Justia Banking Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Mergers & Acquisitions
Booth v. Franks
Appellants were minority stockholders in First Community Bank of Crawford County (FBC). After First Bank reached an agreement to merge with FCB, First Bank filed an application with the Arkansas State Banking Board. The Board subsequently approved the merger. Appellants filed a complaint seeking review of the Board’s decision, arguing (1) the Board did not adequately fulfill its duties under administrative law in reaching its decision, and (2) the statues and regulations followed by the Board unconstitutionally infringe on the due process and property rights of minority stockholders. The circuit court concluded that Appellants failed to preserve their substantive objections due to their failure to present these objections before the Board. The Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of Appellants’ claims, holding that Appellants’ arguments were not preserved for judicial review. View "Booth v. Franks" on Justia Law
Baker v. Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Dragon Systems, Inc. (Dragon), a voice recognition software company that faced a deteriorating financial situation, hired Goldman Sachs (Goldman) to provide financial advice and assistance in connection with a possible merger. In 2000, Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V. (Lernout & Hauspie) acquired Dragon. When it was discovered that Lernout & Hauspie had fraudulently overstated its earnings, the merged company filed for bankruptcy, and the Dragon name and technology were sold from the estate. Plaintiffs, two groups of Dragon shareholders, filed suit against Goldman, alleging negligent and intentional misrepresentation, negligence, gross negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A. A jury found in favor of Goldman on Plaintiffs’ common law claims, and district court found that Goldman had not violated chapter 93A. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly articulated the legal standard applicable to Plaintiffs’ chapter 93A claims and correctly applied that standard to its factual findings; and (2) Plaintiffs’ arguments that they were entitled to a new trial on their common law claims because of evidentiary errors and erroneous jury instructions were without merit. View "Baker v. Goldman, Sachs & Co." on Justia Law
City of Providence v. First Citizens Bancshares, Inc.
First Citizens BancShares, Inc. (FC North), a bank holding company incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, adopted by forum selection bylaw (the “Forum Selection Bylaw”) the same day it announced it had entered into a merger agreement to acquire First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc. The Forum Selection Bylaw selected as the forum the federal or state courts of North Carolina instead of the state or federal courts of Delaware. The City of Providence filed complaints challenging as invalid the Forum Selection Bylaw and asserting various claims against the FC North board of directors concerning the proposed merger. The Court of Chancery granted Defendants’ motions to dismiss both complaints for failure to state a claim, holding (1) the Forum Selection Bylaw is facially valid; and (2) it is not unreasonable, unjust, or inequitable to enforce the Forum Selection Bylaw in this case. View "City of Providence v. First Citizens Bancshares, Inc." on Justia Law
The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co. v. Liberty Media Corp.
Liberty commenced this action against the Trustee under the Indenture, seeking injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment that the proposed Capital Splitoff would not constitute a disposition of "substantially all" of Liberty's assets in violation of the Indenture. The Court of Chancery concluded, after a trial, that the four transactions at issue should not be aggregated, and entered judgment for Liberty. The Court of Chancery concluded that the proposed splitoff was not "sufficiently connected" to the prior transactions to warrant aggregation for purposes of the Successor Obligor Provision. The court agreed with the judgment of the Court of Chancery and affirmed.
Fait, et al. v. Regions Financial Corp., et al.
This case arose when plaintiff filed a putative class action complaint against defendant and others following the decline of defendant's stock price. At issue was whether certain statements concerning goodwill and loan loss reserves in a registration statement of defendant's gave rise to liability under sections 11 and 12 of the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. 77a et seq. The court held that the statements in question were opinions, which were not alleged to have falsely represented the speakers' beliefs at the time they were made. Therefore, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.
The Bank of New York Mellon v. Commerzbank Capital Funding Trust II, et al.
This case arose when Commerzbank agreed to acquire Dresdner Bank in September 2008. As part of the deal, Commerzbank also acquired Dresdner Bank's trust preferred structures, and holders of Dresdner's trust preferred securities received distributions in both 2009 and 2010. Plaintiff claimed that paying those distributions "pushed," or required Commerzbank to make distributions on, a class of its owned preferred securities in which plaintiff had an interest, and, by the complaint, plaintiff asked the court to enforce that alleged obligation. Plaintiff also sought specific performance of a support agreement that was argued to require the elevation of the liquidation preference of Commerzbank's trust preferred securities in response to a restructuring of one class of the Dresdner securities. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The court held, among other things, that because the DresCap Trust Certificates did not qualify as either Parity Securities, defendants were entitled to judgment in their favor as a matter of law regarding plaintiff's claim under the Pusher Provision. The court also held that because DresCap Trust Certificates did not qualify as either Parity Securities or Junior Securities, Section 6 of the Support Undertaking was not triggered by amendment of the DresCap Trust IV Certificates. Accordingly, defendants were entitled to judgment in their favor as a matter of law regarding plaintiff's claim that the amendment of the DresCap Trust IV Certificates required defendants to amend the Trusted Preferred Securities.