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提问人:网友rayofdawn 发布时间:2024-07-10
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Section B – TWO questions ONLY to be attemptedAmbion is the third largest industrial count

Section B – TWO questions ONLY to be attempted

Ambion is the third largest industrial country in the world. It is densely populated with a high standard of living. Joe Swift Transport (known as Swift) is the largest logistics company in Ambion, owning 1500 trucks. It is a private limited company with all shares held by the Swift family. It has signifi cant haulage and storage contracts with retail and supermarket chains in Ambion. The logistics market-place is mature and extremely competitive and Swift has become market leader through a combination of economies of scale, cost effi ciencies, innovative IT solutions and clever branding. However, the profi tability of the sector is under increased pressure from a recently elected government that is committed to heavily taxing fuel and reducing expenditure on roads in favour of alternative forms of transport. It has also announced a number of taxes on vehicles which have high carbon emission levels as well as reducing the maximum working hours and increasing the national minimum wage for employees. The company is perceived as a good performer in its sector. The 2009 fi nancial results reported a Return on Capital Employed of 18%, a gross profi t margin of 17% and a net profi t margin of 9?15%. The accounts also showed a current liquidity ratio of 1?55 and an acid test ratio of 1?15. The gearing ratio is currently 60% with an interest cover ratio of 8.

10 years ago the northern political bloc split up and nine new independent states were formed. One of these states was Ecuria. The people of Ecuria (known as Ecurians) traditionally have a strong work ethic and a passion for precision and promptness. Since the formation of the state, their hard work has been rewarded by strong economic growth, a higher standard of living and an increased demand for goods which were once perceived as unobtainable luxuries. Since the formation of the state, the government of Ecuria has pursued a policy of privatisation. It has also invested heavily in infrastructure, particularly the road transport system, required to support the increased economic activity in the country.

The state haulage operator (EVM) was sold off to two Ecurian investors who raised the fi nance to buy it from a foreign bank. The capital markets in Ecuria are still immature and the government has not wished to interfere with or bolster them. EVM now has 700 modern trucks and holds all the major logistics contracts in the country. It is praised for its prompt delivery of goods. Problems in raising fi nance have made it diffi cult for signifi cant competitors to emerge. Most are family fi rms, each of which operates about 20 trucks making local deliveries within one of Ecuria’s 20 regions.

These two investors now wish to realise their investment in EVM and have announced that it is for sale. In principle, Swift are keen to buy the company and are currently evaluating its possible acquisition. Swift’s management perceive that their capabilities in logistics will greatly enhance the profi tability of EVM. The fi nancial results for EVM are shown in Figure 1. Swift has acquired a number of smaller Ambion companies in the last decade, but has no experience of acquiring foreign companies, or indeed, working in Ecuria.

Joe Swift is also contemplating a more radical change. He is becoming progressively disillusioned with Ambion. In a recent interview he said that ‘trading here is becoming impossible. The government is more interested in over regulating enterprise than stimulating growth’. He is considering moving large parts of his logistics operation to another country and Ecuria is one of the possibilities he is considering.

Section B – TWO questions ONLY to be attemptedAmbi

Required:

(a) Assess, using both fi nancial and non-fi nancial measures, the attractiveness, from Swift’s perspective, of EVM as an acquisition target. (15 marks)

(b) Porter’s Diamond can be used to explore the competitive advantage of nations and could be a useful model for Joe Swift to use in his analysis of countries that he might move his company to.

Examine using Porter’s Diamond (or an appropriate alternative model/framework) the factors which could infl uence Swift’s decision to move a large part of its logistics business to Ecuria. (10 marks)

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