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In re Tesla Motors Stockholder Litig.

Court of Chancery says Tesla dissenting shareholders allege sufficient facts to show company CEO, Elon Musk, was a controlling shareholder, despite holding a minority interest; court allows breach of fiduciary claims concerning acquisition of related company to proceed.

Court Allows Tesla Dissenting Shareholder Suit to Go Forward

Court of Chancery says Tesla dissenting shareholders allege sufficient facts to show company CEO, Elon Musk, was a controlling shareholder, despite holding a minority interest; court allows breach of fiduciary claims concerning acquisition of related company to proceed.

Court Credits Debtor’s Asset Valuations but Rejects Chapter 11 Plan

Court finds debtor is hopelessly insolvent; court values two types of oil and gas assets under NAV and precedent transaction analyses, respectively, finding, in terms of NAV analysis, debtor’s expert is more credible on issues of pricing, forecasting, risking, and predicting costs.

In re Breitburn Energy Partners LP

Court finds debtor is hopelessly insolvent; court values two types of oil and gas assets under NAV and precedent transaction analyses, respectively, finding, in terms of NAV analysis, debtor’s expert is more credible on issues of pricing, forecasting, risking, and predicting costs.

Takeaways From the AICPA FVS Conference

We attended many of the sessions at the AICPA’s 2017 Forensic and Valuation Services conference in Las Vegas along with over 1,000 attendees and found no shortage of tips, ideas, and advice.

In re AOL Inc.

In statutory appraisal, court finds sales process was not “Dell compliant” and declines to assign any weight to deal price; court agrees with parties’ experts that DCF best captures fair value on valuation date and arrives at final value below deal price.

Chancery Relies on DCF Where Deal Process Is Not ‘Dell Compliant’

In statutory appraisal, court finds sales process was not “Dell compliant” and declines to assign any weight to deal price; court agrees with parties’ experts that DCF best captures fair value on valuation date and arrives at final value below deal price.

Verition Partners Master Fund Ltd. v. Aruba Networks, Inc. (Aruba I)

In statutory appraisal proceeding, Court of Chancery says unaffected market price provides “direct evidence of the collective view of market participants” as to target’s fair value whereas deal-price-minus-synergies is a less reliable “indirect measure.”

Court Calls Stock Price ‘Most Straightforward’ Indicator of Fair Value

In statutory appraisal proceeding, Court of Chancery says unaffected market price provides “direct evidence of the collective view of market participants” as to target’s fair value whereas deal price minus synergies is a less reliable “indirect measure."

In re EM Lodgings, LLC

In granting creditor’s stay relief motion, court averages competing expert valuations and finds debtor has no equity in contested hotel; court says value gap is result of experts’ legitimate disagreements over hotel’s future performance as reflected in inputs for DCF-based analyses.

Court Accords Equal Weight to Competing DCF-Based Hotel Valuations

In granting creditor’s stay relief motion, court averages competing expert valuations and finds debtor has no equity in contested hotel; court says value gap is result of experts’ legitimate disagreements over hotel’s future performance as reflected in inputs for DCF-based analyses.

City of Hialeah Emples. Ret. Sys. v. FEI Co.

Court rejects dissenting shareholder’s proxy challenge, finding board member statements about management projections are protected under applicable act’s safe harbor provision; also, court says financial advisor’s fairness opinion did not double count for risk in underlying DCF analysis.

Financial Advisor’s Fairness Opinion Not Materially Misleading

Court rejects dissenting shareholder’s proxy challenge, finding board member statements about management projections are protected under applicable act’s safe harbor provision; also, court says financial advisor’s fairness opinion did not double count for risk in underlying DCF analysis.

Court Validates Use of IPO Valuation in Fair Value Proceeding

In shareholder suit involving pharmaceutical startup with uncertain prospects, appeals court upholds trial court’s rejection of expert testimony based on “traditional” valuation methods in favor of noncontemporary IPO valuation to determine fair value.

Dell, Inc. v. Magnetar Global Event Driven Master Fund Ltd. (II)

High Court rejects Chancery’s decision to disregard deal price entirely in favor of court’s DCF analysis; record belies Chancery’s finding that deal price undervalued company stock, High Court says, urging adoption of deal price as fair value on remand.

Delaware Supreme Court Rebukes Chancery for Disregarding Deal Price

High Court rejects Chancery’s decision to disregard deal price entirely in favor of court’s DCF analysis; record belies Chancery’s finding that deal price undervalued company stock, High Court says, urging adoption of deal price as fair value on remand.

Trustee’s Attack on Merger Projections Fails to Resonate With Court

Court says trustee fails to show debtor was insolvent under any applicable financial condition tests; contemporaneous industry analysis and valuations by financing banks belie claim that management projections in support of merger were unreasonable.

Lightbox Ventures, LLC v. 3 RD Home Ltd.

Court excludes lost profits calculation and valuations of new venture; experts’ unquestioning adoption of plaintiff’s data and assumptions, the large range of valuations proffered, and disclaimers accompanying valuations undermine opinions’ meaningfulness.

Blind Reliance on Client Data and Wide-Ranging Values Gut New Venture Valuation

In a securities fraud action, appeals court upholds class certification; trial court did not err when it found direct evidence of price impact by way of event study was not necessary to show market efficiency where there was strong indirect evidence.

Tax Court Introduces Formula to Value Donated Remainder Interest

Tax Court rules for IRS in disallowing deduction for charitable contribution involving remainder interest in leased property; requisite appraisal summary omits vital information, and court’s valuation formula shows donor made gross valuation misstatement.

High Court Finds Chancery’s Weighting of Values Unexplained and Inexplicable

State Supreme Court declines to create presumption for appraisal actions that deal price is best indicator of value when merger was arm’s-length transaction, but court finds Chancery’s valuation approach lacked support in record and requires revaluation.

DCF Projections Failed to Reflect Target’s Operative Reality, Chancery Says

In joint fiduciary-appraisal action centering on Sprint’s acquisition of minority interest in related entity, Chancery says merger was entirely fair and adopts respondent expert’s DCF analysis; huge value gap is 90% due to experts’ choice of projections.

Management forecasts receive close scrutiny from courts

In assessing the soundness of valuations, courts in a variety of cases have been paying close attention to the management projections appraisers have used or decided not to use in performing their value analyses. If courts are scrutinizing projections for reliability and plausibility, experts hoping to prevail in the litigation context must do so as well.

Management projections take center stage in bankruptcy case

In a complex bankruptcy case involving players in the petrochemical industry, the court trained its eyes on the management projections underlying a merger that led to the formation of a company that went bankrupt only a year after the close of the transaction.

Court Stands Behind Earlier ESOP Liability and Damages Rulings

Notwithstanding errors related to the court’s liability and damages determinations, the court rejects trustee’s motion for reconsideration as an inappropriate effort to introduce new legal theories and a late attempt to present a competing damages methodo ...

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