Business valuation

Do you need an independent valuation of your business? Our specialists provide independent business valuations for the purposes of exit planning and business sales, business acquisitions, tax planning, incentive schemes, divorce cases or shareholder disputes. We leverage our market knowledge to give accurate and independent valuations of UK privately-owned businesses.

Book a meeting

TRUSTED BY businesses across the UK

HOW DO YOU VALUE A BUSINESS?

“How much is my business worth” is a question many owner-managers consider, especially when securing investment, buying or selling a business.

When it comes to valuing a business, we use a range of tools and analytical models and real world experience to determine the market value. Find out more here.

WHO DO WE WORK WITH?

We work with UK based SMEs that have a need to accurately understand the valuation of their share capital for a range of purposes.

See our deals and success stories.

BUSINESS VALUATION - HOW TO GET IT WRONG

Business valuation is an involved exercise that requires developing a deep understanding of the target business and its market. We have seen wildly inaccurate and inappropriate valuations that have led to some regrettable decision making.

Typical mistakes that business owners make when trying to value a business include:

  • Applying wildly inaccurate valuation metrics based on partial market information;
  • Failing to account correctly for the illiquidity of shares in private companies;
  • Misunderstanding how to deal with balance sheet items such as cash, stock, debtors and corporation tax;
  • Failing to correctly identify normalised underlying earnings;
  • Application of hope over logic.

BUSINESS VALUATION – HOW TO DO IT RIGHT

To determine an accurate market valuation of your business, your valuation process needs to:

  1. Use a variety of valuation techniques such as comparable company, similar transaction and discounted cash flow analysis;
  2. Establish the appropriate markets against which to benchmark your business after developing a deep understanding of your business drivers;
  3. Carefully analyse your balance sheet to establish working capital requirements and therefore excess cash and debt like items;
  4. Accurately map ‘Enterprise Value’ to ‘Equity Value’ and correctly apply share rights to arrive at the right value per share across all share classes;
  5. Apply real world sense checks based on years of experience of selling private businesses.

BUSINESS VALUATION SERVICE

Our business valuation specialists provide accurate and independent valuations for various purposes including exit planning and business acquisitions. This is what our business valuation service provides:

COMPETITOR BENCHMARKING

We leverage our extensive market expertise of both public and proprietary deals knowledge to benchmark your business against competitors to accurately determine both its performance and its appropriate valuation metrics.

Learn more

ADVISING ON HOW TO GENERATE VALUE

If your valuation is undertaken for exit planning, we can help you make strategic decisions concerning how to increase value by improving financial ratios, further product/service development, branding and the overall direction of the business that can increase its value in your ownership.

Learn more

ASSISTING WITH NEGOTIATIONS

Our valuations are commonly used to assist with negotiations when buying a business, where there is a MBO or a share buyback. Our detailed and logical determination of value can cut through emotions and progress discussions in a constructive manner.

EXPERT WITNESS IN COURT

We have experience of acting as an expert witness in divorce cases, shareholder disputes or other forms of litigation. We are happy to attend court to defend our valuations if so required.

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF USING SHAW & CO

REAL EXPERIENCE

Selling, buying and negotiating the value of businesses is what we do. Our opinions go beyond theory. Unfortunately, all too often valuations fall foul of real-world calibration that only comes from significant deal making experience.

Flexible Pricing

Instructing a proper valuation of your business can be an expensive exercise. We can be flexible in our approach to meet various budgets and depending on the level of assurance required.

Value Add

We add additional value by explaining how key value drivers can be used to your advantage and providing detailed logical reasoning behind our determination that builds understanding and consensus.

RELATED AREAS OF EXPERTISE

FAQS

How can a corporate finance advisor help me?

Corporate finance transactions are not an everyday activity and it is unlikely your team will have the skills and knowledge required to navigate a deal. We provide expert advice to ensure a successful outcome.

