Article 6.

Shares and Distribution.

Part 1. Shares.

55-6-01. Authorized shares.

(a) The articles of incorporation must prescribe the classes of shares and the number of shares of each class that the corporation is authorized to issue. If more than one class of shares is authorized, the articles of incorporation must prescribe a distinguishing designation for each class, and, prior to the issuance of shares of a class, the preferences, limitations, and relative rights of that class must be described in the articles of incorporation. All shares of a class must have preferences, limitations, and relative rights identical with those of other shares of the same class unless the articles of incorporation divide a class into series. If a class is divided into series, all the shares of any one series must have preferences, limitations, and relative rights identical with those of other shares of the same series. The requirement of identical rights within a class shall not be construed to conflict with any special voting rights specified elsewhere in this Chapter.

(b) Each series of a class must be given a distinguishing designation.

(c) The articles of incorporation must authorize

(1) One or more classes of shares that together have unlimited voting rights, and

(2) One or more classes of shares (which may be the same class or classes as those with voting rights) that together are entitled to receive the net assets of the corporation upon dissolution.

(d) The articles of incorporation may authorize one or more classes or series within a class of shares that:

(1) Have special, conditional, or limited voting rights, or no right to vote, except to the extent prohibited by this Chapter;

(2) Are redeemable or convertible as specified in the articles of incorporation (i) at the option of the corporation, the shareholder, or another person or upon the occurrence of a designated event; (ii) for cash, indebtedness, securities, or other property; (iii) in a designated amount or in an amount determined in accordance with a designated formula or by reference to extrinsic data or events;

(3) Entitle the holders to distributions calculated in any manner, including dividends that may be cumulative, noncumulative, or partially cumulative;

(4) Have preference over any other class or series within a class of shares with respect to distributions, including dividends and distributions upon the dissolution of the corporation.

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of (d)(3) and (4) of this section, noncumulative preferred shares of a class or series within a class out of which shares were initially issued after June 30, 1957, and before October 1, 1969, shall be entitled to a dividend credit, as defined in this Chapter, and until such dividend credit is fully discharged no dividend shall be paid to any shares that are subordinate to such preferred shares as to dividends.

(e) The description of the designations, preferences, limitations, and relative rights in subsection (d) is not exhaustive. (1901, c. 2, s. 19; 1903, c. 660, ss. 2, 3; Rev., s. 1159; C.S., s. 1156; 1921, c. 116, s. 1; 1923, c. 155; C.S., s. 1167(a); 1925, c. 118, ss. 2, 2a; c. 262, s. 1; 1939, c. 199; 1949, c. 929; G.S., ss. 55-61, 55-73; 1953, c. 822, ss. 1, 3; 1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1969, c. 751, ss. 15-17; 1985, c. 117, s. 1; 1989, c. 265, s. 1.)

 

55-6-02. Terms of class or series determined by board of directors.

(a) If the articles of incorporation so provide, the board of directors may determine, in whole or part, the preferences, limitations, and relative rights (within the limits set forth in G.S. 55-6-01) of (1) any class of shares before the issuance of any shares of that class or (2) one or more series within a class before the issuance of any shares of that series.

(b) Before issuing any shares of a class or series created under this section, the corporation must deliver to the Secretary of State for filing articles of amendment, which are effective without shareholder action, that set forth:

(1) The name of the corporation;

(2) The text of the amendment determining the terms of the class or series of shares;

(3) The date it was adopted; and

(4) A statement that the amendment was duly adopted by the board of directors. (1901, c. 2, s. 19; 1903, c. 660, ss. 2, 3; Rev., s. 1159; C.S., s. 1156; 1923, c. 155; 1925, c. 118, ss. 2, 2a; 1939, c. 199; G.S., s. 55-61; 1953, c. 822, s. 1; 1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1989, c. 265, s. 1.)

 

55-6-03. Issued and outstanding shares.

(a) A corporation may issue the number of shares of each class or series authorized by the articles of incorporation. Shares that are issued are outstanding shares until they are reacquired, redeemed, converted, or cancelled.

(b) The reacquisition, redemption, or conversion of outstanding shares is subject to the limitations of subsection (c) of this section and to G.S. 55-6-40.

