The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a sledgehammer to stock markets, with the S&P/TSX 60 and S&P 500 each plunging approximately 20% during the first quarter of 2020. While boards and management must contend with a long list of pressing and unprecedented issues affecting business operations, they should also consider that the current drop in stock prices may fuel a wave of activism and opportunistic M&A activity once the immediate crisis subsides, and prepare accordingly.
On July 10, 2014, the Ontario Court of Appeal released an important decision regarding corporate governance and shareholders rights. In the case between Unique Broadband Systems Inc. and its former CEO and director, Gerald McGoey, the Court of Appeal clarified the fiduciary obligations on the part of officers and directors of both private and public companies as well as the limitation on the business judgment rule that limits a Court from “second guessing” decisions of management.
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