Chancery Provides Additional Analysis of Primedia Claims in MFW Context
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.