benefits under this Indenture, as the Securities surrendered upon such registration of transfer or exchange.

Every Security presented or surrendered for registration of transfer or for exchange shall (if so required by the Company or the Trustee) be duly endorsed, or be accompanied by a written instrument of transfer in form satisfactory to the Company and the Security Registrar duly executed, by the Holder thereof or his attorney duly authorized in writing.

No service charge shall be made for any registration of transfer or exchange of Securities, but the Company may require payment of a sum sufficient to cover any tax or other governmental charge that may be imposed in connection with any registration of transfer or exchange of Securities, other than exchanges pursuant to Section 304, 906 or 1107 not involving any transfer.

If the Securities of any series (or of any series and specified tenor) are to be redeemed in part, the Company shall not be required (A) to issue, register the transfer of or exchange any Securities of that series (or of that series and specified tenor, as the case may be) during a period beginning at the opening of business 15 days before the day of the mailing of a notice of redemption of any such Securities selected for redemption under Section 1103 and ending at the close of business on the day of such mailing, or (B) to register the transfer of or exchange any Security so selected for redemption in whole or in part, except the unredeemed portion of any Security being redeemed in part.

Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, neither the Trustee nor the Securities Registrar shall be responsible for ascertaining whether any transfer complies with the registration provisions of or exemptions from the Securities Act or applicable state securities laws.

The provisions of Clauses (1) through (7) below shall apply only to Global Securities:

(1) Each Global Security authenticated under this Indenture shall be registered in the name of the Depositary designated for such Global Security or a nominee thereof and delivered to such Depositary or a nominee thereof or custodian therefor, and each such Global Security shall constitute a single Security for all purposes of this Indenture.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Indenture, no Global Security may be exchanged in whole or in part for Securities registered, and no transfer of a Global Security in whole or in part may be registered, in the name of any Person other than the Depositary for such Global Security or a nominee thereof unless (A) such Depositary (i) has notified the Trustee in writing that it is unwilling or unable to continue as Depositary for such Global Security and the Company is unable to locate a qualified successor or (ii) has ceased to be a clearing agency registered under the Exchange Act, (B) there shall have occurred and be continuing an Event of Default with respect to such Global Security or (C) there shall exist such circumstances, if any, in addition to or in lieu of the foregoing as have been specified for this purpose as contemplated by Section 301.

(3) Subject to Clause (2) above, any exchange of a Global Security for other Securities may be made in whole or in part, and all Securities issued in exchange for a Global Security or any portion thereof shall be registered in such names as the Depositary for such Global Security shall direct.

 

25


(4) If any Global Security is to be exchanged for other Securities or cancelled in whole, it shall be surrendered by or on behalf of the Depositary or its nominee to the Securities Registrar for exchange or cancellation as provided in this Article Three. If any Global Security is to be exchanged for other Securities or cancelled in part, or if another Security is to be exchanged in whole or in part for a beneficial interest in any Global Security, then either (i) such Global Security shall be so surrendered for exchange or cancellation as provided in this Article Three or (ii) the principal amount thereof shall be reduced, or increased by an amount equal to the portion thereof to be so exchanged or cancelled, or equal to the principal amount of such other Security to be so exchanged for a beneficial interest therein, as the case may be, by means of an appropriate adjustment made on the records of the Securities Registrar, whereupon the Trustee, in accordance with the Applicable Procedures, shall instruct the Depositary or its authorized representative to make a corresponding adjustment to its records. Upon any such surrender or adjustment of a Global Security by the Depositary, accompanied by registration instructions, the Trustee shall, subject to Section 305(2) and as otherwise provided in this Article Three, authenticate and deliver any Securities issuable in exchange for such Global Security (or any portion thereof) in accordance with the instructions of the Depositary. The Trustee shall not be liable for any delay in delivery of such instructions and may conclusively rely on, and shall be fully protected in relying on, such instructions.

