An article in the Wall Street Journal on November 8, 2011 reported that U.S.-based Yum Brands has won approval from the Chinese government to purchase Little Sheep Group. Little Sheep owns a chain of hot-pot restaurants and trades on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The following table contains information from finance.yahoo.com on firms comparable to Little Sheep. Little Sheep's current D/E ratio is 0.0433. After the merger, they are expected to have Yum's D/E ratio of 0.13. Assume that all four companies have a tax rate of 35%.
Company Levered Beta D/E ratio
Brazil Fast Food Corp 0.59 0.06
Biglari Holdings 1.41 0.38
Nathan's Famous 0.42 0.00
a. Assuming debt is risk-free, use the information given above to estimate the unlevered equity betas of each of the comparable companies.
b. Assuming debt is risk-free, what is your estimate of Little Sheep's levered equity beta?
c. If T-Bonds are yielding 2.07% and the market risk premium is 5.74%, what is the required return on Little Sheep's stock, according to the CAPM?
d. If Little Sheep has no preferred stock outstanding and their marginal pre-tax cost of debt is 5.08%, what is their weighted average cost of capital?