Justia Mergers & Acquisitions Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Delaware Court of Chancery

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Dell Inc. completed a merger that gave rise to appraisal rights. Fourteen appraisal petitioners were mutual funds sponsored by T. Rowe Price & Associates, Inc. (T. Rowe) or institutions that relied on T. Rowe to direct the voting of their shares (collectively, Petitioners). Petitioners held their shares through a custodial bank, which was a participant member in a trust company, which held Petitioners’ shares in the name of Cede & Co., which, for purposes of Delaware law, was the holder of record. Cede was constrained to vote Petitioners’ shares as T. Rowe directed and fulfilled its obligation through a chain of authorizations. Although T. Rowe opposed the merger, its voting system generated instructions to vote Petitioners’ shares in favor of it. Ultimately, Cede voted Petitioners’ shares in favor of the merger. Petitioners sought appraisal in favor of the merger. The Court of Chancery held (1) because the holder of record did not dissent as to the shares for which Petitioners sought appraisal, the dissenter requirement was not met of these shares; and (2) therefore, Petitioners’ shares did not qualify for appraisal, and Petitioners remained entitled to the merger consideration without an award of interest. View "In re Appraisal of Dell Inc." on Justia Law

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In 2010, El Paso Corporation (“El Paso Parent”) sold member interests in three limited liability companies to El Paso Pipeline Partners, LP (“El Paso MLP”). At the time of the sale, El Paso Parent controlled El Paso MLP through its ownership of El Paso Pipeline GP Company, LLC, the sole general partner of El Paso MLP (“El Paso GP”). In 2015, the Court of Chancery issued a post-trial decision concluding that El Paso GP breached the limited partnership agreement governing El Paso MLP by causing El Paso MLP to buy the member interests (the “Fall Dropdown”). In 2012, Plaintiff brought this action challenging the Fall Droptown. While the litigation was pending, Kinder Morgan, Inc., acquired El Paso Parent and therefore indirectly owned and controlled El Paso GP. After trial, Kinder Morgan, El Paso Parent, El Paso MLP, and El Paso GP consummated a merger that ended El Paso MLP’s separate existence as a publicly traded entity. El Paso GP moved to dismiss this litigation, arguing that because Plaintiff styled his claim as derivative the closing of the merger meant that this case must be dismissed. The Court of Chancery denied El Paso GP’s motion to dismiss, holding that the merger did not extinguish Plaintiff’s standing to pursue the claim, and therefore, this Court can implement the liability award. View "In re El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. Derivative Litig." on Justia Law