Wednesday, 4 October 2017

How to price an EBO (Employee Buyout)?

To continue with the case of Uber, in my opinion a perfect candidate for an EBO, one should ask how and on what terms an EBO should be executed. It makes no sense to start with the 'market' valuation as it will be as good a reflection of the real value as the price of bitcoins is for a digital entry on some computer. The only sensible starting point is the net asset value, i.e. the cumulative value of REAL investment that supports the business. As the firm cannot function without employees they should be able to drive a hard bargain.  While not being a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn's extreme views he may have a point with regard to re-nationalising the key utilities. Again, the baseline scenario for any compensation should be what the underlying assets are worth, not necessarily some number that 'Mister Market' arrives at during his random walk from manic depression to euphoria.

Business Schools would be well advised to work on how to make Wider Share Ownership and Employee-owned business work rather than how to squeeze the last dollar out of customers and into the pockets of a few top executives, - and at the same time charging students fees that bear no relationship to the value provided. Most of what they perpetrate any astute person could learn by delving into the top 10 or 20 business/economics text books.

No comments: