The Changing Face of Fairness Opinions

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The face of fairness opinions is changing. In the past some said they weren’t worth the paper they were written on, as they were provided by advisors who stood to gain a success fee if the transaction succeeded. Today, fairness opinions have more value due to two major changes in the deal space: the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) decision questioning the usefulness of fairness opinions prepared by financial advisors paid a success fee; and the increased use of qualified business valuation professionals in providing fairness opinions and financial advice on major transactions.

In the following article, PwC partner Helen Mallovy Hicks discusses the OSC decision, its relevance to companies and their Boards, and the use of business valuation professionals when seeking a fairness opinion. The article was originally published in the September 2009 issue of Lexpert magazine.