This Indemnification Agreement (“Agreement”) is made as of October 2, 2023 by and between Atlas Energy Solutions Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), and the individual identified as the Indemnitee on the signature page hereto (“Indemnitee”).
WHEREAS, directors, officers and other persons in service to corporations or business enterprises are subjected to expensive and time-consuming litigation relating to, among other things, matters that traditionally would have been brought only against the Company or business enterprise itself;
WHEREAS, highly competent persons have become more reluctant to serve as directors, officers or in other capacities unless they are provided with adequate protection through insurance and adequate indemnification against inordinate risks of claims and actions against them arising out of their service to and activities on behalf of the corporation;
WHEREAS, the Board of Directors of the Company (the “Board”) has determined that the increased difficulty in attracting and retaining such persons is detrimental to the best interests of the Company and its stockholders and that the Company should act to assure such persons that there will be increased certainty of such protection in the future;
WHEREAS, (i) the Amended and Restated Bylaws of the Company (as may be amended, the “Bylaws”) require indemnification of the officers and directors of the Company, (ii) Indemnitee may also be entitled to indemnification pursuant to the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware (“DGCL”) and (iii) the Bylaws and the DGCL expressly provide that the indemnification provisions set forth therein are not exclusive and thereby contemplate that contracts may be entered into between the Company and members of the Board, officers and other persons with respect to indemnification;
WHEREAS, this Agreement is a supplement to and in furtherance of the Bylaws and the Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of the Company (as may be amended, the “Certificate of Incorporation”) and any resolutions adopted pursuant thereto, and shall not be deemed a substitute therefore, nor to diminish or abrogate any rights of Indemnitee thereunder; and
WHEREAS, (i) Indemnitee does not regard the protection available under the Bylaws and insurance as adequate in the present circumstances, (ii) Indemnitee may not be willing to serve or continue to serve as a director or officer of the Company without adequate protection, (iii) the Company desires Indemnitee to serve in such capacity and (iv) Indemnitee is willing to serve, continue to serve and to take on additional service for or on behalf of the Company on the condition that Indemnitee be so indemnified.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the premises and the covenants contained herein, the Company and Indemnitee do hereby covenant and agree as follows:
Section 1. Definitions. (a) As used in this Agreement:
“Agreement” shall have the meaning set forth in the Preamble.
“Board” shall have the meaning set forth in the Recitals.
“Bylaws” shall have the meaning set forth in the Recitals.
“Certificate of Incorporation” shall have the meaning set forth in the Recitals.
“Company” shall have the meaning set forth in the Preamble.
“Corporate Status” describes the status of a person who is or was a director, officer, partner, general partner, manager, managing member, employee or agent of (i) the Company or (ii) any other corporation, limited liability company, partnership or joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other Enterprise which such person is or was serving at the request of the Company.
“Delaware Court” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 20.
“DGCL” shall have the meaning set forth in the Recitals.
“Disinterested Director” shall mean a director of the Company who is not and was not a party to the Proceeding in respect of which indemnification is sought by Indemnitee.
“Enterprise” shall mean the Company and any other corporation, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise of which Indemnitee is or was serving at the request of the Company as a director, officer, partner, general partner, manager, managing member, employee, trustee, agent or fiduciary.
“Exchange Act” shall mean the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
“Expenses” shall mean all reasonable costs, expenses, fees and charges of any type or nature, including, without limitation, attorneys’ fees, document and e-discovery costs, litigation expenses, retainers, court costs, transcript costs, fees of experts, witness fees, travel expenses, fees of professional advisors, duplicating costs, printing and binding costs, telephone charges, postage, delivery service fees, and all other disbursements or expenses of the types customarily incurred in connection with prosecuting, defending, preparing to prosecute or defend, investigating, being or preparing to be a witness in, settlement or appeal of, or otherwise participating in, a Proceeding. Expenses also shall include, without limitation, (i) expenses incurred in connection with any appeal resulting from, incurred by Indemnitee in connection with, arising out of, or in respect of or relating to, any Proceeding, including, without limitation, the premium, security for, and other costs relating to any cost bond, supersedes bond, or other appeal bond or its equivalent, (ii) for purposes of Section 12(d) hereof only, expenses incurred by Indemnitee in connection with the interpretation, enforcement or defense of Indemnitee’s rights under this Agreement, by litigation or otherwise, (iii) any federal, state, local or foreign taxes imposed on Indemnitee as a result of the actual or deemed receipt of any payments under this Agreement, and (iv) any interest, assessments or other charges in respect of the foregoing. “Expenses” shall not include “Liabilities.”
