Estimating the Divisional Cost of Capital: An Analysis of the Pure‐Play Technique

  • Published: Apr 30, 2012
  • Pages: 997-1009
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.1981.tb01071.x


This paper suggests that the pure‐play technique can be used in conjunction with the capital asset pricing model to determine the cost of equity capital for the divisions of a multidivision firm. Since the beta for a division is unobservable in the marketplace, a proxy beta derived from a publicly traded firm whose operations are as similar as possible to the division in question is used as the measure of the division's systematic risk. To provide empirical support for using the pure‐play technique, a sample of multidivision firms and pure‐plays associated with each division is examined. It is shown that an appropriately weighted average of the betas of the pure‐play firms closely approximates the beta of the multidivision firm.

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