Loss of Goodwill

DM&A has completed more than 1,000 goodwill loss appraisals since the enactment of the goodwill loss statute in California in 1976. Due to our breadth of experience, DM&A has become one of the preeminent firms in the field of goodwill loss valuation within the state.

DM&A’s experience in goodwill loss valuation assignments includes an array of businesses across numerous industries. Over the past 25 years, we have performed assignments for numerous clients, including most of the attorneys active in the eminent domain field, private business owners, and many of the major condemning agencies in the state.

Our expertise can assist clients in various phases of a project, from early in the planning phase through final resolution in court proceedings. The major categories of our goodwill loss services include:

Condemnation Appraisals

Businesses located on sites that are part of formal eminent domain proceedings require condemnation appraisals. In these assignments, we analyze various factors in order to determine the business’ goodwill value before the impact of the subject project. Our study includes management interviews and/or review of deposition transcripts, in-depth financial analysis, site and area inspections, review of leases, contracts and other relevant documents, coordination with other appraisers regarding real estate and fixtures and equipment values, and industry and economic research.

This information is utilized along with transaction data from the marketplace to arrive at the goodwill value conclusion. We then repeat this analysis for the business after the impact of the subject project. The comparison of goodwill before and after the impact of eminent domain provides the indication of loss of goodwill. Finally, we submit the loss of goodwill conclusion to our client in a form suitable for court exchange and testimony, if required.

Litigation Support

DM&A can assist clients throughout the litigation process. In the preliminary stages, we provide input on the development of, or response to, requests for specific documents in the discovery process. In addition, we help attorneys prepare questions for interrogatories and depositions of key individuals. Later, we assist in the review of other goodwill loss appraisal reports in preparation for depositions and cross-examination. Finally, we assist in the preparation of the direct testimony of firm principals, including the preparation of appropriate visual aids, and in the development of rebuttal testimony, if necessary.

Acquisition Appraisals

During the early stages of property acquisition, DM&A can provide preliminary estimates of goodwill loss. Studies are based upon data that may be provided by the business’ ownership at its discretion. This information may include interviews with management; site inspections; review of financial statements; and analysis of relevant documents such as leases, contracts, and purchase/sale agreements. In addition, we perform transactional research in light of our understanding of the business’ operations and financial condition. Acquisition appraisals are intended to be used for settlement negotiations. However, they may not be appropriate for submission in legal proceedings.

Budgetary Estimates

Public agencies often want a general understanding of their exposure to loss of goodwill claims before commencing a project. DM&A can assist in the planning phase via budgetary estimates. We base budgetary estimates upon a cursory site inspection of the subject businesses, limited transactional research, and our extensive experience in valuing loss of goodwill of comparable businesses. Due to the lack of information specific to the subject businesses, the conclusions are not appropriate for settlement negotiations or legal proceedings.

Aaron Amster has extensive experience providing appraisals and testimony in goodwill loss matters. In addition, Wesley NuttenMadeleine Mamaux, and Ricardo Goñi have qualified as expert witnesses regarding loss of goodwill in eminent domain cases.

Upon request, DM&A will provide a list of industries in which we have performed goodwill loss appraisal, as well as specific client lists and references.