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Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2)
Registration No. 333-237646

Calculation of the Registration Fee

 

 

Title of Each Class of Securities Offered  

Amount

to be

Registered(1)

 

Proposed
Maximum

Offering Price

per Share

 

Maximum
Aggregate

Offering Price

 

Amount of

Registration Fee(2)

Common stock, par value $0.01 per share

  6,634,615 Shares   $13.00   $86,249,995   $11,195.25

 

 

 

(1)

Includes 865,384 shares of common stock that the underwriters have an option to purchase.

 

(2)

Calculated in accordance with Rule 457(r) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). In accordance with Rules 456(b) and 457(r) under the Securities Act, this “Calculation of Registration Fee” table shall be deemed to update the “Calculation of Registration Fee” table in our Registration Statement on Form S-3 (Reg. No. 333-237646).


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PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

(To prospectus dated April 10, 2020)

$75,000,000

 

THE CHEFS’ WAREHOUSE, INC.

COMMON STOCK

 

 

We are offering $75,000,000 of shares of our common stock. See “Description of Capital Stock” in the accompanying prospectus.

Our common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “CHEF.” The closing sale price of our common stock on May 8, 2020 was $13.64 per share, as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.

The underwriters have agreed to purchase shares of our common stock from us at a price of $13.00 per share (the “offering price”), which will result in approximately $75,000,000 of aggregate proceeds to us before expenses. The underwriters may offer our shares of our common stock from time to time for sale in one or more transactions on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, in the over-the-counter market, through negotiated transactions or otherwise at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, at prices related to prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices. See “Underwriting.”

We have granted the underwriters an option, exercisable for up to 30 days after the date of this prospectus supplement, to purchase from us up to an additional $11,250,000 of shares of our common stock at the offering price.

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. Please read “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-4 of this prospectus supplement and in the documents incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus to read about factors you should consider before buying our common stock.

 

 

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission or other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of the securities described herein or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

Delivery of the shares of common stock will be made on or about May 14, 2020, through the book-entry facilities of The Depository Trust Company.

 

Jefferies                   BMO Capital Markets

The date of this prospectus supplement is May 11, 2020.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prospectus Supplement

 

 

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

     S-i  

BASIS OF PRESENTATION

     S-ii  

INDUSTRY AND MARKET DATA

     S-iii  

TRADEMARKS AND TRADE NAMES

     S-iv  

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     S-v  

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY

     S-1  

RISK FACTORS

     S-4  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     S-6  

MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL TAX CONSIDERATIONS FOR NON-U.S. HOLDERS

     S-7  

UNDERWRITING

     S-10  

LEGAL MATTERS

     S-16  

EXPERTS

     S-17  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     S-18  

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

     S-19  

 

 

Prospectus

 

 

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

     1  

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     2  

THE COMPANY

     5  

RISK FACTORS

     6  

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES WE MAY SELL

     7  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     7  

SELLING STOCKHOLDERS

     8  

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

     9  

DESCRIPTION OF DEPOSITARY SHARES

     12  

DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

     15  

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

     17  

DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

     29  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     30  

LEGAL MATTERS

     34  

EXPERTS

     34  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     34  

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

     34  

 

 


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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

This document is in two parts. The first part is comprised of this prospectus supplement which describes the specific terms of this offering and certain other matters relating to us and also adds to and updates information contained in the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. The second part, the accompanying prospectus, including the documents incorporated by reference therein, contains a description of our common stock and provides more general information about us and securities we may offer from time to time, some of which does not apply to this offering. Generally, when we refer to the prospectus, we are referring to both parts of this document combined. To the extent the information contained in this prospectus supplement differs or varies from the information contained in the accompanying prospectus or documents previously filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, the information in this prospectus supplement will supersede such information and you should rely on the information in this prospectus supplement.

We have not, and the underwriters have not, authorized any other person to provide you with information other than information provided or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or any free writing prospectus relating to the offerings of common stock made pursuant to this prospectus supplement. We take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you or representations that others may make. See “Incorporation by Reference” and “Where You Can Find More Information” in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

Neither we nor the underwriters are making an offer of this common stock in any jurisdiction where the offer is not permitted.

The information contained in or incorporated by reference in this document is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus supplement or the date of such incorporated documents, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus supplement or of any sale of common stock. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those respective dates.

Unless expressly stated or the context otherwise requires, the terms “we,” “our,” “us,” the “Company” and “Chefs’ Warehouse” refer to The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc. and its subsidiaries. When we refer to the “common stock,” we refer to all shares of our common stock, par value $0.01 per share, offered pursuant to this prospectus supplement. The term “you” refers to a prospective investor.

Currency amounts in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are stated in U.S. dollars.

 

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BASIS OF PRESENTATION

Our quarterly periods end on the thirteenth Friday of each quarter. Every six to seven years, we will add a fourteenth week to our fourth quarter to more closely align our year end to the calendar year. Our fiscal years ended December 27, 2019, December 28, 2018 and December 29, 2017 were each comprised of fifty-two weeks. Fiscal years are identified in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus according to the calendar year in which the fiscal years end. For example, references to “2019,” “fiscal 2019,” “fiscal year end 2019” or other similar references refer to the fiscal year ended December 27, 2019.

 

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INDUSTRY AND MARKET DATA

This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus include industry and market data that we derived from internal company records, publicly-available information and industry publications and surveys. Industry publications and surveys generally state that the information contained therein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. We believe that this data is accurate in all material respects as of the date of the applicable document. You should carefully consider the inherent risks and uncertainties associated with the industry and market data contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

 

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TRADEMARKS AND TRADE NAMES

In this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, we refer (without any ownership notation) to several registered and common law trademarks, including Spoleto, Bel Aria, Grand Reserve, Provvista, Argonaut, Praml, Black Falls, Michael’s, Chocoa, Crescendo, Matisse, Qzina, Coccinelle, Allen Brothers, The Great Steakhouse Steaks, Del Monte, Fells Point, Bassian Farms, Cambridge Packing Company, Inc., Sid Wainer & Son and The Chefs’ Warehouse. All brand names or other trademarks appearing in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are the property of their respective owners.

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Our disclosure and analysis in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and are subject to the safe harbor created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements provide our current expectations or forecasts of future events and are not statements of historical fact. These forward-looking statements include information about possible or assumed future events, including, among other things, discussion and analysis of our future financial condition, results of operations, our strategic plans and objectives, cost management, liquidity and ability to refinance our indebtedness as it matures, anticipated capital expenditures (and access to capital) required to complete projects, amounts of cash distributions to our stockholders in the future, if any, and other matters. Words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” and variations of these words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control, are difficult to predict and/or could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements involve inherent uncertainty and may ultimately prove to be incorrect or false. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Except as otherwise may be required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or actual operating results. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, the following:

 

   

our success depends to a significant extent upon general economic conditions, including disposable income levels and changes in consumer discretionary spending;

 

   

a significant portion of our future growth is dependent upon our ability to expand our operations in our existing markets and to penetrate new markets through acquisitions;

 

   

we may not achieve the benefits expected from our acquisitions, which could adversely impact our business and operating results;

 

   

we may have difficulty managing and facilitating our future growth;

 

   

conditions beyond our control could materially affect the cost and/or availability of our specialty food products or center-of-the-plate products and/or interrupt our distribution network;

 

   

our increased distribution of center-of-the-plate products, like meat, poultry and seafood involves increased exposure to price volatility experienced by those products;

 

   

our business is a low-margin business and our profit margins may be sensitive to inflationary and deflationary pressures;

 

   

group purchasing organizations may become more active in our industry and increase their efforts to add our customers as members of these organizations;

 

   

because our foodservice distribution operations are concentrated in certain culinary markets, we are susceptible to economic and other developments, including adverse weather conditions, in these areas;

 

   

damage to our reputation or lack of acceptance of our specialty food products, center-of-the-plate products and/or the brands we carry in existing and new markets could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

our customers are generally not obligated to continue purchasing products from us;

 

   

we have experienced losses due to our inability to collect accounts receivable in the past and could experience increases in such losses in the future if our customers are unable to pay their debts to us in a timely manner or at all;

 

   

product liability claims could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

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fuel cost volatility may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

our ability to raise capital in the future may be limited;

 

   

new information or attitudes regarding diet and health or adverse opinions about the health effects of the products we distribute could result in changes in consumer eating habits, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

we have significant competition from a variety of sources, and we may not be able to compete successfully;

 

   

our substantial indebtedness may limit our ability to invest in the ongoing needs of our business;

 

   

we may be unable to obtain debt or other financing, including financing necessary to execute on our acquisition strategy, on favorable terms or at all;

 

   

our interest charged on our outstanding debt may be adversely affected by changes in the method of determining London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), or the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative rate;

 

   

information technology system failures or breaches of our network security could interrupt our operations and adversely affect our business;

 

   

our investments in information technology may not produce the benefits that we anticipate;

 

   

we may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property, which, in turn, could harm the value of our brands and adversely affect our business;

 

   

our business operations and future development could be significantly disrupted if we lose key members of our management team;

 

   

significant public health epidemics or pandemics, including COVID-19, may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition;

 

   

our insurance policies may not provide adequate levels of coverage against all claims, and fluctuating insurance requirements and costs could negatively impact our profitability. In addition, if we fail to establish proper reserves and adequately estimate future expenses, the costs associated with our self-insured group medical, workers’ compensation liability and auto liability plans may adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

increases in our labor costs, including as a result of labor shortages, the unionization of some of our associates, the price or unavailability of insurance and changes in government regulation, could slow our growth or harm our business;

 

   

we are subject to significant governmental regulation and failure to comply could subject us to enforcement actions, recalls or other penalties, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

federal, state, provincial and local tax rules in the United States and Canada may adversely impact our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

the price of our common stock may be volatile and our stockholders could lose all or a part of their investment;

 

   

concentration of ownership among our existing executive officers, directors and their affiliates may prevent new investors from influencing significant corporate decisions;

 

   

if securities analysts or industry analysts downgrade our stock, publish negative research or reports or do not publish reports about our business, our stock price and trading volume could decline;

 

   

we do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future and our stock may not appreciate in value;

 

   

our issuance of preferred stock or debt securities could adversely affect holders of our common stock and discourage a takeover; and

 

   

some provisions of our charter documents and Delaware law may have anti-takeover effects that could discourage an acquisition of us by others, even if an acquisition would be beneficial to our stockholders, and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management.

This list of risks and uncertainties, however, is only a summary of some of the most important factors and is not intended to be exhaustive. You should carefully review the risks that are set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-4 in this prospectus supplement, under the caption “Risk Factors” on page 6 of the

 

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accompanying prospectus, in “Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 27, 2019, filed with the SEC on February 24, 2020 (the “2019 Form 10-K”), and in “Part II. Item IA. Risk Factors” in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 27, 2020, filed with the SEC on May 6, 2020 (the “Q1 2020 Form 10-Q”). New factors that are not currently known to us or of which we are currently unaware may also emerge from time to time that could materially and adversely affect us.

 

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PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY

This summary highlights some of the information contained in, or incorporated by reference to, this prospectus. This summary may not contain all of the information that may be important to you. For a more complete understanding of our business and this offering, we encourage you to read this entire prospectus, including the documents incorporated by reference herein, the more detailed information regarding our company and the common stock being sold in this offering, as well as our consolidated financial statements and the related notes incorporated by reference in this prospectus, before deciding to invest in our common stock. Some of the statements in this prospectus constitute forward looking statements. See “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

We are a premier distributor of specialty foods in nine of the leading culinary markets in the United States. We offer more than 55,000 stock-keeping units, ranging from high-quality specialty foods and ingredients to basic ingredients and staples and center-of-the-plate proteins. We serve more than 34,000 customer locations, primarily located in our sixteen geographic markets across the United States and Canada, and the majority of our customers are independent restaurants and fine dining establishments. As a result of our acquisition of Allen Brothers, Inc., we also sell certain of our center-of-the-plate products directly to consumers.

Our address is 100 East Ridge Road Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877, and our telephone number is (203) 894-1345. Our website is www.chefswarehouse.com; any information on or connected to our website is not part of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus.

For a description of our business, financial condition, results of operations and other important information regarding us, we refer you to our filings with the SEC incorporated by reference to this prospectus. For instructions on how to find copies of these documents, see “Where You Can Find More Information.”

Recent Developments

Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on our Business and Operations

The COVID-19 pandemic (“COVID-19”) continues to have a material impact on our business and operations and those of our customers. In an effort to limit the spread of the virus, federal, state and local governments have implemented measures that have resulted in the closure of non-essential businesses in many of the markets we serve, which has forced our customers in those markets to either transition their establishments to take-out service, delivery service or temporarily cease operations. See Part II, Item 1A under the heading “Risk Factors” in our Q1 2020 Form 10-Q.

Our management team is responding rapidly to the changing landscape and pursuing alternate sources of revenue to mitigate the extent of sales declines in our core customer base. Our sales force is working closely with our core customers and developing solutions to help them fulfill the demand in their communities whilst complying with health and safety restrictions. We are actively entering into new business relationships with retail food outlets as they experience a sharp increase in demand. As we develop these new sales channels, we are negotiating favorable credit terms given the nature of the underlying customer base and the current market environment. In addition, our purchasing teams have worked diligently to shift our product purchases to SKUs that are in high demand. Thus far, we have not experienced difficulties in procuring products from our suppliers.

In response to the pandemic, we expanded our direct-to-consumer product offerings by launching our “Shop Like a Chef” online home delivery platform in several of the markets we serve. We now offer products directly to consumers through our Allen Brothers and “Shop Like a Chef” online platforms.

We have implemented cost control measures during this time of demand volatility. Our variable cost structure naturally decreases as our sales decrease, however, we are also reducing our fixed cost structure. Among other



 

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actions, we have postponed planned capital expenditures, returned certain equipment on short-term rental agreements, and reduced compensation expense through salary reductions, furloughs and lay-offs as we right-size our organization to current levels of demand.

As of May 11, 2020, we had total cash and cash equivalents of approximately $190.0 million, and as of the last measurement period, approximately $53.4 million of remaining availability under our asset-based loan facility (inclusive of a $100.0 million draw on our asset-based loan facility on March 18, 2020, $20.0 million of which has been repaid as of May 11, 2020). We are actively monitoring our working capital to effectively manage our liquidity during this time of uncertainty and expect to use the proceeds of the draw, if any, to rescale our business when demand returns. Based on our current level of cash on hand and availability under our asset-based loan facility, and after giving effect to the receipt of approximately $75,000,000 in gross proceeds from this offering, we believe we will have sufficient cash resources to finance our operations at current levels, assuming no meaningful further deterioration of our revenues, markets or overall economic conditions, through the end of fiscal 2021. In addition to adding liquidity to our balance sheet, we intend to use the proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include, among other things, working capital, repayment of outstanding debt and opportunistic investment in sales and distribution infrastructure.



 

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THE OFFERING

 

Common stock offered by us

5,769,231 shares of our common stock (or 6,634,615 shares of our common stock if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of common stock in full).

 

Common stock to be outstanding immediately after this offering (1)

36,801,125 shares (assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares).

 

Use of Proceeds

In addition to adding liquidity to the balance sheet, we intend to use the proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include, among other things, working capital, repayment of outstanding debt and opportunistic investment in sales and distribution infrastructure. See “Use of Proceeds.”

 

Listing

Our common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “CHEF.”

 

Risk Factors

Investing in our common stock involves risks. See “Risk Factors” on page S-4 of this prospectus supplement and other information included and incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus for a discussion of the factors you should consider carefully before deciding to invest in our common stock.

Unless otherwise indicated, all information in this prospectus supplement assumes the underwriters do not exercise its option to purchase additional shares of our common stock.

 

(1)

The number of shares of common stock outstanding immediately after the closing of this offering is based on 31,031,894 shares of common stock outstanding as of May 4, 2020.



 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our common stock involves risks. Our business is influenced by many factors that are difficult to predict and beyond our control and that involve uncertainties that may materially affect our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows, or the value of our common stock. These risks and uncertainties include those described below, as well as in the risk factors and other sections of the documents that are incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, including “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our 2019 Form 10-K and in our Q1 2020 Form 10-Q, as well as any subsequent Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or Current Reports on Form 8-K we file after the date of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, as updated by our subsequent filings under the Exchange Act. You should carefully consider these risks and uncertainties and all of the information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus before you invest in our common stock.

