August 31, 2012

Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Damages and Fee Award in Southern Peru

Here are two items that I posted on my Blog this week: Earlier this week, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Chancellor Strine’s decision from last year in Southern Peru. Justice Berger filed a brief partial dissent disagreeing with the Chancellor’s attorney’s fee analysis. Here’s analysis from Richards Layton (we are posting memos in our “Minority Shareholders” Practice Area) – and here’s a piece by Alison Frankel.

Corp Fin Issues No-Action Letter on Day-20 Pricing in Tender Offers

Here’s news from Gibson Dunn’s “Securities Monitor Blog“:

The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance recently granted no-action relief to Sonic Automotive, Inc., allowing Sonic to utilize “Day 20” pricing in its recent exchange offer wherein the company offered to exchange common stock and cash for its outstanding convertible debt securities.

The exchange offer employed a VWAP formula pricing mechanism with the final price becoming fixed and publicly announced at 4:30 p.m. on the same day the offer was scheduled to expire at midnight. In addition, the exchange offer incorporated a fixed minimum and maximum purchase price where the company agreed to extend the offer by two business days should the formula result in a purchase price at the maximum amount specified.

Interestingly, it appears that counsel sought and obtained no-action relief during the pendency of the exchange offer. Thus, it seems the 20-day pricing issue may have caught the Staff’s attention during its review. The letter serves as a steady reminder to issuers regarding the need for early consideration of whether to seek no-action relief and consulting with outside counsel before utilizing “Day 20” pricing in a tender offer. We have previously discussed the Staff’s position regarding “Day 20” pricing.

Dodd-Frank: SEC Issues Financial Literacy Study

Yesterday, the SEC issued this financial literacy study as required under Section 917 of Dodd-Frank. Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

The study identifies investor perceptions and preferences regarding a variety of investment disclosures. The study shows that investors prefer to receive investment disclosures before investing, rather than after, as occurs with many investment products purchased today. The study identifies information that investors find useful and relevant in helping them make informed investment decisions. This includes information about fees, investment objectives, performance, strategy, and risks of an investment product, as well as the professional background, disciplinary history, and conflicts of interest of a financial professional. Investors also favor investment disclosures presented in a visual format, using bullets, charts, and graphs.

Here’s a depressing analysis of the study, courtesy of New York Magazine…

– Broc Romanek