Mergers and Acquisitions

The percentage of M&A transactions valued over $100 million attracting at least one merger objection lawsuit continued to decline in 2017, according to a recent Cornerstone Research study. The July 18, 2018 study, entitled “Shareholder Litigation Involving Acquisitions of Public Companies: Review of 2017 M&A Litigation” (here), also reports that the average number of lawsuits filed per M&A deal and the percentage of M&A deal litigation voluntarily dismissed declined in 2017, as well. Cornerstone Research’s July 18, 2018 press release about the report can be found here.
Continue Reading Percentage of M&A Deals Attracting Litigation Continued to Decline in 2017

paperstackRepresentations and warranties insurance has been around for years, but it is becoming an increasingly important part of M&A transactions, according to an August 24, 2015 Law 360 article (here). According to the article, more buyers are “embracing representations and warranties insurance” in order to “stand out in crowded auctions,” particularly where the seller is a private equity firm. The insurance product is “increasingly deemed a prerequisite toward sealing middle-market deals.”
Continue Reading Reps and Warranties Insurance: Increasingly Indispensable Part of M&A Deals

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Peter M. Gillon
Alex Hardiman - Counsel - Litigation
Alexander Hardiman

One of the most distinctive corporate and securities litigation phenomena over the last several years has been the rise in merger objection lawsuits. We are now to the point that virtually every M&A transaction attracts at least one lawsuit. These suits present a number of challenges, including, among other things, questions arising in connection with D&O insurance coverage for the companies and individuals named as defendants in the lawsuits, particularly with respect to the price change exclusion, sometimes referred to as the “bump up” exclusion.

In the following guest post, Peter M. Gillon and Alexander Hardiman of the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP law firm take a look at the insurance coverage issues that frequently arise in these types of cases and offer some practical advice about the ways that insureds can maximize their insurance coverage when these claims arise, particularly in dealing with issues involving the bump up exclusion. Peter is a Partner and Alex is Counsel at the Pillsbury law firm. A version of this article was recently published as a Pillsbury client alert.

I would like to thank Peter and Alex for their willingness to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Peter and Alex’s guest post.

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With the explosion of “merger objection” lawsuits being filed by the plaintiffs’ securities bar in the last decade, policyholders seeking coverage under their directors’ and officers’ (D&O) liability insurance for those suits have increasingly been bumping heads with their insurance carriers over the application of the “price change exclusion” (also referred to as the “bump-up” exclusion).  This has been a major source of frustration for companies reasonably expecting their policies to respond fully to merger objection suits – especially shareholder suits claiming breach of fiduciary duties by the target company’s Board of Directors in approving the sale of the target.  Many companies and their securities defense counsel have capitulated in the face of their carriers’ declinations of coverage.  But, as this note explains, it is critical to consult with coverage counsel on these matters as insurers’ assertion of the price change exclusion is often misplaced. 
Continue Reading Guest Post: Maximizing the Return on Your D&O Insurance for Merger Objection Lawsuit

In recent years, the uptake for M&A representations and warranties insurance has increased. Just the same, even now, the participants in the M&A transaction often do not always fully understand what they need to know about the insurance. In particular, some transaction parties don’t always appreciate why they need reps and warranties insurance protection.

Insurance to provide coverage for breaches of representations or warranties in M&A transaction documents has been available in the marketplace for several years, but the specialty insurance product has not always been fully understood. More recently, interest in the product has grown and the product has improved, and so take-up for the product has increased