To the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business and financial results, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described below and in the documents incorporated by reference herein. For a discussion of the recent COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our business, see Part I, Item 2 under the heading “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our Q1 2020 Form 10-Q and Part II, Item 1A under the heading “Risk Factors” in our Q1 2020 Form 10-Q.

This offering may cause the price of our common stock to decline.

The issuance of new shares of common stock in this offering could have the effect of depressing the market price for shares of our common stock. This issuance of these new shares of our common stock could result in resales of our common stock by our current stockholders concerned about the potential dilution of their holdings. In addition, sales of our common stock in the public market following this offering could lower the market price of our common stock. Sales may also make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities or equity-related securities in the future at a time and price that our management deems acceptable, or at all. We cannot predict the number of these shares that might be resold nor the effect that future sales of our shares of common stock would have on the market price of our shares of common stock.

There may be future sales or other dilution of our equity, which may materially adversely affect the market price for shares of our common stock.

We are generally not restricted from issuing additional shares of common stock, including any securities that are convertible into or exchangeable for, or that represent the right to receive shares of common stock or any substantially similar securities. The market price for shares of our common stock could materially decline as a result of sales of shares of common stock or similar securities in the market made after such offering or the perception that such sales could occur.

The price and trading volume of our common stock may fluctuate significantly, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

The market price of our common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market constantly changes and we expect that will continue. In the future, such market price may become highly volatile and subject to wide fluctuations due to our future performance or external factors. In addition, the trading volume of our common stock may fluctuate and cause significant price variations to occur. Volatility in the market price of our common stock may prevent you from being able to sell your shares at or above the price you paid for your shares of common stock. The market price for our common stock could fluctuate significantly for various reasons, including:

 

   

our operating and financial performance and prospects;

 

   

our quarterly or annual earnings or those of other companies in our industry;

 

   

the public’s reaction to our press releases, other public announcements and filings with the SEC;

 

   

changes in earnings estimates or recommendations by securities analysts who track our common stock;

 

   

market and industry perception of our success, or lack thereof, in pursuing our strategies;

 

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strategic actions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions or joint ventures;

 

   

changes in accounting standards, policies, guidance, interpretations or principles;

 

   

arrival and departure of key personnel;

 

   

changes in our capital structure; and

 

   

changes in general market, economic and political conditions in the U.S. and global economies or financial markets.

In recent years, the stock market has experienced significant price and volume fluctuations. This volatility frequently has occurred without regard to the operating performance of the affected companies. Hence, the price of our common stock could fluctuate based upon factors that have little or nothing to do with us, and these fluctuations could materially reduce our share price.

Our management will have broad discretion over the use of the net proceeds from this offering, and you may not agree with how we use the proceeds.

Our management will have broad discretion as to the application of the net proceeds and could use them for purposes other than those contemplated at the time of this offering. Currently, in addition to adding liquidity to the balance sheet, we intend to use the proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include, among other things, working capital, repayment of outstanding debt and opportunistic investment in sales and distribution infrastructure. Accordingly, you may be relying on the judgment of our management with regard to the use of these net proceeds, and you will not have the opportunity, as part of your investment decision, to assess whether the proceeds are being used appropriately. It is possible that the proceeds will be invested in a way that could have a material adverse effect on our business and cause the price of our common stock to decline.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We estimate that the net proceeds to us from this offering will be approximately $74,785,000 (or $86,035,000 if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full), in each case after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

In addition to adding liquidity to the balance sheet, we intend to use the proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include, among other things, working capital, repayment of outstanding debt and opportunistic investment in sales and distribution infrastructure.

Our management will have broad discretion to allocate and use the net proceeds from this offering. The occurrence of unforeseen events or changed business conditions, however, could result in the application of the proceeds from this offering in a manner other than as described in this prospectus supplement.

 

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MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL TAX CONSIDERATIONS FOR NON-U.S. HOLDERS

The following discussion is a general summary of the material U.S. federal tax consequences of the purchase, ownership and disposition of shares of our common stock applicable to “non-U.S. holders.” As used herein, a non-U.S. holder means a beneficial owner of shares of our common stock that is not a “U.S. person” (as defined below) or a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and that will hold shares of our common stock as capital assets within the meaning of Section 1221 (generally, property held for investment) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code. A “U.S. person” includes a person who, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, is:

 

   

an individual who is a citizen or resident of the United States;

 

   

a corporation (or other business entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States, any state thereof or the District of Columbia;

 

   

an estate the income of which is subject to United States federal income taxation regardless of its source; or

 

   

a trust that (1) is subject to the primary supervision of a court within the United States and the control of one or more U.S. persons, or (2) was in existence on August 20, 1996, was treated as a U.S. domestic trust immediately prior to that date, and has validly elected to continue to be treated as a U.S. domestic trust.

In the case of a holder of our common stock that is classified as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the tax treatment of a partner in such partnership generally will depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. Partners of a partnership holding our common stock should consult their tax advisors.

This summary does not consider specific facts and circumstances that may be relevant to a particular non-U.S. holder’s tax position and does not consider state and local or non-U.S. tax consequences or any tax consequences under U.S. federal tax laws other than the U.S. federal income tax laws and (to the extent specifically set forth below) U.S. federal estate tax laws. It does not address consequences relating to the Medicare tax imposed on net investment income. It also does not consider non-U.S. holders subject to special tax treatment under the U.S. federal income tax laws (including partnerships or other pass-through entities or arrangements, financial institutions, insurance companies, regulated investment companies, real estate investment trusts, dealers in securities or currencies, traders in securities that elect to use a mark-to market method of accounting for their securities holdings, holders of shares of our common stock that hold such shares as part of a “straddle,” “hedge,” “conversion transaction” or other risk-reduction transaction, controlled foreign corporations, passive foreign investment companies, companies that accumulate earnings to avoid U.S. federal income tax, tax-exempt organizations, persons subject to the alternative minimum tax, persons that own, or are deemed to own, more than 5% of our capital stock (except to the extent specifically set forth below), former U.S. citizens or residents and persons who hold or receive shares of our common stock as compensation). This summary is based on provisions of the Code, applicable U.S. Treasury regulations, administrative pronouncements of the Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, and judicial decisions, all as in effect on the date hereof, and all of which are subject to change, possibly on a retroactive basis, and different interpretations.

Each prospective non-U.S. holder should consult its tax advisor with respect to the U.S. federal, state, local and non-U.S. income, estate and other tax consequences of holding and disposing of shares of our common stock.

U.S. Trade or Business Income

For purposes of this discussion, dividend income, and gain on the sale or other taxable disposition of our common stock, will be considered to be “U.S. trade or business income” if such dividend income or gain is (1) effectively connected with the conduct by a non-U.S. holder of a trade or business within the United States and (2) in the case of a non-U.S. holder that is eligible for the benefits of an income tax treaty with the United States and if required by such treaty, attributable to a “permanent establishment” (or, for an individual, a “fixed base”) maintained by the non-U.S. holder in the United States. Generally, U.S. trade or business income is not subject to U.S. federal withholding tax, provided the non-U.S. holder provides a properly executed IRS Form W-8ECI (or appropriate successor form) and certifies that such income is effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s conduct of a trade

 

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or business within the United States; instead, U.S. trade or business income is subject to U.S. federal income tax on a net income basis at regular U.S. federal income tax rates in the same manner as applicable to a U.S. person. Any U.S. trade or business income received by a non-U.S. holder that is a corporation also may be subject to an additional “branch profits tax” at a 30% rate, or at a lower rate prescribed by an applicable income tax treaty, under specific circumstances. Non-U.S. holders should consult their tax advisors regarding any applicable tax treaties that may provide for different rules.

Distributions

As described in “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” we do not anticipate declaring or paying dividends to holders of our common stock in the foreseeable future. Distributions of cash or property (other than certain stock distributions) that we pay on shares of our common stock (or certain redemptions that are treated as distributions of shares of our common stock) will be taxable as dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes to the extent paid from our current or accumulated earnings and profits (as determined under U.S. federal income tax principles). If the amount of a distribution exceeds our current and accumulated earnings and profits, such excess first will be treated as a tax-free return of capital to the extent of the non-U.S. holder’s adjusted tax basis in its shares of our common stock, and thereafter will be treated as capital gain. See “Dispositions of Shares of Our Common Stock” below. Subject to the discussions of U.S. trade or business income above and backup withholding and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, below, a non-U.S. holder generally will be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax at a 30% rate, or at a reduced rate prescribed by an applicable income tax treaty, on the gross amount of any dividends received in respect of shares of our common stock. In order to obtain a reduced rate of U.S. federal withholding tax under an applicable income tax treaty, a non-U.S. holder will be required to provide a properly executed IRS Form W-8BEN or Form W-8BEN-E (or appropriate substitute or successor form) certifying its entitlement to benefits under the treaty. Special certification and other requirements apply to certain non-U.S. holders that act as intermediaries. A non-U.S. holder of shares of our common stock that is eligible for a reduced rate of U.S. federal withholding tax under an income tax treaty may obtain a refund or credit of any excess amounts withheld by timely filing an appropriate claim for a refund with the IRS. A non-U.S. holder should consult its tax advisor regarding its possible entitlement to benefits under an income tax treaty.

Dispositions of Shares of Our Common Stock

Subject to the discussion below of backup withholding, a non-U.S. holder generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax in respect of any gain on a sale or other disposition of shares of our common stock unless:

 

   

the gain is U.S. trade or business income, as described above;

 

   

the non-U.S. holder is an individual who is present in the United States for 183 or more days in the taxable year of the disposition and meets certain other conditions; or

 

   

we are or have been a “United States real property holding corporation,” or a USRPHC, under section 897 of the Code at any time during the shorter of the five-year period ending on the date of disposition and the non-U.S. holder’s holding period for its shares of our common stock.

Gain described in the second bullet point above will be subject to a flat 30% tax (or such lower tax rate specified by an applicable income tax treaty), which may be offset by certain U.S. source capital losses.

In general, a corporation is a USRPHC if the fair market value of its “United States real property interests” equals or exceeds 50% of the sum of the fair market value of its worldwide (domestic and foreign) real property interests and its other assets used or held for use in a trade or business. We believe that we currently are not a USRPHC. In addition, based on our financial statements and current expectations regarding the value and nature of our assets and other relevant data, we do not anticipate becoming a USRPHC, although there can be no assurance these conclusions are correct or might not change in the future based on changed circumstances. If we are found to be a USRPHC, a non-U.S. holder, nevertheless, will not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax in respect of any gain on a sale or other disposition of shares of our common stock so long as shares of our common stock are “regularly traded on an established securities market” as defined under applicable U.S. Treasury regulations and the non-U.S. holder owns and has owned, actually and constructively, 5% or less of the shares of our common stock

 

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during the shorter of the five year period ending on the date of disposition and such non-U.S. holder’s holding period for its shares of our common stock. Prospective investors should be aware that no assurance can be given that shares of our common stock will be so regularly traded when a non-U.S. holder sells its shares of our common stock.

Information Reporting Requirements and Backup Withholding

Any distributions to a non-U.S. holder and the amount of tax, if any, withheld with respect to such distributions, must be reported annually to the IRS and to such non-U.S. holder. Copies of these information returns also may be made available under the provisions of a specific treaty or agreement to the tax authorities of the country in which the non-U.S. holder resides or is established. Under certain circumstances, the Code imposes a backup withholding obligation at a current rate of 24% on certain reportable payments. Dividends paid to a non-U.S. holder of shares of our common stock generally will be exempt from backup withholding if the non-U.S. holder provides a properly executed IRS Form W-8BEN or Form W-8BEN-E (or appropriate substitute or successor form) or otherwise establishes an exemption.

The payment of the proceeds from the disposition of shares of our common stock to or through the U.S. office of any broker, U.S. or foreign, will be subject to information reporting and possible backup withholding unless the holder certifies under penalties of perjury (generally on IRS Form W-8BEN or Form W-8BEN-E) that the holder is not a U.S. person or otherwise establishes an exemption, provided that the broker does not have actual knowledge or reason to know that the holder is a U.S. person or that the conditions of any other exemption are not, in fact, satisfied. The payment of the proceeds from the disposition of shares of our common stock to or through a non-U.S. office of a non-U.S. broker will not be subject to information reporting or backup withholding unless the non-U.S. broker is a foreign person with certain specified U.S. connections (a “U.S. related person”). In the case of the payment of the proceeds from the disposition of shares of our common stock to or through a non-U.S. office of a broker that is either a U.S. person or a “U.S. related person,” the U.S. Treasury regulations require information reporting (but generally not backup withholding) on the payment unless the holder certifies under penalties of perjury (usually on IRS Form W-8BEN or Form W-8BEN-E) that the holder is not a U.S. person or otherwise establishes an exemption and the broker has no knowledge to the contrary. Non-U.S. holders should consult their tax advisors on the application of information reporting and backup withholding to them in their particular circumstances (including upon their disposition of shares of our common stock).

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules from a payment to a non-U.S. holder will be refunded or credited against the non-U.S. holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability, if any, if the non-U.S. holder timely provides the required information to the IRS and meets certain other requirements.

FATCA Withholding Taxes

FATCA generally imposes a 30% U.S. withholding tax on dividends on our common stock paid to (i) a “foreign financial institution” (as specifically defined in the Code) unless such institution enters into an agreement with the U.S. Treasury to collect and disclose information regarding U.S. account holders of such institution (including certain account holders that are foreign entities with U.S. owners) and to withhold on certain payments or it otherwise qualifies for an exemption and (ii) a “non-financial foreign entity” (as specifically defined in the Code) unless such entity provides the payor with a certification that it does not have any substantial direct or indirect U.S. owners or provides information identifying the substantial U.S. owners of the entity, which generally includes any U.S. person who directly or indirectly owns more than 10% of the entity, or it otherwise qualifies for an exemption. The U.S. government has entered into several intergovernmental agreements implementing FATCA in a manner that alters the rules described above. Non-U.S. holders are encouraged to consult with their tax advisor regarding the possible implications of FATCA on their investment in our common stock.

Federal Estate Tax

Individual non-U.S. holders and entities the property of which is potentially includible in such an individual’s gross estate for U.S. federal estate tax purposes (for example, a trust funded by such an individual and with respect to which the individual has retained certain interests or powers), should note that, absent an applicable treaty benefit, shares of our common stock will be treated as U.S. situs property and, therefore, may be subject to U.S. federal estate tax.

 

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UNDERWRITING

Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in an underwriting agreement, dated May 11, 2020, we have agreed to sell Jefferies LLC and BMO Capital Markets Corp., the underwriters in this offering, and the underwriters have agreed to purchase from us, an aggregate of 5,769,231 shares of our common stock. Jefferies LLC has agreed to purchase 5,192,308 shares and BMO Capital Markets Corp. has agreed to purchase 576,923 shares.

The underwriting agreement provides that the obligations of the underwriters are subject to certain conditions precedent such as the receipt by the underwriters of officers’ certificates and legal opinions and approval of certain legal matters by its counsel. The underwriting agreement provides that the underwriters are obligated to purchase all the shares of common stock in the offering if any are purchased.

We have agreed to indemnify the underwriters against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or to contribute to payments the underwriters may be required to make in respect of those liabilities.

The underwriters are purchasing the shares of common stock from us at the offering price of $13.00 per share (representing $75,000,000 aggregate proceeds to us, before expenses). The underwriters propose to offer the shares of common stock from time to time for sale in one or more transactions on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, in the over-the-counter market, through negotiated transactions or otherwise at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, at prices related to prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices, subject to receipt and acceptance by it and subject to its right to reject any order in whole or in part. In connection with the sale of the shares of common stock offered hereby, the underwriters may be deemed to have received compensation in the form of underwriting discounts. The underwriters may effect such transactions by selling shares of common stock to or through dealers and such dealers may receive compensation in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from the underwriters and/or purchasers of shares of common stock for whom it may act as agent or to whom it may sell as principal.

We have granted to the underwriters an option, exercisable for up to 30 days from the date of this prospectus supplement, to purchase up to an additional $11,250,000 of shares of common stock at $13.00 per share. To the extent the option is exercised, each underwriter will become obligated, subject to certain conditions, to purchase a number of additional shares of common stock proportionate to the number of shares initially purchased by that underwriter.

