(1) A shareholder of a domestic corporation is entitled to relief as a dissenting shareholder in respect of the proposals described in sections 1701.74, 1701.76, and 1701.84 of the Revised Code, only in compliance with this section.
(2) If the proposal must be submitted to the shareholders of the corporation involved, the dissenting shareholder shall be a record holder of the shares of the corporation as to which the dissenting shareholder seeks relief as of the date fixed for the determination of shareholders entitled to notice of a meeting of the shareholders at which the proposal is to be submitted, and such shares shall not have been voted in favor of the proposal.
(3) Not later than twenty days before the date of the meeting at which the proposal will be submitted to the shareholders, the corporation may notify the corporation's shareholders that relief under this section is available. The notice shall include or be accompanied by all of the following:
(a) A copy of this section;
(b) A statement that the proposal can give rise to rights under this section if the proposal is approved by the required vote of the shareholders;
(c) A statement that the shareholder will be eligible as a dissenting shareholder under this section only if the shareholder delivers to the corporation a written demand with the information provided for in division (A)(4) of this section before the vote on the proposal will be taken at the meeting of the shareholders and the shareholder does not vote in favor of the proposal.
(4) If the corporation delivers notice to its shareholders as provided in division (A)(3) of this section, a shareholder electing to be eligible as a dissenting shareholder under this section shall deliver to the corporation before the vote on the proposal is taken a written demand for payment of the fair cash value of the shares as to which the shareholder seeks relief. The demand for payment shall include the shareholder's address, the number and class of such shares, and the amount claimed by the shareholder as the fair cash value of the shares.
(5) If the corporation does not notify the corporation's shareholders pursuant to division (A)(3) of this section, not later than ten days after the date on which the vote on the proposal was taken at the meeting of the shareholders, the dissenting shareholder shall deliver to the corporation a written demand for payment to the dissenting shareholder of the fair cash value of the shares as to which the dissenting shareholder seeks relief, which demand shall state the dissenting shareholder's address, the number and class of such shares, and the amount claimed by the dissenting shareholder as the fair cash value of the shares.
(6) If a signatory, designated and approved by the dissenting shareholder, executes the demand, then at any time after receiving the demand, the corporation may make a written request that the dissenting shareholder provide evidence of the signatory's authority. The shareholder shall provide the evidence within a reasonable time but not sooner than twenty days after the dissenting shareholder has received the corporation's written request for evidence.
(7) The dissenting shareholder entitled to relief under division (A)(3) of section 1701.84 of the Revised Code in the case of a merger pursuant to section 1701.80 of the Revised Code and a dissenting shareholder entitled to relief under division (A)(5) of section 1701.84 of the Revised Code in the case of a merger pursuant to section 1701.801 of the Revised Code shall be a record holder of the shares of the corporation as to which the dissenting shareholder seeks relief as of the date on which the agreement of merger was adopted by the directors of that corporation. Within twenty days after the dissenting shareholder has been sent the notice provided in section 1701.80 or 1701.801 of the Revised Code, the dissenting shareholder shall deliver to the corporation a written demand for payment with the same information as that provided for in division (A) (4) of this section.
(8) In the case of a merger or consolidation, a demand served on the constituent corporation involved constitutes service on the surviving or the new entity, whether the demand is served before, on, or after the effective date of the merger or consolidation. In the case of a conversion, a demand served on the converting corporation constitutes service on the converted entity, whether the demand is served before, on, or after the effective date of the conversion.
