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New Case Points Up Opportunity for Buy-Sell Valuations

A recent court case illustrates that many buy-sell agreements do not adequately address the issue of valuation when an owner exits the firm. This represents an opportunity for valuation experts to review clients’ buy-sell agreements to identify potential problems, which could mean recurring business for the practice.

New case points up valuation perils in buy-sell agreements

From a valuation standpoint, the lack of a buy-sell agreement—or one with a valuation provision that’s poorly drafted—can result in costly litigation and a painful falling out between business partners and/or family members.

Collins v. Tabs Motors of Valley Stream Corp.

In this New York business divorce case, the court held that the shareholders agreement was enforceable, as well as the stipulated value of the buyout price as determined in Schedule B of the shareholders agreement. Claims by petitioners of breach of fiduciary duty and related claims, including a years-old certificate of value, were not sufficient to overcome the unambiguous terms of the buy-sell agreement.

In a New York Business Divorce, a Petition for Dissolution Triggers Buy-Sell Agreements

In this New York business divorce case, the court held that the shareholders agreement was enforceable, as well as the stipulated value of the buyout price as determined in Schedule B of the shareholders agreement. Claims by petitioners of breach of fiduciary duty and related claims, including a years-old certificate of value, were not sufficient to overcome the unambiguous terms of the buy-sell agreement.

Expelled partner should get FMV—but of what?

An Oregon appellate case deals with compensation for a partner’s 25% interest in a business after he is expelled from the firm.

Dipak Patel v. Siddhi Hospitality, LLC

This case dealt with compensation for a partner’s 25% interest in a business after he was expelled from the business. The appellate court remanded the case to the trial court for a recalculation of the compensation without the inclusion of discounts for lack of control and lack of marketability. The trial court allowed those discounts on the theory that the expelled partner was to receive the fair market value of his 25% interest in the entity. The appellate court determined that the operating agreement required him to be compensated for 25% of the FMV of the assets of the LLC and not the FMV of his 25% in the LLC entity.

Oregon Appellate Court Disallows Discounts for Lack of Control and Lack of Marketability

This case dealt with compensation for a partner’s 25% interest in a business after he was expelled from the business. The appellate court remanded the case to the trial court for a recalculation of the compensation without the inclusion of discounts for lack of control and lack of marketability. The trial court allowed those discounts on the theory that the expelled partner was to receive the fair market value of his 25% interest in the entity. The appellate court determined that the operating agreement required him to be compensated for 25% of the FMV of the assets of the LLC and not the FMV of his 25% in the LLC entity.

In Buyout Dispute, Appeals Court Finds There Was No Basis for Jury to Set Aside Appraisers’ Contractually Mandated Value Determination

In buyout dispute, appeals court reverses trial court’s judgment, finding it was based on jury’s erroneous decision to set aside a contractually mandated appraisal and provide its own buyout price; there was no indication the appraisers misinterpreted the controlling partnership agreement; court remands.

Parrish v. Schroering

In buyout dispute, appeals court reverses trial court’s judgment, finding it was based on jury’s erroneous decision to set aside a contractually mandated appraisal and provide its own buyout price; there was no indication the appraisers misinterpreted the controlling partnership agreement; court remands ...

Indiana Supreme Court Issues Key Ruling on Discounts in Compelled Buybacks

Last year, in a compelled buyout, the Court of Appeals sided with the departing minority shareholder when it found discounts did not apply in a closed-market sale. In a freshly minted decision, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals, finding there was no blanket rule disallowing discounts in a compelled buyback. This is especially true where the parties exercised a shareholder agreement whose terms suggested the use of fair market value.

Indiana Supreme Court issues key ruling on discounts in compelled buybacks

Last year, in a compelled buyout, the Court of Appeals sided with the departing minority shareholder when it found discounts did not apply in a closed-market sale.

Indiana Supreme Court Rejects Blanket Rule Against Discounts in Compulsory, Closed-Market Share Buyback

High court says there is no blanket rule against the use of discounts in a compulsory, closed-market buyback; parties’ freedom to contract right allowed for discounts under shareholder agreement that mandated buyback of plaintiff’s minority interest by company under fair market value standard.

Hartman v. BigInch Fabricators & Construction Holding Co., Inc. (Hartman II)

High court says there is no blanket rule against the use of discounts in a compulsory, closed-market buyback; parties’ freedom to contract right allowed for discounts under shareholder agreement that mandated buyback of plaintiff’s minority interest by company under fair market value standard.

Discounts inappropriate in valuing minority interest in mandatory buyback, appeals court rules

When a minority shareholder in an Indiana company was terminated as a director and officer, a dispute arose over whether, under a buyback agreement, the use of discounts for lack of control and marketability was permissible in valuing his shares.

In Mandatory Buyback, Indiana Appeals Court Disallows Use of Discounts

In dispute about valuation of terminated shareholder’s minority interest, appeals court finds the trial court erred when it allowed discounts for lack of control and marketability; under controlling case law, discounts are inappropriate where the buyback is mandatory and to the controlling party.

Hartman v. BigInch Fabricators & Construction Holding Co., Inc. (Hartman I)

In dispute about valuation of terminated shareholder’s minority interest, appeals court finds the trial court erred when it allowed discounts for lack of control and marketability; under controlling case law, discounts are inappropriate where the buyback is mandatory and to the controlling party.

Tips for Valuing—and Designing—Buy-in and Buyout Agreements for Medical/Dental Practices

After hundreds of engagements, the author identifies a number of best practices for both the valuation analyst and the consultant with respect to buy-in/buyout arrangements.

Experts clash over definition of ‘net worth’ in New Jersey buyout dispute

Business partners often think that a buyout agreement will forestall future conflicts. A recent New Jersey case proves the opposite.

Namerow v. PediatriCare Associates, LLC

In pediatrician buyout suit, court says practice’s operating agreement requires net worth calculation; court agrees with defense expert’s definition of “net worth” as the value of assets minus liabilities, as stated in the balance sheets, and rejects proposed inclusion of intangible assets.

Court Says Expert’s Inclusion of Intangible Assets Violates Buyout Agreement

In pediatrician buyout suit, court says practice’s operating agreement requires net worth calculation; court agrees with defense expert’s definition of “net worth” as the value of assets minus liabilities, as stated in the balance sheets, and rejects proposed inclusion of intangible assets.

Expert’s Detailed Risk Analysis Bolsters Use of Deep Discount in Law Firm Valuation

In buyout dispute over law firm interest, court credits firm’s expert, noting his extensive relevant experience, his taking care to value interest under fair market value standard, as required by the partnership agreement, and his detailed risk analysis to support a deep discount.

Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP v. Assam

In buyout dispute over law firm interest, court credits firm’s expert, noting his extensive relevant experience, his taking care to value interest under fair market value standard, as required by the partnership agreement, and his detailed risk analysis to support a deep discount.

Louisiana Appeals Court Affirms Use of Discounts in LLC Valuations

Appeals court supports trial court’s decision to value departing member’s minority interest on fair market value basis pursuant to state statute rather than method specified in some existing corporate documents; appeals court affirms lower court’s discretion to apply post-Cannon discounts.

Wall v. Bryan

Appeals court supports trial court’s decision to value departing member’s minority interest on fair market value basis pursuant to state statute rather than method specified in some existing corporate documents; appeals court affirms lower court’s discretion to apply post-Cannon discounts.

Lynd v. Marshall County Pediatrics, P.C.

In share redemption dispute pivoting on missing shareholder agreement, high court finds corporate bylaws show trial court’s use of book value to value separating member’s stock was error but plaintiff failed to show right to fair value determination as a matter of law; court remands.

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