CONTROLLED EQUITY OFFERINGSM
May 12, 2006
CANTOR FITZGERALD & CO.
110 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
Ladies and Gentlemen:
ESSEX PROPERTY TRUST, INC., a Maryland corporation (the “Company”), confirms its agreement (this “Agreement”) with Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. (“CF&Co”), as follows:
1. Issuance and Sale of Shares. The Company agrees that, from time to time during the term of this Agreement, on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth herein, it may issue and sell through CF&Co, acting as agent and/or principal, (a) up to 2,000,000 shares of the Company’s common stock, par value $0.0001 per share (the “Common Stock”); and (b) such preferred stock as the Company may subsequently designate (the “Preferred Stock”; and together with the Common Stock, the “Shares”). Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, the parties hereto agree that compliance with the limitation set forth in this Section 1 on the number of Shares issued and sold under this Agreement shall be the sole responsibility of the Company, and CF&Co shall have no obligation in connection with such compliance. The issuance and sale of Shares through CF&Co will be effected pursuant to the Registration Statement (as defined below) filed by the Company and declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”), although nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as requiring the Company to use the Registration Statement to issue Common Stock or Preferred Stock.
The Company has filed, in accordance with the provisions of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the rules and regulations thereunder (collectively, the “Securities Act”), with the Commission a registration statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-108336), including a base prospectus, with respect to equity and other offerings, including the Shares, and which incorporates by reference documents that the Company has filed or will file in accordance with the provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the rules and regulations thereunder (collectively, the “Exchange Act”). The Company has prepared a prospectus supplement (the “Prospectus Supplement”) to the base prospectus included as part of such registration statement. The Company has furnished to CF&Co, for use by CF&Co, copies of the prospectus included as part of such registration statement, as supplemented by the Prospectus Supplement, relating to the Shares. Except where the context otherwise requires, such registration statement, as amended when it became effective, including all documents filed as part thereof or incorporated by reference therein, and including any information contained in a
Prospectus (as defined below) subsequently filed with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act and also including any other registration statement filed pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, collectively, are herein called the “Registration Statement,” and the base prospectus, including all documents incorporated therein by reference, included in the Registration Statement, as it may be supplemented by the Prospectus Supplement, in the form in which such prospectus and/or Prospectus Supplement have most recently been filed by the Company with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act is herein called the “Prospectus.” Any reference herein to the Registration Statement, the Prospectus or any amendment or supplement thereto shall be deemed to refer to and include the documents incorporated by reference therein, and any reference herein to the terms “amend,” “amendment” or “supplement” with respect to the Registration Statement or the Prospectus shall be deemed to refer to and include the filing after the execution hereof of any document with the Commission deemed to be incorporated by reference therein. For purposes of this Agreement, all references to the Registration Statement, the Prospectus or to any amendment or supplement thereto shall be deemed to include any copy filed with the Commission pursuant to its Electronic Data Gathering Analysis and Retrieval System (“EDGAR”).
2. Placements. Each time that the Company wishes to issue and sell Shares hereunder (each, a “Placement”), it will notify CF&Co by email notice (or other method mutually agreed to in writing by the Parties) of the number of Shares (the “Placement Shares”) to be issued, the type of Shares, the time period during which sales are requested to be made, any limitation on the number of Shares that may be sold in any one day and any minimum price below which sales may not be made (a “Placement Notice”), the form of which is attached hereto as Schedule 1. The Placement Notice shall originate from any of the individuals from the Company set forth on Schedule 3 (with a copy to each of the other individuals from the Company listed on such schedule), and shall be addressed to each of the individuals from CF&Co set forth on Schedule 3, as such Schedule 3 may be amended from time to time. The Placement Notice shall be effective unless and until (i) CF&Co declines to accept the terms contained therein for any reason, in its sole discretion, (ii) the entire amount of the Placement Shares have been sold, (iii) the Company suspends or terminates the Placement Notice or (iv) the Agreement has been terminated under the provisions of Section 11. The amount of any discount, commission or other compensation to be paid by the Company to CF&Co in connection with the sale of the Placement Shares shall be calculated in accordance with the terms set forth in Schedule 2. It is expressly acknowledged and agreed that neither the Company nor CF&Co will have any obligation whatsoever with respect to a Placement or any Placement Shares unless and until the Company delivers a Placement Notice to CF&Co and CF&Co does not decline such Placement Notice pursuant to the terms set forth above, and then only upon the terms specified therein and herein. In the event of a conflict between the terms of this Agreement and the terms of a Placement Notice, the terms of the Placement Notice will control.