(5) The Depositary or its nominee, as the registered owner of a Global Security, shall be the Holder of such Global Security for all purposes under this Indenture and the Securities, and owners of beneficial interests in a Global Security shall hold such interests pursuant to the Applicable Procedures. Accordingly, any such owner’s beneficial interest in a Global Security shall be shown only on, and the transfer of such interest shall be effected only through, records maintained by the Depositary or its nominee or its Agent Members. Neither the Trustee nor the Securities Registrar shall have any liability in respect of any transfers effected by the Depositary.

(6) The rights of owners of beneficial interests in a Global Security shall be exercised only through the Depositary and shall be limited to those established by law and agreements between such owners and the Depositary and/or its Agent Members.

(7) Every Security authenticated and delivered upon registration of transfer of, or in exchange for or in lieu of, a Global Security or any portion thereof, whether pursuant to this Section, Section 304, 306, 906 or 1107 or otherwise, shall be authenticated and delivered in the form of, and shall be, a Global Security, unless such Security is registered in the name of a Person other than the Depositary for such Global Security or a nominee thereof.

SECTION 306.    Mutilated, Destroyed, Lost and Stolen Securities.

If any mutilated Security is surrendered to the Trustee together with such security or indemnity as may be required by the Company or the Trustee to save each of them harmless, the

 

26


Company shall execute and the Trustee shall authenticate and deliver in exchange therefor a new Security of the same series and of like tenor and principal amount and bearing a number not contemporaneously outstanding.

If there shall be delivered to the Company and the Trustee (i) evidence to their satisfaction of the destruction, loss or theft of any Security and (ii) such security or indemnity as may be required by them to save each of them and any agent of either of them harmless, then, in the absence of notice to the Company or the Trustee that such Security has been acquired by a bona fide purchaser, the Company shall execute and the Trustee shall authenticate and deliver, in lieu of any such destroyed, lost or stolen Security, a new Security of the same series and of like tenor and principal amount and bearing a number not contemporaneously outstanding.

In case any such mutilated, destroyed, lost or stolen Security has become or is about to become due and payable, the Company in its discretion may, instead of issuing a new Security, pay such Security.

Upon the issuance of any new Security under this Section, the Company may require the payment of a sum sufficient to cover any tax or other governmental charge that may be imposed in relation thereto and any other expenses (including the fees and expenses of the Trustee) connected therewith.

Every new Security of any series issued pursuant to this Section in lieu of any destroyed, lost or stolen Security shall constitute an original additional contractual obligation of the Company, whether or not the destroyed, lost or stolen Security shall be at any time enforceable by anyone, and shall be entitled to all the benefits of this Indenture equally and proportionately with any and all other Securities of that series duly issued hereunder.

The provisions of this Section are exclusive and shall preclude (to the extent lawful) all other rights and remedies with respect to the replacement or payment of mutilated, destroyed, lost or stolen Securities.

SECTION 307.    Payment of Interest; Interest Rights Preserved.

Except as otherwise provided as contemplated by Section 301 with respect to any series of Securities, interest on any Security of any series which is payable, and is punctually paid or duly provided for, on any Interest Payment Date shall be paid to the Person in whose name that Security (or one or more Predecessor Securities) is registered at the close of business on the Regular Record Date for such interest in respect of Securities of such series, except that, unless otherwise provided in the Securities of such series, interest payable on the Stated Maturity of the principal of a Security shall be paid to the Person to whom principal is paid. The initial payment of interest on any Security of any series that is issued between a Regular Record Date and the related Interest Payment Date shall be payable as provided in such Security or in the Board Resolution pursuant to Section 301 with respect to the related series of Securities.

Any interest on any Security of any series which is payable, but is not punctually paid or duly provided for, on any Interest Payment Date (herein called “Defaulted Interest”) shall forthwith cease to be payable to the Holder on the relevant Regular Record Date by virtue of having

 

27


been such Holder, and such Defaulted Interest may be paid by the Company, at its election in each case, as provided in Clause (1) or (2) below:

