Assume you have just been hired as a business manager of PizzaPalace, a regional pizza
restaurant chain. The
company's EBIT was $50 million last year and is not expected to
grow. The firm is currently financed with all equity, and it has 10 million shares outstanding.
When you took your corporate finance course, your instructor stated that most
firms' owners would be financially better off if the firms used some debt. When you
suggested this to your new boss, he encouraged you to pursue the idea. As a first step,
assume that you obtained from the firm's investment banker the following estimated costs
of debt for the firm at different capital structures:
with Debt, wd rd
If the company were to recapitalize, then debt would be issued and the funds received
would be used to repurchase stock. PizzaPalace is in the 40% state-plus-federal corporate
tax bracket, its beta is 1.0, the risk-free rate is 6%, and the market risk premium is 6%.
a. Using the free cash flow valuation model, show the only avenues by which capital
structure can affect value.
b. (1) What is business risk? What factors influence a firm's business risk?
(2) What is operating leverage, and how does it affect a firm's business risk? Show the
operating break-even point if a company has fixed costs of $200, a sales price of
$15, and variable costs of $10.