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2016 Minnesota Statutes

302A.751 JUDICIAL INTERVENTION; EQUITABLE REMEDIES OR DISSOLUTION.

Subdivision 1.When permitted.

A court may grant any equitable relief it deems just and reasonable in the circumstances or may dissolve a corporation and liquidate its assets and business:

(a) In a supervised voluntary dissolution pursuant to section 302A.741;

(b) In an action by a shareholder when it is established that:

(1) the directors or the persons having the authority otherwise vested in the board are deadlocked in the management of the corporate affairs and the shareholders are unable to break the deadlock;

(2) the directors or those in control of the corporation have acted fraudulently or illegally toward one or more shareholders in their capacities as shareholders or directors, or as officers or employees of a closely held corporation;

(3) the directors or those in control of the corporation have acted in a manner unfairly prejudicial toward one or more shareholders in their capacities as shareholders or directors of a corporation that is not a publicly held corporation, or as officers or employees of a closely held corporation;

(4) the shareholders of the corporation are so divided in voting power that, for a period that includes the time when two consecutive regular meetings were held, they have failed to elect successors to directors whose terms have expired or would have expired upon the election and qualification of their successors;

(5) the corporate assets are being misapplied or wasted; or

(6) the period of duration as provided in the articles has expired;

(c) In an action by a creditor when:

(1) the claim of the creditor has been reduced to judgment and an execution thereon has been returned unsatisfied; or

(2) the corporation has admitted in writing that the claim of the creditor is due and owing and it is established that the corporation is unable to pay its debts in the ordinary course of business; or

(d) In an action by the attorney general to dissolve the corporation in accordance with section 302A.757 when it is established that a decree of dissolution is appropriate.

Subd. 2.Buy-out on motion.

In an action under subdivision 1, clause (b), involving a corporation that is not a publicly held corporation at the time the action is commenced and in which one or more of the circumstances described in that clause is established, the court may, upon motion of a corporation or a shareholder or beneficial owner of shares of the corporation, order the sale by a plaintiff or a defendant of all shares of the corporation held by the plaintiff or defendant to either the corporation or the moving shareholders, whichever is specified in the motion, if the court determines in its discretion that an order would be fair and equitable to all parties under all of the circumstances of the case.

The purchase price of any shares so sold shall be the fair value of the shares as of the date of the commencement of the action or as of another date found equitable by the court, provided that, if the shares in question are then subject to sale and purchase pursuant to the bylaws of the corporation, a shareholder control agreement, the terms of the shares, or otherwise, the court shall order the sale for the price and on the terms set forth in them, unless the court determines that the price or terms are unreasonable under all the circumstances of the case.

Within five days after the entry of the order, the corporation shall provide each selling shareholder or beneficial owner with the information it is required to provide under section 302A.473, subdivision 5, paragraph (a).

If the parties are unable to agree on fair value within 40 days of entry of the order, the court shall determine the fair value of the shares under the provisions of section 302A.473, subdivision 7, and may allow interest or costs as provided in section 302A.473, subdivisions 1 and 8.

The purchase price shall be paid in one or more installments as agreed on by the parties, or, if no agreement can be reached within 40 days of entry of the order, as ordered by the court. Upon entry of an order for the sale of shares under this subdivision and provided that the corporation or the moving shareholders post a bond in adequate amount with sufficient sureties or otherwise satisfy the court that the full purchase price of the shares, plus such additional costs, expenses, and fees as may be awarded, will be paid when due and payable, the selling shareholders shall no longer have any rights or status as shareholders, officers, or directors, except the right to receive the fair value of their shares plus such other amounts as might be awarded.

Subd. 3.Condition of corporation.

In determining whether to order equitable relief, dissolution, or a buy-out, the court shall take into consideration the financial condition of the corporation but shall not refuse to order equitable relief, dissolution, or a buy-out solely on the ground that the corporation has accumulated or current operating profits.

Subd. 3a.Considerations in granting relief involving closely held corporations.

In determining whether to order equitable relief, dissolution, or a buy-out, the court shall take into consideration the duty which all shareholders in a closely held corporation owe one another to act in an honest, fair, and reasonable manner in the operation of the corporation and the reasonable expectations of all shareholders as they exist at the inception and develop during the course of the shareholders' relationship with the corporation and with each other. For purposes of this section, any written agreements, including employment agreements and buy-sell agreements, between or among shareholders or between or among one or more shareholders and the corporation are presumed to reflect the parties' reasonable expectations concerning matters dealt with in the agreements.

Subd. 3b.Dissolution as remedy.

In deciding whether to order dissolution, the court shall consider whether lesser relief suggested by one or more parties, such as any form of equitable relief, a buy-out, or a partial liquidation, would be adequate to permanently relieve the circumstances established under subdivision 1, clause (b) or (c). Lesser relief may be ordered in any case where it would be appropriate under all the facts and circumstances of the case.

Subd. 4.Expenses.

If the court finds that a party to a proceeding brought under this section has acted arbitrarily, vexatiously, or otherwise not in good faith, it may in its discretion award reasonable expenses, including attorneys' fees and disbursements, to any of the other parties.

Subd. 5.Venue; parties.

Proceedings under this section shall be brought in a court within the county in which the registered office of the corporation is located. It is not necessary to make shareholders parties to the action or proceeding unless relief is sought against them personally.

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