“Indemnitee” shall have the meaning set forth in the Preamble.
“Indemnity Obligations” shall mean all obligations of the Company to Indemnitee under this Agreement, including the Company’s obligations to provide indemnification to Indemnitee and advance Expenses to Indemnitee under this Agreement.
“Independent Counsel” shall mean a law firm of national reputation in the United States, or a partner or member of such a law firm, that is experienced in matters of corporation law and neither presently is, nor in the past five (5) years has been, retained to represent: (i) the Company or Indemnitee in any matter material to either such party (other than with respect to matters concerning Indemnitee under this Agreement, or of other indemnitees under similar indemnification agreements), or (ii) any other party to the Proceeding giving rise to a claim for indemnification hereunder; provided, however, that the term “Independent Counsel” shall not include any person who, under the applicable standards of professional conduct then prevailing, would have a conflict of interest in representing either the Company or Indemnitee in an action to determine Indemnitee’s rights under this Agreement.
“Liabilities” shall mean all claims, liabilities, damages, losses, judgments, orders, fines, penalties and other amounts payable in connection with, arising out of, or in respect of or relating to any Proceeding, including, without limitation, amounts paid in settlement in any Proceeding and all costs and expenses in complying with any judgment, order or decree issued or entered in connection with any Proceeding or any settlement agreement, stipulation or consent decree entered into or issued in settlement of any Proceeding.
“Person” shall mean any individual, corporation, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, trust, governmental agency or body or any other legal entity.
“Proceeding” shall mean any threatened, pending or completed action, claim, suit, arbitration, mediation, alternate dispute resolution mechanism, formal or informal hearing, inquiry or investigation, litigation, inquiry, administrative hearing or any other actual, threatened or completed judicial, administrative or arbitration proceeding (including, without limitation, any such proceeding under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Exchange Act or any other federal law, state law, statute or regulation), whether brought in the right of the Company or otherwise, and whether of a civil, criminal, administrative or investigative nature, in each case, in which Indemnitee was, is or will be, or is threatened to be, involved as a party, potential party, witness or otherwise by reason of the fact that Indemnitee is or was a director or officer of the Company, by reason of any actual or alleged action taken by Indemnitee (or a failure to take action by Indemnitee) or of any action (or inaction) on Indemnitee’s part while acting as director or officer of the Company, or by reason of the fact that Indemnitee is or was serving at the request of the Company as a director, officer, partner, general partner, manager, managing member, trustee, employee or agent of another corporation, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, trust, employe benefit plan or other Enterprise, in each case whether or not serving in such capacity at the time any liability or expense is incurred for which indemnification, reimbursement, or advancement can be provided under this Agreement.
(b) For the purpose hereof, references to “fines” shall include any excise tax assessed with respect to any employee benefit plan; references to “serving at the request of the Company” shall include any service as a director, officer, partner, general partner, manager, managing member, employee or agent of the Company which imposes duties on, or involves services by, such director, officer, employee or agent with respect to an employee benefit plan, its participants or beneficiaries; and a Person who acted in good faith and in a manner such Person reasonably believed to be in the best interests of the participants and beneficiaries of an employee benefit plan shall be deemed to have acted in a manner “not opposed to the best interests of the Company” as referred to in this Agreement.
“Sarbanes-Oxley Act” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 7(c).
“Submission Date” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 9(a).
Section 2. Indemnity in Third-Party Proceedings. The Company shall indemnify and hold harmless Indemnitee, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, from and against all Liabilities and Expenses suffered or reasonably incurred (and, in the case of retainers, reasonably expected to be incurred) by Indemnitee or on Indemnitee’s behalf in connection with any Proceeding (other than any Proceeding brought by or in the right of the Company to procure a judgment in its favor, which is provided for in Section 3 below), or any claim, issue or matter therein.
Section 3. Indemnity in Proceedings by or in the Right of the Company. The Company shall indemnify and hold harmless Indemnitee, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, from and against all Liabilities and Expenses suffered or reasonably incurred (and, in the case of retainers, reasonably expected to be incurred) by Indemnitee or on Indemnitee’s behalf in connection with any Proceeding brought by or in the right of the Company to procure a judgment in its favor, or any claim, issue or matter therein. No indemnification for Expenses shall be made under this Section 3 in respect of any claim, issue or matter as to which Indemnitee shall have been finally adjudged by a court to be liable to the Company, unless and only to the extent that the Delaware Court of Chancery or any court in which the Proceeding was brought shall determine upon application that, despite the adjudication of liability but in view of all the circumstances of the case, Indemnitee is fairly and reasonably entitled to indemnification.