(9) If the corporation sends to the dissenting shareholder, at the address specified in the dissenting shareholder's demand, a request for the certificates representing the shares as to which the dissenting shareholder seeks relief, the dissenting shareholder, within fifteen days from the date of the sending of such request, shall deliver to the corporation the certificates requested so that the corporation may endorse on them a legend to the effect that demand for the fair cash value of such shares has been made. The corporation promptly shall return the endorsed certificates to the dissenting shareholder. A dissenting shareholder's failure to deliver the certificates terminates the dissenting shareholder's rights as a dissenting shareholder, at the option of the corporation, exercised by written notice sent to the dissenting shareholder within twenty days after the lapse of the fifteen-day period, unless a court for good cause shown otherwise directs. If shares represented by a certificate on which such a legend has been endorsed are transferred, each new certificate issued for them shall bear a similar legend, together with the name of the original dissenting holder of the shares. Upon receiving a demand for payment from a dissenting shareholder who is the record holder of uncertificated securities, the corporation shall make an appropriate notation of the demand for payment in its shareholder records. If uncertificated shares for which payment has been demanded are to be transferred, any new certificate issued for the shares shall bear the legend required for certificated securities as provided in this paragraph. A transferee of the shares so endorsed, or of uncertificated securities where such notation has been made, acquires only the rights in the corporation as the original dissenting holder of such shares had immediately after the service of a demand for payment of the fair cash value of the shares. A request under this paragraph by the corporation is not an admission by the corporation that the shareholder is entitled to relief under this section.
(B) Unless the corporation and the dissenting shareholder have come to an agreement on the fair cash value per share of the shares as to which the dissenting shareholder seeks relief, the dissenting shareholder or the corporation, which in case of a merger or consolidation may be the surviving or new entity, or in the case of a conversion may be the converted entity, within three months after the service of the demand by the dissenting shareholder, may file a complaint in the court of common pleas of the county in which the principal office of the corporation that issued the shares is located or was located when the proposal was adopted by the shareholders of the corporation, or, if the proposal was not required to be submitted to the shareholders, was approved by the directors. Other dissenting shareholders, within that three-month period, may join as plaintiffs or may be joined as defendants in any such proceeding, and any two or more such proceedings may be consolidated. The complaint shall contain a brief statement of the facts, including the vote and the facts entitling the dissenting shareholder to the relief demanded. No answer to a complaint is required. Upon the filing of a complaint, the court, on motion of the petitioner, shall enter an order fixing a date for a hearing on the complaint and requiring that a copy of the complaint and a notice of the filing and of the date for hearing be given to the respondent or defendant in the manner in which summons is required to be served or substituted service is required to be made in other cases. On the day fixed for the hearing on the complaint or any adjournment of it, the court shall determine from the complaint and from evidence submitted by either party whether the dissenting shareholder is entitled to be paid the fair cash value of any shares and, if so, the number and class of such shares. If the court finds that the dissenting shareholder is so entitled, the court may appoint one or more persons as appraisers to receive evidence and to recommend a decision on the amount of the fair cash value. The appraisers have power and authority specified in the order of their appointment. The court thereupon shall make a finding as to the fair cash value of a share and shall render judgment against the corporation for the payment of it, with interest at a rate and from a date as the court considers equitable. The costs of the proceeding, including reasonable compensation to the appraisers to be fixed by the court, shall be assessed or apportioned as the court considers equitable. The proceeding is a special proceeding and final orders in it may be vacated, modified, or reversed on appeal pursuant to the Rules of Appellate Procedure and, to the extent not in conflict with those rules, Chapter 2505. of the Revised Code. If, during the pendency of any proceeding instituted under this section, a suit or proceeding is or has been instituted to enjoin or otherwise to prevent the carrying out of the action as to which the shareholder has dissented, the proceeding instituted under this section shall be stayed until the final determination of the other suit or proceeding. Unless any provision in division (D) of this section is applicable, the fair cash value of the shares that is agreed upon by the parties or fixed under this section shall be paid within thirty days after the date of final determination of such value under this division, the effective date of the amendment to the articles, or the consummation of the other action involved, whichever occurs last. Upon the occurrence of the last such event, payment shall be made immediately to a holder of uncertificated securities entitled to payment. In the case of holders of shares represented by certificates, payment shall be made only upon and simultaneously with the surrender to the corporation of the certificates representing the shares for which the payment is made.
