Category: Valuation – DCF and CUT/CUPs

In transfer pricing, valuation of (intangibles) assets are often based on a prior acquisitions of shares in the relevant business – CUT/CUPs.

In situations where reliable CUP for a transfer of assets cannot be identified, it may also be possible to use valuation techniques to estimate the arm’s length price for assets transferred between associated enterprises.

In particular, the application of income based valuation techniques, premised on the calculation of the discounted value of projected future income streams or cash flows derived from the exploitation of the intangible being valued, may be useful.

Depending on the facts and circumstances, valuation techniques may be used by taxpayers and tax administrations as a part of one of the five OECD transfer pricing methods described in Chapter II, or as a tool that can be usefully applied in identifying an arm’s length price.

US vs Amazon, August 2019, US Court of Appeal Ninth Circut, Case No. 17-72922

US vs Amazon, August 2019, US Court of Appeal Ninth Circut, Case No. 17-72922

In the course of restructuring its European businesses in a way that would shift a substantial amount of income from U.S.-based entities to the European subsidiaries, appellee Amazon.com, Inc. entered into a cost sharing arrangement in which a holding company for the European subsidiaries made a “buy-in” payment for Amazon’s assets that met the regulatory definition of an “intangible.” See 26 U.S.C. § 482. Tax regulations required that the buy-in payment reflect the fair market value of Amazon’s pre-existing intangibles. After the Commissioner of Internal Revenue concluded that the buy-in payment had not been determined at arm’s length in accordance with the transfer pricing regulations, the Internal Revenue Service performed its own calculation, and Amazon filed a petition in the Tax Court challenging that valuation. At issue is the correct method for valuing the preexisting intangibles under the then-applicable transfer pricing regulations. The Commissioner sought ... Continue to full case
Norway vs Normet Norway AS, March 2019, Borgarting Lagmannsrett, Case No 2017-202539

Norway vs Normet Norway AS, March 2019, Borgarting Lagmannsrett, Case No 2017-202539

In January 2013 the Swiss company Normet International Ltd acquired all the shares in the Norwegian company Dynamic Rock Support AS (now Normet Norway AS) for a price of NOK 78 million. In February 2013 all intangibles in Dynamic Rock Support AS was transfered to Normet International Ltd for a total sum of NOK 3.666.140. The Norwegian tax authorities issued an assessment where the arm’s length value of the intangibles was set at NOK 58.2 million. The Court of Appeal upheld the tax assessment issued by the tax authorities and rejected the appeal. Click here for translation Norway vs Normet 190319 Share: ... Continue to full case
Norway vs Cytec, March 2019, Borgarting Lagmannsrett, Case No 2017-90184

Norway vs Cytec, March 2019, Borgarting Lagmannsrett, Case No 2017-90184

The question in the case was whether Cytec Norway KS (now Allnex Norway A/S) had paid an arm’s length price for an intra-group transfer of intangible assets in 2010. Cytec Norway KS had set the price for the accquired intangibles at NOK 210 million and calculated tax depreciations on that basis. The Norwegian tax authorities found that no intangibles had actually been transferred. The tax Appeals Committee determined that intangibles had been transferred but only at a total value of NOK 45 million. The Court of appeal upheld the dicision of the Tax Appeals Committee, where the price for tax purposes was estimated at NOK 44.9 million. Click here for translation Norway vs Cytec 19 March 2019, Borgarting Lagmannsrett Case No 2017-90184 Share: ... Continue to full case
Denmark vs Water Utility Companies, November 2018, Danish Supreme Court, Case no 27/2018 and 28/2018

Denmark vs Water Utility Companies, November 2018, Danish Supreme Court, Case no 27/2018 and 28/2018

These two triel cases concerned the calculation of the basis for tax depreciation (value of assets) in a number of Danish Water utility companies which had been established in the years 2006 – 2010 in connection with a public separation of water supply and wastewater utility activities. The valuation of the assets would form the basis for the water utility companies’ tax depreciation. The transfer was controlled and subject to Danish arm’s length provisions. The Supreme Court found that the calculation method (DCF) used by the Danish Tax Agency did not provide a suitable basis for calculating the tax value of the transferred assets. The Court stated that for water supply and wastewater treatment it is true that the companies are legaly obligated to provide these facilities and that the governmental regulation of the activity – the “rest in itself” principle – means that no income can be ... Continue to full case
Norway vs. A AS, October 2017, Tax Tribunal, NS 71/2017

Norway vs. A AS, October 2017, Tax Tribunal, NS 71/2017

A Norwegian company, A, first acquired shares in Company C from a unrelated party D for tNKR 625. Company A then transferred the acquired shares in C to a subsidiary E, a shell company established by C for the purpose of the transaction. Company A then sold the shares in subsidiary E to the unrelated party D, from which it had originally bought the shares in C, for tNKR 3830, a price almost six times higher than the acquisition price, in a tax free transfer. Based on these facts, the Norwegian tax administration adjusted the price of the intra-group transfer shares in C from A to E. The Norwegian tax tribunal decided that the valuation af the shares in the intra-group transfer could be based on a linear appreciation in the share value. Click here for translation Norway vs AS 27 november 2017 SKATTEKLAGENEMDA NS ... Continue to full case
France vs. Havas, July 2017, CE, No 400644

