General Business Mergers & Acquisitions Civil Procedure

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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

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

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

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

New York Court Expands Application Of Common Interest Privilege In Case Involving M&A Transaction

Expanding the law in New York governing the attorney client privilege, New York’s intermediate appellate court held last week that anticipated or pending litigation is not a necessary prerequisite to invoking the common...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

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

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

Thanksgiving-Eve Delaware Chancery Court Decision Refuses to Dismiss Fraud-Based Claims Against Private Equity Investors and...

On Thanksgiving Eve the Delaware Chancery Court issued a detailed opinion sure to be of significance to all parties involved in M&A transactions, particularly in the private equity space. In Great Hill Equity Partners IV, LP...more

New York Appellate Court Affirms Business Judgment Rule for Going-Private Transaction

New York companies seeking to go private with a controlling shareholder may now be less vulnerable to shareholder litigation. On November 20, 2014, the New York Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed a New...more

“Would You Like Joint-Employer Liability With That?” McDonald’s Serves as a Cautionary Tale for Franchisors and Other Potential...

The National Labor Relations Board Office of the General Counsel has investigated charges alleging McDonald’s franchisees and their franchisor, McDonald’s, USA, LLC, violated the rights of employees as a result of activities...more

Antitrust Matters - November 2014 (Global)

EDITORIAL - Sitting at my desk in Washington, DC, I imagine myself being a business executive in Europe or Asia, trying to make sense of news reports that I regularly hear about United States courts and enforcement...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

DOJ’s Second Opinion Release of 2014: Is DOJ Evolving Away from the Halliburton Opinion Standard?

The Department of Justice (“DOJ” or the “Department”) just issued its most recent FCPA Opinion Release, only the second in 2014. The Requestor, a publicly traded U.S. consumer products company, sought an opinion as to whether...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

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

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

"Japanese Acquirer Resolves Pension-Related Liabilities of US Subsidiary"

On November 4, 2014, Asahi Tec Corporation (Asahi), a Japanese corporation that acquired U.S.-based Metaldyne Corporation (Metaldyne) in 2007, announced a settlement of its long-running dispute with the Pension Benefit...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

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