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Verition Partners Master Fund Ltd. v. Aruba Networks, Inc. (Aruba III)

Delaware Supreme Court overturns Court of Chancery’s fair value determination based on unaffected market price and awards petitioners deal price minus synergies as determined by company; trial court’s analysis rested on “inapt” agency-costs theory and raised due process and fairness concerns.

Delaware Supreme Court Reproves Chancery’s Use of Unaffected Market Price in Aruba

Delaware Supreme Court overturns Court of Chancery’s fair value determination based on unaffected market price and awards petitioners deal price minus synergies as determined by company; trial court’s analysis rested on “inapt” agency-costs theory and raised due process and fairness concerns.

Alkayali v. Boukhari

Appeals court upholds valuation of plaintiff’s interest in dissolved company and jury award; plaintiff expert’s analysis of sales transactions of comparable companies was admissible; Pratt’s Stats/DealStats database provided a reliable basis for expert to identify relevant sales, court says.

Court Validates Expert’s Reliance on Pratt’s Stats/DealStats for Sales Transaction Analysis

Appeals court upholds valuation of plaintiff’s interest in dissolved company and jury award; plaintiff expert’s analysis of sales transactions of comparable companies was admissible; Pratt’s Stats/DealStats database provided a reliable basis for expert to identify relevant sales, court says.

Kress v. United States

In gift tax case requiring valuation of minority shares in S corporation, district court accepts application, by all experts, of C corp-level tax rate to company’s earnings; court, with minor DLOM adjustment, credits valuations by taxpayers’ expert, noting his market approach is “the most sound.”

Gift Tax Case Suggests Overall Acceptance of S Corp Tax Affecting

In gift tax case requiring valuation of minority shares in S corporation, district court accepts application, by all experts, of C corp-level tax rate to company’s earnings; court, with minor DLOM adjustment, credits valuations by taxpayers’ expert, noting his market approach is “the most sound.”

4th Circuit Says Record Supports Liability and Damages Findings Against ESOP Trustee

In key ESOP case, 4th Circuit affirms liability and damages findings against ESOP trustee; court says trustee’s reliance on ESOP appraiser’s contemporaneous valuation was not “reasonably justified”; district court used correct measure of damages and justifiable methodology, 4th Circuit finds.

Brundle v. Wilmington Trust N.A. (Brundle III)

In key ESOP case, 4th Circuit affirms liability and damages findings against ESOP trustee; court says trustee’s reliance on ESOP appraiser’s contemporaneous valuation was not “reasonably justified”; district court used correct measure of damages and justifiable methodology, 4th Circuit finds.

Marroquin v. Marroquin

Appeals court upholds trial court’s valuation of husband’s vending machine business, finding this one-person operation is akin to sole proprietorship in which any goodwill is attributable to husband’s personal efforts and reputation for competency; court says goodwill is not a marital asset.

No Enterprise Goodwill in One-Person Business, Utah Appeals Court Confirms

Appeals court upholds trial court’s valuation of husband’s vending machine business, finding this one-person operation is akin to sole proprietorship in which any goodwill is attributable to husband’s personal efforts and reputation for competency; court says goodwill is not a marital asset.

Kendall Hoyd & Silver v. Trussway Holdings

Delaware Court of Chancery finds DCF analysis is the best way to achieve fair value in a statutory appraisal case arising out of a contested merger; court’s analysis leans heavily on company expert’s analysis regarding contested inputs, including projections, beta, and terminal value.

Galasso v. Cobleskill Stone Products

New York appellate division upholds the trial court’s order to disclose a valuation report, finding the appraisal was relevant to the litigation and done for estate tax purposes and therefore was not “of a legal character”; the attorney-client privilege does not apply, court says.

Court Explains Why Valuation Report Is Discoverable

New York appellate division upholds the trial court’s order to disclose a valuation report, finding the appraisal was relevant to the litigation and done for estate tax purposes and therefore was not “of a legal character”; the attorney-client privilege does not apply, court says.

Court Chooses DCF to Determine Fair Value in ‘Straightforward’ Appraisal Case

Delaware Court of Chancery finds DCF analysis is the best way to achieve fair value in a statutory appraisal case arising out of a contested merger; court’s analysis leans heavily on company expert’s analysis regarding contested inputs, including projections, beta, and terminal value.

Kolwe v. Civil and Structural Engineers, Inc.

In shareholder oppression suit, court clarifies meaning of “fair value” under applicable statutory framework; court cautions not to conflate “fair value” with “fair market value”; in drafting statute, state legislature explicitly and implicitly conveys its rejection of discounting, court says.

Hultz v. Kuhn

Appellate court finds no error in trial court’s adoption of market-based value determination by husband’s expert; expert acknowledged this was not the preferred method to value the small company, but company’s problematic financials and uncooperative attitude “compelled” use of this approach.

Court Says ‘Fair Value’ Under State Shareholder Oppression Law Precludes Discounts

In shareholder oppression suit, court clarifies meaning of “fair value” under applicable statutory framework; court cautions not to conflate “fair value” with “fair market value”; in drafting statute, state legislature explicitly and implicitly conveys its rejection of discounting, court says.

Pratt’s Stats/DealStats Market Analysis Survives Appeal by Owner Spouse

Appellate court finds no error in trial court’s adoption of market-based value determination by husband’s expert; expert acknowledged this was not the preferred method to value the small company, but company’s problematic financials and uncooperative attitude “compelled” use of this approach.

Zausch v. Schnakenburg

Appeals court upholds trial court’s upward adjustment of father’s child support obligation based on a significant improvement in his economic circumstances; trial court followed applicable case law when calculating income related to father’s minority interests in several pass-through entities.

Indiana Court Upholds Child Support Calculation Involving Pass-Through Entities

Appeals court upholds trial court’s upward adjustment of father’s child support obligation based on a significant improvement in his economic circumstances; trial court followed applicable case law when calculating income related to father’s minority interests in several pass-through entities.

Acosta v. Wilmington Trust, N.A.

In ESOP discovery dispute, court orders disclosure of documents involving company’s independent financial advisor; there is no attorney-client privilege where parties’ engagement agreement expressly designated advisor as an “independent contractor with no fiduciary or agency to the Company.”

In ESOP Dispute, Court Orders Disclosure of Communications Involving Independent Financial Advisor

In ESOP discovery dispute, court orders disclosure of documents involving company’s independent financial advisor; there is no attorney-client privilege where parties’ engagement agreement expressly designated advisor as an “independent contractor with no fiduciary or agency to the Company.”

Colvin v. Syrian Arab Republic

In wrongful death suit arising from extrajudicial killing of famed war correspondent, court credits plaintiff expert’s “reasonable estimate” of loss of prospective income and benefits but finds expert failed to offset amount by consumption costs; court asks for updated expert report.

Court Awards Loss of Income Damages Related to Acclaimed War Correspondent’s Killing

In wrongful death suit arising from extrajudicial killing of famed war correspondent, court credits plaintiff expert’s “reasonable estimate” of loss of prospective income and benefits but finds expert failed to offset amount by consumption costs; court asks for updated expert report.

Acosta v. Wilmington Trust, N.A.

In ESOP case, court, citing Rule 26 of federal rules of civil procedure, denies defendant trustee’s motion to compel disclosure of information related to DOL expert’s prior work in valuation industry and expert’s other work for DOL on ESOP-related matters.

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