American Outdoor Brands Corporation (the “Company”)
This Code of Conduct covers a wide range of business practices and procedures. It does not cover every issue that may arise, but it sets out basic principles to guide the directors, officers, and employees of the Company. All Company directors, officers, and employees should conduct themselves accordingly and seek to avoid even the appearance of improper behavior in any way relating to the Company. In appropriate circumstances, this Code should also be provided to and followed by the Company’s agents and representatives, including consultants.
Any director or officer who has any questions about this Code should consult with the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, or legal counsel as appropriate in the circumstances. If an employee has any questions about this Code, the employee should ask his or her supervisor how to handle the situation.
This Code is intended to deter wrongdoing and to promote the following:
Obeying the law, both in letter and in spirit, is the foundation on which the Company’s ethical standards are built. All directors, officers, and employees should respect and obey all laws, rules, and regulations applicable to the business and operations of the Company. Although directors, officers, and employees are not expected to know all of the details of these laws, rules, and regulations, it is important to know enough to determine when to seek advice from supervisors, managers, officers or other appropriate Company personnel.
A “conflict of interest” exists when an individual’s private interest interferes in any way – or even appears to conflict – with the interests of the Company. A conflict of interest situation can arise when a director, officer, or employee takes actions or has interests that may make it difficult to perform his or her work on behalf of the Company in an objective and effective manner. Conflicts of interest may also arise when a director, officer, or employee, or a member of his or her family, receives improper personal benefits as a result of his or her position with the Company. Loans to, or guarantees of obligations of, employees and their family members may create conflicts of interest.
It is almost always a conflict of interest for a Company officer or employee to work simultaneously for a competitor, customer, or supplier. No officer or employee may work for a competitor as a consultant or board member. The best policy is to avoid any direct or indirect business connection with the Company's customers, suppliers, and competitors, except on the Company's behalf.
Conflicts of interest are prohibited as a matter of Company policy, except under guidelines approved by the Board of Directors. Conflicts of interest may not always be clear-cut and further review and discussions may be appropriate. Any director or officer who becomes aware of a conflict or potential conflict should bring it to the attention of the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, or legal counsel as appropriate in the circumstances. Any employee who becomes aware of a conflict or potential conflict should bring it to the attention of a supervisor, manager, or other appropriate personnel.
Directors, officers, and employees who have access to confidential information relating to the Company are not permitted to use or share that information for stock trading purposes or for any other purpose except the conduct of the Company's business. All non-public information about the Company should be considered confidential information. To use non-public information for personal financial benefit or to “tip” others who might make an investment decision on the basis of this information is not only unethical and against Company policy but is also illegal. Directors, officers, and employees also should comply with insider trading standards and procedures adopted by the Company. If a question arises, the director, officer, or employee should consult with the Company’s Chief Financial Officer.
Directors, officers, and employees are prohibited from taking for themselves personally or directing to a third party any opportunity that is discovered through the use of corporate property, information, or position without the consent of the Board of Directors. No director, officer, or employee may use corporate property, information, or position for improper personal gain, and no director, officer, or employee may compete with the Company directly or indirectly. Directors, officers, and employees owe a duty to the Company to advance its legitimate interests when the opportunity to do so arises.
The Company seeks to compete in a fair and honest manner. The Company seeks competitive advantages through superior performance rather than through unethical or illegal business practices. Stealing proprietary information, possessing trade secret information that was obtained without the owner’s consent, or inducing such disclosures by past or present employees of other companies is prohibited. Each director, officer, and employee should endeavor to respect the rights of and deal fairly with the Company’s customers, suppliers, service providers, competitors, and employees. No director, officer, or employee should take unfair advantage of anyone relating to the Company’s business or operations through manipulation, concealment, or abuse of privileged information, misrepresentation of material facts, or any unfair dealing practice.
The diversity of the Company’s employees is a tremendous asset. The Company is firmly committed to providing equal opportunity in all aspects of employment and will not tolerate any illegal discrimination or harassment or any kind. Examples include derogatory comments based on racial or ethnic characteristics and unwelcome sexual advances.
