In re MFW S'holders Litig.Annotate this Case
A holding company (Company) whose equity was solely owned by Defendant owned forty-three percent of M&F Worldwide (MFW). Company offered to purchase the rest of the corporation's equity in a going private merger. The merger was conditioned on both independent committee approval and a majority-of-the-minority vote. A special committee was formed, which picked its own legal and financial advisors. After the committee successfully negotiated with Company to raise its bid by $1 per share, the merger was approved by the majority of the stockholders unaffiliated with the controlling stockholder (the minority stockholders). Company, Defendant, and other directors of MFW were sued by stockholders, who alleged that the merger was unfair. The Court of Chancery granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment, holding that when a controlling stockholder merger has, from the time of the controller's first overture, been subject to (i) negotiation and approval by a special committee of independent directors empowered to say no, and (ii) approval by an uncoerced, fully informed vote of majority of the minority investors, the business judgment rule standard of review applies, under which the Court was required to dismiss the challenge to the merger in this case.