Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Strategy Digest Volume 1 (Nov)

Can Nokia regain ground?

In recent times, the smart phones and high-end touchscreen phones have dominated the market and much of the market-share has been taken away from Nokia by players such as Apple and Samsung.

However, Nokia is ready to launch new phones which touchscreen facilities, high of design, overhauled current operating system and a new operating system. The new operating system, called the MeeGo, will be launched later this year and promises to be competitive with the rest. Nokia also plans to price its new products aggressively to regain the lost market share.

An example of such a phone is the N8 which is banking on its overhauled operating system, Symbian 3, which is more memory-efficient and can also run more applications simultaneously. It has a 12-megapixel camera and will be priced at approximately Rs. 26,000 competing with the Samsungs and LGs. Nokia wants to build its brand and increase sales through improving user experience and giving them more value for money phones.

Oracle to buy software firm

Oracle Corp. announced that it would be acquiring the Art Technology Group (ATG) for $1 billion. This would strengthen its e-commerce software applications. This acquisition will increase Oracle's retail software portfolio, which also includes Retek, a company it acquired in 2005. This acquisition is another example of a major technology company acquiring other firms in order to diversify its product portfolio.

This deal is considered to be a safe and sound acquisition for Oracle which was reflected in its share price increasing after the acquisition announcement.

SpiceJet plans for expansion

SpiceJet, the low-cost Indian airline, is planning for a huge expansion and intends to spend upto $ 900 million to buy new aircrafts. SpiceJet will buy 30 NextGens from Bombardier Inc. and plans to double its fleet size from the current 22 by 2013.

SpiceJet is looking at taking advantage of the growing aviation sector in India and the growth opportunities available by connecting tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Also, it is looking at entering the international markets where there are few low-cost airlines.

However, the source of funding for this expansion plan is unclear. It might resort to the share plan that it had planned to raise $ 75 million before Kalanithi Maran, the Sun TV founder, came forward and bought a stake in the firm.

BHP Billiton still forced to wait

BHP Billiton, the resources major, is still awaiting a green signal for its offer for Potash Corp, the world's largest supplier of fertilizers, an all-cash $ 39 billion deal.

The Canadian government is still unwilling to let the deal go through although there have been rumours that the government is being advised by bureaucrats to pass the deal.

BHP has currently bid for Potash Corp at $130 per share and analysts expect the offer to go higher before the deal goes through. The deal is expected to help BHP gain access to high-quality resources at a reasonable rate.

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