マネー・マネージャーのセス・クラーマンの著書『Margin of Safety』から、今回からは清算価値の話題です。企業清算や分割は(少なくとも現代の)日本ではあまりなじみのない慣行です。そのためこの話題は退屈に感じるかもしれませんが、企業価値を評価する手段のひとつとして飛ばさずに取りあげます。前回分はこちらです。(日本語は拙訳)





Liquidation Value

The liquidation value of a business is a conservative assessment of its worth in which only tangible assets are considered and intangibles, such as going-concern value, are not. Accordingly, when a stock is selling at a discount to liquidation value per share, a near rock-bottom appraisal, it is frequently an attractive investment.

A liquidation analysis is a theoretical exercise in valuation but not usually an actual approach to value realization. The assets of a company are typically worth more as part of a going concern than in liquidation, so liquidation value is generally a worst-case assessment. Even when an ongoing business is dismantled, many of its component parts are not actually liquidated but instead are sold intact as operating entities. Breakup value is one form of liquidation analysis; this involves determining the highest value of each component of a business, either as an ongoing enterprise or in liquidation. Most announced corporate liquidations are really breakups; ongoing business value is preserved whenever it exceeds liquidation value.

How should investors value assets in a liquidation analysis? An orderly liquidation over time is virtually certain to realize greater proceeds than a "fire sale," but time is not always available to a company in liquidation. When a business is in financial distress, a quick liquidation (a fire sale) may maximize the estate value. In a fire sale the value of inventory, depending on its nature, must be discounted steeply below carrying value. Receivables should probably be significantly discounted as well; the nature of the business, the identity of the customer, the amount owed, and whether or not the business is in any way ongoing all influence the ultimate realization from each receivable.

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