株式発行に関するニューヨーク証券取引所の規則改正

The changes will: require shareholder approval of cash sales to related parties only at prices less than the current market price (assuming the 20% rule and change of control rule discussed below do not apply);

no longer require shareholder approval for share issuances to related parties’ subsidiaries or affiliates (unless a related party has a 5% interest in the company or assets being acquired with the share issuance); and

require shareholder approval of any transaction where a related party has a 5% interest in the company or assets being acquired with the share issuance (or related parties collectively have a 10% interest), when the issuance results in a 5% increase in outstanding shares or voting power.

National Defense Authorization Actなる法律について

 現在、日米法学会から依頼されたLiu v. SEC, 140 S. Ct. 1936 (2020)について、判例の紹介を執筆しています。この執筆の過程で、National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021という法律に出くわしました。この法律(当時は、法案)は、どうやらLiu判決と関係がありそうなので、判例紹介の中でも言及するつもりでいます。

 この法律(法案)に馴染みが無かったので、不思議に思ったことが一つありました。すなわち、なぜ、国防に関する法案に、証券規制に関する些かマイナーな改正が含まれているのかということです。証券法の改正が、いわゆるクリスマス・ツリー法案によってなされることがあり、過去にも取り上げたことがあります。しかし、私が今まで経験したクリスマス・ツリー法案は、日本でも報道されるようなメジャーな法案が多く、今回のような毎年成立する法案について、証券法の改正が付随するということが良く理解できませんでした。NDAA 2021については、トランプ大統領が拒否権を発動し、それを連邦議会が覆したため、話題になり、その過程で、Liu判決と関係があるということを知りました。

 その後、NDAA 2021について、調べていて次のことが理解できました。国防に関する法案(NDAA)は、毎年、成立する。実際、過去60年連続で成立している。そして、毎年、確実に成立する法案であるため、その法案に自らの望む改正を潜り込ませたいと望む議員が多くいる。

 実際、本法案の改正には、下院議員のうち200名程度が関与しているとのことです。確実に成立するという理由から、クリスマス・ツリー法案になるというその政治過程に感心しました。個人的には、証券法の改正を要求した議員が誰なのかを知りたいところですが、私にはよくわかりませんでした。

 2021年3月8日追記:古巣のDavis PolkのメモランダムによるとMark Warner上院議員らしいです。立法過程については、Sidley Austinも詳しく説明しています。参考になりました。

続きを読む

Goldman Sachs v. Arkansas

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear Goldman Sachs v. Arkansas next month (oral argument is scheduled for March 29). The questions presented in the case are:

(1) Whether a defendant in a securities class action may rebut the presumption of classwide reliance recognized in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224 (1988), by pointing to the generic nature of the alleged misstatements in showing that the statements had no impact on the price of the security, even though that evidence is also relevant to the substantive element of materiality.

(2) Whether a defendant seeking to rebut the Basic presumption has only a burden of production or also the ultimate burden of persuasion.

via 10b-5 Daily

Blaszczak vacated

If the Second Circuit concludes that, after Kelly, confidential government information does not constitute property, the Court could reverse the convictions on this ground while leaving unaddressed its prior holding that there is no personal benefit requirement in Title 18 insider trader cases. As the petitioners warned the Supreme Court, prosecutors in this scenario would likely treat this silence as a green light to continue to charge insider-trading crimes where there is little to no evidence of a personal benefit to the tipper, or tippee knowledge of that benefit. Of course, under such circumstances, prosecutors would not have the benefit of Blaszczak to rely on, and thus there could be litigation risk to the government depending on the facts of the particular case.

米国証券取引委員会職員のコメントTop 10

 Ernst & Youngによると米国証券取引委員会の職員は、定期的に年次報告書等にコメント(質問)をしてきます。最近、質問事項が多いのは、次の点に対するもののようです。

  1. Non-GAAP financial measures
  2. Management’s discussion and analysis
  3. Revenue recognition
  4. Segment reporting
  5. Fair value measurements
  6. Intangible assets and goodwill
  7. Contingencies
  8. Inventory and cost of sales
  9. Income taxes
  10. Signatures/exhibits/agreements  

 開示事項としての重要性や虚偽記載の発生しやすさを反映しているように思えます。

via The Corporate Counsel, Ernst & Young

For Whom is the Corporation Managed?

  • Moderator
    • Edward Rock, Martin Lipton Professor of Law; Director, Institute for Corporate Governance & Finance, NYU School of Law
  • Panelists:
    • Martin Lipton ’55, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Trustee and Adjunct Professor, NYU School of Law
    • Kathryn King Sudol ’98, Partner, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Trustee, NYU School of Law
    • Anthony Welters ’77, Executive Chairman, BlackIvy Group; Chairman Emeritus, NYU Law Board of Trustees

California Bill Requires Companies to Include Directors From Underrepresented Communities on their Boards

On August 30, 2020, the California State Legislature passed a new and unprecedented bill intended to promote greater diversity in corporate boardrooms. If signed into law by the governor, California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 979 would require each publicly held corporation whose principal executive offices are located in California to have a minimum number of directors from an “underrepresented community” on its board of directors.

via Wall St. J., Davis Polk

Fir Tree Value Master Fund, LP v. Jarden Corp., 2020 WL 3885166, 2020 Del. LEXIS 237 (Del. July 9, 2020)

  • Fir Tree Value Master Fund, LP v. Jarden Corp., 2020 WL 3885166, 2020 Del. LEXIS 237 (Del. July 9, 2020)

On appeal, the petitioners argue the Court of Chancery erred as a matter of law when it adopted Jarden’s unaffected market price as fair value because it ignored what petitioners claim is a “long-recognized principle of Delaware law” that a corporation’s stock price does not equal its fair value. They also claim that the court abused its discretion by refusing to give greater weight to a discounted cash flow analysis populated with data selected by petitioners, ignoring market-based evidence of a higher value, and refusing to use the deal price as a “floor” for fair value.

We affirm the Court of Chancery’s judgment finding $48.31 as the fair value of each share of Jarden stock as of the date of the merger. There is no “long-recognized principle” that a corporation’s unaffected stock price cannot equate to fair value. Although it is not often that a corporation’s unaffected market price alone could support fair value, the court here did consider alternative measures of fair value—a comparable companies analysis, market-based evidence, and discounted cash flow models—but ultimately explained its reasons for not relying on that evidence. Finally, Jarden’s sale price does not act as a valuation floor when the petitioners successfully convinced the court that the deal price resulted from a flawed sale process, and the court found Jarden probably captured substantial synergies in the sale price.

When a market is informationally efficient in the sense that the market’s digestion and assessment of all publicly available information concerning a company is quickly impounded into the company’s stock price, the market price is likely to be more informative of fundamental value. And how informative of fundamental value an informationally efficient market is depends, at least in part, on the extent of material nonpublic information. It is a traditional Delaware view that in some cases the price a stock trades at in an efficient market is an important indicator of its economic value and should be given weight.

via Sheppard Mullin