Calculate the post-tax cost of capital for the move of Arden Ltd into the air freight industry having incorporated both business and financial risk into this evaluation. Further evaluate why the air freight Industry may have a different Beta than the passenger airline industry.
Critically evaluate CAPM as a methodology to get a value for the cost of equity for a company. Explain to Steve Culley, the CEO, what unsystematic risk is and its relevance to the CAPM calculation. Discuss why increasing gearing links into an increasing cost of equity and then briefly whether this would then lead to an increasing WACC.
Evaluate the NPV on this project using your previously calculated WACC. Steve Culley is also interested in your views on some other financial evaluation techniques he has heard of, namely MIRR and discounted payback and would like you to explain two benefits of the use of each of the techniques for Arden. Finally Steve is intensely aware of the risks around sales falling in this project and would be interested in you helping him to understand the significance of this variable.
Steve is also interested in understanding the Black Scholes formula better and specifically how it could accommodate the air freight opportunity. He has seen the call option formula but would like your reasoning on the effect of the 5 components – specifically the way a change in each of them individually would lead to a higher value for the call option on the potential expansion after the 4 year point.
Explain a range of ‘internal’ techniques for mitigating risk on the fuel payments that Arden has to make. In discussing these techniques critically evaluate their use under the circumstances of Arden.
Evaluate the hedging options available to Arden (based on the data in appendix 2) for the $20,000,000 borrowing requirement, assuming that on Oct 1st 2016 US Libor equivalent is 6% and the closing Futures price available is 93.80. The evaluation should include a numerical analysis and an identification of the steps involved in each hedging strategy selected, along with any advantages and disadvantages of the selected strategy.
Evaluate the use of using US dollar denominated debt (as opposed to UK debt) to finance the potential new US operations. Your analysis should also include the potential benefits that may accrue from a currency swap with a US company who may be looking to borrow in UK pounds. Illustrative calculations can be used to show this benefit to Steve Culley.
With respect to the Financing needs linked to the purchase of the new planes, critically evaluate the logic for using more Debt finance, versus equity, for Arden with particular focus on its own circumstances and the industry conditions of the Airline industry.
Critique the proposal to sell off the Hotel division of Arden as a way of raising finance but also as a long term commercially sensible solution for a business requiring accommodation for its employees.
Discuss the key reasons why Arden should list on a Stock exchange, focusing on benefits outside of just the raising initial finance through an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Detail for Steve responses on those areas of the IPO process that he doesn’t fully understand and explain to him the benefits of a premium market listing on the London Stock exchange.(Premium listing versus Standard listing). Also briefly assess whether this will be a significant challenge for Arden in meeting these criteria for a premium listing.
Air freight opportunity
Calculation of Post-tax Cost of Capital
Cost of equity capital:
It can be calculated by using the following CAPM formula:
E (Ri) = Rf + βi [E(Rm) - Rf]
Rf = 4%
β = 1.65
E(Rm) = 10%
Thus, cost of equity will be:
= 0.04 + 1.65(0.10 - 0.04)
= 0.04 + 1.65(0.06)
Cost of debt:
It can be computed by using the below formula:
Cost of debt =
I = Interest rate (Assumed as 10%)
T = Tax rate (20%)
= Market price of debt (Assumed as £125)
Thus, debt cost will be:
Now, WACC can be calculated as below:
Value of share
After tax cost %
Total capital cost
Equity share capital
0.08875 or 8.875%
Thus, it is clear that the cost of capital for the company is 8.875% or 9%.
The air freight industry must have a different beta than the passenger airline industry because beta is calculated from movements in the historical stock price that include both industry and finance risk. As industry risk is influenced by factors such as demand of the product, raw material prices, substitutes availability, etc., there must have a different beta for the air freight industry (Brown, 2010).
Evaluation of CAPM methodology to Obtain the Cost of Equity Value
For the valuation of risky securities, capital asset pricing model (CAPM) is an effective framework. The CAPM model defines that an asset's expected return is related to its risk as measured by beta (Pratt and Grabowski, 2010). The below is the formula for CAPM model:
E(Ri) = Rf + βi [E(Rm) - Rf] (Stowe, 2007).
