Our International Valuation Newsletter series addresses current hot topics and upcoming themes. While some articles may focus on particular sectors or asset classes, all will have one thing in common: the provision of insights into the development and practical implementation of solutions to common challenges when valuing businesses and business assets. The newsletter is therefore of interest to those involved in valuations for transactions, financing, tax, accounting, restructuring and dispute resolutions, among other areas. It is also highly relevant to academics, lawyers and government or tax authorities.

International Valuations Newsletter – November 2020

COVID-19 remains at the top of the world agenda and nearly every day we experience new, unexpected consequences. With the majority of the year behind us, we continue to lack certainty as to where this pandemic will lead us and how we will withstand its impact.

As the leading prospect for a light at the end of the tunnel hinges on the development of a vaccine, we are confident that you too are keenly tuned into the progress and emerging developments. Given the global scale of efforts, there are significant commercial and financial effects. We therefore focus this edition of the newsletter on insights into the value drivers of the healthcare sector, i.e. pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, with a particular focus on vaccine developers.

We explore a range of topics in our newsletter. We start by looking at the different sub-sectors within healthcare, dividing the two main groups of Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology, and Healthcare Equipment and Services, into sub-groups with their own specific characteristics.

Next, we analyze what factors drive the economics of a vaccine developers, discussing vaccine market distinctions from the broader Pharmaceutical sector and the effect of COVID-19 on market forces as well.

Additionally, the common approaches to value pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are examined, given their inherent uncertainties, and we explore the question if other sectors can learn from applied valuation approaches, given the uncertainty we all face under COVID-19.

In the final section, we cover the most recent capital market data for selected markets in our usual format. Here are the latest developments at a glance:

  • Major stock market performances: US (S&P 500, NASDAQ) and international (MSCI world and Emerging Markets) indices, and the Japanese Nikkei 225 as well, achieved positive returns year over year. In contrast, many European stock indices underperformed.
  • S&P Eurozone BMI Index sector multiples: Out of the eleven sectors considered, nine showed increases in their EV/EBITDA multiples while the remaining two fell over the past quarter. However, it is essential to put these developments into broader context.
  • Risk-free rates: Compared to Q2 2020, risk-free rates in the Eurozone, Germany and Switzerland have further declined. In the UK, interest rates increased.


We look forward to discussing your questions regarding valuation trends and practices during these unprecedented times. Stay safe and healthy.

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