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Appraisal Rights Litigation Blog

Category Archives: Fair Value

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HLS Forum on Corp. Gov: “Delaware Appraisal at a Crossroads?”

Posted in Appraisal Arbitrage, Fair Value

The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation recently carried a post by Theodore Mirvis of Wachtell Lipton, “Delaware Appraisal at a Crossroads?”  This HLS Forum post discusses the recent DFC argument – which we’ve posted about – and lays out a variety of thoughts on future questions in appraisal and appraisal… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in DFC Global**

Posted in Fair Value, Merger Price, Perpetuity Growth Rate, Supreme Court

The Supreme Court heard argument yesterday from DFC Global and its dissenting stockholders. The court has not yet ruled, and nobody can predict how it will decide the case; the following questions and observations are just some of the points that different members of the full five-justice panel raised during argument: The court asked DFC Global… Continue Reading

SWS Group: The Breakdown

Posted in Beta, Comparable Companies, Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Equity Risk Premium, Fair Value, Interest on Appraised Value, Merger Price, Perpetuity Growth Rate, Size Premium

Further to our prior post about Delaware’s two new appraisal decisions, SWS Group was a small, struggling bank holding company that merged on January 1, 2015 into one of its own substantial creditors, Hilltop Holdings.  Stockholders of SWS received a mix of cash and Hilltop stock worth $6.92 at closing.  Vice Chancellor Glasscock rejected the… Continue Reading

Private Equity Weighs Appraisal Strategy

Posted in Fair Value, Number of Appraisal Rights Filings, Private Equity

This piece by Law360, “Appraisal Actions May Be The Next Frontier For PE Shops,” discusses a range of reactions to the closely watched rulings in the DFC Global and Dell appraisal cases currently on appeal before the Delaware Supreme Court.  Some commentators see the appraisal strategy becoming more attractive to private equity funds as the… Continue Reading

DFC Global a “Lightning Rod” for the Merger-Price Debate

Posted in Appraisal Arbitrage, Award Premium, Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Fair Value, Merger Price, Supreme Court

The Financial Times published this critical assessment [$$$] of the DFC Global ruling and of the appraisal arbitrage strategy more generally, observing that the pending DFC Global appeal frames the current debate about what role, if any, merger price should play in appraisal cases.

A Critique of Pegging Appraised Fair Value at Merger Price

Posted in Award Premium, Blow Provisions, Fair Value, Merger Price, Shareholder Vote

In a new post by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, Professor Albert Choi (Virginia Law School) and Professor Eric Talley (Columbia Law School) present their new working paper, which asks how best to measure “fair value” in an appraisal proceeding. Applying principles of game theory and auction design, the… Continue Reading

The Real Problem With Appraisal Arbitrage

Posted in Appraisal Arbitrage, Award Premium, Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Fair Value, Merger Price, Perpetuity Growth Rate, Stock Market Price, Supply-side Discount Rate, WACC

In response to the article on appraisal arbitrage by Gaurav Jetley and Xinyu Ji of the Analysis Group, about which we’ve posted before, Villanova Law Professor Richard A. Booth now argues in  The Real Problem With Appraisal Arbitrage [via Social Science Research Network] that Jetley and Ji’s charge against the Delaware courts for overly indulging… Continue Reading

The Case for Appraisal Rights

Posted in Award Premium, Fair Value, Interest on Appraised Value, Number of Appraisal Rights Filings

For an interesting overview of the appraisal process and a concise summary of the merits and risks associated with litigating appraisal rights, we recommend reviewing the article “Opportunistic Investing – the Case for Appraisal Rights” from Neuberger Berman’s Hedge Funds Solutions Group. In describing appraisal as a “niche, legally intensive strategy” with the “potential for… Continue Reading

Delaware Chancery Again Awards Appraisal Uplift

Posted in Award Premium, Comparable Companies, Direct Capitalization of Cash Flows, Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Fair Value, Interest on Appraised Value, Merger Price, Precedent Transactions

Delaware Chancery has again awarded appraisal petitioners a significant bump above the merger price.  In the ISN Software Corp. Appraisal Litigation, Vice Chancellor Glasscock was facing widely divergent valuation from the opposing experts, and relied exclusively on a discounted cash flow analysis as the most reliable indicator of fair value.  The court’s per-share valuation award… Continue Reading

Delaware Chancery Again Awards Value Above Merger Price

Posted in Award Premium, Beta, Comparable Companies, Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Fair Value, Interest on Appraised Value

On July 8, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued its opinion in In re Appraisal of DFC Global Corp.  A financial buyer, Lone Star Fund VIII, acquired DFC Corporation in June 2014 for $9.50 per share in an all-cash deal.  Using a combination of a discounted cash flow analysis, comparable companies analysis, and the merger… Continue Reading

