Case Studies

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Suntech Power: Competition and Financing in China's Solar Industry

by Dr Sunil Gupta and Dr Emir Hrnjić

Publication Date: 16/10/2015

In 2011, Suntech Power, the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer, found itself in a highly problematic position. Recent developments in the Chinese solar power industry had negatively impacted the company’s operations. As the industry had matured, the demand for Suntech Power’s products had become highly volatile. Changing policy regulations, the ambiguous financial structure of the firm and a shift in consumers’ perceptions of the product were only some of the issues that further compounded the problem. As a result of these changing dynamics within the global solar power industry, the company’s share price had plummeted by roughly 90 per cent. To remedy the problem, in May 2011, the founder and chief executive officer of Suntech Power hired a new chief financial officer and they faced the arduous task of turning the company around. How should they tackle changing political and economic conditions? What decisions needed to be made to maintain the position of the company in the global solar energy market?

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

Fairfax and Thomas Cook India: Permanent Capital, Private Equity and Public Markets

by Dr Emir Hrnjić, Ms Nupur Pavan Bang, Dr Vikram Kuriyan and Dr Sanjay Bakshi

Publication Date: 08/10/2015

In March 2012, the CEO of Fairbridge Capital considered the pros and cons of the potential acquisition of Thomas Cook India. He believed that Thomas Cook India’s two business segments (travel/related services and financial services) had different potential in terms of growth and cash flow generation. Analysts predicted tremendous growth potential in the travel business (although it would require additional investment), while the foreign exchange segment had limited growth potential but generated significant cash flow. Thomas Cook India had changed ownership several times in a short time period, and the stock price had fallen substantially. Would acquiring Thomas Cook India fit the value-investing philosophy rigorously followed by Fairbridge Capital and its parent company, Fairfax Financial? If so, how much should Fairbridge bid? Was Thomas Cook India worth more with two segments or was it better off split into two? Finally, should Fairbridge delist Thomas Cook India or keep it public?

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

7-Eleven Indonesia Innovating in Emerging Markets

by Assoc Prof Marleen Dieleman, Assoc Prof Ishtiaq Mahmood and Mr Peter Darmawan

Publication Date: 15/09/2015

The global convenience store brand 7-Eleven entered Indonesia in 2009, with local player PT Modern International as the master franchisor. To differentiate the stores from other convenience stores and to cater to emerging market customers in Indonesia, the CEO combined the idea of a restaurant and a convenience store in his new 7-Eleven outlets. The 7-Eleven stores provided an affordable and convenient location for youth to hang out and have a quick bite to eat. They also offered wireless Internet and a range of services and products like fresh food and beverages. The case requires students to outline the innovative elements that explain 7-Eleven’s success in Indonesia, reflect on its scalability and sustainability, and also to advise the CEO on further strategies to strengthen 7-Eleven in Indonesia.

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

Olam: Accounting for Biological Assets

by Prof Yew Kee Ho, Prof Teo Chee Khiang and Mr Sitoh Kheng Hoe

Publication Date: 25/08/2015

In 2012, an equity research firm based in California accused Singapore-based Olam International Limited (Olam) of engaging in potentially misleading and dangerous accounting practices. The firm — Muddy Waters Research — further stated that Olam was on the verge of bankruptcy. The primary complaint made against Olam by Muddy Waters was that Olam allegedly made aggressive use of “non-cash accounting gains,” particularly when reporting on Olam’s biological assets. Olam’s share price tumbled after the accusations were made public. Olam defended itself by asserting that it had applied Singapore Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) 41 — Agriculture appropriately and that the fair value gains of the biological assets were justifiably derived. FRS 41, equivalent to International Financial Accounting Standards 41 — Agriculture, required Singapore-listed companies to use fair value in the measurement of biological assets. This case examines the complex challenges that valuators face when presented with different valuation models, the application of financial reporting standards and the fine balance between reliability and relevance in the accounting of assets in the real world.

Singapore Airlines: In Talks to Invest in Jeju Air

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

Publication Date: 26/08/2015

Jeju Air is a market leader in the South Korean low-cost carrier industry, operating more than 20 domestic and international air routes in Asian countries. In the midst of rising economic activity and the opening of more air routes in North Asia, Jeju Air is planning an initial public offering to seek capital to grow its China business.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines is in discussions to purchase a 20 per cent equity investment in Jeju Air. Is this investment a wise decision for Singapore Airlines? Additionally, what is Singapore Airlines’ future outlook in terms of its existing underperforming subsidiaries?