3. Sale of Placement Shares by CF&Co. Subject to the terms and conditions herein set forth, upon the Company’s issuance of a Placement Notice, and unless the sale of the Placement Shares described therein has been declined, suspended, or otherwise terminated in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, CF&Co will use its commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its normal trading and sales practices to sell such Placement Shares up to the amount specified, and otherwise in accordance with the terms of such Placement Notice. CF&Co will provide written confirmation to the Company no later than the opening of the
Trading Day (as defined below) immediately following the Trading Day on which it has made sales of Placement Shares hereunder setting forth the number of Placement Shares sold on such day, the compensation payable by the Company to CF&Co pursuant to Section 2 with respect to such sales, and the Net Proceeds (as defined below) payable to the Company, with an itemization of deductions made by CF&Co (as set forth in Section 5(a)) from the gross proceeds that it receives from such sales. CF&Co may sell Placement Shares by any method permitted by law deemed to be an “at the market” offering as defined in Rule 415 of the Securities Act, including without limitation sales made directly on the New York Stock Exchange (the “Exchange”), on any other existing trading market for the Common Stock or to or through a market maker. CF&Co may also sell Placement Shares in privately negotiated transactions. The Company acknowledges and agrees that (i) there can be no assurance that CF&Co will be successful in selling Placement Shares, and (ii) CF&Co will incur no liability or obligation to the Company or any other person or entity if it does not sell Placement Shares for any reason other than a failure by CF&Co to use its commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its normal trading and sales practices to sell such Placement Shares as required under this Section 3. For the purposes hereof, “Trading Day” means any day on which Common Stock is purchased and sold on the principal market on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted.
4. Suspension of Sales. The Company or CF&Co may, upon notice to the other party in writing (including by email correspondence to each of the individuals of the other Party set forth on Schedule 3, if receipt of such correspondence is actually acknowledged by any of the individuals to whom the notice is sent, other than via auto-reply) or by telephone (confirmed immediately by verifiable facsimile transmission or email correspondence to each of the individuals of the other Party set forth on Schedule 3), suspend any sale of Placement Shares; provided, however, that such suspension shall not affect or impair either party’s obligations with respect to any Placement Shares sold hereunder prior to the receipt of such notice. Each of the Parties agrees that no such notice under this Section 4 shall be effective against the other unless it is made to one of the individuals named on Schedule 3 hereto, as such Schedule may be amended from time to time.
(a) Settlement of Placement Shares. Unless otherwise specified in the applicable Placement Notice, settlement for sales of Placement Shares will occur on the third (3rd) Trading Day (or such earlier day as is industry practice for regular-way trading) following the date on which such sales are made (each, a “Settlement Date”). The amount of proceeds to be delivered to the Company on a Settlement Date against receipt of the Placement Shares sold (the “Net Proceeds”) will be equal to the aggregate sales price received by CF&Co at which such Placement Shares were sold, after deduction for (i) CF&Co’s commission, discount or other compensation for such sales payable by the Company pursuant to Section 2 hereof, (ii) any other amounts due and payable by the Company to CF&Co hereunder pursuant to Section 7(g) (Expenses) hereof, and (iii) any transaction fees imposed by any governmental or self-regulatory organization in respect of such sales.