We estimate that our out-of-pocket expenses for this offering will be approximately $215,000. We have also agreed to reimburse the underwriters for certain of their expenses in an amount up to $10,000 as set forth in the underwriting agreement.

Listing

Our common stock is listed on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the trading symbol “CHEF.”

No Sales of Similar Securities

We, our officers, and our directors have agreed, subject to specified exceptions, including sales of common stock under existing 10b5-1 sales plan agreements, not to directly or indirectly:

 

   

sell, offer, contract or grant any option to sell (including any short sale), pledge, transfer, establish an open “put equivalent position” within the meaning of Rule 16a-l(h) under the Exchange Act, or

 

   

enter into any swap, hedge or similar arrangement or agreement that transfers, in whole or in part, the economic risk of ownership of common stock, options or warrants to acquire shares of common stock, or securities exchangeable or exercisable for or convertible into shares of common stock, regardless of whether any such transaction is to be settled in securities, in cash or otherwise, or

 

   

otherwise dispose of any shares of common stock, options or warrants to acquire shares of common stock, or securities exchangeable or exercisable for or convertible into shares of common stock currently or hereafter owned either of record or beneficially, or

 

   

publicly announce an intention to do any of the foregoing for a period of 60 days after the date of this prospectus supplement without the prior written consent of Jefferies LLC.

 

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This restriction terminates after the close of trading of the shares on and including the 60th day after the date of this prospectus supplement.

Jefferies LLC may, in its sole discretion and at any time or from time to time before the termination of the 60-day period release all or any portion of the securities subject to lock-up agreements. There are no existing agreements between the underwriters and any of our stockholders who will execute a lock-up agreement, providing consent to the sale of shares prior to the expiration of the lock-up period.

Stabilization

The underwriters have advised us that, pursuant to Regulation M under the Exchange Act, certain persons participating in the offering may engage in short sale transactions, stabilizing transactions, syndicate covering transactions or the imposition of penalty bids in connection with this offering. These activities may have the effect of stabilizing or maintaining the market price of the common stock at a level above that which might otherwise prevail in the open market.

Short Positions

Short sales involve the sale by the underwriters of a greater number of shares of our common stock than they are required to purchase in this offering. The underwriters must close out any short position by purchasing shares in the open market. A short position is more likely to be created if the underwriters are concerned that there may be downward pressure on the price of the shares of our common stock in the open market after pricing that could adversely affect investors who purchase in this offering.

A stabilizing bid is a bid for the purchase of shares of common stock on behalf of the underwriters for the purpose of fixing or maintaining the price of the common stock. A syndicate covering transaction is the bid for or the purchase of shares of common stock on behalf of the underwriters to reduce a short position incurred by the underwriters in connection with the offering. Similar to other purchase transactions, the underwriters’ purchases to cover the syndicate short sales may have the effect of raising or maintaining the market price of our common stock or preventing or retarding a decline in the market price of our common stock. As a result, the price of our common stock may be higher than the price that might otherwise exist in the open market. A penalty bid is an arrangement permitting the underwriters to reclaim the selling concession otherwise accruing to a syndicate member in connection with the offering if the common stock originally sold by such syndicate member are purchased in a syndicate covering transaction and therefore have not been effectively placed by such syndicate member.

Neither we, nor the underwriters makes any representation or prediction as to the direction or magnitude of any effect that the transactions described above may have on the price of our common stock. The underwriters are not obligated to engage in these activities and, if commenced, any of the activities may be discontinued at any time.

The underwriters may also engage in passive market making transactions in our common stock on The NASDAQ Global Select Market in accordance with Rule 103 of Regulation M during a period before the commencement of offers or sales of shares of our common stock in this offering and extending through the completion of distribution. A passive market maker must display its bid at a price not in excess of the highest independent bid of that security. However, if all independent bids are lowered below the passive market maker’s bid, that bid must then be lowered when specified purchase limits are exceeded.

Electronic Distribution

A prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus in electronic format may be made available by e-mail or on the web sites or through online services maintained by the underwriters or their affiliates. In those cases, prospective investors may view offering terms online and may be allowed to place orders online. The underwriters may agree with us to allocate a specific number of shares for sale to online brokerage account holders. Any such allocation for online distributions will be made by the underwriters on the same basis as other allocations. Other than the prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus in electronic format, the information on the underwriters’ website and any information contained in any other website maintained by the underwriters is not part of this prospectus, has not been approved and/or endorsed by us or the underwriters and should not be relied upon by investors.

 

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Other Activities and Relationships

The underwriters and certain of their affiliates are full service financial institutions engaged in various activities, which may include securities trading, commercial and investment banking, financial advisory, investment management, investment research, principal investment, hedging, financing and brokerage activities. An affiliate of an underwriter is the administrative agent and a lender under our existing senior secured term loan credit facility. The underwriters and certain of their affiliates have, from time to time, performed, and may in the future perform, various financial advisory and investment banking services for us, for which they received or will receive customary fees and expenses.

In the ordinary course of their various business activities, the underwriters and certain of their affiliates may make or hold a broad array of investments and actively trade debt and equity securities (or related derivative securities) and financial instruments (including bank loans) for their own account and for the accounts of their customers, and such investment and securities activities may involve securities and/or instruments issued by us and our affiliates. If the underwriters or their affiliates have a lending relationship with us, they routinely hedge their credit exposure to us consistent with their customary risk management policies. The underwriters and their affiliates may hedge such exposure by entering into transactions which consist of either the purchase of credit default swaps or the creation of short positions in our securities or the securities of our affiliates, including potentially the common stock offered hereby. Any such short positions could adversely affect future trading prices of the common stock offered hereby. The underwriters and their affiliates may also communicate independent investment recommendations, market color or trading ideas and/or publish or express independent research views in respect of such securities or instruments and may at any time hold, or recommend to clients that they acquire, long and/or short positions in such securities and instruments.

Selling Restrictions

Canada

(A) Resale Restrictions

The distribution of common stock in Canada is being made only in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia on a private placement basis exempt from the requirement that we prepare and file a prospectus with the securities regulatory authorities in each province where trades of these securities are made. Any resale of the common stock in Canada must be made under applicable securities laws which may vary depending on the relevant jurisdiction, and which may require resales to be made under available statutory exemptions or under a discretionary exemption granted by the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authority. Purchasers are advised to seek legal advice prior to any resale of the securities.

(B) Representations of Canadian Purchasers

By purchasing common stock in Canada and accepting delivery of a purchase confirmation, a purchaser is representing to us and the dealer from whom the purchase confirmation is received that:

 

   

the purchaser is entitled under applicable provincial securities laws to purchase the common stock without the benefit of a prospectus qualified under those securities laws as it is an “accredited investor” as defined under National Instrument 45-106Prospectus Exemptions,

 

   

the purchaser is a “permitted client” as defined in National Instrument 31-103—Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations,

 

   

where required by law, the purchaser is purchasing as principal and not as agent, and

 

   

the purchaser has reviewed the text above under Resale Restrictions.

(C) Conflicts of Interest

Canadian purchasers are hereby notified that Jefferies LLC is relying on the exemption set out in section 3A.3 or 3A.4, if applicable, of National Instrument 33-105Underwriting Conflicts from having to provide certain conflict of interest disclosure in this document.

 

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(D) Statutory Rights of Action

Securities legislation in certain provinces or territories of Canada may provide a purchaser with remedies for rescission or damages if the prospectus (including any amendment thereto) such as this document contains a misrepresentation, provided that the remedies for rescission or damages are exercised by the purchaser within the time limit prescribed by the securities legislation of the purchaser’s province or territory. The purchaser of these securities in Canada should refer to any applicable provisions of the securities legislation of the purchaser’s province or territory for particulars of these rights or consult with a legal advisor.

(E) Enforcement of Legal Rights

All of our directors and officers as well as the experts named herein may be located outside of Canada and, as a result, it may not be possible for Canadian purchasers to effect service of process within Canada upon us or those persons. All or a substantial portion of our assets and the assets of those persons may be located outside of Canada and, as a result, it may not be possible to satisfy a judgment against us or those persons in Canada or to enforce a judgment obtained in Canadian courts against us or those persons outside of Canada.

(F) Taxation and Eligibility for Investment

Canadian purchasers of common stock should consult their own legal and tax advisors with respect to the tax consequences of an investment in the common stock in their particular circumstances and about the eligibility of the common stock for investment by the purchaser under relevant Canadian legislation.

Australia

This prospectus is not a disclosure document for the purposes of Australia’s Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) of Australia, or Corporations Act, has not been lodged with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission and is only directed to the categories of exempt persons set out below. Accordingly, if you receive this prospectus in Australia:

 

  1.

You confirm and warrant that you are either:

 

   

“sophisticated investor” under section 708(8)(a) or (b) of the Corporations Act;

 

   

“sophisticated investor” under section 708(8)(c) or (d) of the Corporations Act and that you have provided an accountant’s certificate to the Company which complies with the requirements of section 708(8)(c)(i) or (ii) of the Corporations Act and related regulations before the offer has been made;

 

   

person associated with the Company under Section 708(12) of the Corporations Act; or

 

   

“professional investor” within the meaning of section 708(11)(a) or (b) of the Corporations Act.

To the extent that you are unable to confirm or warrant that you are an exempt sophisticated investor, associated person or professional investor under the Corporations Act any offer made to you under this prospectus is void and incapable of acceptance.

 

  2.

You warrant and agree that you will not offer any of the securities issued to you pursuant to this Offering Memorandum for resale in Australia within 12 months of those securities being issued unless any such resale offer is exempt from the requirement to issue a disclosure document under section 708 of the Corporations Act.

European Economic Area and United Kingdom

In relation to each Member State of the European Economic Area and the United Kingdom (each a “Relevant State”), no Shares have been offered or will be offered pursuant to the offering to the public in that Relevant State prior to the publication of a prospectus in relation to the shares of common stock which has been approved by the competent authority in that Relevant State or, where appropriate, approved in another Relevant State and notified to the competent authority in that Relevant State, all in accordance with the Prospectus Regulation), except that offers of Shares may be made to the public in that Relevant State at any time under the following exemptions under the Prospectus Regulation:

 

  (a)

to any legal entity which is a “qualified investor” as defined in the Prospectus Directive;

 

  (b)

to fewer than 150 natural or legal persons (other than qualified investors as defined under the Prospectus Regulation), subject to obtaining the prior consent of the underwriters for any such offer; or

 

  (c)

in any other circumstances falling within Article 1(4) of the Prospectus Regulation,

 

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provided that no such offer of shares of common stock shall require the Company or the underwriters to publish a prospectus pursuant to Article 3 of the Prospectus Regulation or supplement a prospectus pursuant to Article 23 of the Prospectus Regulation

For the purposes of this provision, the expression an “offer to the public” in relation to any shares of common stock in any Relevant State means the communication in any form and by any means of sufficient information on the terms of the offer and any Shares to be offered so as to enable an investor to decide to purchase or subscribe for any shares of common stock, and the expression “Prospectus Regulation” means Regulation (EU) 2017/1129.

Hong Kong

No securities have been offered or sold, and no securities may be offered or sold, in Hong Kong, by means of any document, other than to persons whose ordinary business is to buy or sell shares or debentures, whether as principal or agent; or to “professional investors” as defined in the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571) of Hong Kong (“SFO”) and any rules made under that Ordinance; or in other circumstances which do not result in the document being a “prospectus” as defined in the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 32) of Hong Kong (“CO”) or which do not constitute an offer or invitation to the public for the purpose of the CO or the SFO. No document, invitation or advertisement relating to the securities has been issued or may be issued or may be in the possession of any person for the purpose of issue (in each case whether in Hong Kong or elsewhere), which is directed at, or the contents of which are likely to be accessed or read by, the public of Hong Kong (except if permitted under the securities laws of Hong Kong) other than with respect to securities which are or are intended to be disposed of only to persons outside Hong Kong or only to “professional investors” as defined in the SFO and any rules made under that Ordinance.

This prospectus has not been registered with the Registrar of Companies in Hong Kong. Accordingly, this prospectus may not be issued, circulated or distributed in Hong Kong, and the securities may not be offered for subscription to members of the public in Hong Kong. Each person acquiring the securities will be required, and is deemed by the acquisition of the securities, to confirm that he is aware of the restriction on offers of the securities described in this prospectus and the relevant offering documents and that he is not acquiring, and has not been offered any securities in circumstances that contravene any such restrictions.

Israel

This document does not constitute a prospectus under the Israeli Securities Law, 5728-1968, or the Securities Law, and has not been filed with or approved by the Israel Securities Authority. In Israel, this prospectus is being distributed only to, and is directed only at, and any offer of the common stock is directed only at, (i) a limited number of persons in accordance with the Israeli Securities Law and (ii) investors listed in the first addendum, or the Addendum, to the Israeli Securities Law, consisting primarily of joint investment in trust funds, provident funds, insurance companies, banks, portfolio managers, investment advisors, members of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, underwriters, venture capital funds, entities with equity in excess of NIS 50 million and “qualified individuals,” each as defined in the Addendum (as it may be amended from time to time), collectively referred to as qualified investors (in each case, purchasing for their own account or, where permitted under the Addendum, for the accounts of their clients who are investors listed in the Addendum). Qualified investors are required to submit written confirmation that they fall within the scope of the Addendum, are aware of the meaning of same and agree to it.

Japan

The offering has not been and will not be registered under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law of Japan (Law No. 25 of 1948 of Japan, as amended), or FIEL, and the underwriters will not offer or sell any securities, directly or indirectly, in Japan or to, or for the benefit of, any resident of Japan (which term as used herein means any person resident in Japan, including any corporation or other entity organized under the laws of Japan), or to others for re-offering or resale, directly or indirectly, in Japan or to, or for the benefit of, any resident of Japan, except pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirements of, and otherwise in compliance with, the FIEL and any other applicable laws, regulations and ministerial guidelines of Japan.

Singapore

This prospectus has not been and will not be lodged or registered as a prospectus with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Accordingly, this prospectus and any other document or material in connection with the offer or sale, or invitation for subscription or purchase, of the common stock may not be circulated or distributed, nor may the common stock be offered or sold, or be made the subject of an invitation for subscription or purchase, whether directly or indirectly, to persons in Singapore other than (i) to an institutional investor under Section 274 of the

 

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Securities and Futures Act, Chapter 289 of Singapore (the “SFA”), (ii) to a relevant person pursuant to Section 275(1), or any person pursuant to Section 275(1A), and in accordance with the conditions specified in Section 275, of the SFA, or (iii) otherwise pursuant to, and in accordance with the conditions of, any other applicable provision of the SFA.

Where the shares of common stock are subscribed or purchased under Section 275 of the SFA by a relevant person which is:

 

  (a)

a corporation (which is not an accredited investor (as defined in Section 4A of the SFA)) the sole business of which is to hold investments and the entire share capital of which is owned by one or more individuals, each of whom is an accredited investor; or a trust (where the trustee is not an accredited investor) whose sole purpose is to hold investments and each beneficiary of the trust is an individual who is an accredited investor,

 

  (b)

securities (as defined in Section 239(1) of the SFA) of that corporation or the beneficiaries’ rights and interest (howsoever described) in that trust shall not be transferred within six months after that corporation or that trust has acquired the common stock pursuant to an offer made under Section 275 of the SFA except:

 

  (i)

to an institutional investor or to a relevant person defined in Section 275(2) of the SFA, or to any person arising from an offer referred to in Section 275(1A) or Section 276(4)(i)(B) of the SFA;

 

  (ii)

where no consideration is or will be given for the transfer;

 

  (iii)

where the transfer is by operation of law;

 

  (iv)

as specified in Section 276(7) of the SFA; or

 

  (v)

as specified in Regulation 32 of the Securities and Futures (Offers of Investments) (Shares and Debentures) Regulations 2005 of Singapore.

Singapore SFA Product Classification—In connection with Section 309B of the SFA and the CMP Regulations 2018, unless otherwise specified before an offer of shares, the Company has determined, and hereby notifies all relevant persons (as defined in Section 309A(1) of the SFA), that the notes are “prescribed capital markets products” (as defined in the CMP Regulations 2018) and Excluded Investment Products (as defined in MAS Notice SFA 04-N12: Notice on the Sale of Investment Products and MAS Notice FAA-N16: Notice on Recommendations on Investment Products).