(1) The Company may elect to make payment of any Defaulted Interest to the Persons in whose names the Securities of such series (or their respective Predecessor Securities) are registered at the close of business on a Special Record Date for the payment of such Defaulted Interest, which shall be fixed in the following manner. The Company shall notify the Trustee in writing of the amount of Defaulted Interest proposed to be paid on each Security of such series and the date of the proposed payment, and at the same time the Company shall deposit with the Trustee an amount of money equal to the aggregate amount proposed to be paid in respect of such Defaulted Interest or shall make arrangements satisfactory to the Trustee for such deposit prior to the date of the proposed payment, such money when deposited to be held in trust for the benefit of the Persons entitled to such Defaulted Interest as in this Clause provided. Thereupon the Trustee shall fix a Special Record Date for the payment of such Defaulted Interest which shall be not more than 15 days and not less than 10 days prior to the date of the proposed payment and not less than 10 days after the receipt by the Trustee of the notice of the proposed payment. The Trustee shall promptly notify the Company of such Special Record Date and, in the name and at the expense of the Company, shall cause notice, which notice shall be prepared by the Company and shall be acceptable to the Trustee, of the proposed payment of such Defaulted Interest and the Special Record Date therefor to be given to each Holder of Securities of such series in the manner set forth in Section 106, not less than 10 days prior to such Special Record Date. Notice of the proposed payment of such Defaulted Interest and the Special Record Date therefor having been so mailed, such Defaulted Interest shall be paid to the Persons in whose names the Securities of such series (or their respective Predecessor Securities) are registered at the close of business on such Special Record Date and shall no longer be payable pursuant to the following Clause (2).

(2) The Company may make payment of any Defaulted Interest on the Securities of any series in any other lawful manner not inconsistent with the requirements of any securities exchange on which such Securities of the series in respect of which interest is in default may be listed, and upon such notice as may be required by such exchange, if, after notice given by the Company to the Trustee of the proposed payment pursuant to this Clause, such manner of payment shall be deemed practicable by the Trustee.

Subject to the foregoing provisions of this Section, each Security delivered under this Indenture upon registration of transfer of or in exchange for or in lieu of any other Security shall carry the rights to interest accrued and unpaid, and to accrue, which were carried by such other Security.

SECTION 308.    Persons Deemed Owners.

Prior to due presentment of a Security for registration of transfer, the Company, the Trustee and any agent of the Company or the Trustee shall treat the Person in whose name such Security is registered as the owner of such Security for the purpose of receiving payment of principal of and any premium and (subject to Section 307) any interest on such Security and for all other purposes whatsoever, whether or not such Security be overdue, and neither the Company, the Trustee nor any agent of the Company or the Trustee shall be affected by notice to the contrary.

 

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None of the Company, the Trustee or any agent of the Company or the Trustee shall have any responsibility or liability for any aspect of the records relating to or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests of a Security in global form, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests. Notwithstanding the foregoing, with respect to any Security in global form, nothing herein shall prevent the Company or Trustee, or any agent of the Company or the Trustee, from giving effect to any written certification, proxy or other authorization furnished by a Depositary (or its nominee), as a Holder, with respect to such Security in global form or impair, as between such Depositary and owners of beneficial interests in such Security in global form, the operation of customary practices governing the exercise of the rights of such Depositary (or its nominee) as Holder of such Security in global form.

SECTION 309.    Cancellation.

All Securities surrendered for payment, redemption, registration of transfer or exchange or for credit against any sinking fund payment shall, if surrendered to any Person other than the Trustee, be delivered to the Trustee and shall be promptly cancelled by it. The Company may at any time deliver to the Trustee for cancellation any Securities previously authenticated and delivered hereunder which the Company may have acquired in any manner whatsoever, and may deliver to the Trustee (or to any other Person for delivery to the Trustee) for cancellation any Securities previously authenticated hereunder which the Company has not issued and sold, and all Securities so delivered shall be promptly cancelled by the Trustee. No Securities shall be authenticated in lieu of or in exchange for any Securities cancelled as provided in this Section, except as expressly permitted by this Indenture. All cancelled Securities held by the Trustee shall be disposed of as directed by a Company Order.

SECTION 310.    Computation of Interest.

Except as otherwise specified as contemplated by Section 301 for Securities of any series, interest on the Securities of each series shall be computed on the basis of a 360-day year of twelve 30-day months.

