Corporations and securities brief ~ Federal court suspends SEC mutual fund rule

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporation and securities law news, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has suspended controversial corporate governance rules for mutual funds promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The suspension will last until a lawsuit brought by the US Chamber of Commerce [advocacy website] and other groups challenging the new rules is resolved. The rules require that chairmen of mutual funds and 75 percent of the board of directors be independent. In June the court ruled [JURIST report] that the SEC had not considered the costs of implementing the change and ordered the SEC to reconsider the rules. In the last days of former SEC Chairman William Donaldson's tenure, he cast the deciding vote to reinstate the rule [JURIST report]. Bloomberg has more.

In other corporations and securities law news...

  • As previously reported today in JURIST's Paper Chase, Unocal [JURIST news archive] shareholders approved Chevron's planned $17.8 billion takeover [merger website] bid for the oil company. The shareholders voted 77% in favor of the sale. The Chevron bid of cash and stock was approved despite a previous $18.5 billion cash offer from Chinese state energy firm Cnooc [Wikipedia profile]. Cnooc withdrew its bid last week [JURIST report] because of intense political pressure, including a provision in the new energy bill that would have delayed any Chinese company for at least 120-days. Chevron and Unocal had originally agreed to the merger in principal in April [press release] before Cnooc attempted to buy Unocal. The difference in price equates to approximately $5 per share. Bloomberg has more.

  • Two former Bayer AG [corporate website] executives were indicted Wednesday for their role in a price fixing scheme. Grand juries indicted Jurgen Ick and Gunter Monn for fixing prices on rubber chemicals from 1995-2001. Bayer pleaded guilty to related charges in 2004 [Bayer press release] and paid a $4.7 million fine. Ick and Monn, both of whom are German, face a maximum punishment of three years imprisonment and a $ 350,000 fine. One of their former associates, Martin Petersen, pleaded guilty to the same charges last year [DOJ press release] and was sentenced to four months in jail. Reuters has more.

 

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