Justia Corporate Compliance Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Saba Cap. CEF Opportunities 1, Ltd., Saba Cap. Mgmt., L.P. v. Nuveen
Defendants-Appellants Nuveen Floating Rate Income Fund, Nuveen Floating Rate Income Opportunity Fund, Nuveen Short Duration Credit Opportunities Fund, Nuveen Global High Income Fund, Nuveen Senior Income Fund, and their trustees (collectively, “Nuveen”) appealed from a final judgment entered in favor of Plaintiffs-Appellees Saba Capital CEF Opportunities, Ltd. and Saba Capital Management, L.P. (collectively, “Saba”). The district court granted summary judgment for Saba, declaring it unlawful and rescinding an amendment to Nuveen’s investment company bylaws that restricts shareholders from voting shares acquired above specified levels of ownership. On appeal, Nuveen challenged Saba’s Article III standing and the district court’s judgment with respect to the legality of Nuveen’s amendment. Nuveen argues that Saba lacks standing because Saba has not alleged, or supported with evidence, an actual or imminent injury that is concrete. The Second Circuit affirmed. The court explained that Section 12(d)(1) says nothing about the proper interpretation of the ICA’s meaning of “voting stock” and “voting security.” That Congress has imposed, in another section of the ICA, voting conditions and exceptions on presumptively unlawful acquisitions does not permit Nuveen to impose its own more extreme vote-stripping measures directly at odds with Section 18(i)’s language. Further, the court explained that Nuveen points to Section 1(b)(4), which reflects Congress’s concern over investment companies that are “inequitably distributed” and “unduly concentrated through pyramiding or inequitable methods of control.” But Congress directly addressed those concerns in other provisions of the ICA, which restricts investment company acquisitions. View "Saba Cap. CEF Opportunities 1, Ltd., Saba Cap. Mgmt., L.P. v. Nuveen" on Justia Law
Miller v. Brightstar Asia, Ltd.
Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of his direct suit against Defendant Brightstar Asia, Ltd. In connection with the sale of his company, Harvestar, to Brightstar Asia, Plaintiff entered into a contract with Brightstar Asia, Harvestar, and his co-founder. The contract provided that conflicted transactions between Brightstar Asia and Harvestar must be on “terms no less favorable to” Harvestar than those of an arms-length transaction. Plaintiff alleged in his complaint that Brightstar Asia engaged in conflicted transactions that rendered his options rights worthless. Those actions, according to Plaintiff, breached both the express terms of the contract and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The district court dismissed his complaint for raising claims that could be brought only in a derivative suit. The Second Circuit agreed that Plaintiff can bring a claim for breach of the express conflicted-transactions provision only in a derivative suit. However, the court held that Plaintiff may bring a direct suit for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing because that covenant is based on his individual options rights. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part and vacated in part the district court’s judgment. The court explained that the inquiry into whether a claim is direct, and a plaintiff, therefore, has “standing” to bring it, is not an Article III standing inquiry Even if the district court were right that Plaintiff’s claims had to be brought in a derivative suit, it should have dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. View "Miller v. Brightstar Asia, Ltd." on Justia Law