Minority shareholder oppression on steroids is one way to describe what happened in Matter of Twin Bay Village, Inc., in which an upstate appellate panel recently affirmed an order dissolving the corporation and setting aside a stock issuance that diluted the minority shareholders. Learn more in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
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New York’s statutes authorizing a judicial dissolution petition by oppressed minority shareholders, and granting respondents a corresponding right to elect to purchase the petitioner’s shares, include a provision for a “surcharge” upon controlling shareholders for wrongful dissipation or transfer of corporate assets. It’s a rarely litigated provision, as evidenced by a court decision last month which may be the first ever reported case in which a surcharge claim was upheld. Learn more in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
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This week’s New York Business Divorce highlights a fascinating case involving a chain of walk-in airport spas known as XpresSpa, in which Justice Melvin Schweitzer recently ruled that the structuring of a capital investment by a private equity firm triggered a dissolution of XpresSpa’s parent company under the terms of its operating agreement.
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The decision highlighted in this week’s New York Business Divorce may not be new, but it is one that deserves serious attention as a possible remedial template in deadlock dissolution cases, where one 50% owner with operational control uses it as a sword to force the other 50% owner to accept an under-valued buyout.
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Classifying a shareholder claim as direct or derivative has important consequences at the pleading stage and beyond. This week’s New York Business Divorce looks at a recent decision by Justice Melvin Schweitzer in which he concluded that the defendant majority shareholder’s alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, constituting a “de facto liquidation” of the company, could support dual direct and derivative claims.
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