Merger Agreements

News & Analysis as of

New Delaware Decisions Provide Strong Support for Independent Board Decisions in the Sale of a Company

On December 19, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court, in C&J Energy Services, Inc. v. City of Miami General Employees' & Sanitation Employees' Retirement Trust, issued a strongly worded decision refusing to enjoin a change of...more

Delaware Chancery Court Declines to Dismiss Fraud Claims Against Private Equity Fund and Directors

In Great Hill Equity Partners IV, LP v. SIG Growth Equity Fund I, LLLP, the Delaware Court of Chancery denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss fraud-based claims made in connection with Great Hill’s acquisition of Plimus, a...more

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

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

Delaware Court Provides Guidance on Acceptable Deal Protection Mechanisms and Scope of Third Party Aiding and Abetting Liability...

On November 25, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision in In Re Comverge, Inc. Shareholders Litigation, which: (1) dismissed claims that the Comverge board of directors conducted a flawed sales process and...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

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

Sample Antitrust-Related Provisions in M&A Agreements

In this article: - Definitions - Representations and Warranties - Conditions Precedent - General Efforts Covenants - Conduct of Business Covenants - Merger Control Filing...more

Black Horse Capital, LP v. Xstelos Holdings, Inc., C.A. No. 8642-VCP (Del. Ch. Sept. 30, 2014) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this decision, the Court of Chancery granted defendants’ motion to dismiss, finding that it could not enforce the plaintiffs’ alleged oral agreement where the related written agreements make no reference to any prior...more

ev3, Inc. v. Lesh, C.A. No. 515, 2013 (Del. Sept. 30, 2014)

In this en banc Memorandum Opinion, the Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court’s denial of the defendant-below’s motion for a new trial following a jury verdict and remanded the case for a new trial. The Supreme Court...more

Survival of Non-Binding LOI Provisions Does Not Make Them Binding

On September 30, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed a jury verdict finding that ev3, Inc. breached its contractual obligation to the shareholders of Appriva Medical, Inc., a company purchased by ev3. In ev3, Inc. v...more

Merger Discussions & Non-Compete Agreements: A Recent Case from the EDNY

A recent case out of the Eastern District of New York raises interesting questions about the use of non-compete agreements in connection with merger talks. Let’s take a look: Calico Cottage, Inc. is a New York company...more

Delaware Formally Adopts Proposed Statutory Amendments Governing Mergers Following the Completion of a Tender Offer

The governor of Delaware recently signed into law previously proposed amendments to Section 251(h) of the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”), which make Section 251(h) more accessible to deal parties by...more

Top Ten Issues when Drafting International Agreements – Part I

Cross-border agreements come in all shapes and sizes, from manufacturing agreements to joint ventures, employment contracts to merger agreements. Each type has its own quirks, but we can boil down the most common legal issues...more

A Shot In A Mug Of Beer May Not Be The Answer To This Exclusive Forum Bylaw Case

In March, Safeway and Albertsons announced that they had entered into a definitive merger agreement. As night follows day, litigation ensued. At least 12 class action complaints were filed by alleged stockholders of...more

And You Thought Dissenters’ Rights Didn’t Apply To Delaware LLCs

Delaware’s Limited Liability Company Act provides that a limited liability company agreement or an agreement of merger or consolidation or plan of merger may provide for appraisal rights. 6 Del. Code § 18-210. Does this...more

Thresholds Do Matter – Choosing too Low a Threshold in an Ordinary Course of Business Provision Can Up Your Risk of “Gun Jumping”

Soon after someone settles “gun jumping” charges, client alerts with informative titles like “DOJ Settlement Resolves ‘Gun Jumping’ Charges” start flying around. These “alerts” usually recite facts alleged in the complaint,...more

European Commission reduces notification burden for more mergers

SUMMARY - The European Commission ("Commission") has announced its plans to both reshape the simplified merger notification process within the framework of the EUMR1 in order to extend the option of simplified...more

Chancery Court Takes Firm Stance On Seller’s Pre-Closing Privileged Communication

A recent Delaware Chancery Court opinion highlights the risk to sellers and their advisors that pre-closing communications could become evidence in a post-closing lawsuit related to the transaction. The opinion, Great Hill...more

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. v. Apollo (Mauritius) Holdings Pvt. Ltd., C.A. No. 8980-VCG (Del. Ch. Oct. 25, 2013) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, Vice Chancellor Glasscock denied a motion for judgment on the pleadings filed in connection with an expedited action in which the plaintiff Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. seeks specific performance of its...more

Delaware Court Confirms High Bar To Escape Deal

Two recent Delaware Chancery Court opinions, issued on October 25 and November 9, 2013, illustrate the high bar that buyers and sellers must clear to escape an unfavorable deal or obtain a court order requiring a deal to...more

Delaware Legislature Adopts Amendments to Delaware General Corporation Law

Effective as of August 1, 2013, the Delaware legislature adopted several significant amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law (DGCL). ...more

"Amendments to Delaware General Corporation Law to Facilitate Short-Form Mergers in Two-Step Transactions"

On August 1, 2013, new Section 251(h) of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the DGCL) becomes effective, which will allow consummation of second-step mergers without stockholder approval following a tender or exchange...more

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