Switzerland

The securities may not be publicly offered in Switzerland and will not be listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (“SIX”) or on any other stock exchange or regulated trading facility in Switzerland. This prospectus has been prepared without regard to the disclosure standards for issuance prospectuses under art. 652a or art. 1156 of the Swiss Code of Obligations or the disclosure standards for listing prospectuses under art. 27 ff. of the SIX Listing Rules or the listing rules of any other stock exchange or regulated trading facility in Switzerland. Neither this prospectus nor any other offering or marketing material relating to the securities or the offering may be publicly distributed or otherwise made publicly available in Switzerland.

Neither this prospectus nor any other offering or marketing material relating to the offering, the Company or the securities have been or will be filed with or approved by any Swiss regulatory authority. In particular, this prospectus will not be filed with, and the offer of securities will not be supervised by, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA, and the offer of securities has not been and will not be authorized under the Swiss Federal Act on Collective Investment Schemes (“CISA”). The investor protection afforded to acquirers of interests in collective investment schemes under the CISA does not extend to acquirers of securities.

United Kingdom

The underwriters has represented and agreed that: (a) it has only communicated or caused to be communicated and will only communicate or cause to be communicated an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity (within the meaning of Section 21 of the FSMA) received by it in connection with the issue or sale of the shares in circumstances in which Section 21(1) of the FSMA does not apply to the Company; and (b) it has complied and will comply with all applicable provisions of the FSMA with respect to anything done by it in relation to the shares in, from or otherwise involving the United Kingdom.

 

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LEGAL MATTERS

Certain legal matters will be passed upon for us by Shearman & Sterling LLP, New York, New York. Certain legal matters in connection with this offering will be passed upon for the underwriters by Latham & Watkins LLP, New York, New York.

 

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EXPERTS

The consolidated financial statements of the Company as of December 27, 2019 and December 28, 2018, and for each of the three fiscal years in the period ended December 27, 2019, and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting as of December 27, 2019, have been incorporated herein by reference to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 27, 2019 in reliance upon the reports of BDO USA, LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, incorporated by reference herein, and upon the authority of said firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

 

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Our SEC filings are available over the Internet at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. We also make available, free of charge, through our website our annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information, including amendments thereto, as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Our website address is www.chefswarehouse.com. Our website address is provided as an inactive textual reference only. Information contained on or accessible through our website is not part of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus and is therefore not incorporated by reference unless such information is otherwise specifically referenced elsewhere in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus.

 

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INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” the information we file with them, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, and information that we file later with the SEC will automatically update and supersede this information. We incorporate by reference the documents listed below and any filings we will make with the SEC under Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act prior to the completion or termination of the offering of securities described by this prospectus supplement:

 

  1.

Our 2019 Form 10-K.

 

  2.

Our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, filed with the SEC on March 27, 2020 (to the extent incorporated into Part III of our 2019 Form 10-K).

 

  3.

Our Q1 2020 Form 10-Q.

 

  4.

Our Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on January 27, 2020, February 3, 2020, March  19, 2020 and March 23, 2020.

 

  5.

The description of our common stock set forth under the heading “Description of Our Capital Stock” in the prospectus included in the Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-173445) initially filed with the SEC on April 12, 2011 (as amended from time to time).

 

  6.

The description of our preferred stock purchase rights contained in our Form 8-A, filed with the SEC on March 23, 2020.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, information that we furnish under Items 2.02 and 7.01 of any Current Report on Form 8-K, including the related exhibits under Item 9.01, is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus.

Any statement contained in a document that is incorporated by reference herein will be modified or superseded for all purposes to the extent that a statement contained in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus, or in any other document that is subsequently filed with the SEC and incorporated by reference herein, modifies, or is contrary to that previous statement. Any statement so modified or superseded will not be deemed a part of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus, except as so modified or superseded. Since information that we later file with the SEC will update and supersede previously incorporated information, you should look at all of the SEC filings that we incorporate by reference to determine if any of the statements in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus or in any documents previously incorporated by reference have been modified or superseded.

We will provide to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom this prospectus supplement is delivered, upon written or oral request, at no cost, a copy of any and all of the information that is incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus.

Requests for such documents shall be directed to:

The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc.

100 East Ridge Road

Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877

Attn: Corporate Secretary

Telephone: (203) 894-1345

 

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PROSPECTUS

 

 

The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc.

Common Stock

Preferred Stock

Depositary Shares

Warrants

Debt Securities

Units

 

 

This prospectus relates to common stock, preferred stock, depositary shares, warrants, debt securities and units that we may offer from time to time. The debt securities may consist of debentures, notes, or other types of debt. The debt securities, preferred stock, depositary shares and warrants may be convertible, exercisable or exchangeable for common or preferred stock or other securities of ours. The units may consist of any combination of the securities listed above. The securities may be offered in an amount or number, at prices and on other terms and conditions to be determined at the time of sale and described in a prospectus supplement accompanying this prospectus.

We may offer and sell the securities on a continuous or delayed basis to or through one or more underwriters, dealers or agents, or directly to the purchasers. We reserve the sole right to accept, and together with our agents, from time to time, to reject in whole or in part any proposed purchase of securities to be made directly or through our agents. If our agents or any dealers or underwriters are involved in the sale of the securities, the applicable prospectus supplement will set forth the names of the agents, dealers or underwriters and any applicable commissions or discounts. Our net proceeds from the sale of securities will also be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement.

In addition, selling stockholders to be named in one or more prospectus supplements, as described in this prospectus under the heading “Selling Stockholders,” may offer shares of common stock from time to time in amounts, at prices and on other terms to be determined at the time of the offering and by any means described in this prospectus under the heading “Plan of Distribution.” We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of our common stock by any of the selling stockholders.

This prospectus may not be used to sell shares of our common or preferred stock, depositary shares, warrants, debt securities or units unless accompanied by a prospectus supplement.

We will provide the specific terms of each offering of our securities in supplements to this prospectus. You should read this prospectus and any prospectus supplement, as well as the documents incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus or any prospectus supplement, carefully before you invest. Our common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “CHEF.”

The mailing address of our principal executive offices is 100 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877. Our telephone number is (203) 894-1345.

Investing in our common or preferred stock, depositary shares, warrants, debt securities or units involves a high degree of risk. For a discussion of certain factors that you should consider before investing in the offered securities, see “Risk Factors” in our periodic and current reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission or in the applicable prospectus supplement or other offering material. You should carefully consider all of such information before investing in any of our common or preferred stock, depositary shares, warrants, debt securities or units.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission or other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

The date of this prospectus is April 10, 2020.


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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

     1  

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     2  

THE COMPANY

     5  

RISK FACTORS

     6  

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES WE MAY SELL

     7  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     7  

SELLING STOCKHOLDERS

     8  

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

     9  

DESCRIPTION OF DEPOSITARY SHARES

     12  

DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

     15  

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

     17  

DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

     29  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     30  

LEGAL MATTERS

     34  

EXPERTS

     34  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     34  

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

     34  

 

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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is a part of a registration statement that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, utilizing a “shelf” registration process. Under this shelf registration process, we may, from time to time, sell the securities described in this prospectus in one or more offerings and the selling stockholders identified herein may, from time to time, sell shares of our common stock in one or more offerings.

The registration statement containing this prospectus, including the exhibits to the registration statement, provides additional information about us and the securities offered under this prospectus. The registration statement, including the exhibits and the documents incorporated or deemed incorporated herein by reference, can be read on the SEC website at www.sec.gov.

Each time we or the selling stockholders sell securities pursuant to this prospectus, we will provide a prospectus supplement containing specific information about the terms of the securities being offered. The prospectus supplement may add, update or change information in this prospectus. If the information in the prospectus is inconsistent with a prospectus supplement, you should rely on the information in that prospectus supplement. You should read both this prospectus and, if applicable, any prospectus supplement. See “Where You Can Find More Information” for more information.

We have not authorized any dealer, salesman or other person to give any information or to make any representation other than those contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement. You must not rely upon any information or representation not contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement. This prospectus and any prospectus supplement do not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities other than the registered securities to which they relate, nor do this prospectus and any prospectus supplement constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation in such jurisdiction. You should not assume that the information contained in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement is accurate on any date subsequent to the date set forth on the front of such document or that any information we have incorporated by reference is correct on any date subsequent to the date of the document incorporated by reference, even though this prospectus and any prospectus supplement is delivered or securities are sold on a later date.

Unless expressly stated or the context otherwise requires, the “The Chefs’ Warehouse,” “we,” “our,” “our Company,” “the Company” or “us” as used in this prospectus refer to The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Statements in this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement and the documents incorporated by reference herein and therein regarding the business of The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc. that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). Forward-looking statements provide our current expectations or forecasts of future events and are not statements of historical fact. These forward-looking statements include information about possible or assumed future events, including, among other things, discussion and analysis of our future financial condition, results of operations, our strategic plans and objectives, cost management, liquidity and ability to refinance our indebtedness as it matures, anticipated capital expenditures (and access to capital) required to complete projects, amounts of cash distributions to our stockholders in the future, if any, and other matters. Words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” and variations of these words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control, are difficult to predict and/or could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements involve inherent uncertainty and may ultimately prove to be incorrect or false. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Except as otherwise may be required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or actual operating results. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, the following:

 

   

our success depends to a significant extent upon general economic conditions, including disposable income levels and changes in consumer discretionary spending;

 

   

a significant portion of our future growth is dependent upon our ability to expand our operations in our existing markets and to penetrate new markets through acquisitions;

 

   

we may not achieve the benefits expected from our acquisitions, which could adversely impact our business and operating results;

 

   

we may have difficulty managing and facilitating our future growth;

 

   

conditions beyond our control could materially affect the cost and/or availability of our specialty food products or center-of-the-plate products and/or interrupt our distribution network;

 

   

Significant public health crises, epidemics or pandemics, including the novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”), may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition;

 

   

our increased distribution of center-of-the-plate products, like meat, poultry and seafood, involves increased exposure to price volatility experienced by those products;

 

   

our business is a low-margin business and our profit margins may be sensitive to inflationary and deflationary pressures;

 

   

group purchasing organizations may become more active in our industry and increase their efforts to add our customers as members of these organizations;

 

   

because our foodservice distribution operations are concentrated in certain culinary markets, we are susceptible to economic and other developments, including adverse weather conditions, in these areas;

 

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damage to our reputation or lack of acceptance of our specialty food products, center-of-the-plate products and/or the brands we carry in existing and new markets could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

our customers are generally not obligated to continue purchasing products from us;

 

   

we have experienced losses due to our inability to collect accounts receivable in the past and could experience increases in such losses in the future if our customers are unable to pay their debts to us in a timely manner or at all;

 

   

product liability claims could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

fuel cost volatility may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

new information or attitudes regarding diet and health or adverse opinions about the health effects of the products we distribute could result in changes in consumer eating habits, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

we have significant competition from a variety of sources, and we may not be able to compete successfully;

 

   

our substantial indebtedness may limit our ability to invest in the ongoing needs of our business;

 

   

our ability to raise capital in the future may be limited;

 

   

we may be unable to obtain debt or other financing, including financing necessary to execute on our acquisition strategy, on favorable terms or at all;

 

   

information technology system failures or breaches of our network security could interrupt our operations and adversely affect our business;

 

   

our investments in information technology may not produce the benefits that we anticipate;

 

   

we may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property, which, in turn, could harm the value of our brands and adversely affect our business;

 

   

our business operations and future development could be significantly disrupted if we lose key members of our management team;

 

   

our insurance policies may not provide adequate levels of coverage against all claims, and fluctuating insurance requirements and costs could negatively impact our profitability. In addition, if we fail to establish proper reserves and adequately estimate future expenses, the costs associated with our self-insured group medical, workers’ compensation liability and auto liability plans may adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

increases in our labor costs, including as a result of labor shortages, the unionization of some of our associates, the price or unavailability of insurance and changes in government regulation, could slow our growth or harm our business;

 

   

we are subject to significant governmental regulation and failure to comply could subject us to enforcement actions, recalls or other penalties, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

federal, state, provincial and local tax rules in the United States and Canada may adversely impact our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

the price of our common stock may be volatile and our stockholders could lose all or a part of their investment;

 

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concentration of ownership among our existing executive officers, directors and their affiliates may prevent new investors from influencing significant corporate decisions;

 

   

if securities analysts or industry analysts downgrade our stock, publish negative research or reports or do not publish reports about our business, our stock price and trading volume could decline;

 

   

we do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future and our stock may not appreciate in value;

 

   

our issuance of preferred stock or debt securities could adversely affect holders of our common stock and discourage a takeover; and

 

   

some provisions of our charter documents and Delaware law may have anti-takeover effects that could discourage an acquisition of us by others, even if an acquisition would be beneficial to our stockholders, and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management.

This list of risks and uncertainties, however, is only a summary of some of the most important factors and is not intended to be exhaustive. You should carefully review the risks that are set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” in any accompanying prospectus supplement, and in our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as supplemented by any Current Report on Form 8-K. New factors that are not currently known to us or of which we are currently unaware may also emerge from time to time that could materially and adversely affect us.

Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this prospectus or any prospectus supplement, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of such factors, nor can we assess the impact of any such factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.

 

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THE COMPANY

We are a premier distributor of specialty food and center-of-the-plate products in the United States and Canada. We are focused on serving the specific needs of chefs who own and/or operate some of the leading menu-driven independent restaurants, fine dining establishments, country clubs, hotels, caterers, culinary schools, bakeries, patisseries, chocolateries, cruise lines, casinos and specialty food stores in the United States and Canada. We believe that we have a distinct competitive advantage in serving these customers as a result of our extensive selection of distinctive and hard-to-find specialty and center-of-the-plate food products, our product knowledge and our customer service.

We define specialty food products as gourmet foods and ingredients that are of the highest grade, quality or style as measured by their uniqueness, exotic origin or particular processing method. Our product portfolio includes over 55,000 stock-keeping units from more than 2,200 different suppliers and is comprised primarily of imported and domestic specialty food products, such as artisan charcuterie, specialty cheeses, unique oils and vinegars, truffles, caviar, chocolate and pastry products. We also offer an extensive line of center-of-the-plate products, including custom cut beef, seafood and hormone-free poultry, as well as broadline food products, such as cooking oils, butter, eggs, milk and flour. When marketing our products to our customers, we focus our efforts on chefs, and we believe that, by offering a wide selection of both distinctive and hard-to-find products, together with center-of-the-plate proteins and staple broadline food products, we are able to differentiate ourselves from larger, traditional broadline foodservice distributors, while simultaneously enabling our customers to utilize us as their primary foodservice distributor. Additionally, we market certain of our center-of-the-plate products directly to consumers through our mail and e-commerce platform of Allen Brothers, Inc.

Since the formation of our predecessor in 1985, we have expanded our distribution network, product selection and customer base both organically and through acquisitions. Our net revenues have increased from approximately $1.0 billion for the fiscal year ended December 25, 2015 to $1.6 billion for the fiscal year ended December 27, 2019. During these periods and in prior years, our sales to both new and existing customers have increased as a result of an increase in the breadth and depth of our product portfolio, our commitment to customer service, the efforts of our experienced and sophisticated sales professionals, the increased use of technology in the operations and management of our business and our ongoing consolidation of the fragmented specialty foodservice distribution industry. Since December 25, 2015, we have completed nine acquisitions which have increased our penetration in existing markets, expanded our footprint into new markets and/or enhanced our product capabilities. The up-front cash purchase prices for these nine acquisitions resulted in aggregate up-front cash consideration of more than $92.7 million, which we funded with cash generated from our operations, borrowings under our then existing indebtedness and the proceeds of our common stock offerings.

Excluding our direct-to-consumer business, we currently serve more than 34,000 customer locations in our sixteen primary geographic markets across the United States and Canada, including New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, Portland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Chicago, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Seattle, Sacramento and Texas. By leveraging an experienced and sophisticated sales force of approximately 550 sales and customer service professionals, we maintain collaborative relationships with thousands of chefs while also acting as a critical marketing arm and route-to-market for many of our suppliers. We operate 31 distribution centers and provide service six days a week in many of our service areas, utilizing our fleet of delivery trucks to fill our customers’ orders.

 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our securities involves risks. In addition to the risk factor set forth below, you should carefully consider the risks described under “Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus (which risk factors are incorporated by reference herein), including documents we file with the SEC after the date of this prospectus, as well as the other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or in any prospectus supplement, before making a decision to invest in our securities.

Significant public health epidemics or pandemics, including COVID-19, may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

A public health epidemic or pandemic can significantly impact our business or those of our core customers or suppliers, particularly if located in geographies in which we have significant operations. Such events could significantly impact the food-away-from-home industry and other industries that are sensitive to changes in consumer discretionary spending habits. In addition, our operations could be disrupted if we were required to quarantine employees that work at our various distribution centers and processing facilities.

For instance, the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and its development into a pandemic is resulting in governmental authorities in many locations where we operate, and in which our customers are present and suppliers operate, to impose mandatory closures, seek voluntary closures and impose restrictions on, or advisories with respect to, travel, business operations and public gatherings or interactions. Among other matters, these actions have required or strongly urged various venues where foodservice products are served, including restaurants and hotels, to reduce or discontinue operations, which has and will continue to adversely affect demand in the foodservice industry, including demand for our products and services. In addition, the perceived risk of infection and health risk associated with COVID-19, and the illness of many individuals across the globe, is resulting in many of the same effects intended by such governmental authorities to stop the spread of COVID-19. These events have had, and could continue to have, an adverse impact on numerous aspects of our business, financial condition and results of operations including, but not limited to, our growth, product costs, supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, logistics constraints, customer demand for our products and industry demand generally, consumer spending, our liquidity, the price of our securities and trading markets with respect thereto, our ability to access capital markets, and the global economy and financial markets generally. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our financial condition or results of operations is uncertain and will depend on future developments including new information that may emerge on the severity of the disease, the extent of the outbreak, and federal, state and local government responses, among others.

 

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GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES WE MAY SELL

We may offer and sell, at any time and from time to time:

 

   

shares of our common stock, par value $0.01 per share;

 

   

shares of our preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share;

 

   

our depositary shares;

 

   

our debt securities, in one or more series, which may be senior debt securities or subordinated debt securities;

 

   

warrants to purchase any of the other securities that may be sold under this prospectus; or

 

   

any combination of these securities.

The terms of any securities we offer will be determined at the time of sale. We may issue debt securities that are exchangeable for or convertible into common stock or any of the other securities that may be sold under this prospectus. When particular securities are offered, a supplement to this prospectus will be filed with the SEC, which will describe the terms of the offering and sale of the offered securities.

USE OF PROCEEDS

We will retain broad discretion over the use of the net proceeds from the sale of the securities offered by us hereby. Unless otherwise indicated in any prospectus supplement, we intend to use the net proceeds from the sale by us of the securities under this prospectus for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment or refinancing of all or a portion of any indebtedness outstanding at a particular time, increasing our working capital, acquisitions and capital expenditures. We will not receive any net proceeds from the sale of shares by selling stockholders.

 

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SELLING STOCKHOLDERS

This prospectus also relates to the possible resale by certain of our current and former executive officers, employees and directors, their related trusts or controlled entities, or other persons who may acquire rights to sell shares of our common stock pursuant to this registration statement, who we refer to in this prospectus as the “selling stockholders,” of shares of our common stock that, directly or indirectly, have been or may be from time to time acquired. The selling stockholders have acquired or may acquire the shares of our common stock included in this prospectus through (1) several private placements of membership interests in our predecessor company that were converted into shares of our common stock in connection with the conversion of that predecessor company to The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc. in connection with our initial public offering, (2) open-market acquisitions or (3) issuances of shares of our common stock pursuant to our 2019 Omnibus Equity Incentive Plan and 2011 Omnibus Equity Incentive Plan, or in connection with acquisitions by us. Information about the selling stockholders, where applicable, including their identities and the number of shares of common stock to be registered on their behalf, will be set forth in a prospectus supplement, or in documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus that we file with the SEC. The selling stockholders shall not sell any shares of our common stock pursuant to this prospectus until we have identified such selling stockholders and the shares being offered for resale by such selling stockholders in a subsequent prospectus supplement. However, the selling stockholders may sell or transfer all or a portion of their shares of our common stock pursuant to any available exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

As of the date of this prospectus, our Certificate of Incorporation authorizes us to issue 100,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, and 5,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share. As of April 1, 2020, 31,024,844 shares of common stock were outstanding and no shares of preferred stock were outstanding.

The following summary describes the material terms of our capital stock. The description of capital stock is qualified by reference to our Certificate of Incorporation and our Bylaws, which are incorporated by reference as exhibits into the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.

Common Stock

Holders of our common stock, which has a par value of $0.01, are entitled to one vote for each share held on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders and do not have cumulative voting rights. Accordingly, holders of a majority of the shares of our common stock entitled to vote in any election of directors may elect all of the directors standing for election. Holders of our common stock are entitled to receive ratably such dividends, if any, as may be declared by our board of directors out of funds legally available therefor, subject to any preferential dividend rights of outstanding preferred stock. Upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, the holders of our common stock are entitled to receive ratably our net assets available after the payment of all debts and other liabilities and subject to the prior rights of any outstanding preferred stock. Holders of our common stock have no preemptive, subscription, redemption or conversion rights. The rights, preferences and privileges of holders of our common stock are subject to, and may be adversely affected by, the rights of the holders of shares of any series of preferred stock which we may designate and issue in the future.

Preferred Stock

Our board of directors is authorized, subject to any limitations prescribed by law, without stockholder approval, to issue shares of preferred stock in one or more series at any time or from time to time. Each such series of preferred stock will have rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions, including voting rights, dividend rights, conversion rights, redemption privileges and liquidation preferences, as will be determined by our board of directors.

Our board of directors can authorize the issuance of shares of preferred stock with terms and conditions which could have the effect of discouraging a takeover or other transaction that might involve a premium price for holders of shares of our common stock or which holders of our common stock might believe to be in their best interests. In connection with the adoption of the Rights Plan (as defined below), our board of directors authorized the issuance of Series A Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share, in connection with its declaration of a dividend of one Series A Preferred Stock purchase right for each outstanding share of our common stock, to purchase from us one one-thousandth (1/1000th) of a share (a “Unit”) of our Series A Preferred Stock at a price of $40.00 per Unit, subject to adjustment as provided in the Rights Plan. See “Certain Anti-Takeover MattersShareholder Rights Plan” below.

Certain Anti-Takeover Matters

Delaware Business Combination Statute

Under Section 203 of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware, or the DGCL, a corporation is prohibited from engaging in any business combination with a stockholder who, together with its affiliates or associates, owns (or who is an affiliate or associate of the corporation and within a three-year period did own) 15% or more of the corporation’s outstanding voting stock, or an interested stockholder, for a three-year period following the time the stockholder became an interested stockholder, unless:

 

   

prior to the time the stockholder became an interested stockholder, the board of directors of the corporation approved either the business combination or the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder;

 

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the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of the corporation, excluding specified shares, upon consummation of the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder; or

 

   

at or subsequent to the time the stockholder became an interested stockholder, the business combination is approved by the board of directors of the corporation and authorized by the affirmative vote, at an annual or special meeting, and not by written consent, of at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting shares of the corporation, excluding shares held by that interested stockholder.

A business combination generally includes:

 

   

mergers and consolidations with or caused by an interested stockholder;

 

   

sales or other dispositions of 10% or more of the assets of a corporation to an interested stockholder;

 

   

specified transactions resulting in the issuance or transfer to an interested stockholder of any capital stock of a corporation or its subsidiaries; and

 

   

other transactions resulting in a disproportionate financial benefit to an interested stockholder.

The provisions of Section 203 of the DGCL do not apply to a corporation if, subject to certain requirements, the certificate of incorporation or bylaws of the corporation contain a provision expressly electing not to be governed by the provisions of the statute or the corporation does not have voting stock listed on a national securities exchange or held of record by more than 2,000 stockholders.

Because we have “opted out” of Section 203 of the DGCL in our Certificate of Incorporation, the statute will not apply to business combinations involving us.

Shareholder Rights Plan

On March 22, 2020, our board of directors adopted a shareholder rights plan (the “Rights Plan”). The Rights Plan is designed to ensure that the board of directors remains in the best position to perform its fiduciary duties and to enable all stockholders of the Company to receive fair and equal treatment. The Rights Plan is also intended to protect the Company and its stockholders from efforts to obtain control of the Company that the board of directors determines are not in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders and to enable all stockholders to realize the long-term value of their investment in the Company.

The rights issued under the Rights Plan will initially attach to and trade with the common stock, and no separate certificates will be issued unless an event triggering these rights occurs. The rights will become exercisable only when a person, or group of affiliated or associated persons, acquires or attempts to acquire 10% (20% in the case of passive institutional investors) or more of the outstanding shares of common stock of the Company. Should such an acquisition occur or be announced, each right would, upon exercise, entitle a rights holder, other than the acquiring person and related persons, to purchase securities equivalent to common shares at a 50% discount to the market price at the time.

The rights will expire on March 21, 2021, unless earlier redeemed or exchanged by the Company.

The above is a summary of the terms of the Rights Agreement, dated as of March 22, 2020, between the Company and American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC, as rights agent. The summary does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the Rights Agreement, a copy of which is attached to this prospectus as Exhibit 4.2 and incorporated herein by reference.

Provisions of our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws

Under our Certificate of Incorporation, any vacancy on our board of directors, however occurring, including a vacancy resulting from an enlargement of the board, may only be filled by vote of a majority of the directors then

 

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serving, or by the sole remaining director. The limitations on filling of vacancies could have the effect of making it more difficult for a third party to acquire, or of discouraging a third party from acquiring, control of us.

Our Certification of Incorporation also provides that any action required or permitted to be taken by our stockholders at an annual meeting or special meeting of stockholders may be taken only if it is properly brought before such meeting and may not be taken by written consent in lieu of a meeting. Our Bylaws provide that special meetings of the stockholders may only be called by the chairman of the board of directors, the chief executive officer, the secretary, or the board of directors. Under our Bylaws, in order for any matter to be considered “properly brought” before a meeting, a stockholder must comply with certain requirements regarding advance notice to the company. The foregoing provisions could have the effect of delaying until the next stockholders meeting, stockholder actions which are favored by the holders of a majority of our outstanding voting securities. These provisions also may discourage another person or entity from making a tender offer for our common stock because such person or entity, even if it acquired a majority of our outstanding voting securities, would be able to take action as a stockholder (such as electing new directors or approving a merger) only at a duly called stockholders meeting and not by written consent.

The DGCL provides, generally, that the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares entitled to vote on any matter is required to amend a corporation’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws, unless a corporation’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws, as the case may be, requires a greater percentage. Our Certificate of Incorporation does not require a greater percentage.

Listing

Our common stock is listed on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “CHEF.”

Transfer Agent and Registrar

We have appointed American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC to be the transfer agent and registrar for our common stock.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF DEPOSITARY SHARES

The following summarizes briefly the material provisions of the deposit agreement and the depositary shares and depositary receipts of the Company. You should read the particular terms of any depositary shares and any depositary receipts that are offered by the Company, and any deposit agreement relating to a particular series of preferred stock, which will be described in more detail in an applicable prospectus supplement. The Company will file the applicable deposit agreement with the SEC if the Company offers depositary shares.

General

The Company may, at its option, elect to offer fractional shares of preferred stock, rather than full shares of preferred stock. In the event the Company exercises this option, the Company will issue receipts for depositary shares, each of which will represent a fraction, to be described in an applicable prospectus supplement, of a share of a particular series of preferred stock as described below.

The shares of each series of preferred stock represented by depositary shares will be deposited under a deposit agreement between the Company and a bank or trust company selected by the Company and having its principal office in the United States and having a combined capital and surplus of at least $50,000,000. Subject to the terms of the deposit agreement, each owner of a depositary share will be entitled to all of the rights and preferences of the preferred stock in proportion to the applicable fraction of a share of preferred stock represented by the depositary share, including dividend, voting, redemption, conversion and liquidation rights.

The depositary shares will be evidenced by depositary receipts issued pursuant to the deposit agreement. Depositary receipts will be distributed to those persons purchasing the fractional shares of preferred stock in accordance with the terms of the offering.

Pending the preparation of definitive depositary receipts, the depositary may, upon our written order, execute and deliver temporary depositary receipts which are substantially identical to, and which entitle the holders to all the rights pertaining to, the definitive depositary receipts. Depositary receipts will be prepared thereafter without unreasonable delay, and temporary depositary receipts will be exchangeable for definitive depositary receipts at the Company’s expense.

Dividends and Other Distributions

The depositary will distribute all cash dividends and other cash distributions received in respect of the deposited preferred stock to the record holders of depositary shares relating to the preferred stock, in proportion to the numbers of the depositary shares owned by such holders.

In the event of a non-cash distribution, the depositary will distribute property it receives to the appropriate record holders of depositary shares. If the depositary determines that it is not feasible to make a distribution, it may, with the Company’s approval, sell the property and distribute the net proceeds from the sale to the holders.

Redemption of Stock

If a series of preferred stock represented by depositary shares is to be redeemed, the depositary shares will be redeemed from the proceeds received by the depositary resulting from the redemption, in whole or in part, of each series of preferred stock held by the depositary. The depositary shares will be redeemed by the depositary at a price per depositary share equal to the applicable fraction of the redemption price per share payable in respect of the shares of preferred stock so redeemed. Whenever the Company redeems shares of preferred stock held by the depositary, the depositary will redeem, as of the same date, the number of depositary shares representing shares of preferred stock redeemed. If fewer than all the depositary shares are to be redeemed, the depositary shares to be redeemed will be selected by the depositary by lot or pro rata or by any other equitable method as may be determined by the depositary.

 

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Withdrawal of Stock

Any holder of depositary shares may, upon surrender of the depositary receipts at the corporate trust office of the depositary, unless the related depositary shares have previously been called for redemption, receive the number of whole shares of the related series of preferred stock and any money or other property represented by the depositary receipts. Holders of depositary shares making withdrawals will be entitled to receive whole shares of preferred stock on the basis described in an applicable prospectus supplement for such series of preferred stock, but holders of whole shares of preferred stock will not thereafter be entitled to deposit the preferred stock under the deposit agreement or to receive depositary receipts therefor. If the depositary shares surrendered by the holder in connection with a withdrawal exceed the number of depositary shares that represent the number of whole shares of preferred stock to be withdrawn, the depositary will deliver to the holder at the same time a new depositary receipt evidencing the excess number of depositary shares.

Voting Deposited Preferred Stock

Upon receipt of notice of any meeting at which the holders of any series of deposited preferred stock are entitled to vote, the depositary will mail the information contained in the notice of meeting to the record holders of the depositary shares relating to such series of preferred stock. Each record holder of the depositary shares on the record date, which will be the same date as the record date for the relevant series of preferred stock, will be entitled to instruct the depositary as to the exercise of the voting rights pertaining to the amount of the preferred stock represented by the holder’s depositary shares.

The depositary will attempt, insofar as practicable, to vote the amount of such series of preferred stock represented by the depositary shares in accordance with the instructions, and the Company will agree to take all reasonable actions that may be deemed necessary by the depositary to enable the depositary to do so. The depositary will refrain from voting shares of the preferred stock to the extent it does not receive specific instructions from the holder of depositary shares representing the preferred stock.

Amendment and Termination of the Deposit Agreement

The form of depositary receipt evidencing the depositary shares and any provision of the deposit agreement may at any time be amended by agreement between the Company and the depositary. However, any amendment which materially and adversely alters the rights of the holders of the depositary shares representing preferred stock of any series will not be effective unless the amendment has been approved by the holders of at least the amount of the depositary shares then outstanding representing the minimum amount of preferred stock of such series necessary to approve any amendment that would materially and adversely affect the rights of the holders of the preferred stock of such series. Every holder of an outstanding depositary receipt at the time any amendment becomes effective, or any transferee of the holder, will be deemed, by continuing to hold the depositary receipt, or by reason of the acquisition thereof, to consent and agree to the amendment and to be bound by the deposit agreement as amended thereby. The deposit agreement may be terminated by the Company or the depositary only after:

 

   

all outstanding depositary shares have been redeemed; or

 

   

a final distribution in respect of the preferred stock has been made to the holders of depositary shares in connection with any liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company.

Charges of Depositary

The Company will pay all transfer and other taxes and governmental charges arising solely from the existence of the depositary arrangements. The Company will pay all charges of the depositary in connection with the initial deposit of the relevant series of preferred stock and any redemption of the preferred stock. Holders of depositary receipts will pay other transfer and other taxes and governmental charges and other charges or expenses as are expressly provided in the deposit agreement.