E(Ri) = Expected return on asset
Rf = Risk free rate of return (Stowe, 2007).
E(Rm) = The expected return on the market portfolio
βi = beta, or the sensitivity of the assets to returns on the market portfolio (Stowe, 2007).
CAPM based expected rate of return can be used for valuing the cost of equity for a company. It is because as the CAPM depicts equilibrium and all risks are captured by beta, risk adjustments can be made by the investors based on beta. In addition, as the calculation of CAPM requires only some inputs and based on some simplifying assumptions, it is a preferable method to calculate firm's cost of equity (Viebig, Poddig and Varmaz, 2008). But, at the same time, as this model only considers systematic market risk, such risks might not be the only factor for defining all the variations in share prices. It shows that the major disadvantage of this method is related to the ignorance of unsystematic risk. It is because due to the ignorance of the unsystematic risk, the CAPM and beta are unable to define the amount of significant differences in stock returns (Pratt and Grabowski , 2010). In contrast, this model views that all the firms face the systematic risk (identified through beta), which no investor can remove from their chosen portfolio investments. Therefore, CAPM method provides as effective measure to value the company's equity cost of capital.
On the other hand, unsystematic risk is a company-specific risk that can be eliminated by the investors in their portfolio through diversification. The CAPM model also considers that by holding a broad portfolio that wipe out the effects of unsystematic risks, such risks can be eliminated. It reflects that CAPM methodology ignores the unsystematic risk and thus, this risk in not relevant to the CAPM calculation.
It can also be discussed that increasing gearing results into an increasing cost of equity. Gearing refers 'to the ratio of borrowed capital by the firm at a fixed rate of interest to the firm's total capital' (Collin, 1998). The main reason behind this is that due to increasing gearing or issue of more debt, more interest is disbursed of profits before stockholders can get paid their dividends (Heffernan, 2005). Furthermore, bigger interest payments increase the unpredictability of payment of dividends to shareholders. It is because if the company has inadequate profits in a year, there is still need to pay increased interest payments, which may affect the ability of the company to pay dividends. Moreover, it increases the financial risk to shareholders, due to which they require more return on their investment to compensate the increased risk resulting in increasing the cost of equity (Heffernan, 2005). In addition, the increase in cost of equity due to increasing gearing would also result in an increasing WACC. It is because WACC (weighted average cost of capital) is a simple average between the cost of debt and the cost of equity. Concurrently, as the cost of equity increases, it would also lead to increase in the WACC.
Calculation of NPV
The below table shows the calculation of cash flows for the project:
The following table summarizes the NPV calculations:
It is clear that this project has positive NPV of £35.34. Thus, it can be stated that investment in this project would be beneficial to maximize the shareholder value and attain positive benefits.
There are also other techniques, which can be used for assessing the viability of an investment project. The main techniques include modified internal rate of return (MIRR) and discount payback period. The benefits of these techniques for Arden is as below:
The main advantage of this technique is that it considers all the project's cash flows and also considers time value of money, which will be helpful for Arden to produce more effective results (Fabozzi, Drake, and Polimeni, 2007).
It will also be beneficial to inform about the increase in the company's value through an investment.
It also considers the risk of future cash flows through the cost of capital while making decisions (Brigham and Daves, 2014).
It also considers the concept of time value of money, thus it would be supportive for Arden to effectively evaluate the new project and produce valid results (Fabozzi and Drake, 2009).
Another benefit is that it would also be advantageous for Arden to assess the risk of new business venture's cash flow through the cost of capital (Fabozzi, Drake, and Polimeni, 2007).
Sales is an important variable while assessing the viability of a project. It is because sales figure is used to determine the cash flows from a project by reducing the operating expenses and making adjustments for depreciation and tax. Therefore, it is essential to accurately make assumptions regarding sales by considering the market and demand factors.