(c) At all times that shares of the corporation are outstanding, there must be outstanding one or more shares that together have unlimited voting rights and one or more shares that together are entitled to receive the net assets of the corporation upon dissolution. (1901, c. 2, s. 19; 1903, c. 660, ss. 2, 3; Rev., s. 1159; C.S., s. 1156; 1921, c. 116, s. 1; 1923, c. 155; C.S., s. 1167(a); 1925, c. 118, ss. 2, 2a; c. 262, s. 1; 1939, c. 199; 1949, c. 929; G.S., ss. 55-61, 55-73; 1953, c. 822, ss. 1, 3; 1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1969, c. 751, ss. 15-17; 1985, c. 117, s. 1; 1989, c. 265, s. 1.)

 

55-6-04. Fractional shares.

(a) A corporation may:

(1) Issue fractions of a share or pay in money the value of fractions of a share;

(2) Arrange for disposition of fractional shares by the shareholders;

(3) Issue scrip in registered or bearer form entitling the holder to receive a full share upon surrendering enough scrip to equal a full share.

(b) Each certificate representing scrip must be conspicuously labeled "scrip" and must contain the information required by G.S. 55-6-25(b).

(c) The holder of a fractional share is entitled to exercise the rights of a shareholder, including the right to vote, to receive dividends, and to participate in the assets of the corporation upon liquidation. The holder of scrip is not entitled to any of these rights unless the scrip provides for them.

(d) The board of directors may authorize the issuance of scrip subject to any condition considered desirable, including:

(1) That the scrip will become void if not exchanged for full shares before a specified date; and

(2) That the shares for which the scrip is exchangeable may be sold and the proceeds paid to the scripholders. (1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1959, c. 1316, s. 20; 1989, c. 265, s. 1.)

 

55-6-05 through 55-6-19. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 2. Issuance of Shares.

55-6-20. Subscription for shares before incorporation.

(a) A subscription for shares entered into before incorporation is irrevocable for six months unless the subscription agreement provides a longer or shorter period or all the subscribers agree to revocation.

(b) The board of directors may determine the payment terms of subscriptions for shares that were entered into before incorporation, unless the subscription agreement specifies them. A call for payment by the board of directors must be uniform so far as practicable as to all shares of the same class or series, unless the subscription agreement specifies otherwise.

(c) Shares issued pursuant to subscriptions entered into before incorporation are fully paid and nonassessable when the corporation receives the consideration specified in the subscription agreement.

(d) If a subscriber defaults in payment of money or property under a subscription agreement entered into before incorporation, the corporation may collect the amount owed as any other debt. Alternatively, unless the subscription agreement provides otherwise, the corporation may rescind the agreement and may sell the shares if the debt remains unpaid more than 20 days after the corporation sends written demand for payment to the subscriber.

(e) A subscription agreement entered into after incorporation is a contract between the subscriber and the corporation subject to G.S. 55-6-21. (1901, c. 2, ss. 23, 24, 25; Rev., ss. 1169, 1170, 1171; C.S., s. 1165; G.S., s. 55-70; 1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1969, c. 751, s. 18; 1985, c. 117, s. 2; 1989, c. 265, s. 1.)

 

55-6-21. Issuance of shares.

(a) The powers granted in this section to the board of directors may be reserved to the shareholders by the articles of incorporation. Unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws provide otherwise, the powers granted in this section to the board of directors may be delegated, within limits prescribed by the board of directors, to one or more officers of the corporation who are designated by the board of directors.

(b) The board of directors may authorize shares to be issued for consideration consisting of any tangible or intangible property or benefit to the corporation, including cash, promissory notes, services performed, contracts for services to be performed, or other securities of the corporation.

(c) Before the corporation issues shares, the board of directors must determine that the consideration received or to be received for shares to be issued is adequate. The determination by the board of directors as to the adequacy of consideration is conclusive as to whether the shares are validly issued, fully paid, and nonassessable.

(d) When the corporation receives the consideration for which the board of directors authorized the issuance of shares, the shares issued therefor are fully paid and nonassessable.

(e) The corporation may place in escrow shares issued for a contract for future services or benefits or for a promissory note, or make other arrangements to restrict the transfer of the shares, and may credit distributions in respect of the shares against their purchase price, until the services are performed, the note is paid, or the benefit received. If the services are not performed, the note is not paid, or the benefits are not received, the shares escrowed or restricted and the distributions credited may be cancelled in whole or part. (1901, c. 2, ss. 19, 53, 54; 1903, c. 660, ss. 2, 3; Rev. ss. 1159, 1160, 1161; C.S., ss. 1157, 1158; G.S., ss. 55-62, 55-63; 1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1957, s. 1039; 1959, c. 1316, ss. 10, 13, 14; 1969, c. 751, s. 20; 1973, c. 469, ss. 15, 45.2; 1989, c. 265, s. 1; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1024, s. 12.7; 2013-153, s. 1.)

