Case Studies

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Illinois Tool Works: Retooling for Continued Growth and Profitability

by Assoc Prof Nitin Pangarkar

Publication Date: 30/01/2017

In June 2016, Illinois Tool Works (ITW), a fortune 500 manufacturing company in the United States, was at a critical juncture in its evolution. The company had identified a number of lofty goals in its 2015 annual report to be achieved by the end of 2017. These expectations included reaching over 200 basis points in organic growth above the market, a 23 per cent operating margin, a 20 per cent after-tax return on invested capital, 100 per cent free cash flow as a percentage of net income, and 12 to 14 per cent shareholder returns. Riding on the success of 2015, these targets had seemed achievable based on ITW’s performance and operational excellence. However, the U.S. and world economies faced a variety of challenges related to political uncertainty in the United States due to a presidential election and also in Europe because of the United Kingdom’s recent decision to exit the European Union. Additional challenges such as continued weaknesses in emerging markets and volatile currencies also affected ITW's outlook. ITW’s acquisition strategy had yielded excellent results over the past few years by effectively using diversification and decentralization strategies in its growth, but there was considerable uncertainty about achieving future goals. ITW had to make important choices about resource allocation across product groups based on their past performance and future prospects. The CEO also had to make appropriate decisions for continued superior performance.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (bizksg@nus.edu.sg)


Glints: Linking Youths and Jobs

by Assoc Prof Sarah L. Y. Cheah, Prof Vivien K. G. Lim and Mr Norvin Chan (LLB graduated student)

Publication Date: 19/01/2017

Established in 2013, Glints was an online job search service for new graduates, marketing itself as “LinkedIn for youth.” The Singapore-based company was founded by three 21-year-olds who chose to put their university education on hold and forfeit their scholarships in order to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions. Using the lean start-up approach, Glints pivoted its business model several times before finding a suitable position in a resegmented job-search market. As a young company, Glints’ biggest challenge was growth. Having raised seed capital of SG$475,000 from its investors, Glints was expected to sustain its exponential growth in revenue base and the number of subscribers. Its young co-founders had to identify ways to make that growth happen.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (bizksg@nus.edu.sg)


Adnike Pharmaceuticals: A Foreign CEO in China

by Ms Parul Purwar and Prof Andrew Karl Delios

Publication Date: 20/12/2016

In 2012, the incoming general manager for AdNike Pharmaceutical’s operations in China faced a major challenge. AdNike was a leading global pharmaceutical company that had been in China for over 40 years. However, its performance in the country had been worse than expected. In the most recent half-decade of its operations in China, AdNike faced a changing regulatory environment that was becoming more challenging to navigate. Also, local competitors were making significant inroads into AdNike’s business. The new leader was charged with reinvigorating the company so it could achieve the growth and performance that was originally intended. Despite being new to China and not speaking any Mandarin, he had to determine a new strategic direction for AdNike while balancing the needs of external and internal stakeholders.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (bizksg@nus.edu.sg)


Tiger Airways: Buyout Offer from Singapore International Airlines

by Assoc Prof Ruth S.K. Tan, Dr Zsuzsa R. Huszar and Dr Weina Zhang

Publication Date: 13/12/2016

In January of 2016, Singapore International Airlines Group (SIA) announced that it had secured more than 90 per cent stake in Tiger Airways Holdings Limited (Tigerair), and would take Tigerair private. Once the buyout offer closed on February 19, trading in Tigerair’s shares would be suspended because the free float had fallen below the minimum 10 per cent threshold. Tigerair had been suffering losses amounting to more than SG$600 million from 2012 to 2015. When SIA initiated the buyout offer, Tigerair’s shareholders wanted to use the discounted cash flow model, the discounted dividend model, and relative valuation to determine whether the buyout was a fair deal.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (bizksg@nus.edu.sg)


Pokémon GO: Game On!

by Ms Parul Purwar and Prof Andrew Karl Delios

Publication Date: 03/11/2016

This case is a supplement to Nintendo: Game On! Released in July 2016, Pokémon GO was a location-based virtual reality mobile game in which players needed to locate and capture virtual creatures from the Pokémon family. Although it was a revolutionary concept, would its release mark a change in Nintendo’s recent history of continuous decline in revenues and profits? Supplement for product 9B16M158.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (bizksg@nus.edu.sg)


