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Court Of Chancery Explains Bad Faith Claim

Posted In M&A

In re Novell Inc. Shareholder Litigation, C.A. 6032-VCN (January 3, 2013)

This decision well explains what may constitute a claim that a merger was entered into in bad faith. Such a claim is necessary to sustain a complaint when the majority of the directors are independent and disinterested.  Deal protection devices such as termination fees are not enough to show bad faith, at least when their terms are typical of such provisions.

Here the complaint adequately pled bad faith by alleging that the board favored 1 of 2 bidders for no good reason. For example, if the losing bidder made the highest offer, there must be some reason to not take its bid.  If not, the the board may be said to have acted in bad faith because that would knowingly violate its duty to get the best deal.

Tags: M&A


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