Section 4. Indemnification for Expenses of a Party Who is Wholly or Partly Successful.Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Agreement, and without limiting the rights of Indemnitee under any other provision hereof, including any rights to indemnification pursuant to Sections 2 or 3 hereof, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, to the extent that Indemnitee is successful, on the merits or otherwise, in any Proceeding or in defense of any claim, issue or matter therein, in whole or in part, the Company shall indemnify Indemnitee against all Expenses actually and reasonably incurred (and, in the case of retainers, reasonably expected to be incurred) by Indemnitee or on Indemnitee’s behalf in connection with each successfully resolved Proceeding, claim, issue or matter. For purposes of this Section 4 and without limitation, the termination of any Proceeding or claim, issue or matter in such a Proceeding by dismissal, with or without prejudice, shall be deemed to be a successful result as to such claim, issue or matter.
Section 5. Indemnification For Expenses of a Witness. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law and to the extent that Indemnitee is, by reason of Indemnitee’s Corporate Status, a witness or otherwise a participant, including by a request to respond to discovery requests, receipt of a subpoena or similar demand for documents or testimony, in any Proceeding to which Indemnitee is not a party and is not threatened to be made a party, Indemnitee shall be indemnified against all Expenses suffered or reasonably incurred (or, in the case of retainers, reasonably expected to be incurred) by Indemnitee or on Indemnitee’s behalf in connection therewith.
Section 6. Additional Indemnification. Notwithstanding any limitation in Sections 2, 3 or 4 hereof, the Company shall indemnify Indemnitee to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law if Indemnitee is a party to or threatened to be made a party to any Proceeding (including a Proceeding by or in the right of the Company to procure a judgment in its favor) by reason of Indemnitee’s Corporate Status against all Liabilities and Expenses suffered or reasonably incurred (and, in the case of retainers, reasonably expected to be incurred) by Indemnitee in connection with such Proceeding, including but not limited to:
Section 7. Exclusions. Notwithstanding any provision in this Agreement, the Company shall not be obligated under this Agreement to indemnify or hold harmless Indemnitee, or, in the case of (a) and (d), to advance Expenses to Indemnitee:
Proceeding) initiated by Indemnitee, against the Company or its directors, officers, employees or other indemnitees, unless (i) the Board authorized the Proceeding (or any part of any Proceeding) prior to its initiation, (ii) the Company provides the indemnification, in its sole discretion, pursuant to the powers vested in the Company under applicable law or (iii) such Proceeding is being brought by Indemnitee to assert, interpret or enforce Indemnitee’s rights under this Agreement (for the avoidance of doubt, Indemnitee shall not be deemed, for purposes of this subsection, to have initiated or brought any claim by reason of (A) having asserted any affirmative defenses in connection with a claim not initiated by Indemnitee or (B) having made any counterclaim (whether permissive or mandatory) in connection with any claim not initiated by Indemnitee); or
Section 8. Advancement. In accordance with the pre-existing requirements of the Bylaws, and notwithstanding any provision of this Agreement to the contrary, the Company shall advance, to the extent not prohibited by applicable law, the Expenses and Liabilities reasonably incurred by Indemnitee in connection with any Proceeding, and such advancement shall be made within ten (10) days after the receipt by the Company of a statement or statements requesting such advances from time to time, whether prior to or after final disposition of any Proceeding. Advances shall be unsecured and interest free. Advances shall be made without regard to Indemnitee’s ability to repay the Expenses and without regard to Indemnitee’s ultimate entitlement to indemnification under the other provisions of this Agreement. Advances shall include any and all Expenses reasonably incurred pursuing an action to enforce this right of advancement, including Expenses incurred preparing and forwarding statements to the Company to support the advances claimed. Indemnitee shall qualify for advances upon the execution and delivery to the Company of this Agreement, which shall constitute an undertaking providing that Indemnitee undertakes to repay the amounts advanced to the extent that it is ultimately determined by final judicial decision from which there is no further right to appeal that the Indemnitee is not entitled to be indemnified by the Company. Nothing in this Section 8 shall limit Indemnitee’s right to advancement pursuant to Section 12(d) of this Agreement. This Section 8 shall not apply to any claim made by Indemnitee for which indemnity is excluded pursuant to Sections 7(a) or (d) hereof.
