A real estate holding company with a diverse array of real estate operations serves to introduce a number of accounting and finance topics. The company owns over 11,000 acres of raw land purchased many years past, thus the use of historical cost accounting has left significant asset value off the books. The company is debt free, but a shift in corporate strategy and the use of tax-free 1231 like-kind exchanges has created an ever growing deferred tax liability. The basics of valuation, particularly income capitalization and a sum-of-the parts methodology are relevant. Finally, pressure from an outsider shareholder has put the company’s corporate strategy in flux. Management must assess its current strategy of liquidating raw land and reinvesting in income properties, or devise a new longer-term land-development strategy.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia