Frequently Asked Questions
MergerShark's Founding and Data:

Who founded MergerShark?

MergerShark was founded by business valuation expert Brian Pearson, CPA/ABV/PFS/CFF ASA, MBA. Brian is the  founder and managing member of Valuation Advisors, LLC, which conducts valuations of privately held businesses for a wide range of financial and tax transactions. Brian has been collecting the data that comprises MergerShark for over 15 years. Originally, he was using it internally in his own business valuation practice, but he decided to take the data he found useful and offer it to his fellow professionals in a multi-faceted, affordable business valuation database. 

Brian also created the Valuation Advisors Lack of Marketability Discount database, which is the world’s largest source for DLOM, with 14,300+ pre-IPO transactions. He currently serves on the AICPA's ABV exam writing task force and is a nationally recognized valuation expert. He is also a past New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) business valuation Chairman and currently on the NYSSCPA Ethics committee.



Where is your data sourced from?

The majority of our data is sourced from public company filings with the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), other countries equivalent agencies of the SEC, press releases and other sources. However, we have over 5,000 privately held transactions. Further, we do not currently accept transactions from business brokers in exchange for free subscriptions, so rest assured, you can independently verify MergerShark's data if needed and depend on it in your client reports or litigations with confidence.

How often is the data updated?

Our analysts process new transactions daily and we upload new data to the database on a weekly basis or sooner, depending on the volume of new data

When is deal date determined?

The deal date is the day the deal was signed, not the closing date.

How is the deal timeframe calculated?

This is the time it takes from when the company decided to begin the sale process until the signing of the deal.

How do you determine what industry a company belongs to?

This is done using Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes.

What is equity value?

Equity value is the deal price per share multiplied by the total shares outstanding plus the net proceeds of any outstanding stock options or warrants.

What is enterprise value?

Enterprise value is calculated as equity value plus preferred stock, plus short and long term interest bearing debt, plus capitalized leases, less cash, cash equivalents, & marketable or investment securities. We do not include pension liabilities in our calculation of enterprise value.

Can you explain the different types of deal premiums?
 

Deal actual premiums are determined by dividing the deal price per share by the stock price at the time period selected before the deal (for example 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, etc.).

Deal average premiums are calculated using the average daily stock closing price over the period selected.

Deal unadjusted premiums are calculated using the time period before the deal may have become rumored or expected by the markets. The price used begins with the 1 day period as the day before the stock price may have changed with news of a possible deal.


How do you calculate lack of marketability?

MergerShark's Discount for Lack of Marketability (DLOM) Stock Options model which uses long term equity anticipation (LEAP) calls and puts using a proprietary group of 30 large publicly traded companies to calculate a DLOM. The 30 large capitalization publicly traded companies we use cover a broad range of industries, are actively traded, and the discounts are therefore truly market based, timely and not subjective. We update this discount monthly for 6, 12, and 24 months’ timeframes. 


Searching:

What are some of the abbreviations used in the MergerShark databases?
 

dba = doing business as

EBIT = earnings before interest and taxes

EDITDA = earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, & amortization

DLOC = discount for lack of control

DCF = discounted cash flow

FFO = fund from operations

AFFO = adjusted funds from operations

PV10 = PV10 is the current value of approximated oil and gas revenues in the future, minus anticipated expenses, discounted using a yearly discount rate of 10%.


How do I edit an existing search?

Click the dark red “Edit Search” button to go back to the original search page and edit your search.

How do I edit an existing search?

Click the grey “Save My Search” button near the top of the search results page and give your search a unique name. To run a saved search, on the search page, click the dark red "Saved Searches" button on the left and select your saved search to run. 

How do I narrow my search results?
 

You can edit your original search and re-run the search.

Or you can manually narrow down your existing search results. To manually select which results to keep and not keep check the boxes of the results you would like to keep & click the gray “Recalculate” button. To go back to all your original search results click the dark red “Edit Search” button.


How do I download my search results to Excel?

Simply click the gray “Export Results to Excel” button at the top of your Results Summary.

How do I print my search results?

To print just the results summary click the gray “Print Results Summary” button. To print the entire list of search results, either export the results to Excel and print the Excel file or highlight your search results list with your cursor and right click and print your highlighted selection.

How do I print individual transaction information from my search results?

Open the individual transaction you would like further detail on. Then print the whole page, like you would any other webpage. 


Subscriptions:

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept credit cards or debit cards that can function as credit cards.


How can I upgrade my subscription or some of my employees’ subscriptions?
 

For a single user, whose subscription is not managed by your company, log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Upgrade Subscription” under “Manage Subscriptions.” Click on it to review our other plans and select your upgraded plan.

For an individual whose company manages their subscription, only your account manager can upgrade your account. Feel free to discuss any upgraded features that could benefit your research with your account manager.

For a company account manager, log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Upgrade, Downgrade, and Delete Subscriptions” under “Manage Users.” There you can review plans and select which users to upgrade and their new plans.

When a subscription is upgraded you will be credited the full amount for the month in which you request the upgrade and the remaining months left on your previous subscription contract. You will then be billed the annual rate for your new plan, which will start a new subscription contract term.


How can I downgrade my subscription or some of my employees’ subscriptions?
 

