Controlling Stockholders

News & Analysis as of

M&A Update: Fully Informed Vote of Disinterested Stockholders Results in Business Judgment Rule Protection in Post-Closing Review...

In an October 2, 2015 decision, Corwin, et al. v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC., et al., the Delaware Supreme Court clarified that once a merger closes, as long as it has been approved by a fully informed vote of the...more

CLIENT ALERT: Delaware Supreme Court Finds That Fully Informed Stockholder Vote Approving Merger Invoked Business Judgment Rule

Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, No. 629, 2014 (Del. Oct. 2, 2015). In this opinion affirming the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of a purported class action challenging an acquisition transaction, the Delaware...more

Tyranny of the Minority: North Carolina Business Court Explores Potential Fiduciary Duties of Minority Shareholders

The North Carolina Business Court recently issued an opinion considering whether a minority shareholder can ever be considered a “controlling shareholder” who owes a fiduciary duty to other shareholders. The court’s opinion...more

Court Of Chancery Explains When A Dilution Claim Is Direct

It is often said that when a majority stockholder issues more stock to himself at an unfair price that is a direct claim and not derivative. But as this decision points out, that is a little too simplistic....more

Going-Private Transaction Results in $148 Million Fraud Charge for CEO and GC – What to Consider Going Forward

The Delaware Court of Chancery (the "Court") recently found the CEO, David Murdock ("Murdock"), and the General Counsel, C. Michael Carter ("Carter"), of Dole Foods Company (the "Company") personally liable to investors for...more

Fraud Means a “Fairer” Price: In re Dole Finds CEO and COO Personally Liable for Over $148 Million in Damages

On August 27, 2015 the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a post-trial decision, In re Dole Food Company, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, that held two of Dole’s directors, David Murdock and Michael Carter, personally liable for...more

Justice Friedman Allows Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim to Proceed Against Corporate Directors Under Delaware Law

In AP Services, LLP v. Lobell et. al, No. 651613/2012, 2015 NY Slip Op 31115(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. June 19, 2015) (argued Feb. 21, 2014), Justice Friedman, applying Delaware Law, denied a motion to dismiss plaintiff AP Services,...more

In re Dole Food Co., Inc.; A Going-Private Primer

In an August 27, 2015 decision, Vice Chancellor Laster of the Delaware Chancery Court found that the chief executive officer (David H. Murdock) and president and general counsel (C. Michael Carter) of Dole Food Co., Inc....more

Delaware Court Holds Interested Directors Liable for "Fairer Price" In Going Private Transaction

In one of the largest ever M&A-related recoveries for shareholders, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster ordered Dole Food Company, Inc.’s Chairman and CEO, David Murdock, and Dole’s former President, COO and General Counsel, C....more

Delaware Court’s Finding of $148 Million Fraud by Dole CEO and General Counsel Offers Major Lessons in Take-Private Deals

The Delaware Chancery Court ordered Dole Food Co. Inc. CEO David Murdock and General Counsel Michael Carter to pay Dole shareholders $148 million for fraud in connection with the company’s 2013 take-private deal. The August...more

Multiple Voting Shares: Don’t Call it a Comeback

Dual class share structures have been thrust back into the spotlight by a recent flurry of initial public offerings of subordinate voting shares, a proposed going private transaction of a dual class share company and...more

Delaware Chancery’s In re Dole Food Co., Inc. Decision Provides Lessons For Corporations Considering Going Private Transactions

On Thursday, August 27, 2015, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster found Dole Food Co., Inc. (“Dole”) Chief Executive Officer, David Murdock, and General Counsel, C. Michael Carter, liable to investors for $148 million in fraud...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Unfair Dealing Law In Cash-Out Case

Aside from the very large damage award, this decision should be noted for its thorough analysis of the duties of a controlling stockholder and his aides in the way they act to carry out a going private transaction....more

CLIENT ALERT: Court Finds Dole Food Company Directors Liable; Awards $148M in Damages

In re Dole Food Company, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, Consolidated C.A. No. 8703-VCL - In re Appraisal of Dole Food Company, Inc., Consolidated C.A. No. 9079-VCL - In a much anticipated post-trial decision, the...more

M&A Update: Delaware Court Finds Dole Executives Personally Liable for Millions in Damages for Defrauding Stockholders in Buy-Out...

In its August 27th post-trial opinion, In re Dole Food Co., Inc. Stockholder Litigation, the Delaware Chancery Court held Dole executives David Murdock and Michael Carter personally liable for $148 million in damages for...more

Court of Chancery Affirms Director Primacy in Delaware Corporate Law

The Court of Chancery recently affirmed the primacy of the board of directors in Delaware corporate law in a case that involved an attempt by the majority stockholder of a Delaware corporation to amend the corporation’s...more

Court Examines Disclosure Duties in Consent Solicitaion Removing Directors

In Kerbawy v. McDonnell, the Delaware Court of Chancery affirmed the validity of a solicitation of written consents that removed certain directors and appointed new directors. A key theme of the opinion is that stockholders...more

New Delaware Decision Strikes Bylaw Empowering Stockholders to Remove Officers

In a case of first impression, the Delaware Court of Chancery recently struck down a provision contained in the bylaws of a Delaware corporation authorizing the corporation’s stockholders to remove a corporate officer (in the...more

Delaware Legislature Prohibits Fee Shifting and Authorizes Exclusive Forum Selection

Delaware corporations should evaluate their certificates of incorporation or bylaws in light of new amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law. On June 24, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed Senate Bill 75...more

Delaware Expands Jurisdiction Over Directors

A recent but little-known decision by a Delaware court may have substantially expanded the state's jurisdiction over the directors of a Delaware corporation. Delaware has long had a director-consent-to-service statute: 10...more

New Developments in Estate and Gift Tax Valuation Cases

A number of recent cases highlight particular issues in valuation of assets for purposes of the estate and gift tax. On July 6, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service settled Estate of Davidson v. Commissioner, T.C. Docket No....more

Court Of Chancery Explains That The Existence Of A Controlling Stockholder Does Not Determine Demand Is Excused

Teamsters Union 25 Health Services & Insurance Plan v. Baiera, C.A. No. 9503-CB (July 13, 2015) - A transaction with a controlling stockholder that is the subject of a derivative complaint still requires that a...more

In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. S’holder Litig., C.A. No. 564, 2014 (Del. May 14, 2015) & Leal v. Meeks, C.A. No. 706, 2014...

In these interlocutory appeals, the Delaware Supreme Court resolved a long-standing split in Delaware authorities by ruling that independent directors (including members of a special committee negotiating a transaction with a...more

New Delaware Law Invalidates “Fee-shifting” and Validates "Forum-selection" Provisions

Prohibition on Fee-Shifting Provisions - The legislation signed into law last week responds to the Delaware Supreme Court’s decision in ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund, 91 A.3d 554 (Del. 2014) in which the Court...more

Executive Compensation Paid to Controlling Shareholders Subject to Business Judgment Review When Approved by an Independent...

Members of the Dolan family hold 73% of the voting power of Cablevision Systems Corporation’s stock. A shareholder commenced a derivative action regarding the executive compensation paid to Dolan family members serving as...more

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