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News & Analysis as of

A CFIUS Roundup: Polaris Financial [Video]

Morrison & Foerster corporate partner Jeff Bell discusses developments in the CFIUS arena....more

Securities Law in France: 9 Recent Legal Developments

In the last six months, various legal developments have taken place in the field of securities law in France. 1. The Law of 29 March 2014 introduced certain legal and regulatory provisions relating to takeover bids...more

Inside M&A - Winter 2015

Recent U.S. Cases Highlight Liability Risks to Executives in Mining, Heavy Industrial Transactions - Historically, corporate executives rarely faced personal or criminal liability resulting from mining or environmental...more

Be careful what you wish for – new rules for company takeovers

On 15 September 2014, the Code Committee of the Takeover Panel issued Consultation Paper PCP 2014/2 (the “Consultation”). The Consultation suggested various changes to the Takeover Code (the “Code”) to deal with the treatment...more

DOJ Guidance Underscores Importance of Anti-corruption Due Diligence in International M&A Transactions

FCPA Opinion Release provides insight into the jurisdictional reach of the FCPA and the level of due diligence the DOJ expects. On November 7, 2014, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued its second and final...more

Private Company M&A: Post-Closing Purchase Price Adjustment Provisions: New Decision Holds Some Common Mechanics Unenforceable

In private company acquisitions, it is common for the buyer to require that a portion of the merger consideration be set aside in escrow as an accessible source of funds to cover the buyer’s post-closing indemnification...more

Delaware Supreme Court Endorses Change of Control Subject Only to a Post-Signing Passive “Market Check” and Overturns Chancery...

On December 19, the Delaware Supreme Court overturned a Delaware Chancery Court decision that imposed a mandatory obligation on a target company to solicit alternative transactions for 30 days despite a prohibition against...more

Court of Chancery Speaks to Exclusivity Agreements in Public Company Acquisitions

You reach the point in the sale of almost every public company where the buyer wants an exclusivity agreement. Lawyers representing the target wring their hands about the effect of an exclusivity agreement and the effect of...more

DOJ Issues Opinion, Provides (Some) Comfort on Successor Liability

In a recent Opinion Procedure Release (OPR), Number 14-02, the U.S. Department of Justice expressly limited successor liability for a US company purchasing a non-US company that had paid bribes in the past. In so doing, DOJ...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

DOJ Is Moving Away From The Halliburton Opinion

The U.S. Department of Justice just issued its most recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act opinion release, only the second in 2014. The requestor, a publicly traded U.S. consumer products company, sought an opinion as to...more

Privacy Tuesday - November 2014 #2

Here are three privacy stories to start your week - 1. Dear “financial institution” : how is your data security?! Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) announced (press release) that on November 18 the Senator...more

DOJ’s Second Opinion Release of 2014: Is DOJ Evolving Away from the Halliburton Opinion Standard?

The Department of Justice (“DOJ” or the “Department”) just issued its most recent FCPA Opinion Release, only the second in 2014. The Requestor, a publicly traded U.S. consumer products company, sought an opinion as to whether...more

A Yen for Israeli Technology

While Japanese companies have been investing in Israel for the past two decades, M&A activity has picked up significantly, concentrated in the science and technology (S&T) sectors....more

Opinion Release 14-02: Dis-Linking The Illegal Conduct Going Forward

One of my favorite words in the context of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement is dis-link. I find it a useful adjective in explaining how certain conduct by a company must be separated from the winning of...more

Midstream MLP Merger Mania Maintains Momentum

The market’s notable uptick in MLP-to-MLP M&A activity, often preceded by an acquisition of the target MLP’s general partner, follows a trend we recently identified. At least five MLP M&A transactions have been...more

Anticipating Activism: Implications for Your 2015 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

Inside M&A - Fall 2014

Managing Compliance Risks in M&A Transactions - Buyers can acquire unintended and potentially very damaging liabilities together with target business or assets. Analyzing the financial situation of a target company,...more

Four Trends in Master Limited Partnership M&A in 2014

MLP merger and acquisition activity can take a number of different forms to unlock value for sponsors and unitholders. Background - In the first half of 2014, master limited partnership (MLP) mergers and...more

Should've, Would've, Could've: High Court Rules On The Use Of Hindsight In The Valuation Of A Target Company

In Ageas (UK) Ltd v Kwik-Fit (GB) Ltd & anr [2014] EWHC 2178 (QB), 4 July 2014, in a claim for breach of warranty under a share purchase agreement, the defendant's warranty and indemnity insurer, AIG, argued that the...more

The European Court of Justice Caps Liability for Acquired Companies’ Cartel Infringements

The ruling caps fines on companies with historic cartel exposure that are acquired by large companies and increases predictability of future antitrust exposure stemming from pre-acquisition conduct. On 4 September...more

Sizing Up the Competition: Antitrust Enforcement and the Bazaarvoice Ruling

High-profile or highly profitable firms are no longer the sole targets of post-merger divestitures by antitrust enforcers. Today, firms that have little or no revenues, including some that operate in emergent industries with...more

Forum Selection Bylaws Help Combat Multijurisdictional Shareholder Litigation: State Courts are Increasingly Upholding Forum...

When almost 98 percent of takeover transactions valued at more than $100 million result in shareholder litigation, and often such transactions are the subject of multiple lawsuits filed in multiple jurisdictions, it is no...more

Resurgence of Protectionism – Can European Member States Really Do Whatever They Want to Foreign Takeovers?

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia recently cited the French initiatives to block the GE-Alstom deal as an example of “worrying signals of protectionist threats” in Europe. France is not, however, to be singled out....more

What?? The Target Company Does Not Own its IP!?

We have been working on a number of private company mergers and acquisitions transactions this year where the technology and the intellectual property of the target company (the “Target”) are the key value drivers for the...more

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