Frequently Asked Questions

FactSet Review Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Q: Why do I need the 2023 FactSet Review?

A: Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity continued at a rapid pace over the past year. You need the 2023 FactSet Review as your go-to source for M&A statistics, analysis, trends, and deal data by industry. FactSet Review is the leading publication to capture all information for U.S. and cross-border transactions annually. The 2023 FactSet Review delivers comprehensive transaction rosters, along with vital data and statistics on the M&A transactions, including premiums and multiples paid, that involved both publicly traded and privately held companies.

Q: What is the main difference between the FactSet/BVR Control Premium Study database and the FactSet Review publication?

A:  When calculating the premium offered, the FactSet Review uses the stock price on the acquisition five-days prior to the announcement date, while the FactSet/BVR Control Premium Study uses the unaffected price, which may be the stock price one day prior to the announcement or another day where the price was determined to be unaffected by rumors, negotiations, or announcement of the acquisition. Furthermore, the FactSet/BVR Control Premium Study includes only controlling purchases while the FactSet Review includes transactions when a 5% minimum stake is acquired.

The FactSet/BVR Control Premium Study provides the actual transactions, their multiples, control premium, and implied minority discount and builds from there to deliver the range, mean and median premium/discount, and other statistics selected by the user. The FactSet/BVR Control Premium Study database provides the ability to develop figures and statistics over a longer time period than the FactSet Review, and also only provides information on transactions of public companies, and only closed deals. The FactSet/BVR Control Premium Study database is updated quarterly, and your purchase includes access to all current and historical issues of the Control Premium Study Quarterly report in PDF format.

The FactSet Review provides individual transaction details in the Transaction Roster; Termination Fee Roster, Cancellation Roster, and List of Transactions by SIC Codes, (with details being customized for the specific needs of each roster). It should be noted that the individual transaction details in the FactSet Review are not as comprehensive as those in the FactSet/BVR Control Premium Study database. The FactSet Review also processes the individual transactions into aggregate results – used for overall M&A market analysis, industry analysis, geographical analysis. The FactSet Review provides information on transactions of both private and public companies, and for cancelled, closed and announced deals. Aggregate calculations only include

announced and closed deals. The FactSet Review essentially does a lot of the heavy lifting for the user, by providing statistics, summaries, charts, and graphs. The FactSet Review publication is updated annually, but your purchase also includes the monthly emailed Flashwire US Monthly in PDF format.

Information in the FactSet Review is only limited to transactions involving where one party (either the acquirer or the seller) is a domestic company, and will contain public targets, private targets, and divestitures. The FactSet/BVR Control Premium Study is an in-depth extension of the public portion of the FactSet Review.

For a more detailed comparison, please see our Control Premium Study database vs. FactSet Review publication Comparison Chart

There are advantages for any firm to owning both publications because there is little overlap. The FactSet Review covers a much broader spectrum of M&A deals and provides useful and insightful summaries. The FactSet/BVR Control Premium Study provides greater detail on individual transactions and focuses on control premiums and implied minority discounts.

Q: The 2019 FactSet Review included a supplement that added back the Industry Analysis found in chapter two, will this be included in the 2023 edition?

A: BVR is pleased to announce that we have reincorporated the industry analysis section found in chapter two back into every edition of the FactSet Review, including the 2023 FactSet Review. The 2023 edition will include both the FactSet sector analysis and FactSet industry analysis section in chapter two, allowing users to choose from either section in performing their M&A transaction analysis. Including both sections will allow FactSet Mergers database subscribers to conduct their screening searches the same as they would in the in either in the FactSet Review or the online database. For those who do not subscribe to FactSet Mergers, a SIC-to-FactSet-sector mapping is provided.

Q: What’s the difference between transaction value and enterprise value?

A: The FactSet Review details the purchase price of transactions as the “transaction value” price rather than the base equity price. The “transaction value” accounts for the base equity price plus the same net debt value used in the calculation of enterprise value, but with the following conditions:

  • The transaction is a 100% acquisition; and
  • The acquired company is not a bank, insurance company, or finance company. These companies will continue to use the base equity price as the purchase price. This change solves the issue in valuing financial institutions when deposits and other debt-related securities are not valid forms of debt in accounting for enterprise value, a pricing method that overstated values of financial targets. Enterprise value also accounted for debt in the purchase of minority stake transactions, which overstates the cost to the purchaser when debt isn’t likely assumed. So the default is now as follows:
    • Minority or majority stake purchase: Transaction value = base equity; and
    • Full acquisition in a nonfinancial industry: Transaction value = base equity + net debt

Q: Will users be able to navigate through the 2023 FactSet Review the same as editions prior to 2018?

A: Yes. While most of the tables and charts remain the same prior to 2018, click here for a map that references the tables and charts from the prior years' publications so you can easily find the exact same table in this year's publication. The map shows if the table or chart number changed.

Q: Why were changes made starting with the 2018 edition?

A: BVR was given full access to the dynamic FactSet Mergers M&A data feed for publishing purposes. As a result, we were able to update 20 years of M&A data that captures new and updated transaction data that were collected after the publishing date of prior editions. In prior editions, the published year’s M&A data was produced from an “as of” date, meaning additions and changes were not reflected in the publication. In addition, no historical updates or changes were made to the publication, despite the information becoming publicly available and collected at a later date. The 2018 FactSet Review was the first edition to feature historical updates. BVR is now publishing M&A data that are more transparently accurate and overall better reflect prior years’ M&A activity.

Furthermore, the addition of the four new premium tables are offered in response to client feedback we received. Your input is important to us, and, from the feedback we have received, we added four new tables that focus on premiums paid over enterprise value.

Q: How did FactSet Review change starting in 2018 and going forward?

A: There were four changes made to the FactSet Review from prior editions, starting in 2018. All changes were made to improve your experience and to provide greater transparency with the data.

  • Historical updates were completed to 20 years of M&A data. These updates include aggregate volume and value totals, as well as the respective pricing multiples associated with the year’s data.
  • Foreign seller ownership roles are more clearly defined. In prior editions, seller ownership roles were classified as either public, private, divestiture, and foreign. The FactSet Review now breaks down the seller ownership into the two groups:
    • Domestic transactions: public, private, and divestiture; and
    • Foreign transactions: public, private, and divestiture.
  • Deal pricing was changed from base equity price to transaction value. The switch was done to better reflect the debt associated with assumed by the acquirer as part of the purchase.
  • Transaction premiums still feature the premium paid for the targets’ share prices five days prior to the announcement, but the FactSet Review now has four new tables that focus on premiums paid over the targets’ enterprise values.