Unaffected stock price

In the Columbia Pipeline Group appraisal case, as reported in Law360 [$$], Vice Chancellor Laster rejected the stockholders’ request to stay or, in the alternative, extend the fact discovery deadline for 2 months pending the appeal of the Aruba Networks ruling.  The court stated in its March 7 ruling that the shareholders should have known from the outset of the case that Columbia Pipeline’s market price “would be a factor” in the proceedings, and that the Aruba decision did not introduce anything new, “whether as a matter of doctrine or for purposes of the parties’ case strategy or trial tactics.”

The court also contrasted the stay request put before it to that in Aruba Networks, where the same judge did stay proceedings pending the Supreme Court’s decision in DFC Global.  The court’s rationale was that the Aruba proceedings had been nearly completed, and the DFC appeal had been argued, with a ruling expected within 90 days, thus warranting a stay.  In Columbia Pipeline, by contrast, the parties are in the midst of discovery, and the Aruba appeal has not yet even been taken given the pendency of a motion for re-argument before the trial court.