Civil Procedure Mergers & Acquisitions Securities

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Eighth Circuit Clarifies the Requirements for Cy Pres Distribution of Class Action Settlement Funds

Due to what it called a “substantial history of district courts ignoring and resisting circuit court cy pres concerns and rulings in class action cases,” the Eighth Circuit recently clarified the legal principles surrounding...more

“Appraisal Arbitrage” Receives Boost from Delaware Court of Chancery

An increasingly popular hedge fund strategy, commonly referred to as “appraisal arbitrage,” recently received a significant boost from the Delaware Court of Chancery. Appraisal arbitrage refers to the practice of buying...more

Delaware Chancery Court Concludes Indemnification and Other Provisions of a Merger Agreement Are Not Enforceable Against...

In November, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision that raises troubling questions about commonly used techniques in private company acquisitions and that, if not modified on appeal or through legislation, could...more

Delaware Court Rules That Beneficial Stockholder May Seek Appraisal in Its Own Name

On January 5, the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled that a beneficial stockholder has standing to bring an action for appraisal in its own name when the record stockholder’s actions have perfected the right of appraisal. The...more

New York Courts Reject Disclosure-Based Settlements of Merger Lawsuits

In two recent rulings, the New York Supreme Court rejected settlements arising from lawsuits in which plaintiff stockholders challenged the defendant public companies’ merger-related disclosures. The court in each case...more

Chancery Court Permits Appraisal Arbitrage

A fairly new litigation development is the subject of two Delaware Court of Chancery decisions issued on the same day. Both In re Appraisal of Ancestry.com, Consol. C.A. No. 8173-VCG (Jan. 5, 2015), and Merion Capital v. BMC...more

Eighth Circuit Sets Standard For Cy Pres Distributions

On January 8, 2015, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals established a five-factor test governing cy pres distributions in class action lawsuits. In Re: BankAmerica Corp. Sec. Litig., No. 13-2620 (8th Cir. Jan. 8, 2015). ...more

Delaware Corporate Law And Litigation: What Happened In 2014 And What It Means For You In 2015

In This Issue: - Delaware’s Leading Role in Business and Business Litigation - Curbing Stockholder Litigation: Exclusive Forum and Fee-Shifting Provisions - Two-Tiered Poison Pill Targeted at Hedge Fund...more

Del. Justices Reverse Injunction Halting Sale of Control Transaction

When a Delaware corporation engages in a sale of control transaction, its board's obligation is to obtain the highest value reasonably attainable. This obligation, often referred to as Revlon duties, may be fulfilled as long...more

Holley v. Nipro Diagnostics, Inc., C.A. No. 9679-VCP (Del. Ch. Dec. 23, 2014) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted partial summary judgment in favor of a former director on his advancement claims relating to his defense of a pending SEC civil lawsuit alleging insider-trading...more

Court Of Chancery Clarifies Standing For Appraisal Rights

Merion Capital LP v. BMC Software, Inc., C.A. 8900-VCG (January 5, 2015) and In Re Appraisal Of Ancestry.com Inc., C.A. 8173-VCG (January 5, 2015) both deal with appraisal arbitrage and resolve who is entitled to file an...more

Delaware Supreme Court Holds That Revlon Does Not Require An Active Market Check, Reverses Lower Court Order Preliminarily...

On December 19, 2014, the Supreme Court of Delaware reversed the Delaware Court of Chancery's November decision to preliminarily enjoin for 30 days a vote by C&J Energy Services stockholders on a merger with Nabors Red Lion...more

Delaware Supreme Court Reverses Injunction Requiring Thirty Day Go-Shop

In a recent decision, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed the Court of Chancery's entry of a preliminary injunction that enjoined C&J Energy Services, Inc. ("C&J") from holding a stockholder vote on its proposed merger with...more

Delaware Supreme Court Reverses Order Enjoining Stockholder Vote and Requiring Company to Solicit Alternative Proposals

On December 19, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed an injunctive order issued by the Court of Chancery temporarily enjoining a stockholder vote on the merger of C&J Energy Services, Inc. (C&J) with a subsidiary of...more

Do Post-Closing Merger Price Adjustments Comport With DGCL?

Delaware courts have routinely upheld post-closing merger price adjustments that comply with the requirements of Section 251 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. To allow stockholders to make an informed decision as to...more

Forum Selection Bylaws Gain Additional Support in California

In adopting an exclusive forum selection bylaw, companies can avoid the cost and complication of multi-forum litigation after an M&A transaction. In response to the wasteful and burdensome trend of multi-forum...more

No Auction Required – Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Board Flexibility under Revlon

Ruling that an active solicitation process is not necessarily required for a target board of directors to satisfy its fiduciary duties in a change of control transaction, the Delaware Supreme Court overturned a preliminary...more

In re Novell, Inc. S’holder Litig., C.A. No. 6032 (Del. Ch. Nov. 25, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted summary judgment in favor of defendants on claims alleging that directors acted in bad faith by favoring a bidder in a sale process for reasons other than the pursuit...more

Court Clarifies Law on Enforceability of Obligations of Non-Signatories in Private Mergers

In a fact-specific case with potential ramifications for future mergers under Delaware law, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co., a preferred stockholder of Audax Health Solutions Inc., whose shares were extinguished by a...more

Cigna Health and Life Ins. Co. v. Audax Health Sol’ns, Inc., C.A. No. 9405-VCP (Del. Ch. Nov. 26, 2014)

In this action seeking a declaratory judgment regarding the validity of certain provisions in a merger agreement and related contracts, the Court of Chancery granted in part plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings,...more

Expedited Proceedings Denied Where Harm Is Only Speculative

The Delaware Chancery Court recently denied a shareholder’s motion to expedite proceedings to enjoin a company buyout, finding that the shareholder failed to show that any threatened harm from the buyout was imminent,...more

Applying Delaware’s Direct vs. Derivative Analysis to Contract Claims

In NAF Holdings, LLC v. Li & Fung (Trading) Limited, 2014 WL 6462825 (2d Cir. Nov. 19, 2014), the Second Circuit considered, but did not decide, whether the usual direct/derivative analysis governing minority stockholder...more

Great Hill Equity Partners IV, LP v. SIG Growth Equity Fund I, LLLP, C.A. No. 7906 (Del. Ch. Nov. 26, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery largely denied but granted in part defendants’ motion to dismiss claims relating to a 2011 merger in which plaintiffs Great Hill Equity Partners IV, LP and related entities...more

Delaware Court Invalidates Release and Indemnification Obligations Against a Selling Stockholder in a Merger Transaction

The Delaware Chancery Court recently invalidated a buyer’s attempt to obtain a release and indemnification obligations from selling stockholders of a Delaware corporation that was acquired in a merger. The ruling will require...more

Minority Shareholders' Alleged Control of Management and Operations Does Not Establish Domination of the Board

Emphasizing the demanding pleading standards a shareholder must meet to show that a minority shareholder controls a board of directors, on November 25, Vice Chancellor Glasscock dismissed claims for breach of fiduciary duties...more

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