Financial Daily Dose 5.27.2021 | Top Story: Shareholder Action and Court Rulings Push Big Oil to Confront Climate Change

Robins Kaplan LLP

Robins Kaplan LLP

Huge win yesterday for climate change activists who dealt ExxonMobil leadership a “stunning defeat” when shareholders “elected at least two board candidates nominated by activist investors who pledged to steer the company toward cleaner energy and away from oil and gas” - NYTimes and WSJ and NewYorker and CNN and HuffPost

Around the same time in The Hague, a Dutch court ruled that Royal Dutch Shell “is partially responsible for climate change and ordered the company to reduce its carbon emissions, a first-of-its-kind ruling that adds fresh pressure on oil-and-gas companies already facing heightened scrutiny from governments and investors” - WSJ and NYTimes and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Law360

SDNY Federal Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain suggested this week that he “would permit Purdue Pharma’s proposal to remake itself as a nonprofit company to be put to a vote by thousands of plaintiffs, who have sued the compel the maker of OxyContin to help pay for the terrible costs of the opioid epidemic” - NYTimes and Law360

The DOJ has opened a probe into the “market-rattling meltdown” of Archegos Capital Management in March, though it’s unclear at this stage “what potential violations or entities authorities are examining” - Bloomberg and WSJ

HSBC has struck deals with Citizens Financial and Cathay General to sell the vast majority of its retail branches in the U.S. as part of a shift in focus “to wealth management and international banking, especially in Asia” - WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Final details on Amazon’s $8.45 billion deal for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the “97-year-old film and television studio,” in a move likely driven by Amazon’s desire to bolster its Prime Video offerings “at a time when the biggest old-line studios are becoming less willing to license their libraries to outside streaming services” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360 and TechCrunch

Russian regulators are taking a page out of China’s playbook and increasingly pressuring Big Tech companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook “to fall in line with Kremlin internet crackdown restrictions inside the country” aimed at eliminating anti-government content or “risk restrictions inside the country” - NYTimes

In Europe, by contrast, the heat coming for Facebook (in the form of the bloc’s “first formal antitrust investigation” into Zuck & Co) is all about how “Facebook allegedly favors Marketplace . . . at the expense of other companies that sell products through Facebook” - WSJ

Nasdaq has asked the SEC to end its practice of setting “price ceilings on direct listings that raise capital,” arguing that “the move would put the fundraising vehicles on level ground with the traditional IPO” – Law360

Likely encouraged by a hot reception to its F-150 Lightning pickup (it’s accepted 70k reservations since introducing the Lighting to the world last week), Ford Motor Company has upped its commitment to spending on electric vehicles to $30 billion “in the five years ending in 2025, up from the previous target of $22 billion” - NYTimes and WSJ and TechCrunch

Remembering the talented Eric Carle with this Atlantic piece on how his Very Hungry Caterpillar book—released more than 50 years ago—became a classic that has an “enduring appeal” - TheAtlantic

Enjoy a well-earned Memorial Day weekend. We’ll see you bright and early on Tuesday to usher in June. Until then, stay safe and get vaxxed,


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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