For a single user, whose subscription is not managed by your company, log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Downgrade or Delete Subscription” under “Manage Subscription.” Click on it to select your new plan.

For an individual whose company manages their subscription, only your account manager can downgrade your account.

For a company account manager , log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Upgrade, Downgrade, and Delete Subscriptions” under “Manage Users.” There you can review plans and select which users to downgrade and which new plan to select.

When a subscription is downgraded you will be credited the full amount for the month in which you request the downgrade and the remaining months left on your previous subscription contract. You will then be billed the annual rate for your new plan, which will start a new subscription contract term


As company account manager why would I want to transfer a subscription and how can I do this?

There can be many instances where one of your employees, who you have a subscription for, is temporarily or permanently leaving your company. Your users may switch jobs, move internally within the company, go on a maternity leave, go on an extended leave for health, family, or other reasons, etc. You may want to transfer their subscription to their replacement temporarily or permanently, which you can do hassle free. Log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Transfer Subscriptions” under “Manage Users.” There you can transfer a subscription by entering the old and new users’ email addresses.


What happens if I want to cancel my subscription or some of my employees’ subscriptions?
 

For a single user, whose subscription is not managed by your company, log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Downgrade or Cancel Subscription” under “Manage Subscription.” Click on it to delete your subscription and account.

For an individual whose company manages their subscription, only your account manager can cancel your subscription and account.

For a company account manager , log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Upgrade, Downgrade, and Cancel Subscriptions” under “Manage Users.” There you can select which users to delete. Keep in mind that unless you are cancelling everyone’s subscription, you, as the account manager for your company, must keep your subscription.


How do refunds work if I cancel my subscriptions or some of my employees’ subscriptions?

Customer satisfaction is our highest priority. Therefore, our refund policy is designed to strike the a balance between being fair to customers who genuinely no longer need the service and preventing people from committing data theft. We do not offer refunds for monthly billing. While other business valuation databases charge hundreds of dollars for day passes, our monthly price for our most popular plan is only $129. For annual payment suscribers, if you cancel
 within the first six months of use will get a 50% refund of the remaining time left on your subscription. Paid annual subscribers who cancel after six months of use and before nine months of use will get a 25% refund of the remaining time left on your subscription. Paid annual subscribers who cancel after nine months of use will be offered no refunds.

 
 
My Account:

Can I log-in on multiple devices at once?

To prevent someone other than yourself from using your account you may only be logged into MergerShark on one device (desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile phone). If you forget to log out of MergerShark on one device and log in on another device you will be automatically logged out on the device you were previously using.


What do I do if I forgot my password ?

If you forgot your password go to the log-in page. Below the box where you would normally enter your password there is a link “Forgot your password?” Click on it and you will be sent to a page to enter your work email used to log into your account. An email will be sent to you shortly with a link to securely reset your password.


How can I change my email/username ?

Log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Change Email/Username” under “Sign-In and Security.” Click on it to change your email address/username. After you submit your request, an email will be sent to your new email address for you to confirm it.


How can I change my password?

Log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Change Password” under “Sign-In and Security.” Click on it to change your password.


How can I change my personal information such as name, phone number, or address?
 

For a single user, whose subscription is not managed by your company, log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Change Personal Account Information” under “Account Information” Click on it to change your account information.

For an individual whose company manages their subscription, log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Change Account Information” under “Account Information” Click on it to change your account information.

For a company account manager, log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Change Personal Account Information” under “Account Information” Click on it to change your account information.


How can I change my payment and billing information such as credit card information and billing address?
 

For a single user, whose subscription is not managed by your company, log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Change Payment/Billing Information” under “Account Information” Click on it to change your payment or billing information.

For an individual whose company manages their subscription ,your company account manager is responsible for managing the company’s payment and billing information. Only your account manager can change this information.

For a company account manager, log into your account. Click on the grey “My Account” button in the upper right hand corner. On your account management dashboard there is a link called “Change Company Payment/Billing Information” under “Account Information” Click on it to change your company’s payment or billing information.


If I am having any issues with my account that is not answered above, whom can I email for help?

Please send an email to techsupport@mergershark.com and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

 
 
 
Security & Unfreezing an Account:

Why is my account frozen?

Accounts are frozen out of an abundance of caution, if we notice you have downloaded a substantially high number of transactions in a short period of time. Accounts are unfrozen once we can determine your data use does not violate the Term of Use agreement.


How can I have my account unfrozen?
 

In order for your account to be unfrozen and your access to our services resumed we need to determine your data use does not violate the Terms of Use Agreement which you have consented to. Please email security@mergershark.com and provide your full name and a detailed explanation of your use of the data that necessitated the high number of transactions to be downloaded. Upon prompt review and follow-up correspondence, as appropriate, your account will be unfrozen.

We apologize for any inconvenience that having your account frozen may cause. We are proud to give you reliable data on a secure platform and we appreciate your understanding as we quickly address this matter.

 
Press:

How can I inquire about featuring MergerShark in a press article?

Please email press@mergershark.com. We are always open to being featured in an article, collaborating on an interesting story or providing professional commentary and opinion.

 
 
Careers:

How can I inquire about job and internship openings?

Please email grow@mergershark.com for information on career and internship opportunities and working for MergerShark.