(1) If the proposal was required to be submitted to the shareholders of the corporation, fair cash value as to those shareholders shall be determined as of the day prior to the day on which the vote by the shareholders was taken and, in the case of a merger pursuant to section 1701.80 or 1701.801 of the Revised Code, fair cash value as to shareholders of a constituent subsidiary corporation shall be determined as of the day before the adoption of the agreement of merger by the directors of the particular subsidiary corporation. The fair cash value of a share for the purposes of this section is the amount that a willing seller who is under no compulsion to sell would be willing to accept and that a willing buyer who is under no compulsion to purchase would be willing to pay, but in no event shall the fair cash value of a share exceed the amount specified in the demand of the particular shareholder. In computing fair cash value, both of the following shall be excluded:
(a) Any appreciation or depreciation in market value resulting from the proposal submitted to the directors or to the shareholders ;
(b) Any premium associated with control of the corporation, or any discount for lack of marketability or minority status.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the fair cash value of a share that was listed on a national securities exchange at any of the following times shall be the closing sale price on the national securities exchange as of the applicable date provided in division (C)(1) of this section:
(a) Immediately before the effective time of a merger or consolidation;
(1) The right and obligation of a dissenting shareholder to receive fair cash value and to sell such shares as to which the dissenting shareholder seeks relief, and the right and obligation of the corporation to purchase such shares and to pay the fair cash value of them terminates if any of the following applies:
(a) The dissenting shareholder has not complied with this section, unless the corporation by its directors waives such failure;
(b) The corporation abandons the action involved or is finally enjoined or prevented from carrying it out, or the shareholders rescind their adoption of the action involved;
(c) The dissenting shareholder withdraws the dissenting shareholder's demand, with the consent of the corporation by its directors;
(d) The corporation and the dissenting shareholder have not come to an agreement as to the fair cash value per share, and neither the shareholder nor the corporation has filed or joined in a complaint under division (B) of this section within the period provided in that division.
(2) For purposes of division (D)(1) of this section, if the merger, consolidation, or conversion has become effective and the surviving, new, or converted entity is not a corporation, action required to be taken by the directors of the corporation shall be taken by the partners of a surviving, new, or converted partnership or the comparable representatives of any other surviving, new, or converted entity.
(E) From the time of the dissenting shareholder's giving of the demand until either the termination of the rights and obligations arising from it or the purchase of the shares by the corporation, all other rights accruing from such shares, including voting and dividend or distribution rights, are suspended. If during the suspension, any dividend or distribution is paid in money upon shares of such class or any dividend, distribution, or interest is paid in money upon any securities issued in extinguishment of or in substitution for such shares, an amount equal to the dividend, distribution, or interest which, except for the suspension, would have been payable upon such shares or securities, shall be paid to the holder of record as a credit upon the fair cash value of the shares. If the right to receive fair cash value is terminated other than by the purchase of the shares by the corporation, all rights of the holder shall be restored and all distributions which, except for the suspension, would have been made shall be made to the holder of record of the shares at the time of termination.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.72, HB 48, §1, eff. 5/4/2012.
Effective Date: 07-01-1994; 10-12-2006
Note: Committee Comment
The amendments add two new sub-parts to
division (A) that allow a corporation to require that any demand to exercise
dissenters' rights be submitted not later than the time of the vote. If the
corporation does not give the notice to shareholders described in new division
(A)(3) at least 20 days before the meeting, the old rule will apply, and the
shareholder will still have 10 days after the date when the vote is taken to
deliver a demand to exercise dissenters' rights.
Committee Comment (2012)*
New division (A)(6) says that if the demand is executed by an agent on behalf of a shareholder, the corporation may require that the shareholder provide evidence of the agent's authority. The shareholder must be given at least 20 days after the corporation makes its request in which to deliver evidence of the agent's authority. This overrules Klein v. United Theaters Co., 148 Ohio St. 306 (Sup. Ct. 1947), that required that evidence of the agent's authority be presented with the demand. Cf. Armstrong v. Marathon Oil Co., 32 Ohio St. 3d 397 (Sup. Ct. 1987) (agent was a shareholder in his own right and not a "stranger" to the corporation so court did not require that evidence of authority be presented with the demand).
Changes also address the determination of fair cash value. Division (C)(2) codifies the Supreme Court's holding in Marathon that the fair cash value of a share listed on a national securities exchange is its market price on the relevant date. For shares that are not listed, division (C)(1) states that the court should exclude any change in value (whether appreciation or depreciation) resulting from the transaction. Similarly, there should be no control premium and no discount for lack of marketability or minority status.
*Comments on 129th General Assembly, HB 48, from the Ohio State Bar Association Corporation Law Committee