While it is useful to get overall numbers around average multiples for deals both sectorially and regionally, time and time again the value of the asset depends on a number of factors:
Is there a competitive tension between buyers, particularly strategics?
How strongly protected is the technology owned?
What are the barriers to entry?
What are the regulatory hurdles involved?
What do customers say?
What is the talent pool like?
Are there contingent or real risks?
What is the long-term prognosis for the product or service being sold?
What synergies can be created /made by the buyer either within its organisation or down the supply chain?
Many baby boomers are retiring right now, both in the US and Europe. Corporates have strong balance sheets and private equity has firepower, and OECD and World Bank projections show sustained global growth.
The Nordics may have the highest average multiples, in part due to the fintech and block chain hubs existing there, but the truth is an asset is worth what the ultimate buyer sees as its strategic worth. Sellers should never assume a value for their companies, but they should ensure if they are marketing their company they have done thorough vendor due diligence and understand why a buyer wants to buy.
Thought the UK was the most expensive place to buy a business? Think again – it's actually the Nordics