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What is a stone-working/jewelry business worth?


#1

It was about 15 years ago when I was in Vancouver on my way to the
law library to do some research and I heard loud “popping” sounds
coming from a jewelry store across the street. I sat on the fence of
a small park I was walking by and watched. The sulfury odour of
gunpowder (firecrackers?) drifted across the street and a man walked
quicky out of the jewelry store carrying a briefcase. I got a good
description of him but I was uncertain about what had happened in
busy, downtown Vancouver.

When I walked back from the library with my on
commercial law I saw police yellow ribbons around the store. I was
troubled by the fact that I had a description now of a man apparently
involved in a crime so I watch the 6 oclock news. Two people, a man
and a woman had been shot and murdered inside the store. Fortunately
for me, someone else had described the suspect and the police
artist’s sketch matched my description so I was relieved of the
burden of giving my description. One has to wonder where he sold the
plunder and I do not think he has been apprehended. He might even be
on Orchid.

From the perspective of buying a jewelry store, one might expect
that location to be almost zero after the crime. In fact, a tattoo
shop was set up with a sinister name like “The Devil’s Tattoo
Parlour”. If real estate can be devalued by evil associations as in
this case, why not the complete inventory in the stolen briefcase? In
ancient times, when the cruelest form of slavery was practiced
worldwide, expectedly mines would be sold with slaves as part of the
inventory. Would you buy a jewelry business today which was covered
in blood?

In college commercial law we were taught to ask about the cost of
contracting both from the financial and the moral-ethical
perspective. How much is the human soul worth when it is factored
into the NPV (Net Present Value) equations of finance?

The broader issue in commercial law has to do with completing this
sentence:

I would pay _________$ for a stone-working business (let’s call it
Future Jade) based on the following “facets” of value (pardon my play
on words)

What are those facets of value? How does one place $ value on an
entire stone working/jewelry business?

ref - Ch 6, “Mathematics of Finance” by Haeussler and Paul,
“Introductory Mathematical Analysis for Students of Business and
Economics”


#2
What are those facets of value? How does one place $ value on an
entire stone working/jewelry business? 

Most going-concern businesses are sold with their value based on (1)
FMV of the business assets minus any assumed liabilities or (2) a
multiple of the normalized annual free cash flow of the business, or
some combination of these two methods. When an owner is ready to
sell/retire, the business will independently be worth much less if
its reputation is closely tied to its owner.


#3

The simple answer is anything is worth what a person is willing to
pay for it. With your theoreticl business you need to look at what
the business is. Is the building freehold or rented?

What capital assets does it have? (plant, macinery etc) What stock
does it have?

Is the business tied to the premises or is it relocatable? Balance
sheet? Competition/market share?

Importantly for businesses that dont have much in the way of assets
what is the goodwill? This is normally a financial measure of
customer and staff brand loyalty. A change of owner has a big effect
on this at the personal end of the market. Not so important when
Kraft bought out Cadbury for example but if the business you envisage
has key staff or customers who will leave then you are not really
going to pay a lot or possibly nothing for the goodwill.

The value of the stolen briefcase will be different to different
people. I used to own 2 pistols that had been used to kill people.
One was owned by General Urquhart who was in charge of the forces at
Arnhem in WW2, the other a pistol which someone committed suicide
with. They both have an intrinsic value-resale value for what they
are but the former also has an added value to collectors who would
like to possess an artifact from a remarkable historical time. There
are limits at both ends of the scale. The premium on top of the base
price is, if you like, the moral cost.

Nick Royall