The Company strives to provide each employee with a safe and healthful work environment. Each officer and employee has responsibility for maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all employees by following safety and health rules and practices and reporting accidents, injuries, and unsafe equipment, practices, or conditions.
Violence and threatening behavior are not permitted. Officers and employees should report to work in a condition to perform their duties, free from the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. The use of illegal drugs in the workplace will not be tolerated.
Many officers and employees regularly use business expense accounts, which must be documented and recorded accurately. If an officer or employee is not sure whether a certain expense is legitimate, the employee should ask his or her supervisor or the Company's controller. Rules and guidelines are available from the Accounting Department.
Directors, officers, and employees must maintain the confidentiality of confidential information entrusted to them by the Company or its customers, suppliers, joint venture partners, or others with whom the Company is considering a business or other transaction except when disclosure is authorized by an executive officer or required or mandated by laws or regulations. Confidential information includes all non-public information that might be useful or helpful to competitors or harmful to the Company or its customers and suppliers, if disclosed. It also includes information that suppliers and customers have entrusted to the Company. The obligation to preserve confidential information continues even after employment ends.
All directors, officers, and employees should endeavor to protect the Company’s assets and ensure their efficient use. Theft, carelessness, and waste have a direct impact on the Company’s profitability. Any suspected incident of fraud or theft should be immediately reported for investigation. Company assets should be used for legitimate business purposes and should not be used for non-Company business.
The obligation to protect the Company’s assets includes its proprietary information. Proprietary information includes intellectual property, such as trade secrets, patents, trademarks, and copyrights, as well as business, marketing and service plans, engineering and manufacturing ideas, designs, databases, records, salary information, and any unpublished financial data and reports. Unauthorized use or distribution of this information would violate Company policy. It could also be illegal and result in civil or even criminal penalties.
The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits giving anything of value, directly or indirectly, to officials of foreign governments or foreign political candidates in order to obtain or retain business. It is strictly prohibited to make illegal payments to government officials of any country.
In addition, the U.S. government has a number of laws and regulations regarding business gratuities that may be accepted by U.S. government personnel. The promise, offer, or delivery to an official or employee of the U.S. government of a gift, favor, or other gratuity in violation of these rules would not only violate Company policy but could also be a criminal offense. State and local governments, as well as foreign governments, may have similar rules.
All directors, officers, and employees should support the Company’s goal to have full, fair, accurate, timely, and understandable disclosure in the periodic reports required to be filed by the Company with the SEC. Although most employees hold positions that are far removed from the Company’s required filings with the SEC, each director, officer, and employee should promptly bring to the attention of the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Company’s Disclosure Committee, or the Audit Committee, as appropriate in the circumstances, any of the following:
Any waiver of this Code for directors or executive officers may be made only by the Board of Directors or a committee of the Board and will be promptly disclosed to stockholders as required by applicable laws, rules, and regulations, including the rules of the SEC and NASDAQ. Any such waiver also must be disclosed in a Form 8-K.
This Code shall be posted on the Company’s website.
Directors and officers are encouraged to talk to the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, or legal counsel, and employees are encouraged to talk to supervisors, managers, or other appropriate personnel, when in doubt about the best course of action in a particular situation. Directors, officers, and employees should report any observed illegal or unethical behavior and any perceived violations of laws, rules, regulations, or this Code to appropriate personnel. It is the policy of the Company not to allow retaliation for reports of misconduct by others made in good faith. Directors, officers, and employees are expected to cooperate in internal investigations of misconduct.
The Board of Directors shall determine, or designate appropriate persons to determine, appropriate actions to be taken in the event of violations of this Code. Such actions shall be reasonably designed to deter wrongdoing and to promote accountability for adherence to this Code and to these additional procedures, and may include written notices to the individual involved that the Board has determined that there has been a violation, censure by the Board, demotion or re-assignment of the individual involved, suspension with or without pay or benefits (as determined by the Board), and termination of the individual's employment or position. In determining the appropriate action in a particular case, the Board of Directors or such designee shall take into account all relevant information, including the nature and severity of the violation, whether the violation was a single occurrence or repeated occurrences, whether the violation appears to have been intentional or inadvertent, whether the individual in question had been advised prior to the violation as to the proper course of action, and whether or not the individual in question had committed other violations in the past.