Shareholder Activism

News & Analysis as of

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

The Resilient Rights Plan: Recent Poison Pill Developments and Trends

Shareholder rights plans were developed more than 30 years ago to fend off opportunistic hostile offers and other abusive takeover transactions. Rights plans deter unauthorized stock accumulations by imposing substantial...more

The Troubled Track Record of the Proxy Strike Suit

The recent wave of proxy strike litigation, once thought to be on the rise in 2012 and 2013, has now gone two years without a significant court victory. After one notable early success, decision after decision has gone...more

In re TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. S'holders Litig., C.A. No. 9415-VCN (Del. Ch. Jun. 13, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion denying plaintiffs’ motion to expedite, the Court of Chancery held that plaintiffs, shareholders of TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. (“TriQuint” or the “Company”), failed to assert a colorable claim that...more

Social Media and Proxy Contests

As the use of social media continues to grow, social media is likely to play an increasingly more prominent role in proxy contests. In this context, the recent Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations issued by the SEC’s...more

Federal Court Rules Boilermakers Didn’t Decide All Issues And Orders Company To File A Form 8-K

At first glance, the plaintiff’s position in Bushansky v. Armacost, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88072 (N.D. Cal. June 25, 2014) seems a bit peculiar. The plaintiff had filed suit challenging Chevron Corporation’s adoption of an...more

"Navigating Today’s Shareholder Activism Landscape: What Companies Should Consider"

Shareholder activism is the corporate topic du jour, be it in boardrooms, the media or Washington, D.C. While corporate boards and management need to understand the current environment and how we got here, their top priority...more

2014 Roundtable Series, Mergers & Acquisitions

Market watchers view mergers and acquisitions as an economic yardstick. After several years of modest volumes, we've already seen substantial M&A activity in 2014 across industries including biotech, pharmaceuticals, and...more

Shareholder Activism in Germany Following Takeover Announcements

Over the past few years there has been a noticeable increase in the frequency of activist investors building up considerable stakes in German listed companies in the context of public takeovers. One reason for this...more

"Delaware Court of Chancery Recognizes Potential Benefits of Shareholder Rights Plans in Addressing Shareholder Activism"

William F. Ruprecht, et al., and Sotheby’s, which, in essence, recognized that a board of directors could adopt a shareholder rights plan as a reasonable response to a threat posed by an activist shareholder....more

Shareholder Proposals: Different Challenges, Different Results

This proxy season, several companies filed suit against shareholder activist, John Chevedden, challenging his shareholder proposals. Three companies, Omnicom Group, Inc., Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. and Express Scripts...more

It’s Prime Time for Shareholder Engagement

Shareholder engagement has become decidedly mainstream in recent years according to a new study by ISS entitled Defining Engagement: An Update on the Evolving Relationship Between Shareholders, Directors and Executives. The...more

Expect greater SEC scrutiny of activist hedge funds that share information or collaborate in advance of their trades

A recent Wall Street Journal article – “Activist Investors Often Leak Their Plans to a Favored Few” – focused attention on “activist” investors and stock analysts who (as part of their bullish or bearish campaigns for or...more

Lead Director Networks: Viewpoints - April 2014

Dealing with shareholder activism - On March 4, 2014, Lead Director Network (LDN)1 members met in New York City to discuss shareholder activism. Ralph Whitworth, founder, principal, and investment committee member of...more

Boardroom Perspectives: Three Practical Steps to Stay Ahead of Shareholder Activism

Activist investors continue to shape corporate governance. Last year saw more than 300 activist proxy campaigns, proposals and contests. Activism-focused funds manage over $100 billion in assets. In this climate, no...more

Activist Investing Gains Momentum: The Top Ten For 2013

Some have called this the ‘golden age of activist investing.' Others have described the current climate in a less flattering light, as ‘Investor Activism Gone Wild.’ Pitched battles have played out on a very public stage as...more

The Proxy Season Field Guide - Fourth Edition

In This Issue: Executive Summary; Chapter 1 - The Legislative And Regulatory Developments Shaping The Proxy Season; Chapter 2 Say-On-Pay; Chapter 3 Key Disclosure Considerations For Proxy Statements And Annual Reports;...more

Trends Influencing Oil & Gas Mergers and Acquisitions

While oil and gas M&A activity declined slightly in 2013, the industry seems poised to reward players who understand the market’s signals. M&A activity in 2013 reveals some interesting trends driving the market. With...more

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