 

55-6-22. Liability of shareholders.

(a) A purchaser from a corporation of its own shares is not liable to the corporation or its creditors with respect to the shares except to pay the consideration for which the shares were authorized to be issued (G.S. 55-6-21) or specified in the subscription agreement (G.S. 55-6-20).

(b) Unless otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation, a shareholder of a corporation is not personally liable for the acts or debts of the corporation except that he may become personally liable by reason of his own acts or conduct. (1893, c. 471; 1901, c. 2, s. 22; Rev., s. 1162; C.S., s. 1160; G.S., s. 55-65; 1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1969, c. 751, s. 28; 1989, c. 265. s. 1.)

 

55-6-23. Share dividends.

(a) Unless the articles of incorporation provide otherwise, shares may be issued pro rata and without consideration to the corporation's shareholders or to the shareholders of one or more classes or series. An issuance of shares under this subsection is a share dividend.

(b) Shares of one class or series may not be issued as a share dividend in respect of shares of another class or series unless:

(1) The articles of incorporation so authorize,

(2) There are no outstanding shares of the class or series to be issued, or

(3) A majority of the votes entitled to be cast by the class or series to be issued approve the issuance of not more than a stated number of shares within a period of not more than one year after such approval.

(c) If the board of directors does not fix the record date for determining shareholders entitled to a share dividend, it is the date the board of directors authorizes the share dividend. (1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1959, c. 1316, ss. 17, 18; 1989, c. 265, s. 1; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1024, s. 12.8.)

 

55-6-24. Rights, options, and warrants.

(a) A corporation may issue rights, options, or warrants for the purchase of shares of the corporation. The board of directors, or officers of the corporation who are designated by the board of directors pursuant to G.S. 55-6-21(a), shall determine the terms upon which the rights, options, or warrants are issued, their form and content, and the consideration for which the shares are to be issued.

(b) In the case of a public corporation, the terms and conditions of such rights, options or warrants may include, without limitation, restrictions or conditions that preclude or limit the exercise, transfer or receipt of such rights, options or warrants by the holder or holders or beneficial owner or owners of a specified number or percentage of the outstanding voting shares of such public corporation or by any transferee of any such holder or owner, or that invalidate or void such rights, options or warrants held by any such holder or owner or by such transferee. Determinations by the board of directors whether to impose, enforce, waive or otherwise render ineffective any such restrictions or conditions may be judicially reviewed in an appropriate proceeding. (1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1959, c. 1316, s. 11; 1989, c. 265, s. 1; 2013-153, s. 2.)

 

55-6-25. Form and content of certificates.

(a) Shares may but need not be represented by certificates. Unless this act or another statute expressly provides otherwise, the rights and obligations of shareholders are identical whether or not their shares are represented by certificates.

(b) At a minimum each share certificate must state on its face:

(1) The name of the issuing corporation and that it is organized under the law of North Carolina;

(2) The name of the person to whom issued; and

(3) The number and class of shares and the designation of the series, if any, the certificate represents.

(c) If the issuing corporation is authorized to issue different classes of shares or different series within a class, the designations, relative rights, preferences, and limitations applicable to each class and the variations in rights, preferences, and limitations determined for each series (and the authority of the board of directors to determine variations for future series) must be summarized on the front or back of each certificate. Alternatively, each certificate may state conspicuously on its front or back that the corporation will furnish the shareholder this information in writing and without charge.

(d) Each share certificate (1) must be signed (either manually or in facsimile) by two officers designated in the bylaws or by the board of directors and (2) may bear the corporate seal or its facsimile.

(e) If the person who signed in any capacity (either manually or in facsimile) a share certificate no longer holds office when the certificate is issued, the certificate is nevertheless valid. (1885, c. 265; 1901, c. 2, s. 94; Rev., ss. 1165, 1166; C.S., s. 1162; 1927, c. 173; 1949, c. 809; G.S., s. 55-67; 1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1979, c. 91; 1989, c. 265, s. 1.)

 

55-6-26. Shares without certificate.

(a) Unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws provide otherwise, the board of directors of a corporation may authorize the issue of some or all of the shares of any or all of its classes or series without certificates. The authorization does not affect shares already represented by certificates until they are surrendered to the corporation.

