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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.

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.

In tax refund case, expert identifies only viable method to value stock in ‘severely distressed’ private company

The taxpayer sued the federal government for a refund, arguing she had overpaid income taxes on stock she had received as part of settling a lawsuit against her former employer.

Does COVID-19 alter the Companies Act, or the value of minority shares?

All business valuers accept the fact that minority shares hold discounted value.

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Lucero v. United States

In tax case, court approves refund, finding value of unlisted stock in distressed closely held company that taxpayer received as part of a settlement was less than stated in settlement agreement; taxpayer’s expert showed market value approach was only suitable method to calculate fair market value.

Court Adopts Taxpayer Expert’s Method to Value Unlisted Stock of ‘Severely Distressed’ Company

In tax case, court approves refund, finding value of unlisted stock in distressed closely held company that taxpayer received as part of a settlement was less than stated in settlement agreement; taxpayer’s expert showed market value approach was only suitable method to calculate fair market value.

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.

Nelson v. Commissioner

In gift tax case, Tax Court finds donor transferred percentages in limited liability company rather than fixed dollar amounts based on language in transfer instruments; further, where transferred minority interests include elements of control, minority discount should be reduced, not eliminated.

Court Says Reduced Minority Discount Appropriate Where Minority Interest Has Elements of Control

In gift tax case, Tax Court finds donor transferred percentages in limited liability company rather than fixed dollar amounts based on language in transfer instruments; further, where transferred minority interests include elements of control, minority discount should be reduced, not eliminated.

South Carolina Supreme Court weighs in on use of discounts in divorce valuations

In a crucial decision on the use of discounts when valuing a spouse’s minority interest in a closely held business, a majority of the South Carolina Supreme Court rejected a bright-line rule, noting it would limit the flexibility family courts must have in apportioning marital assets.

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.

Clark v. Clark

On use of marketability and minority discount in valuing wife’s minority interest in husband’s company, state Supreme Court rejects bright-line rule, noting importance of case-by-case analysis and giving trial court flexibility in apportioning assets; fair market value standard drives valuation.

South Carolina Supreme Court Rejects Categorical Approach to Discounts in Divorce Valuations

On use of marketability and minority discount in valuing wife’s minority interest in husband’s company, state Supreme Court rejects bright-line rule, noting importance of case-by-case analysis and giving trial court flexibility in apportioning assets; fair market value standard drives valuation.

Robinson v. Langenbach

State high court upholds trial court’s use of DLOM and minority discount in buyout of minority interest resulting from shareholder oppression; court says there is no “fixed set of factors” trial court must consider for fair value calculation; “context is crucial” and here justified discounts.

High Court Says Context Supports Use of Discounts in Buyout From Shareholder Oppression

State high court upholds trial court’s use of DLOM and minority discount in buyout of minority interest resulting from shareholder oppression; court says there is no “fixed set of factors” trial court must consider for fair value calculation; “context is crucial” and here justified discounts.

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.

Best Practices – Thought Leadership in Valuation, Damages, and Transfer Price Analysis

March 2020 Hardcover

Robert F. Reilly, Robert P. Schweihs

Best Practicesincludes more than 1,200 pages of thought leadership on a wide range of topics, including the valuation of private company securities and intangible assets, valuation for property tax purposes, valuation for ESOPs, fair value measurement for financial accounting purposes, transfer price analysis, and economic damages measurement. Learn more >>

Journal of Business Valuation 2017 Edition

From the CBV Institute ...

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.

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.

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