Minority Shareholders

News & Analysis as of

Delaware Court of Chancery Examines Relationship between Company’s Drag-Along Right and Stockholder’s Waiver of Right to Appraisal

In Halpin v. Riverstone National, Inc., the Delaware Court of Chancery examined the language of a stockholders’ agreement to determine whether Riverstone had properly exercised its contractual drag-along right and triggered a...more

Alert: Scope of EU Merger Control Reforms in Doubt

Recent comments by the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, indicate that European Commission staff still have some persuading to do over their proposal to extend the scope of European merger control to...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

Minority Shareholders Liable as Transferees for Unpaid Corporate Taxes Due to Wrongdoing of Majority Shareholders

The Tax Court has found two minority shareholders liable to return several million of dividends they received from a corporation when the corporation failed to pay federal income taxes at the direction of majority...more

"Dutch Authority Follows EU by Finding Private Equity Firms Liable for Antitrust Violations of Minority Held Companies"

The Dutch competition authority (the Authority for Consumers and Markets, or ACM) has issued two decisions imposing fines on private equity firms for the participation of their portfolio company in the so-called flour cartel....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

Swomley v. Schlecht, C.A. No. 9355-VCL (Del. Ch. Mar. 12, 2015) (Laster, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery declined to enter a form of stipulated order that proposed providing notice to purported class members and a hearing on plaintiffs’ motion for attorneys’ fees and expenses prior...more

Court Of Chancery Limits Drag-Along Rights

Whether drag-along rights can preclude an appraisal action for common stock has not been decided in Delaware. Here, because the merger was completed before the drag-along rights were asserted, the Court did not have to...more

Exercising Drag-Along Rights After Merger Did Not Waive Appraisal Rights

In Halpin et al v. Riverstone National, Inc., the Delaware Court of Chancery found that invoking drag-along rights against minority stockholders after a merger did not waive appraisal rights under the facts of the case...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Fiduciary Duty Claim Against Former Counsel

In a few weeks’ time over at Appellate Strategist’s sister blog, the Illinois Supreme Court Review, we’ll address the question of just how rare it is to get an unpublished decision – what we in Illinois call a Rule 23 order –...more

Recent Delaware Court of Chancery Decisions Address When A Non-Majority Stockholder Will Be Deemed a Controlling Stockholder

In three recent decisions, the Delaware Court of Chancery reiterated that under Delaware law, a large, though not majority, stockholder of a corporation will not be considered a controlling stockholder (with the attendant...more

"New Listing Rules for Premium-Listed UK Companies: The Fine Line Between Upholding Majority Rule and Protecting Minority Rights"

The protection of minority shareholders in companies with a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange came to the fore in the United Kingdom following the 2012 and 2013 publication of consultation papers on the...more

Minority Shareholder Oppression In Family Businesses In Pennsylvania

Decades ago, Pennsylvania courts, as well as other state courts, were reluctant to interfere with business judgments of majority shareholders managing a corporation, even where the expectations of a minority shareholder had...more

Minority Shareholder Rights In Pennsylvania And Florida: A Tale Of Two Very Different Approaches

This article analyzes the development of the law relating to treatment of minority shareholders in Pennsylvania and Florida. The article discusses what type of conduct is actionable, what remedies are available as well as...more

When a Minority Stockholder May Be Deemed a Controller

In just the past three months, the Delaware Court of Chancery has issued four opinions (In re KKR Financial Holdings LLC Shareholder Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 9210-CB; In re Crimson Exploration Stockholder Litigation, C.A....more

Applying Delaware’s Direct vs. Derivative Analysis to Contract Claims

In NAF Holdings, LLC v. Li & Fung (Trading) Limited, 2014 WL 6462825 (2d Cir. Nov. 19, 2014), the Second Circuit considered, but did not decide, whether the usual direct/derivative analysis governing minority stockholder...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

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

Blog: Another Twist On Restrictive Bylaw Provisions: Minimum Support Thresholds

In this article, Reuters discusses yet another creative permutation on restrictive bylaw provisions — requiring that plaintiffs in certain shareholder litigation provide consents to the litigation from shareholders holding...more

In re KKR Financial Holdings LLC S'holder Litig., Consol. C.A. No. 9210-CB (Del. Ch. Oct. 14, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed a purported class action by stockholders of KKR Financial Holdings LLC (“KFN”) challenging its acquisition by KKR & Co. L.P. (“KKR”) in a stock-for-stock merger, rejecting...more

Focus on Private Equity - October 2014

Proposed EU Merger Review of Non-Controlling Minority Shareholding Acquisitions: Challenges and Opportunities for Private Equity - At present, the EU Merger Regulation [Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004] (the Merger...more

In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. S'holder Litig., Consol. C.A. No. 8922-VCG (Del. Ch. Sept. 10, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this opinion on a motion to dismiss, the Court of Chancery held that, in a controller transaction governed by entire fairness review, a plaintiff need not specifically plead non-exculpated breaches of duty as to...more

The Texas Supreme Court Decision in Ritchie v. Rupe

On June 20, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Ritchie v. Rupe, 2014 Tex. LEXIS 500 (Tex. 2014). In Ritchie, a minority shareholder in a closely held corporation attempted to force the majority shareholders...more

Texas Supreme Court's Recent Shareholder Oppression Opinions Reaffirm Primacy of Common Law Fiduciary Duties Under Gearhart

In three recent cases, the Texas Supreme Court has made it clear that for claims of "minority shareholder oppression" — essentially, acts of a majority shareholder group that are harmful to a minority shareholder without...more

Commission Publishes White Paper on Minority Shareholdings

Under the current Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 (the Merger Regulation), the Commission is only able to review transactions that lead to a change of control. The Commission also has the power to review existing minority...more

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