Is COVID-19 changing the types of new BV engagements?

BVWire–UKIssue #18-2
September 15, 2020

BVWire—UK discussed this topic with a number of business valuation experts in the UK and North America and discovered a surprising degree of stability, given FTSE risk and overall predictions of GDP reductions in the 7%-to-15% range.

‘Our firm is having fewer surprises than one might expect,’ one valuer said. Her firm continues to see new divorce cases, “though some are settling since different judges have different tolerances for on-line or in-court proceedings.”

Others are still busy with a lot of M&A-related work. ‘We’re seeing a lot of calls from older owners who are saying they’ve been planning for a long time to exit so we’re still seeing “in the pipeline” engagements,’ says a valuer from a Big Four firm. ‘I worry that this pipeline might dry up in a year or two, similar to what happened to the real estate market which stayed stable past 2008 but then dropped off significantly by 2010 during the last recession.’

Another valuer said he’s seeing more requests for estate planning and HMRC work, perhaps taking advantage of any ‘COVID-19 discount’ as a result of the new budget’s lowered tax rates, and prior to future potential increased taxes as the result of bailout expenses or further economic hardship.

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