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

OCBC Versus Elliott Management: Acquisition of Wing Hang Bank

by Dr Emir Hrnjić and Mr Han Dong (BBA student)

Publication Date: 15/07/2015

A Singapore-based financial services company, the second largest lender in Southeast Asia, offered to acquire a Hong Kong bank, the eighth largest lender in the country, for a premium price per share. Three months later, a multi-billion hedge fund firm based in the United States had accumulated close to 8 per cent of the Hong Kong bank’s shares. According to Hong Kong’s securities law, the Singapore-based financial institution would have to acquire 90 per cent of the Hong Kong bank’s shares to successfully take the bank private, and there were only 25 days left for the company to meet this requirement. The hedge fund firm’s unspoken message was clear: raise your bid price to buy our shares or we will keep the company public at your expense.

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

NUS Museum: Developing Branding Strategies

by Dr Wu Pei Chuan, Ms Joyce Ka Mun Ho (BBA Hons graduated student), Mr Nicodemus We Ming Ler (BBA Hons graduated student) and Ms Shirlyn Wanxia Tan (BBA Hons graduated student)

Published Date: 14/07/2015

This case addresses the challenges that the NUS Museum faces regarding its awareness amongst the NUS Community. Trina, as the new Outreach Assistant Manager, had to update herself on the NUS Museum’s current situation. Apparently, the NUS Museum’s visitorship has remained stagnant since 2008, despite consistent programming efforts. The NUS Museum is the first university museum in Singapore and was established in 1955. It is located within the main Kent Ridge campus of National University of Singapore in southwest Singapore. The NUS Museum has over 8,000 artifacts and artworks divided across four permanent collections. Donors to the collection include Lee Seng Tee and the late Ng Eng Teng. With such rich and diverse Collections to boast, what could be the factors leading to the lack of awareness amongst the NUS Community? What steps should Trina take to increase awareness amongst the NUS Community?


Shanda Games: A Buyout of a Chinese Family Firm

by Dr Emir Hrnjić and Prof David Reeb

Publication Date: 27/04/2015

A controlling shareholder of the NYSE-listed Chinese online gaming company Shanda Games has offered a buyout at USD6.90 per American Depository Share (ADS); each ADS consists of two ordinary shares. The offer provides a premium of 22 per cent to the stock’s Friday close. Throughout the previous year, Shanda Games’ ADS had typically traded in the range of USD3.00 to 4.50.

As Shanda Games’ independent directors attempt to evaluate the offer, they wonder: Should the shareholders accept it as it is? Should they ask for a higher price? Or should they look for the alternatives?

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

Temasek's Offer to Buy Olam International

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

Publication Date: 10/04/2015

Olam International, a publicly listed firm, was a leading agri-business with an integrated supply chain. To sustain growth, the company took on large amounts of debt to fund acquisitions and other capital expenditures. A hedge fund issued a Sell recommendation, highlighting the problems facing the company, including several years of negative free cash flows. The heated exchange between Olam and the hedge fund led to a government investment fund, Temasek Holdings, first backing Olam, and then eventually offering to buy out the minority shareholders. This scenario presents an excellent opportunity to apply the discounted cash flow analysis and relative valuation techniques to evaluate Temasek’s offer.

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

Suit Wars: Men's Wearhouse versus Jos. A. Bank

by Dr Emir Hrnjić, Prof David Reeb and Assoc Prof Wee Yong Yeo

Publication Date: 31/03/2015

On October 9, 2013, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., a large U.S. retailer of men's tailored and casual clothing, footwear and accessories, made a hostile offer to buy its larger rival Men’s Wearhouse. The latter made a counter-offer on January 6, 2014 in what is known as a Pac-man defence — the prey turned predator. Jos. A. Bank responded by adopting a poison pill, announcing the planned acquisition of Eddie Bauer, an outdoor apparel retailer. What started out as a simple offer had turned into a contest with multiple counter-offers and the deployment of several takeover defences. How should Eminence Capital, a New York-based hedge fund and the largest shareholder in both firms, react? How should each firm respond to the latest offer on their respective tables?

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

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