Surprising statistic on private firm multiples

BVWireIssue #195-1
December 5, 2018

private company transaction data
pratt's stats, private company comps, private company transaction data, guideline transaction method

A white paper, the “Private Business Valuation Market Update,” examines the median price-to-revenue metric private firm buyers paid for all private firms from 2003 to 2017. During this 15-year period, the following statistics were gleaned using data from Pratt’s Stats (now DealStats): 

  • Price-to-revenue range: 45% to 49%; 
  • Midrange: 47%; and
  • Low to high percent change: 9%.
“Surprisingly to many, the variation from low to high for average price to revenue multiples paid for all private firms is a meager 4% in absolute terms and only 9% in relative terms,” says the white paper. Compared to data from the public markets, “private firm multiples do not rise and fall as widely (erratically) as those of the public firm cohort.”
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