The newest issue of Value Matters™, Mercer Capital’s newsletter addressing gift and estate tax, ESOP, buy-sell agreement, and transaction advisory topics of interest to estate planners and other professional advisors to business, has been published.
The focus for this issue is Gift, Estate, and Income Tax Compliance services with the lead article: Fairness Opinions: Evaluating a Buyer’s Shares from the Seller’s Perspective.
Our experience is that some, if not most, members of a board weighing an acquisition proposal do not have the background to thoroughly evaluate the buyer’s shares. Even when financial advisors are involved there still may not be a thorough vetting of the buyer’s shares because there is too much focus on “price” instead of, or in addition to, “value.”
A fairness opinion is more than a three or four page letter that opines as to the fairness from a financial point of a contemplated transaction; it should be backed by a robust analysis of all of the relevant factors considered in rendering the opinion, including an evaluation of the shares to be issued to the selling company’s shareholders. The intent is not to express an opinion about where the shares may trade in the future, but rather to evaluate the investment merits of the shares before and after a transaction is consummated.
There is other information included helpful to estate planners.