Section 9. Procedure for Notification and Defense of Claim.
defense, and the Company shall be solely responsible for all fees and expenses of such legal counsel and otherwise of such defense. Such legal counsel may represent both Indemnitee and the Company (and any other party or parties entitled to be indemnified by the Company with respect to such matter) unless, in the reasonable opinion of legal counsel to Indemnitee, there is a conflict of interest between Indemnitee and the Company (or any other such party or parties) or there are legal defenses available to Indemnitee that are not available to the Company (or any such other party or parties). Notwithstanding either party’s assumption of responsibility for defense of a Proceeding, each party shall have the right to engage separate counsel at its own expense. If the Company has responsibility for defense of a Proceeding, the Company shall provide the Indemnitee and its counsel with all copies of pleadings and material correspondence relating to the Proceeding. Indemnitee and the Company shall reasonably cooperate in the defense of any Proceeding with respect to which indemnification is sought hereunder, regardless of whether the Company or Indemnitee assumes the defense thereof. Indemnitee may not settle or compromise any Proceeding without the prior written consent of the Company, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned or delayed. The Company may not settle or compromise any Proceeding without the prior written consent of Indemnitee (which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned or delayed), unless such settlement provides for a full and final release of all claims asserted against Indemnitee.
Section 10. Procedure Upon Application for Indemnification.
(10) days after such determination. Indemnitee shall cooperate with the person, persons or entity making such determination with respect to Indemnitee’s entitlement to indemnification, including providing to such person, persons or entity upon reasonable advance request any documentation or information which is not privileged or otherwise protected from disclosure and which is reasonably available to Indemnitee and reasonably necessary to such determination. Any Expenses incurred by Indemnitee in so cooperating with the person, persons or entity making such determination shall, to the fullest extent permitted by law, be borne by the Company (irrespective of the determination as to Indemnitee’s entitlement to indemnification) and the Company hereby indemnifies and agrees to hold Indemnitee harmless therefrom. The Company will not deny any written request for indemnification hereunder made in good faith by Indemnitee unless a determination as to Indemnitee’s entitlement to such indemnification described in this Section 10(a) has been made. The Company agrees to pay the reasonable fees and expenses of the Independent Counsel referred to above and to fully indemnify such counsel against any and all Liabilities and Expenses arising out of or relating to this Agreement or its engagement pursuant hereto.
after the Submission Date and (B) ten (10) days after the final disposition of the Proceeding, including any appeal therein, each of the Company and Indemnitee shall select a law firm or member of a law firm meeting the qualifications to serve as Independent Counsel, and such law firms or members of law firms shall select the Independent Counsel.
Upon the due commencement of any judicial proceeding or arbitration pursuant to Section 12(a) of this Agreement, Independent Counsel shall be discharged and relieved of any further responsibility in such capacity (subject to the applicable standards of professional conduct then prevailing).
Section 11. Presumptions and Effect of Certain Proceedings.
Section 12. Remedies of Indemnitee.
Section 13. Non-Exclusivity; Survival of Rights; Insurance; Subrogation.
Section 14. Duration of Agreement; Not Employment Contract. This Agreement shall continue until and terminate upon the latest of: (i) ten (10) years after the date that Indemnitee shall have ceased to serve as director, officer, employee or agent of the Company or any other Enterprise, (ii) one (1) year after the date of final termination of any Proceeding, including any appeal, then pending in respect of which Indemnitee is granted rights of indemnification or advancement hereunder and of any proceeding, including any appeal, commenced by Indemnitee pursuant to Section 12 of this Agreement relating thereto or (iii) the expiration of all statutes of limitation applicable to possible Proceedings to which Indemnitee may be subject arising out of Indemnitee’s Corporate Status. The indemnification provided under this Agreement shall continue as to the Indemnitee even though he or she may have ceased to be a director or officer of the Company or of any of the Company’s direct or indirect subsidiaries or to have Corporate Status. This Agreement shall be binding upon the Company and its successors and assigns and shall inure to the benefit of Indemnitee and Indemnitee’s heirs, executors and administrators. The Company shall require and cause any successor, and any direct or indirect parent of any successor, whether direct or indirect by purchase, merger, consolidation or otherwise, to all, substantially all or a substantial part, of the business and/or assets of the Company, by written agreement in form and substance satisfactory to Indemnitee, expressly to assume and agree to perform this Agreement in the same manner and to the same extent that the Company would be required to perform if no such succession had taken place. This Agreement shall not be deemed an employment contract between the Company (or any of its subsidiaries or any other Enterprise) and Indemnitee. Indemnitee specifically acknowledges that Indemnitee’s employment with the Company (or any of its subsidiaries or any other Enterprise), if any, is at will, and Indemnitee may be discharged at any time for any reason, with or without cause, except as may be otherwise provided in any written employment contract between Indemnitee and the Company (or any of its subsidiaries or any other Enterprise), other applicable formal severance policies duly adopted by the Board, or, with respect to service as a director of the Company, by the Certificate of Incorporation, the Bylaws or the DGCL.
