Most financial acquirers will arrive at an offer for your business by calculating the profit they expect you to make and deciding what they are willing to pay today, for your profit stream in the future. Because you are competing with lots of other places that the acquirer could invest their money, multiples are usually in the low to mid-single digits of your pre-tax profit.
A strategic acquisition is an entirely different animal.
A strategic acquirer will value your company based on how much more of their product they can sell, which is exactly what Business Objects (now SAP) did when they bought Nick Kellet’s business, Next Action Technologies, for more than eight times revenue.
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