(b) Within a reasonable time after the issue or transfer of shares without certificates, the corporation shall send the shareholder a written statement of the information required on certificates by G.S. 55-6-25(b) and (c), and if applicable, G.S. 55-6-27. (1989, c. 265, s. 1.)

 

55-6-27. Restriction on transfer of shares and other securities.

(a) The articles of incorporation, bylaws, an agreement among shareholders, or an agreement between shareholders and the corporation may impose restrictions on the transfer or registration of transfer of shares of the corporation. A restriction does not affect shares issued before the restriction was adopted unless the holders of the shares are parties to the restriction agreement or voted in favor of the restriction.

(b) A restriction on the transfer or registration of transfer of shares is valid and enforceable against the holder or a transferee of the holder if the restriction is authorized by this section, it is not unconscionable under the circumstances, and its existence is noted conspicuously on the front or back of the certificate or is contained in the information statement required by G.S. 55-6-26(b). Unless so noted, a restriction is not enforceable except against a person who receives actual written notice of the restrictions.

(c) A restriction on the transfer or registration of transfer of shares is authorized:

(1) To maintain the corporation's status when it is dependent on the number or identity of its shareholders;

(2) To preserve exemptions under federal or state securities law;

(3) For any other reasonable purpose.

(d) A restriction authorized by G.S. 55-6-27(c) may:

(1) Obligate the shareholder first to offer the corporation or other persons (separately, consecutively, or simultaneously) an opportunity to acquire the restricted shares;

(2) Obligate the corporation or other persons (separately, consecutively, or simultaneously) to acquire the restricted shares;

(3) Require the corporation, the holders of any class of its shares, or another person to approve the transfer of the restricted shares, if the requirement is not manifestly unreasonable;

(4) Prohibit the transfer of the restricted shares to designated persons or classes of persons, if the prohibition is not manifestly unreasonable;

(5) Contain any other provision reasonably related to an authorized purpose.

(e) For purposes of this section, "shares" includes a security convertible into or carrying a right to subscribe for or acquire shares. (1989, c. 265, s. 1.)

 

55-6-28. Expense of issue.

A corporation may pay the expenses of selling or underwriting its shares, and of organizing or reorganizing the corporation, from the consideration received for shares. (1989, c. 265, s. 1.)

 

55-6-29. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 3. Subsequent Acquisition of Shares by Shareholders and Corporation.

55-6-30. Shareholders' preemptive rights.

(a) The shareholders of a corporation do not have a preemptive right to acquire the corporation's unissued shares except to the extent the articles of incorporation or subsection (d) of this section so provide.

(b) A statement included in the articles of incorporation that "the corporation elects to have preemptive rights" (or words of similar import) means that the following principles apply except to the extent the articles of incorporation expressly provide otherwise:

(1) The shareholders of the corporation have a preemptive right, granted on uniform terms and conditions prescribed by the board of directors, to provide a fair and reasonable opportunity to exercise the right, to acquire proportional amounts of the corporation's unissued shares upon the decision of the board of directors to issue them.

(2) A shareholder may waive his preemptive right. A waiver evidenced by a writing is irrevocable even though it is not supported by consideration.

(3) There is no preemptive right with respect to (i) shares issued as compensation to directors, officers, agents, or employees of the corporation, its subsidiaries or affiliates; (ii) shares issued to satisfy conversion or option rights created to provide compensation to directors, officers, agents, or employees of the corporation, its subsidiaries or affiliates; (iii) shares authorized in articles of incorporation that are issued within six months from the effective date of incorporation; (iv) shares issued for considerations, other than money, deemed by the board of directors in good faith to be advantageous to the corporation's business.

(4) Holders of a share of any class have no preemptive rights with respect to shares of any other class.

(5) Reserved for future codification purposes.

(6) Shares subject to preemptive rights that are not acquired by shareholders may be issued to any person during a period of one year after being offered to shareholders at a consideration set by the board of directors that is not lower than the consideration set for the exercise of preemptive rights. An offer at a lower consideration or after the expiration of one year is subject to the shareholders' preemptive rights.

(c) For purposes of this section, "shares" includes a security convertible into or carrying a right to subscribe for or acquire shares.

(d) Notwithstanding the foregoing provision of this section, shareholders of a corporation incorporated before July 1, 1990, other than a public corporation, shall have a preemptive right to acquire the unissued shares of the corporation, to the extent provided in (and subject to the limitations of) subdivisions (b) (1)-(6) and subsection (c) of this section, except to the extent the articles of incorporation expressly provide otherwise. (1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1969, c. 751, ss. 29-32; 1979, c. 508, s. 2; 1989, c. 265, s. 1; 1993, c. 552, s. 8.)

