Class action filed against Coventry over sale to Aetna

Posted on: October 17th, 2012 by Steve Larson
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On August 31, 2012, a putative stockholder class action lawsuit captioned Brennan v. Coventry Health Care, Inc. et al., C.A. No. 7826-CS, was filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware against the Coventry board of directors, Coventry, Aetna and Merger Sub.

On September 14, 2012, a second putative stockholder class action lawsuit captioned Nashelsky v. Coventry Health Care, Inc. et al., C.A. No. 7868-CS, was filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware against the Coventry board of directors, Coventry, Aetna and Merger Sub.

The complaints generally allege that, among other things, the individual defendants breached their fiduciary duties owed to the public stockholders of Coventry in connection with the merger because the merger consideration and certain other terms in the merger agreement are unfair. The complaints further allege that Aetna and Merger Sub aided and abetted these alleged breaches of fiduciary duty. In addition, the complaints generally allege that certain provisions of the merger agreement unduly restrict Coventry’s ability to negotiate with other potential bidders and that the merger agreement lacks adequate safeguards on behalf of Coventry’s stockholders against the decline in the value of the stock component of the merger consideration. Among other remedies, the complaints generally seek injunctive relief prohibiting the defendants from completing the proposed merger, rescission, and other types of damages and costs and attorneys’ fees.