The Rise of FreightTech

Over the past few years, FreightTech has emerged as its own category of technology. The level of excitement in the space grew in 2018 as global venture capital investment increased to $2.9 billion from $1.3 billion the prior year. FreightTech is on track for another year of exponential growth in 2019.

NADC 2019 Spring Conference Recap

Scott Womack recently attended the 2019 Spring Conference of the National Auto Dealers Counsel (NADC) in Dana Point, California. This article provides a couple of key takeaways from the day and a half sessions on the current conditions in the industry.

Labor Shortage in Trucking Sector

The trucking industry is wedged between a rock and a hard place when it comes to driver recruitment. Trucking companies are simultaneously exploring self-driving technology, while still convincing new entrants to the labor market that commercial driving is a career choice that will pay off. The driver shortage has also sparked major shifts in the way hiring and training are conducted in the industry. While this shortage will hurt shippers until autonomous technology is fully developed, the long-term problem may actually lie in another labor pool: service technicians.

How to Value an InsurTech Company

InsurTech, a FinTech niche, continues to threaten the traditional state of the insurance industry. In this article, we provide an overview of the niche and the market conditions in which these companies operate, as well as company-specific considertions to understand when valuing these companies.

Adjusted Earnings and Earning Power as the Base of the Valuation Pyramid

The extensive use of core versus reported earnings by public companies has been a widespread phenomenon for at least 25 years. During the past decade, the practice also has become widespread among companies (and their bankers who market deals) that are issuing debt in the leverage loan and high yield markets.

If investors are solely relying upon company defined adjusted EBITDA, then they may be vacating their fiduciary duties when investing capital. That said, an analysis of core versus reported earnings is a critical element of any valuation or credit assessment of a non-early stage company with an established financial history.

Value Drivers of a Store Valuation

Auto dealers, like most business owners, are constantly wondering about the value of their business. It’s easy to see how this issue moves to the forefront around certain events such as a transaction, buy-sell agreement, litigation, divorce, wealth-transfer event, etc. There are many other instances when a dealer can evaluate the condition, progress, or value of their store. Dealers can actually influence the value of their store prior to these obvious events by understanding the value drivers of a store valuation and addressing them on a consistent basis. So what are some of the value drivers of a store valuation?

Six Different Ways to Look at a Dealership

Along the road to building the value of a dealership, it is necessary and appropriate to examine the dealership in a variety of ways. Each provides unique perspective and insight into how a dealer is proceeding along the path to grow the value of the dealership and if/when it may be ready to sell. Most dealers realize the obvious events that may require a formal valuation: potential sale/acquisition, shareholder dispute, death of a shareholder, gift/estate tax transfer of ownership, etc. A formal business valuation can also be very useful to a dealer when examining internal operations.

Valuing an eSports Team

The value of a company is generally dependent on three factors: risk, growth, and cash flow. Esports teams have an abundance of risk as well as growth potential. Considering eSports is a relatively new industry, the growth potential is huge. At the same time, and for the same reason, there is significant risk in the industry – it is too early to know if there is a proven, sustainable, cash flow generating business model.

Pro Sports Player Contract Valuations And The New Tax Law

The change in the tax law brings additional attention to player contract values as they are now potentially taxable events for teams. It may or may not impact how a team approaches its business of winning championships, but it will impact how leagues and front offices approach valuations of player contracts.

Automobile Dealership Valuation 101

Valuation of a business can be a complex process requiring certified business valuation and/or forensic accounting professionals.  Valuations of automobile dealerships are unique even from valuation of manufacturing, service, and retail companies.  Automobile dealership valuations involve the understanding of industry terminology, factory financial statements, and hybrid valuation approaches.  For these reasons, it’s important to hire a business valuation expert that specializes in automobile dealership valuation and not just a generalist business valuation appraiser. 

eSports: Business Models

An eSports team can make money in a variety of ways, including broadcast revenue, sponsorships, merchandise sales, and subscriptions. In this industry overview, we discuss various business models for eSports teams.

eSports: An Emerging Industry

eSports is a rapidly expanding industry that has drawn viewers and investments alike. The introduction of streaming platforms, as well as the improvement in mobile technology, has allowed the industry to grow from its arcade hall beginnings in the 1970s to competitors streaming games to millions of viewers globally. In this whitepaper, we provide a brief overview of the sport and expand on the potential growth of this emerging industry.

