Enterprise value

This measure’s the total value of a business by combining the market value of equity and net debt as an estimate of what a predator would pay for it.

Suppose a firm has issued 100,000 shares currently priced at £2.50, has borrowed £75,000 in short and long-term bank loans and has cash of £25,000. The enterprise value is the firm’s market capitalisation of £250,000 (100,000 x £2.50) plus net debt of £50,000 (loans of £75,000 minus cash of £25,000), so £300,000 in total.

The cash balance is deducted because a bidder could simply use this to pay down debt – in the same way if you were buying a house, priced by the vendor at £100,000 with £5,000 cash sitting in a chest in the front room, you and your mortgage lender would value the house at £95,000 since there is little point in borrowing another £5,000 to buy the chest full of cash.

• See Tim Bennett’s video tutorial: Beginner’s guide to investing: enterprise value.

MoneyWeek magazine

Latest issue:

Magazine cover
In the balance

How May 2015 could hit your pocket

The UK's best-selling financial magazine. Take a FREE trial today.
Claim 4 FREE Issues

Russell Napier: deflation is coming – hold on to your cash

Financial historian Russell Napier talks to Merryn Somerset Webb about the next deflationary bust – why it's coming, what it means for you, and how you can survive it.


Which investment platform?

When it comes to buying shares and funds, there are several investment platforms and brokers to choose from. They all offer various fee structures to suit individual investing habits.
Find out which one is best for you.


27 November 1924: Macy's first Thanksgiving Day parade

On this day in 1924, New York department store Macy's held its first Thanksgiving Day parade. It would soon become a city institution, kicking off the run-up to Christmas.