November 23, 2011

You're my ambassador of quan, man.

How much is Provectus worth? I think a better question to ask is how much do the principals think it is worth? There is a big difference in valuation expectations between entrepreneur managers and professional managers, and that difference often is starkly seen in the monetization process.

Over time, valuation expectations have risen. It was not so long ago, perhaps 2009, when the threshold was $1 billion. In 2010, the threshold was raised to $2 billion. More recently, my diligence would suggest a $2.5 to $3 billion threshold.

How do we get to this figure? $2 billion comes:
  • $500 million for dermatology (primarily atopic dermatitis and psoriasis). I am curious, however, about the impact of acne on this valuation;
  • At least $1 billion from melanoma (recall previous recent precedent transactions); and, 
  • $500 million for liver.
$500 million to $1 billion relates to other indications (e.g., pancreas, breast, prostate, etc.); thus, $2.5 to $3 billion.

Management understands valuation matters -- frankly, is only relevant -- when both parties agree to a number. And that's why it's important to understand them and their expectations:
  • Are they reasonable people? Reasonable people can bridge valuation gaps between sellers and buyers. Idealists cannot.
  • Do they have reasonable expectations? Not every entrepreneur (or mercenary executive) can combine an understanding of (a) value in the abstract and (b) value when it comes to the deal. Sometimes people sell too low. Sometimes they can't sell because they're expectations are too high.
Right now, it looks like a $2 billion upfront payment is the minimum number that will get management's attention. Using the weighted average number of common shares outstanding (basic and diluted) of approximately 109 million, the company's minimum quan is about $18 per share.

Deal structure, of course, is a lengthy and useful discussion to have, but not now.

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