Business valuation is invariably linked with the focus on value maximization. The goal of every company is to increase its equity, which requires the development and implementation of a long-term value creation strategy. The economic value of an enterprise is of primary importance here, such value being understood as the enterprise’s capacity for free cash flows generation. The emphasis is on the future, and not on the past; on real income and not on book profit.
The aim of this book is to present the theories, models and methods of business valuation while contrasting them with the practice of company value assessment. We begin our discussion with a detailed description of various approaches to, and types of, value categories – from historical and philosophical ones to those grounded in economic theory.
The history and the present practice of valuation leads us to the conclusion that valuation is both a theory (as one of the initial and most important components of Value Based Management) and an art, based on the experience and intuition of business appraiser. However, we should be fully aware of the fact that even the application of the best theories and methods of business valuation does not automatically reflect the real market value of the assets at hand (especially in the short-term).