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Appraisal Rights Litigation Blog

Category Archives: Fair Value

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Breaking Down the Delaware Supreme Court’s DFC Global Decision**

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

As we have posted before, the Delaware Supreme Court rendered its much-awaited ruling in the DFC Global case on August 1. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the key elements of that ruling. I. No Judicial Presumption Imposing Mandatory Merger Price Ruling The Court started off its opinion by rejecting DFC Global’s request to establish… Continue Reading

Delaware Supreme Court Decides DFC Global Appeal**

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

Today the Delaware Supreme Court reversed and remanded the appraisal decision of the Chancery Court in the highly watched DFC Global case.  A more detailed post will follow, but we wanted to flag the ruling in the meantime. The court declined DFC Global’s request to impose a presumption by “judicial gloss” that would peg fair… Continue Reading

Breaking Down The Clearwire-Sprint Appraisal Ruling

Posted in Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Distinct from Fiduciary Duty Claims, Fair Value, Merger Price, Perpetuity Growth Rate, Synergies

As we previously posted, the Chancery Court appraised the fair value of Clearwire Corp. to be $2.13 per share, substantially below the $5 per share merger price paid by Sprint Nextel Corp in July 2013.  This post will provide a more detailed breakdown of the ruling and the bases for Vice Chancellor Laster’s opinion. I. The… Continue Reading

CLS BlueSky: “Reality Check” on DFC Global By Profs. Korsmo and Myers

Posted in Appraisal Arbitrage, Fair Value, Merger Price, Supreme Court

Professors Korsmo and Myers, whom we have blogged about before, have a new post on CLS Blue Sky Blog, titled “A Reality Check on the Appeals of the DFC Global Appraisal Case.”  The Professors argue that the DFC Global appeal, which we’ve been covering, presents an attempt by deal advisors “to alter Delaware’s appraisal jurisprudence[,]”… Continue Reading

In Transaction Involving “Massive” Synergies, Chancery Court Finds Fair Value at Over 50% below Merger Price

Posted in Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Fair Value, Merger Price, Synergies

Today the Delaware Chancery Court issued its ruling in the Clearwire case, which included claims for breach of fiduciary duty as well as appraisal arising from its acquisition by Sprint.  We’ll provide a more comprehensive breakdown of the decision in a later post. In the meantime, as reported today by Reuters, Hedge fund stung by… Continue Reading

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