Delaware Chancery Awards 28% Premium in Dell Appraisal Case

Posted in Award Premium, Fair Value, Interest on Appraised Value, Merger Price

In a highly anticipated appraisal decision, Vice Chancellor Laster today valued Dell’s common stock at $17.62 per share, reflecting a 28% premium above the $13.75 merger price that was paid to Dell shareholders on October 29, 2013.  The court further ordered that interest shall accrue on this amount at the statutory rate of interest (5%… Continue Reading

The Market-Out Exception: Delaware’s Unique Twist on a Commonly Used Anti-Appraisal Device

Posted in Appraisal-Eligible Deals, Arizona Appraisal Rights, Fair Value, Market-out Exception, Massachusetts Appraisal Rights, Stock Market Price

The so-called market-out exception precludes appraisal where the target’s stock trades in a highly liquid market.  In other words, appraisal is normally available to shareholders except, as the rationale goes, where the M&A target’s stock trades in such a liquid, highly efficient market that its stock price naturally reflects its fair value, and any M&A… Continue Reading

Delaware Chancery Looks to Merger Price in BMC Software Ruling

Posted in Appraisal Arbitrage, Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Equity Risk Premium, Fair Value, Merger Price, Synergies, Terminal Value

Vice Chancellor Glasscock issued his valuation decision this week in the BMC Software case, which we have previously blogged about concerning its threshold ruling rejecting any share-tracing requirements and thus allowing appraisal arbitrageurs to proceed with a valuation case. As we have previously reported, Merion Capital was seeking a 45% premium to the merger price,… Continue Reading

Delaware Law Does Not Require All Stockholders to Settle on Same Terms as Non-Petitioning Dissenters

Posted in Fair Value, Non-Appearing Dissenters, Notice of Demand for Appraisal

In his second appraisal decision in as many months, Chancellor Bouchard faced the novel question of whether the Chancery Court can approve a settlement between the surviving company and certain non-appearing dissenters, who had never themselves filed or joined in an appraisal petition, if the terms of that settlement are unavailable to all of the… Continue Reading

Without Fanfare, Chancellor Bouchard Hands Down First Appraisal Opinion

Posted in Award Premium, Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Distinct from Fiduciary Duty Claims, Fair Value, Operative Reality, Short-Form Merger, Terminal Value

The Delaware Chancery Court’s recent opinion in Owen v. Cannon has garnered little notice or press coverage, but deserves attention not only because the hybrid fiduciary duty-appraisal decision is Chancellor Bouchard’s first foray into the appraisal space, but because it reinforces some basic appraisal tenets and yet also bucks what some have called a recent… Continue Reading

With Unreliable Management Projections and No Market-Based Models, Delaware Chancery Pegs Fair Value to Merger Price

Posted in Appraisal Arbitrage, Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Fair Value, Merger Price, Precedent Transactions, Synergies

Delaware’s latest appraisal decision in LongPath Capital v. Ramtron International Corp. adopted the merger price as its appraisal valuation, but stands apart from the other recent appraisal decisions that likewise fell back on transaction consideration. Here, the court’s lengthy opinion repeatedly lamented the lack of any remotely reliable means of valuation other than the merger… Continue Reading

Many Roads Lead to Enterprise Value

Posted in Comparable Companies, Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Fair Value, Precedent Transactions

A widely followed corner of the blog is our “Valuation Basics” series, where in earlier posts we have described many of the components of the discounted cash flow analysis, the income-based valuation methodology preferred by Delaware’s Court of Chancery.  (See here, here, and here).  Earlier this month we examined a market-based valuation approach — the… Continue Reading

Valuation Basics: Comparable Companies Analysis

Posted in Comparable Companies, Fair Value, Valuation Basics, Valuation Expert

Our “Valuation Basics” series has focused on the various components of a discounted cash flow analysis under the income approach, which seeks to value a company based on the present value of its projected cash flows.  This post and those to follow in this series will now move away from the income approach and instead… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Affirms Without Opinion Chancery’s Resort To Merger Price

Posted in Appraisal Arbitrage, Fair Value, Independent Valuation, Interest on Appraised Value, Merger Price, Synergies

Last week the Delaware Supreme Court’s en banc hearing in the CKx case resulted in a simple affirmance, without opinion, of the Chancery Court’s 2013 decision that the merger price in this particular case was the best proxy for the fair value of petitioners’ stock.  In CKx, the Chancery Court had rejected the valuation methodologies… Continue Reading

Delaware Chancery Court Looks to Merger Price for Fair Value

Posted in Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Fair Value, Independent Valuation, Merger Price, Valuation Expert

We posted last month about the Delaware Chancery Court’s ruling in Ancestry.com, in which it upheld the growing practice of appraisal arbitrage. The Chancery Court has now rendered its valuation decision in that case, finding the merger price itself to be the most fair measure of stockholder value on a going concern basis. As Reuters… Continue Reading