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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Can Pseudo-Foreign Corporations Exonerate Their Directors?

Corporations Code Section 2115 is not an easy read.  Fortunately, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has provided a more digestible overview of the statute: Section 2115 was enacted as part of a comprehensive revision of the Corporations Code in the mid-1970s.  The section addressed so-called pseudoforeign corporations—entities incorporated outside California, but that meet two…

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Why Delaware Corporations Should Worry About California Law When Making Dividends

When paying a dividend to shareholders, California corporations are subject to Chapter 5 of the California Corporations Code.  Corporations incorporated in Delaware and other states may also be subject to Chapter 5 if they meet the conditions of Corporations Code Section 2115, California’s pseudo-foreign corporation statute.  Section 2115 excepts companies with outstanding companies listed on…

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How California Made Mergers Potentially More Difficult

The last two sentences of Section 1101 of the Corporations Code can be an unwonted surprise to some practitioners.  They are intended to ensure fair treatment of shareholders in a merger by imposing two requirements: Each share of the same class or series of any constituent corporation must be treated equally with respect to the distribution of…

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Another Dubious Assertion Concerning Section 2115

I have often written about numerous provisions of the California Corporations Code that expressly apply to foreign corporations meeting specified tests.  The most famous, but not the only, statute of this breed is Section 2115.  Although Section 2115 entraps many foreign corporations, I continue to be surprised by corporations that mistakenly claim to be subject…

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Facebook/Oculus VR Acquisition Raises Pseudo-Foreign Corporation Question

Yesterday, The Guardian reported that Facebook had acquired Oculus VR using a combination of cash and stock.  Facebook avoided SEC registration by availing itself of a fairness hearing before the Department of Business Oversight.  Readers may recall, that Facebook used the fairness hearing process in 2011 to acquire Instagram. In reviewing the notice of hearing,…

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California’s Fairness Opinion Requirement For Interested Party Proposals

In 1968, Congress enacted the Williams Act to regulate tender offers.  Two decades later, the California legislature enacted Corporations Code Section 1203 to impose additional requirements on tender offers and other specified transactions by an “interested party”. Interested Parties An “interested party” is a person (Section 18) who is a party to the transaction and…

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Section 2115: Beware of Double Counting

Many practitioners both in and outside of California struggle with Section 2115 of the California Corporations Code.  That statute purports to apply a laundry list of California statutes to out-of-state corporations to the exclusion of the law of their state of incorporation.  An out-of-state corporation is subject to Section 2115 if: (i) more than 1/2 of its outstanding voting…

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California Appellate Court Decides California Law Applies “For Now” to Shareholder Derivative Suit Against Directors of a Nevada Corporation

Kruss v. Booth is a “must read” for lawyers confronting Section 2115 of the California Corporations Code. Section 2115 represents the California legislature’s attempt to thumb its nose at the internal affairs doctrine. That doctrine holds that the internal affairs of a corporation should be governed by the law of the state of incorporation. Section…

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