Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Carlyle Group and GIC aren't proceeding with their $900 million deal for a 20% stake in American Express Global Business Travel, claiming that the sellers didn't meet closing conditions. The two sides are now suing each other, with a Delaware court to hear the case on Thursday.

Why it matters: This could lead to the first judicial ruling over whether or not the coronavirus pandemic has tripped a material adverse effect (MAE) clause in a merger agreement. Every deal is unique, but this could establish some broad legal guardrails.

At issue: Carlyle and GIC not only argue for the existence of an MAE, due to the global travel slowdown, but also that the sellers violated financing terms by planning to use proceeds to bolster the company's balance sheet (i.e., a de facto bailout) rather than to fund a potential acquisition and provide shareholder dividends. Amex GBT argues that Carlyle and GIC are wrong on both counts.

The bottom line: This is a broader test case than was L Brands vs. Sycamore Partners over Victoria's Secret, which ended after L Brands inexplicably gave up, where the MAE had an explicit carve-out for pandemics.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

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Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.