Going-Private Transactions

News & Analysis as of

Fraud Vitiated Special-Committee Process in Dole Merger

In a self-interested transaction between a company and its controlling stockholder, the operative standard of judicial review under Delaware law is the most rigorous: entire fairness standard of review. To obtain the least...more

In re Appraisal of Dell Inc., C.A. No. 9322-VCL (Del. Ch. July 13, 2015) (rev'd July 30, 2015) (Laster, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Delaware Court of Chancery granted a defendant’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the continuous holder requirement set forth in Section 262 of the General Corporation Law of the State...more

Disclosure-Only Settlements Face Continued Scrutiny In Delaware

On Thursday, September 17, 2015, in In re Riverbed Technology, Inc. Stockholders Litigation, the Delaware Chancery approved a disclosure-only settlement related to the go-private deal for Riverbed Technology, Inc. Although...more

Integration of Private and Public Offerings 2015

I. INTRODUCTION - A. Outline Coverage - This outline reviews the SEC’s interpretations that relate to the integration of private and public offerings and the challenges they impose for the capital formation...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

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 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

Private Equity Newsletter - Summer 2015 Edition: SEC Charges Corporate Insiders for Failing to Update Beneficial Ownership...

Enforcement actions raise potential disclosure concerns for private equity sponsors exploring investments in public companies - Earlier this year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced charges...more

With Reservations, Delaware Chancery Court Grants Summary Judgment to Dell in Appraisal Action Sparked by Going-Private Merger

In a cash-out merger or consolidation, qualifying shareholders of a constituent Delaware corporation who do not vote in favor of the transaction may seek a judicial determination of the “fair value of [their] shares” under...more

Seventh Circuit Holds Under Indiana Law, Company Was Allowed to Vote Its Own Shares

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed a district court decision holding that under Indiana law, an Indiana corporation could vote its own outstanding preferred shares. In 1999, Emmis...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

Delaware Court of Chancery Restricts Board’s Ability to Subject Former Shareholders to New Bylaws

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently held, in a case of first impression, that a non-reciprocal fee-shifting bylaw cannot be applied to a claim brought by a former shareholder who had been cashed out of the company before...more

More “Broken Windows”: SEC Charges Schedule 13D Filers with Disclosure Violations for Failing to Update Ownership Reports

When a significant stockholder in a publicly-held company is considering plans to take the company private, how soon must the stockholder disclose those plans in a Schedule 13D filing?...more

SEC Charges Insiders for Failure to Update Schedule 13D Disclosures

On March 13, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged eight officers, directors and major shareholders for failing to update material changes in their stock ownership disclosures on Schedule 13D in connection with...more

Broken Windows Continues: SEC Brings Group of Actions Centered on Section 13(d)(2) Violations

The “broken windows” approach to enforcement is alive, well and continuing. This time the Commission bundled together three groups of actions and eight proceedings, all centered on a failure to update disclosures tied to...more

Blog: SEC Enforcement Tries To Fix More “Broken Windows”

On Friday, the SEC charged eight officers, directors and major shareholders for failing to update their Schedule 13D stock ownership reports to reflect material changes in connection with several going-private transactions. ...more

Delaware Independent Director Liability in Control Buyout Cases

The Delaware Supreme Court will address the standard for pleading that an independent director has breached fiduciary duties in connection with a controlling shareholder buyout. The issue was certified for interlocutory...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - January 2015

In this issue: - News from the Courts - Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Fiduciary Duties in Sale Context and Overturns Judicial Imposition of Auction in Deal with Passive Market Check - Illinois Court...more

Appellate Division Review - Business Judgment Rule, Privilege, Child Support, Animal Rights

The more things change, the more they remain the same. As we enter a new year, New York’s Appellate Division faces the same and greater challenges: increasing caseloads, staff shortages, judicial vacancies, and legal disputes...more

Delaware Court Determines That 17.5% Stockholder Seeking To Take Company Private Could Be Deemed A Controller And Therefore...

On November 26, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery denied a motion to dismiss a complaint challenging a going-private transaction where the company's CEO, Chairman and 17.5% stockholder was leading the buyout group. In his...more

New York City affordable co-op votes to go private: residents gain windfall but city loses affordable housing units

The shareholders of Southbridge Towers, a 1,651 affordable unit cooperative in Manhattan, recently voted to privatize their development, allowing the residents to sell their apartments at market rate and walk away with a...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

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