Orthopedics Overview

The worldwide market for orthopedic products in 2016 was estimated to be nearly $48.2 billion, an increase of 3.2% from 2015. Demographics will continue to be a key driver of industry expansion, with population growth and rapidly-growing international markets driving the need for musculoskeletal care. Increasing life spans, the increasing prevalence to remain active, and increasing obesity rates will impact the number of individuals with joints subject to degeneration, thereby increasing demand for orthopedic/joint replacement procedures.

Five Trends to Watch in the Medical Device Industry in 2018

Demographic shifts underlie the long-term market opportunity for medical device manufacturers. While efforts to control costs on the part of the government insurer in the U.S. may limit future pricing growth for incumbent products, a growing global market provides domestic device manufacturers with an opportunity to broaden and diversify their geographic revenue base. Developing new products and procedures is risky and usually more resource intensive compared to some other growth sectors of the economy. However, barriers to entry in the form of existing regulations provide a measure of relief from competition, especially for newly developed products.

Core Deposit Intangible Asset Values and Deposit Premiums Update

Using data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence, we analyzed trends in CDI assets recorded in whole bank acquisitions completed from 2008 through the third quarter of 2017, and we compared CDIs recorded as a percentage of core deposits acquired to 5-year FHLB rates over the same period.

Creating Value at Your Community Bank Through Developing a FinTech Framework

Banks face a conundrum of whether they should build their own FinTech applications, partner, or acquire. FinTech companies face similar questions, though the questions are viewed through the prism of customer acquisition rather than applications. Noncontrol investments of FinTech companies by banks represent a hybrid strategy. Regulatory hurdles limit the ability of FinTech companies to make anything more than a modest investment in banks absent bypassing voting common stock for non-voting common and/or convertible preferred.

While these strategic decisions will vary from company to company, the stakes are incredibly high for all. We can help both sides navigate the decision process.

Is FinTech a Threat or an Opportunity?

While many bankers view FinTech as a significant threat, FinTech also has the potential to assist the community banking sector. FinTech offers the potential to improve the health of community banks by enhancing performance and improving profitability and ROEs back to historical levels.

Are Robo-Advisors on Any Banker’s Wish List?

This article offers an overview of the robo-advisory space for our community bank readers so that they may gain a better understanding of the key players and their service offerings and assess whether their bank could benefit from leveraging opportunities in this area.

5 Trends to Watch in the Medical Device Industry in 2016

Demographic shifts underlie the long-term market opportunity for medical device manufacturers. While efforts to control costs on the part of the government insurer in the U.S. may limit future pricing growth for incumbent products, a growing global market provides domestic device manufacturers with an opportunity to broaden and diversify their geographic revenue base. Developing new products and procedures is risky and usually more resource intensive compared to some other growth sectors of the economy. However, barriers to entry in the form of existing regulations provide a measure of relief from competition, especially for newly developed products.

Three Reasons to Consider a Valuation of Your FinTech Company

Valuing companies with limited if any operating history that involves a new technology is inherently difficult. The challenge increases when the subject has a complex capital structure. Nevertheless, valuations—whether reasonable or unreasonable—have very real economic consequences for investors, employees and other stakeholders, especially when new capital is injected into the equation. We believe private FinTech companies will be well served over the long-run to obtain periodic valuations from independent third parties.

Are Market Conditions Driving More FinTech Partnerships and M&A?

Coming off recent years where both public and private FinTech markets were trending positively, the tail end of 2015 and the start to 2016 have been unique as performance has started to diverge. Against this backdrop, this article discusses other strategic and exit options beyond an IPO FinTech companies can consider, such as partnering with, acquiring, or selling to traditional incumbents (banks, insurers, and money managers).  

Shaking Things Up: ARCC and ACAS Combine

On May 23, Ares Capital (ARCC) announced the acquisition of fellow business development company, or BDC, American Capital (ACAS) in a cash and stock deal valued at $4.0 billion. The deal is notable from several perspectives. First, the transaction brings closure to the ACAS saga. Second, the deal includes third-party support from ARCC’s management company. Finally, the transaction structure allowed ARCC to raise nearly $2.0 billion in new equity without diluting NAV per share, despite ARCC shares trading at an 8% discount to NAV prior to the announcement.