We have compiled a library of articles written by the professionals of Mercer Capital. This library contains our most recent articles, as well as older pieces for your information.
These articles feature relevant and useful advice on a range of strategic matters related to the bankruptcy and restructuring process.
The valuation techniques for identifiable intangible assets are rooted in the fundamental elements of business valuation, cash flow and risk, under the cost, market, and income approaches. However, when valuing identifiable intangible assets, we use valuation methods adapted to the unique attributes of those assets.
Mercer Capital is the leading provider of buy-sell agreement valuation services in the nation. Business owners, attorneys, and other business advisors who are either subject to a buy-sell or shareholder agreement or draft these agreements will find the content here helpful.
The creation of buy-sell agreements involves a certain amount of future-thinking. The parties must think about what could, might, or will happen and write an agreement that will work for all sides in the event an agreement is triggered at some unknown time in the future. This article addresses the important characteristics of buy-sell agreements that are important for business owners and for attorneys advising them.
Reviews of Tax Court and other court cases addressing valuation issues of importance to shareholders and professional advisors to business are contained here.
Corporate valuation articles cover a broad range of topics of interest to business owners and their professional advisors.
Mercer Capital understands ESOPs because we are an ESOP-owned firm. Articles included are written for Trustees and other professional advisors to ESOP companies and address a broad range of ESOP valuation issues.
In recent years there has been increasing concern among ESOP sponsors and professional advisors (trustees, TPAs, business appraisers, legal counsel) regarding the scrutiny of the DOL, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”), and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). These entities (and agencies thereof) are tasked with ensuring that ESOPs comply with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) as well as with various provisions of the federal income tax code concerning qualified retirement plans (including ESOPs). Citing concerns for poor quality and inconsistency in business appraisals, the DOL has sought in recent years to expand the meaning of “fiduciary” under ERISA to include business appraisers. In this article, Timothy R. Lee focuses on the use of financial projections in ESOP valuations. The use (or misuse) of financial projections is often the most direct cause of over- or under-valuation in ESOPs.
Mercer Capital provides financial education services and other strategic financial consulting to family businesses
As family businesses evolve, the family’s leaders need to determine the appropriate relationship between membership in the family and ownership in the business. As the third, fourth, and subsequent generations of the family reach adulthood, it becomes increasingly likely that the interests of at least some family members will diverge from the interests of the business. Family businesses can adopt one of two broad strategies to address this situation: (1) Maintain broad-based ownership and make positive shareholder engagement a strategic priority; or, (2) Use share redemptions and liquidity programs to achieve concentrated ownership among a subset of the family. Neither strategy is inherently superior to the other. We discussed the benefits (and challenges) of developing positive shareholder engagement in a prior article. In this article, we focus on the second strategy.
Focusing primarily on banks, the articles contained here cover a wide array of topics, including valuation basics, financial reporting issues, transaction issues, and industry commentary.
2020 was a tough year for most of us. Schools and churches closed, sports were cancelled, and many lost their jobs. There were a select few, however, that thrived during 2020. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk saw a meteoric rise in their personal net worth over the past 12 months. Mortgage bankers are another group showered with unexpected riches last year (and apparently this year).
We have broad experience with fair value issues related to public and private companies, financial institutions, private equity firms, start-up enterprises, and other closely held businesses. CFOs, controllers, and auditors, among others, will find the articles here useful.
Most financial professionals understand that goodwill impairment testing is typically performed annually, usually near the end of a Company’s fiscal year. In fact, many companies just completed an impairment test as of year-end 2019. But the unprecedented events precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic now raise questions about whether an interim goodwill impairment test is warranted.
Mercer Capital’s industry articles cover a broad range of topics of interest to business owners and their professional advisors.
Personal goodwill was an issue in several of our recent litigated divorce engagements. It is more prevalent in certain industries than others and varies from matter to matter. However, although there are several accepted methodologies to determine personal goodwill, there is not a textbook that discusses where it exists and where it doesn’t. Before any attempts to measure and quantify it, an important question to ask is “Does it exist?” Often with ambiguous concepts like personal goodwill, the adage “you know it when you see it” is most appropriate. In this article, we examine personal and enterprise goodwill using a specific fact pattern unique to the auto dealership industry. Beyond this illustrative example, the analyses can be applied in other industries, but must be considered carefully for the unique facts and circumstances of each matter.
Mercer Capital brings over 30 years of experience to the field of dispute analysis and litigation support. These articles are written to assist attorneys and other stakeholders when facing a dispute.
The discount rate is the key factor in business valuation that converts future dollars into present value as of the valuation date. In this article, we examine the various components of a discount rate. Then, we relate the discount rate to rates of return of other investments that should provide a commonsense road map for what is reasonable and what is not.
Mercer Capital has been providing objective valuations for tax compliance since 1982. Estate planners, business owners, and other professional advisors will find these articles of interest.
All fair market determinations involve assumptions regarding how buyers and sellers would behave in a transaction involving the subject asset. In a recent Tax Court case, the IRS appraiser applied a novel valuation rationale predicated on transactions that would occur involving assets other than the subject interests being valued. In its ruling, the Court concluded that this approach transgressed the boundaries of what may be assumed in a valuation.
Mercer Capital has been successfully executing mergers & acquisitions for a broad spectrum of middle-market companies since the mid-1980s, as well as providing fairness opinions and other transaction-related consulting services. The articles here address topics of interest to business owners who are seeking to transition their businesses and to shareholders interested in transaction issues.
For family business directors, 2021 should be an opportune time to consider making an acquisition. General indications on valuation suggest that the private company M&A market has not been priced-up at anywhere near what has been seen in the public markets. While this difference may be caused by a public market over-valuation issue that is “corrected” in the short-term, it suggests that there could be positive momentum in private company valuations as the economy continues to move through subsequent stages of the post-pandemic recovery. A good M&A deal can be made even better with favorable financing, which should be available to many borrowers in the current environment. We can’t predict the future, but those who take a buyer’s view of the M&A market now might be rewarded with enhanced returns. With pent up demand and a high availability of capital, we anticipate a rise in M&A activity over the next year with the best valuations and financing deals likely favoring the early bidders.