Appraisal Rights Litigation Blog

Legal news site Law360 ran this analysis [$$$] of Aruba, focusing on whether the decision should be seen as a fight between valuation methodologies, or between two courts trying to fulfill their respective roles. The Chancery Court, left to apply the Delaware Supreme Court’s precedent to complex fact situations and manage cases from their infancy through decision, may be struggling with the Dell and DFC decisions. The Supreme Court, perhaps reconsidering some of the positions…
It looks that way, according to this analysis on the CLS BlueSky Blog. From the authors: “… investors pay close attention to how stock-based deals affect the acquirer’s short-term earnings per share (EPS). Merger announcements are regularly accompanied by discussions of whether the deal will be accretive or dilutive for the acquirer’s EPS, and if immediately dilutive, how quickly the deal would turn accretive. Finance theory, however, does not imply any particular benefit of an…
Does the valuation method parties pursue, and that a Court uses, matter to the ultimate valuation of a firm? This recent paper studying data from Finnish appraisal of private terms over a 16 year period suggests that the choice of methodology does matter. For readers of this blog, or those who know of appraisal predominantly through the Delaware-dominated and – more relevant here – public company dominated area, this conclusion may seem obvious. Of course…
We’ve covered before that major proxy voting analyst Taft-Hartley suggests investors vote in favor of appraisal rights and that a major pension fund’s guidelines likewise favor appraisal. Add Boston Partners, a major investment manager, to the list of those favoring appraisal rights in their proxy voting, according to their 2019 proxy voting guidelines [.pdf]. This follows, as research suggests appraisal can be favorable for shareholder value.…
Legal news site Law360 published this analysis [$$$] about whether, in light of Aruba, it’s time for a new “checklist” on appraisal. The core takeaway is something academics have been observing over time: appraisal is growing closer to breach of fiduciary duty litigation – and the space between the two types of cases is shrinking. With that said, appraisal remains a distinct type of action, even if the substantive room for the remedy is (as…
While there are many areas of appraisal up for debate, and actively being debated in the Delaware courts, sometimes there’s an easy one.  When a company engages in a merger, under the DGCL, the Company must timely notify shareholders of their appraisal rights if those rights exist. What a company cannot do – as its alleged the Defendant in Anurag Mehta v. Mobile Posse Inc. et al. did – is conduct a merger in secret,…
Yes – at least according to Professors Korsmo and Myers. In this piece from the HLS Forum on Corporate Governance, the Professors argue that the Aruba decision continued a trend of the Delaware Supreme Court misapplying certain modern finance concepts, starting most glaringly in Dell and DFC, and with Aruba only slowly turning the ship back towards a truer course. The Professors argue that the decision makes four errors: (1) failing to differentiate between how…
Sometimes!  Appraisal is almost always an issue for the shareholders of the target, or seller, corporation.  But, in very rare instances, the shareholders of the acquiring corporation may have appraisal rights.  Enter the 2005 case of Proctor & Gamble and Gillette.  In 2005, Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced a multibillion dollar merger with Gillette, to be consummated a stock-for-stock reverse triangular merger.  A P&G merger sub would merge into Gillette, giving P&G control of Gillette. …
A recurring topic in appraisal litigation (and merger litigation more generally) is that potential buyers, and in particular those who are most engaged with the company get a “look under the hood” that general investors do not.  But this simplistic analogy may actually understate the informational advantage of a buyer compared to the market at large.  Shareholders often are left in the dark – until a merger is announced, often as a fait accompli –…