So how do you take a company that began as a sexting app and is now loved for plastering dog faces over selfies, whose very existence depends upon an extraordinarily fickle, teenager-fueled market – a company that lost more than $500M on sales of just $400M – and get to a valuation of 28 billion dollars?
This post will disappear in 10 seconds. Read fast. Imagine this scenario: You hire an investment banker to represent you in the sale of your company. She finds a group of angels and negotiates a deal for a tidy $50 million – a bit higher than the upper end of her expectations.
Now that we’ve got your attention…In a 1964 ruling on obscenity, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously quipped that while it may be difficult to define what’s obscene, “I know it when I see it.” Well, the same can be said of revenue recognition (how’s that for a segue?).
We’ve all seen those brilliant pronouncements. You know, the ones that seem like they could come from Neil deGrasse Tyson, only to realize that they just as easily could have come from Mike Tyson – with a mouthful of ear.
Suddenly, pediatric home care mergers and acquisitions is Where the Wild Things Are. The rumpus first broke when Bain Capital (yeah, that Bain, and perhaps bane of Mitt Romney) announced that it was acquiring Epic Health Services for a cool (just under) billion dollars.
You go to B-school. You learn about discount rates, cost of capital, multiples, discounted cash flow, capital structures, tranches (oh, the bankers go ga ga over tranches) – enough numbers and data to make a spreadsheet jockey swoon.