Ilan Hirschfeld, Partner-in-Charge of the New Jersey Offices, Quoted in Bloomberg Article, "Hamm's Hiland Worth Billions More to Kinder Than Court Value."
By Brendan Coffey
What a difference two months makes. On Nov. 10, an Oklahoma judge decreed that Harold Hamm’s 62 percent stake in pipeline system Hiland Partners LP was worth $248 million. Richard Kinder thinks it’s worth $1.4 billion.
Kinder, the billionaire founder of Kinder Morgan Inc., announced last night that his company agreed to buy Hiland for $3 billion, almost $1 billion of which is assumed debt, Kinder Morgan spokesman Larry Pierce said in an e-mail. Excluding debt and a minority portion owned by Hamm’s adult children, the Oklahoma oil billionaire will receive almost $1.3 billion before taxes under terms of the transaction.
Oklahoma state court judge Howard Haralson pegged the value of Hamm’s interest in Hiland at $248 million, as part of the court’s effort to determine the value of the estate he shared with his ex-wife, Sue Ann Arnall.
“We can’t value companies in a divorce matter based on what a theoretical buyer would attribute to it,” said Ilan Hirschfeld, the partner in charge of national divorce services for Marcum LLP, a New York accounting firm.
Arnall is contesting the divorce award, arguing it provided her with less than 10 percent of the wealth created during their marriage. Hamm also is contesting the decision, saying the division of assets was too high.
Hirschfeld said the sale probably benefits Arnall’s appeal.
“As a result of the transaction, this clearly is going to give her much stronger ammunition to say, ‘I want to look at how we value this business at $300 million in light of selling it two months later for $3 billion.’ That resonates well in a courtroom,” he said.