May 29, 2014 Articles

Young Lawyer Focus: Enterprise Value as Distinct from Equity Value

In reviewing business valuation reports, it is critical to ask, "What are we valuing?"

By Jeffrey L. Baliban

Business valuation reports can often be confusing not only to the uninitiated reader but to the experienced practitioner as well. It is crucial to understand what, in fact, is being valued and the circumstances under which it is being valued. One should not assume, from the context of the dispute or litigation at hand, that the business or business interest being valued corresponds to the claim allegations at hand. Rather, a good starting point for a valuation is to ascertain whether a business's assets or its equity is the subject of the valuation.

Consider the following valuation description I recently came across in a business valuation report. Can a user of this report readily ascertain what exactly the reported dollar value represents?

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