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Delaware Supreme Court Implies Duty Of Disclosure For Limited Partnership Conflicts Provision

Posted In LP Agreements

Dieckman v Regency GP LP,  No. 208, 2016 (January 20, 2017)

Agreements for publicly-traded limited partnerships often disclaim any fiduciary duties and provide safe harbors for transactions involving a conflict for the controller.  The safe harbor provisions frequently contain minimal disclosure requirements for any minority unitholder approval. All that is fine under Delaware law. However, when the controller asks the minority unitholders to approve a transaction under the safe harbor provision and does so in a fulsome proxy statement containing more than the minimal required disclosures, the controller must act fairly.  As the Court finds here, the safe harbor provisions of the agreement necessarily imply an obligation to be honest with the investors. That is a classic example of when the covenant of good faith and fair dealing applies.