Wm. Wrigley Case

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Case 30: Discussions 1. Dobrynin plays the role of the financial entrepreneur, exploiting inefficiencies in investment valuation and corporate finance. She seeks to profit by restructuring firms with “lazy financing” or too much cash and unused debt capacity relative to the (low) risks faced by the firms. By pressuring directors and managers to adopt more efficient policies, she hopes to reap an investment gain. The larger issue is whether or not Wrigley is inefficiently financed. If so, how much capital structure change will bring it to more efficient operation? 2a. A recapitalization based on a dividend will have no effect on the number of shares outstanding. But with a repurchase, the number of shares will change materially.…show more content…
Before the recapitalization, Wrigley’s market value of equity accounted for 99% of its capital. And, after the recapitalization, that ratio fell to 78%. The increase in leverage will imply a change in Wrigley’s cost of capital. WACC before recapitalization Wrigley’s prerecapitalization WACC is 10.9%. The cost of equity assumes a risk-free rate of 5.65% for 20-year U.S. Treasuries (case Exhibit 7), a risk premium is assumed 7% (or 5%), and uses Wrigley’s current beta of 0.75 (case Exhibit 5). 4. WACC after recapitalization The increase in leverage will affect Wrigley’s WACC in at least three ways: 1. Cost of debt: Wrigley’s debt rating will change from AAA (consistent with no debt) to a BB/B rating reflecting the higher risk. The postrecapitalization credit rating is a matter of judgment. It is highly instructive to guide students through a rating exercise for Wrigley’s pro forma recapitalization. This requires computing the range of measures included in case Exhibit 6 and determining where in the ratings range the firm would fall. Comparing Wrigley’s projected results to the benchmarks given in case Exhibit 6 suggests that BB/B is a reasonable call. Turning to the yields by credit rating given in case Exhibit 7, one can interpolate between BB (12.73%) and B (14.66%) to obtain a cost of debt. The cost used in the remainder of this analysis is 13%, Blanka Dobrynin’s choice.

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