Michael B. Lehner, CPA/ABV, CFE, ASA
July 13, 2017
business valuation buy-sell agreements

Beware of business valuation provisions in buy-sell agreements

A recent Delaware case demonstrates how courts give substantial weight to business valuation provisions in owners’ agreements, especially when the experts maintain their independence and follow the terms of these agreements. This article explains the importance of drafting agreements between owners that cover all the value-related bases.
June 24, 2017
business valuation experts industry

How does industry risk impact business valuation?

There’s a trade-off between risk and return in business valuation. Investors expect to receive a higher return as the company exposes them to greater risk. Industry-specific risk is an important consideration when estimating an investor’s expected return. This article explains how business valuation experts measure industry risks and factor them into their analyses. A sidebar highlights the importance of defining the subject industry correctly.
June 17, 2017
DCF business valuation

DCF business valuation method is only as good as what lies beneath

This article uses a 2012 case, In re Bachrach Clothing, to illustrate that the discounted cash flow (DCF) method is only as reliable as its underlying assumptions — and the objectivity of the experts performing the analyses. The article describes the background of this case and looks at the discrepancies between the two experts’ approaches. The experts both relied on the same cash flow projections and used the DCF method — but reached radically different conclusions. The article notes the importance of supporting valuation assumptions with objective, market-derived evidence to reach a well-reasoned valuation conclusion that can withstand court scrutiny.
June 11, 2017
business valuation fraud

Business valuation professionals factor fraud into the valuation equation

When fraud strikes, it can have a major impact on a company’s value. An important part of the business valuation process is identifying potential fraud risks and gauging whether management has taken appropriate action to mitigate those risks. This article explains how valuation professionals conduct a fraud risk assessment that’s customized based on the subject company’s size and industry, as well as what to do when fraud risks materialize.
May 29, 2017

Business valuation looks to the future, not the past

When one is valuing a business, historical results are only relevant to the extent that similar results are expected in the coming years. This article explains how business valuators handle major changes to a subject company’s internal and external market conditions, such as the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new overtime regulations. A sidebar highlights the perils of valuing a business based on oversimplified forecasts.
May 21, 2017
business valuation

3 reasons why selling price isn’t necessarily a cash-equivalent value

When the value of a business is based on the sales of comparable companies under the guideline merger and acquisition (M&A) method, it’s important to understand the cash-equivalent value of comparables. Creative deal terms can make a deal more (or less) valuable than it appears on the surface. This article lists three common reasons why selling price can be misleading: installment sales, earnouts and contractual agreements with sellers. Deals with such terms may require an adjustment to arrive at a cash-equivalent value. A sidebar demonstrates how deal structure can help bridge a bid-ask spread in an M&A transaction.
May 13, 2017
business valuation

Site visits are a critical part of the business valuation process

Financial statements, tax returns and marketing materials tell only part of the story. To get a comprehensive understanding of how a business runs, a valuation expert usually needs to see it — and talk to management — firsthand. This article explains the information that may be unearthed during site visits and the types of questions to expect during management interviews.
March 20, 2017
business valuation

What’s normal? – The ins and outs of business valuation adjustments

To create an accurate picture of a company’s finances, a valuator likely will need to make various adjustments to “normalize” earnings. But determining what’s normal involves detailed analysis, as well as an understanding of the company’s current and future operations. This article talks about how appraisers determine whether to make discretionary, discount-related, or other adjustments to better reflect the future cash flow a prospective buyer could generate from a company’s operations.
September 17, 2016
business valuation hidden assets unreported income

In search of unreported income

Getting a client a fair divorce settlement is challenging enough. But when the other spouse siphons off a business’s income, there’s double trouble. That’s why it’s critical to employ a forensic expert at the first sign of malfeasance. He or she can use several accounting methods to uncover missing income in divorce cases. This article explains some of these methods.
August 22, 2016
business valuation

Using a third business valuation expert to bridge the gap

When each side to a legal dispute hires its own business valuator, the two experts are unlikely to come up with exactly the same conclusion. It sometimes makes sense to hire another valuator to identify and reconcile key differences. This article provides guidance about hiring a third valuator, including how to keep costs down and define parameters up front.