Black Scholes formula
The Black-scholes formula was developed by the three economic experts including 'Fischer Black, Myron Scholes and Robert Merton' (CvitaniÄ‡ and Zapatero, 2004). The formula can be used for calculating the European put and call options' theoretical price. Similarly, it could accommodate the air freight opportunity by providing a way to evaluate call and put option. There are certain assumptions, on which the formula works. These include 'during the option's life no dividend is paid, the options are European and can only be worked at the end, no movement in the market, no commission, constant risk free rate and volatility, and normally distributed returns' (Mayo, 2016). The below is the Black-scholes formula:
C = SN(d1) - N(d2)Ke-rt (Mayo, 2016).
In this, d1 and d2 can be calculated as follow:
d2 = d1 - s.
C = Call premium
S = Current stock price
T = time
K = Striking prices of the option
R = Risk-free interest rate
N = Cumulative standard normal distribution
e = Exponential term
s = Standard deviation
In = Natural log
It shows that the formula has five main components including 'current underlying price, options strike price, time until expiration, which is expressed as a percent of a year, implied volatility, and risk-free interest rates'.
There is a relationship between each independent variable and the call value due to which the changes in the each component leads to higher call option value. For example,
An increase in the stock's price, increases the call options value. It is because the intrinsic option value rises as per the increase in the stock price (Mayo, 2016).
Similarly, a decrease in the strike price, increases the call option's value.
A gain in to the time to expiration also increases the value of a call option because as time decreases, the value of option also falls (Mayo, 2016).
A rise in the stock's variability also increase the value. For the reason, a speculator will get an option more attractive with a volatile stock than an option with a stable stock price.
Interest rate increase will also increase the call option value as higher interest rates are related with higher call option valuations (Mayo, 2016).
The below are the techniques available that can be used by Arden for mitigating risk on the fuel payments.
Internal Control Framework: Firstly, to mitigate the risk, Arden should establish a internal control framework approved by the company's management and board. The framework must ensure internal control in different areas including fraud prevention, exact management information, separatism of duties, execution of approved strategies, and fuel payment audit in order to mitigate the risk (HSBC Bank Middle East, 2014). For example, management must be provided accurate information about the fuel payments so that effective decisions can be made to control the risk related to fuel payment. This technique will be beneficial for Arden as by making an effective internal control system, the company can avoid the use of external hedging techniques. It would also be cost effective for the company due to assurance about the optimum utilization of available resources.
Scenario Planning: It would also be an effective technique for Arden to mitigate the fuel payment risk. In this, the risk managers at Arden Ltd. can evaluate the business sensitivity to the changes in fuel prices and can develop contingency plans accordingly to reduce the adverse impact of the changes in the price of fuel (Kinder, 2008). The implementation of this technique can create additional cost for the company due to requirement of expertise people for scenario planning.
Collaborative Technologies: The use of such technologies can also be beneficial to mitigate the risk effectively. For example, combined human knowledge and sharing of information can be beneficial for Arden to reduce the extent to which fuel payments can adversely affect the business (Kinder, 2008).
Continuous Business Process Optimization: Implementation of effective risk management processes along with the use of proactive measures and technologies can be beneficial to get early information about the changes in fuel prices and thus, find suitable ways to control the situation in an effective and efficient manner (Kinder, 2008).
Calculation of interest
Profit earned on the future position
Thus, profit earned will be
Future Hedging Strategy
The below are the pros and cons of the future hedge strategy:
- Lack of credit risk,
- Possibility to extend the delivery date as well as closing out prior to maturity (Jovanovic, 2014).
- Limits price risk (Friedman and DeCorla-Souza, 2012).
- High Liquidity, and
- Extremely standardized contracts in the form of location delivery, quantity, and quality.
- Require daily settlement,
- Likely profit is limited (Jovanovic, 2014).
- Uncertainty of future returns.
In order to finance the new US operations, the company can use US dollar denominated debt as opposed to UK debt. Such kind of transactions are known as SWAPs. Swaps are OTC products, which 'require the swapping of one future cash flow for a different future cash flow, where both flows are defined by a benchmark' (Loader, 2013). Equity, Currency, and interest rate swaps are common examples. 'A currency swap is an interchange of certain amount of cash flows in one currency for a series of cash flows in another currency at pre-defined period and interest rate basis' (Loader, 2007).
