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Ownership History

Question:

Discuss About The Consumer Electronics Products In Australia?

This assignment helps in developing an understanding about the ownership history of the Dick Smith brand which is a retailer which deals in consumer electronics products in Australia and New Zealand and has a reputed name in the market. In this assignment a critical evaluation of the valuation of DSH when DSH was acquired by Anchorage Capital Partners and at its initial public offering (IPO) is also undertaken. It is analyzed that the sales growth forecast is to decrease from $1.3 billion to $1.2 billion when compared to the last financial year.  In this assignment an assessment of the ethical dilemmas facing two separate sets of people i.e. Anchorage Capital Partners in respect of the flotation of the business and The directors and senior executives of Dick Smith Holdings in respect of statements made in the 2014/15report and accounts (Asquith and Weiss, 2016). 

Dick Smith Holdings Limited is a retailer which deals in consumer electronics products in Australia and New Zealand and has a reputed name. The organization was founded in 1968 by entrepreneur named as Dick Smith. He started the organization with single store of installation of car radio in the city Sydney. Some part of it was purchased by Woolworths Limited in the year 1981. Woolworths took complete ownership of Dick Smith Holdings Limited in the year 1983 when it was having 20 stores. Woolworths make acquisition of Tandy in the year 2001 and most of the stores of Tandy were rebrand as Dick Smith and in the end of the year 2005 they generated sales of $1bn (Theconversation, 2017).

 Dick Smith Holding was reputed organization and has a well known brand name in the country Australia. But Woolworths has leaded the organization towards competitive pressures and thus resulting in failed restructuring of the business by the Woolworths.  Woolworths make divestment in the business of Dick Smith Holdings and is finally acquired by Anchorage Capital Partners (“Anchorage”) in the year November 2012 for $94m. Anchorage Capital Partners is an organization which is Australian based private equity firm having around $450m funds.  After restructuring of 12 months Dick Smith Holdings get listed on the stock exchange by getting funds of $520m at a $2.20 per share price (SMH, 2017). This IPO of Dick Smith Holdings helped Anchorage a return which was four times of its investment.

Valuation of DSH

An announcement was made by Anchorage Capital Partners that it has entered in to a contract to acquire hundred per cent share of Dick Smith Holdings. Dick Smith Holdings is a reputed consumer electronics organization in Australia which was started in the year 1968 by the person named Dick Smith and has become the part of the organization named Woolworths. Dick Smith Holdings has 4500 employees and around 325 stores in Australia and New Zealand in the year 2012 when Anchorage Capital Partners made the announcement of acquisition of Dick Smith Holdings. The transactions of Dick Smith Holdings were structured in order to support the sale by the financial statements (Fresard, 2010). Financial statements of Dick Smith Holdings shows no core debts to the organization and asset backing which was enough considerable in order to justify the solvency of the business of Dick Smith Holdings (Duchin et. a., 2010).

At initial public offering of Dick Smith Holding, Dick Smith Holding was valued at $520.3 million, at a price of initial public offering of $2.20 which was more than increase of 400 per cent in just a period of one year. This increase was mostly based upon the interpretation of the investors on the forecast made by the organization that there will be $40 million net profit in the financial year.  In the previous financial year, Dick Smith Holdings reported a total profit of $6.7 million. In the first quarter, Dick Smith Holdings has attained profit of $6.1 million which can be analyzed from the financial statements published by the organization (Hadlock and Pierce, 2010).

It is analyzed that the sales growth forecast is to decrease from $1.3 billion to $1.2 billion when compared to the last financial year. From forecast of net profit of $40 million and total net profit after tax margin is 3.9 per cent in the current financial accounting period. It can also be stated that in the basis of further store openings and further reductions in operations will lead towards increase in growth of the sales of the organization (Beyer et. al., 2010).  The directors also stated that company is intending towards pay out approximately 60-70 per cent of the net profit. The organization was also making an announcement of payment of dividend in October next year.

Dick smith 66.2 per cent shares were sold through the IPO with Anchorage holding amounting 47.3 million shares and the remaining shares will be hold by the existing shares. The market of consumer electronics in the country has faced a huge pressure from the last years and thus leads towards instability in the economic conditions of the retailers. This has also lead towards decrease in sales and profit margins of the retailers. It is also analyzed that the sentiments of the consumer has increased in the recent year which can show up a rise of 23 per cent when compared to previous years (Bebchuk and Weisbach, 2010). It can be concluded that management of the organization believes that increase in sentiments of consumer will drive a more positive domestic and worldwide economic stability in Australia and New Zealand and this will help the retailers to gradually improve their economical conditions.