 

55-6-31. Corporation's acquisition of its own shares.

(a) A corporation may acquire its own shares and shares so acquired constitute authorized but unissued shares.

(b) If the articles of incorporation prohibit the reissue of the acquired shares, the number of authorized shares is reduced by the number of shares acquired, effective upon amendment of the articles of incorporation.

(c) Repealed by Session Laws 2005-268, s. 1, effective October 1, 2005. (1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1957, c. 1039; 1959, c. 1316, s. 19; 1963, c. 666; 1967, c. 1163; 1969, c. 751, ss. 23-27, 45; 1973, c. 1067; 1985, c. 117, s. 3; 1989, c. 265, s. 1; 2005-268, s. 1.)

 

55-6-32 through 55-6-39. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 4. Distributions.

55-6-40. Distributions to shareholders.

(a) A board of directors may authorize and the corporation may make distributions to its shareholders subject to restriction by the articles of incorporation and the limitation in subsection (c).

(b) If the board of directors does not fix the record date for determining shareholders entitled to a distribution (other than one involving a purchase, redemption, or other acquisition of the corporation's shares), it is the date the board of directors authorizes the distribution.

(c) No distribution may be made if, after giving it effect:

(1) The corporation would not be able to pay its debts as they become due in the usual course of business; or

(2) The corporation's total assets would be less than the sum of its total liabilities plus (unless the articles of incorporation permit otherwise) the amount that would be needed, if the corporation were to be dissolved at the time of the distribution, to satisfy the preferential rights upon dissolution of shareholders whose preferential rights are superior to those receiving the distribution.

(d) The board of directors may base a determination that a distribution is not prohibited under subsection (c) on financial statements prepared on the basis of accounting practices and principles that are reasonable in the circumstances, and may determine asset values either on book values or on a fair valuation or other method that is reasonable in the circumstances.

(e) Except as provided in subsection (g), the effect of a distribution under subsection (c) is measured:

(1) In the case of distribution by purchase, redemption, or other acquisition of the corporation's shares, as of the earlier of (i) the date money or other property is transferred or debt incurred by the corporation or (ii) the date the shareholder ceases to be a shareholder with respect to the acquired shares;

(2) In the case of any other distribution of indebtedness, as of the date the indebtedness is distributed;

(3) In all other cases, as of (i) the date the distribution is authorized if the payment occurs within 120 days after the date of authorization or (ii) the date the payment is made if it occurs more than 120 days after the date of authorization.

(f) A corporation's indebtedness to a shareholder incurred by reason of a distribution made in accordance with this section is at parity with the corporation's indebtedness to its general, unsecured creditors except to the extent otherwise provided by agreement.

(g) Indebtedness of a corporation, including indebtedness issued as a distribution, is not considered a liability for purposes of determinations under subsection (c) if its terms provide that payment of principal and interest are made only if and to the extent that payment of a distribution to shareholders could then be made under this section. If an indebtedness with such terms is issued as a distribution, each payment of principal or interest is treated as a distribution the effect of which is measured on the date the payment is actually made.

(h) Any action by a shareholder to compel the payment of dividends may be brought against the directors, or against the corporation with or without joining the directors as parties. The shareholder bringing such action shall be entitled, in the event that the court orders the payment of a dividend, to recover from the corporation all reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred in maintaining such action. If a court orders the payment of a dividend, the amount ordered to be paid shall be a debt of the corporation.

(i) As used in this subsection, net profits shall mean such net profits as can lawfully be paid in dividends to a particular class of shares after making allowance for the prior claims of shares, if any, entitled to preference in the payment of dividends. If during its immediately preceding fiscal period a corporation having less than 25 shareholders on the final day of said period has not paid to any class of shares dividends in cash or property amounting to at least one-third of the net profits of said period allocable to that class, the holder or holders of twenty percent (20%) or more of the shares of that class may, within four months after the close of said period, make written demand upon the corporation for the payment of additional dividends for that period. After a corporation has received such a demand, the directors shall, during the then current fiscal period or within three months after the close thereof, either (i) cause dividends in cash or property to be paid to the shareholders of that class in an amount equal to the difference between the dividends paid in said preceding fiscal period to shareholders of that class and one-third of the net profits of said period allocable to that class, or in such lesser amount as may be demanded, or (ii) give notice pursuant to subsection (j) of this section to all shareholders making such demand. Such corporation shall not, however, be required to pay dividends pursuant to such demand insofar as (i) such payment would exceed fifty percent (50%) of the net profits of the current fiscal period in which such demand is made, or (ii) the net profits are being retained to eliminate a deficit, or (iii) the payment of dividends would be a breach of a bona fide agreement between the corporation and its creditors restricting the payment of dividends, or (iv) the directors of the corporation can show that its earnings are being retained to meet the reasonably anticipated needs of the business and that such retention of earnings is not inequitable in light of all the circumstances. Upon receipt of such a demand a corporation may elect to treat any dividend previously paid in the current fiscal period as having been paid in the preceding fiscal period, in which event the corporation shall so notify all shareholders. If a dividend is paid in satisfaction of a demand made in accordance with this subsection it shall be deemed to have been paid in the period for which it was demanded, and all shareholders shall be so informed concurrently with such payment.

