Minority Shareholders

News & Analysis as of

Third Penalty in Two Months Against a Minority Investor Again Signals Increased FTC Enforcement of the H-S-R Act

For the third time in less than two months, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced an enforcement action against a minority investor who failed to comply with the Hart-Scott-Rodino (“H-S-R”) Act notification...more

Gaining Appropriate Control in Italian Minority Investments

Minority investments are an increasing feature of the Italian PE market. One key driver of minority investments is demand from many entrepreneurs, founders and small and medium-sized businesses for funding to refinance...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

FTC and DOJ Continue HSR Enforcement, Announce Penalties for Violation of “Institutional Investor” Exemption

Leucadia National Corporation has agreed to pay $240,000 to settle charges that it violated the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (the “Act”) for acquiring shares of KCG Holdings, Inc. (“KCG”) in 2013...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

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

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

Latest H-S-R Act Enforcement Is a Cautionary Tale for Minority Investors

Generally speaking, stock purchases which will cause an investor to hold more than $76.3 million of the target’s voting securities may require a pre-closing notification under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (“H-S-R”) Act. But there...more

Oppressed Shareholders Don’t Always Get the Relief They May Deserve

In Bontempo v. Lare, 2015 WL 4658901 (2015), published on August 6, 2015, the Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed that the "reasonable expectations test," previously articulated by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in...more

Mergers & Acquisitions Glossary

This Glossary contains many of the important terms and definitions used in the M&A world. The Glossary is not exhaustive, however. Like most areas of the law, M&A is a highly complex subject that involves several legal and...more

Minority Shareholder Owed No Fiduciary Duty To Other Shareholders In Merger Transaction

Judge Gale's decision earlier this month in Corwin v. British American Tobacco PLC, 2015 NCBC 74 dismissed all of the claims of the Plaintiff class. If the name Corwin is ringing a bell with you, his case is the shareholder...more

Valuation Discounts at Risk

Yogi Berra used to say, “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.” But a dime may be worth a nickel ... at least for the time being. Valuing interests in family-controlled entities is a challenging process, and an area where...more

Eletrobras Hires U.S. Law Firm to Conduct FCPA Investigation

On June 10, Eletrobras, Brazil’s state-run power company, announced that it had hired Hogan Lovells to investigate potential violations of the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws and corporate policies. The focus of the...more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Cash Calls To Eliminate Minority Owner

Using a cash call and then liquidation can overcome an operating agreement’s supermajority voting protections for minority owners in the right circumstances. What is most important is to always act fairly in terms of the...more

Delaware Supreme Court Preserves Benefit of Exculpatory Provisions for Independent Directors at Motion to Dismiss Stage

A recent decision by the Delaware Supreme Court provides independent directors, such as special committee members, with the ability to escape protracted fiduciary duty litigation during its initial stages. The court’s...more

Kyiv Corporate Alert (Ukrainian) On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of Ukraine relating to Investors’ Rights Protection

Президент України підписав закон № 289-VIII...more

Kyiv Corporate Alert On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of Ukraine relating to Investors’ Rights Protection

The President of Ukraine has signed Law No. 289-VIII “On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of Ukraine relating to Investors’ Rights Protection” (the “Law”) aimed at deregulating the economic activities of joint-stock...more

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

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