Civil Procedure Mergers & Acquisitions Securities

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SEC Files Settled Insider Trading Case In District Court

After bringing a series of insider trading cases as administrative proceedings in recent weeks, the Commission returned to its more traditional approach. The agency filed settled insider trading charges against a CEO and...more

Business-Judgment Rule Applied in New York to Going-Private Transaction with Procedural Protections

The New York Appellate Division, First Department, ruled Thursday that the business-judgment rule – not the entire-fairness standard of review – can apply to a going-private transaction with the majority shareholder where the...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Applies Business Judgment Rule to Directors Who Approve Merger Supported by Large Shareholders

In its October 24, 2014, decision in In re Crimson Exploration Inc. Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 8541, the Delaware Court of Chancery confirmed that the business judgment rule is applicable in evaluating claims for breach...more

Tax Court Characterizes Technology Executive’s Merger Proceeds as Ordinary Income

On October 30th, the U.S. Tax Court ruled that a key executive of a technology company acquired by Google for $93 million was required to report a large portion of his merger consideration as ordinary compensation income....more

Delaware Chancery Requires Payment of Merger Consideration to Dissenting Stockholder After Expiration of Appraisal Period

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently dismissed corporate mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duty claims filed by a dissenting stockholder, but ordered that the surviving corporation in a merger was required to pay the...more

In re TPC Group Inc. S'holders Litig., C.A. No. 7865-VCN (Del. Ch. Oct. 29, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery denied plaintiffs’ application for an award of attorneys’ fees and held that plaintiffs’ class action litigation was not the cause of the increase in the merger price achieved...more

Going Private Mergers: More Lenient Standard of Judicial Review Now Available

A recent Delaware Supreme Court decision has changed the rules for post-transaction litigation review for “going-private transactions.” The court described the conditions necessary for such a transaction to be judged by the...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Entire Fairness Review in Absence of Conflicted Transaction

On October 24, the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed a lawsuit filed by certain minority stockholders of Crimson Exploration, Inc. in In re: Crimson Exploration Inc. Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 8541-VCP (Del. Ch. Oct...more

Delaware Court Establishes "Taxonomy" For Controlling Stockholder Claims

In a recent decision, the Delaware Court of Chancery (Parsons, V.C.) dismissed a shareholder class action complaint alleging that a target company’s board of directors and private equity firm controlling stockholder breached...more

M&A Update: Federal Court Decision in Allergan Control Battle Raises Serious Questions for New Takeover Technique

The Federal District Court’s November 4th ruling in Allergan, Inc. vs. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. raises “serious questions” for the takeover partnership employed by Valeant and Pershing Square in their...more

2014 Autumn Review – M&A Legal Developments

We set out below a number of interesting English and European court decisions which have taken place and their impact on M&A transactions. This Insight looks at these developments and gives practical guidance on their...more

In re KKR Financial Holdings LLC S'holder Litig., Consol. C.A. No. 9210-CB (Del. Ch. Oct. 14, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed a purported class action by stockholders of KKR Financial Holdings LLC (“KFN”) challenging its acquisition by KKR & Co. L.P. (“KKR”) in a stock-for-stock merger, rejecting...more

Delaware Court Dismisses Action Against Seller's Directors and Financial Advisor, And Finds That Large Stockholder's "Side Deals"...

On October 24, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision, In Re: Crimson Exploration Inc. Stockholder Litigation, addressing when: (i) a stockholder with less than majority voting power may be deemed a...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Controlling Stockholder Claims and Applies Business Judgment Rule to Merger Suits

In In re KKR Financial Holdings LLC Shareholder Litigation, C.A. No. 9210 (Del. Ch. Oct. 14, 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed a shareholder derivative suit brought by shareholders of KKR Financial Holdings LLC...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Contemporaneous Ownership Requirement For Creditors Asserting Derivative Claims

In Quadrant Structured Products Co. v. Vertin, C.A. No. 6990-VCL, 2014 Del. Ch. LEXIS 193 (Del. Ch. Oct. 1, 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery held that when creditors of insolvent firms assert derivative claims, they need...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - October 2014

In this issue: - Delaware Legislative Update - Amendments to DGCL Effective August 1, 2014 - News from the Courts - Additional Guidance on Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp. - Exculpation...more

Delaware Court Confirms Applicability of Business Judgment Rule to Investment Decisions of Insolvent Corporations

In its October 1, 2014 decision in Quadrant Structured Prods. Co. v. Vertin, et al., C.A. No. 6990, the Delaware Court of Chancery applied the protections afforded under the business judgment rule to investment strategies...more

ev3, Inc. v. Lesh, C.A. No. 515, 2013 (Del. Sept. 30, 2014)

In this en banc Memorandum Opinion, the Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court’s denial of the defendant-below’s motion for a new trial following a jury verdict and remanded the case for a new trial. The Supreme Court...more

In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. S'holder Litig., Consol. C.A. No. 8922-VCG (Del. Ch. Sept. 10, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this opinion on a motion to dismiss, the Court of Chancery held that, in a controller transaction governed by entire fairness review, a plaintiff need not specifically plead non-exculpated breaches of duty as to...more

Blog: Will The SEC Intercede In The Battle Over Fee-Shifting Bylaws?

“The first trickle through a leak in the dam” that eventually causes the dam to collapse is how Professor John Coffee characterized the adoption of fee-shifting bylaw or charter provisions by 24 companies since May of this...more

Ghost of David Sokol Haunts SEC’s Insider Trading Case against Szymik and Peixoto

It never actually became a case, but maybe you remember this matter from a few years ago. In January 2011, former Berkshire Hathaway executive David Sokol bought about 100,000 shares in Lubrizol Corporation shortly before...more

Forum Selection Bylaws Gain Ground

As we previously discussed (Should Your Board Adopt an Exclusive Forum Bylaw?, July 2013; The Future of Exclusive Forum Bylaws, November 2013), forum selection bylaws (also sometimes called exclusive forum bylaws) have become...more

The Flawed Headcount Requirement on Schemes of Arrangement

A failed takeover of a Hong Kong-listed company has highlighted a weakness in English company law. On 16 June, a proposed take private by way of scheme of arrangement lapsed when the resolution to approve the scheme...more

Should've, Would've, Could've: High Court Rules On The Use Of Hindsight In The Valuation Of A Target Company

In Ageas (UK) Ltd v Kwik-Fit (GB) Ltd & anr [2014] EWHC 2178 (QB), 4 July 2014, in a claim for breach of warranty under a share purchase agreement, the defendant's warranty and indemnity insurer, AIG, argued that the...more

Delaware Court Approves Out-Of-State Forum Selection Bylaw Adopted At Time Of Merger

In City of Providence v. First Citizens BancShares Inc. et al., C.A. No. 9795-CB (Del. Ch. Sept. 8, 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Bouchard, C.) held that a minority shareholder's claims against a Delaware...more

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