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BVU News and Trends March 2020

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

Tax Court spurns IRS’ gift tax valuation theory and methodology

In a gift tax dispute, the U.S. Tax Court recently found for the taxpayer when it rejected the unusual reasoning and methodology the Internal Revenue Service’s trial expert proposed to keep low the discounts applicable to the nonvoting membership units in two limited liability companies (LLCs).

Synergy deduction purely academic in new Delaware appraisal ruling

In a statutory appraisal case that involved the sale of a publicly traded company to a privately held entity, the Delaware Court of Chancery recently decided the deal price was a reliable indicator of fair value and a downward adjustment for synergies was justified.

ASA Houston hosts expert witness workshop and mock trial

ASA Houston hosts the Expert Witness Workshop & Mock Trial on April 16, 2020 in Houston, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Valuation underpinning contested stock sale reflects fair value, Court of Chancery says

In a breach of fiduciary duty action arising out of a controversial stock sale, the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed the plaintiff’s attacks on the underlying valuation, noting the appraiser was “exceptionally knowledgeable about the industry” and held “informed beliefs” as to the company’s specific structure.

Attack on DOL’s ability to seek monetary damages in Vinoskey ESOP case fails

In the contentious Vinoskey ESOP case, the trustee recently asked for a new trial, arguing the Secretary of Labor, representing the plaintiff, lacked the statutory authority to seek monetary damages on behalf of the ESOP and the court lacked the authority to hear this claim.

Delaware Court of Chancery says no to expert’s novel approach to beta calculation

In an appraisal proceeding in which the Delaware Court of Chancery favored the discounted cash flow analysis as the means with which to determine fair value, the court had sharp words for the company expert’s decision to introduce a new way for calculating equity beta.

Asset-based appraisal unsuitable for fair value determination, court says

In a bitter fight between siblings over the buyout of the minority shareholder’s interest in a successful construction business, the trial court found the asset-based valuation the majority shareholder’s expert proposed was fatally flawed for at least two reasons.

Connecticut court affirms lower court's decision not to tax affect

In a buyout dispute involving a Connecticut family business, an appellate court recently upheld the trial court’s earlier decision not to tax affect the earnings of the company in valuing the departing shareholder’s interest, even though experts for both sides tax affected.

On double-dip issue, Ohio appeals court agrees with Gallo analysis

A recent Ohio appeals court decision expressly agreed with its sister court’s 2015 ruling in Gallo that state law does not prohibit double dipping but does require the trial court to avoid unfairness in distributing marital assets and determining spousal support.

Valuers and Forensics Experts Converge at the 2019 AICPA FVS Conference

A mix of topics had something for everyone at this conference. Of note were some excellent sessions on expert testimony and there was a definite emphasis on fair value for financial reporting.

2019 Key Valuation and Damages Cases

A discussion of the court cases that have dominated the conversation in 2019 among financial experts by making law or influencing attitudes on key valuation issues.

In re Panera Bread Company

In appraisal action involving sale of public company, court says sale process had “objective indicia of reliability,” justifying use of deal price for fair value determination; synergy deduction is appropriate to account for value from anticipated cost and tax-related savings due to merger.

Court Considers Deal Price Persuasive Indicator of Fair Value and Approves Synergy Deduction

In appraisal action involving sale of public company, court says sale process had “objective indicia of reliability,” justifying use of deal price for fair value determination; synergy deduction is appropriate to account for value from anticipated cost and tax-related savings due to merger.

Connecticut court says ‘no’ to tax affecting but limits the reach of its ruling

In a buyout dispute involving a Connecticut family business, an appellate court recently upheld the trial court’s decision not to tax affect the earnings of the company in valuing the departing shareholder’s interest, even though experts for both sides tax affected.

Pizzella v. Vinoskey (II)

District court denies trustee’s motion for a new trial based on argument that Secretary of Labor lacked authority to pursue monetary relief against defendants; court says the plain language of the statute on which the DOL’s claims are based allows secretary to obtain damages on behalf of the ESOP.

Trustee’s Post-Trial Attack on DOL’s Pursuit of Monetary Relief on Plan’s Behalf Crumbles

District court denies trustee’s motion for a new trial based on argument that Secretary of Labor lacked authority to pursue monetary relief against defendants; court says the plain language of the statute on which the DOL’s claims are based allows secretary to obtain damages on behalf of the ESOP.

Coster v. UIP Companies, Inc.

In breach of fiduciary duty action, court says stock sale passes enhanced fairness review; appraiser valuing real estate investment services company before sale is eminently qualified and knowledgeable about industry; capitalized cash flow method “generated a reliable indicator” of company’s value.

Valuation Underlying Controversial Stock Sale Satisfies Highest Scrutiny

In breach of fiduciary duty action, court says stock sale passes enhanced fairness review; appraiser valuing real estate investment services company before sale is eminently qualified and knowledgeable about industry; capitalized cash flow method “generated a reliable indicator” of company’s value.

Bankruptcy Court highlights comparables selection in assessing experts’ valuations

A meaningful comparable company analysis requires careful selection of comparable companies, the Bankruptcy Court recently emphasized in a case in which it ruled on the debtor’s proposed reorganization plan.

Everything new in BV—at your fingertips

Busy practitioners find it hard to keep up with all that’s going on in the business valuation profession.

Lost profits claims fail to meet New York’s strict standard

Establishing lost profits under New York law can be difficult.

Kim v. Kim

Ohio appeals court upholds trial court’s spousal support determination based on husband’s average, rather than normalized, income, finding “equity did not require a double-dipping offset”; court agrees with sister court’s ruling in Gallo that applicable statute does not prohibit double dipping.

Ohio Court Affirms Facts of Case Don’t Require ‘Double-Dipping Offset’

Ohio appeals court upholds trial court’s spousal support determination based on husband’s average, rather than normalized, income, finding “equity did not require a double-dipping offset”; court agrees with sister court’s ruling in Gallo that applicable statute does not prohibit double dipping.

BVU News and Trends December 2019

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

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