(b) Delivery of Placement Shares. On or before each Settlement Date, the Company will, or will cause its transfer agent to, electronically transfer the Placement Shares being sold by crediting CF&Co’s or its designee’s account (provided CF&Co shall have given the Company written notice of such designee prior to the Settlement Date) at The Depository Trust Company
through its Deposit and Withdrawal at Custodian System or by such other means of delivery as may be mutually agreed upon by the parties hereto which in all cases shall be freely tradeable, transferable, registered shares in good deliverable form. On each Settlement Date, CF&Co will deliver the related Net Proceeds in same day funds to an account designated by the Company on, or prior to, the Settlement Date. The Company agrees that if the Company, or its transfer agent (if applicable), defaults in its obligation to deliver Placement Shares on a Settlement Date, the Company agrees that in addition to and in no way limiting the rights and obligations set forth in Section 9(a) (Indemnification and Contribution) hereto, it will (i) hold CF&Co harmless against any loss, claim, damage, or expense (including reasonable legal fees and expenses), as incurred, arising out of or in connection with such default by the Company and (ii) pay to CF&Co any commission, discount, or other compensation to which it would otherwise have been entitled absent such default.
6. Representations and Warranties of the Company. The Company represents and warrants to, and agrees with, CF&Co that as of the date of this Agreement and as of each Representation Date (as defined in Section 7(m) below) on which a certificate is required to be delivered pursuant to Section 7(m) of this Agreement, as the case may be:
(a) Compliance with Registration Requirements. The Registration Statement and any Rule 462(b) Registration Statement 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. No stop order suspending the effectiveness of the Registration Statement or any Rule 462(b) Registration Statement is in effect and no proceedings for such purpose have been instituted or are pending or, to the best knowledge of the Company, are contemplated or threatened by the Commission.
(b) No Misstatement or Omission. The Prospectus when filed complied and, as amended or supplemented, if applicable, will comply in all material respects with the Securities Act. Each of the Registration Statement, any Rule 462(b) Registration Statement and any post-effective amendment thereto, at the time it became effective, complied and, as of each of the Settlement Dates, if any, will comply in all material respects with the Securities Act and did not and, as of each of the Settlement Dates, if any, 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. The Prospectus, as amended or supplemented, as of its date, did not and, as of each of the Settlement Dates, if any, will not contain any 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 under which they were made, not misleading. The representations and warranties set forth in the two immediately preceding sentences do not apply to statements in or omissions from the Registration Statement, any Rule 462(b) 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 CF&Co furnished to the Company in writing by CF&Co expressly for use therein. 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.
(c) Offering Materials Furnished to CF&Co. The Company has delivered to CF&Co one complete copy of the Registration Statement and a copy of each consent and certificate of experts filed as a part thereof, and conformed copies of the Registration Statement
(without exhibits) and the Prospectus, as amended or supplemented, in such quantities and at such places as CF&Co has reasonably requested.
(d) Distribution of Offering Material By the Company. The Company has not distributed and will not distribute, prior to the later of the Closing Date and the completion of CF&Co’s distribution of the Shares, any offering material in connection with the offering and sale of the Shares other than the Prospectus or the Registration Statement.
(e) The Sales Agreement. This Agreement has been duly authorized, executed and delivered by, and is a valid and binding agreement of, the Company, enforceable in accordance with its terms, except as rights to indemnification hereunder may be limited by applicable law and except as the enforcement hereof may be limited by bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, moratorium or other similar laws relating to or affecting the rights and remedies of creditors or by general equitable principles.
(f) Authorization of the Shares. The Shares to be sold by CF&Co, acting as agent and/or principal for the Company, have been duly authorized for issuance and sale pursuant to this Agreement and, when issued and delivered by the Company to CF&Co pursuant to this Agreement, will be validly issued, fully paid and nonassessable.
(g) No Applicable Registration or Other Similar Rights. There are no persons with registration or other similar rights to have any equity or debt securities registered for sale under the Registration Statement or included in the offering contemplated by this Agreement, except for such rights as have been duly waived.
