The Court of Appeals’ decision in Pappas v. Tzolis was one of three opinions by that court in 2011-12 that reset the bargaining table when controlling owners of closely held companies buy out minority equity holders. A ruling earlier this year by the Appellate Division, First Department, involved a shareholder dispute with an interesting twist on the fact pattern in Pappas. Find out more in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
Continue Reading Appellate Ruling Puts Pappas v. Tzolis to the Test

Buy-out litigations don’t get much more interesting than the ongoing battle in the Yakuel v Gluck case making its second appearance on this blog. In this phase, the court decides whether an arbitrator could recalculate an appraisal award as damages for breach of the appraisal process where the parties’ agreement called for a “final and binding” valuation by the appraiser.
Continue Reading Who Decides Disputed Valuation Under LLC Agreement’s Buy-Out Provision: Arbitrator or Appraiser?

The interaction between an LLC’s operating agreement and a subsequent, informal deal between the members raises difficult questions surrounding the enforceability of either agreement. In a recently-filed Manhattan Commercial Division case, the Court granted the plaintiff a preliminary injunction, signaling to the parties that the plaintiff was likely to succeed on his claim to enforce the informal deal notwithstanding arguably contrary provisions in the operating agreement. The case reminds us that the formality requirements of an LLC operating agreement may give way to an informal agreement when both LLC members manifest their intent to be bound by the informal agreement.
Continue Reading A Shotgun Buy-Sell Agreement and an Email Deal Walk into a Beachside Bar . . .

Defying my recent lamentation on the dearth of cases involving buy-out disputes where the buyer doesn’t disclose to the seller an outside offer for the entity’s assets at a much higher value, this week’s New York Business Divorce examines yet another such case with some interesting twists on the usual fact pattern.
Continue Reading Re-Revisiting The Duty to Disclose Third-Party Offers Amidst Buy-Out Negotiations

This week’s New York Business Divorce examines a recent decision in a lawsuit stemming from a buyout between the two members of a single-asset realty-holding LLC based on a $1.9 million valuation of the LLC’s realty followed one month later by a sale of the realty to a third-party buyer for $2.9 million.
Continue Reading The Duty to Disclose Third-Party Offers Amidst Buy-Out Negotiations, Revisited

Can a shotgun turn into a minefield? The answer is “yes” judging from a recent decision by Manhattan Commercial Division Justice Andrew Borrok finding a defective exercise of provisions in an LLC agreement for a deadlock-triggered shotgun buy-out. Read about it in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
Continue Reading LLC Member Pays the Price For Not Sticking to Deadlock-Breaking Script

This week’s New York Business Divorce compares two cases of closely-held business owner withdrawal, one involving an LLC, the other a general partnership, one resulting in a right to an accounting, the other not. Why the difference? Read on to find out.
Continue Reading Two Entities, Two Outcomes: Withdrawal and the Right to an Accounting

It’s time for another cross-country trip in this week’s New York Business Divorce which summarizes a quintet of recent appellate decisions in business divorce cases by courts outside New York.
Continue Reading Business Divorce Nation: A Cross-Country Tour of Recent Decisions of Interest

Can an LLC member with a put option–the right to sell his interest back to the LLC–exercise that option when doing so will render the LLC insolvent? This week’s New York Business Divorce post highlights a recent decision by Justice Masley of the New York County Commercial Division considering this issue.
Continue Reading Departing LLC Members: Exercise Your Put Option Before Insolvency Approaches

This week’s New York Business Divorce, authored by Peter J. Sluka, looks at a first-impression decision by the Delaware Chancery Court in which the court characterized a shareholder buy-out provision as a call option, with consequences for the company’s attempt to revoke its initiation of the buy-out.
Continue Reading Consider Whether Your Buy-Sell Provision is a Call Option Before Pulling the Trigger