Establishing a Value for the Target Company

An acquiring company may be interested in acquiring entire business or just acquiring individual assets and selling off the rest of the assets. When considering a merger, companies can use capital budgeting techniques to find the value of the company. If the net present value of the relevant cash flows is positive then a merger is considered acceptable.

If the acquiring company is interested in the whole business rather than in just few assets of the target company then post-merger pro forma statements for the target company should be prepared and the cost of capital of the acquiring company must be adjusted to reflect the cost of capital of the target company.

Test yourself:

ABC Company would like to obtain assets of BCD Company. BCD Company is a loss maker, it made losses over the last 4 years. However, it has three assets which ABC needs for its operations which are assets a, b and c. BCD is not willing to sell the assets separately but willing to sell the entire company for $95,000. According to the balance sheet of BCD:

  • asset a is worth $25,000
  • asset b is worth $20,000
  • asset c is worth $50,000
  • BCD also has $5,000 in cash, $12,000 in accounts receivable, and $5,000 in relatively obsolete inventory
  • ABC found out that they can sell accounts receivable and inventory of BCD for $10,000
  • BCD’s liabilities account for $70,000
  • After the merger, three assets of BCD will generate $15,000 in cash inflows over the next 10 years
  • ABC’s cost of capital is 12%

How should ABC establish if it should undertake this investment?

Solution:

BCD requires $95,000. Out of this money, $70,000 will be used to cover liabilities and $25,000 will be going to the owners of the target company. ABC will be able to recover $10,000 from selling accounts receivable and inventory and it will also obtain $5,000 in cash. Therefore, its actual investment is $80,000 ($95,000-10,000-5,000).

Next we need to determine the net present value of the relevant cash flows. Since it is an annuity, we can calculate it very simply. We will use a financial calculator. The calculation is as follows:

PMT: 15,000

N: 10

I: 12

PV: calculate = 84,753

Since investment required is $80,000, we can find the NPV as follows:

84,753 – 80,000 = 4,753

There is another way to calculate NPV using a financial calculator. It is advisable to try them both to make sure that the answer you obtain is correct. The second way is as follows:

CF0: -80,000

CF1: 15,000

Second function Nj: 10

I: 10

Second function NPV: calculate = $4,753

Since both calculations gave us the same answer, we can be confident that the answer is correct.

Since NPV is $4,753 which is higher than zero, a merger with BCD is acceptable.

 

Acid-Test Ratio

The acid-test ratio, along with the current ratio analysis, measures liquidity. Liquidity refers to the ability of the firm to meet its short-term obligations (obligations over the next 12 months) with its current assets (excluding inventory). In other words, the ratio allows us to determine the ease with which business can pay its bills as they come due. It is also sometimes referred to as the quick ratio.

A declining ratio is an indicator of declining liquidity, which usually serves as a warning of potential financial difficulties for the business. Such financial difficulties may even result in bankruptcy. The risk of bankruptcy increases further if the ratio falls significantly below 1. A ratio below 1 indicates a situation whereby current assets (excluding inventory) can no longer cover current liabilities.

The formula for the ratio is as follows:

Acid-test ratio = (Current assets – Inventory)/Current liabilities

Example of an acid-test ratio analysis


Assume Dynasties Inc. has current assets of $550,000, inventory of $300,000 and current liabilities of $300,000. The acid-test ratio of the of Dynasties Inc. is calculated as follows:

$550,000-$300,000/$300,000=0.8

This could indicate a ratio which may be too low. However, acceptable ratio values vary between industries. Therefore, the result must always be used in context via a comparison to industry averages as well as in comparison to the ratio of leading firms in the industry and Dynasties own historical ratio analysis.

Things to note about this ratio


A positive ratio is a must. A ratio of 1 or greater is generally advisable. If a company has a ratio of 1, it means that it has current assets (excluding inventory) which would be able to cover current liabilities once.

An acid-test ratio is similar to the current ratio. However, it differs from the current ratio because the former excludes inventory when calculating current assets. Inventory is excluded as it is seen as the least liquid form of current assets. Therefore, it is assumed the acid-test ratio shows a better representation of a firm’s liquidity for businesses which experience slow conversion of inventory into cash.

It is also important to note the acid-test ratio analysis ignores the timing of how quickly current assets can be converted into cash and how soon current liabilities come due. For example, imagine a situation where the business as an healthy acid-test ratio. However, most of its current assets are in accounts receivable, which can only be converted into cash in 4 months time and most of its current liabilities are due within next 30 days. In such a situation, despite a healthy acid-test ratio, a business’s liquidity may be unsatisfactory to meet short-term commitments of the business.

Lastly, as per the above, one should compare the ratios of individual firms to industry averages to obtain a better understanding. There is a large variability of ratio values between industries. This is because different industries have different operating requirements.

Average Payment Period

Average payment period (APP) is one of the activity ratios which measures the relationship between accounts payable and average purchases per day. Activity ratios help businesses to measure how efficiently various accounts are converted into sales or cash. Other activity ratios include average collection period, total asset turnover and inventory turnover analysis.

