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Sensata Technologies Holding N.V.'s SEC Filings

SENSATA TECHNOLOGIES HOLDING PLC filed this Form S-1/A on 03/09/2010
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Our outstanding option awards are generally divided into three tranches. The first tranche is subject to time vesting. The second and third tranches are subject to time vesting and, additionally, the completion of a liquidity event that results in specified returns on the Sponsors’ investment. During the three months ended September 30, 2009, Tranche 3 options were converted to Tranche 2 options.


The fair value of the Tranche 1 options are estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes-Merton option-pricing model. Key assumptions used in estimating the grant-date fair value of these options are as follows: the fair value of the ordinary shares, dividend yield, expected volatility, risk-free interest rate and expected term. The expected term of the time vesting options was based on the “simplified” methodology prescribed by the SAB No. 107 (“SAB 107”). The expected term is determined by computing the mathematical mean of the average vesting period and the contractual life of the options. We utilize the simplified method for options granted due to the lack of historical exercise data necessary to provide a reasonable basis upon which to estimate the term. We consider the historical and implied volatility of publicly-traded companies within our industry when selecting the appropriate volatility to apply to the options. Ultimately, we utilize the implied volatility to calculate the fair value of the options as it provides a forward-looking indication and may offer insight into expected industry volatility. The risk-free interest rate is based on the yield for a U.S. Treasury security having a maturity similar to the expected life of the related grant. The dividend yield is based on management’s judgment with input from our board of directors.


We perform contemporaneous valuations to estimate the fair value of the Company’s ordinary shares in connection with the issuance of share-based payment awards. We rely on these valuation analyses in determining the fair value of the share-based payment awards. The assumptions required by these valuation analyses involve the use of significant judgments and estimates on the part of management.


For significant awards, such as those granted on September 4, 2009 and December 9, 2009, the valuation analysis of the ordinary shares of the Company utilizes a combination of the discounted cash flow method and the guideline company method. For less significant awards, we rely solely on the discounted cash flow method. For the discounted cash flow method, we prepare detailed annual projections of future cash flows over a period of five fiscal years, or the “Discrete Projection Period.” We estimate the total value of the cash flow beyond the final fiscal year by applying a multiple to the final projected fiscal year EBITDA, or the “Final Fiscal Year.” The cash flows from the Discrete Projection Period and the Final Fiscal Year are discounted at an estimated weighted-average cost of capital. The estimated weighted-average cost of capital is derived, in part, from the median capital structure of comparable companies within similar industries. We believe that our procedures for estimating discounted future cash flows, including the Final Fiscal Year valuation, are reasonable and consistent with accepted valuation practices. For the guideline company method, we perform an analysis to identify a group of publicly-traded companies that are comparable to our company. Many of the companies with whom we compete are smaller, privately-held companies or divisions within large publicly-traded companies. Therefore, in order to develop market-based multiples, we turn to publicly-traded companies that we believe operate in industries similar to our own. We calculate an implied EBITDA multiple (enterprise value/EBITDA) for each of the guideline companies and select the appropriate multiple to apply to our EBITDA (our fiscal year 2010 projected EBITDA in the case of the awards issued on September 4, 2009 and December 9, 2009) depending on the facts and circumstances. For the awards issued on September 4, 2009 and December 9, 2009, the resulting enterprise value under this guideline company method was within 10% of the enterprise value under the discounted cash flow method. For these grants, we utilized the average of the two methods to determine the fair value of the ordinary shares. In addition, we apply a marketability discount (6.0% for the awards issued on September 4, 2009 and 5.0% for the awards issued on December 9, 2009) to the implied value of equity. We believe that the overall approach is consistent with the principles and guidance set forth in the 2004 AICPA Practice Aid on Valuation of Privately-Held-Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation.


The fair value of the Tranche 2 and 3 options are estimated on the date of grant using the Monte Carlo Simulation Approach. Key assumptions used include those described above for determining the fair value of Tranche 1 options in addition to assumed time to liquidity and probability of an initial public offering versus a