Civil Remedies Civil Procedure Mergers & Acquisitions

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Delaware Supreme Court Says Window Shopping Without Auction Enough in C&J-Nabors Case

In November, the Delaware Chancery Court agreed to temporarily bar C&J Energy Services Inc. investors from voting on a proposed merger between C&J and the hydraulic fracturing and well-sealing units of Nabors Industries Ltd. ...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

In re Kinder Morgan, Inc. Corporate Reorg. Litig., C.A. No. 10093-VCL (Del. Ch. Nov. 5, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery denied plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction and held that a provision in a partnership agreement imposing a higher voting threshold with respect to certain mergers...more

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

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

Five Million Dollar Penalty is Stark Reminder About "Gun Jumping"

On November 7, 2014, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice ("DOJ") announced that it had imposed a civil penalty of $3.8M and disgorgement of $1.15M in profits on Flakeboard America Limited (and its parent...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

M&A Update: Chancery Court Orders Financial Advisor to Pay Millions in Damages For Aiding and Abetting Breach of Fiduciary Duty

On October 10, 2014, Vice Chancellor Travis Laster ruled that RBC Capital was liable to the former stockholders of Rural/Metro Corporation for $75.8 million – representing 83% of the total damages – for aiding and abetting...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

Disclosing Merger Negotiations: The Eleventh Circuit Weighs In

Corporate merger negotiations are typically conducted under a veil of secrecy, with public disclosure withheld until the end when a definitive agreement has been signed. The fear is that premature disclosure of preliminary...more

The Delaware Court of Chancery Finds Two Transactions Were Not Entirely Fair, but Awards No Damages Where the Prices of the...

On September 4, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued two lengthy post-trial opinions, both authored by Vice Chancellor John W. Noble, finding that recapitalization or restructuring transactions did not satisfy the...more

Delaware Court Denies Attorneys’ Fees for Stockholders in Appraisal Proceedings

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently held that certain stockholders who launched appraisal proceedings challenging a merger lacked standing to obtain reimbursement of attorneys’ fees from a $10.7 million settlement in a...more

In re Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. S'holders Litig., Consol. C.A. No. 8917-VCL (Del. Ch. Aug. 25, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

The Delaware Court of Chancery denied a request by the parties to enter a proposed order withdrawing plaintiffs’ counsel’s request for the Court to retain jurisdiction to determine an award of attorneys’ fees and closing a...more

Amending Your Bylaws to Mitigate the Cost of Shareholder Litigation: Fee-shifting and forum selection provisions

Shareholder litigation is on the rise, increasing the cost of doing business; and companies often face litigation on multiple fronts, further increasing litigation exposure. In 2013, 94 percent of M&A deals were challenged by...more

Ritchie v. Rupe

The Texas Supreme Court, on June 20, 2014, issued its highly anticipated opinion in Ritchie v. Rupe, 2014 Tex. LEXIS 500 (Tex. 2014). Ritchie involved a claim by a minority shareholder in a closely held corporation under the...more

Third Point LLC V. Ruprecht; Two-Tiered Poison Pill Withstands Judicial Review

In Third Point LLC v. Ruprecht, et al., C.A. No. 9469-VCP (Del.Ch. May 2, 2014), the Delaware Chancery Court denied a preliminary injunction challenging Sotheby’s stockholder rights plan, or so-called “poison pill,” which...more

Smith, Katzenstein & Jenkins LLP v. Fidelity Mgmt. & Research Co., C.A. No. 8066-VCL (Del. Ch. April 16, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

The Court of Chancery awarded plaintiffs attorneys’ fees and expenses under Delaware’s common fund and common benefit doctrines, concluding that defendants — who settled their potential claims against Revlon, Inc. (“Revlon”)—...more

Business Court Dismisses Derivative Action Against Duke Energy

You might remember the derivative action filed against the board of directors of Duke Energy Corporation stemming from its 2012 merger with Progress Energy. It received a lot of publicity. The merger was concluded long ago,...more

I/MX Info. Mgmt. Solutions, Inc. v. Multiplan, Inc., C.A. No. 7786-VCP (Del. Ch. Mar. 27, 2014) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted the plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment as to the withholding of escrowed funds, reasoning that the defendants did not have a pending claim that could...more

A Million Dollars In Fees For Class Counsel in Wachovia/Wells Fargo Merger Lawsuit

When I first looked at Judge Murphy's (unpublished) Order in Ehrenhaus v. Baker earlier this month awarding attorneys' fees to the class action attorneys who sued Wachovia and Wells Fargo over their merger in 2008, I was...more

German Court Rejects National Competition Authority Liability for Damages After Unlawful Prohibition of a Merger

The Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf yesterday dismissed an action for damages of €1.1 billion brought by GN Store Nord against the German Federal Cartel Office. The judgment sheds some light on the possibility for...more

Plaintiff’s Attorney’s Fees in Shareholder Suits Subject to Heightened Scrutiny (In re Theragenics Case)

It’s virtually inevitable: Within hours (or less) of a press release announcing a merger or acquisition involving a public company, a group of shareholders will file a class action lawsuit against the public company target’s...more

Leading Cases in Pennsylvania Takeover Case Law: You’re Not in Delaware Anymore

Presented below is a brief survey of leading cases interpreting Pennsylvania corporate law in situations involving takeovers, proxy fights or other matters affecting corporate changes of control. This summary is by no means...more

Recent Delaware Chancery Transcripts Emphasize That Materiality Is Key To Fee Awards In Disclosure-Based M&A Settlements

Some corporate practitioners could have the impression that significant fee awards are granted as a matter of course in M&A class action litigation, even where the results obtained by class counsel were supplemental (and...more

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