determine the cost of debt

Galaxy International is a small privately held company in the Northeast U.S. which manufactures high- tech carbon composite skis for the U.S. market. The company has been in business for 20 years, has 125 employees, and has $50 million in annual sales. Its owner, Jeremy Riven, is an ex-Olympic skier who developed the proprietary technology and bonding polymers that give Galaxy skis their unique flexibility, durability, and propensity to need low maintenance—all of which serious skiers in the U.S. have come to prize. Major costs involved in the manufacturing of skis are oil polymers, carbon fiber, and labor. Ski technicians are highly skilled machinists, and manufacturing the finished product is as much an art form as it is a science.

Jeremy has recently considered an initial public offering (IPO) to allow the firm to raise the funds it needs to go international. The underwriting group from Morgan Stanley believes they could easily raise sixty (60) million in the equity markets, and fifty (50) million in the bond market. Jeremy is trying to determine the cost of debt, the cost of equity (four [4] million shares at $15/share), and the firm’s weighted average cost of capital if he goes public and issues corporate bonds with a coupon rate of 8%. Last year, the firm resided in a 28% tax bracket. The risk-free rate in the U.S. is 2%, and the expected return on the market is 14%. Morgan Stanley estimates Galaxy’s beta, if traded publicly, would be approximately 1.8%. Galaxy has been growing at 15% a year since its inception.

Jeremy would like to expand his current U.S. facility from 40,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet, automate certain processes which heretofore have been done manually, and outsource work to China, where he plans to either build or lease a plant to extend his ski line worldwide. He could build a 50,000- square-foot facility in Canton for fifty (50) million dollars, or lease a similar facility for ten (10) million a year. Annual operating costs would be twenty (20) million dollars, and projected free cash flow, based on past experience, would be twelve (12) million a year (whether he leases or buys). The life of the plant would be fifteen (15) years, and inflation in China is currently running at 6% annually. Galaxy would repatriate profits from the Chinese operation and consolidate them with those of the U.S. operations. All expenses of operating the plant in China would be in Yuan. Use the Internet to locate information about current events in China related to its economic state.

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