Tough call: Deciding to write off goodwill
Abstract: During economic downturns, a company may face some major goodwill impairment. For those thinking about selling, such impairment could affect an M&A deal’s value. Companies in this position must decide whether to write off goodwill — which has both pros and cons. Companies that write off goodwill usually reason that it’s a better alternative to having to adjust their company’s overall book value downward. But prospective buyers may oppose it for potential regulatory or legal issues. More often, buyers prefer that their target write off goodwill before negotiating a sale price.