News & Analysis as of

Informed Approval of M&A Transactions by Disinterested Stockholders Invokes the Business Judgment Rule

In Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, No. 629, 2014 (Del. Oct. 2, 2015), the Delaware Supreme Court sitting en banc unanimously affirmed the Delaware Court of Chancery decision that the voluntary judgment of the fully...more

Delaware Supreme Court Addresses Novel Controlling-Stockholder Claim and Clarifies Effect of a Fully Informed, Uncoerced...

The Delaware Supreme Court recently issued an opinion, captioned Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, that sheds further light on when a stockholder owning less than 50% of the voting power of a company may be deemed a...more

Business Judgment Rule Applies to Merger Approved by Informed, Disinterested Stockholders

Delaware Supreme Court’s ruling provides additional grounds for dismissal in post-closing stockholder litigation regarding mergers that are not subject to entire fairness review. Introduction - Clarifying a...more

Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, No. 629, 2014 (Del. Oct. 2, 2015) (Strine, C.J.)

In this opinion affirming the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of a stockholder challenge to a merger, the Delaware Supreme Court held that the approval of the merger by a fully informed, disinterested stockholder majority...more

Investment Funds Update - Europe: Legal and regulatory updates for the funds industry from the key asset management centres and...

French SICAV – Reduction of the Minimum Number of Shareholders for Unlisted SICAV - The Ordinance n° 2015-1127 was published on 10 September 2015. The purpose of this Ordinance was to reduce the required minimum number...more

Financial Services Quarterly Report - Third Quarter 2015: Recent Developments in U.S. “Excessive Fee” Litigation

The U.S. mutual fund industry is poised to see significant developments in the ongoing wave of Section 36(b) “excessive fee” litigation. Days apart in August, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary...more

The 5 Key Ingredients to a Culture of Ethics

Every company wants to create a culture of ethics. If the senior leadership ignores or downplays a culture of ethics, they have narrowed business opportunities for the company, its shareholders, and other stakeholders. A...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Investment Banker Conflict Leads To Aiding And Abetting Claim

Here the banker failed to make a timely disclosure to its client that it had previously pitched the buyer to make a bid for the client. The Court found that in the context of a motion to dismiss the Board may have breached...more

Anticipating Activism: Implications for Your 2016 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

Delaware Supreme Court Resolves KKR-Gantler Confusion

There has been some debate about the effect of an approval by a majority of a company’s stockholders of a transaction with an unrelated third party - does that invoke the Business Judgment Rule? The question arose over...more

Activist Hot List: Fall 2015

Listed below are selected funds with a recent history of US shareholder activism that we expect will continue those activities in connection with the 2016 proxy season. Companies should note that these activists may not...more

Navigating Derivative Lawsuits Against Mutual Funds After Northstar

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this spring held that mutual fund shareholders could maintain direct claims against the fund’s trustees for breach of their common law fiduciary duties. Before Northstar v. Schwab, such...more

IRS Adds Certain Spin Transactions to the “No Rule” List

Treasury and IRS announce that certain “cash rich” and REIT/RIC conversion spin-offs are under study and are added to the “no rule” list. On September 14, 2015, the United States Treasury Department (the Treasury) and...more

Australian Superannuation Update: Independent Directors Superannuation Governance Bill

On Wednesday, 16 September 2015, the government tabled legislation that, if passed, will impose, in the case of corporate trustees, a requirement that one third of directors be independent from the trustee with an independent...more

In re Appraisal of Dell Inc., C.A. No. 9322-VCL (Del. Ch. July 13, 2015) (rev'd July 30, 2015) (Laster, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Delaware Court of Chancery granted a defendant’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the continuous holder requirement set forth in Section 262 of the General Corporation Law of the State...more

Court Of Chancery Explains When A Dilution Claim Is Direct

It is often said that when a majority stockholder issues more stock to himself at an unfair price that is a direct claim and not derivative. But as this decision points out, that is a little too simplistic....more

Simplified Rights Offering Rules Announced By Canadian Securities Administrators

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have announced that a revised rights offering regime for reporting issuers will come into force on December 8, 2015 (the New Rules). The New Rules will benefit reporting issuers...more

In re Riverbed: The Beginning of the End for Disclosure-Only Settlements in M&A Cases?

The past decade has seen an incredible rise in M&A litigation. According to Cornerstone, in 2014, a whopping 93% of announced mergers valued over $100 million were subject to litigation, up from 44% in 2007. As Delaware...more

SEC Proposes Liquidity Risk Management Rules for Open-End Funds

In the second step of its five-part plan to enhance registered funds regulations, the SEC has proposed new requirements on portfolio liquidity, risk monitoring, and board oversight. At an open meeting held on September...more

Compliance Fatigue — A Dangerous Concept

I have a lot of pet peeves, especially when it comes to lawyers and compliance professionals. Do not worry this is a not a column about all of my pet peeves; I would never bore you with all those issues....more

Still a Target: Court Certifies Bank Class Claims Against Retailer Following Data Breach

Although Target has tentatively settled consumer data breach class action claims, the retailer remains in the crosshairs of the plaintiffs’ class action bar. On September 15, a Minnesota federal district court certified a...more

Court Of Chancery Signals Limits On M&A Settlements

This decision has been widely reported as signaling the Court of Chancery’s intention to cut back on the wave of suits filed over almost every merger. First, the Court held that the scope of any release will be affected...more

Defectively Issued Stock Declared Valid After Section 205 Analysis

Corporations are operated by humans, at least until the rise of Skynet (infamous as a primary antagonist in the Terminator movie franchise). As humans are prone to err, corporate acts may also be executed in error. In 2014,...more

Reduction of the Minimum Number of Shareholders in French Privately Held Stock Corporations

Effective September 12, 2015, the minimum number of shareholders in a French stock corporation (société anonyme or SA) has been reduced from seven to two. This modification is only applicable to privately held SAs, publicly...more

Proxy Access: Round 2 Begins

Shareholder proponent James McRitchie, who was successful in persuading the SEC to reconsider its no-action position with Whole Foods on proxy access, has hinted at his intentions for the upcoming proxy season, or at least...more

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