As filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on January 8, 2021
 
Registration No. 333-

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549



FORM S-8
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933


Gannett Co., Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 Delaware

38-3910250
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

7950 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA 22107-0910
703-854-6000
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrants principal executive offices)



Gannett Co., Inc. Performance Restricted Stock Unit Grant Agreement
(Employment Inducement Award Granted to Michael Reed)
(Full title of the plan)



Polly Grunfeld Sack
General Counsel
Gannett Co., Inc.
175 Sully’s Trail
Pittsford, NY 14534
(585) 598-0032
(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)



Copies to:
Joseph A. Coco, Esq.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
One Manhattan West
New York, NY 10001
(212) 735-3000



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer, smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company



Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act. ☐



CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
Title of Securities to be Registered

Amount to be
Registered(1)

Proposed
Maximum
Offering Price per
Share(2)

Proposed Maximum
Aggregate Offering
Price(2)

Amount of
Registration Fee
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share, to be issued under the Gannett Co., Inc. Performance Restricted Stock Unit Grant Agreement

2,000,000 shares

$3.17

$6,340,000.00

$691.69


(1)
Represents shares of common stock that are issuable upon the vesting of performance restricted stock units granted to Michael Reed as material inducement for Mr. Reed to accept his offer of employment as Chief Executive Officer of the registrant. In addition, pursuant to Rule 416(a) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), this Registration Statement also covers an indeterminate number of shares that may become issuable under the award by reason of certain corporate transactions or events, including any stock dividend, stock split, recapitalization or any other similar transaction effected without the receipt of consideration that results in an increase in the number of the registrant’s outstanding common stock.


(2)
Estimated pursuant to Rules 457(c) and (h) under the Securities Act, solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee and based upon the average of the high and low prices of the registrant’s common stock, as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on January 4, 2021.


EXPLANATORY NOTE

This Registration Statement on Form S-8 is filed by Gannett Co., Inc. (the “Company”) to register 2,000,000 shares of the Company’s common stock, par value $0.01 per share (the “Common Stock”), which may be issued upon the vesting of performance restricted stock units granted to Michael Reed, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, in accordance with the terms of the Gannett Co., Inc. Performance Restricted Stock Unit Grant Agreement, by and between the Company and Mr. Reed, dated as of January 8, 2021, in reliance on the employment inducement award exemption under the New York Stock Exchange Listed Company Manual Rule 303A.08.

PART I

INFORMATION REQUIRED IN THE SECTION 10(a) PROSPECTUS

Item 1.
Plan Information.*

Item 2.
Registrant Information and Employee Plan Annual Information.

* The documents containing the information specified in Part I of Form S-8 will be sent or given to employees as specified by Rule 428(b)(1) under the Securities Act. Such documents need not be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) either as part of this Registration Statement or as prospectuses or prospectus supplements pursuant to Rule 424 under the Securities Act. These documents and the documents incorporated by reference in this Registration Statement pursuant to Item 3 of Part II of this Registration Statement, taken together, constitute a prospectus that meets the requirements of Section 10(a) of the Securities Act.

PART II

INFORMATION REQUIRED IN THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT

Item 3.
Incorporation of Documents by Reference.

The following documents, which have been filed with the SEC pursuant to the Securities Act and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), are hereby incorporated by reference in, and shall be deemed to be a part of, this Registration Statement:
 

The Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, filed on March 2, 2020 (the “2019 Form 10-K”).
 

The Company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed on May 7, 2020, August 6, 2020, and November 3, 2020.
 

The portions of the Company’s Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, filed on April 28, 2020, that are incorporated by reference into Part III of the 2019 Form 10-K.
 

The Company’s Current Reports on Form 8-K filed on January 8, 2020, April 1, 2020, April 6, 2020, April 7, 2020, June 9, 2020, June 18, 2020, August 6, 2020, September 8, 2020, November 18, 2020, December 22, 2020, and December 28, 2020 (other than the portions of those documents not deemed to be filed pursuant to the rules promulgated under the Exchange Act).
 

The Company’s description of its Common Stock contained in Exhibit 4.6 of the 2019 Form 10-K, including any subsequently filed amendments or reports filed for the purpose of updating such description.

All documents, reports or definitive proxy or information statements subsequently filed by the Company pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14, and 15(d) of the Exchange Act, subsequent to the date of this Registration Statement and prior to the filing of a post-effective amendment to this Registration Statement which indicates that all securities offered hereby have been sold or which deregisters all such securities then remaining unsold, shall be deemed to be incorporated by reference herein and to be a part hereof from the date of filing of such documents.