Learn more
Why should I use Shaw & Co to help me value my business?

We have been delivering valuations of all types of businesses for many years. We are an ICAEW-registered firm and our opinions have been used robustly in private transactions, HMRC tax cases and divorce or shareholder dispute cases as expert witness. Our exposure both to the theoretical and the practical nature of deals means that we are perfectly placed to guide you on valuation of any business.

Learn more
Can I base the value of my business on a similar size company in my sector?

Yes you can. In fact, it is a recognised valuation technique and one that we use. However, used in isolation this technique can be misleading. Every business is unique and as many factors as possible need to be taken into account to arrive at an accurate view. It is also likely that the amount of information that you are able to access on a similar business is limited, or potentially distorted depending on its source.

Learn more
Isn't the value of my business just its net assets?

In some cases, yes - but very rarely. Valuation of a business starts from estimating the cash flows that the business will likely make in the future and assessing the risk or probability that these will be delivered. There are also various short cut techniques such as multiples of various trading metrics that derive an enterprise value. From there we look at the balance sheet to determine the level of cash, non-trading assets, debt and working capital within the business needed to support the trading. This can add or detract from the enterprise value and this is known as the Equity Value. The adjustment to get from one to the other is not linked to the net asset value of the business.

Learn more
Are you a broker?

No, we are not brokers. We are professional advisors. Whilst our role often involves the introduction of parties to a deal, our value is much greater than a simple introduction service. We support you in the development and articulation of your business case, the negotiation of terms and the management of completion - all of which materially improve the end result, adding significant value to your transaction.

Learn more
I'm carrying a lot of debt in my business. Will that affect its valuation?

Yes, the equity value of a business (the amount that the shares will be sold for) always takes into account the levels of debt in the business as well as any surplus cash or other assets. It can often be the case that the level of debt can materially influence the valuation. Depending on where the business is in its life cycle, a large debt burden can prohibit an exit for a period of time whilst the enterprise value grows from the investment that the debt facilitated. In other cases a large debt burden can be the result of a poor working capital cycle which will need to be addressed to drive value into the equity.

Learn more
What can I do if I think my business is worth more than your valuation?

It is very common for business owners to believe the value of their business is materially greater than its likely value in the market. This often comes from misunderstanding business valuation techniques, or from wishful thinking. However, if our valuation of your business is less than you had hoped, we can help you build a plan to drive its value.

Learn more
How much does your valuation service cost?

Our valuation reports are offered at a fixed price which we will agree with you before commencing our work. Our valuation fees start from £4,500 (plus VAT), increasing based on the complexity of the business we are valuing and intended use of the report.

Learn more
How long does a business valuation take to complete?

To value a business correctly you first have to truly understand it. This takes time. A valuation can be completed over a period of three to four weeks if information can be readily provided to us. We will also need regular access to your management team to discuss the business and answer our questions.

Learn more
Are you sector specialists?

We have specific sector knowledge derived from many years of collective deal making experience. However, we pride ourselves on the diversity of sectors we work with which challenges us to think creatively. This creative and challenging approach brings huge value to our clients when helping them to build robust business cases. See some of our specific sector experience.

Learn more
What sort of service experience can I expect if I instruct Shaw & Co?

We take all of our clients through a carefully crafted journey. This not only ensures that we are a great match for each other but, once engaged, it helps us to deliver exceptional client service that exceeds expectations.

Learn more

LEARN MORE ABOUT SHAW & CO

Why Shaw & Co

WE MAKE DEALS HAPPEN

Our highly talented people are creative, innovative and thrive when faced with a deal-making challenge. It's no surprise that we make deals happen and turn your ambition into a greater outcome.

Learn more

Fees & charges

COMPLETELY TRANSPARENT & ALIGNed With your GOALs

Our objective is to ensure that our fee more than pays for itself from the value we create for you and your business.

Learn more

HELPFUL RESOURCES

See all resources