Section 15. Severability. If any provision or provisions of this Agreement shall be held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable for any reason whatsoever: (a) the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining provisions of this Agreement (including, without limitation, each portion of any Section of this Agreement containing any such provision held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable that is not itself invalid, illegal or unenforceable) shall not in any way be affected or impaired thereby and shall remain enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law; (b) such provision or provisions shall be deemed reformed to the extent necessary to conform to applicable law and to give the maximum effect to the intent of the parties hereto; and (c) to the fullest extent possible, the provisions of this Agreement (including, without limitation, each portion of any Section of this Agreement containing any such provision held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable that is not itself invalid, illegal or unenforceable) shall be construed so as to give effect to the intent manifested thereby.
Section 16. Enforcement.
Section 17. Modification and Waiver. No supplement, modification or amendment of this Agreement shall be binding unless executed in writing by the parties thereto. No waiver of any of the provisions of this Agreement shall be deemed to be or shall constitute a waiver of any other provision of this Agreement nor shall any waiver constitute a continuing waiver.
Section 18. Notices. All notices, requests, demands and other communications under this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be deemed to have been duly given if (a) delivered by hand and receipted for by the party to whom said notice or other communication shall have been directed, (b) mailed by certified or registered mail with postage prepaid, on the third business day after the date on which it is so mailed, (c) mailed by reputable overnight courier and receipted for by the party to whom said notice or other communication shall have been directed or (d) sent by facsimile transmission, with receipt of oral confirmation that such transmission has been received:
If to Indemnitee, at the address indicated on the signature page of this Agreement, or such other address as
Indemnitee shall provide to the Company.
If to the Company to
Atlas Energy Solutions Inc.
5918 W. Courtyard Drive, Suite 500
Austin, TX 78730
Attention: Board of Directors
or to any other address as may have been furnished to Indemnitee by the Company.
Section 19. Contribution. To the fullest extent permissible under applicable law, if the indemnification provided for in this Agreement is unavailable to Indemnitee for any reason whatsoever, the Company, in lieu of indemnifying Indemnitee, shall contribute to the amount incurred by Indemnitee, whether for Liabilities or for Expenses, in connection with any Proceeding, in such proportion as is deemed fair and reasonable in light of all of the circumstances of such Proceeding in order to reflect (a) the relative benefits received by the Company and Indemnitee as a result of the event(s) and transaction(s) giving cause to such Proceeding; and (b) the relative fault of the Company (and its directors, officers, employees and agents) and Indemnitee in connection with such event(s) and transaction(s).
Section 20. Applicable Law. This Agreement and the legal relations among the parties shall be governed by, and construed and enforced in accordance with, the laws of the State of Delaware, without regard to its conflict of laws rules. Except with respect to any arbitration commenced by Indemnitee pursuant to Section 12(a) of this Agreement, the Company and Indemnitee hereby irrevocably and unconditionally (a) agree that any action or proceeding arising out of or in connection with this Agreement shall be brought only in the Chancery Court of the State of Delaware (the “Delaware Court”), and not in any other state or federal court in the United States of America or any court in any other country, (b) consent to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Delaware Court for purposes of any action or proceeding arising out of or in connection with this Agreement, (c) consent to service of process at the address set forth in Section 18 of this Agreement with the same legal force and validity as if served upon such party personally within the State of Delaware, (d) waive any objection to the laying of venue of any such action or proceeding in the Delaware Court, and (e) waive, and agree not to plead or to make, any claim that any such action or proceeding brought in the Delaware Court has been brought in an improper or inconvenient forum.
Section 21. Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in one or more counterparts, each of which shall for all purposes be deemed to be an original but all of which together shall constitute one and the same Agreement. Only one such counterpart signed by the party against whom enforceability is sought needs to be produced to evidence the existence of this Agreement. Execution and delivery of this Agreement by exchange of facsimile or other electronically transmitted counterparts bearing the signature of a Party shall be equally as effective as delivery of a manually executed counterpart by such Party.
Section 22. Miscellaneous. Use of the masculine pronoun shall be deemed to include usage of the feminine pronoun where appropriate. The headings of the paragraphs of this Agreement are inserted for convenience only and shall not be deemed to constitute part of this Agreement or to affect the construction thereof.
[Signature Page Follows]
By: /s/ Gregory M. Shepard
Name: Gregory M. Shepard
Signature Page to Indemnification Agreement