The Louisiana Purchase – A Wonder It Ever Came Together
If ever there was a deal that needed capable valuation assistance it was the Louisiana Purchase, which was inked 210 years ago this month. Though the deal doubled the size of the fledgling United States of America, and dwarfs virtually any other land transaction in history, key elements of the Purchase came close to comedy.
France had explored the vast area known as Louisiana, claimed it, ceded it away, then secretly reacquired it before realizing she had a greater need for cash to wage war.
Napoleon closed the port of New Orleans to American settlers in the west, stirring intense negative emotions in the U.S. President Thomas Jefferson declared the act “a point of eternal friction.”
Jefferson wanted to buy New Orleans, but doubted whether the federal government had the authority.
Napoleon offered to sell the entire territory, but Spain held that Napoleon had no right to sell it. The ultimate price approximated 3 cents per acre.
The U.S. did not have funds to consummate the expanded deal.
In sum, the Louisiana Purchase engaged parties with extraordinary pressures to affect a deal, questionable abilities to perform and limited knowledge of the subject.
If you are considering the purchase or sale of a business – even one smaller than the American West - do you want to go in “blind” as to valuation? Call on me. Utilizing my experience and credentialed training, I will isolate the circumstantial “noise” from reality and give informed, arms length counsel. You will avoid a circus-like event and be better able to get to a reasonable deal and a closing.
Certified Valuation Analyst