(h) No Material Adverse Change. Except as otherwise disclosed in the Prospectus, subsequent to the respective dates as of which information is given in the Prospectus: (i) there has been no material adverse change, or any development that could reasonably be expected to result in a material adverse change, in the condition, financial or otherwise, or in the earnings, business, operations or prospects, whether or not arising from transactions in the ordinary course of business, of the Company and its subsidiaries, considered as one entity (any such change is called a “Material Adverse Change”); (ii) the Company and its subsidiaries, considered as one entity, have not incurred any material liability or obligation, indirect, direct or contingent, not in the ordinary course of business nor entered into any material transaction or agreement not in the ordinary course of business: and (iii) there has been no dividend or distribution of any kind declared, paid or made by the Company or, except for dividends paid to the Company or other subsidiaries, any of its subsidiaries on any class of capital stock or repurchase or redemption by the Company or any of its subsidiaries of any class of capital stock.
(i) Independent Accountants. KPMG LLP, who have expressed their opinion with respect to the financial statements (which term as used in this Agreement includes the related notes thereto) and supporting schedules filed with the Commission or incorporated by reference as a part of the Registration Statement and included in the Prospectus, are independent public or certified public accountants as required by the Securities Act and the Exchange Act.
(j) Preparation of the Financial Statements. The financial statements filed with the Commission as a part of or incorporated within the Registration Statement and included in the Prospectus present fairly the consolidated financial position of the Company and its
subsidiaries as of and at the dates indicated and the results of their operations and cash flows for the periods specified. The supporting schedules included in or incorporated in the Registration Statement present fairly the information required to be stated therein. Such financial statements and supporting schedules have been prepared in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles as applied in the United States applied on a consistent basis throughout the periods involved, except as may be expressly stated in the related notes thereto. No other financial statements or supporting schedules are required to be included in or incorporated in the Registration Statement. The financial data set forth or incorporated in the Prospectus under the captions “Ratio of Earnings to Fixed Charges” and “Selected Financial Data” fairly present the information set forth therein on a basis consistent with that of the audited financial statements contained, incorporated or deemed to be incorporated in the Registration Statement.
(k) Incorporation and Good Standing of the Company and its Subsidiaries. The Company has been duly incorporated and is validly existing as a corporation in good standing under the laws of the State of Maryland and is in good standing with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation of Maryland and has corporate power and authority to own, lease and operate its properties and to conduct its business as described in the Prospectus and to enter into and perform its obligations under this Agreement. Essex Portfolio, L.P. is the Company’s only significant subsidiary (as defined in Rule 1-02 (w) of Regulation S-X of the Exchange Act) (the “Significant Subsidiary”). The Significant Subsidiary has been duly organized and is validly existing as a partnership in good standing under the laws of the jurisdiction of its organization and has the requisite power and authority to own, lease and operate its properties and to conduct its business as described in the Prospectus. Each of the Company and the Significant Subsidiary is duly qualified as a foreign corporation or foreign partnership to transact business and is in good standing in the State of California and each other jurisdiction in which such qualification is required, whether by reason of the ownership or leasing of property or the conduct of business, except for such jurisdictions (other than the State of California) where the failure to so qualify or to be in good standing would not, individually or in the aggregate, result in a Material Adverse Change. All of the issued and outstanding capital stock or partnership interests of the Significant Subsidiary has been duly authorized and validly issued, is fully paid and nonassessable and is owned by the Company free and clear of any security interest, mortgage, pledge, lien, encumbrance or claim. The Company does not own or control, directly or indirectly, any corporation, association or other entity other than the subsidiaries listed in Exhibit 21.1 to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year and other than (i) those subsidiaries not required to be listed on Exhibit 21.1 by Item 601 of Regulation S-K under the Exchange Act and (ii) those subsidiaries formed since the last day of the most recently ended fiscal year.