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Mar 23, 2012

Navistar, others retreat from Delaware lawsuit rule

March 23 (Reuters) – Navistar International Corp has
become the latest company to abandon plans to require its
shareholders to bring any legal action against it exclusively in
Delaware, after legal challenges and opposition from investor
advisory groups.

At least four other companies also have deleted similar
requirements from their corporate bylaws since they were among
the dozen companies sued over the provision in February.

Mar 22, 2012
via Breakingviews

EU eases insurers’ worst capital fears – for now


By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

For the first time in a month, UK insurers’ pulses are slowing down. On March 21 the European Parliament signed amendments to the EU’s new Solvency II legislation, which in February looked set to deal them a nasty blow. But insurers – and pension providers – can’t yet afford to breathe easily.

Mar 19, 2012

Lawsuit against Berkshire over Sokol affair dismissed

, March 19 (Reuters) – Berkshire Hathaway
won dismissal on Monday of a shareholder lawsuit that
stemmed from allegations former executive David Sokol profited
by violating the company’s insider trading policy.

Shareholders sued the conglomerate’s board for refusing to
take legal action against Sokol, a former heir apparent at

Mar 13, 2012
via Breakingviews

Prudential’s threat to quit UK isn’t just hot air


By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Prudential’s threat to jump ship is real. The UK insurer has admitted that new European Union reforms were forcing it to re-examine its London headquarters. Playing the relocation card is a standard threat for companies faced with unhelpful rules. But even though the other benefits of moving are negligible, the risk to Pru is genuine.

Mar 7, 2012

Dodgers, beaten fan encouraged to reach settlement

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Dodgers and the family of a baseball fan who was badly beaten at a game last year were encouraged by a bankruptcy judge to discuss a settlement of a negligence lawsuit.

The family of Bryan Stow wanted U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross in Delaware to let them move ahead with a case claiming negligence against the team and its owner in a California court. But the judge refused the request for now.

Mar 5, 2012

El Paso delays vote on Kinder Morgan deal

By Michael Erman and Tom Hals

(Reuters) – El Paso Corp (EP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) delayed a shareholder meeting for voting on the pipeline company’s roughly $23 billion acquisition by rival Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to give investors more time to consider a judge’s ruling that criticized some of the deal’s participants.

El Paso said the meeting would be held Friday, instead of Tuesday.

While shareholders can still change their votes before the meeting, the company said on Monday that about 70 percent of its outstanding shares had already been voted as of March 2. More than 98.5 percent of those shares were voted in favor of the deal, El Paso said.

Feb 28, 2012

BB&T-BankAtlantic deal blocked by Delaware judge

Feb 28 (Reuters) – BB&T Corp’s purchase of
BankAtlantic Bancorp Inc’s lending business was blocked
by a Delaware Chancery Court judge, who agreed with hedge-fund
investors that the deal favored BankAtlantic’s management over

Vice Chancellor Travis Laster said the deal violated rights
of investors by transferring most of BankAtlantic’s assets to
BB&T while leaving debt obligations and distressed assets

Feb 27, 2012

Martin Marietta’s hostile Vulcan bid to go to trial

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) – Martin Marietta Materials Inc (MLM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will take its $5.7 billion hostile bid for Vulcan Materials Co (VMC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to a Delaware court on Tuesday in its drive to seize its larger rival and create the world’s largest producer of gravel, sand and other construction materials.

Vulcan wants an injunction to stop what it considers a low-ball bid. It has accused Martin Marietta of “unethical, unlawful and increasingly erratic behavior,” and the four-day trial will turn on whether its suitor breached a contract to keep deal talks private.

Feb 24, 2012
via Breakingviews

Lloyds’ return to form will be worth the wait


By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Lloyds Banking Group’s long-suffering shareholders shouldn’t phone their broker yet. After three years of turbulence and a share price still 88 percent off its 2007 peak, they have been handed another ostensibly duff set of annual results. But the investment case for holding the shares is much clearer than for the other UK state-dominated bank, Royal Bank of Scotland.

Feb 24, 2012
via Breakingviews

RBS pulls off tricky bonus balancing act


By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Stephen Hester has just about squared the circle. Royal Bank of Scotland’s chief executive had to find a way to slash investment bank bonuses with sufficient savagery to assuage angry British politicians, while preventing morale at the state-backed lender falling any further. He has had a decent stab.

    • About George

      "George Hay coordinates European financial coverage and writes about macroeconomics, the euro zone and UK/European financial policy. He covered European banks for Breakingviews during the financial crisis, and has also worked as a correspondent for AFX News and at United Business Media. He attended Edinburgh University and his work has been recognised at the UK’s Business Journalist of the Year Awards. Follow George on Twitter @gfhay"
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