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The Hong Kong & China Gas Company Ltd.: Negotiating Joint Ventures in China Net Present Value (NPV) / MBA Resources

Introduction to Net Present Value (NPV) - What is Net Present Value (NPV) ? How it impacts financial decisions regarding project management?

NPV solution for The Hong Kong & China Gas Company Ltd.: Negotiating Joint Ventures in China case study


At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. The Hong Kong & China Gas Company Ltd.: Negotiating Joint Ventures in China case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by James K. Sebenius, Michael Shih-ta Chen, Medha Samant. The The Hong Kong & China Gas Company Ltd.: Negotiating Joint Ventures in China (referred as “Hkgc's Negotiating” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Leadership & Managing People. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Joint ventures, Negotiations.

The net present value (NPV) of an investment proposal is the present value of the proposal’s net cash flows less the proposal’s initial cash outflow. If a project’s NPV is greater than or equal to zero, the project should be accepted.

NPV = Present Value of Future Cash Flows LESS Project’s Initial Investment






Case Description of The Hong Kong & China Gas Company Ltd.: Negotiating Joint Ventures in China Case Study


To deliver 5-6 major new Chinese joint ventures annually, Hong Kong China Gas executives began extracting cross-border negotiating lessons from their 80 existing Chinese JVs. Chairman Alfred Chan and CEO Peter Wong knew that HKGC's growth strategy required significant mainland expansion through negotiating joint-ventures to run gas and water distribution systems in diverse urban and rural locations throughout mainland China--often in the face of entrenched local interests who could have blocking power. Discussions with HKGC's negotiation teams revealed an increasingly sophisticated negotiating approach from target identification and party mapping, to "social mapping" and building guanxi, to creative deal design and tactics, in order to most effectively work out issues of equity, management control, territory, and exclusivity.


Case Authors : James K. Sebenius, Michael Shih-ta Chen, Medha Samant

Topic : Leadership & Managing People

Related Areas : Joint ventures, Negotiations




Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for The Hong Kong & China Gas Company Ltd.: Negotiating Joint Ventures in China Case Study


Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10012154) -10012154 - -
Year 1 3448935 -6563219 3448935 0.9434 3253712
Year 2 3956169 -2607050 7405104 0.89 3520976
Year 3 3966365 1359315 11371469 0.8396 3330237
Year 4 3233737 4593052 14605206 0.7921 2561423
TOTAL 14605206 12666348




The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2654194

In isolation the NPV number doesn't mean much but put in right context then it is one of the best method to evaluate project returns. In this article we will cover -

Different methods of capital budgeting


What is NPV & Formula of NPV,
How it is calculated,
How to use NPV number for project evaluation, and
Scenario Planning given risks and management priorities.




Capital Budgeting Approaches

Methods of Capital Budgeting


There are four types of capital budgeting techniques that are widely used in the corporate world –

1. Net Present Value
2. Profitability Index
3. Payback Period
4. Internal Rate of Return

Apart from the Payback period method which is an additive method, rest of the methods are based on Discounted Cash Flow technique. Even though cash flow can be calculated based on the nature of the project, for the simplicity of the article we are assuming that all the expected cash flows are realized at the end of the year.

Discounted Cash Flow approaches provide a more objective basis for evaluating and selecting investment projects. They take into consideration both –

1. Magnitude of both incoming and outgoing cash flows – Projects can be capital intensive, time intensive, or both. Hkgc's Negotiating shareholders have preference for diversified projects investment rather than prospective high income from a single capital intensive project.
2. Timing of the expected cash flows – stockholders of Hkgc's Negotiating have higher preference for cash returns over 4-5 years rather than 10-15 years given the nature of the volatility in the industry.






Formula and Steps to Calculate Net Present Value (NPV) of The Hong Kong & China Gas Company Ltd.: Negotiating Joint Ventures in China

NPV = Net Cash In Flowt1 / (1+r)t1 + Net Cash In Flowt2 / (1+r)t2 + … Net Cash In Flowtn / (1+r)tn
Less Net Cash Out Flowt0 / (1+r)t0

Where t = time period, in this case year 1, year 2 and so on.
r = discount rate or return that could be earned using other safe proposition such as fixed deposit or treasury bond rate. Net Cash In Flow – What the firm will get each year.
Net Cash Out Flow – What the firm needs to invest initially in the project.

