In January 1996, an investment manager of a hedge fund is considering purchasing an equity interest in a start-up biotechnology firm, Rocky Mountain Advanced Genome (RMAG). The asking price is $46 million for a 90% equity interest. Although managers of the firm are optimistic about its future performance, the investment manager is more conservative in her expectations. She asks an analyst to fashion a counterproposal for RMAG's management. The tasks for the student are to apply the concept of terminal value, interpret completed analyses and data, and derive implications of different terminal value assumptions in an effort to recommend a counterproposal. Little computation is required of the student. The main objective of the case is to survey many conceptual and practical challenges associated with estimating a firm's terminal value. Issues addressed include the concept of terminal value; the materiality of the terminal-value assumption; the varieties of terminal-value estimators and their strengths and weaknesses; taxation of terminal values; when to assume liquidation versus going-concern terminal values; choosing a forecast horizon at which to estimate a terminal value; the constant growth valuation model, its derivation, limiting assumptions of constant growth to infinity, and WACC > g; use of the Fisher Formula as a foundation for estimating growth rate to infinity; and using a variety of estimates to “triangulate” in on a terminal value.
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University of Virginia Darden School Foundation
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