June 20

Synergy Between Value and Net Tangible Assets

Understanding Net Tangible Assets

Before we delve into the relationship between value and net tangible assets, it’s essential to establish what ‘net tangible assets’ mean. Net tangible assets (NTA) refers to the book value of a company’s physical assets, minus any liabilities and intangible assets such as patents, trademarks, and goodwill. In other words, NTA is the sum total of all the real, physical assets a company owns after its financial obligations and intangible assets have been subtracted.

This value can be critical in certain sectors, especially those with heavy capital investment like manufacturing, construction, and real estate. For these companies, a substantial portion of their value may be derived from their tangible assets.

Valuation and Net Tangible Assets

The value of a business or an investment is often influenced by its underlying net tangible assets. This influence is visible in two primary ways: ‘value in use’ and liquidation value.

Value in Use vs. Liquidation Value

‘Value in use’ refers to the present value of the future cash flows expected to be derived from an asset or a cash-generating unit. It is primarily used in impairment testing. The consideration here is the future potential of the assets to generate revenue. On the other hand, ‘liquidation value’ refers to the potential amount of money that would be realized if all the assets were sold and liabilities settled.

The Risk Relationship

One of the primary risks associated with using net tangible assets as a measure of value is their volatility over time due to factors like market conditions, obsolescence, and wear and tear. This variability may distort the actual worth of a business.

When considering ‘value in use,’ the risk lies in the estimation of future discretionary cash flows. These projections are based on numerous assumptions, including future demand for the product or service, the economic environment, and management’s ability to control costs. If these assumptions prove incorrect, the actual cash flows can vary significantly from the estimates, potentially affecting the value.

Liquidation value, in contrast, assumes that the assets are sold off quickly, often at a significant discount to their book value. This scenario typically occurs during bankruptcy proceedings when companies are forced to sell assets under less than optimal conditions, often receiving less than the net book value of their assets.

Therefore, although net tangible assets can provide a reasonable estimate of a company’s value, it is critical to consider the inherent risks and uncertainties in these estimates. These risks often necessitate the use of multiple valuation methods and the application of professional judgment to determine a reasonable and supportable estimate of value.


In conclusion, the underlying net tangible assets indeed influence the value of a company. However, the measure of this value, whether through ‘value in use’ or liquidation value, is fraught with risk and uncertainty. A comprehensive understanding of these principles and the associated risks is crucial for anyone involved in corporate finance or investment decision-making.


You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to our newsletter now!