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Fair Price for Delaware Fiduciary Actions Can Exceed Appraisal Fair Value

Can fiduciaries of Delaware corporations breach their duties and face damages for a merger that provides stockholders with the equivalent of fair value in a judicial appraisal? The answer may surprise you.

BVU News and Trends April 2021

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

New evolving ESOP case raises familiar valuation-related issues

A new ESOP litigation is underway in federal district court related to a 2011 transaction in which the majority owner of the company sold his remaining stock to the company’s ESOP.

Appraisal value does not control fiduciary litigation, Court of Chancery says

In 2019, in the Columbia Pipeline statutory appraisal case, the Delaware Court of Chancery found the unadjusted deal price was the best evidence of fair value.

Scalia v. Reliance Trust Co.

In an evolving ESOP case, court says DOL’s allegations that ESOP trustee and various directors engaged in breaches of fiduciary duties and caused the ESOP to enter a prohibited transaction (i.e., overpaid for company stock) require “fact-intensive inquiry” and cannot be resolved on summary judgment.

Court Says DOL Claims in ESOP Case Require ‘Fact-Intensive Inquiry’ and Denies Motions for Summary Judgment

In an evolving ESOP case, court says DOL’s allegations that ESOP trustee and various directors engaged in breaches of fiduciary duties and caused the ESOP to enter a prohibited transaction (i.e., overpaid for company stock) require “fact-intensive inquiry” and cannot be resolved on summary judgment.

DOL and Professional Fiduciary Services settle ESOP suit

The DOL recently settled a suit against Professional Fiduciary Services (PFS) related to a 2012 transaction in which PFS served as trustee in an ESOP acquisition of outstanding company stock.

Global BVU News and Trends January 2021

Business valuation news from a global perspective.

Vinoskey reply brief refutes DOL’s stock value and control claims

Argument continues in the contentious Vinoskey ESOP litigation, which is now in the 4th Circuit where the remaining defendant, Adam Vinoskey, has appealed the district court’s liability and damages findings.

BVU News and Trends December 2020

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

DOL appellate brief pushes back in Vinoskey ESOP litigation

Neither side is letting up in the contentious Vinoskey ESOP litigation that has now moved to the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Lysengen v. Argent Trust Co.

ESOP plaintiff’s proposed class action against trustee and selling shareholders survives motion to dismiss; court says complaint gave enough facts to support claims of overpayment and breach of fiduciary duty; defendant must show disputed transaction falls into adequate consideration exemption.

BVU News and Trends October 2020

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

Court of Chancery sanctions use of asset approach in complex appraisal case

A low-profile appraisal case in front of the Delaware Court of Chancery raised important valuation questions, including how the court should determine the fair value of a nonoperating entity and how it should deal with the value of claims both parties brought on behalf of the company prior to the contested merger.

ESOP Plaintiff’s Proposed Class Action Alleging Overpayment Survives Motion to Dismiss

ESOP plaintiff’s proposed class action against trustee and selling shareholders survives motion to dismiss; court says complaint gave enough facts to support claims of overpayment and breach of fiduciary duty; defendant must show disputed transaction falls into adequate consideration exemption.

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.

ASA, supporting Vinoskey ESOP appeal, aims to correct BV ‘misstatements’

The ASA recently filed an amicus brief in support of the Vinoskey appeal, in which it claims the district court, in ruling against the ESOP trustee and the owner and selling shareholder, Adam Vinoskey, made numerous valuation-related misstatements that required correction.

Defendant in Vinoskey ESOP case files appeal with 4th Circuit

In the contentious Vinoskey ESOP case, one of the defendants, the owner and selling shareholder, Adam Vinoskey, recently appealed the district court’s finding that he was liable for knowingly participating in the trustee defendant’s ERISA violations and was a co-fiduciary for the trustee’s breaches of fiduciary duties.

In re Happy Child World, Inc.

In an entire-fairness-cum-statutory-appraisal case involving nonoperating day care center whose facility was leased on merger date, court approves use of capitalization of earnings and NAV models and averaging results to determine fair value; business model was uncertain on merger date, court notes.

Uncertain Business Model on Merger Date Justifies Use of Income and NAV Models, Court Says

In an entire-fairness-cum-statutory-appraisal case involving nonoperating day care center whose facility was leased on merger date, court approves use of capitalization of earnings and NAV models and averaging results to determine fair value; business model was uncertain on merger date, court notes.

RVNB class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty by ESOP trustee hurtles toward final settlement

ESOP litigation watchers can add one more case to the number of actions that recently have been resolved.

BVU News and Trends August 2020

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

Plaintiffs in Rainbow ESOP class action ready to settle case

Last week, we reported on the resolution of two major ESOP litigations.

ESOP litigants play by their own valuation rules, speakers say

Imagine if you were playing on a baseball team and the opposing players argue that you are violating the rules of soccer.

Appeal in Lee ESOP case dismissed; ESOP class action also close to resolution

The last few weeks have seen the end of two ESOP litigations that have drawn a lot of attention from the ESOP community.

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