Analysis of Ford's value enhancement plan
Ford's Value Enhancement Plan aims to align the interests of various shareholders by offering them different options - the choice of $20 in cash, additional new common shares or a combination of cash and new share. Based on the following analysis, Ford should go ahead with Value Enhancement Plan.
Characteristic of VEP
The Value Enhancement Plan has the feature of stock split and share repurchase. Exchanging existing shares for new shares on a one-for-one basis, shareholders are also offered the option to reinvest $20 to receive additional new Ford common shares. In this sense, share price would decrease while the number of shares outstanding is going to increase. According to Ford's announcement mentioned in the case, shareholders choosing the share option would receive 0.748 new Ford common shares in lieu of $20 cash. So, the effect is similar to 1.748 for 1 stock split. However, not all the shareholders prefer share option. For those who elect cash option, they would receive $20 as though they sell part of their shares, which reflects the feature of share repurchase.
Advantages of VEP
With the combined feature of stock split and share repurchase, VEP has its strength. In terms of cash option, since there is no good things to do with the massive cash reserve, returning the excessive cash allows shareholders to make profitable investment by themselves. Unlike cash dividend, returned cash is taxed as capital gains, so it generates tax efficiency for shareholders. In addition, though the price of new Ford shares would decrease, shareholders will not bear any loss, because the reduced price is offset by the cash they receive. But from the company's point of view, they can reduce dividend payment. Companies tend to keep dividend payout ratio constant, so dividend for each new Ford share will decrease because share price falls. For those who choose to receive $20 in cash, they keep the same amount of shares before VEP...
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