An alternative to the multiple appraiser agreement, is the single appraiser agreement (SAA). There are two single appraisers’ processes. I
- Single appraiser, select now and value now
- Single appraiser, Select and Value at Trigger Event
- Single appraiser, Select Now and Value at trigger event
The preference is #1:
However, #2,3 are stopgap processes which can be used. As mentioned in both of these types, the value is delayed to sometime in the future.
Postponement of the appraiser selection and initial valuation create substantial uncertainties and potential for disagreements or disputes.
The SINGLE APPRAISER, SELECT NOW AND VALUE NOW OPTION
In the BSA, the appraiser is named and is engaged to provide an initial appraisal for purposes of the agreement.
SELECT NOW: At the creation of the BSA, the appraiser is named. All parties have a voice and can exercise their choice as difficult as it may be.
VALUE NOW: The chosen appraiser provides a baseline appraisal for the purpose of the agreement. In this method, it is recommended that the value be presented in draft and give each party a time period for consideration before entering it in the final BSA.
VALUE EACH YEAR (OR TWO) THEREAFTER: This provides great advantages:[i]
- Structure and process
- Known to all parities
- Selected appraiser is viewed as independent
- Values are seen before triggering event
- Since a draft will be provided to the participants, they can review for corrections to the mutual satisfaction
- The appraiser’s conclusion in known up front and is the price until the next appraisal, or until a trigger event
- Because the process is exercised at least once, it should go smoothly when employed at trigger events, less time consuming and less expensive than other alternatives
The single valuation process also helps the estate planning process with the annual reappraisals which will facilitate the estate planning objectives of the shareholders. For example, if the planning calls for minority discounts, the supplemental valuations at the not marketable minority level for gift and estate purposes.
[i] This type of valuation process will accommodate most small companies as for many reasons listed above.