Shareholders

News & Analysis as of

Whole Foods’ Proposal for Proxy Access Is Sufficient to Exclude Shareholder Proposal

In a closely watched development, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance Staff (Staff) granted no-action relief in early December to Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Whole Foods, or the Company) in response to the Company’s...more

Recent Developments Relating to Rights to Exclude Shareholder Proposals from Proxy Statements

A recent court decision and no-action letter have brought to light new issues surrounding issuer requests for Securities and Exchange Commission no-action relief with respect to the ability to exclude shareholder proposals...more

In Texas Can Some Shares Be More Equal Than Others?

Although Rome before Augustus is often described as a republic, it was in many respects ruled by the wealthy who jealously guarded their power. So it was with Rome’s comitia centuriata. In theory, this was an assembly of...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

ISS Adopts Discretion in Evaluating Management Equity Plan Proposals – May Lead to Increase in CEO Performance Shares and...

What's New? What's new and interesting about the new ISS "score card rules" are two sentences that say: (i) that an issuer's share plan proposal may pass the Shareholder Value Transfer ("SVT") test but still...more

In re Novell, Inc. S’holder Litig., C.A. No. 6032 (Del. Ch. Nov. 25, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted summary judgment in favor of defendants on claims alleging that directors acted in bad faith by favoring a bidder in a sale process for reasons other than the pursuit...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 48

In this issue: - Recent Developments Relating to Rights to Exclude Shareholder Proposals from Proxy Statements - SEC Approves MSRB Best Execution Rule - SEC Sanctions Operator of Unregistered Virtual...more

SEC Permits BDCs to Analyze LPs as Stockholders for Certain Co-Investments

On December 5, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission, through the Chief Accountant's Office of its Investment Management Division, issued a Guidance Update in response to a public inquiry regarding co-investment...more

On the Third Day of Privacy, the Shareholders Gave to Me……

…….Shareholder Proposals on Cybersecurity and Privacy: Another Country Heard From As the holiday season slips into the rear view mirror, another season looms large for public companies —- proxy season. Adding to the...more

Commissioner Gallagher Posits SEC Would Prevail Against Harvard University

Just this week, Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher and former Commissioner Joseph A. Grundfest issued a draft of a paper that takes on the Harvard Shareholder Rights Project. The Harvard SRP describes itself as “a clinical...more

Cigna Health and Life Ins. Co. v. Audax Health Sol’ns, Inc., C.A. No. 9405-VCP (Del. Ch. Nov. 26, 2014)

In this action seeking a declaratory judgment regarding the validity of certain provisions in a merger agreement and related contracts, the Court of Chancery granted in part plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings,...more

Expedited Proceedings Denied Where Harm Is Only Speculative

The Delaware Chancery Court recently denied a shareholder’s motion to expedite proceedings to enjoin a company buyout, finding that the shareholder failed to show that any threatened harm from the buyout was imminent,...more

Blog: Chief Justice Strine: In Praise Of B-Corps

In an interesting article In the Harvard Business Law Review, Chief Justice Strine of the Delaware Supreme Court makes clear his view that the concept promoted by some academics and other commentators that corporate directors...more

Blog: Court Precludes Omission Of Shareholder Proposal, After SEC Staff Permits Exclusion

In Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a federal district court in Delaware granted injunctive relief precluding omission of a shareholder proposal from Wal-Mart’s proxy statement, notwithstanding the SEC staff’s...more

Should Judicial Deference To The SEC Be Strong, Weak or Non-Existent?

This post yesterday by Broc Romanek alerted me to Judge Leonard P. Stark’s recent opinion in Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165431 (D. Del. Nov. 26, 2014). The case involved Wal-Mart’s...more

Lee v. Pincus et al., C.A. No. 8458-CB (Del. Ch. Nov. 14, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery partially granted defendants’ motion to dismiss, holding that (i) plaintiff had stated a claim for breach of fiduciary duty against the Director Defendants because it was...more

Higher Educ. Mgmt. Group, Inc. v. Mathews et al., C.A. No. 9110-VCP (Del. Ch. Nov. 3, 2014) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted defendants’ motion to dismiss derivative claims asserted by plaintiff stockholders on the grounds that the plaintiffs failed to adequately plead demand futility under...more

Delaware Court Invalidates Release and Indemnification Obligations Against a Selling Stockholder in a Merger Transaction

The Delaware Chancery Court recently invalidated a buyer’s attempt to obtain a release and indemnification obligations from selling stockholders of a Delaware corporation that was acquired in a merger. The ruling will require...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

New York City affordable co-op votes to go private: residents gain windfall but city loses affordable housing units

The shareholders of Southbridge Towers, a 1,651 affordable unit cooperative in Manhattan, recently voted to privatize their development, allowing the residents to sell their apartments at market rate and walk away with a...more

New York Appellate Court Affirms Business Judgment Rule for Going-Private Transaction

New York companies seeking to go private with a controlling shareholder may now be less vulnerable to shareholder litigation. On November 20, 2014, the New York Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed a New...more

In re Sanchez Energy Deriv. Litig., C.A. No. 9132-VCG (Del. Ch. Nov. 25, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery held that plaintiff stockholders failed to plead particularized facts sufficient to demonstrate demand futility and dismissed the plaintiffs’ fiduciary duty, aiding and...more

Delaware Court Preliminarily Enjoins Merger Due to Flawed Sales Process

On November 24, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery preliminarily enjoined for thirty days a vote by C&J Energy Services stockholders on a merger with Nabors Red Lion Limited, to allow time for C&J's board of directors to...more

Judge Orders Stockholder To “Register” Correspondence With The SEC

Many boards operate with a high degree of collegiality, even when the directors disagree. Some don’t. When the board of directors of Gas Natural Inc., a publicly traded natural gas holding company, voted to remove its CEO...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Applies Business Judgment Rule to Directors Who Approve Merger Supported by Large Shareholders

In its October 24, 2014, decision in In re Crimson Exploration Inc. Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 8541, the Delaware Court of Chancery confirmed that the business judgment rule is applicable in evaluating claims for breach...more

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