A typical claim in a shareholders dispute is when a majority shareholder in control of a company prejudices a minority shareholder by improperly extracting value out of a company. This can be done in different ways, for example by payment of excessive salary or by sale of company assets to connected parties at a low value. Sometimes this can leave the company insolvent. Given that the principal remedy for unfair prejudice is an order requiring the majority shareholder to buy out the minority shareholder it appears to leave the minority shareholder in a no-win situation as the shares are effectively worthless. However, the court will step in to do justice in such a situation and this has been confirmed in the recent Court of Appeal case of Maidment -v- Attwood and others.
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