For example, through currency swap with a US company, which is also searching to borrow in UK pounds, Arden Ltd. can borrow money cheaper. It is because with the help of currency swap, 'Arden will borrow British Pounds on a floating rate basis from its bank and then swap this GBP principle amount for USD with the swap bank counterparty' (Loader, 2013). Both the companies can agree to pay a fixed interest rate on the USD and recieve a floating interest rate on the GBP, which Arden can use to pay the floating rate interest on the original GBP loan from its bank. Another benefit of currency swap for Arden is that it will protect the company against changes in foreign exchange during the period of swap as well as defend against changes in the interest rate in the UK market throughout the borrowing period (Loader, 2007). The negative aspect of currency swap is that Arden may need to exchange the principle amount at both the swap term beginning and end at an fixed rate agreed. However, the positive aspect of currency swap outweigh its negatives, thus, it can be discussed that use of swap will be an effective option for the company.
In order to purchase the new planes, Arden require significant funds. There are several financial sources available including debt finance and equity finance that can be used by the Arden as per the suitability with its business nature. The below section critically evaluates the logic behind the use of more debt finance against equity for Arden:
The meaning of debt financing is to borrow money from an external source with the assurance to pay back the borrowed money plus a specific interest on a particular date. Debt financing has many advantages over equity financing for a business like Arden. For example, as the Airline industry is a capital-intensive industry with the high cost, it is beneficial to maintain high debt-to-equity ratio to reduce the capital cost by obtaining the cheaper debt (Bloomberg, 2016). In addition, the another advantage of debt funding against equity is that it will provide range of choices to Arden in order to obtain the required finance.
For example, Arden can get money either from bank loan, other financial institutions, corporations, and by issuing debentures. At the same time, debt would also be advantageous over equity for Arden in terms of lack of interference of the lenders in the business decisions and operations. In addition, as currently, Arden has a debt-equity ratio of 1:1, it would be easy for the company to raise more funds through debt financing. But, concurrently, the negative aspect of debt funding versus equity financing is that Arden will need to repay debt along with interest each month no matter what will be the performance in the end of the year. However, it can be discussed that due to high cost and huge capital investment requirement, the use of debt financing would be more beneficial for the company as compared to equity financing.
Arden is also considering the sell off the Hotel division in Paris in order to raise fund to finance the new project. This proposal can have both advantages and disadvantages for the company. The main benefit of raising finance through sell off the hotel part is that it can easily raise fund at comparatively less cost and with fewer legal requirements. In addition, this option would also be beneficial for Arden to gain access to money engaged in hotel division (Jowsey, 2014). It is because due to the reduced flight schedule in the last couple of years, Arden is planning to sale spare capacity in the hotel. Moreover, the released funds from the hotel division can also be beneficial to finance the new service business. In addition, Arden can also get other benefits from this option such as use of assets and transfer of the property value risk to a third party.
In contrary, this option will also create disadvantage for the company as the hotel division will no longer be owned by Arden, which will weaken the company's balance sheet (Jowsey, 2014). At the same time, it will also close the option to gain access to the funds by securing a loan using the hotel division. Moreover, it is also possible that the long-term value of the property will be greater than if they remain in the company's ownership. Concurrently, it will also end of the option to use the hotel division 'as a long-term commercially sensible solution for a business requiring accommodation for its employees' and generate a new revenue source for the company. Thus, it shows that the option to sale the hotel division of Arden has both positive and negative aspects and as negative aspects outweigh positive aspects, it can be stated that this is not an effective proposal for the company.
An initial public offering (IPO) is the process by which a firm that is managed privately issues shares of the stock for the first time to the public (Gullifer and Payne, 2015). In the growth of a business, IPO is an important stage as it provides access to wide capital market and also increase the company's credibility and vulnerability. The below are the key benefits that reflect the reasons why Arden should list on a Stock exchange:
Bettered Financial Position:
In an immediate manner, an IPO can improve the financial condition of Arden. For the reason, sale of shares to the public brings in money that does not have to be repaid, thus it helps in improving the financial position of the company (Ernst and Häcker, 2012).
