Market Cap vs. Firm Value vs. Enterprise Value?

fa1313's picture
Rank: Baboon | 132

Hello,

What are the differences between these 3 values? Which one do I pay if I want to acquire a company?

Which value does FCFE valuation give?
Which value does FCFF valuation give?

Thanks in advance.

Equity vs. Enterprise Value for Acquisitions

Usually in an acquisition scenario, press will publish both the equity and enterprise value price for the company. When you purchase the entirety of a company - you are assuming both the debt and equity of the business. The liabilities of the old company are now your liabilities so that is an inherent cost of buying the business. With that in mind - you can accurately say that the enterprise value is what you are paying when you acquire a company. It is the most accurate representation of the cost of the business.

Difference Between Firm Value and Enterprise Value

While firm value is an ambiguous term, it is likely that firm value is synonymous with enterprise value.

What is Enterprise Value?

Enterprise Value (also known as EV) is a metric that attempts to reflect the market value of a firm. It can be used as an alternative to market capitalization.

Essentially, Enterprise Value attempts to provide a more accurate valuation aimed at a buyer.

The calculation for Enterprise Value is:

  • Market Capitalization + Debt + Minority Interest + Preferred Shares - Cash & Cash Equivalents

Enterprise Value is a far better metric when considering mergers and acquisitions as it provides a 'truer' valuation of a company by considering more factors than market capitalization, the main one being debt.

Unlevered Free Cash Flow and Enterprise Value

Typically when someone is refering to free cash flow, they are refering to unlevered free cash flow which is the cash flow available to all investors, both debt and equity. When performing a discounted cash flow with unlevered free cash flow - you will calculate the enterprise value.

Free cash flow is calculated as EBIT (or operating income) * (1 - tax rate) + Depreciation + Amortization - change in net working capital - capital expenditures.

Levered Free Cash Flow and Equity Value

While unlevered free cash flow looks at the funds that are available to all investors, levered free cash flow looks for the cash flow that is available to just equity investors. It is also thought of as cash flow after a firm has met its financial obligations. When performing a discounted cash flow with levered free cash flow - you will calculate the equity value.

Levered free cash flow is calculated as Net Income (which already captures interest expense) + Depreciation + Amortization - change in net working capital - capital expneditures - mandatory debt payments.

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Comments (11)

Dec 28, 2014

Market cap= total value of all outstanding common equity securities. Enterprise Value is market cap + net debt (debt minus cash). If you are acquiring a company in full, you would be paying the Enterprise Value as you are assuming their debt load as well.

Dec 28, 2014

And firm value is enterprise value + cash (or equity + debt + preferred).

Dec 29, 2014
cheese86:

Market cap= total value of all outstanding common equity securities. Enterprise Value is market cap + net debt (debt minus cash). If you are acquiring a company in full, you would be paying the Enterprise Value as you are assuming their debt load as well.

Thanks for the answer. But I didn't get the last part. If I want to buy a company, I think I should pay the market cap.

Price x shares outstanding = market cap

If I buy all shares, I'll own the company. Isn't that right? :/

Dec 29, 2014
fa1313:
cheese86:

Market cap= total value of all outstanding common equity securities. Enterprise Value is market cap + net debt (debt minus cash). If you are acquiring a company in full, you would be paying the Enterprise Value as you are assuming their debt load as well.

Thanks for the answer. But I didn't get the last part. If I want to buy a company, I think I should pay the market cap.

Price x shares outstanding = market cap

If I buy all shares, I'll own the company. Isn't that right? :/

sure...but what happens to the company's debt then? who assumes it after you've bought over 100% of the equity?

Dec 29, 2014
cheese86:

Market cap= total value of all outstanding common equity securities. Enterprise Value is market cap + net debt (debt minus cash). If you are acquiring a company in full, you would be paying the Enterprise Value as you are assuming their debt load as well.

NO - this is incorrect

if you are acquiring the enterprise value you are acquiring the business on a cash free, debt free basis. Most private M&A buyers are acquiring enterprise value. For example, if $150M in EV, buyer is paying $150M, and the seller gets to keep the cash and pay off the debt. If there is $100M of debt on the business, seller nets $50M.

In public M&A, buyers are acquiring the equity value (i.e. they are assuming the cash and debt). Shareholders look at price per share when they consider to vote yes or no for a merger so buyers need to express their bids in terms of price per share, which is equity value

In short, if you are acquiring enterprise value you are not assuming cash/debt (seller keeps), if you are acquiring equity value buyer assumes all cash and debt

Dec 29, 2014

OK fiji-so on a net basis you are saying the same thing. But, since you obviously are proud to have passed Finance 101 and are telling me that I'm wrong (when in fact I'm not), I'll add a wrinkle here-the seller does not necessarily keep the cash and pay off the debt in private M&A-the acquirer will often "credit enhance" old debt and leave it outstanding until it can be taken out at a reasonable level after the make-whole period. If the debt is going to trade through the typical 101 change of control put, the debt holders at the acquired entity will prefer to remain outstanding and the company will often leave them outstanding until they can be called cheaper.

Dec 28, 2014

FCFF is the cash available to all debt & equity investors in the firm. FCFE is the cash available to shareholders after all expenses, reinvestment and debt repayments. FCFE = FCFF - [Interest x (1-Tax Rate)] + Net Borrowing

Dec 28, 2014

People use firm value and enterprise value interchangeably. I guess there is technically a difference, but I think most people mean enterprise value when they say firm value.

Dec 29, 2014

firm value is enterprise value. equity value is market cap.

Dec 30, 2014

You guys are making this shit too complicated. The point is you want to be able to have a way of looking at a business or potential acquisition in a way that isnt biased by the current capital structure, so you can freely use one metric to compare across different businesses. That is enterprise value - the value of the business operations, Debt + Equity - Assets not needed to run the business.

Firm value does not subtract excess assets, otherwise it is the same as Enterprise value. So unlike EV, firm value is affected by items such as excess cash or securities when comparing two different firms.

When looking at an acquisition you want to look at enterprise value regardless of the situation. Even if you are acquiring a public target and assuming debt, and your offer is in dollars per share, for your own sake you want to know what price you are actually paying for the entire business. Because you could have another target with no debt; if you compared the two targets just looking at the price you are paying for equity, the second may appear much higher priced even if in reality you are paying the same price for both businesses. Assumed debt has a real economic cost. Likewise excess cash and assets can be liquidated and have a real economic benefit.

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Dec 30, 2014
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