News Tag: fair market value (FMV)


Another ESOP trustee in trouble over valuation

For the second time in March 2017, a court found an ESOP trustee liable for causing the plan to overpay. The most recent decision chronicles in exhaustive detail how the trustee failed the plan in terms of ensuring that no more than fair market value would be paid for the seller’s shares. Read more >>

ESOP trustee’s failure to vet valuation causes significant overpayment

Inadequate trustee performance was at the center of a recent case, featuring a nontraditional ESOP structure. The court found that, if the trustee had engaged with the underlying valuation, it would have discovered numerous weaknesses and prevented the ESOP from overpaying for the company stock. Read more >>

Compromised Section 1031 appraisal sinks Exelon tax strategy for fossil fuel power plant sale

U.S. Tax Court Judge David Laro frequently has cautioned experts not to give in to hiring attorneys who want to shape the appraisal. Although federal and state discovery rules offer some protection for attorney-expert communication, there is a risk of exposure and with it a risk of damage to the expert’s work product and reputation. A recent Section 1031 case, which Judge Laro handled, illustrates what happens when the communication is discovered. Read more >>

Defense expert testimony supports ESOP valuation and fairness opinions

A recent ESOP decision involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and engaging in a prohibited transaction turned on whether the ESOP trustee’s financial advisor had performed proper due diligence and issued defensible fairness and valuation analyses. Read more >>

5th Circuit backs district court's fair market value determination in ESOP dispute

The district court's determination of overpayment was a function of the contract price and the stock’s fair market value on each of three transaction dates. For its FMV determination, the court considered the testimony of three noted valuation experts retained by the plaintiffs, the DOL, and the defendants respectively. Different experts used different methods, different assumptions, different estimates, and they reached different conclusions. But they all used multiple approaches to produce several FMV estimates on the transaction dates. To arrive at a final value determination, or range of values, they all averaged or weighted the results. Read more >>

Chancery declines to meddle in parties' valuation agreement

In terms of valuation methodology, the agreement provided that “there shall be no minority or non-marketability discount applied.” Also, “fair market value” meant an arm’s length sale to an unrelated third party. And, for purposes of calculating the “total equity value,” the value of the assets would be subject to an EBITDA collar to ensure that the value of the assets was at least 6.5 x but no more than 7.5 x the company’s “EBITDA less Maintenance Capex” for year-end 2013. The resulting number was to be reduced by the company’s obligations and liabilities. Most important, the parties agreed to be bound by the appraiser's calculation of the price of the put units. There was no provision for judicial or any other form of review of the appraiser's valuation. Read more >>

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