Enterprise value

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on January 29, 2024.

Definition

Enterprise value (EV) is a financial metric used to determine the total value of a company, taking into account both its equity and debt.

What is enterprise value?

This metric represents the theoretical takeover price a buyer would pay to acquire the entire business, including all outstanding debt and obligations

Here’s a list of the components of enterprise value:

  1. Market capitalisation (market cap): This is the total value of a company’s outstanding shares of common stock.
  2. Total debt: This includes all forms of debt a company owes, including bonds, loans, and other financial liabilities.
  3. Minority interests and preferred equity: These represent ownership interests in subsidiaries and other special classes of stock.
  4. Cash and cash equivalents: This includes liquid assets that can be readily converted into cash.

Enterprise value can be calculated using the following formula:

Enterprise value = market cap + total debt + minority interests – cash and cash equivalents

For potential investors, enterprise value can be a more accurate representation of the cost of a company, as it considers both the equity and debt involved in the transaction.

Companies with high levels of debt tend to have higher enterprise values compared to their market capitalisations. This is because the debt increases the theoretical acquisition cost.

While enterprise value provides a more detailed view of a company’s value, it may not capture all aspects of a company’s financial health. Other factors, such as off-balance sheet items and contingent liabilities, may need to be considered.

Enterprise value is not a standard accounting measure and is not typically reported in financial statements. It is a derived metric used for valuation purposes.

Example of enterprise value

Let’s consider a fictional company, ABC Corporation, to illustrate enterprise value:

  • Market capitalisation: £500 million
  • Total debt: £200 million
  • Cash and cash equivalents: £50 million

So, the enterprise value of ABC Corporation is £650 million.

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