Recently the Delaware Chancery Court rejected an interested executive’s defense of a breach of fiduciary duty claim, reminding us of the importance of making full and accurate disclosures when seeking shareholder approval for a merger or acquisition transaction. In particular, in the case of In re Xura, Inc. Stockholder Litigation the Delaware Chancery Court denied a motion to dismiss brought against a merger target company’s CEO, alleging that he had orchestrated the company’s sale to a particular bidder based on his self-interest in the outcome of the transaction.
The CEO argued that his actions should have been judged by the deferential business judgement rule and not a higher entire fairness standard because the transaction was approved by a majority of the disinterested shareholders. The CEO relied on the 2015 Delaware Supreme Court case of Corwin v. KKR Financing Holdings which held that a transaction that would be subject to enhanced scrutiny would instead be reviewed under the deferential business judgment
In a time of rapidly changing regulations and policies on all securities industry and corporate finance topics, and the development of distributed ledger technology (DLT or blockchain) and associated initial cryptocurrency offerings (ICO’s), I have never had so many topics in the queue to write about. With a once-a-week blog, I will just keep working through the list, reporting on all developments, some quicker than others. In this blog, I am circling back to DLT with a synopsis of state law developments and the Uniform Law Commission’s (ULC) approved Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Business Act (Uniform VCBA).
Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Business Act (Uniform VCBA)
On July 19, 2017, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) approved Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Business Act (Uniform VCBA) to be used as a model for states seeking to adopt such legislation. The VCBA is a money-transmitting or payment-processing-based legislation. The VCBA defines a money transmitter in an effort to provide clarity
When forming a new entity, I am often asked the best state of domicile. Following a July 1, 2014 increase in Delaware franchise taxes, I am also often asked the best state to re-domicile or move to following an exit from Delaware. Delaware remains the gold standard; however, there has been a definite shift and Delaware is now not the “only standard.”
Part of the reason for the shift away from Delaware has been the increase in fees. Delaware calculates annual fees based on one of two methods: (i) the authorized share method; and (ii) the assume par value capital (asset value) method. For either method the annual fee is capped at $180,000.00. Even for small- and micro-cap business issuers, the annual fee often reaches the tens of thousands. For example, a company with 300,000,000 common shares authorized with a $.001 par value per share and 30,000,000 shares issued and outstanding and $20,000,000 in gross assets would pay $180,000.00 per
On October 30, 2015, the SEC published proposed rule amendments to facilitate intrastate and regional securities offerings. This rule proposal comes following the September 23, 2015, Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies (the “Advisory Committee”) recommendation to the SEC regarding the modernization of the Rule 147 Intrastate offering exemption. The SEC has proposed amendments to Rule 147 to modernize the rule and accommodate adopted state intrastate crowdfunding provisions. The proposed amendment eliminates the restriction on offers and eases the issuer eligibility requirements, provided however the issuer must comply with the specific state securities laws. In addition, the SEC has proposed amendments to Rule 504 of Regulation D to increase the aggregate offering amount from $1 million to $5 million and to add bad actor disqualifications from reliance on the rule. Finally, the SEC has made technical amendments to Rule 505 of Regulation D.
In this Part I of the blog, I will discuss the Rule 147 amendment and in
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
Although the federal government and FINRA have become increasingly active in matters of corporate governance, the states still remain the primary authority and regulator of corporate law. The two most popular states for incorporation by business entities remain Nevada and Delaware, both of which offer corporations a degree of flexibility from a menu of reasonable alternatives that can be tailored to the companies’ business sectors, markets and corporate culture.
In 2015 the Nevada Legislature made several changes to the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) which impact public and private companies incorporated in Nevada. The changes go into effect on October 1, 2015. I begin this blog by reviewing the benefits offered by Nevada as a choice of state of incorporation and then follow with a summary of the 2015 amendments.
Nevada as a Choice of Corporate Domicile