Showing 8 posts by Aubrey Morin.
Restanca, LLC v. House of Lithium, Ltd., C.A. No. 2022-0690-PAF (Del. Ch. Jun. 30, 2023)
The parties seeking specific performance of an agreement must establish a clear right to performance, including that all conditions to closing have been met. In this case, a buyer refused to close on the acquisition of an electric scooter company, and the seller sought specific performance in the Court of Chancery. In its post-trial decision, the Court denied that relief because the sellers inaccurately represented that the seller’s equity holders had executed a secondary sale agreement and that the seller had delivered certain financial statements to the buyer. Because neither of those things had in fact occurred, not all conditions to closing were satisfied and the buyer could walk away from the transaction. Further, because Delaware is a pro-sandbagging jurisdiction, it did not matter whether the buyer knew (as seller argued) that representations were inaccurate, and holding seller to its representations did not create an unjust result.
City of Dearborn Police and Fire Revised Retirement System (Chapter 23) et al. v. Brookfield Asset Management Inc., C.A. No. 2022-0097-KSJM (Del. Ch. June 21, 2023)
In a short letter decision, Chancellor McCormick supplemented an earlier decision with a more fulsome analysis of plaintiffs’ Primedia claim (a direct claim challenging a merger based on a board’s failure to obtain value for material derivative claims), which the Court had earlier decided was subject to dismissal under MFW. Under Primedia’s three-part test, to bring a derivative claim post-merger, the former stockholder must plead (1) a colorable underlying derivative claim, (2) that the value of the derivative claim was material in the context of the merger, and (3) “that the acquirer would not assert the underlying derivative claim and did not provide value for it.” Here, the Court held that Plaintiffs failed to establish Primedia’s second prong because their claims and calculations were “woefully underdeveloped[.]” Specifically, plaintiffs speculated the defendants could have been liable for the entire lost market capitalization in the years following the merger, but they could not explain how that measure of damages made sense. Other metrics, including comparing the deal price to the trading price at the time of the transaction, showed that the derivative claims were not material to the merger consideration.
Knight v. Miller, C.A. No. 2021-0581-LWW (Del. Ch. June 1, 2023)
Under Court of Chancery Rule 23.1(c), the Court must approve the settlement of any derivative litigation. This case provides a rare example of the Court rejecting a settlement after determining that the “give"—i.e., the substance of the settlement—did not justify the “get"— i.e., ending the litigation. More ›
In re Edgio, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 2022-0624-MTZ (Del. Ch. May 1, 2023)
Under Corwin, a fully informed, uncoerced vote of the disinterested stockholders can shift the standard of judicial review for certain transactions from heightened scrutiny to the business judgment rule. But there are some transactions that Corwin cannot cleanse. Here, at the motion to dismiss stage, the Court declined to apply the Corwin doctrine to a Unocal claim seeking to enjoin certain alleged defensive measures taken by the company's board. More ›
Tueza v. Lindon, C.A. No. 2022-0130-SG (Del. Ch. Apr. 27, 2023)
Because controlling stockholders of Delaware corporations owe fiduciary duties to both the corporation and to its minority stockholders, the Court of Chancery will subject a transaction involving the company to entire fairness review if a controller receives a non-ratable benefit from a transaction. This case confronts a more nuanced question: Does entire fairness apply if the non-ratable benefit goes not to the controller but to a separate entity controlled by the controller's controllers? More ›
Laidlaw v. GigAcquisitions2, LLC, C.A. No. 2021-0821-LWW (Del. Ch. Mar. 1, 2023)
In the aftermath of a SPAC merger, the plaintiff (a public stockholder) brought claims for breaches of fiduciary duty against the SPAC's board and sponsor, as controllers, for issuing an allegedly false and misleading proxy statement. According to the plaintiff, the proxy statement failed to disclose the net cash per share that the SPAC would contribute to the merger, which in turn misrepresented the anticipated value of post-merger shares, and that such information was material to the decisions of public stockholders whether to invest in the post-merger company or to redeem their SPAC investments. Plaintiff alleged that the sponsor and board were incentivized to minimize redemptions in order to secure returns for the sponsor, which purchased a 20% stake in the post-merger company at a nominal price. More ›
Fairstead Cap. Mgmt. LLC v. Blodgett, C.A. No. 2022-0673-JTL (Del. Ch. Jan. 6, 2023)
This case highlights the difficulties that can arise when relationships are governed by contracts with competing forum selection and arbitration provisions. Two LLCs brought claims against a former principal for breach of the respective LLC agreements, both of which contained Delaware forum selection clauses. In response, the principal sought an injunction barring the LLCs from proceeding outside of arbitration because the principal’s employment agreement contained a broad arbitration provision that encompassed all of the parties’ disputes. More ›
Chancery Concludes Section 18-110 of the LLC Act Does Not Permit Standalone Books and Records Claims When Company Management Is Undisputed
Cardinale v. Feingold, 2023 WL 142510 (Del. Ch. Jan. 10, 2023)
In a dispute about the manager of a limited liability company, Section 18-110 of the LLC Act grants the Court of Chancery the statutory authority to order the production of books and records “relating to the issue.” Here, the plaintiff sought a declaration that he was the sole manager of six companies and also an order directing the defendants to turn over the companies’ books and records. The defendants, who had recently resigned as managers, confirmed that the plaintiff was the companies’ sole manager and asked the Court to dismiss the remainder of the action for lack of jurisdiction. The Court agreed. Because the identity of the companies’ manager was undisputed, the Court concluded it no longer had jurisdiction under Section 18-110 to order the production of books and records.