Unless they are a party to the transaction itself, such as in the case of a share-for-share exchange agreement, shareholders of a company in a merger transaction generally have what is referred to as “dissenters” or “appraisal rights.” An appraisal right is the statutory right by shareholders that dissent to a particular transaction, to receive the fair value of their stock ownership. Generally such fair value may be determined in a judicial or court proceeding or by an independent valuation. Appraisal rights and valuations are the subject of extensive litigation in merger and acquisition transactions. As with all corporate law matters, the Delaware legislature and courts lead the way in setting standards and precedence.
Delaware Statutory Appraisal Rights
Although the details and appraisal rights process vary from state to state (often meaningfully), as with other state corporate law matters, Delaware is the leading statutory example and the Delaware Chancery Court is the leader in judicial precedence in this area of