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Recap of recent BV cases of note

A number of recent cases have emerged that contain various valuation issues.

Discounts inappropriate under controlling agreement, appeals court finds

In a buyout dispute involving a limited liability company, the Oregon Court of Appeals recently overturned a trial court’s decision to apply discounts when valuing the departing member’s minority interest.

Van Vleet comments on use of SEAM in Ryan case

BVWire recently reported on the Ryan Trust v. Ryan case, a buyout dispute in which the Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s decision to credit the valuation testimony of the expert for the late majority shareholder.

In buyout dispute, ‘downward bias’ sinks expert’s fair value determination

In a bitter buyout dispute involving a successful private family business and featuring two veteran appraisers, the Nebraska Supreme Court recently affirmed the district court’s decision to unreservedly credit the valuation testimony of the expert for the late majority shareholder.

Iowa Supreme Court Allows Reduction in Value for Transaction Costs but Refuses to Allow a Reduction for Built-In Capital Gains Tax

This case was decided, on appeal, under the Iowa “election-to-purchase-in-lieu-of-dissolution statute.” The Iowa Supreme Court decided that, because the parties’ experts had “both included transaction costs in their valuations under a net asset approach, the district court’s failure to reduce the asset values to account for the costs to liquidate the corporation’s assets warranted reversal.” Additionally, since there was no evidence of an intention to liquidate the company or its assets, the court declined to adjust for the built-in gains tax consequences urged by the majority shareholder.

Guge v. Kassel Enters.

This case was decided, on appeal, under the Iowa “election-to-purchase-in-lieu-of-dissolution statute.” The court decided that, because the parties’ experts had “both included transaction costs in their valuations under a net asset approach, the district court’s failure to reduce the asset values to account for the costs to liquidate the corporation’s assets warranted reversal.” Additionally, since there was no evidence of an intention to liquidate the company or its assets, the court declined to adjust for the built-in gains tax consequences urged by the majority shareholder.

Ryan Trust v. Ryan

In family buyout dispute, state high court affirms trial court’s decision to adopt expert valuation testimony for selling majority shareholder, finding expert’s DCF inputs were reasonable as was selection of multiple of earnings in GPTC analysis; expert’s explanation for S corp premium was convincing.

State Supreme Court Affirms Adoption of Selling Shareholder’s Expert Value Findings

In family buyout dispute, state high court affirms trial court’s decision to adopt expert valuation testimony for selling majority shareholder, finding expert’s DCF inputs were reasonable as was selection of multiple of earnings in GPTC analysis; expert’s explanation for S corp premium was convincing.

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.

LLC buyout at fair value poses ‘conundrum’ for the court

In allowing LLC members to buy out a departing member to avoid the dissolution of the company, a court had to determine the fair value of the departing member’s interest in a holding company.

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.

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.

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.

Finkel v. Palm Park, Inc.

In LLC member dispute, court faces “conundrum” where fair value buyout seeks to avoid LLC’s dissolution and court leans on expert’s FMV valuation using net asset value approach premised on “orderly liquidation”; court notes FMV is based on hypothetical actors and transaction, not specific parties.

Court’s Fair Value Determination Leans Heavily on Expert’s Fair Market Valuation Premised on Liquidation

In LLC member dispute, court faces “conundrum” where fair value buyout seeks to avoid LLC’s dissolution and court leans on expert’s FMV valuation using net asset value approach premised on “orderly liquidation”; court notes FMV is based on hypothetical actors and transaction, not specific parties.

Key Tennessee appeals court ruling finds tax affecting ‘relevant’ to fair value buyout

In a Tennessee buyout dispute involving a limited liability corporation organized as an S corporation, the parties disagreed over whether it was appropriate to tax affect in calculating the fair value of the terminated member’s interest.

‘Overstated’ projections sink plaintiff’s fair value determination

Earlier this year, a New York trial court presiding over a buyout dispute featuring an online wholesaler of faucets, sinks, and fixtures rebuffed the departing shareholder’s valuation.

Boesch v. Holeman

In dispute over value of dissociated partner’s one-third interest in whiskey business, appeals court says trial court erred in adopting value determination that applied discount for lack of control; applicable partnership law requires value be based on sale of entire business as a going concern.

Partnership Statute Precludes Use of Minority Discount in Buying Out Dissociated Partner

In dispute over value of dissociated partner’s one-third interest in whiskey business, appeals court says trial court erred in adopting value determination that applied discount for lack of control; applicable partnership law requires value be based on sale of entire business as a going concern.

Raley v. Brinkman

In LLC member buyout dispute, the Court of Appeals finds the term “fair value” does not contemplate the use of shareholder-level discounts. However, tax affecting is relevant evidence when determining the going-concern value of subject S corp. Trial court must consider evidence on tax affecting.

Tennessee Appeals Court Clarifies Use of Discounts and Tax Affecting in Court-Ordered LLC Buyout

In LLC member buyout dispute, the Court of Appeals finds the term “fair value” does not contemplate the use of shareholder-level discounts. However, tax affecting is relevant evidence when determining the going-concern value of subject S corp. Trial court must consider evidence on tax affecting.

‘Particular facts’ justify discounts in mandatory buyback of minority interest, says Missouri high court

Context is “crucial,” the Supreme Court of Missouri recently said in upholding the use of discounts in the court-ordered buyout of a minority owner’s shares in a family business.

Calculating Fair Value, Court Uses Experts’ Income Analyses but Adjusts for Inconsistencies

In buyout dispute over closely held corporation, State Supreme Court upholds trial court’s value determination based on income-based analyses parties’ experts presented but adjusting for inconsistencies in each opinion; asset approach was inappropriate where company would continue to operate.

Anderson v. A & R Spraying & Trucking, Inc.

In buyout dispute over closely held corporation, State Supreme Court upholds trial court’s value determination based on income-based analyses parties’ experts presented but adjusting for inconsistencies in each opinion; asset approach was inappropriate where company would continue to operate.

Biton v. Kreinis

In dispute over fair value of plaintiff’s shares, court agrees with parties’ experts on use of capitalization of earnings method to value company; court rejects defense expert’s use of QuickBooks data and post-valuation-date revenue as representative annual revenue; applies key-person discount.

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