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Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Business Organizations Law

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Five Decades Of Corporation Law - From Conglomeration To Equity Compensation, Richard A. Booth Apr 2008

Five Decades Of Corporation Law - From Conglomeration To Equity Compensation, Richard A. Booth

Working Paper Series

This brief essay recounts developments in corporation law over the last fifty years. It begins with the rise of finance capitalism and the conglomerate corporation which was followed by the emergence of hostile takeovers in the late 1970s and 1980s. One of the key events in this saga was the February 1, 1983 decision by the Delaware Supreme Court in Weinberger v. UOP, Inc. that effectively permitted the at-will elimination of minority stockholders through cashout mergers. Takeovers were also facilitated by two major financial developments: (1) the growth of institutional investors coupled with the growing taste of diversified investors for ...