(j) Upon receipt of a demand from the holders of twenty percent (20%) or more of the shares of any class of shares pursuant to subsection (i) of this section, the corporation receiving such demand may, during the then fiscal period or within three months after the close thereof, give written notice to each shareholder making such written demand that the corporation elects to redeem all shares held by such shareholder in lieu of the payment of dividends as provided in subsection (i) of this section and shall pay to such shareholder the fair value of his shares as of the day preceding the mailing or otherwise reasonably dispatching of the notice. A shareholder receiving such notice shall thereafter be entitled to withdraw his dividend demand by giving written notice of such withdrawal to the corporation within 10 days after receipt of the redemption notice of the corporation or, if no such withdrawal is made, to receive the fair value of his shares, subject only to the surrender by him of the certificate or certificates representing his shares and to the provisions of G.S. 55-6-31, which value shall be determined and paid as follows:

(1) If within 30 days after the date upon which a shareholder becomes entitled to payment for his shares under this subsection, the value of the shares is agreed upon between the shareholder and the corporation, payment therefor shall be made within 60 days after the agreement, upon surrender of the certificate representing the shares, whereupon the shareholder shall cease to have any interest in such shares or in the corporation.

(2) If within the such 30-day period the shareholder and the corporation do not agree as to the value of the shares, the shareholder may, within 60 days after the expiration of the 30-day period, file a petition in the superior court of the county of the registered office of the corporation asking for the appointment by the clerk of three qualified and disinterested appraisers to appraise the fair value of the shares. A summons as in other cases of special proceedings, together with a copy of the petition, shall be served on the corporation at least 10 days prior to the hearing of the petition by the court. The award of appraisers, or a majority of them, if no exceptions be filed thereto within 10 days after the award shall have been filed in court, shall be confirmed by the court, and when confirmed shall be final and conclusive, and the shareholder upon depositing the proper share certificates in court, shall be entitled to judgment against the corporation for the appraised value thereof as of the date prescribed in this section, together with interest thereon to the date of such confirmation. If either party files exceptions to such award within 10 days after the award shall have been filed in court, the case shall be transferred to the civil issue docket of the superior court for trial during term and shall be there tried in the same manner, as near as may be practicable, as is provided in Chapter 40A for the trial of cases under the eminent domain law of this State, and with the same right of appeal as is permitted in said Chapter. The court shall assess the cost of said proceedings as it shall deem equitable. Upon payment of the judgment the shareholder shall cease to have any interest in the shares or in the corporation and the corporation shall be entitled to have said share certificates surrendered to it by the clerk of court for cancellation. Unless the shareholder shall file such petition within the time herein prescribed, he and all persons claiming under him shall have no right of payment hereunder but in that event nothing herein shall impair his status as shareholder.

(k) Nothing in this section shall impair any rights which a shareholder may have on general principles of equity to compel the payment of dividends. (Code, s. 681; 1901, c. 2, ss. 33, 52; Rev., ss. 1191, 1192; C.S., ss. 1178, 1179; 1927, c. 121; 1933, c. 354, s. 1; G.S., ss. 55-115, 55-116; 1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1957, c. 1039; 1959, c. 1316, ss. 16, 19, 35; 1963, c. 666; 1965, c. 726; 1967, c. 1163; 1969, c. 751, ss. 21-27, 45; 1973, c. 469, ss. 17-20, c. 683, c. 1067, c. 1087, ss. 3-5; 1975, c. 19, s. 17, c. 304; 1985, c. 117, s. 3; 1989, c. 265, s. 1; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1024, s. 12.9; 1991, c. 645, s. 4.)