France vs. Havas, July 2017, CE, No 400644

The French Court considers that in the event of a transfer of shares, the goodwill recognized at the acquisition of the shares shall no longer be included in the balance sheet of the parent company. Share: ... Continue to full case
US vs. Amazon, March 2017, US Tax Court, Case No. 148 T.C. No 8

US vs. Amazon, March 2017, US Tax Court, Case No. 148 T.C. No 8

Amazon is an online retailer that sells products through Amazon.com and related websites. Amazon also sells third-party products for which it receives a commissions. In a series of transactions  in 2005 and 2006, Amazon US transferred intangibles to Amazon Europe, a newly established European HQ placed in Luxembourg. A Cost Sharing Arrangement (“CSA”), whereby Amazon US and Amazon Europe agreed to share costs of further research, development, and marketing in proportion to the benefits A License Agreement, whereby Amazon US granted Amazon Europe the right to Amazon US’s Technology IP An Assignment Agreement, whereby Amazon US granted Amazon Europe the right to Amazon US’s Marketing IP and Customer Lists. For these transfers Amazon Europe was required to make an upfront buy-in payment and annual payments according to the cost sharing arrangement for ongoing developments of the intangibles. In the valuation, Amazon had considered the intangibles to have ... Continue to full case
US vs. Veritas Software Corporation, December 2009

US vs. Veritas Software Corporation, December 2009

The issue in the VERITAS case involved the calculation of the buy-in payment under VERITAS’ cost sharing arrangement with its Irish affiliate. VERITAS US assigned all of its existing European sales agreements to VERITAS Ireland. Similarly,VERITAS Ireland was given the rights to use the covered intangibles and to use VERITAS US’s trademarks, trade names and service marks in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and in Asia-Pacific and Japan. In return, VERITAS Ireland agreed to pay royalties to VERITAS US in exchange for the rights granted. The royalty payment included a prepayment amount (i.e. lump-sum payment) along with running royalties that were subject to revision to maintain an arm’s length rate. Thereafter, VERITAS Ireland began co-developing, manufacturing and selling VERITAS products in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa markets as well as in the Asia-Pacific and Japan markets. These improvements, along with the establishment of new ... Continue to full case
US vs GlaxoSmithKline Holdings, September 2006, IR-2006-142

US vs GlaxoSmithKline Holdings, September 2006, IR-2006-142

In September 2006 the Internal Revenue Service announced that it has successfully resolved a transfer pricing dispute with Glaxo SmithKline. Under the settlement agreement, GSK will pay the Internal Revenue Service approximately $3.4 billion, and will abandon its claim seeking a refund of $1.8 billion in overpaid income taxes, as part of an agreement to resolve the parties’ long-running  transfer pricing dispute for the tax years 1989 through 2005. See also the GlaxoSmithKlein decision from july 2001 The IRS announcement US glaxosmithkline_no_5750-04_2006-irs__settlement Share: ... Continue to full case
US vs. DHL. April 2002, U.S. Court of Appeals

US vs. DHL. April 2002, U.S. Court of Appeals

When DHL sold the “DHL” trademark to DHL International, the IRS disagreed with DHL’s evaluation of the arms-length price of the intellectual property and used its authority under Section 482 to reallocate income and impose penalties. DHL appealed the IRS ruling and the tax court upheld the IRS allocation to DHL. In this decision the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the tax court’s application of Section 482 to the sale of the trademark and the $100 million valuation for the intangible asset, but reversed the tax court’s rejection of a $50 million value of the foreign trademark rights, as asserted by DHL. DHL April 11 2002 United States Court of Appeals And the prior decision of the Tax Court US-vs.-DHL.TCM_.WPD Share: ... Continue to full case
US vs NESTLE HOLDINGS INC, July 1998, Court of Appeal, 2nd Circuit, Docket Nos 96-4158 and 96-4192

US vs NESTLE HOLDINGS INC, July 1998, Court of Appeal, 2nd Circuit, Docket Nos 96-4158 and 96-4192

In this case, experts had utilized the relief-from-royalty method in the valuation of trademarks. On this method the Court noted: “In our view, the relief-from-royalty method necessarily undervalues trademarks. The fair market value of a trademark is the price a willing purchaser would have paid a willing seller to buy the mark…The relief-from-royalty model does not accurately estimate the value to a purchaser of a trademark. Royalty models are generally employed to estimate an infringer’s profit from its misuse of a patent or trademark… Resort to a royalty model may seem appropriate in such cases because it estimates fairly the cost of using a trademark… However, use of a royalty model in the case of a sale is not appropriate because it is the fair market value of a trademark, not the cost of its use, that is at issue. A relief-from-royalty model fails to ... Continue to full case
Georgia Pacific Corp vs. United States Plywood Corp, May 1970

Georgia Pacific Corp vs. United States Plywood Corp, May 1970

This case is about valuation (not transfer pricing as such) and is commonly referred to in international valuation practice. In this decisions, the following 15 factors were relied upon to determine the type of monetary payments that would compensate for a patent infringement: 1. The royalties received by the licensor for licensing the intangible, proving or tending to prove an established royalty. 2. The rates paid by the licensee for the use of other similar intangibles. 3. The nature and scope of the license, such as whether it is exclusive or nonexclusive, restricted or non-restricted in terms of territory or customers. 4. The licensor’s policy of maintaining its intangible monopoly by licensing the use of the invention only under special conditions designed to preserve the monopoly. 5. The commercial relationship between the licensor and licensees, such as whether they are competitors in the same territory ... Continue to full case