APP calculates how efficiently accounts payable are settled. It indicates, on average, how many days does it take to pay off accounts payable. APP is also referred to as the average age of accounts payable or the accounts payable turnover ratio.

The formula to calculate the APP is as follows:

APP = Accounts payable/Average purchases per day

The figure for accounts payable is obtained from the balance sheet and the figure for purchases is indirectly obtained from the income statement. Here the difficulty of calculating APP is highlighted. A figure for purchases is usually not available. Therefore, purchases are usually estimated as a percentage of cost of goods sold, which is in turn obtained from the income statement.

Purchases must be adjusted for credit purchases. This is done by deducting cash purchases. Further, credit purchases must be divided by the number of days per year to finally obtain average purchases per day.

Average credit purchases per day = Credit purchases/365

Example calculation


Assume First Parsons Company has accounts payable of $840,000 and credit purchases of $5,300,000. First Parsons Company was granted credit terms of 30 days by all its creditors. Assume there are 365 days year.

The average payment period of First Parsons Company is calculated as follows:

Firstly, we need to calculate the average credit purchases per day.

Average credit purchases per day = Credit purchases/365

= $5,300,000/365

= $14,520.55

Now, we are ready to calculate APP.

= $840,000/$14,520.55

=57.85 days

= 58 days

The APP of the First Parsons Company is 58 days. It takes on average 58 days to settle the accounts payable. However, the credit terms granted by creditors to First Parsons Company is 30 days. This means that company’s creditors require accounts to be settled within 30 days.

In light of this information, it is evident that payment of accounts payable is inadequately managed. If First Parsons Company will not attend to this issue in a timely manner, the current payment practices may lead to a number of harmful effects. Such harmful effects may include the inability to buy on credit from current suppliers, damage to the credibility of the business and a significantly deteriorating credit rating. This will be very harmful for the firm due to the further limitations it will impose on obtaining credit.

Things to note about this ratio


The average payment period analysis is only relevant when compared to credit terms granted to the business.

APP allows businesses to gain a better understanding of the cash outflows to be anticipated. Understanding of cash outflows is vital for successful operation of the business.

Average payment period analysis also identifies trends in the payment of the accounts payable. This can bring to management’s attention important variables that must be investigated to ensure successful operation of the business. For example, if the APP of the business increased from 30 to 68 days over 1 year while credit terms extended to the business remained the same at 30 days, a further investigation will be required to understand such a large increase in this ratio.

Further, to obtain a better understanding, one should compare the APP ratio to industry averages, to the ratio of leading firms in the industry and to the firm’s own historical results.

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Average Collection Period

The average collection period is one of the activity ratios which measures the relationship between accounts receivable and average credit sales per day. Activity ratios help businesses to measure how efficiently various accounts are converted into sales or cash. Other activity ratios include average payment period, total asset turnover and inventory turnover analysis.

It calculates how efficiently accounts receivable are collected. It indicates the quality of debtors of the business (how promptly debtors pay their bills as they come due). It is also referred to as the average age of accounts receivable, debtors collection period ratio or a collection ratio.

The formula to calculate the average collection period ratio is as follows:

Average Collection Period = Accounts receivable/Average sales per day

The figure for accounts receivable is obtained from the balance sheet and the figure for sales is obtained from the income statement. Sales must be further adjusted to credit sales, by excluding cash sales. Further, credit sales must be divided by the number of days per year to finally obtain average sales per day (average credit sales per day).

Average sales per day = Credit sales/365

Example calculation


Assume Heroic Company has accounts receivable of $750,000 and credit sales of $4,050,000. Heroic Company has credit terms of 30 days. Assume 365 days year.

The average collection period of Heroic Company is calculated as follows:

Average sales per day = Credit sales/365

= $4,050,000/365

= $11,095.89

Average collection period = $750,000/$11,095.89=67.6 days = 68 days.

It takes on average 68 days to collect the accounts receivable. However, the credit terms of Heroic Company is 30 days. This means that company’s customers have 30 days to settle their accounts.

In light of this information, it is evident that collection of accounts receivable and/or process of granting the credit to customers is inadequately managed. The performance and processes of credit and collection departments should be investigated to draw further conclusions.

Things to note about this ratio


Results are only relevant when compared to a company’s credit terms.

The average collection period ratio therefore allows business to gain a better understanding of the cash inflows to be anticipated. Understanding of cash inflows are vital for successful operation of the business.

It also allows to identify trends in the collection of the accounts receivable. This can bring to management’s attention important variables that must be investigated to ensure successful operation of the business. For example, if the average collection period of the business increased from 30 to 68 days over 1 year, a further investigation will be required to understand such a large increase in this ratio.

Furthermore, to obtain a better understanding, one should compare the average collection period ratio to industry averages, to the ratio of leading firms in the industry and to the firms own historical results.