Wolters Brewery (A): Negotiating Restructuring 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 Wolters Brewery (A): Negotiating Restructuring case study

At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Wolters Brewery (A): Negotiating Restructuring case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Klaus Meyer. The Wolters Brewery (A): Negotiating Restructuring (referred as “Local Inbev” 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, Government, International business, Marketing, Negotiations, Reorganization, Strategy.

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 Wolters Brewery (A): Negotiating Restructuring Case Study

This sequence of two cases presents in the (A) case the situation of a multinational brewer, Inbev, having acquired several breweries in Germany, wishing to proceed with operational integration and the closure of smaller, less efficient plants. This move triggers resistance not only from the local workforce, but the local community. For Inbev, this is a case of corporate restructuring and strategy implementation. Yet for a group of local entrepreneurs, this is an opportunity to plot a management buy-out (MBO) and to recreate a historical local brewery. The case is designed as a business negotiation setting bringing together the multinational, local entrepreneurs, the city council and a local bank; instructions for four teams involved in the negotiations are provided in the teaching note. The case can also be used as a conventional case on entrepreneurship or strategy implementation.

Case Authors : Klaus Meyer

Topic : Leadership & Managing People

Related Areas : Government, International business, Marketing, Negotiations, Reorganization, Strategy

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Wolters Brewery (A): Negotiating Restructuring Case Study

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10001629) -10001629 - -
Year 1 3469400 -6532229 3469400 0.9434 3273019
Year 2 3954686 -2577543 7424086 0.89 3519656
Year 3 3943250 1365707 11367336 0.8396 3310829
Year 4 3232483 4598190 14599819 0.7921 2560429
TOTAL 14599819 12663933

The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2662304

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

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

Formula and Steps to Calculate Net Present Value (NPV) of Wolters Brewery (A): Negotiating Restructuring

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 Local Inbev 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 Local Inbev 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 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10001629) -10001629 - -
Year 1 3469400 -6532229 3469400 0.8696 3016870
Year 2 3954686 -2577543 7424086 0.7561 2990311
Year 3 3943250 1365707 11367336 0.6575 2592751
Year 4 3232483 4598190 14599819 0.5718 1848183
TOTAL 10448114

The Net NPV after 4 years is 446485

(10448114 - 10001629 )

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 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10001629) -10001629 - -
Year 1 3469400 -6532229 3469400 0.8333 2891167
Year 2 3954686 -2577543 7424086 0.6944 2746310
Year 3 3943250 1365707 11367336 0.5787 2281973
Year 4 3232483 4598190 14599819 0.4823 1558875
TOTAL 9478325

The Net NPV after 4 years is -523304

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9478325 - 10001629 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Local Inbev 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 Local Inbev has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Local Inbev 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 Local Inbev, then the stock price of the Local Inbev 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 Local Inbev 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 are the key aspects of the projects that need to be monitored, refined, and retuned for continuous delivery of projected cash flows.

What can impact the cash flow of the project.

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

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.

Understanding of risks involved in 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.

References & Further Readings

Klaus Meyer (2018), "Wolters Brewery (A): Negotiating Restructuring Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.