Archive: October 2015

Delaware Chancery Court Denies Creditor Plaintiff’s Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Fraudulent Transfer, and Breach of Covenant Claims

By Scott Waxman and Dotun Obadina

In Quadrant Structured Products Company v. Vertin, plaintiff creditor Quadrant Structured Products Company, Ltd. (“Quadrant”) asserted claims against defendant Athilon Capital Corporation (“Athilon” or the “Company”), challenging transactions made by Athilon in which Athilon purchased securities and notes from Merced Capital, L.P. and its affiliates (together, “Merced”), owners of 100% of the Athilon’s equity and significant amounts of Athilon’s publicly-traded junior and senior notes.[1]  Quadrant contended at trial that the repurchase of Merced’s notes breached express covenants in the indenture governing the notes and also violated the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.  Quadrant also contended that the repurchases of the notes constituted a fraudulent transfer.  Finally, relying on its status as a creditor of an insolvent company, Quadrant claimed derivatively that the repurchases of the notes and securities constituted breaches of fiduciary duty by Merced and the individual defendants, who comprised Athilon’s board of directors.  The court rejected all of Quadrant’s claims.

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Chancery Court Holds That Merger Price That Resulted from a Thorough and Vigorous Sale Process Is the Best Indication of Fair Value in Appraisal Proceeding

By Susan Apel and Calvin Kennedy

Merion Capital LP and Merion Capital II LP v. BMC Software, Inc. concerns an appraisal proceeding under Section 262 of the Delaware General Corporation Law in which the Chancery Court found that the deal price generated by the market through a thorough and vigorous sales process was the best indication of fair value.

On September 13, 2013, the petitioners, Merion Capital LP and Merion Capital II LP (together, “Merion”), filed a Verified Petition for Appraisal of Stock pursuant to 8 Del. C. § 262 (the “Appraisal Statute”) against respondent, BMC Software, Inc. (“BMC”). The action stemmed from a merger pursuant to which BMC’s stockholders were cashed out at a price of $46.25 per share (the “Merger”).   Merion (who the court noted are “arbitrageurs who bought, not into an ongoing concern, but instead into this lawsuit”) owned 7,629,100 shares of BMC common stock. The Court presided over a four day trial in this matter, at which Merion presented expert testimony claiming that the stock was undervalued and BMC presented expert testimony claiming that the Merger price actually exceeded fair value.

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Stockholder’s Challenge to $35M Stock Issuance to Freeport-McMoran CEO Dismissed by Delaware Court of Chancery

By Holly Hatfield and James Parks

A stockholder’s claims regarding a $35 million stock issuance to Freeport-McMoran CEO Richard Adkerson were dismissed. Governance changes within Freeport that were thought to have triggered an option in Adkerson’s employment contract that would have permitted him to quit and receive a $46 million severance package allowed the board to preempt that eventuality by issuing him $35 million in stock.

In Shaev v. Adkerson, C.A. No. 10436-VCN (Del. Ch. Oct. 5, 2015), Vice Chancellor Noble, writing for the Delaware Court of Chancery, granted defendant Freeport-McMoran’s (“Freeport” or the “Company”) motion to dismiss plaintiff Victoria Shaev’s (“Shaev” or “Plaintiff”) direct and derivative claims under Court of Chancery Rules 12(b)(6) and 23.1.

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Delaware Chancery Court Asserts Personal Jurisdiction over Third Party Defendants in Connection with Contribution Sought for the Advancement of Legal Fees and Costs

By Annette Becker and Sophia Lee Shin

In Konstantino v. AngioScore, Inc. v. Quattro Vascular PTE Ltd, et al., the Delaware Court of Chancery reviewed a motion to dismiss filed by three Singapore entity defendants seeking dismissal of a third party claim brought by AngioScore, Inc. (“AngioScore”) for lack of personal jurisdiction and by the Singapore entity defendants and a Delaware entity defendant for failure to state a claim for contribution and tortious interference with contract in connection with the manufacture and sale of a competing product. The Court of Chancery denied the third party defendants’ motion in part, holding that the Court had personal jurisdiction over the three Singapore entity defendants under the conspiracy theory of jurisdiction, and that AngioScore stated a claim for contribution from all of the third party defendants, and granted the motion in part, holding that AngioScore had not stated a claim for tortious interference with contract.

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