Category Archives: Mergers & Acquisitions

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Fifth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Section 14(a) Complaint For Failure to Plead Facts Demonstrating Alleged Omissions from Proxy Statement Were Misleading

In Heinze v. Tesco Corp., No. 19-20298, 2020 WL 4814094 (5th Cir. Aug. 19, 2020), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action suit under Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”), 15 U.S.C. § 78(b) alleging that defendant Tesco Corporation (“Tesco”), former members of Tesco’s … Continue Reading

Board Guidance: Getting To Business Judgment Rule Deference When You Have A Controlling Stockholder

IN RE DELL TECHNOLOGIES INC. CLASS V STOCKHOLDERS LITIGATION There has been a growing deference in Delaware courts for transactions approved by independent special committees and minority stockholders. In the context of a company with a controlling stockholder, the Delaware Supreme Court has provided guidance in Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp.[1] (“MFW”) on how boards … Continue Reading

Delaware Court of Chancery Strictly Construes Right to Discovery of Stockholders Represented By a Contractually Created “Shareholder Representative”

Merger agreements involving acquisitions of private companies often contain terms creating post-merger obligations or “earnouts” in favor of certain classes of selling stockholders.  To address potential claims that may arise from such post-merger arrangements, selling stockholders typically designate a “shareholder representative” to handle such claims on their behalf pursuant to specifically delineated rights and duties.  … Continue Reading

Distressed Acquisitions – Key Considerations

The current COVID-19 pandemic is causing an unprecedented negative impact on businesses around the globe in nearly every sector of the economy.  Both the US Government as well as Foreign Governments have and will continue to provide short- and long-term financial support to these businesses.  However, this financial assistance will not be available to every … Continue Reading

Impacts of Covid-19 on Closing M&A Transactions

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a pandemic, prompting numerous public and private organizations and agencies to accelerate their contingency plans so as to mitigate continued transmission. The responses to this public health concern have also introduced additional uncertainty and complexities into the process and administration of merger … Continue Reading

Higher Filing Thresholds for HSR Act Premerger Notifications and Interlocking Directorates Announced

Higher Thresholds For HSR Filings On January 28, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission announced revised, higher thresholds for premerger filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The filing thresholds are revised annually, based on the change in Gross National Product (GNP). The new thresholds will become effective on February 27, 2020. Acquisitions that … Continue Reading

Start Spreadin’ the News: California Court Says No to New York, New York; Rejects Forum Selection Clause

Sinatra may have found success in the city that never sleeps, but a California court has just made it more difficult for any party doing business with a California resident to do the same.  At least, when it comes to resolving disputes without a jury in a New York courtroom, or in the courtroom of … Continue Reading

Delaware Update: Court of Chancery Declines to Bind a Non-signatory Parent Corporation to Forum Selection Clause

In Neurvana Med., LLC v. Balt USA, LLC, No. 2019-0034-KSJM, 2019 Del. Ch. LEXIS 995 (Ch. Sep. 18, 2019), the Court of Chancery declined to exercise personal jurisdiction over Balt International, S.A.S. (“Balt International”), a company headquartered in France and a non-signatory entity to a purchase agreement that included a forum selection clause, on the … Continue Reading

How FDA Considerations Impact Food and Beverage Acquisitions

This post was originally published on FoodDive.com. When considering an acquisition of a food and beverage company, potential buyers of a company or its assets should pay particular attention to U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements and their implications on the target’s business. Buyers should be cognizant of the regulatory issues at the beginning of … Continue Reading

Delaware Chancery Court Provides Useful Guidance for Protecting Pre-Merger Privileges in Post-Closing Litigation Between Buyers and Sellers

In Shareholder Representative Services LLC v. RSI Holdco, LLC, No. 2018-0517-KSJM, 2019 WL 2290916 (Del. Ch. May 29, 2019), the Delaware Court of Chancery reaffirmed that a target company may protect its pre-merger privileged communications in a post-closing dispute with the acquirer by including clear and unambiguous language in the merger agreement that seeks to … Continue Reading

Regulation A May Prove Useful Alternative to Form S-4 Registration for Public Companies Doing Smaller M&A Deals

Last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced it had adopted final rules to amend certain parts of Regulation A[1] promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”). These new rules implement changes as directed by the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act[2] signed into law on May 24, 2018 … Continue Reading

Getting to Business Judgment in an Interested Transaction: Controlling Stockholder Must Put Procedural Protections in Place Prior to the Commencement of Economic Negotiations

In Flood v. Synutra Int’l, Inc., No. 101, 2018, 2018 Del. LEXIS 460 (Del. Oct. 9, 2018), the Delaware Supreme Court (Strine, C.J.) held that a controlling stockholder who pursues a merger with the controlled company will have the benefit of business judgment review pursuant to Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp., 88 A.3d 635 (Del. … Continue Reading

Delaware Court of Chancery Holds that Cancellation of Shares Through Merger Deprives Stockholder of Standing in Section 220 Action

