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Market Trends: 3Q17 Update

The first three quarters of 2017 were active for U.S. markets.  Major indices were characterized by low volatility and upward momentum against a backdrop of tightening monetary policy and strong economic indicators.  Private equity saw steady deal flow despite challenging market conditions, and record levels of venture capital deployment were seen amidst declining deal volume as capital continued to gravita ...

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Social Capital’s Backdoor Unicorn IPO

We have recently discussed the changing dynamics of the IPO market and startups’ shifting perspectives in regards to going public.  Public offerings have not all gone wrong this year, but latest rounds of unicorn IPO flops appear to have dampened some investors’ outlook on the traditional IPO route.  Nevertheless, unicorn investors still need liquidity and are turning to creative ways to get the IPO pipelin ...

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U.S. SEC’s Piwowar Urges Companies to Pursue Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

SEC Official Suggests IPO Paperwork Could Include Arbitration Clauses Michael Piwowar, a Republican member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has suggested that companies be allowed to include mandatory arbitration clauses in paperwork for initial public offerings. To read the full article in Reuters, click: U.S. SEC’s Piwowar Urges Companies to Pursue Mandatory Arbitration Clauses. ...

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Webinar: How to Value an Early-Stage FinTech Company

In valuing a FinTech company, attention need be given to external factors such as unique industry dynamics and the regulatory environment as well as internal company factors such as risk exposure and shareholder preferences.  Hosted by Jay D. Wilson Jr., CFA, ASA, CBA, this webinar identifies the key value drivers for an early-stage FinTech company for investors, entrepreneurs, and potential partners. To re ...

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Is an Initial Coin Offering a New Way to Raise Money?

What to do when an IPO requires too much legal work and is subject to regulation and finding a venture capital partner takes too long and is full of unknowns?  Mint your own money, of course.  In this case, however, companies are minting digital coins rather than churning out physical objects. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Financial Reporting Blog, click: Is an Initial Coin Offering a New Way ...

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Consequences of Complex Capital Structures—A Coda or a Bridge?

In earlier blog posts we discussed the potentially pernicious effect of a decline in the value of pre-public companies on equity compensation granted to employees.  Sujan Rajbhandary, senior member of Mercer Capital’s Financial Reporting Valuation Group, explains that unlike preferred investors, employees also depend on their employers for current income. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Financi ...

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IPO Supply and Demand

The stock market rallied in the first five months of the year, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 reaching record highs and continuing to climb.  Megan Richards, financial analyst with Mercer Capital, explains though, that IPOs remain scarce compared to prior years. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Financial Reporting Blog, click: IPO Supply and Demand. This article is republished from Mercer Ca ...

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Non-Traditional Venture Investors are Changing the Rules of the Game

After a steady build-up since the end of the credit crisis, 2016 is going to be marked as the year when the venture capital industry lost momentum, although not for a lack of investors.  Money has continued to pour in as riskier VC investments are still expected to outperform listed alternatives.  Madeleine Harrigan, senior financial analyst with Mercer Capital, explains what is happening. To read the full ...

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Avoid These Mistakes When Planning an Exit

Why Valuation isn’t the Only Thing that Matters During an Exit A big mistake that some startup businesses make is doing whatever it takes to maximize their valuation when they exit, writes Michael Morgan, CFO of Tegile Systems.  A single-minded focus on valuation can backfire if the market enters a downturn, he writes. To read the full article in CFO, click: Avoid These Mistakes When Planning an Exit. ...

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The Cost to Obtain Liquidity

Studies in the Closely Held Company Valuation (Part II of II) In the first part of this two-part discussion, the author identified six transaction risk factors attempting to sell a controlling (including 100 percent) interest in a closely held company. Those included: 1) an uncertain time horizon to complete the offering or sale; 2) “Make ready” accounting, legal, and other costs to prepare for and execute ...

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Measuring the DLOM for a Closely Held Company Controlling Interest

Six Transaction Risks Owners Face Selling a Company that May Explain DLOM (Part I of II) In this first of a two-part article, Robert Reilly reviews the various models analysts use to estimate the DLOM and factors analysts consider in the DLOM selection. Valuation analysts often value closely held companies for transaction, taxation, financing, accounting, litigation, and other purposes. Depending on: 1) the ...

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A Layperson’s Guide to the OPM: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the OPM, But Were Afraid to Ask (Part 2)

In Part 1, Travis W. Harms, Mercer Capital Financial Reporting Valuation Group lead, walked through the mechanics of the option pricing model (OPM) with a view to making the model more intuitive to non-specialist report users.  In this post, he addresses the model from a more qualitative perspective, evaluating the model’s use and potential misuse in practical application. To read the full article in Mercer ...

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Preferences and FinTech Valuations

2015 was a strong year for FinTech.  But, there are complexities in valuing venture-backed technology companies and the ability for market/investor sentiment to shift quickly.  So, as Jay D. Wilson, Jr., vice president and senior member of Mercer Capital’s Depository Institutions practice, explains, it is important to have a valuation professional that can assess the value of the company as well as the mark ...

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Are IPOs the New Down Round?

There seems to be an imbalance between the public and private markets.  Holding private capital markets more desirable than public markets expresses and illiquidity preference.  Madeleine L. Harrigan, financial analyst with Mercer Capital, notes this is at odds with basic investment logic and the requirements of portfolio management and why it cannot continue. To read more about the results of this report i ...

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Unicorn Valuations: What’s Obvious Isn’t Real, and What’s Real Isn’t Obvious

Unicorn valuations are not directly comparable to public company valuations.  Travis Harms, leader of Mercer Capital’s Financial Reporting Valuation Group, looks at how the numbers could potentially be misleading. To read more about the results of this report in the Mercer Capital's Financial Reporting Blog, click: Unicorn Valuations: What’s Obvious Isn’t Real, and What’s Real Isn’t Obvious.  This article i ...

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The Valuation of a Closely Held Business

Distinct Qualities and Considerations (Part 2 of 2) In the first part of this series, the author looked at some of the methodologies for considering closely held or private companies. In this second part, the last of the two-part series, the author reviews some of the IRS, judicial, investment banking practices. and other considerations in the valuation process. ...

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Top Five Things Missed in Valuing Equity in Most Asset Holding Entities

The days of applying Mandelbaum and referencing a few IPO and restricted stock studies are over. This article addresses what is often omitted from most asset holding entity valuation reports. By failing to include issues like the ones outlined, the resulting adjustments are less empirical and more a "guesstimate". Valuation practitioners and their advisory clients have a duty to the users of our reports to ...

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How to Determine a DLOM for the IRS

Historical perspective and current recommendations The Internal Revenue Service published Discount for Lack of Marketability: Job Aid for IRS Professionals (Job Aid) in August of 2013.  Now, two new books provide  advice on how to prepare a DLOM and which methods valuators  should consider and why.  These will help any business valuation practice, whether working on a DLOM for the IRS or any other purpose. ...

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Want to Kill Innovation at Your Company? Go Public. —WSJ, ABJ: Citing Stanford Business School Study

Innovation Decreased by 40% at Technology Companies After They Went Public, Finds Stanford Graduate School of Business Study Leslie Kwoh at the Wall Street Journal reports that while many tech entrepreneurs dream of taking their companies public, they may want to think twice.  While public offerings raise cash, new research suggests that IPOs can also result in stunted innovation at technology firms.   Here ...

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