 

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Resignation and Removal of Depositary

The depositary may resign at any time by delivering to the Company notice of its election to do so, and the Company may at any time remove the depositary, any resignation or removal to take effect upon the appointment of a successor depositary and its acceptance of the appointment. The successor depositary must be appointed within 60 days after delivery of the notice of resignation or removal and must be a bank or trust company having its principal office in the United States and having a combined capital and surplus of at least $50,000,000.

Miscellaneous

The depositary will forward all reports and communications from the Company, which are delivered to the depositary and which the Company is required to furnish to the holders of the deposited preferred stock.

Neither the Company nor the depositary will be liable if the Company or the depositary is prevented or delayed by law or any circumstances beyond the Company’s or the depositary’s control in performing any obligations under the deposit agreement. The Company’s and the depositary’s obligations under the deposit agreement will be limited to performance in good faith of the Company’s and the depositary’s duties under the deposit agreement and neither the Company nor the depositary will be obligated to prosecute or defend any legal proceeding in respect of any depositary shares, depositary receipts or shares of preferred stock unless satisfactory indemnity is furnished. The depositary and the Company may rely upon written advice of counsel or accountants, or upon information provided by holders of depositary receipts or other persons believed to be competent and on documents believed to be genuine.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

The following description, together with the additional information we include in any prospectus supplement, is only a summary of the material terms and provisions of the warrants that we may offer under this prospectus, which consist of warrants to purchase common stock, preferred stock or debt securities in one or more series. Warrants may be offered independently or together with common stock, preferred stock or debt securities offered by any prospectus supplement, and may be attached to or separate from those securities. While the terms we have summarized below may generally apply to any future warrants we may offer under this prospectus, we will describe the particular terms of any warrants that we may offer in more detail in a prospectus supplement. The terms of any warrants we offer under a prospectus supplement may differ from the terms we describe below.

We will issue the warrants under a warrant agreement which we will enter into with a warrant agent to be selected by us. We will file forms of the warrant agreements and the related warrant certificates for each type of warrant we may offer under this prospectus with the SEC and such documents shall be incorporated into the registration statement on Form S-3 of which this prospectus is a part. We urge you to read the prospectus supplements related to the warrants that we issue under this prospectus, as well as the complete warrant agreements and related warrant certificates that contain the terms of the warrants.

We use the term “warrant agreement” to refer to any of these warrant agreements. We use the term “warrant agent” to refer to the warrant agent under any of these warrant agreements. The warrant agent will act solely as an agent of ours in connection with the warrants and will not act as an agent for the holders or beneficial owners of the warrants.

General

As of April 1, 2020, we have no warrants issued and outstanding.

We will describe in the applicable prospectus supplement the terms relating to a series of warrants. If warrants for the purchase of debt securities are offered, the prospectus supplement will describe the terms of such warrants, including, to the extent applicable:

 

   

the offering price and the aggregate number of warrants offered;

 

   

the designation, aggregate principal amount, currencies, denominations and terms of the series of debt securities that can be purchased if a holder exercises a warrant;

 

   

the designation and terms of any series of debt securities with which the warrants are being offered and the number of warrants offered with each such debt security;

 

   

the date on and after which the holder of the warrants can transfer them separately from the related series of debt securities;

 

   

the principal amount of the series of debt securities that can be purchased if a holder exercises a warrant and the price at which and currencies in which such principal amount may be purchased upon exercise;

 

   

the terms of any rights to redeem or call the warrants;

 

   

the date on which the right to exercise the warrants begins and the date on which such right expires;

 

   

federal income tax consequences of holding or exercising the warrants; and

 

   

any other specific terms, preferences, rights or limitations of, or restrictions on, the warrants.

 

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If warrants for the purchase of common stock or preferred stock are offered, the prospectus supplement will describe the terms of such warrants, including, to the extent applicable:

 

   

the offering price and the aggregate number of warrants offered;

 

   

the total number of shares that can be purchased if a holder of the warrants exercises them and, in the case of warrants for preferred stock, the designation, total number and terms of the series of preferred stock that can be purchased upon exercise;

 

   

the designation and terms of any series of preferred stock with which the warrants are being offered and the number of warrants being offered with each share of common stock or preferred stock;

 

   

the date on and after which the holder of the warrants can transfer them separately from the related common stock or series of preferred stock;

 

   

the number of shares of common stock or preferred stock that can be purchased if a holder exercises the warrant and the price at which such common stock or preferred stock may be purchased upon exercise, including, if applicable, any provisions for changes to or adjustments in the exercise price and in the securities or other property receivable upon exercise;

 

   

the date on which the right to exercise the warrants begins and the date on which that right expires;

 

   

federal income tax consequences of holding or exercising the warrants; and

 

   

any other specific terms, preferences, rights or limitations of, or restrictions on, the warrants.

Until any warrants to purchase common stock or preferred stock are exercised, holders of the warrants will not have any rights of holders of the underlying common stock or preferred stock, including any rights to receive dividends or to exercise any voting rights, except to the extent set forth under “Description of Warrants—Warrant Adjustments” below.

Exercise of Warrants; Amendments; Supplements to the Warrant Agreements

We will describe in the applicable prospectus supplement the manner in which a holder of warrants may exercise them and the manner in which we may amend or supplement a warrant agreement.

Warrant Adjustments

The applicable prospectus supplement will indicate the circumstances under which the exercise price of, and the number of securities covered by, a common stock warrant or preferred stock warrant may be adjusted proportionately if we subdivide or combine our common stock or preferred stock, as applicable.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

We may issue debt securities in one or more distinct series, which may be senior debt securities or subordinated debt securities. This section summarizes the material terms of the debt securities that are common to all series. Most of the financial terms and other specific material terms of any series of debt securities that we offer will be described in a prospectus supplement or term sheet to be attached to the front of this prospectus. Since the terms of specific debt securities may differ from the general information provided below, you should rely on information in the prospectus supplement or term sheet to the extent it contradicts different information below.

Unless otherwise specified in an accompanying prospectus supplement, senior and subordinated debt securities will be issued by The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc. under an indenture between The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc., as issuer, and The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A., as trustee (the “trustee”), as supplemented from time to time (the “indenture”). A form of the indenture is attached as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, which you should review for additional information. The terms of the debt securities will include those set forth in the indenture and those made a part of the indenture by the Trust Indenture Act of 1933, as amended (the “Trust Indenture Act”). You should read the summary below, any accompanying prospectus supplement and the provisions of the indenture in their entirety before investing in our debt securities.

The indenture is subject to and governed by the Trust Indenture Act. The terms “the Company,” “we,” “our” and “us,” when used to refer to an issuer of securities, means The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc.

General Provisions of the Indenture

Each series of debt securities will be unsecured obligations of the Company. Any senior securities will rank equally with all other unsecured and unsubordinated indebtedness of the Company. Any subordinated securities will be subordinated in right of payment to the prior payment in full of the senior indebtedness of the Company as more fully described in a prospectus supplement or term sheet.

The indenture provides that any debt securities proposed to be sold under this prospectus and the attached prospectus supplement or term sheet (“offered debt securities”) and any debt securities issuable upon the exercise of debt warrants or upon conversion or exchange of other offered securities (“underlying debt securities”), as well as other unsecured debt securities, may be issued under that indenture in one or more series.

You should read the prospectus supplement or term sheet for the material terms of the offered debt securities and any underlying debt securities, including the following:

 

   

The title of the debt securities and whether the debt securities will be senior securities or subordinated securities of the Company.

 

   

The total principal amount of the debt securities of the series and any limit on such total principal amount.

 

   

If not the principal amount of the debt securities, the portion of the principal amount payable upon acceleration of the maturity of the debt securities or how this portion will be determined.

 

   

The date or dates, or how the date or dates will be determined or extended, when the principal of the debt securities will be payable.

 

   

The interest rate or rates, which may be fixed or variable, that the debt securities will bear, if any, or how the rate or rates will be determined, the date or dates from which any interest will accrue or how the date or dates will be determined, the interest payment dates, any record dates for these payments and the basis upon which interest will be calculated if other than that of a 360-day year of twelve 30-day months.

 

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Any optional redemption provisions.

 

   

Any sinking fund or other provisions that would obligate us to repurchase or otherwise redeem the debt securities.

 

   

The form in which we will issue the debt securities; whether we will have the option of issuing debt securities in “certificated” form; whether we will have the option of issuing certificated debt securities in bearer form if we issue the securities outside the United States to non-U.S. persons; any restrictions on the offer, sale or delivery of bearer securities and the terms, if any, upon which bearer securities of the series may be exchanged for registered securities of the series and vice versa (if permitted by applicable laws and regulations).

 

   

If other than U.S. dollars, the currency or currencies in which the debt securities are denominated and/or payable.

 

   

Whether the amount of payments of principal, premium or interest, if any, on the debt securities will be determined with reference to an index, formula or other method (which index, formula or method may be based, without limitation, on one or more currencies, commodities, equity indices or other indices), and how these amounts will be determined.

 

   

The place or places, if any, other than or in addition to The City of New York, of payment, transfer, conversion and/or exchange of the debt securities.

 

   

If other than minimum denominations of $2,000 or any integral multiple of $1,000 above the minimum denomination, the denominations in which the offered debt securities will be issued.

 

   

If the provisions of Article Fourteen of the indenture described under “defeasance” are not applicable and any provisions in modification of, in addition to or in lieu of any of these provisions.

 

   

Whether and under what circumstances we will pay additional amounts, as contemplated by Section 1010 of the indenture, in respect of any tax, assessment or governmental charge and, if so, whether we will have the option to redeem the debt securities rather than pay the additional amounts (and the terms of this option).

 

   

Whether the securities are subordinated and the terms of such subordination.

 

   

Any provisions granting special rights to the holders of the debt securities upon the occurrence of specified events.

 

   

Any changes or additions to the Events of Default or covenants contained in the indenture.

 

   

Whether the debt securities will be convertible into or exchangeable for any other securities and the applicable terms and conditions.

 

   

The particular covenants to which the notes of the series are subject.

 

   

Any other material terms of the debt securities.

For purposes of this prospectus, any reference to the payment of principal of or premium or interest, if any, on the debt securities will include additional amounts if required by the terms of the debt securities.

The indenture does not limit the amount of debt securities that may be issued thereunder from time to time. Debt securities issued under the indenture, when a single trustee is acting for all debt securities issued under the indenture, are called the “indenture securities.” The indenture also provides that there may be more than one trustee thereunder, each with respect to one or more different series of indenture securities. See “Resignation of Trustee” below. At a time when two or more trustees are acting under the indenture, each with respect to only certain series, the term “indenture securities” means the one or more series of debt securities with respect to which each respective trustee is acting. In the event that there is more than one trustee under the indenture, the

 

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powers and trust obligations of each trustee described in this prospectus will extend only to the one or more series of indenture securities for which it is trustee. If two or more trustees are acting under the indenture, then the indenture securities for which each trustee is acting would be treated as if issued under separate indentures.

The indenture does not contain any provisions that give you protection in the event we issue a large amount of debt, we repurchase a significant amount of equity or effect a recapitalization, or we are acquired by another entity.

We refer you to the prospectus supplement or term sheet for information with respect to any deletions from, modifications of or additions to the Events of Default or our covenants that are described below, including any addition of a covenant or other provision providing event risk or similar protection.

We have the ability to issue indenture securities with terms different from those of indenture securities previously issued and, without the consent of the holders thereof, to reopen a previous issue of a series of indenture securities and issue additional indenture securities of that series unless the reopening was restricted when that series was created.

Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement or term sheet, the debt securities will be denominated in U.S. dollars and all payments on the debt securities will be made in U.S. dollars.

Payment of the purchase price of the debt securities must be made in immediately available funds.

The authorized denominations of debt securities denominated in U.S. dollars will be a minimum denomination of $2,000 and integral multiples of $1,000 above the minimum denomination. The authorized denominations of foreign currency Notes will be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement or term sheet.

Conversion and Exchange

If any debt securities are convertible into or exchangeable for other securities, the prospectus supplement or term sheet will explain the terms and conditions of the conversion or exchange, including the conversion or exchange price or rate (or the calculation method), the conversion or exchange period (or how the period will be determined), if conversion or exchange will be mandatory or at the option of the holder or us, provisions for adjusting the conversion or exchange price or rate and provisions affecting conversion or exchange in the event of the redemption of the underlying debt securities. These terms may also include provisions under which the number or amount of other securities to be received by the holders of the debt securities upon conversion or exchange would be calculated according to the market price of the other securities as of a time stated in the prospectus supplement or term sheet.

Issuance of Securities in Registered Form

We may issue the debt securities in registered form, in which case we will issue them in book-entry form only. Debt securities issued in book-entry form will be represented by global securities. We also will have the option of issuing debt securities in non-registered form as bearer securities if we issue the securities outside the United States to non-U.S. persons. In that case, the prospectus supplement or term sheet will set forth the mechanics for holding the bearer securities, including the procedures for receiving payments, for exchanging in certain cases the bearer securities for registered securities of the same series, and for receiving notices. The prospectus supplement or term sheet will also describe the requirements with respect to our maintenance of offices or agencies outside the United States and the applicable U.S. federal tax law requirements.

Book-Entry Holders. We will issue registered debt securities in book-entry form only, unless we specify otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement or term sheet. This means debt securities will be represented by one or more global securities registered in the name of a depositary. Financial institutions that participate in

 

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the depositary’s book-entry system will hold beneficial interests in the debt securities held by or on behalf of the depositary or its nominee. These institutions may hold these interests on behalf of themselves or customers.

Under the indenture, only the person in whose name a debt security is registered is recognized as the holder of that debt security. Consequently, for debt securities issued in book-entry form, we will recognize only the depositary or its nominee as the holder of the debt securities and we will make all payments on the debt securities to the depositary. The depositary will then pass along the payments it receives to its participants, which, in turn, will pass the payments along to their customers who are the beneficial owners. The depositary and its participants will do so under agreements they have made with one another or with their customers; they are not obligated to do so under the terms of the debt securities or the indenture.

As a result, investors will not own debt securities directly. Instead, they will own beneficial interests in a global security, through a bank, broker or other financial institution that participates in the depositary’s book-entry system or holds an interest through an indirect participant. As long as the debt securities are represented by one or more global securities, investors will be indirect holders, and not holders of the debt securities.

Street Name Holders. In the future, we may issue debt securities in certificated form or terminate a global security. In these cases, investors may choose to hold their debt securities in their own names or in “street name.” Debt securities held in street name are registered in the name of a bank, broker or other financial institution chosen by the investor, and the investor would hold a beneficial interest in those debt securities through the account he or she maintains at that institution.

For debt securities held in street name, we will recognize only the intermediary banks, brokers and other financial institutions in whose names the debt securities are registered as the holders of those debt securities and we will make all payments on those debt securities to them. These institutions will pass along the payments they receive to their customers who are the beneficial owners, but only because they agree to do so in their customer agreements or because they are legally required to do so. Investors who hold debt securities in street name will be indirect holders, and not holders, of the debt securities.

Legal Holders. Our obligations, as well as the obligations of the applicable trustee and those of any third parties employed by us or the applicable trustee, run only to the legal holders of the debt securities. We do not have obligations to investors who hold beneficial interests in global securities, in street name or by any other indirect means. This will be the case whether an investor chooses to be an indirect holder of a debt security or has no choice because we are issuing the debt securities only in book-entry form.

For example, once we make a payment or give a notice to the holder, we have no further responsibility for the payment or notice even if that holder is required, under agreements with depositary participants or customers or by law, to pass it along to the indirect holders but does not do so. Similarly, if we want to obtain the approval of the holders for any purpose (for example, to amend an indenture or to relieve us of the consequences of a default or of our obligation to comply with a particular provision of an indenture), we would seek the approval only from the holders, and not the indirect holders, of the debt securities. Whether and how the holders contact the indirect holders is up to the holders.

When we refer to you, we mean those who invest in the debt securities being offered by this prospectus, the prospectus supplement or term sheet whether they are the holders or only indirect holders of those debt securities. When we refer to your debt securities, we mean the debt securities in which you hold a direct or indirect interest.