Increased Shareholder Value
Commencing with an IPO, may increase the stock's value unusually. In addition, publically traded shares also command upper prices in comparison of those that are not, thus, it would be beneficial for Arden to increase the total shareholder value. Investors are also willing to pay for listed companies due to shares liquidity, maturity, and the availability of more information (Gullifer and Payne, 2015).
Variegation of Shareholder Portfolios
IPO will also provide an opportunity to Arden to pull parts of its assets out of the company (Ernst and Häcker, 2012). In simple word, it can be stated that by going public, Arden can secure the company's future.
Creates Opportunities for Future Fundings
Through an IPO, Arden can improve the company's net worth as well as create a border equity base (Ernst and Häcker, 2012). Moreover, the bettered equity ratio will make easier the borrowing of additional money as requires and will also reduce the borrowing's current cost.
The main benefit is that the net proceeds from the sale of shares through an IPO provides working capital for a firm (Gullifer and Payne, 2015). Similarly, in the case of Arden Ltd, the capital can be used to fulfil the financial needs to purchase new planes.
Thus, it shows that in addition to raise initial finance, an IPO also provides other benefits related to ensure about future financiang requirements and improve current financial position.
The main logic for the lead manager is to prepare the company to go public in an effective manner. The lead manager has the responsibility to develop confidence and respect within the industry as well as provide innovative ideas to make sure about the future growth.
Underwriting is an important step in an IPO process as the underwriter act as a mediator between the company and the capital markets. There are different kinds of underwriting agreements such as best efforts, all or none, and firm commitment that can be used by the company to start with an IPO. For example, through a firm commitment agreement, the company can transfer the risk of not selling the shares to the underwriter, which is the main reason behind underwriting of the share issue. A prospectus is prepared by the company to attract investors and shareholders to invest in the company.
Content of the Prospectus
The following content should be included in a prospectus:
- Information about the group structure of the company and its subsidiaries,
- Company history and share capital,
- Details of the industry sector, in which the firm operates and its main competitors,
- Last three years financial information,
- Current and future business plans,
- Compensation of the directors and their interest in the company,
- Compliance with the UK corporate governance code (Withers Worldwide).
- Information about current or any planned share option schemes,
- Any ongoing judicial proceedings of a material value,
- Risk factors influencing business (Withers Worldwide).
- Material contracts including IPO advisers,
- Information about listing process.
Benefits of a Premium Market Listing on the London Stock exchange
Premium listing and standard listing are some of the main routes to join the main market of the London stock exchange. Premium market listing provides additional benefits including lower cost of capital, greater transparency, and improved investor confidence to the company (London Stock Exchange Plc, 2016). The main reason behind the availability of these benefits under premium listing is that it requires compliance with the highest standards of regulation of the UK as well as corporate governance (Poitras, 2012). In addition, companies with a premium listing are also required to comply with the 'UK's super-equivalent rules which are higher than the EU minimum requirements (required to comply under standard listing)' (London Stock Exchange Plc, 2016). Another difference in both listing routes is that premium route is only open to equity shares while standard listing route is open to the issuance of equity shares, debt securities, global depositary receipts, and securitised derivatives.
In addition, it is also assessed that Arden will face considerable challenges in order to meet criteria for a premium listing. It is because it is difficult to understand and comply with the high standard UK's rules and regulations without the help of a right adviser. Moreover, the company also needs to be aware about different key obligations related to notice period, relationship agreement, directors' retirement, dealing restrictions, etc. in order to avoid corporate governance issues (Withers Worldwide). Thus, in order to ensure the success of an IPO through premium listing, the company should take the service of a adviser such as lawyers, PR consultants, and an investment bank.
From the above discussion, it can be summarized that the use of CAPM methodogy provides an effective tool to measure the firm's cost of equity capital. It can also be summarized that before using a particular finance source, the firm must evaluate each option available in terms of its costs and benefits so that an effective decision can be made. This can be also inferred that as the aviation industry involves high risk, the use of more debt finance would be appropriate to reduce the overall firm's cost of capital.
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