A recent decision by the Delaware Court of Chancery, Mehta v. Kaazing, C.A. No. 2017-0087-JRS (Del. Ch. Sept. 29), confirms that stockholder demands to inspect corporate books and records based on the need to value a stockholder’s shares may be validly denied if the stockholder is unable to demonstrate that it has a “present” need to value its shares. Indeed, as the court makes clear, simply reciting a proper purpose, such as valuing one’s shares or investigating mismanagement, is not enough. To justify inspection, the stockholder must set forth the circumstances underlying its need for inspection and demonstrate that the stockholder has a need to inspect corporate books and records at the present time.
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