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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.

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.

Highlights of 2020 Delaware Valuation Decisions

This article discusses two 2020 Supreme Court decisions and eight decisions by the Court of Chancery.

The Top Valuation and Damages Cases of 2020

Our pick of valuation-related court cases includes state and federal court decisions covering many areas of law that dealt with novel issues of law or, in some way, enhanced our understanding of valuation and damages issues as they arose in a litigation setting.

2020 Top Business Valuation and Damages Cases

Complicated as the year 2020 was, it was not boring. The past year offered a wealth of lawsuits dealing with business valuation and economic damages issues. The list below shows our Top 10.

Global BVU News and Trends October 2020

Business valuation news from a global perspective.

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.

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.

Flaws in North Carolina Court’s Appraisal of Reynolds American

The wrong valuation date, a faulty reliance on other cases and the disregard of projections highlight the court’s opinion in a shareholder dissent case involving two tobacco giants.

In a crunch, court adopts company’s DCF model as fair value indicator

In a statutory appraisal action prompted by the 2016 buyout of minority shareholders by the controller of a private company, the Delaware Court of Chancery recently found there was no meaningful market-based evidence of fair value and neither expert opinion, based on standard valuation methods, was “wholly reliable.”

Advising clients on the meaning of ‘fair value’

The phrase ‘fair value’ continues to bedevil the high courts and create very different expectations when parties are forced to figure out what to pay when buying and selling.

Fair Value Standard Does Not Preclude Use of Net Asset Approach, Court Affirms

In statutory appraisal case, court denies summary judgment motion arguing opposing expert’s valuation fails to meet legal definition of fair value, i.e., “the value of the company as a whole and as a going concern”; court says controlling case law does not preclude use of net asset value method.

Henley Mining v. Parton

In statutory appraisal case, court denies summary judgment motion arguing opposing expert’s valuation fails to meet legal definition of fair value, i.e., “the value of the company as a whole and as a going concern”; court says controlling case law does not preclude use of net asset value method.

Kruse v. Synapse Wireless, Inc.

In appraisal action arising out of controller’s buyout of minority stockholders, court finds there is no reliable market evidence as to target’s fair value on merger date; none of expert valuations are “wholly reliable,” but one expert’s DCF analysis offers a “proportionately reliable conclusion.”

Lacking Any Wholly Reliable Indicators of Fair Value, Court Adopts Respondent's DCF Model

In appraisal action arising out of controller's buyout of minority stockholders, court finds there is no reliable market evidence as to target's fair value on merger date; none of expert valuations are "wholly reliable," but one expert's DCF analysis offers a "proportionately reliable conclusion."

Fir Tree Value Master Fund v. Jarden Corp., (Jarden III)

High court affirms trial court’s use of unaffected market price as fair value in statutory appraisal involving merger of publicly traded company; high court rejects petitioners’ late argument that, where sale process was flawed and company failed to prove synergies, deal price should act as floor.

No ‘Long-Recognized Principle’ Against Use of Market Price as Fair Value Indicator, High Court Says

High court affirms trial court’s use of unaffected market price as fair value in statutory appraisal involving merger of publicly traded company; high court rejects petitioners’ late argument that, where sale process was flawed and company failed to prove synergies, deal price should act as floor.

North Carolina court looks to deal price for fair value in tobacco merger

The importance of Delaware appraisal jurisprudence beyond state borders was on display in a recent fair value decision out of North Carolina related to a merger involving the tobacco giant Reynolds.

Reynolds American Inc. v. Third Motion Equities Master Fund Ltd.

In appraisal action involving merger of public (tobacco) company, court, guided by key Delaware court decisions, says deal price best reflects fair value and represents upper limit; contemporaneous valuations based on comparable companies, precedent transactions, and DCF support use of deal price.

North Carolina Court Says Deal Price Represents Upper Limit of Tobacco Company’s Fair Value

In appraisal action involving merger of public (tobacco) company, court, guided by key Delaware court decisions, says deal price best reflects fair value and represents upper limit; contemporaneous valuations based on comparable companies, precedent transactions, and DCF support use of deal price.

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.

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.

Untested beta calculation KOs expert’s credibility and fair value conclusion

In a statutory appraisal case with several twists, the Delaware Court of Chancery recently agreed with the parties’ experts that a discounted cash flow analysis was the only way to determine fair value while rejecting, unequivocally, the company expert’s novel approach to calculating beta.

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.

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