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Most States Reject Discounts in Appraisals and Oppression Cases—But There Are Important Exceptions

This article discusses, on a state-by-state basis, the rejection and acceptance of discounts for minority interest and lack of marketability in appraisals and in oppression and voluntary withdrawal cases. Discounts for lack of marketability at the shareholder level are rejected in most jurisdictions, but some states, including California and New York, still permit them.

Court sets fair value of 50% interest in realty firm

In Connecticut, a real estate firm had a shareholder agreement that allowed for an independent appraisal if one of the owners wanted out.

BV News and Trends November 2022

A monthly roundup of key developments of interest to business valuation experts.

Prevailing expert comments on ‘moonshine’ case

In an earlier issue, we reported on an appellate court case involving the valuation of an owner’s one-third share in a Tennessee moonshine distillery (click here for the prior coverage).

Buccieri v. New Hope Realty, Inc.

This case arose out of a dispute between the surviving family and a trustee of the founders of New Hope Realty Inc. The parties could not agree on the management and operations of New Hope Realty. On July 7, 2020, a dissolution proceeding was commenced. The defendants elected to purchase the plaintiffs’ shares. Subsequently, the parties could not agree as to the fair value of the plaintiffs’ interest. The plaintiffs asked the court to determine the value. The court held hearings including testimony from expert witnesses from both parties and determined the fair value.

Court Determines Fair Value of 50% Interest in Real Estate Company—Parties Could Not Agree on Value

This case arose out of a dispute between the surviving family and a trustee of the founders of New Hope Realty Inc. The parties could not agree on the management and operations of New Hope Realty. On July 7, 2020, a dissolution proceeding was commenced. The defendants elected to purchase the plaintiffs’ shares. Subsequently, the parties could not agree as to the fair value of the plaintiffs’ interest. The plaintiffs asked the court to determine the value. The court held hearings including testimony from expert witnesses from both parties and determined the fair value.

Tennessee moonshine formula caught up in business divorce

A partner in a Tennessee distillery making flavored moonshine felt the other two partners improperly disaffiliated him.

Another big win for ESOP valuations vs. the DOL

Valuation experts have long maintained that the Department of Labor (DOL) has been playing by its own valuation rules in its aggressive enforcement of ESOPs—rules that are not consistent with accepted valuation standards. But a court has rejected the valuations the DOL did in a case alleging that an ESOP overvalued (and thus overpaid for) the stock of its sponsoring company.

Boesch v. Holeman (II)

This case revolved around the value to be paid for a one-third interest in a business partnership for a business that produces and sells flavored “moonshine” liquor. The trial court initially resolved all issues and determined that the plaintiff was entitled to the fair value of his one-third interest in the partnership. Defendant appealed, among other things, the trial court determination of value for his interest. The appellate court remanded for elimination of the discount for lack of control. On this appeal, the plaintiff disagreed with the trial court value and believed the DLOM should also be eliminated. The appellate court affirmed the trial court. The value affirmed was a conclusion of value issued in a summary report.

A Tennessee Appellate Court Affirms the Allowance of a DLOM and Affirms Calculations Under the Income Approach

This case revolved around the value to be paid for a one-third interest in a business partnership for a business that produces and sells flavored “moonshine” liquor. The trial court initially resolved all issues and determined that the plaintiff was entitled to the fair value of his one-third interest in the partnership. Defendant appealed, among other things, the trial court determination of value for his interest. The appellate court remanded for elimination of the discount for lack of control. On this appeal, the plaintiff disagreed with the trial court value and believed the DLOM should also be eliminated. The appellate court affirmed the trial court. The value affirmed was a conclusion of value issued in a summary report.

No discounts in New Jersey shareholder buyout case

New Jersey is one of several states that allow discounts for lack of control and marketability in fair value situations if it is proven that the discounts are fair and equitable, but, in a recent case, the trial court disallowed the discounts—and an appellate court agreed.

BV News and Trends June 2022

A monthly roundup of key developments of interest to business valuation experts.

BV News and Trends May 2022

A monthly roundup of key developments of interest to business valuation experts.

Estate and Gift: The Complete Valuation Package (A BVR Workshop)

Unwrap all things estate and gift in this engaging session with Marissa Turrell and Carla Glass. This presentation will assume a basic understanding of business valuation, of both operating companies and holding companies, and focus on specifics related to valuing ownership interests for estate and gift purposes. Some topics will focus on issues that arise only in valuation for gift and estate purposes, such as seminal court cases on the matter, Chapter 14, working with ...

New Jersey Appellate Court Affirms Valuation of Shopping Mall, Disallows Any Control or Marketability Discounts, Affirms Proper Dissociation by Plaintiffs

This case was a partnership dispute where the defendant partners tried to buy out the plaintiff partners. On appeal before the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division, the defendants argued that the plaintiffs’ dissociation was wrongful and damages should be assessed, discounts for lack of control and marketability should be applied to the value, and the partnership value should be reduced to account for partnership outstanding debts and other amounts. The plaintiffs argued that the trial court erred by relying on the defendants’ expert’s report and not their expert’s report, refusing to increase the value by personal loans taken by the defendant partners, and failing to find that the partnership overpaid management and accounting fees. The appellate court affirmed the trial court with one exception, whether the partnership agreement disassociated properly. On that count, the appellate court determined that the disassociation was appropriate.

Robertson v. Hyde Park

This case was a partnership dispute where the defendant partners tried to buy out the plaintiff partners. On appeal before the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division, the defendants argued that the plaintiffs’ dissociation was wrongful and damages should be assessed, discounts for lack of control and marketability should be applied to the value, and the partnership value should be reduced to account for partnership outstanding debts and other amounts. The plaintiffs argued that the trial court erred by relying on the defendants’ expert’s report and not their expert’s report, refusing to increase the value by personal loans taken by the defendant partners, and failing to find that the partnership overpaid management and accounting fees. The appellate court affirmed the trial court with one exception, whether the partnership agreement disassociated properly. On that count, the appellate court determined that the disassociation was appropriate.

Updated versions of two closed-end fund reports for estimating DLOC

Closed-end fund (CEF) data are commonly used to derive discounts for lack of control (DLOC) for closely held holding companies invested in marketable securities.

No valuation adjustment for alleged acts of oppression

In a Connecticut case, four siblings were partners in a number of restaurant properties and one of the partners (who had a 25% interest) was ousted by the others.

AICPA offers free webcast on estate/gift valuations

A two-and-a half-hour webcast on estate and gift valuations is available free of charge from the AICPA.

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.

BV News and Trends January 2021

A monthly roundup of key developments of interest to business valuation experts.

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.

Silver lining to Vinoskey ESOP appeal decision

In the well-publicized Vinoskey ESOP case (our latest coverage is here), the appellate court affirmed the district court in deciding that the company owner had extensive knowledge about the company and its prior valuations, and, thus, it was plausible to infer that “something was off.”

BV News and Trends December 2021

A monthly roundup of key developments of interest to business valuation experts.

Letter sent to Congress regarding valuation discounts

The American Society of Appraisers and over 100 other business groups and organizations sent a letter to Rep. Neal (D-Mass.) and Rep. Wyden (D-Ore.) urging exclusion of any tax proposals that would impact family businesses and farms, such as eliminating discounts for lack of control or marketability.

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