North Carolina Business Litigation Report

Whitney v. Winston, June 20, 2007 (Jolly)(unpublished)

Plaintiff sought to enjoin a merger. He alleged that the defendants, directors of the company to be acquired, had breached their fiduciary duties by failing to disclose pertinent information to the shareholders, failing to maximize shareholder value, and agreeing to a coercive and unreasonable termination fee.

The Court noted that it was uncertain whether plaintiff was entitled to make direct claims, as directors of a corporation owe their fiduciary duties to the company, as opposed to the shareholders, and a claim for breach of those duties belong to the corporation. North Carolina does not impose Revlon duties on directors.

It held that the directors here were entitled to rely on their advice of their counsel and their investment advisors, as provided for in N.C.G.S. §55-8-30, and denied the Motion.

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Mack Sperling
Brooks Pierce, LLP
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