Corporate Finance Analysis (JD Group UK- https://www.jdplc.com/ )

You can draw the necessary data for this coursework from databases such as: Yahoo! UK & Ireland Finance, FAME Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters EIKON.1 Choose any listed non-financial firm (I have chosen JD Group UK- https://www.jdplc.com/ ).

Coursework Guidelines:

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· Coursework Presentation: Font must be a minimum of 12 points for the main body of the report. All sections, tables and figures must be clearly titled and sequentially numbered. All tables and figures should be self- explanatory and should include necessary axis definitions and legends. Numbers in the text, tables and figures

should have a reasonable number of decimal points in order to allow an accurate representation and comparisons (usually between 2 and 4 decimal points).

· An executive summary should be included at the beginning of your report. This should summarise the main points of the report, including your recommendations for the firm.

· Include at least 10 references to textbooks or articles in credible professional magazines or academic journals. These should be included at the end in a list of references. Do not include articles that you do not cite within your report or that you have not at least partly read. Do not use material that exists exclusively on the internet (e.g.., websites, blogs, etc.) or module lecture notes/slides as sources in your references.

· The calculations should be performed using Microsoft Excel. You should include a copy of your Excel workbook with your submission as an appendix to your report. You will lose marks for not including your workbook. You should present your models in Excel in a helpful and clear way. You should also use an appropriate format for the Excel cells.

· In each section of the report, you should include details about the data you used and your computations.

Description:

Assume that you are employed as an analyst for a leading consulting firm and that you are asked to prepare a financial report of a potential client firm. This analysis will be presented as a teaser to the CFO and CEO in order to convince them to employee you, so that you can advise them on optimising their debt and payout policy and on identifying an acquisition target. Your presentation should demonstrate that you have a solid understanding of theories and practices on debt and payout policy and on mergers & acquisitions and that you can communicate this clearly. Your report should contain in the main body or appendix all your work, results and arguments along with the key financial data used. All the relevant tables and figures should be contained and discussed also in the main body of the report and not only in the appendix. The report should not exceed 3,500 words in total, without the appendix, and should include all of the following four sections:

Section 1. Capital Structure Analysis: Describe the existing capital structure of the firm in terms of ingredients and characteristics. Then, compare the leverage of the firm against that of comparable firms. Does the firm have more or less leverage with respect to comparable firms and can this be justified? Furthermore, analyse the appropriateness of the existing capital structure for supporting the particular activities/strategy of the firm at the specific point of time in its life cycle and given the external environment. (30 marks)

Section 2. Capital Structure Recommendation: Using the cost of capital approach, examine if an increase in the Debt/Capital ratio by 0.04 (e.g., if the ratio is currently 0.03, this would increase to 0.07) would be beneficial for the firm, by investigating how the increase would affect the risk and the value of the firm. You should assume that credit agencies would downgrade the firm due to the increase in the debt by one notch (for example from Aa1 to Aa2). (20 marks)

Section 3. Payout Policy Analysis and Recommendation: Describe the existing payout policy of the firm and compare it against that of the comparable firms you chose in Section 1. Analyse the appropriateness of the payout policy for supporting the activities/strategy of the firm at the specific point of time in its life cycle and considering the external environment. Recommend whether and how the firm should change its payout policy, justifying your recommendation. (25 marks)

Section 4. Acquisition Recommendation: Identify a public or private company which may act as an acquisition target for the firm. Explain what the motive(s) for the acquisition would be and analyse any sources of operating and financial synergy. Recommend whether the firm should use cash, stock or both as a means of financing the acquisition. (25 marks)

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