Any statement contained in a document incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference herein shall be deemed to be modified or superseded for purposes of this Registration Statement to the extent that a statement contained herein (or in any other subsequently filed document which also is incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference herein) modifies or supersedes such statement. Any such statement so modified or superseded shall not be deemed, except as so modified or superseded, to constitute a part of this Registration Statement.

This Registration Statement does not, however, incorporate by reference any documents or portions thereof that are not deemed filed with the SEC, including any information furnished pursuant to Item 2.02 or Item 7.01 of the Companys Current Reports on Form 8-K unless, and except to the extent, specified in such Current Reports.


Item 4.
Description of Securities.

Not applicable.

Item 5.
Interests of Named Experts and Counsel.

Not applicable.

Item 6.
Indemnification of Directors and Officers.

Section 102 of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”) allows a corporation to eliminate the personal liability of directors to a corporation or its stockholders for monetary damages for a breach of a fiduciary duty as a director, except where the director breached his duty of loyalty, failed to act in good faith, engaged in intentional misconduct or knowingly violated a law, negligently or willfully authorized the payment of a dividend or approved a stock repurchase or redemption in violation of Delaware corporate law or obtained an improper personal benefit.

Section 145 of the DGCL provides, among other things, that a corporation may indemnify any person who was or is a party or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending or completed action, suit or proceeding (other than an action by or in the right of the corporation) by reason of the fact that the person is or was a director, officer, employee or agent of the corporation, or is or was serving at the corporations request as a director, officer, employee or agent of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise, against expenses, including attorneys fees, judgments, fines and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonably incurred by the person in connection with the action, suit or proceeding. The power to indemnify applies if (1) such person is successful on the merits or otherwise in defense of any action, suit or proceeding or (2) such person acted in good faith and in a manner he or she reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the corporation, and with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful. The power to indemnify applies to actions brought by or in the right of the corporation as well, but only to the extent of defense expenses (including attorneys fees but excluding amounts paid in settlement) actually and reasonably incurred and not to any satisfaction of judgment or settlement of the claim itself, and with the further limitation that in such actions no indemnification shall be made in the event of any adjudication of negligence or misconduct in the performance of his duties to the corporation, unless a court believes that in light of all the circumstances indemnification should apply.

Section 174 of the DGCL provides, among other things, that a director who willfully or negligently approves of an unlawful payment of dividends or an unlawful stock purchase or redemption may be held liable for such actions. A director who was either absent when the unlawful actions were approved or dissented at the time, may avoid liability by causing his or her dissent to such actions to be entered in the books containing the minutes of the meetings of the board of directors at the time the action occurred or immediately after the absent director receives notice of the unlawful acts.

The Companys amended and restated certificate of incorporation states that no director shall be personally liable to the Company or any of the Companys stockholders for monetary damages for breach of fiduciary duty as a director, except to the extent such exemption from liability or limitation thereof is not permitted under the DGCL as it exists or may be amended. A director is also not exempt from liability for any transaction from which he or she derived an improper personal benefit, or for violations of Section 174 of the DGCL. To the maximum extent permitted under Section 145 of the DGCL, the Companys amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes the Company to indemnify any and all persons whom we have the power to indemnify under the law.

The Companys amended and restated bylaws provide that the Company will indemnify, to the fullest extent permitted by the DGCL, each person who was or is made a party or is threatened to be made a party in any legal proceeding by reason of the fact that he or she is or was a director or officer of the Company or is or was a director or officer of the Company serving at the request of the Company as a director, officer, employee or agent of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise. However, such indemnification is permitted only if such person acted in good faith and in a manner such person reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the Company, and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe such persons conduct was unlawful. Indemnification is authorized on a case-by-case basis by (1) the Companys Board of Directors by a majority vote of disinterested directors, (2) a committee of the disinterested directors, (3) independent legal counsel in a written opinion if (1) and (2) are not available, or if disinterested directors so direct, or (4) the stockholders. Indemnification of former directors or officers shall be determined by any person authorized to act on the matter on the Companys behalf. Expenses incurred by a director or officer in defending against such legal proceedings are payable before the final disposition of the action, provided that the director or officer undertakes to repay the Company if it is later determined that he or she is not entitled to indemnification.

