In a business combination, buyers are required to record the acquired assets and assumed liabilities of a business at their fair values. Fair value reflects the price that market participants would receive to sell an asset or pay to transfer a liability. Assets and liabilities may be used differently by different market participants, resulting in variations in values. Therefore, a market participant's view is an important aspect of the valuation process as a buyer cannot look only to its own intended use of an asset or its ability to transfer a liability at a certain price.
This edition of Mergers & acquisitions — a snapshot, provides insight on the identification of market participants, as well as how entities can develop market participant assumptions.