In Weingarten v. Monster Worldwide, Inc., C.A. No. 12931-VCG, 2017 WL 752179 (Del. Ch. Feb. 27, 2017), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Glasscock, V.C.) clarified when a plaintiff has standing to vitiate inspection rights under Delaware General Corporation Law Section 220, 8  Del. C. § 220.  In a case of first impression, the Court decided that … Continue Reading

New York Appellate Division Revives Non-Monetary Class Action Settlement in M&A Class Action with Revised Standard of Review

In Gordon v. Verizon Communications, Inc., No. 653084/13, 2017 WL 442871 (N.Y. App. Div. Feb. 2, 2017), the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Judicial Department (the “First Department”), reversed an order denying plaintiffs’ motion for final approval of a proposed non-monetary settlement in a shareholder class action … Continue Reading

Delaware Supreme Court Confirms that Dilution Claims Typically Are Derivative and Are Extinguished After a Merger

Stockholder claims alleging wrongful dilution are typically considered to be derivative in nature.  Several decisions out of Delaware, however, have created exceptions to this general rule allowing stockholders to sue directly (rather than derivatively on behalf of the corporation) where, for example, a controlling stockholder authorizes a “disloyal expropriation” which reduces the economic value and … Continue Reading

What Are ‘Commercially Reasonable Efforts’ in M&A Transactions?

Two recent rulings out of the Delaware Court of Chancery have highlighted the importance of clearly defining the terms of pre-closing obligations. In an M&A transaction, it takes significant time to get from a signed letter of intent to a closed deal. Pre-closing obligations, and the level of effort a party is required to exert to meet those … Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Government Contractors and Their Suppliers

Volume X – Accounting for the Cost of Business Combinations Under Government Contracts Mergers and acquisitions create additional costs and complex accounting issues for government contractors.  There are fees for accounting, legal, and business consultants.  There may be restructuring costs associated with combining business operations.  Segments may be closed and retirement plans may be terminated.  … Continue Reading

Delaware Court of Chancery Dismisses Post-Closing Disclosure Claims for Damages, Cautioning That Such Claims Are Best Pursued Pre-Closing

In Nguyen v. Barrett, C.A. No. 11511-VCG, 2016 WL 5404095 (Del. Ch. Sept. 28, 2016) (Glasscock, V.C.), the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed an amended complaint seeking damages for alleged disclosure violations in connection with a tender offer that had already closed.  The Chancery Court’s opinion demonstrates the challenges plaintiffs face when they pursue non-exculpated … Continue Reading

Delaware Court of Chancery Addresses the “Cleansing Effect” of Stockholder Approval In Post-Closing M&A Damages Actions

In two recent decisions, City of Miami General Employees’ & Sanitation Employees’ Retirement Trust v. Comstock, C.A. No. 9980-CB, 2016 Del. Ch. LEXIS 133 (Del. Ch. Aug. 24, 2016) (Bouchard, C.) (“Comstock”), and Larkin v. Shah, C.A. No. 10918-VCS, 2016 Del. Ch. LEXIS 134 (Del. Ch. Aug. 25, 2016) (Slights, V.C.), the Delaware Court of … Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Government Contractors and Their Suppliers

Volume IX – Unclassified Contracts?  Foreign Buyers Still Make a Difference Last month, we discussed the extent to which a foreign buyer can introduce an unacceptable level of foreign ownership, control, or influence (“FOCI”) that, absent mitigation, will render the target ineligible for the facility security clearances needed to perform classified work. This month, we … Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Government Contractors and Their Suppliers

Volume VIII – Foreign Buyers Do Make a Difference Not every potential buyer is a U.S. corporation controlled by U.S. interests.  It is important, both for the buyer and the seller, to understand the implications of foreign ownership, control, or influence (“FOCI”) on the feasibility of a sale to foreign interests and the processes that … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Criticizes Disclosure-Only M&A Litigation Settlements, Holding That Supplemental Proxy Disclosures Must Address and Correct a Plainly Material Misrepresentation or Omission

In In re Walgreen Co. Stockholder Litigation, No. 14 C 9786, 2016 WL 4207962 (7th Cir. Aug. 10, 2016) (Posner, J.), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a highly charged opinion critical of an unopposed settlement of a stockholder class action “strike suit” which provided “nonexistent” benefits to class members … Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Government Contractors and Their Suppliers

Volume VII—Investing in Small Businesses Numerous government contracts programs support small businesses.  There are prime contracts set aside for various categories of small business entities.  Agencies have small business contracting goals and take them very seriously.  Prime contractors often are incentivized, through evaluation factors, to propose significant small business participation.  They can also face liquidated … Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Government Contractors and Their Suppliers

Volume VI —Organizational Conflicts of Interest:  When the Whole Is Less Than the Sum of Its Parts An organizational conflict of interest (“OCI”) arises when the performance of one contract undermines a contractor’s objectivity or creates an unfair competitive advantage with respect to another contract.  An agency cannot issue an award to a contractor that … Continue Reading
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