Securities Mergers & Acquisitions Civil Remedies

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Court Decision Helps REITs Strategize for Successful Acquisitions in the Face of Shareholder Litigation

Decision of note for REITs contemplating asset acquisitions involving stock consideration that requires stockholder approval, even if the transaction does not effect a change-in-control. Background – Following...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - First Quarter 2015

In this issue: - News from the Courts - Chancery Court Denies Enforcement of Drag-Along Right in Transaction Where Notice to Minority Stockholders Improperly Provided After Majority Stockholder Approval...more

Halpin v. Riverstone National, Inc., C.A. No. 9796-VCG (Del. Ch. Feb. 26, 2015) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this decision, the Court of Chancery granted a motion for summary judgment for minority stockholders asserting appraisal rights in a squeeze-out merger. The Court assumed, without deciding, that a common stockholder may...more

McWane, Inc. v. Lanier, C.A. No. 9488-VCP (Del. Ch. Jan. 30, 2015) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery denied defendants’ motion to dismiss or stay for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Court held that a mandatory forum selection clause in a merger agreement controlled over a...more

The Delaware Chancery Court Awards Lump-Sum Expectation Damages, Including Interest and Attorneys Fees, in the Amount of...

This Legal Insight updates our Legal Insight dated June 25, 2013, regarding the Delaware Chancery Court case captioned PharmAthene, Inc. v. SIGA Technologies, Inc., Civ. Action No. 2627-VCP, in which K&L Gates LLP serves as...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

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

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

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

SEC Settles Insider Trading Case With COO

The SEC and the DOJ have waged an aggressive battle against insider trading for years, resulting in a string of courtroom victories, guilty pleas and settlements as well as significant sanctions which are supposed to deter...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

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

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

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

2014 Amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law

On July 15, 2014, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed Delaware House Bill No. 329, which makes a number of noteworthy changes to the Delaware General Corporation Law. The 2014 amendments address: (1) mergers under DGCL...more

Laidler v. Hesco Bastion Environmental, Inc., C.A. No. 7561-VCG (Del. Ch. May 12, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery determined the fair value of the petitioner’s stock in a statutory appraisal proceeding arising from the short-form merger of Hesco Bastion USA, Inc. (the “Company”) into 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

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