Civil Procedure Mergers & Acquisitions Finance & Banking

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DOJ Suit Against ValueAct Shines Spotlight on HSR Requirements for Shareholder Activists

Suit signals potential consequences for activist investors who rely on the HSR “solely for purposes of investment” exemption. On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sued certain ValueAct Capital entities...more

Activist Funds Should Heed the Latest Enforcement of the HSR Act

The limits on an investor’s ability to acquire stock under the “investment-only” exemption to the HSR Act’s reporting requirements take center stage as the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”)...more

When Passive Investors Take a Stand – HSR Act Enforcement Put to the Test

Enforcement actions for violations of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR) often are announced with substantial money penalties or other restrictions agreed in advance between the agency and the parties. Not so with the Department...more

Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System v. Black, C.A. No. 9410-VCN (Del. Ch. Feb. 19, 2016) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery awarded a $144,375 fee to counsel for Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System (“Plaintiff”) on a mootness fee application in connection with the terminated merger...more

Caveat Emptor: Non-compliance with a Non-Binding Term Sheet Results in $195 Million Judgment

On December 23, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Delaware Chancery Court’s award of $195 million to PharmAthene, Inc. (“PharmAthene”) as compensation for lost profits (a/k/a expectation damages) on account of the...more

"Giving" And "Getting": The NC Business Court On Disclosure Only Class Action Settlements

Disclosure only settlements are in deep trouble in Delaware based on the Court of Chancery's recent decision in In re Trulia Inc. Stockholder Litigation. That decision is said to have sounded a "death knell" in Delaware for...more

After In re Trulia: Increased Scrutiny for the Give and the Get in Disclosure Settlements

It used to be that boards of public companies being acquired would routinely face one or (likely) more lawsuits alleging the directors breached their fiduciary duties because they had agreed to sell too cheaply or engaged in...more

Texas Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on Legal Malpractice Case Involving Standing of Beneficiary of Trust

On February 10, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court heard argument in a case that involves the issue of legal standing to sue when a trust is injured by the actions of a third party. In DLA Piper US, LLP v. Linegar, Chris Linegar...more

Delaware Chancery Court Rejects Disclosure-Only Settlement in Trulia/Zillow Merger Litigation, Making Clear Such Settlements Will...

On January 22, 2016, Delaware Chancellor Andre C. Bouchard rejected a proposed “disclosure-only” settlement in In re Trulia Stockholder Litigation. The decision confirms the Chancery Court’s growing skepticism for...more

In re Trulia, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 10020-CB (Del. Ch. Jan. 22, 2016) (Bouchard, C.)

This opinion represents the Court of Chancery’s latest and most definitive move toward greater scrutiny of disclosure-based settlements of stockholder class actions challenging public company mergers and acquisitions. In...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Another Disclosure-Only M&A Settlement and Warns of “Increasingly Vigilant” Scrutiny

The Delaware Court of Chancery dealt another blow to disclosure-only settlements of merger litigation and refused to approve a proposed class-action settlement arising from Zillow, Inc.'s acquisition of Trulia, Inc. ...more

Buyer Beware! Purchasers in Asset Sales Liable for Multiemployer Pension Plan Withdrawal Liability

Two recent appellate court decisions have made it easier for multiemployer pension plans to impose withdrawal liability on a purchaser in an asset deal. In Tsareff v. ManWeb Services, Inc., the Seventh Circuit expanded its...more

Rural/Metro: Delaware Supreme Court Affirms $76 Million Award Against Financial Advisor: Holds That Financial Advisors Are Not...

On November 30, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court issued an opinion affirming the Court of Chancery’s decision in In re Rural/Metro Corporation Stockholders Litigation. In the earlier decisions, the Court of Chancery found...more

M&A Update: Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Rural Metro Decision, but Financial Advisors Can Breathe a Sigh of Relief

In a November 30, 2015 decision, the Delaware Supreme Court upheld the Delaware Chancery Court’s $76 million damages award against RBC Capital in In re Rural/Metro Corp. S’holders Litig. The ruling, however, notably rejected...more

Financial Advisor Conflicts of Interests: Rural/Metro and Other Recent Cases

In a series of recent decisions, Delaware courts have emphasized the potential risks arising when a board’s financial advisor has a conflict of interests. The board of an acquired entity generally will enjoy the...more

Second Circuit Upholds Common-Interest Privilege for Borrower’s Sharing of Legal Advice with Consortium of Lenders

The Second Circuit held last week that a borrower did not waive the attorney-client privilege by providing documents to a consortium of lender banks that shared a common legal interest with the borrower in the tax treatment...more

Inside M&A - October 2015

Overview of SPACs and Latest Trends - A number of recent successful business combination transactions involving special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) led by prominent sponsors have driven a resurgence in the SPAC...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Cautions Directors: Be Vigilant in Recognizing Advisor’s Conflict of Interests

Shareholders challenged the merger of Zale Corporation with Signet Jewelers Ltd. In a decision dated October 1, 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery credited allegations that the board of directors of Zale breached its...more

Global Private Equity Newsletter - Fall 2015 Edition: Buyer Beware – Court Lowers Hurdle to Make Claim for Withdrawal Liability...

In Tsareff v. ManWeb Services, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that an asset purchaser’s pre-closing knowledge of a seller’s potential multiemployer plan withdrawal liability could be sufficient...more

The Ninth Circuit Hammers Out A New Successorship Liability Test Under The MPPAA

The Ninth Circuit, in Resilient Floor Covering Pension Trust Fund Board of Trustees v. Michael’s Floor Covering, Inc., Case No. 12-17675 (9th Cir. Sept. 11, 2015), joined the Seventh Circuit in finding that an asset...more

Disclosure-Only Settlements Face Continued Scrutiny In Delaware

On Thursday, September 17, 2015, in In re Riverbed Technology, Inc. Stockholders Litigation, the Delaware Chancery approved a disclosure-only settlement related to the go-private deal for Riverbed Technology, Inc. Although...more

Court Of Appeals Affirms Business Court Award Of $1 Million In Fees To Class Counsel

It seems like forever ago that the then venerable North Carolina institution, Wachovia Bank, failed and was acquired by Wells Fargo. (This was actually seven years ago). But just last week came what might be the final...more

Asset Purchasers May Be Found Liable as “Successors”

Recent court decisions suggest that parties engaged in corporate asset sale transactions involving potential multiemployer pension plan liability should give extra consideration to the structure and terms of their...more

LongPath Capital, LLC v. Ramtron Int'l Corp., C.A. No. 8094-VCP (Del. Ch. June 30, 2015) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this appraisal action, the Court of Chancery determined that the negotiated merger price less synergies yielded the fair value of Ramtron International Corporation (“Ramtron”) for purposes of Section 262 of the Delaware...more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Primacy Of Purchase Price Adjustment Clause

The buyer’s rights under a stock purchase agreement sometimes seem in conflict. This decision resolves such a conflict by holding that under the terms of the agreement, the purchase price adjustment process trumps the buyer’s...more

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