SECTION 311.    CUSIP Numbers.

The Company in issuing the Securities may use “CUSIP” numbers (if then generally in use), and, if so, the Trustee shall use “CUSIP” numbers in notices of redemption as a convenience to Holders; provided that any such notice may state no representation is made as to the correctness of such numbers either as printed on the Securities or as contained in any notice of a redemption and that reliance may be placed only on the other identification numbers printed on the Securities, and any such redemption shall not be affected by any defect in or omission of such numbers. The Company will promptly notify the Trustee in writing of any change in the “CUSIP” numbers.

ARTICLE FOUR

SATISFACTION AND DISCHARGE

 

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SECTION 401.    Satisfaction and Discharge of Indenture.

This Indenture shall upon a Company Request cease to be of further effect (except as to any surviving rights of registration of transfer or exchange of Securities herein expressly provided for), and the Trustee, at the expense of the Company, shall execute proper instruments acknowledging satisfaction and discharge of this Indenture, when:

(1) either

(A)    all Securities theretofore authenticated and delivered (other than (i) Securities which have been destroyed, lost or stolen and which have been replaced or paid as provided in Section 306 and (ii) Securities for whose payment money has theretofore been deposited in trust or segregated and held in trust by the Company and thereafter repaid to the Company or discharged from such trust, as provided in Section 1003) have been delivered to the Trustee for cancellation; or

(B)    all such Securities not theretofore delivered to the Trustee for cancellation

 

  (i)

have become due and payable, or

 

  (ii)

will become due and payable at their Stated Maturity within one year, or

 

  (iii)

are to be called for redemption within one year under arrangements satisfactory to the Trustee for the giving of notice of redemption in the name, and at the expense, of the Company, and the Company,

in the case of (i), (ii) or (iii) above, has deposited or caused to be deposited with the Trustee as trust funds in trust for such purpose money in an amount sufficient to pay and discharge the entire indebtedness on such Securities not theretofore delivered to the Trustee for cancellation, for principal and any premium and interest to the date of such deposit (in the case of Securities which have become due and payable) or to the Stated Maturity or Redemption Date, as the case may be;

(2) the Company has paid or caused to be paid all other sums payable hereunder by the Company; and

(3) the Company has delivered to the Trustee an Officers’ Certificate and an Opinion of Counsel complying with Section 103, each stating that all conditions precedent herein provided for relating to the satisfaction and discharge of this Indenture have been complied with.

Notwithstanding the satisfaction and discharge of this Indenture, the obligations of the Company to the Trustee under Section 607, the obligations of the Trustee to any Authenticating Agent under Section 614 and, if money shall have been deposited with the Trustee pursuant to subclause (B) of Clause (1) of this Section, the obligations of the Trustee under Section 402 and the last paragraph of Section 1003 shall survive.

 

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SECTION 402.    Application of Trust Money.

Subject to the provisions of the last paragraph of Section 1003, all money deposited with the Trustee pursuant to Section 401 shall be held in trust and applied by it, in accordance with the provisions of the Securities and this Indenture, to the payment, either directly or through any Paying Agent (including the Company acting as its own Paying Agent) as the Trustee may determine, to the Persons entitled thereto, of the principal and any premium and interest for whose payment such money has been deposited with the Trustee.

ARTICLE FIVE

REMEDIES

SECTION 501.    Events of Default.

“Event of Default”, wherever used herein with respect to Securities of any series, means any one of the following events (whatever the reason for such Event of Default and whether it shall be voluntary or involuntary or be effected by operation of law or pursuant to any judgment, decree or order of any court or any order, rule or regulation of any administrative or governmental body):

(1) default in the payment of any interest upon any Security of that series when it becomes due and payable, and continuance of such default for a period of 60 days; or

(2) default in the payment of the principal of any Security of that series at its Maturity; or

(3) default in the deposit of any sinking fund payment, when and as due by the terms of a Security of that series, and a continuance of such default for a period of five days; or

