UK to Adopt New Powers Over M&A Activity to Protect National Security

Draft legislation currently being debated in the UK Parliament will introduce a new regime similar to that of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) while maintaining the UK’s position as an attractive forum for business and an openness to foreign investment. While the National Security and Investment Act (“NSIA”) will not come into effect until later this year, it will have retroactive effect from November 12, 2020. It is therefore important that entities contemplating any transaction...

Mergers Involving Delaware LLCs Don’t Trigger Appraisal Rights – Except When They Do

When parties consider an M&A transaction involving a merger, a factor that is top of mind for counsel is complying with the statutory appraisal procedures afforded to holders of equity in the merging entity who do not consent to the transaction – particularly where it is expected that a portion of the shareholder base will not approve of the transaction. Section 262 of the Delaware General Corporation Law protects shareholders of Delaware corporations who do not consent to a merger...

Alaska Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Virtual Shareholder Meetings

Dorsey Assists Alaska Corporations to Hold Annual Virtual and Hybrid Meetings The Alaska Legislature unanimously passed Senate Bill 24, on March 22, 2021, allowing corporate shareholder meetings and nonprofit member meetings to be held via remote communications. The bill was signed into law by Governor Dunleavy on March 31, 2021. “This is a common-sense bill that makes Alaska an easier place to do business, and I expect it to have an immediate and positive impact,” said Alaska Representative Matt Claman....

FTC Temporarily Suspends Early Terminations

The FTC and DOJ announced today the temporary suspension of the practice of granting “early termination” of the HSR waiting period. In other words, for the time being, you should assume that any reportable transaction will require the full 30-day waiting period (shorter in all-cash tender offers). This is expected to be a short-duration suspension. See FTC press release here.

Decrease in HSR Reportability Thresholds and Other HSR Developments

On February 2, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the annual adjustment of the thresholds that trigger premerger reporting obligations (and the mandatory waiting period) under the Hart-Scott Rodino (HSR) Act. The new thresholds will apply to transactions closing on or after March 4, 2021 (that is, 30 days after publication of the announcement in the Federal Register). This year, for the first time in a decade, the thresholds decreased. Last month, the FTC also announced adjusted thresholds that trigger prohibitions...

How CFIUS Foreign Transaction Monitoring Broadened

2020 is a year we will not soon forget. 2020 was also a year full of dramatic changes for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The committee’s mandate remained the same — review foreign investments in U.S. businesses to protect national security. When necessary, the president can prohibit a proposed transaction, or require a foreign person to divest their interest in a U.S. business on national security grounds. However, important modifications to the CFIUS process were introduced...

Chancery Opinion Provides First Delaware Court Guidance on COVID-19’s Impact on MAE Provisions and Ordinary Court Course Covenants

On November 30, 2020, Vice Chancellor Laster of Delaware’s Court of Chancery issued the first case where the pandemic provided a company with the ability to walk away from its contractual obligations in a sale transaction, analyzing both the material adverse effect (“MAE”) provisions and ordinary course covenants. AB Stable VIII LLC v. MAPS Hotels and Resorts One LLC et al., C.A. No. 2020-0310-JTL (Del. Ch. Nov. 30, 2020). The AB Stable case involved the attempted sale by AB Stable...

New Guidance on PPP Loans in M&A

The Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”) created under the CARES Act has provided much needed assistance to millions of businesses and other organizations operating in the United States that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program continues to evolve with the latest development addressing situations in which a PPP borrower is participating in a change of control, merger or an acquisition transaction. On October 2, 2020 the Small Business Administration (the “SBA”) published SBA Procedural Notice (5000-20057) (the...

Delaware Supreme Court Refuses to Apply Corporate Test in Limited Partnership Books and Records Case

The recent Delaware Supreme Court case of Murfey v. WHC Ventures, LLC serves as a reminder that limited partnerships are contractual in nature and therefore in a books and records demand, legal standards applicable to Delaware corporations may not be applicable. In the Murfey case, limited partners of multiple limited partnerships demanded access to Schedule K-1s of other limited partners for the purpose of valuing their partnership interests.  After their access was restricted, the limited partners brought their demand to...

2020 Updates to Delaware Entity

The State of Delaware typically amends its entity statutes annually to ensure that the statutes are state of the art and most effectively meet the needs of the changing business community.  Consistent with this practice, Delaware’s governor recently signed into law this year’s amendments to the Delaware’s Limited Liability Company Act (the “LLC Act”), Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act (the “LP Act”), Revised Uniform Partnership Act, General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”) and Statutory Trust Act.  Unlike most years when the...

PPP Developments

The CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) has provided much needed assistance to millions of businesses and other organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. This program, however, continues to be fraught with snares and traps for the unwary and the M&A space is no exception. To begin, any lender that participates in the PPP is required to utilize a promissory note to evidence each PPP loan it advances. Though the Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided...

