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Hostile takeovers in the face of the Business Judgment Rule: A comparative analysis between Sweden and the United States of America in regard to the Business Judgment Rule and the Unocal test.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In cases concerning a hostile takeover occurring in the United States, the board of directors must fulfill the duties set forward by the Unocal test. If the board of directors succeed, it implies that the decision, regardless if it is a bad decision, is protected by the Business Judgment Rule.

The Business Judgment Rule presumes that the board of directors in good faith made an informed decision in the line of the corporations’ interests.

The Business Judgment Rule is inherently unique for American companies. In Sweden liability for directors is based on a culpa evaluation which in turn is based on principles deriving from tort law. This is the result from the corporate law only providing for a very limited part concerning liability.

In this thesis, the different judicial systems are explained with focus on differences and similarities based on duties of the board. Moreover, the different liabilities from a Swedish and an American perspective will be discussed.

Concluding, it is hard to distinguish a Swedish version of the Business Judgment Rule, however, the creation of one would most likely be beneficial since it, to a large extent, provides for a better business world. 

Abstract [sv]

Vid ett fientligt företagsförvärv i USA måste styrelseledamöterna visa att de uppfyller de krav som framställts genom Unocal-testet. Lyckas styreledamöterna uppfylla kraven så blir de skyddade från skadeståndsrättsligt ansvar i enlighet med the Business Judgment Rule, oavsett om beslutet ledde till en dålig affär. The Business Judgment Rule presumerar att styrelseledamöterna i god tro fattat ett välgrundat affärsbeslut som ligger i bolagets intresse.

The Business Judgment Rule är unikt för amerikanska bolag. I Sverige utgår skadeståndsansvar för styrelseledamöter från en culpabedömning, vilket baseras på allmänna skadeståndsrättsliga principer då den aktiebolagsrättsliga skadeståndsdelen är begränsad.

I denna uppsats redogörs de olika rättssystemen med fokus på likheter och skillnader i styrelseuppdraget. Vidare diskuteras styrelseledamöternas skadeståndsansvar utifrån ett amerikanskt och ett svenskt perspektiv.

Slutligen visas det att det är svårt att se en svensk version till the Business Judgment Rule, men att en sådan troligen skulle vara att föredra då regeln ger effekter som bidrar till en bättre affärsvärld.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
business judgment rule, unocal, hostile takeovers, sweden, the united states of america
Keyword [sv]
business judgment rule, unocal, fientliga företagsförvärv, företagsförvärv, sverige, usa
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-306969OAI: diva2:1044982
Educational program
Law Programme
Available from: 2016-11-09 Created: 2016-11-07 Last updated: 2016-11-09Bibliographically approved

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