(4) default in the performance, or breach, of any covenant or warranty of the Company in this Indenture (other than a covenant or warranty a default in whose performance or whose breach is elsewhere in this Section specifically dealt with or which has expressly been included in this Indenture solely for the benefit of series of Securities other than that series), and continuance of such default or breach for a period of 90 days after there has been given, by registered or certified mail, to the Company by the Trustee or to the Company and the Trustee by the Holders of at least 33% in principal amount of the Outstanding Securities of that series a written notice specifying such default or breach and requiring it to be remedied and stating that such notice is a “Notice of Default” hereunder; or

(5) the entry by a court having jurisdiction in the premises of (A) a decree or order for relief in respect of the Company in an involuntary case or proceeding under any applicable bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization or other similar law or (B) a decree or order adjudging the Company bankrupt or insolvent, or approving as properly filed a petition seeking reorganization, arrangement, adjustment or composition of or in respect

 

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of the Company under any applicable law, or appointing a receiver or other similar official of the Company or of any substantial part of its property, or ordering the winding up or liquidation of its affairs, and the continuance of any such decree or order for relief or any such other decree or order unstayed and in effect for a period of 90 consecutive days; or

(6) the commencement by the Company of a voluntary case or proceeding under any applicable bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization or other similar law or of any other case or proceeding to be adjudicated a bankrupt or insolvent, or the consent by it to the entry of a decree or order for relief in respect of the Company in an involuntary case or proceeding under any applicable bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization or other similar law or to the commencement of any bankruptcy or insolvency case or proceeding against it, or the filing by it of a petition or answer or consent seeking reorganization or relief under any applicable law, or the consent by it to the filing of such petition or to the appointment of or taking possession by a receiver or similar official of the Company or of any substantial part of its property, or the making by it of an assignment for the benefit of creditors, or the admission by it in writing of its inability to pay its debts generally as they become due, or the taking of corporate action by the Company in furtherance of any such action; or

(7) any other Event of Default provided with respect to Securities of that series.

SECTION 502.    Acceleration of Maturity; Rescission and Annulment.

If an Event of Default (other than an Event of Default specified in Section 501(5) or 501(6)) with respect to the Securities of any series at the time Outstanding occurs and is continuing, then in every such case the Trustee or the Holders of not less than 33% in principal amount of the Outstanding Securities of that series may declare the principal amount of all the Securities of that series (or, if any Securities of that series are Original Issue Discount Securities, such portion of the principal amount of such Securities as may be specified by the terms thereof) to be due and payable immediately, by a notice in writing to the Company (and to the Trustee if given by Holders), and upon any such declaration such principal amount (or specified amount) shall become immediately due and payable. If an Event of Default specified in Section 501(5) or 501(6) with respect to the Securities of any series at the time Outstanding occurs, the principal amount of all the Securities of that series (or, if any Securities of that series are Original Issue Discount Securities, such portion of the principal amount of such Securities as may be specified by the terms thereof) shall automatically, and without any declaration or other act on the part of the Trustee or any Holder, become immediately due and payable.

At any time after such a declaration of acceleration with respect to Securities of any series has been made and before a judgment or decree for payment of the money due has been obtained by the Trustee as hereinafter in this Article provided, the Holders of a majority in principal amount of the Outstanding Securities of that series, by written notice to the Company and the Trustee, may rescind and annul such declaration and its consequences if:

(1) the Company has paid or deposited with the Trustee a sum sufficient to pay

 

  (A)

all overdue interest on all Securities of that series,

 

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  (B)

the principal of (and premium, if any, on) any Securities of that series which have become due otherwise than by such declaration of acceleration and any interest thereon at the rate or rates prescribed therefor in such Securities,

 

  (C)

to the extent that payment of such interest is lawful, interest upon overdue interest at the rate or rates prescribed therefor in such Securities, and

 

  (D)

all sums paid or advanced by the Trustee hereunder and the reasonable compensation, expenses, disbursements and advances of the Trustee, its agents and counsel;

(2) all Events of Default with respect to Securities of that series, other than the non-payment of the principal of Securities of that series which have become due solely by such declaration of acceleration, have been cured or waived as provided in Section 513. No such rescission shall affect any subsequent default or impair any right consequent thereon.

