The CEO of ABC Telecom Ltd. (ABC) is in a quandary since he received the telephone call in the morning from his counterpart at LMN Telecom Ltd. (LMN). Both companies were engaged in a bitter experience a couple of years ago when they had attempted to merge with the intention of creating a behemoth telecom company, possibly the largest in the world. The merger had fallen through due to opportunistic behavior on the part of Mr. Das, then CEO of LMN. During the time the merger talks were taking place,  Mr. Das had also approached a few other suitors for LMN in an attempt to force ABC to pay a higher price. Further, there were reports of attempts by management of LMN to scuttle the deal. Back then, ABC had also faced stiff opposition to the deal from one of its large shareholders.

Since then, a lot has changed for both companies. The bleak economic conditions due to recession had led to a drastic fall in the market value of both companies, with ABC comparatively losing much more in terms of market value. Raising money has become more difficult for both companies, especially for LMN. On the brighter side for ABC, the opposing shareholder had recently sold off his stake to another investor who earlier had supported the original merger deal with LMN a couple of years ago.

Question 36

Which of the following would be the most appropriate line (s) of thought for the CEO of ABC to adopt in response to the offer by LMN?
I. Once bitten twice shy. There is simply no way I can think of resuming talks with LMN after their unethical behaviour the previous time around. I would rather spend my time on merger discussions with other companies.
Ii. The deal may make less business sense this time around. However, if it goes through, I will become the CEO of the world’s largest telecom company. So let us try our luck once more.
Iii. I will resume talks only if they provide guarantees as to the reimbursement of our expenses incurred, in the event of the deal not materializing.
Iv. Let me not be biased against dealing with LMN, if we can secure the deal at a reasonably low price, benefiting our shareholders, let us go ahead with it.
V. I am not sure if we can raise the money now. In any event, they are the ones facing greater financial problems. So let’s not hurry now. We might have an opportunity to buy them out at a cheaper price later.


The end goal should be to benefit the company. If a deal is reasonably priced and will be profitable, the idea must be contemplated upon. Statement IV is correct.
Statement V is also reasonable as the deal can be done at a lower price. Also, the one who has burned his fingers must hurry.

Hence, option E is the correct answer.

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