Tuesday 2 September 2014

Tesco's fall in share price - why should NAMs bother?

Market capitalisation i.e. value of the company in the open market falls and impacts all stakeholders, including NAMs. For instance in early February, Tesco was valued at £23.58bn whereas today it is valued at £18.23bn…a fall of 22.7% in 7 months!

Why does it matter?
Senior management on share options suffer a direct impact on their personal wealth. Employees on performance-related bonuses via shares become demotivated and begin to consider their options...
In extreme cases (!), there is a negative impact on company reputation i.e. good guys leave, good guys not attracted, while the less-able remain less able… 

Shareholders may force change like splitting the company, replacing board members, etc.

Meanwhile the cost of financing rises
- Loans from banks become more expensive via higher interest rates
- Rights issues i.e. the proceeds and ease of raising new money from shareholders obviously depends
  upon the share price

The growing threat of takeover becomes distracting, at least, and/or may even amplify the above effects..

Impact on suppliers
The resulting bad press can unsettle conservative suppliers, and their shareholders, resulting in pressure to re-balance the customer portfolio (in which case, think also re Sainsbury’s and Morrisons falls in share price?)

Suppliers then reconsider their options and may reclassify the retailer in terms of invest/maintain/divest criteria, ideally following a fundamental re-think…

Meanwhile, given the increased risk:
- A 44 day credit period looks increasingly vulnerable…and even a 2.5+% settlement discount
  seems cheap…
- Trade investment of up to 20% of turnover requires more justification
- 100% compliance becomes a ‘must-get’
- Deductions become challengeable...

Still think a retailer’s share price is simply something for the institutional shareholders?

In other words, Tesco is now in a position to appreciate the benefits of dealing with strong, profitable brands that can help them restore their profitability, and share value..

All it takes is for NAMs to be able to calculate the costs of their offering and demonstrate its value to Tesco’s Balance Sheet and P&L….fast

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