Shareholder Litigation

News & Analysis as of

Mergers & Acquisitions Alert: Controlling Stockholder Squeeze-Outs May Be Structured to Achieve Deferential “Business Judgment...

In Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp. (Del. Mar. 14, 2014), the Delaware Supreme Court recently decided that a going private transaction sponsored by the controlling stockholder of a Delaware corporation may, under certain...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

Intuitive Surgical Sued by Shareholders Over Withheld Complications

Shareholders have sued the maker of a surgical robot claiming the company has “grossly underreported” injuries and deaths attributed to the da Vinci....more

California’s RULLCA Impossible Pleading Requirement For Derivative Suits

California’s Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act requires a member of a domestic or foreign LLC to include two specific allegations in any complaint brought in the right of the company. Failure to include these two...more

Delaware Supreme Court Tells Controlling Shareholders “If You Look Out For Your Minority, We’ll Look Out For You”

On March 14, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court unanimously affirmed an important Delaware Court of Chancery decision issued in 2013 that offered a roadmap to companies and their directors on how to obtain the protections of...more

Serving as a Shareholder Representative is No Joke. . .

There is a saying that a man who serves as his own lawyer has a fool for a client. The same may be true for a fund that rushes to act as its own shareholder representative without thinking through the consequences....more

Special Compensation Arrangements with Dissident Director Nominees

Certain activist shareholders involved in proxy contests have offered special compensation (e.g., a fee for agreeing to be nominated on the activist’s slate or performance-related bonuses after election) to their director...more

BVI court ruling highlights potential risk in some standard form M&As

On 19 March 2014 the Commercial Court handed down its ruling in C v W Inc (BVIHC (Com) 2013/149). In that case a shareholder holding more than 30 per cent of the company’s shares tried to exercise its power to requisition a...more

In re Rural Metro Corp. S'holders Litig., C.A. No. 6350-VCL (Del. Ch. Mar. 7, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

In this post-trial decision, the Court of Chancery held a financial advisor liable for aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty by a target board in the sale of the company. The Court concluded that the financial...more

Kahn v. MF Worldwide Corp. The Delaware Supreme Court Affirms In re MFW Holding That a Going-Private Transaction May Gain the...

On March 14, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court decided Kahn v. MF Worldwide Corp. and unanimously affirmed the Chancery Court’s ruling in In re MFW. As we discussed previously, in In re MFW, then-Chancellor (now Chief Justice)...more

Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Criteria for Applying the Business Judgment Rule to Controlling Stockholder Going-Private...

In Kahn, et al. v. M & F Worldwide Corp., et al., 2014 WL 996270 (Del. Mar. 14, 2014), the Delaware Supreme Court unanimously affirmed that, when certain procedural safeguards are implemented at the outset of negotiations, a...more

Frank v. Elgamal, C.A. No. 6120-VCN (Del. Ch. Mar. 10, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted in part and denied in part defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to certain claims asserted by a stockholder plaintiff in connection with a merger involving a...more

M&F Worldwide: Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Business Judgment Review In Controlling Stockholder Transaction

When a controlling stockholder’s buyout of a company has been challenged by minority stockholders, Delaware courts have generally subjected the transaction to entire fairness review, the most rigorous standard of review in...more

The Impact of Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp.: Delaware Supreme Court Affirms That Business Judgment Review Applies to Properly...

In Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp., the Delaware Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Court of Chancery’s decision that the more deferential business judgment rule standard of review, rather than an entire fairness standard of...more

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. v. Spanish Broadcasting Sys., Inc., Consol. C.A. No. 8321-VCG (Del. Ch. Feb. 25, 2014) (Glasscock,...

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery held that preferred stockholders of Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. (“SBS” or the “Company”) had acquiesced to the Company’s incurrence of additional debt while a dividend...more

Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Chancery Court Ruling that Applied Business Judgment Rule to Going Private Transaction with...

In Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp., the Delaware Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Chancery Court’s decision in In re MFW Shareholders Litigation. In that decision, the Chancery Court had granted summary judgment in favor of...more

Caspian Select Credit Master Fund Ltd. v. Key Plastics Corp., C.A. No. 8625-VCN (Del. Ch. Feb. 24, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery granted plaintiff’s request for books and records pursuant to 8 Del. C. § 220. The stockholder plaintiff sought, among other things, to value its equity holding in Key Plastics...more

Concurrent ‘Alter-Ego’ Claims: Oklahoma Leads the Nation in Extending Protection to Shareholders, Officers and Directors

During the past several years, practitioners have devoted significant attention to the fate of the Oklahoma Legislature’s efforts at, and the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s response to, legislative tort reform. However, few noticed...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 12

In this issue: - Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Chancery Court Ruling that Applied Business Judgment Rule to Going Private Transaction with Controlling Stockholder - Amendments to Uniform Branch Office...more

Negotiating Style Causes Trouble in Delaware Minority Buyout

For majority stockholders in Delaware companies, the complications and added expenses often caused by minority stockholders may result in a decision to buy out that minority, simplify the company’s capital structure and...more

Delaware Supreme Court Confirms The Path to Business Judgment Review In Controlling Stockholder Transactions

On March 14, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court issued its eagerly-awaited decision in Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp., No. 334, 2013 (Del. March 14, 2014). The Court affirmed the Chancery Court's holding (Strine, C.) that the...more

M&A Update: Delaware Court’s Orchard Enterprises Decision Provides Key Insights For Special Committees In Controlling Stockholder...

On March 14, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court upheld the Court of Chancery’s 2013 decision in In re MFW Shareholders Litigation, holding that in going-private mergers where there is a controlling stockholder, the use of both...more

Sino-Forest: More Lessons as a Chapter Closes

On March 13, 2014 the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed applications for leave to appeal by a group of alleged former institutional shareholders of Sino-Forest Corporation. These institutions unsuccessfully sought leave to...more

Delaware Supreme Court Confirms That Appropriate Procedural Safeguards Will Result In Business Judgment Review Of Going-Private...

In a 2013 decision, the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled that the business judgment standard of review should apply to a going-private transaction where certain procedural safeguards were implemented to protect minority...more

In re Orchard Enterprises, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 7840 (Del. Ch. Feb. 28, 2014)

Delaware Court of Chancery applies entire fairness review to a take-private merger with a controlling stockholder, despite approval by a special committee and a majority-of-the-minority, and holds that disclosure claims may...more

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