Shareholder Activism

News & Analysis as of

"US Corporate Governance: Boards of Directors Remain Under the Microscope"

For a number of years, the message for directors of U.S. public companies has been that their decisions face greater and greater scrutiny. While some of this enhanced scrutiny has come from federal and state governments,...more

SEC Reverses Course on Proxy Exclusions for Certain Shareholder Proposals

Much is being made of the January 16th statement by SEC Chair Mary Jo White regarding a company’s ability to exclude a shareholder proposal from its proxy statement based on Rule 14a-8(i)(9), which allows exclusion when a...more

The SEC’s Rule 14a-8 Process Just Became Even More Pointlessly Outré

Yesterday, Broc Romanek posted on SEC Chair Mary Jo White’s Friday surprise with respect the no-action letter request submitted by Whole Foods Market, Inc. Readers may recall that in December Whole Foods had obtained the...more

Preparing for the 2015 Proxy Season

Similar to last year, there are no new disclosure requirements which need to be reflected in this year’s proxy statement; however, with ongoing shareholder activism and the desire of companies to communicate effectively with...more

Blog: Whole Foods proxy access saga continues

In her NYT column this past Sunday, Gretchen Morgenson provides an interesting update on the saga of James McRitchie’s proxy access proposal submitted to Whole Foods....more

Shareholders are Speaking out on Social and Environmental Issues

Shareholders are increasingly raising social and environmental issues in meetings. Nearly 40 percent of all shareholder proposals submitted in the first half of meetings in 2014 were related to social and environmental...more

Expect to See More Shareholder Activism in 2015, But Fewer “Gloves Off” Situations

As we all know, 2014 is shaping up to be one of the most vigorous years for activist investing. Certain activists have generated solid returns for investors and pension funds and other institutional investors are becoming...more

Top 10 Topics for Directors in 2015

In this issue: - Strategic Planning Challenges - Cybersecurity - Assess the Impact of Advances in Technology and Big Data - Shareholder Activism - The Return of M&A - Risk...more

Academic Perspectives on Investor Activism: Q&A with Professor Laura Starks

Academic affiliate Laura Starks – the Charles E. & Sara M. Seay Regents Chair in Finance and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business – is an expert on corporate governance...more

Activism: Every Season is Now Open Season

Activism has become omnipresent and now targets virtually every industry sector regardless of a company’s size. The number of campaigns are up, the amount of capital allocated to activism is at an all-time high and activists...more

How to Tailor Your Strategies for Engaging With Shareholder Activists

When it comes to engaging with shareholder activists, one size does not fit all. It’s crucial to think about the activist’s goals and possible outcomes. Is the activist seeking governance reforms, or a short-term return on...more

Anticipating Activism: Implications for Your 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders

Activist investors often begin planning their campaigns as much as a year in advance of the annual meeting. This includes accumulating stock positions, coordinating with other hedge funds in so-called “wolf packs,” analyzing...more

European M+A News, Fall 2014

In This Issue: - Shareholder Activism in Germany - Reinforced Ukraine-Related Sanctions on Russia - Current Developments Foreign Direct Investment into EU Increasing - Rising Confidence – European...more

Blog: Will The New Coca-Cola Guidelines Become The “Classic” Model Or Just “New Coke”?

Coca-Cola’s decision to scale back the use of its equity compensation plan and adopt “equity stewardship guidelines” has certainly received a lot of press – for an equity plan, that is. (See for example, these pieces, in the...more

Activism: An Overview from the Company Perspective

Increasingly, companies are being confronted with shareholders seeking to exercise power and influence over business activities. The term “activism” has become a buzzword to refer to shareholders seeking to make operational,...more

Delaware Supreme Court Rules That Privileged Documents Must Be Produced To Shareholders Investigating Corporate Misconduct

The Delaware Supreme Court recently held that, in certain circumstances, shareholders may be able to obtain access to privileged, internal documents in order to investigate potential breaches of fiduciary duty. In Wal-Mart...more

Activism and Engagement: Yadda, Yadda, Yadda or a Useful tool (or a Little of Both)

Activism is on the rise and everyone's activism defense playbook includes engagement, engagement and more engagement as the principal response. The experts in the field are well versed in when to engage, who to engage...more

The Activist Investor and Negotiated Share Purchases

Steven Stokdyk is the global Co-chair of Latham & Watkins’ Public Company Representation Practice. He has extensive corporate, finance and acquisition experience representing companies, principal investors and investment...more

The Current View On Direct vs. Derivative

When a member or shareholder of a company or corporation sustains a loss, is that member’s loss directly compensable by a direct suit? Or does the member have to bring a derivative suit on behalf of the corporation? ...more

Julie Friedman v. Dara Khosrowshahi, et al., C.A. No. 9161-CB (Del. Ch. Jul. 16, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss a stockholder’s complaint, challenging the accelerated vesting of the CEO’s restricted stock units based on an alleged violation of...more

Delaware Court Dismisses Shareholder Class Action Suit Attacking Corporate Merger

Almost every proposed corporate merger is met with a shareholder suit against the acquiring company, merger target and the target’s board of directors in which the shareholders assert that the board breached its fiduciary...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisition Law News - Second Quarter 2014

In this issue: -Delaware Legislative Update -Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Facial Validity of Fee-Shifting Provisions in Bylaws of Delaware Non-Stock Corporation -News from the Courts: -Court...more

Chancery Court Provides Additional Room for Shareholders Challenging Change of Control Transactions

What you need to know: In its recent decision in Chen v. Howard-Anderson, Delaware’s Court of Chancery held that directors and officers may be found to have acted in bad faith, thereby breaching their fiduciary duty of...more

Risk Planning and Board Liability

Board members are in the hot seat, or to put it another way – they are in a hot kitchen. The question is whether they can stand the heat of the hot kitchen....more

Counsel to the Company: A Framework for Corporate Governance

As a threshold matter, counsel must identify, and remain clear as to, the identity of its client, which may be the company or a subsidiary, the Board or Board committee, or one or more executives. The identity of the client...more

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