The Zuellig Family Foundation: A Bridge to a Better Future

by Assoc Prof Audrey Chia and Ms Mavis McAllister

Publication Date: 03/11/2016

In 2008, the chairman of the Zuellig Family Foundation and former Secretary of Foreign Affairs for the Philippines, asked the foundation’s president to take up the challenge of providing health care for the poor of the Philippines. The foundation’s president was particularly struck by the health inequities between the urban rich and the rural poor. The rich had a life expectancy above 80 and the poor below 60; the maternal mortality ratio was 15 among the rich but over 150 among the poor. The foundation’s president had spent much of his career working to bridge fundamental divides within Philippine society. Within four years, he led the foundation to complete a health care program with remarkable success in selected areas of the country, which transformed the inert and broken health care system into a living, thinking, intelligent network of stakeholders. A dignitary praised the program and asked the foundation’s president to roll out the program country-wide. Could the foundation succeed with such a broad undertaking while preserving the efficacy, soul, and sustainability of the program?

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (bizksg@nus.edu.sg)


Managing the Sibling Partnership: The Ong Group

by Assoc Prof Marleen Dieleman

Publication Date: 23/09/2016

In 2016, the oldest member of the family business The Ong Group was concerned about the ailing firm that he and his siblings were running. The business had been started in 1957 in Hong Kong by their father. After the death of the father and one of the siblings, the remaining family members needed a plan for the future of the business. Should all of the remaining siblings and their children be allowed to become directors in the family firm? How could they create a workable governance structure that would help the family make the right decisions? How would they put the business back on track?  


Nintendo: Game On!

by Ms Parul Purwar and Prof Andrew Karl Delios

Publication Date: 27/09/2016

In 2015, Nintendo—the iconic Japanese video game company—was faced with the decade-long challenge of responding to an industry that had changed in ways it had not anticipated. Under its new president, Nintendo had to contend with large-scale changes in the global gaming market. By not adapting to changing customer needs, Nintendo had lost the customer loyalty it had once enjoyed, as was evident from the decline in the number of units sold. It faced daunting challenges in the traditional console gaming segment from Sony and Microsoft, as well as more recent threats to its competitive position from the mobile gaming segment, which had become a preferred platform for game developers. Nintendo needed to decide how to revise its business model and strategies to move away from the decline that had been part of the company for years. Could the once-dominant Nintendo connect with its customers as it had done in the past, or was it better off as an acquisition target by a large entertainment company?

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (bizksg@nus.edu.sg)


Keppel Corporation's Buyout Offer for Keppel Land

by Assoc Prof Ruth S.K. Tan, Dr Zsuzsa R. Huszar and Dr Weina Zhang

Publication Date: 18/07/2016

On January 21, 2015, a trading halt was placed on the shares of Keppel Corporation (Keppel Corp) and Keppel Land Limited (Keppel Land). On January 23, 2015, Keppel Corp announced an offer to take its subsidiary, Keppel Land, private. At the time of the offer, Keppel Corp already owned 54.6 per cent of Keppel Land. The buyout offer used a two-tier pricing approach with a higher price paid if Keppel Corp acquired a threshold number of shares. Keppel Corp would have the right to receive any distribution that might be declared, paid, or made by Keppel Land on or after the purchase date. The offer was scheduled to close on March 12, 2015. On February 2, 2015, Keppel Land appointed KPMG Corporate Finance Pte. Ltd. as the financial adviser to the independent company directors regarding the offer. Minority shareholders of Keppel Land were interested in evaluating Keppel Corp’s offer and examining its motivations. This would require that they compute the premium and net present value of the company, as well as analyze the revenue and cost synergies of the buyout.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (bizksg@nus.edu.sg)


TRIAS: Decision on Cable Ladder Production

by Assoc Prof Singfat Chu and Mr Leo Hermanto (EMBA student)

Publication Date: 22/02/2016

In July 2015, PT Trias Indra Saputra (TRIAS), Indonesia’s leading welded cable ladder producer, had just won its largest-ever tender bid. The news could get even better if it adopted alternative materials that were potentially more profitable. The production director was tasked with weighing whether TRIAS should fulfill the tender using its traditional supplier or the new materials. While more expensive, the new materials would cut out several production processes and associated costs. However, using the new suppliers presented significant risks. Only two mills, in Korea and Japan, supplied the appropriate material, and both companies presented different prices and import costs. Since TRIAS could be penalized if it did not supply the goods on time, the production manager also had to calculate the likelihood that each company could be delayed in supplying the order and how much that would reduce profits if it happened.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (bizksg@nus.edu.sg)


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