Ethical Dilemmas Faced by Anchorage Capital Partners

Ethical dilemma faced by Anchorage Capital Partners in respect of the flotation of the business is discussed in this part.  Anchorage Capital Partners has defended their role in the collapse of the Dick Smith and claimed that the organization has a sustainable business when it got floated on the share market for millions of dollars in profit. The Anchorage Capital Partners faced ethical dilemma over its role in collapse of Dick Smith Holdings. Ethical dilemma faced by Anchorage Capital Partners on the comments made by it that the Dick Smith take too much for their own investors and only few part is left for the new owners making the organization in unsustainable (Berk et. al., 2013). The ethical dilemmas faced by Anchorage Capital Partners in examine the recording profits in the financial year by Dick Smith.

Ethical dilemma faced by Anchorage Capital Partners on write down various leases and other assets that has reduced future charges and boosted profits of the organization in a way that can make inflation in the price in order to on sell the business. Ethical dilemma was also faced by Anchorage when it faced the charges of absolute dishonesty and reduction in morality in selling the organization for an amount which was huge before it collapsed. Ethical dilemma was also faced by Anchorage in the quick around time between selling and buying of the business (Berenson et. al., 2012). Dick Smith Holdings has the balance of the purchase price which was funded from cash generated and run down sales of the amounts which were in excess and the stock was also moving very slowly.

Ethical dilemma was also faced by Anchorage in the benefit of previous accounting provisions, falls in profit margin and when the company reports a combination of degrading the same store sales and has also reduces gross margins in the trading activities.  Anchorage Capital also faced dilemma that if Dick Smith Holdings was not very successful in trading, and was not updating their stock accordingly than how they declared dividends to their shareholders. Ethical dilemma had also arisen that the turnaround has started around 18 month period after the flotation before Dick Smith Holdings started borrowing. Ethical dilemma has also caused that if the administration has determined an operating background and a momentum which can be considered positive than why the results of Dick Smith Holdings got fluctuated (Huhtala et. al., 2013). Dick Smith was allowed to carry its administration on its own than why it lead towards collapse and this is also the reason for ethical dilemma.

Ethical Dilemmas Faced by Directors and Senior Executives of Dick Smith Holdings

Anchorage capital also faced dilemma in making changes in the business mix of the Dick Smith holdings and tried to make a push in order to get higher margins in the sale of the products in order to enhance the profitability. Ethical dilemmas was also faced by Anchorage capital when more than 3000 employees were retrenched from the job in the Dick Smith Holdings and when about 300 stores were closed in the country and also accountants were removed from their positions in the organization. Ethical dilemma faced by Anchorage capital was that whether Dick Smith Holdings will be able to survive or not in the market in a constructive manner (Muniesa and Lenglet, 2013).

There were many ethical dilemmas faced by the directors and senior executives of Dick Smith Holdings in respect of 2014/15report and accounts. The directors and senior executives faced ethical dilemmas in achievements of highest standards of corporate governance for the business. Dick Smith Holdings should disclose all the respective responsibilities and roles in the board meetings and the manner in which management will evaluate the performance which was one of the ethical dilemmas faced by the directors and senior executives (Boatright, 2013).  Ethical dilemma was also by the directors at the time of appointment of an employee by undertaking appropriate checks and to provide security holders all the relevant information about the organization for taking an appropriate action regarding election of director.

An ethical dilemma was faced by the senior executives on the implications of actions of directors of the organization and that in safeguarding the interests of the company and its staff in advising how the situation may be rectified. If the directors of the organization may be friendly and understandable than the senior executives can advise them for the required changes in the system of accounting.  The disclosures made by the organization in the past financial statements on the sales and income of the organization (Damodaran, 2010). The directors in the organization had not shown their concern on the changes which were required and the senior executives maintains a distance from making involvement in the organization and does not paid their attention on preparation of financial statements and this invites lot of resignation in the organization.

