Archive: June 2016

Directors’ Failure to Consider Speculative Projections in Recommending Tender Offer to Stockholders Insufficient to Plead a Claim for Breach of the Duty of Loyalty Based on Bad Faith

By: Michelle McCreery Repp and Benjamin Kendall

In In re Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. Stockholders Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 9640-VCG (Del. Ch. May 20, 2016), the Delaware Chancery Court held that Plaintiffs, who alleged bad faith on the part of corporate directors based on a failure to adequately take into account speculative financial projections in evaluating the adequateness of an acquisition offer, had failed to state a claim on which relief could be granted.

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Dell Inc. Fails to Persuade Court That Merger Price was Best Evidence of its Fair Value

By: Naomi R. Ogan and Stephanie S. Liu

In In Re Appraisal of Dell, C.A. No. 9322-VCL, (Del. Ch. May 31, 2016), stockholders of Dell Inc. (“Dell”) sought appraisal of their shares in connection with Dell’s 2013 “go-private” merger. Vice Chancellor Laster of the Delaware Court of Chancery held that the fair value of the Dell’s common stock at the effective time of the merger was $17.62, approximately a 28% premium over the final merger consideration of $13.75 per share. In making its determination, the court rejected Dell’s contention that the negotiated merger consideration was the best evidence of Dell’s fair value and held that the Dell was sold for too little and that the concept of fair value under Delaware law is not equivalent to the economic concept of fair market value.

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Delaware Chancery Court Expands on Dissenter Requirement under DGCL Section 262

By: Naomi R. Ogan and Stephanie S. Liu

In In re Appraisal of Dell Inc., C.A. No. 9322-VCL, (Del. Ch. May 11, 2016), the Delaware Court of Chancery held that the shares held by fourteen mutual funds through a sponsor or institutions that relied on such parties to direct the voting of their shares (collectively, the “Petitioners”) did not qualify for appraisal in connection with Dell Inc.’s go-private merger because the dissenter requirement under the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”) was not met as the shares were voted in favor of the merger.

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Chancery Court Reaffirms Arbitrability to be Decided by Arbitrator if Claims are Not Frivolous on their Face

By: Scott E. Waxman and Douglas Logan

In Angus v. Ajio, the Delaware Court of Chancery denied Bruce Angus’ preliminary injunction to block arbitration initiated by Members of MoGo Sport, LLC (“MoGo”), a Delaware sports equipment and injury prevention company organized as a Delaware limited liability company. The court held that the arbitrability of the claims in the arbitration demand must be decided by the arbitrator and not the court if the party opposing arbitration cannot show the arbitration demand to be frivolous.

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Conflict Transaction Cleansed By Master Limited Partnership’s Special Committee

By Scott E. Waxman and Annamarie C. Larson

In Employees Retirement System of the City of St. Louis v. TC Pipelines GP, Inc., et al, (C.A. No. 11603-VCG), Vice Chancellor Glasscock granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss claims relating to the purchase of pipeline assets from the general partner’s parent.  The Court of Chancery held that the transaction was “fair and reasonable” to the master limited partnership because it was approved by a special committee and that the general partner did not breach the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.  In this case, the Court of Chancery reaffirmed parties’ abilities to contract freely when forming alternative entities such as a master limited partnership and confirmed that judicial review of such contractual terms is very limited.

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Court of Chancery, Applying Arkansas Law, Precludes Re-Litigation of Demand Futility Issue in the Context of a Derivative Suit Brought by Different Stockholder Plaintiffs

By Josh Gaul and H. Corinne Smith

In In re Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., C.A. No. 7455-CB (Del Ch. May 13, 2016), the Court of Chancery, applying Arkansas law, held that issue preclusion applies to different stockholder plaintiffs in the context of a derivative suit and, therefore, that the Arkansas district court’s holding that demand was not futile precludes re-litigation of the issue in the Delaware court system.

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