For those interested in appraisal outside the US, the recent text Cross-Border Mergers, now available, containing a chapter on EU appraisal and a discussion of why the EU has not seen a rise in appraisal activity – unlike the US. We thank the author of the chapter, Professor Seretakis, for the excerpt below:
Appraisal rights, a protection mechanism for minority shareholders, have recently captured the attention of academics and policymakers. The rise of a new breed of hedge funds which specialize in so-called appraisal arbitrage has resulted in a spectacular increase in appraisal petitions in connection with M&A transactions in the US and has led to calls for a tighter regulation of the appraisal remedy. Despite the growing popularity of appraisal rights in the US, this protection mechanism remains underutilized by shareholders in the EU. After discussing the general framework for merger transactions in the US and the EU, the present chapter will seek to offer an examination of appraisal rights in the US and the EU. Furthermore, it will discuss how shareholders, and in particular hedge funds, exploit the appraisal remedy in order to reap profits and assess the dangers posed by this practice. Finally, the paper will seek to decipher the factors that have led to the surge of the appraisal remedy in the US and its underutilization in EU.