“Are you kidding me?” an incredulous Aswath Damodaran (New York University Stern School of Business) asked about the fairness opinions issued by bankers Lazard and Evercore regarding the Tesla/SolarCity deal. In a blog post, he says he was later taken “to task for not understanding the context for these valuations.” A Bloomberg column points out that a fairness opinion is not a real valuation, so the bankers’ job is “plugging in discount rates into preset spreadsheets—not in knowing the future." Damodaran responds that, if this is correct, “the problems run deeper than the bankers in this deal, raising questions about what the purpose of a ‘fairness opinion’ is and whether it has outlived its usefulness (assuming that it was useful at some point).”
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