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The Private Company Discount


  • John Koeplin
  • Atulya Sarin
  • Alan C. Shapiro


When appraisers or investment bankers value privately held companies by making comparisons to otherwise similar public companies, they typically apply a discount. Most practitioners attribute this discount mainly to the relative illiquidity of private companies; and, for this reason, they value private companies based on empirical studies designed to measure illiquidity discounts. But this assumption and the valuations based upon it are likely to be unreliable because private companies are valued differently than public companies owing to a variety of other, more "fundamental" factors that have caused the firm to stay private rather than choosing to list on an exchange. 2000 Morgan Stanley.

Suggested Citation

  • John Koeplin & Atulya Sarin & Alan C. Shapiro, 2000. "The Private Company Discount," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 12(4), pages 94-101.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jacrfn:v:12:y:2000:i:4:p:94-101

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stulz, ReneM. & Johnson, Herb, 1985. "An analysis of secured debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 501-521, December.
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