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Diversification in Firm Valuation: A Multivariate Copula Approach


  • Stefan Erdorf

    () (University of Cologne)

  • Thomas Hartmann-Wendels

    (University of Cologne)

  • Nicolas Heinrichs

    () (University of Cologne)


We introduce a new discounted cash flow model which adopts the diversification effect of multi-business firms. We face two challenges: One is examining how different diversification extents can affect the firm value due to risk reduction, and the other is modeling segment-specific cash flows and discount rates to reflect the differences in risk and growth characteristics across the different businesses that a firm operates in. Since the co-movement of business segments depends on the state of the economy, we use a multivariate copula approach taking the state-varying dependence of business segments explicitly into account. A high level of a firm's diversification determined by a low dependence between the firm's business segments leads to a lower probability of firm default which results in a higher firm value through reduced bankruptcy costs. We demonstrate this effect by comparing the values of three U.S. firms when modeling independence, dependence with copulas, and perfect dependence between businesses.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Erdorf & Thomas Hartmann-Wendels & Nicolas Heinrichs, 2011. "Diversification in Firm Valuation: A Multivariate Copula Approach," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 02-01, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgr:cgsser:02-01

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    Cited by:

    1. DiƟmann, J. & Brechmann, E.C. & Czado, C. & Kurowicka, D., 2013. "Selecting and estimating regular vine copulae and application to financial returns," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 52-69.
    2. Stefan Erdorf & Nicolas Heinrichs, 2011. "Co-movement of revenue: structural changes in the business cycle," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 25(4), pages 411-433, December.

    More about this item


    diversification; firm valuation; dependence modeling; multi-business firm; bankruptcy costs; default probability; copulas; Monte Carlo simulation; discounted cash flow model;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G17 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Financial Forecasting and Simulation
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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