Dispute over Apollo-Athene merger in court
The first hearing of an action brought by dissident shareholders in relation to the merger of Apollo Global Management with Athene Holdings Ltd has concluded with the terms of an order relating to the scope of the obligation by the defendants to produce documents for review by the plaintiffs.
The directions hearing in the matter of Stonehill Institution Partners LP et al vs. Athene Holdings Ltd was heard in the Supreme Court by Narinder Hargun, the Chief Justice.
The substantive issue between the parties is the fair value appraisal of shares in the defendant that were received by the plaintiff as a result of the merger that took place in January of this year.
The plaintiffs, Stonehill, are a Delaware-incorporated hedge fund operated by Stonehill Capital Management LLC.
They are represented in Bermuda by lawyer Mark Chudleigh, managing partner of Kennedys Chudleigh Ltd.
Athene, the defendant, is a retirement services company. It is represented in Bermuda by lawyer Kevin Taylor, managing partner of Walkers (Bermuda) Limited.
The parties have been invited by Mr Justice Hargun to produce a draft order for signing that would oblige the defendants to make a first tranche of discovery within 14 days, and a second tranche of discovery 46 days thereafter.
The first tranche is expected to include between 4,000 and 6,000 documents, Mr Taylor said.
Experts for the plaintiffs will review the documents with a view to forming an opinion whether fair market value was received by their clients.
Apollo and Athene merged in an all-stock transaction that implied a total equity value of approximately $11 billion for Athene.
Under the terms of the transaction, each outstanding Class A common share of Athene was exchanged for a fixed ratio of 1.149 shares of Apollo common stock.
Post-merger, Athene is a part of Apollo, the global alternative asset manager.