SECTION 503.    Collection of Indebtedness and Suits for Enforcement by Trustee.

The Company covenants that if (1) default is made in the payment of any interest on any Security when such interest becomes due and payable and such default continues for a period of 60 days, or (2) default is made in the payment of the principal of (or premium, if any, on) any Security at the Maturity thereof, the Company will, upon demand of the Trustee, pay to the Trustee, for the benefit of the Holders of such Securities, the whole amount then due and payable on such Securities for principal, including any sinking fund payment, and any premium and interest and, to the extent that payment of such interest shall be legally enforceable, interest on any overdue principal and premium and on any overdue interest, at the rate or rates prescribed therefor in such Securities, and, in addition thereto, such further amount as shall be sufficient to cover the costs and expenses of collection, including the reasonable compensation, expenses, disbursements and advances of the Trustee, its agents and counsel.

If the Company shall fail to pay such amounts forthwith upon such demand, the Trustee, in its own name and as trustee of an express trust, may institute a judicial proceeding for the collection of the sums so due and unpaid, may prosecute such proceeding to judgment or final decree and may enforce the same against the Company or any other obligor upon such Securities and collect the moneys adjudged or decreed to be payable in the manner provided by law out of the property of the Company or any other obligor upon such Securities, wherever situated.

If an Event of Default with respect to Securities of any series occurs and is continuing, the Trustee may in its discretion proceed to protect and enforce its rights and the rights of the Holders of Securities of such series by such appropriate judicial proceedings as the Trustee shall deem most effectual to protect and enforce any such rights, whether for the specific enforcement of any covenant or agreement in this Indenture or in aid of the exercise of any power granted herein, or to enforce any other proper remedy.

 

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SECTION 504.    Trustee May File Proofs of Claim.

In case of any judicial proceeding relative to the Company (or any other obligor upon the Securities), its property or its creditors, the Trustee shall be entitled and empowered, by intervention in such proceeding or otherwise, to take any and all actions authorized under the Trust Indenture Act in order to have claims of the Holders and the Trustee allowed in any such proceeding. In particular, the Trustee shall be authorized (i) to file and prove a claim for the whole amount of principal (and premium, if any) and interest owing and unpaid in respect of the Securities in accordance with the terms thereof and to file such other papers or documents as may be necessary or advisable in order to have the claims of the Trustee (including any claim for the reasonable compensation, expense, disbursements and advances of the Trustee, its agents and counsel) and of the Holders allowed in such judicial proceeding, and (ii) to collect and receive any moneys or other property payable or deliverable on any such claims and to distribute the same; and any custodian, receiver, assignee, trustee, liquidator, sequestrator or other similar official in any such judicial proceeding is hereby authorized by each Holder to make such payments to the Trustee and, in the event that the Trustee shall consent to the making of such payments directly to the Holders, to pay to the Trustee any amount due it for the reasonable compensation, expenses, disbursements and advances of the Trustee, its agents and counsel, and any other amounts due the Trustee under Section 607.

No provision of this Indenture shall be deemed to authorize the Trustee to authorize or consent to or accept or adopt on behalf of any Holder any plan of reorganization, arrangement, adjustment or composition affecting the Securities or the rights of any Holder thereof or to authorize the Trustee to vote in respect of the claim of any Holder in any such proceeding; provided, however, that the Trustee may, on behalf of the Holders, vote for the election of a trustee in bankruptcy or similar official and be a member of a creditors’ or other similar committee.

SECTION 505.    Trustee May Enforce Claims Without Possession of Securities.

All rights of action and claims under this Indenture or the Securities may be prosecuted and enforced by the Trustee without the possession of any of the Securities or the production thereof in any proceeding relating thereto, and any such proceeding instituted by the Trustee shall be brought in its own name as trustee of an express trust, and any recovery of judgment shall, after provision for the payment of the reasonable compensation, expenses, disbursements and advances of the Trustee, its agents and counsel, be for the ratable benefit of the Holders of the Securities in respect of which such judgment has been recovered.

SECTION 506.&n