Shareholders

News & Analysis as of

Marathon Oil Seeks To Head Off New York City’s Proxy Access Proposal

As previously noted, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, on behalf of the $160 billion New York City Pension Funds, has submitted proxy access shareowner proposals to 75 companies. The proposals request a bylaw to...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

Delaware Legislature to Resume Debate in January on Bylaws Imposing Liability on Shareholders

The ability of corporations to impose liability on shareholders through bylaws and charter provisions has been the subject of much debate recently. On May 8, 2014, the Supreme Court of Delaware held in ATP Tour, Inc. v....more

Frequently Asked Questions: Convertible Debt

I get questions all the time from clients who haven’t raised convertible debt before. If my clients frequently ask these questions, no doubt there are scores of others who have the same ones. ...more

Salamone v. Gorman, C.A. No. 8845 (Del. Dec. 9, 2014)

In this en banc decision, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the Court of Chancery’s decision interpreting a Voting Agreement governing the designation and removal of directors by preferred...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

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

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