Special Considerations for Indirect Holders. If you hold debt securities through a bank, broker or other financial institution, either in book-entry form or in street name, we urge you to check with that institution to find out:

 

   

how it handles securities payments and notices,

 

   

whether it imposes fees or charges,

 

   

how it would handle a request for the holders’ consent, if ever required,

 

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whether and how you can instruct it to send you debt securities registered in your own name so you can be a holder, if that is permitted in the future for a particular series of debt securities,

 

   

how it would exercise rights under the debt securities if there were a default or other event triggering the need for holders to act to protect their interests, and

 

   

if the debt securities are in book-entry form, how the depositary’s rules and procedures will affect these matters.

Global Securities

We may issue the registered debt securities in the form of one or more fully registered global securities that will be deposited with a depositary or its custodian identified in the applicable prospectus supplement and registered in the name of that depositary or its nominee. In those cases, one or more registered global securities will be issued in a denomination or aggregate denominations equal to the portion of the aggregate principal or face amount of the securities to be represented by registered global securities. Unless and until it is exchanged in whole for securities in definitive registered form, a registered global security may not be transferred except as a whole by and among the depositary for the registered global security, the nominees of the depositary or any successors of the depositary or those nominees.

If not described below, any specific terms of the depositary arrangement with respect to any securities to be represented by a registered global security will be described in the prospectus supplement relating to those securities. We anticipate that the following provisions will apply to all depositary arrangements.

Ownership of beneficial interests in a registered global security will be limited to persons, called participants, that have accounts with the depositary or persons that may hold interests through participants. Upon the issuance of a registered global security, the depositary will credit, on its book-entry registration and transfer system, the participants’ accounts with the respective principal or face amounts of the securities beneficially owned by the participants. Any dealers, underwriters or agents participating in the distribution of the securities will designate the accounts to be credited. Ownership of beneficial interests in a registered global security will be shown on, and the transfer of ownership interests will be effected only through, records maintained by the depositary, with respect to interests of participants, and on the records of participants, with respect to interests of persons holding through participants. The laws of some states may require that some purchasers of securities take physical delivery of these securities in definitive form. These laws may impair your ability to own, transfer or pledge beneficial interests in registered global securities.

The indentures in the forms initially filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part provide that so long as the depositary, or its nominee, is the registered owner of a registered global security, that depositary or its nominee, as the case may be, will be considered the sole owner or holder of the securities represented by the registered global security for all purposes under the indenture. Except as described below, owners of beneficial interests in a registered global security will not be entitled to have the securities represented by the registered global security registered in their names, will not receive or be entitled to receive physical delivery of the securities in definitive form and will not be considered the owners or holders of the securities under the indenture. Accordingly, each person owning a beneficial interest in a registered global security must rely on the procedures of the depositary for that registered global security and, if that person is not a participant, on the procedures of the participant through which the person owns its interest, to exercise any rights of a holder under the indenture. We understand that under existing industry practices, if we request any action of holders or if an owner of a beneficial interest in a registered global security desires to give or take any action that a holder is entitled to give or take under the indenture, the depositary for the registered global security would authorize the participants holding the relevant beneficial interests to give or take that action, and the participants would authorize beneficial owners owning through them to give or take that action or would otherwise act upon the instructions of beneficial owners holding through them.

 

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Principal, premium, if any, and interest payments on debt securities represented by a registered global security registered in the name of a depositary or its nominee will be made to the depositary or its nominee, as the case may be, as the registered owner of the registered global security. Neither we nor the trustee or any other agent of ours or the trustee will have any responsibility or liability for any aspect of the records relating to payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in the registered global security or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to those beneficial ownership interests.

We expect that the depositary for any of the securities represented by a registered global security, upon receipt of any payment of principal, premium, interest or other distribution of underlying securities or other property to holders on that registered global security, will immediately credit participants’ accounts in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in that registered global security as shown on the records of the depositary. We also expect that payments by participants to owners of beneficial interests in a registered global security held through participants will be governed by standing customer instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with the securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in “street name,” and will be the responsibility of those participants.

If the depositary for any of these securities represented by a registered global security is at any time unwilling or unable to continue as depositary or ceases to be a clearing agency registered under the Exchange Act, and a successor depositary registered as a clearing agency under the Exchange Act is not appointed by us within 90 days, we will issue securities in definitive form in exchange for the registered global security that had been held by the depositary. Any securities issued in definitive form in exchange for a registered global security will be registered in the name or names that the depositary gives to the trustee or other relevant agent of ours or theirs. It is expected that the depositary’s instructions will be based upon directions received by the depositary from participants with respect to ownership of beneficial interests in the registered global security that had been held by the depositary.

Unless we state otherwise in a prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus, the Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) will act as depositary for each series of debt securities issued as global securities. DTC has advised us that DTC is a limited-purpose trust company created to hold securities for its participating organizations (collectively, the “Participants”) and to facilitate the clearance and settlement of transactions in those securities between Participants through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of its Participants. The Participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations. Access to DTC’s system is also available to other entities such as banks, brokers, dealers and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a Participant, either directly or indirectly (collectively, the “Indirect Participants”). Persons who are not Participants may beneficially own securities held by or on behalf of DTC only through the Participants or the Indirect Participants. The ownership interests in, and transfers of ownership interests in, each security held by or on behalf of DTC are recorded on the records of the Participants and the Indirect Participants.

Payment and Paying Agents

We will pay interest to the person listed in the trustee’s records as the owner of the debt security at the close of business on a particular day in advance of each regularly scheduled date for interest, even if that person no longer owns the debt security on the interest due date. That day, typically set at a date approximately two weeks prior to the interest due date, is called the “record date.” Because we will pay all the interest for an interest period to the holders on the record date, holders buying and selling debt securities must work out between themselves the appropriate purchase price. The most common manner is to adjust the sales price of the debt securities to prorate interest fairly between buyer and seller based on their respective ownership periods within the particular interest period. This prorated interest amount is called “accrued interest.”

Payments on Global Securities. We will make payments on a global security in accordance with the applicable policies of the depositary as in effect from time to time. Under those policies, we will make payments directly to

 

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the depositary, or its nominee, and not to any indirect holders who own beneficial interests in the global security. An indirect holder’s right to those payments will be governed by the rules and practices of the depositary and its participants, as described under “Global Securities.”

Payments on Certificated Debt Securities. We will make payments on a certificated debt security as follows. We will pay interest that is due on an interest payment date by check mailed on the interest payment date to the holder at his or her address shown on the trustee’s records as of the close of business on the regular record date. We will make payments of principal and premium, if any, duly and punctually to the office of the trustee.

Alternatively, if the holder asks us to do so, we may pay any amount that becomes due on the debt security by wire transfer of immediately available funds to an account at a bank in New York City, on the due date. To request payment by wire, the holder must give the applicable trustee or other paying agent appropriate transfer instructions at least 15 calendar days before the requested wire payment is due. In the case of any interest payment due on an interest payment date, the instructions must be given by the person who is the holder on the relevant regular record date. Any wire instructions, once properly given, will remain in effect unless and until new instructions are given in the manner described above.

Consolidation, Merger, Sale or Conveyance

The indenture provides that the Company may not consolidate with or merge into any other entity or convey, transfer or lease their properties and assets as an entirety or substantially as an entirety to any entity, unless:

 

   

the successor or transferee entity, if other than the Company, is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the United States, any state thereof or the District of Columbia and expressly assumes by a supplemental indenture executed and delivered to the trustee, in form reasonably satisfactory to the trustee, the due and punctual payment of the principal of, any premium on and any interest on, all the outstanding debt securities of the Company and the performance of every covenant and obligation in the indenture to be performed or observed by the Company;

 

   

immediately after giving effect to the transaction, no Event of Default, as defined in the indenture, and no event which, after notice or lapse of time or both, would become an Event of Default, has happened and is continuing; and

 

   

the Company has delivered to the trustee an officers’ certificate and an opinion of counsel, in the form required by the indenture and stating that such consolidation, merger, conveyance, transfer or lease and, if a supplemental indenture is required in connection with such transaction, such supplemental indenture comply with the foregoing provisions relating to such transaction.

In case of any such consolidation, merger, conveyance or transfer, the successor entity will succeed to and be substituted for the Company as obligor on the debt securities with the same effect as if it had been named in the indenture as the Company.

Events of Default

An event of default with respect to the debt securities of any series is defined in the indenture as:

 

  (a)

default for 30 days in payment of any interest on the debt securities of such series when it becomes due and payable;

 

  (b)

default in payment of principal of or any premium on the debt securities of such series at maturity or upon redemption or repayment when the same becomes due and payable;

 

  (c)

default in the deposit of any principal payment into the sinking fund, when and as due by the terms of any debt security of such series and the indenture;

 

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  (d)

default by the Company in the performance of any other covenant contained in the indenture for the benefit of the debt securities of such series that has not been remedied by the end of a period of 90 days after notice is given as specified in the indenture;

 

  (e)

default in the payment of principal or an acceleration of other indebtedness for borrowed money of the Company where the aggregate principal amount with respect to which the default or acceleration has occurred exceeds $50 million and such acceleration has not been rescinded or annulled or such indebtedness repaid within a period of 30 days after written notice to the Company by the trustee or to the Company and the trustee by the holders of at least 25% in principal amount of all outstanding debt securities under the indenture, provided that if any such default is cured, waived, rescinded or annulled, then the event of default by reason thereof would be deemed not to have occurred; and

 

  (f)

certain events of bankruptcy, insolvency and reorganization of the Company.

The indenture provides that:

 

   

if an event of default described in clause (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e) above has occurred and is continuing, either the trustee or the holders of not less than 25% in aggregate principal amount of the debt securities of the applicable series may declare the principal amount of the debt securities then outstanding, and any accrued and unpaid interest through the date of such declaration, to be due and payable immediately;

 

   

upon certain conditions such declarations may be annulled and past defaults (except for defaults in the payment of principal of, or any premium or interest on the debt securities and in compliance with certain covenants) may be waived by the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the debt securities of the applicable series; and

 

   

if an event of default described in clause (f) occurs and is continuing, then the principal amount of all debt securities issued under the indenture, together with any accrued interest through the occurrence of such event, shall become and be due and payable immediately, without any declaration or other act by the trustee or any other holder.

Under the indenture, the trustee must give to the holders of debt securities of any series notice of all uncured defaults known to it with respect to the debt securities of such series within 90 days after such a default occurs (the term default to include the events specified above without notice or grace periods); provided that, except in the case of default in the payments of principal of or any premium or interest on any of the debt securities of such series, the trustee will be protected in withholding such notice if it in good faith determines that the withholding of such notice is in the best interest of the holders of such debt securities.

No holder of any debt securities may institute any action under the indenture unless:

 

   

such holder has given the trustee written notice of a continuing event of default with respect to the debt securities;

 

   

the holders of not less than 25% in aggregate principal amount of the debt securities of the applicable series have requested the trustee to institute proceedings in respect of such event of default;

 

   

such holder or holders have offered the trustee such reasonable indemnity as the trustee may require;

 

   

the trustee has failed to institute an action for 60 days thereafter; and

 

   

no inconsistent direction has been given to the trustee during such 60-day period by the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of such debt securities.

The holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the debt securities of any series will have the right, subject to certain limitations, to direct the time, method and place of conducting any proceeding for any remedy available to the applicable trustee or exercising any trust or power conferred on the applicable trustee with

 

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respect to the debt securities of such series. The indenture provides that, if an event of default occurs and is continuing, the trustee, in exercising its rights and powers under the indenture, will be required to use the degree of care of a prudent man in the conduct of his own affairs. The indenture further provides that the trustee shall not be required to expend or risk its own funds or otherwise incur any financial liability in the performance of any of its duties under the indenture unless it has reasonable grounds for believing that repayment of such funds or adequate indemnity against such risk or liability is reasonably assured to it.

the Company must furnish to the trustee within 120 days after the end of each fiscal year a statement signed by an officer thereof to the effect that a review of our activities during such year and our performance under the indenture and the terms of the debt securities has been made, and, to the knowledge of the signatories based on such review, we have complied with all conditions and covenants of the indenture or, if we are in default, specifying such default.

Modification of the Indenture

We and the trustee may, without the consent of the holders of the debt securities issued under the indenture, enter into supplemental indentures for, among others, one or more of the following purposes:

 

   

to evidence the succession of another corporation to the Company and the assumption by such successor of its obligations under the indenture and the debt securities;

 

   

to add covenants of the Company or surrender of any of its rights, or add any rights for the benefit of the holders of debt securities;

 

   

to cure any ambiguity, omission, defect or inconsistency in the indenture;

 

   

to establish the form or terms of any other series of debt securities, including any subordinated securities;

 

   

to conform the indenture to the description of securities of any series as set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement;

 

   

to evidence and provide the acceptance of any successor trustee with respect to the debt securities or one or more other series of debt securities under an indenture or to facilitate the administration of the trusts thereunder by one or more trustees in accordance with such indenture; and

 

   

to provide any additional events of default.

With certain exceptions, the indenture or the rights of the holders of the debt securities may be modified by us and the trustee with the consent of the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the debt securities then outstanding affected thereby, but no such modification may be made without the consent of the holder of each outstanding note affected thereby that would:

 

   

change the maturity of any payment of principal of, or any premium on, any debt securities, or change any place of payment where, or the coin or currency in which, any principal, premium or interest is payable, or impair the right to institute suit for the enforcement of any such payment on or after the maturity thereof (or, in the case of redemption or repayment, on or after the redemption or repayment date);

 

   

reduce the percentage in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities, the consent of whose holders is required for any such modification, or the consent of whose holders is required for any waiver of compliance with certain provisions of the indenture or certain defaults thereunder and their consequences provided for in the indenture; or

 

   

modify any of the provisions of certain sections of the indenture, including the provisions summarized in this paragraph, except to increase any such percentage or to provide that certain other provisions of the indenture cannot be modified or waived without the consent of the holder of each of the outstanding debt securities affected thereby.

 

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Defeasance

The following provisions will be applicable to each series of debt securities unless we state in the applicable prospectus supplement or term sheet that the provisions of covenant defeasance and full defeasance will not be applicable to that series.

Covenant Defeasance. Under current United States federal tax law, the Company can make the deposit described below and be released from some of the restrictive covenants in the indenture under which the particular series was issued. This is called “covenant defeasance.” In that event, you would lose the protection of those restrictive covenants but would gain the protection of having money and government securities set aside in trust to repay your debt securities. If you hold subordinated securities, you also would be released from the applicable subordination provisions. In order to achieve covenant defeasance, we must do the following:

 

   

Deposit in trust for the benefit of all holders of such debt securities a combination of money and government or government agency debt securities or bonds in the relevant currency that will generate enough cash to make interest, principal and any other payments on the debt securities of such series in the relevant currency on their various due dates.

 

   

Deliver to the trustee a legal opinion of our counsel confirming that, under current United States federal income tax law, we may make the above deposit without causing you to be taxed on the debt securities of such series any differently than if we did not make the deposit and just repaid such debt securities ourselves at maturity.

If we accomplish covenant defeasance, you can still look to us for repayment of the debt securities if there were a shortfall in the trust deposit or the trustee is prevented from making payment. In fact, if one of the remaining Events of Default occurred (such as our bankruptcy) and the debt securities became immediately due and payable, there might be a shortfall. Depending on the event causing the default, you may not be able to obtain payment of the shortfall.

Full Defeasance. If there is a change in United States federal tax law, as described below, we can legally release ourselves from all payment and other obligations on the debt securities of a particular series (called “full defeasance”) if we put in place the following other arrangements for you to be repaid:

 

   

We must deposit in trust for the benefit of all holders of the debt securities of such series a combination of money and government or government agency debt securities or bonds in the relevant currency that will generate enough cash to make interest, principal and any other payments on the debt securities of such series in the relevant currency on their various due dates.

 

   

We must deliver to the trustee a legal opinion confirming that there has been a change in current United States federal tax law or an Internal Revenue Service ruling that allows us to make the above deposit without causing you to be taxed on the debt securities of such series any differently than if we did not make the deposit and just repaid such debt securities ourselves at maturity. Under current United States federal tax law, the deposit and our legal release from the debt securities of such series would be treated as though we paid you your share of the cash and debt securities or bonds at the time the cash and debt securities or bonds were deposited in trust in exchange for your debt securities and you would recognize gain or loss on your debt securities at the time of the deposit.

