How Shareholder Litigation Affects Firm Disclosure

Litigation allows shareholders to seek remedies for fiduciary breaches by managers or directors, such as when there has been a misrepresentation of financial results or illegal insider trading. Twitter, for example, faces a derivative lawsuit alleging that executives provided misleading financial statements to hide poor performance while selling millions of dollars in personally held stock. [1] The threat of shareholder litigation can help constrain managerial opportunism and deter misconduct, thus serving as an important governance mechanism. Specifically, the threat of litigation can encourage managers to provide more detailed or transparent financial information to the market. In turn, enhanced information has … Read more

How Shareholder Approval Rules Affect the Forms of Mergers

While all acquisitions require approval from target shareholders, the necessary level of shareholder support varies across jurisdictions and deal structures.  Some transactions can be approved by a simple majority of target shareholders, while others require super-majority approval.  In our paper, Shareholder Decision Rights in Acquisitions: Evidence from Tender Offers, we investigate the impact of such variation on deal outcomes, particularly on the choice between a tender offer and merger structure.

To isolate variation in approval thresholds, we use the 2013 enactment of Delaware General Corporation Law § 251(h), which reduced the shareholder support threshold to close out a two-step … Read more