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Appraisal Rights Litigation Blog

Category Archives: Merger Price

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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

Delaware Chancery Hands Down Two New Appraisal Rulings

Posted in Appraisal Arbitrage, Merger Price

The Delaware Chancery Court just issued two significant appraisal rulings, the PetSmart opinion on Friday — awarding petitioners the merger price — and the SWS Group decision on Monday, which actually awarded stockholders less than the merger price.  We will post separately about our observations on these rulings. In the meantime, one immediate reaction is… 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.

“Appraisal Risks Factor High”

Posted in Appraisal Conditions, August 2016 Amendments, Entitlement to Appraisal, Merger Price

Cooley LLP highlights that increased appraisals are being factored into mergers.  Following up on a previous piece, Cooley LLP notes that appraisal costs can be large, referencing the over $50 million added to the merger price in Dell, and further comments on the rise of appraisal claims, which Cooley calculates as a 267% increase from… Continue Reading

CLS BlueSky: Podcast with Vice Chancellor Laster

Posted in Award Premium, Merger Price, No Proof of Wrongdoing Needed

In a recent podcast, the Columbia Law School BlueSky Blog features Delaware Vice Chancellor Laster – whose appraisal decisions we have covered repeatedly – discussing the appraisal remedy.  While the entire podcast is certainly worth a listen, some important topics include the history of appraisal (~1:30); when markets may depart from fair value (~5:50); how appraisal may act as a reserve price (~9:30); the discovery… Continue Reading

More Academic Commentary on the Role of Merger Price in Appraisal

Posted in Award Premium, Merger Price, Supreme Court

Professor Guhan Subramanian of the Harvard Business School, who was one of the Dell stockholders’ experts in the Dell appraisal case focused on the M&A deal process, has developed an ostensive “middle ground” between the competing approaches advanced by the respective amicus briefs filed by some two dozen law and economics professors in the DFC… Continue Reading

Delaware Supreme Court Accepts Amicus Brief of Law & Economics Professors Resisting Merger Price Rule

Posted in Award Premium, Merger Price, Supreme Court

Further to our posts about the DFC Global appeal, today the Delaware Supreme Court granted the February 3 motion by the Law & Economics Professors arguing against the adoption of a presumption requiring chancellors to defer to merger price in all M&A deals resulting from an apparently robust auction process.  The Supreme Court is now… Continue Reading

DFC Global Appeal Sets Stage for “Intellectual Cage Match”

Posted in Award Premium, Merger Price, Supreme Court

Further to our recent post about the newest amicus brief offered up to the Delaware Supreme Court — arguing against the adoption of a merger price rule in appraisal cases — the Business Law Prof Blog posted this balanced assessment of the competing amici  briefs and highlighted their key takeaways.  Quoting in turn to the… Continue Reading

New Group of Law Professors Seeks to be Heard by Delaware Supreme Court**

Posted in Award Premium, Merger Price, Supreme Court

Further to our prior posts on DFC Global’s appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court, a new group of law and economics professors moved the Court on Friday to consider their brief rebutting the amicus brief previously filed in support of DFC Global’s appeal; the prior brief argued for instituting a new rule requiring deference to… Continue Reading

Delaware Supreme Court Allows Law Professors to Be Heard in DFC Global Appeal

Posted in Award Premium, Merger Price, Supreme Court

We have posted before about the amicus brief that a collection of law professors has asked to put before the Delaware Supreme Court as it hears the DFC Global appeal.  On Friday, the Supreme Court granted their request and will consider their submission advocating that the chancery courts should defer to the merger price when… Continue Reading

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

DFC Global Stockholders Urge Supreme Court to Disregard Professors’ Insistence on Merger Price as “Academic Fantasy”

Posted in Award Premium, Merger Price, Supreme Court

We have blogged before about the purported “friend of the court” brief that a group of law professors would like to file with the Delaware Supreme Court, urging the Court to reverse the Chancery Court’s ruling awarding DFC Global stockholders a premium to the merger price. The stockholders have now filed their own brief opposing… Continue Reading

Professors Weigh In On DFC Global Appeal

Posted in Award Premium, Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Merger Price, Supreme Court

We posted earlier this week about DFC Global’s appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court, challenging Chancellor Bouchard’s award to stockholders of a premium over merger price.  Yesterday, a group of law and corporate finance professors from various universities moved the Supreme Court to allow them to file so-called amici curiae briefs as non-party “friends of… Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Review DFC Global Award

Posted in Award Premium, Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Merger Price, Supreme Court

We’ve posted before about the DFC Global decision, in which Chancellor Bouchard awarded a 7% premium over merger price, and then further increased that uplift by 9 cents in a ruling on reconsideration.  That ruling is now on appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court, and the appellant’s brief was submitted last week. As reported in… Continue Reading

Lender Processing Dissenters Receive Merger Price

Posted in Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Interest on Appraised Value, Merger Price, Synergies

Today Vice Chancellor Laster issued a new appraisal ruling, Merion Capital LP v Lender Processing Services, pegging the appraised fair value to the merger price. The court found no reason to depart from merger price given the apparently reliable sale process and reliable projections.  The court performed its own DCF valuation, which came out 4%… Continue Reading

Delaware Chancery Again Rejects Merger Price and Awards Premium

Posted in Award Premium, Closely Held Target, Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Discounted Net Income Analysis, Equity Risk Premium, Guideline Public Company Valuation, Independent Valuation, Merger Price, Perpetuity Growth Rate, Precedent Transactions

In Farmers & Merchants Bancorp, an appraisal case involving a small closely-held community bank that was sold in a stock-for-stock deal valued at $83 per share, Chancellor Bouchard disregarded merger price, as well as the “wildly divergent valuations” of both sides’ experts.  He arrived at an independent valuation of $91.90 per share based on his… 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