The Company has entered into separate indemnification agreements with its directors and officers. Each indemnification agreement provides, among other things, for indemnification to the fullest extent permitted by law and the Companys amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws against any and all expenses, judgments, fines, penalties and amounts paid in settlement of any claim. The indemnification agreements provide for the advancement or payment of all expenses to the indemnitee and for reimbursement to the Company if it is found that such indemnitee is not entitled to such indemnification under applicable law and the Companys amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws.

2

Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted to directors, officers or persons controlling the Company pursuant to the foregoing provisions, the Company has been informed that, in the opinion of the SEC, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is therefore unenforceable.

Item 7.
Exemption from Registration Claimed.

Not applicable.

Item 8.
Exhibits.

Exhibit No.
Description
Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of the Company (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to the Companys Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, filed August 2, 2018).
Certificate of Amendment to the Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of the Company (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to the Companys Current Report on Form 8-K, filed on November 20, 2019).
Certificate of Designation of Series A Junior Participating Preferred Stock of Gannett Co., Inc. (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to the Companys Current Report on Form 8-K, filed on April 7, 2020).
Amended and Restated Bylaws of the Company (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3.2 to the Companys Current Report on Form 8-K, filed on November 20, 2019).
Gannett Co., Inc. 2020 Omnibus Incentive Compensation Plan, adopted as of February 26, 2020 (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.3 to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed on March 2, 2020).
Amendment No. 1 to 2020 Omnibus Incentive Compensation Plan (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.3 to the Companys Current Report on Form 8-K, filed on December 28, 2020).
Opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP as to legality.
Consent of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (included in Exhibit 5.1).
Consent of Ernst & Young LLP. independent registered public accounting firm of the Company.
Power of Attorney (included on the signature pages hereto).
Gannett Co., Inc. Performance Restricted Stock Unit Grant Agreement, dated as of January 8, 2021.

* Previously filed.
 
3

Item 9.
Undertakings.

(a)
The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes:


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


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


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


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

provided, however, that paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (a)(1)(ii) of this Item 9 do not apply if the information required to be included in a post-effective amendment by those paragraphs is contained in reports filed with or furnished to the SEC by the registrant pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act that are incorporated by reference in this Registration Statement.


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


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

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

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

4

SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, the registrant certifies that it has reasonable grounds to believe that it meets all of the requirements for filing on Form S-8 and has duly caused this Registration Statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in the City of McLean, State of Virginia, on January 8, 2021.


GANNETT CO., INC.


 

By:
/s/ Michael E. Reed

Name:
Michael E. Reed

Title:
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman


(Principal Executive Officer)

POWER OF ATTORNEY

KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that each officer and director of Gannett Co., Inc. whose signature appears below constitutes and appoints Michael E. Reed and Polly Grunfeld Sack, and each of them, his or her true and lawful attorney-in-fact and agent, with full power of substitution and revocation, for him or her and in his or her name, place and stead, in any and all capacities, to execute any or all amendments (including post-effective amendments) to this Registration Statement and to file the same, with all exhibits thereto, and all documents in connection therewith, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, granting unto each said attorney-in-fact and agent full power and authority to do and perform each and every act and thing which said attorney-in-fact and agent may deem necessary or advisable to be done or performed in connection with any or all of the above described matters, as fully as each of the undersigned could do if personally present and acting, hereby ratifying and confirming all that said attorney-in-fact and agent, or his or her substitute or substitutes, may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act, this Registration Statement has been signed below by the following persons in the capacities and on the date indicated.

Signature

Title

Date





 /s/ Douglas E. Horne

Chief Financial Officer

January 8, 2021
Douglas E. Horne

(Principal Financial Officer and
Principal Accounting Officer)





/s/ Michael E. Reed

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

January 8, 2021
Michael E. Reed







/s/ Theodore P. Janulis

Director

January 8, 2021
Theodore P. Janulis







/s/ John Jeffry Louis

Director

January 8, 2021
John Jeffry Louis









/s/ Maria Miller

Director

January 8, 2021
Maria Miller









/s/ Debra Sandler

Director

January 8, 2021
Debra Sandler









/s/ Kevin Sheehan

Director

January 8, 2021
Kevin Sheehan









/s/ Laurence Tarica

Director

January 8, 2021
Laurence Tarica









/s/ Barbara Wall

Director

January 8, 2021
Barbara Wall