Investor's wiki

Asset Sales

Asset Sales

What Are Asset Sales?

An asset sale happens when a bank or other type of firm sells its receivables to another party. A type of non-recourse sale, these transactions are executed for various reasons, including to relieve asset-related risk, get free-cash flows, or meet liquidation requirements.

Asset sales can, and frequently do, influence a company's net income.

How Asset Sales Work

Asset sales include real assets of a business — typically, an aggregation of assets — instead of shares of stock and can be a complex transaction according to an accounting viewpoint. Accounts receivable are kept as an asset on a balance sheet. An asset sale is classified in that capacity assuming the seller gives the buyer control of the property after payment is made.

The buyer can't have further recourse to the assets after the sale. In the event that recourse were permitted, this characteristic will make the transaction be viewed as financing — a loan, essentially. That wouldn't provide the company with the ideal consequence of increased free cash flows.

For banks, assets sales are in many cases achieved through the sales of individual loans or pools of whole loans, or through the securitization of the bank's receivables. For different kinds of companies, assets could be unmistakable (inventory, real estate, equipment, investments, working capital, or even a whole subsidiary or division) or elusive (licenses, brand names, copyrights, or goodwill).

At the point when a government performs an asset sale, the system is known as disinvestment.

Special Considerations

In an asset sale, a business can pick what it's selling. While the buyer purchases any or these individual assets, the seller holds possession of the legal business entity. The buyer might make another company or utilize an existing subsidiary to secure the chose assets, alongside management and contracts. An asset sale conveys considerably less risk for a buyer since any liabilities (litigation, obligations, and so on) and contingent expenses stay the seller's responsibility.

Regularly, buyers favor asset sales, though sellers incline toward stock sales. In any case, in the event that a business is unincorporated, an asset sale may be its just option, as it has no stock to sell or transfer.

Tax Implications of Asset Sales

Alongside the lack of exposure to corporate liabilities, asset sales offer tax benefits to buyers. Asset sales permit buyers to step-up the tax basis in the acquired assets. By designating a higher value for assets that devalue rapidly (like equipment) and by distributing lower values to assets that amortize gradually (like goodwill, which has a 15-year life), the buyer can accomplish significant tax breaks.

Conversely, for the seller, asset sales frequently produce higher income taxes. Albeit a few long-held theoretical assets, like goodwill, are taxed at capital gains rates, different assets can be subject to higher ordinary income tax rates.

Besides, in the event that the assets sold are held in a "C" corporation, the seller is presented to double taxation. The corporation is first taxed upon selling the assets to the buyer. The corporation's shareholders are then taxed again when the sales proceeds are distributed by the corporation as a dividend or in another form.

With stock sales, all proceeds get taxed at the lower capital gains rate; as a matter of fact, on the off chance that the business is assuming a loss, there is a possibility that the whole price it's being paid might be tax-free.


  • Ordinarily, because of reasons having to do with tax benefits, buyers favor asset sales, though sellers incline toward stock sales.
  • The buyer expects no liabilities in an asset sale.
  • The seller holds legal ownership of the company that has sold the assets yet has no further recourse to the sold assets.
  • All in an asset sale, a firm sells some or its real assets, either substantial or immaterial.