If we ever did accomplish full defeasance, as described above, you would have to rely solely on the trust deposit for repayment of the debt securities of such series. You could not look to us for repayment in the unlikely event of any shortfall. Conversely, the trust deposit would most likely be protected from claims of our lenders and other creditors if we ever became bankrupt or insolvent. If you hold subordinated securities, you would also be released from the applicable subordination provisions.

Legal defeasance and full defeasance are both subject to certain conditions, such as no default or event of default occurring and continuing, and no breach of any material agreement.

 

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Discharge of the Indenture

We may satisfy and discharge our obligations under the indenture by delivering to the trustee for cancellation all outstanding debt securities or by depositing with the trustee or the paying agent after the debt securities have become due and payable, whether at stated maturity, or any redemption or repayment date, or otherwise, cash sufficient to pay all of the outstanding debt securities and paying all other sums payable under the indenture.

Form, Exchange and Transfer of Certificated Debt Securities

If registered debt securities cease to be issued in book-entry form, they will be issued:

 

   

only in fully registered certificated form,

 

   

without interest coupons, and

 

   

unless we indicate otherwise in the prospectus supplement or term sheet, in a minimum denomination of $2,000 and amounts above the minimum denomination that are integral multiples of $1,000.

Holders may exchange their certificated debt securities of smaller denominations or combined into fewer debt securities of larger denominations, as long as the total principal amount is not changed.

Holders may exchange or transfer their certificated debt securities at the office of their trustee. We have appointed the trustee to act as our agent for registering debt securities in the names of holders transferring debt securities. We may appoint another entity to perform these functions or perform them ourselves.

Holders will not be required to pay a service charge to transfer or exchange their certificated securities, but they may be required to pay any tax or other governmental charge associated with the transfer or exchange. The transfer or exchange will be made only if our transfer agent is satisfied with the holder’s proof of legal ownership.

If we have designated additional transfer agents for your debt security, they will be named in your prospectus supplement or term sheet. We may appoint additional transfer agents or cancel the appointment of any particular transfer agent. We may also approve a change in the office through which any transfer agent acts.

If any certificated debt securities of a particular series are redeemable and we redeem less than all the debt securities of that series, we may block the transfer or exchange of those debt securities during the period beginning 15 days before the day we mail the notice of redemption and ending on the day of that mailing, in order to freeze the list of holders to prepare the mailing. We may also refuse to register transfers or exchanges of any certificated debt securities selected for redemption, except that we will continue to permit transfers and exchanges of the unredeemed portion of any debt security that will be partially redeemed.

If a registered debt security is issued in book-entry form, only the depositary will be entitled to transfer and exchange the debt security as described in this subsection, since it will be the sole holder of the debt security.

Resignation of Trustee

The trustee may resign or be removed at any time with respect to one or more series of indenture securities provided that a successor trustee is appointed to act with respect to these series. In the event that two or more persons are acting as trustee with respect to different series of indenture securities under the indenture, each of the trustees will be a trustee of a trust separate and apart from the trust administered by any other trustee.

The Trustee Under the Indenture

The trustee under the indenture is The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A. The trustee and its affiliates have in the past provided and may from time to time in the future provide banking and other services to

 

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us in the ordinary course of business. The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A. also serves as trustee under the indenture governing our 1.875% convertible senior notes due 2024, dated November 22, 2019.

Governing Law

The indenture and the debt securities will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, without regard to conflict of laws principles thereof.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

We may issue units comprised of one or more of the other securities described in this prospectus in any combination. Each unit will be issued so that the holder of the unit is also the holder of each security included in the unit. Thus, the holder of a unit will have the rights and obligations of a holder of each included security. The unit agreement under which a unit is issued may provide that the securities included in the unit may not be held or transferred separately, at any time or at any time before a specified date. The applicable prospectus supplement may describe:

 

   

the designation and terms of the units and of the securities comprising the units, including whether and under what circumstances those securities may be held or transferred separately;

 

   

any provisions for the issuance, payment, settlement, transfer or exchange of the units or of the securities comprising the units;

 

   

the terms of the unit agreement governing the units;

 

   

United States federal income tax considerations relevant to the units; and

 

   

whether the units will be issued in fully registered global form.

This summary of certain general terms of units and any summary description of units in the applicable prospectus supplement do not purport to be complete and are qualified in their entirety by reference to all provisions of the applicable unit agreement and, if applicable, collateral arrangements and depositary arrangements relating to such units. The forms of the unit agreements and other documents relating to a particular issue of units will be filed with the SEC each time we issue units, and you should read those documents for provisions that may be important to you.

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

Initial Offering and Sale of Securities

Unless otherwise set forth in a prospectus supplement accompanying this prospectus, we, or the selling stockholders, may sell the securities being offered hereby, from time to time, by one or more of the following methods:

 

   

to or through underwriting syndicates represented by managing underwriters;

 

   

through one or more underwriters without a syndicate for them to offer and sell to the public;

 

   

through dealers or agents;

 

   

to purchasers directly in negotiated sales or in competitively bid transactions; or

 

   

through a combination of any of these methods.

Offerings of securities covered by this prospectus also may be made into an existing trading market for those securities in transactions at other than a fixed price, either:

 

   

on or through the facilities of the NASDAQ or any other securities exchange or quotation or trading service on which those securities may be listed, quoted, or traded at the time of sale; and/or

 

   

to or through a market maker otherwise than on the securities exchanges or quotation or trading services set forth above.

Those at-the-market offerings, if any, will be conducted by dealers acting as principal or agent.

The selling stockholders may also sell their shares of common stock in accordance with Rule 144 of the Securities Act, or any other available exemption, rather than by use of this prospectus.

The prospectus supplement with respect to the offered securities will set forth the terms of the offering of the offered securities, including:

 

   

the name or names of any underwriters, dealers or agents;

 

   

the purchase price of the offered securities and the proceeds to us from such sale;

 

   

any underwriting discounts and commissions or agency fees and other items constituting underwriters’ or agents’ compensation;

 

   

any initial public offering price and any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers; and

 

   

any securities exchange on which such offered securities may be listed.

Any underwriter, agent or dealer involved in the offer and sale of any series of the securities will be named in the prospectus supplement.

The distribution of the securities may be effected from time to time in one or more transactions:

 

   

at fixed prices, which may be changed;

 

   

at market prices prevailing at the time of the sale;

 

   

at varying prices determined at the time of sale; or

 

   

at negotiated prices.

 

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Each prospectus supplement will set forth the manner and terms of an offering of securities including:

 

   

whether that offering is being made to underwriters or through agents or directly;

 

   

the rules and procedures for any auction or bidding process, if used;

 

   

the securities’ purchase price or initial public offering price; and

 

   

the proceeds we anticipate from the sale of the securities, if any.

Sales Through Underwriters

If underwriters are used in the sale of some or all of the securities covered by this prospectus, the underwriters will acquire the securities for their own account. The underwriters may resell the securities, either directly to the public or to securities dealers, at various times in one or more transactions, including negotiated transactions, at a fixed public offering price or at varying prices determined at the time of sale. The obligations of the underwriters to purchase the securities will be subject to certain conditions. Unless indicated otherwise in a prospectus supplement, the underwriters will be obligated to purchase all the securities of the series offered if any of the securities are purchased.

Any initial public offering price and any concessions allowed or reallowed to dealers may be changed intermittently.

Sales Through Agents

Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, when securities are sold through an agent, the designated agent will agree, for the period of its appointment as agent, to use its best efforts to sell the securities for our or, as applicable, the selling stockholders’ account and will receive commissions from us or the selling stockholders as will be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement.

Securities bought in accordance with a redemption or repayment under their terms also may be offered and sold, if so indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, in connection with a remarketing by one or more firms acting as principals for their own accounts or as agents for us or, as applicable, the selling stockholders. Any remarketing firm will be identified and the terms of its agreement, if any, with us or the selling stockholders and its compensation will be described in the prospectus supplement. Remarketing firms may be deemed to be underwriters in connection with the securities remarketed by them.

If so indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, we may authorize agents, underwriters or dealers to solicit offers by certain specified institutions to purchase securities at a price set forth in the prospectus supplement pursuant to delayed delivery contracts providing for payment and delivery on a future date specified in the prospectus supplement. These contracts will be subject only to those conditions set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement, and the prospectus supplement will set forth the commissions payable by us for solicitation of these contracts.

Direct Sales

We, or the selling stockholders, may also sell offered securities directly to institutional investors or others. In this case, no underwriters or agents would be involved.

General Information

Broker-dealers, agents or underwriters may receive compensation in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from us or the selling stockholders and/or the purchasers of securities for whom such broker-dealers, agents or underwriters may act as agents or to whom they sell as principal, or both (this compensation to a particular broker-dealer might be in excess of customary commissions).

 

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Underwriters, dealers and agents that participate in any distribution of the offered securities may be deemed “underwriters” within the meaning of the Securities Act, so any discounts or commissions they receive in connection with the distribution may be deemed to be underwriting compensation. Those underwriters and agents may be entitled, under their agreements with us or any selling stockholder, to indemnification by us or a selling stockholder against certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or to contribution by us or a selling stockholder to payments that they may be required to make in respect of those civil liabilities. Various of those underwriters or agents may be customers of, engage in transactions with, or perform services for, us or our affiliates in the ordinary course of business. We will identify any underwriters or agents, and describe their compensation, in a prospectus supplement. Any institutional investors or others that purchase offered securities directly, and then resell the securities, may be deemed to be underwriters, and any discounts or commissions received by them from us or a selling stockholder and any profit on the resale of the securities by them may be deemed to be underwriting discounts and commissions under the Securities Act. We will file a supplement to this prospectus, if required, pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act, if we enter into any material arrangement with a broker, dealer, agent or underwriter for the sale of securities through a block trade, special offering, exchange distribution or secondary distribution or a purchase by a broker or dealer. Such prospectus supplement will disclose:

 

   

the name of any participating broker, dealer, agent or underwriter;

 

   

the number and type of securities involved;

 

   

the price at which such securities were sold;

 

   

any securities exchanges on which such securities may be listed;

 

   

the commissions paid or discounts or concessions allowed to any such broker, dealer, agent or underwriter where applicable; and

 

   

other facts material to the transaction.

In order to facilitate the offering of certain securities under this prospectus or an applicable prospectus supplement, certain persons participating in the offering of those securities may engage in transactions that stabilize, maintain or otherwise affect the price of those securities during and after the offering of those securities. Specifically, the underwriters of those securities may over-allot or otherwise create a short position in those securities for their own account by selling more of those securities than have been sold to them by us and may elect to cover any such short position by purchasing those securities in the open market.

In addition, the underwriters may stabilize or maintain the price of those securities by bidding for or purchasing those securities in the open market and may impose penalty bids, under which selling concessions allowed to syndicate members or other broker-dealers participating in the offering are reclaimed if securities previously distributed in the offering are repurchased in connection with stabilization transactions or otherwise. The effect of these transactions may be to stabilize or maintain the market price of the securities at a level above that which might otherwise prevail in the open market. The imposition of a penalty bid may also affect the price of securities to the extent that it discourages resales of the securities. No representation is made as to the magnitude or effect of any such stabilization or other transactions. Such transactions, if commenced, may be discontinued at any time.

In order to comply with the securities laws of certain states, if applicable, the securities must be sold in such jurisdictions only through registered or licensed brokers or dealers. In addition, in certain states the securities may not be sold unless they have been registered or qualified for sale in the applicable state or an exemption from the registration or qualification requirement is available and is complied with.

Rule 15c6-1 under the Exchange Act generally requires that trades in the secondary market settle in two business days, unless the parties to any such trade expressly agree otherwise. Your prospectus supplement may provide that the original issue date for your securities may be more than two scheduled business days after the trade date

 

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for your securities. Accordingly, in such a case, if you wish to trade securities on any date prior to the second business day before the original issue date for your securities, you will be required, by virtue of the fact that your securities initially are expected to settle in more than two scheduled business days after the trade date for your securities, to make alternative settlement arrangements to prevent a failed settlement.

This prospectus, the applicable prospectus supplement and any applicable pricing supplement in electronic format may be made available on the Internet sites of, or through other online services maintained by, us and/or one or more of the agents and/or dealers participating in an offering of securities, or by their affiliates. In those cases, prospective investors may be able to view offering terms online and, depending upon the particular agent or dealer, prospective investors may be allowed to place orders online.

Other than this prospectus, the applicable prospectus supplement and any applicable pricing supplement in electronic format, the information on our or any agent’s or dealer’s website and any information contained in any other website maintained by any agent or dealer:

 

   

is not part of this prospectus, the applicable prospectus supplement and any applicable pricing supplement or the registration statement of which they form a part;

 

   

has not been approved or endorsed by us or by any agent or dealer in its capacity as an agent or dealer, except, in each case, with respect to the respective website maintained by such entity; and

 

   

should not be relied upon by investors.

There can be no assurance that we, or the selling stockholders, will sell all or any of the securities offered by this prospectus.

This prospectus may also be used in connection with any issuance of common stock, preferred stock or debt securities upon exercise of a warrant if such issuance is not exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act.

In addition, we may issue the securities as a dividend or distribution or in a subscription rights offering to our existing security holders. In some cases, we or dealers acting with us or on our behalf may also purchase securities and reoffer them to the public by one or more of the methods described above. This prospectus may be used in connection with any offering of our securities through any of these methods or other methods described in the applicable prospectus supplement.

 

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LEGAL MATTERS

Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, the validity of the securities and certain other legal matters relating to the offer and sale of the securities offered hereby will be passed upon for us by Shearman  & Sterling LLP, New York, New York.

EXPERTS

The consolidated financial statements of the Company as of December 27, 2019 and December 28, 2018, and for each of the fiscal years in the three-year period ended December 27, 2019, and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting as of December 27, 2019, have been incorporated herein by reference to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 27, 2019, in reliance upon the reports of BDO USA, LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, incorporated by reference herein, and upon the authority of said firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Our SEC filings are available over the Internet at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. We also make available, free of charge, through our website our annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information, including amendments thereto, as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Our website address is www.chefswarehouse.com. Our website address is provided as an inactive textual reference only. Information contained on or accessible through our website is not part of this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement and is therefore not incorporated by reference into this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” the information we file with them, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this prospectus, and information that we file later with the SEC will automatically update and supersede this information. We incorporate by reference the documents listed below and any filings we will make with the SEC under Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act after the date of this prospectus and prior to the termination of the offering of securities hereby.

The following documents filed with the SEC are incorporated by reference in this prospectus:

 

  1.

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 27, 2019, filed with the SEC on February 24, 2020.

 

  2.

Our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, filed with the SEC on March 27, 2020 (to the extent incorporated into Part III of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 27, 2019).

 

  3.

Our Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on January  27, 2020, February  3, 2020, March 19, 2020 and March  23, 2020.

 

  4.

The description of our common stock set forth under the heading “Description of Our Capital Stock” in the prospectus included in the registration statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-173445) initially filed with the SEC on April 12, 2011 (as amended from time to time).

 

  5.

The description of our preferred stock purchase rights contained in our Form 8-A, filed with the SEC on March 23, 2020.

 

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Notwithstanding the foregoing, information that we furnish under Items 2.02 and 7.01 of any Current Report on Form 8-K, including the related exhibits under Item 9.01, is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus, the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, or any prospectus supplement, unless expressly stated therein.

Any statement contained in a document that is incorporated by reference will be modified or superseded for all purposes to the extent that a statement contained in this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement, or in any other document that is subsequently filed with the SEC and incorporated by reference, modifies, or is contrary to that previous statement. Any statement so modified or superseded will not be deemed a part of this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement, except as so modified or superseded. Since information that we later file with the SEC will update and supersede previously incorporated information, you should look at all of the SEC filings that we incorporate by reference to determine if any of the statements in this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement or in any documents previously incorporated by reference have been modified or superseded.

We will provide to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom this prospectus is delivered, upon written or oral request, at no cost, a copy of any and all of the information that is incorporated by reference in this prospectus.

Requests for such documents shall be directed to:

The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc.

100 East Ridge Road

Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877

Attn: Corporate Secretary

Telephone: (203) 894-1345

 

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THE CHEFS’ WAREHOUSE, INC.

$75,000,000

Common Stock

 

 

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

 

 

Jefferies

BMO Capital Markets

May 11, 2020