The Cogent M&A Database contains detailed valuation information on approximately 2000 merger and acquisition transactions covering all major industries, consisting primarily of private companies in the middle market. The most beneficial attributes of this database relative to other sources of middle market M&A transaction information are: 1) the breadth of financial data that has been captured for each transaction, and 2) the normalization procedures that Cogent Valuation has devised in order to derive the most meaningful valuation multiples and ratios from these transactions.
The Cogent M&A Database was originally developed for Cogent Valuation’s business valuation practice in response to the limitations of existing sources of private company M&A data. These limitations include:
- Insufficient data on individual transactions
- Failure to capture appropriate adjustments to normalize earnings
- Failure to accurately quantify complex purchase terms
- Mismatching of capital structure between post-deal price and pre-deal earnings in multiples
- Failure to make pro forma balance sheet adjustments
As a result of its frustration with the limitations of existing M&A databases, in 1995 Cogent Valuation began developing its own internal database. In so doing, Cogent Valuation painstakingly applied its normalization procedures to the source data for these transactions–historical income statements and balance sheets, notes to the financial statements, pro forma financial adjustments, company description and deal terms.
Recently, the database has been married to a highly functional interface that allows the user to search by many different criteria and generate rich, custom reports. Search criteria include target name, SIC code, acquisition date, form of consideration (stock versus cash), revenue and earnings size, description keywords, and geographic location, among others. The reports can also be exported into Excel for further data manipulation.