Case Study

Fiduciary Services

Expert Witness Regarding Valuation

THE FIRE

A Petroleum Refiner had experienced long periods of depressed margins.

Due to extraordinarily poor market conditions in the refining industry, which is subject to sudden, radical shifts in margins, the value had fallen dramatically in 4 years, post a $600 million construction project.

The refiner protested the $120 million ad valorem tax valuation, insisting at public hearing, that the fair market value was only $27 million.

In State Court proceedings, the refiner’s experts testified they had reached their value conclusions by comparing the refinery to several non-operating plants, plants in poor condition, and non-complex plants in the Caribbean basin, including the long-shutdown Shell Curacao refinery.

THE RESCUE

Provided expert witness testimony in State Court proceedings on behalf of the Appraisal District (the Defendant) providing a valuation with more comparable data using complex refineries operating in the U.S., in similar markets, that supported the $120 million valuation conclusion. 

Rebutted the refiner’s expert’s valuation determination as having been improperly made by using inapplicable comparable data.

THE RESULT

The State District Court found for the Defendant, the Appraisal District.