A poison pill, or shareholder rights plan, is a device implemented by a company’s board of directors in order to deter unsolicited or hostile acquisition proposals. The rights plan originated in the United States and was introduced in Canada in 1988 when Inco adopted its first rights plan. The introduction of poison pills in both countries was met with questions as to their legality. In the divergent approaches through which these questions were resolved in Canada and the United States (in particular Delaware), the rights plan and its effectiveness as a take-over defence have followed divergent paths.
In Delaware, the … Continue Reading
Contested shareholder meetings are often dramatic events which have the potential to result in, among other things, enhanced scrutiny of a board of directors, increased media coverage and litigation. Emotions tend to run high and decisions often need to be made quickly (particularly for those facing a dissident group who followed the advice given in Matthew Cumming’s blog post, Dissident Ambush of a Shareholders’ Meeting – Tactics to Consider).
If faced with a dissident proxy battle, a careful and deliberate approach can mitigate reputational risk, result in an orderly meeting and assist in avoiding unnecessary costs and litigation. The … Continue Reading