The directors faced ethical dilemmas in disclosing of a process for making an evaluation in a periodic manner and disclosure regarding reporting period in the financial statement in accordance with the process. Ethical dilemma was also faced in making a diversity policy which includes requirements for the organization in order to manage the diversity in the organization and also to set the goals that can be measured effectively. One of the ethical dilemma faced b y the director’s is of internal audit and how this internal audit had to be structured in the organization. Ineffectiveness in internal audit function leads towards various risks in the financial statements (Gitman et. al., 2015).  Ethical dilemma was also faced at the time of assessment and review of the performance of the organization and the risk associated with it. The risk includes internal compliances and various measurements, codes of conduct and compliance with the laws and regulations. The directors faced ethical dilemmas in order to observe highest standards in corporate governance practices and in safeguarding integrity in financial statements reporting. Ethical dilemmas also faced in assessing the financial statements of Dick Smith. An Ethical dilemma was also faced in management of risk by the directors and in m management and addressing of the issues in the organization efficiently and effectively (Australian Government, 2017). Identification in Sustainability risks and various economic risks was also an ethical dilemma faced by the directors and senior executives.

Conclusion

From this assignment it can be concluded that Dick Smith Holding was reputed organization and has a well known brand name in the country Australia. But Woolworths has leaded the organization towards competitive pressures and thus resulting in failed restructuring of the business by the Woolworths.  Woolworths make divestment in the business of Dick Smith Holdings and is finally acquired by Anchorage Capital Partners.  It can also be analyzed that the directors and senior executives faced ethical dilemmas in achievements of highest standards of corporate governance for the business. Dick Smith Holdings should disclose all the respective responsibilities and roles in the board meetings and the manner in which management will evaluate the performance which was one of the ethical dilemmas faced by the directors and senior executives. Anchorage Capital Partners has defended their role in the collapse of the Dick Smith and claimed that the organization has a sustainable business when it got floated on the share market for millions of dollars in profit.

References

Asquith, P., & Weiss, L. A. (2016). Lessons in corporate finance: A case studies approach to financial tools, financial policies, and valuation. John Wiley & Sons.

Australian Government (2017). Federal Register of Legislation. [Online]. Available at:

Bebchuk, L. A., & Weisbach, M. S. (2010). The state of corporate governance research. The review of financial studies, 23(3), 939-961.

Berenson, M., Levine, D., Szabat, K. A., & Krehbiel, T. C. (2012). Basic business statistics: Concepts and applications. UK: Pearson higher education.

Berk, J., DeMarzo, P., Harford, J., Ford, G., Mollica, V., & Finch, N. (2013). Fundamentals of corporate finance. UK: Pearson Higher Education.

Beyer, A., Cohen, D. A., Lys, T. Z., & Walther, B. R. (2010). The financial reporting environment: Review of the recent literature. Journal of accounting and economics, 50(2), 296-343.

Boatright, J. R. (2013). Ethics in finance. UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Damodaran, A. (2010). Applied corporate finance. UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Duchin, R., Ozbas, O., & Sensoy, B. A. (2010). Costly external finance, corporate investment, and the subprime mortgage credit crisis. Journal of Financial Economics, 97(3), 418-435.

Fresard, L. (2010). Financial strength and product market behavior: The real effects of corporate cash holdings. The Journal of finance, 65(3), 1097-1122.

Gitman, L. J., Juchau, R., & Flanagan, J. (2015). Principles of managerial finance. UK: Pearson Higher Education.

Hadlock, C. J., & Pierce, J. R. (2010). New evidence on measuring financial constraints: Moving beyond the KZ index. The Review of Financial Studies, 23(5), 1909-1940.

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2016C00028 (Accessed: 7 September 2017).

Huhtala, M., Feldt, T., Hyvönen, K., & Mauno, S. (2013). Ethical organisational culture as a context for managers’ personal work goals. Journal of Business Ethics, 114(2), 265-282.

Muniesa, F., & Lenglet, M. (2013). Responsible innovation in finance: directions and implications. Responsible Innovation: Managing the Responsible Emergence of Science and Innovation in Society, 185-198.

SMH (2017). Dick Smith's flat ASX debut. [Online]. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/dick-smiths-flat-asx-debut-20131204-2yq2a.html (Accessed: 7 September 2017).

Theconversation (2017). How private equity won while other Dick Smith investors got burnt. [Online]. Available at: https://theconversation.com/how-private-equity-won-while-other-dick-smith-investors-got-burnt-52805 (Accessed: 7 September 2017).

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