Jurisdictional Effects in M&A Litigation

27 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2014

See all articles by C. N. V. Krishnan

C. N. V. Krishnan

Case Western Reserve University - Department of Banking & Finance

Ronald W. Masulis

University of New South Wales - Australian School of Business; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Financial Research Network (FIRN); National University of Singapore (NUS) - Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER)

Randall S. Thomas

Vanderbilt University - Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Robert B. Thompson

Georgetown University Law Center

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2014

Abstract

We compile the most extensive hand‐collected data set on all forms of M&A litigation in the United States to study the effects of lawsuit jurisdictions during a sample period (1999 and 2000) of the fifth merger wave, a period characterized by an abundance of friendly one‐bidder deals and the near demise of the hostile offer. We find that only about 12 percent of all M&A offers are challenged in the courts during this period. Almost half the suits are filed in Delaware, while federal suits account for less than 9 percent of the suits in our sample. We find a very small incidence of multijurisdictional litigation (about 3 percent of all suits), unlike the recent sharp increase in such cases in the post‐2008 global financial crisis period. We find that litigation filed in Delaware is less of a barrier to deal completion than cases brought in federal court. Litigation filed in federal court is associated with a significantly higher takeover premium in all offers and in completed deals, suggesting that state court cases, on average, put less pressure on bidders to raise takeover premia. In line with these findings, we find that federal courts attract a significantly higher proportion of target‐initiated litigation than state courts; no target lawsuit is filed in Delaware during our sample period. Finally, we find that while jurisdiction does not significantly affect settlement rates or the consideration paid upon settlement, litigation challenging controlling shareholder squeezeouts is more likely to settle with cash consideration paid to shareholders, reflecting the stricter judicial standard applied to such bids.

Suggested Citation

Krishnan, C. N. V. and Masulis, Ronald W. and Thomas, Randall S. and Thompson, Robert B., Jurisdictional Effects in M&A Litigation (March 2014). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 11, Issue 1, pp. 132-158, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2381039 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jels.12037

C. N. V. Krishnan (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University - Department of Banking & Finance ( email )

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Cleveland, OH 44106-7235
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HOME PAGE: http://weatherhead.case.edu/faculty/c-n-v-krishnan

Ronald W. Masulis

University of New South Wales - Australian School of Business ( email )

UNSW Business School
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Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
612-9385-5860 (Phone)
612-9385-6347 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
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Belgium

Financial Research Network (FIRN)

C/- University of Queensland Business School
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Queensland
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.firn.org.au

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER) ( email )

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1 Business Link
Singapore, 117592
Singapore

Randall S. Thomas

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Robert B. Thompson

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
(202) 661-6591 (Phone)

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