Step 1 – Understand the nature of the project and calculate cash flow for each year.
Step 2 – Discount those cash flow based on the discount rate.
Step 3 – Add all the discounted cash flow.
Step 4 – Selection of the project

Why Leadership & Managing People Managers need to know Financial Tools such as Net Present Value (NPV)?

In our daily workplace we often come across people and colleagues who are just focused on their core competency and targets they have to deliver. For example marketing managers at Hkgc's Negotiating often design programs whose objective is to drive brand awareness and customer reach. But how that 30 point increase in brand awareness or 10 point increase in customer touch points will result into shareholders’ value is not specified.

To overcome such scenarios managers at Hkgc's Negotiating needs to not only know the financial aspect of project management but also needs to have tools to integrate them into part of the project development and monitoring plan.

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 15%

After working through various assumptions we reached a conclusion that risk is far higher than 6%. In a reasonably stable industry with weak competition - 15% discount rate can be a good benchmark.



Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 15 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10012154) -10012154 - -
Year 1 3448935 -6563219 3448935 0.8696 2999074
Year 2 3956169 -2607050 7405104 0.7561 2991432
Year 3 3966365 1359315 11371469 0.6575 2607949
Year 4 3233737 4593052 14605206 0.5718 1848900
TOTAL 10447355


The Net NPV after 4 years is 435201

(10447355 - 10012154 )








Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 20%


If the risk component is high in the industry then we should go for a higher hurdle rate / discount rate of 20%.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 20 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10012154) -10012154 - -
Year 1 3448935 -6563219 3448935 0.8333 2874113
Year 2 3956169 -2607050 7405104 0.6944 2747340
Year 3 3966365 1359315 11371469 0.5787 2295350
Year 4 3233737 4593052 14605206 0.4823 1559480
TOTAL 9476282


The Net NPV after 4 years is -535872

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9476282 - 10012154 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Hkgc's Negotiating to discount cash flow at lower discount rates such as 15%.





Acceptance Criteria of a Project based on NPV

Simplest Approach – If the investment project of Hkgc's Negotiating has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Hkgc's Negotiating can ACCEPT the project, otherwise they can reject the project. This means that project will deliver higher returns over the period of time than any alternate investment strategy.

In theory if the required rate of return or discount rate is chosen correctly by finance managers at Hkgc's Negotiating, then the stock price of the Hkgc's Negotiating should change by same amount of the NPV. In real world we know that share price also reflects various other factors that can be related to both macro and micro environment.

In the same vein – accepting the project with zero NPV should result in stagnant share price. Finance managers use discount rates as a measure of risk components in the project execution process.

Sensitivity Analysis

Project selection is often a far more complex decision than just choosing it based on the NPV number. Finance managers at Hkgc's Negotiating should conduct a sensitivity analysis to better understand not only the inherent risk of the projects but also how those risks can be either factored in or mitigated during the project execution. Sensitivity analysis helps in –

What will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

What are the key aspects of the projects that need to be monitored, refined, and retuned for continuous delivery of projected cash flows.

What are the uncertainties surrounding the project Initial Cash Outlay (ICO’s). ICO’s often have several different components such as land, machinery, building, and other equipment.

What can impact the cash flow of the project.

Some of the assumptions while using the Discounted Cash Flow Methods –

Projects are assumed to be Mutually Exclusive – This is seldom the came in modern day giant organizations where projects are often inter-related and rejecting a project solely based on NPV can result in sunk cost from a related project.

Independent projects have independent cash flows – As explained in the marketing project – though the project may look independent but in reality it is not as the brand awareness project can be closely associated with the spending on sales promotions and product specific advertising.






Negotiation Strategy of The Hong Kong & China Gas Company Ltd.: Negotiating Joint Ventures in China

References & Further Readings

James K. Sebenius, Michael Shih-ta Chen, Medha Samant (2018), "The Hong Kong & China Gas Company Ltd.: Negotiating Joint Ventures in China Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.


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