Delaware Court of Chancery Strictly Construes Shareholder Representative Provision, Complicating Discovery from Shareholders

Following a recent Delaware case, buyers in M&A deals should ensure that their purchase agreements adequately provide for access to information from the seller in case of post-closing disputes. In Fortis Advisors, LLC v. Allergan W.C. Holding, Inc., Vice Chancellor Morgan Zurn ruled that if a buyer consents to a single shareholder representative structure in a merger agreement, the buyer cannot later compel the individual selling shareholders’ participation in discovery as parties in interest.[1] The Fortis decision arose out of...

Immigration Stability Amidst Corporate Restructuring: U.S. Immigration Service Announces Clarifications for Multinational Managers and Executives

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) recently announced it has adopted an administrative law decision that clarifies issues relating to the transfer of multinational executives and managers from foreign offices to the United States.  This new decision should streamline the immigration aspects of multinational corporate restructurings and mergers. U.S. immigration law provides a special mechanism for multinational companies to sponsor their overseas executives and managers for U.S. permanent residency (“green cards”), provided those employees worked for a foreign entity...

CFIUS Abruptly Imposes New Notice Filing Fees

Beginning May 1, 2020, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) will require a filing fee in connection with any formal notice of a “covered transaction” or a “covered real estate transaction.” The U.S. Treasury Department made the announcement on April 27, 2020 through an interim rule with its request for public comments until June 1, 2020. (See the interim rule here.) As of the date of this post, CFIUS has set the escalating amount of the...

Dorsey Represents Galileo Financial Technologies in $1.2 Billion Acquisition by SoFi

Dorsey recently advised fintech company Galileo Financial Technologies, Inc. (Galileo) in connection with its announced agreement to be acquired by Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi) for $1.2 billion. “I am honored to have led a terrific Dorsey team of more than 20 attorneys and paralegals in helping our client Galileo Financial Technologies in achieving this significant milestone,” said Dorsey Partner Nolan Taylor.  “This transaction showcases Dorsey’s ability to bring a world-class deal team together to complete a major transaction. Our team’s...

Disaster Suspension Continues-COVID-19 Corporate Issues in Alaska

Earlier we reported that on March 19, 2020 (Effective Collaboration with Governor Nets Pragmatic Solution) the Governor of the State of Alaska temporarily suspended certain provisions of the Alaska Corporations Code AS 10.06.405(a) (in person requirement) and AS 10.06.410(a) (notice requirement) for annual meetings until April 12, or later date, if the disaster declaration is extended.  On April 10, 2020, Governor Dunleavy signed into law Senate Bill 241 (the “Act”).  The Act extended the Governor’s March 11, 2020 Disaster Declaration...

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COVID-19 Issues Appearing in Representation and Warranty Insurance Policies

Since the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the emergence of proposed exclusions from coverage in representation and warranty insurance (RWI) policies.  For example, a buy-side policy found in a recently signed deal contains the following exclusion: the inability to fulfil customer orders based on a lack of stock in the period after 5 months from Closing caused by disruptions to the Target Group’s supply chain as a result of the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, including, but not...

Impacts of COVID-19 on Food, Beverage and Agribusiness M&A

The current macro and micro dynamics in the food and ag sector are rapidly shifting and uncertain, particularly in today’s world of the coronavirus. From a changing regulation and political environment to generational succession planning challenges, change and unknowns are creating both challenges and opportunities. As a result, consolidation in the food and ag sector is occurring at an unprecedented rate.  On March 25, 2020 Dorsey partner Michael Droke presented a webinar addressing the impacts of Coronavirus/COVID-19 on the M&A...

More Grief for the “Big Guys”: Draft Revision of the China Anti-Monopoly Law Introduces Further Restraints on Influential Market Players

On January 2, 2020, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation, or the SAMR, released the Draft Revision of the Anti-Monopoly Law of China (the “Draft AML Revision”) for public comment.  The Draft AML Revision is significant in a number of respects, several of which will be highlighted below: (i) it makes it more likely that a transaction could trigger anti-monopoly review, (ii) it expands the concept of collusion to business operators who coordinate and assist in “collusion”, (iii) it increases...

Effective Collaboration with the Governor Nets Pragmatic Solution to COVID-19 Corporate Issues in Alaska

On March 19, Dorsey attorneys successfully obtained an emergency order from the Governor of the State of Alaska, which temporarily suspends certain state laws during the coronavirus public health crisis, and allows all Alaska corporations to hold virtual and hybrid (in-person and communications equipment) annual shareholder meetings on short notice. Every Alaska corporation must have an annual shareholder meeting, and Alaska Statutes require corporations to hold in-person annual shareholder meetings (AS 10.06.405). Most other states allow virtual or hybrid meetings,...