Three years ago, on December 15, 2019, I began a journey and did not know where it would lead. I began walking daily at the rate of at least five miles per day. December 14, 2022, marks the end of three years. December 15, 2022, will be the three-year anniversary. Over this period of time, walking has progressed from something I wanted to do to something that I just do.
This is the fourth and likely last in a series of posts on Friedman v. Beway, and a couple of other cases on statutory fair value in New York. In this post, we examine the concluded marketability discounts in 32 New York fair value cases since about 1985. When we look at the numbers, New York courts appear to be trending to conclusions of marketability discounts at or near 0%. There are, however, a small number of exceptions to this conclusion which we discuss in the post.
In the final post in this series, we examine the actual marketability discounts concluded in statutory fair value matters since about 1985. The analysis will differentiate between appellate-level and trial court cases that stand and were not appealed. The results will likely be surprising for those interested in statutory fair value in New York.
This post provides a review of the 1995 New York Appellate Division, First Department case of Beway, which addressed certain “principles” guiding statutory fair value determinations in New York. It points out what appears to me to be a significant inconsistency in the treatment of marketability discounts based on the guidance from Beway. As will be shown, “equal treatment of all shares of the same class of stock” is not really equal treatment.
There were significant changes in Standards Rule 9-4 of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice regarding the development of business appraisals between 2005 USPAP and 2006 USPAP. The changes relate to moving from following procedures and considering approaches to a focus on developing “credible appraisal results” and analyzing “the effect on value, if any” or a number of quite specific valuation factors.
There were changes to Standards Rule 9-4(a) and 9-4(b) that shift emphasis to credible appraisal results and to introduce a focus on intangible assets for the first time. Standards Rules 9-4(c) and 9-4(d) were completely new and require appraisers to “analyze the effect on value” of a number of very specific factors that we will discuss in this post.
Appraisers who must follow USPAP, and that includes all members of the American Society of Appraisers and any appraisers conducting appraisals for gift and estate tax purposes or for other purposes involving the federal government, these standards apply. The rules apply, practically, to almost all appraisers, including those holding ABV and CVA designations.
And now for a bold conclusion at the outset: Many appraisers who focus on using restricted stock studies and pre-IPO studies as a basis for determining marketability discounts for illiquid minority interests have historically not been and are currently not providing standards-compliant appraisals for their clients.
And that’s a problem.
This 11th post in my Deja Vu series on restricted stock studies addresses the ability of any restricted stock study to help business appraisers estimate the impact of expected future dividends on the value of illiquid minority interests of companies. This is the functional equivalent of estimating and applying the marketability discount (or DLOM). The conclusion is that there is insufficient information in any restricted stock study to help estimate marketability discounts for dividend paying stocks with credibility. The same can be said for non-dividend paying companies, as well.
Business appraisers routinely use the discounted cash flow model to value entire businesses. While a growing number of appraisers use a discounted cash flow model to value illiquid minority interests of businesses (22% according to a recent Business Valuation Resources Survey), the majority of appraisers continue to rely on restricted stock studies and pre-IPO studies in their marketability discount determinations. The previous nine posts in this Deja Vu series showed the uselessness of methods based on dated restricted stock or pre-IPO studies. This tenth and final post discusses the value of businesses and business interests using the discounted cash flow model.