Using cases from FedEx Firm and your own research on the Global Travelling and Logistics Industry, critically measure the: Strategic Vision and visionary Leadership behind FedEx Corporation
Federal Exhibit is a global express transport and logistics company that offers customers a single source for global transport, logistics, and offer chain solutions. It was founded in 1973 by Frederick W. Smith. Since its inception FedEx pioneered the express delivery industry. The business focused on the core business of express delivery and provided overnight delivery services to the clients globally. However, the transformation of businesses and customers from old economy to the new economy obligated FedEx to reposition itself from 'right away delivery service' to a 'one-stop-shop' for the entire logistics requirement of the business. The business became the logistics service agency of leading organizations, like, Standard Motors.
During the late 1960s, Frederick Smith (Smith) chanced after an idea to start an air travel courier company. During this period, it was common practice to send packages as cargo on commercial transport companies like American, United or Delta Airlines. This practice had lots of disadvantages because traveler airlines usually operated through the daytime and were grounded during the night. In addition, freight forwarders (the business responsible for transporting the packages from the air-port to the vacation spot address) usually did not offer home delivery. Smith sensed the need to start out an air travel courier company that could address all these problems. During his college or university years, he known that america was learning to be a service-oriented market and needed a trusted, overnight delivery service company designed to solely transport packages and documents. He wrote a Yale term newspaper upon this idea, and received 'C' grade. His teacher thought it could never work. Fortunately for Frederick Smith, he didn't take it to center and finished up building that company he dreamed of. Smith found buyers willing to add $40 million, used $8 million in family money, and received loan provider financing. He started out Federal Express with over $80 million, which makes it the major company of its time ever before funded by venture capital.
In the last 36 years, FedEx has extended horizontally with its five subsidiaries to include FedEx Express (formerly Federal Exhibit), FedEx Surface (formerly Roadway Bundle System), FedEx Custom Critical (formerly Roberts Express), FedEx Logistics (formerly Caliber Logistics), and Viking Freight. As a result, the FedEx family has been able to compete collectively in the express transport and logistics market sectors. FedEx's strategy is to corroborate on selling and synergies for all FedEx companies, but run functions individually and keep each company's talents and markets separate. Today, services offered by FedEx include worldwide express delivery, surface small-parcel delivery, less-than-truckload freight delivery, and global logistics, resource chain management, and electronic digital commerce solutions. National Exhibit is the world's largest package delivery company today.
FedEx started out its' businesses with the only real focus of increasing customer segmentation, costing and quality of services for the in a single day delivery market in the United States. Since then, it is continuing to grow to provide leading document and freight services for the whole North America and for over 212 countries abroad.
Federal Express Company got the visionary leadership to be the first mover in the express transport and logistics industry leaving FedEx with one source of differentiation: their ability to help in the control of the complete supply chain management.
FedEx Firsts. . .
Company dedicated to overnight program delivery
Offer next-day delivery by 10h30
Offer Sunday deliveries
Offer a period definitive service for freight
Money-back promises and free proof performance services that now lengthen to its worldwide network
The company's capacity to use technology and create its own supply of resources has managed to get difficult for rivals to match the business's expectations for service. FedEx has been successful mainly because of the technological developments. Technology has allowed these to have superior customer support and quality that was unmatched by any company. No company was able to offer right away delivery of plans with the swiftness and precision that Federal Express did.
FedEx's modeling ability offered them a competitive advantages as they integrated new methods and technology. They currently have a SuperHub with several local hubs and deals are managed and monitored by something called COSMOS. COSMOS - Customers, Operations and Services Get good at Online System, a centralized computer system to manage people, packages, vehicles and weather cases instantly. This system allowed customers to know where their deals are in all times and was later integrated for web use, allowing customers to keep tabs on packages over the Internet. In addition, the customized delivery service of the business is unique in the market.
The Mission Affirmation of FedEx is "to produce superior financial comes back for stockholders, by providing high value-added logistics, vehicles and related information services through centered operating companies. Customer requirements will be achieved in the best quality manner appropriate to each market section offered. FedEx will make an effort to develop mutually satisfying relationships with its employees, partners and suppliers. Protection would be the first consideration in all operations. Corporate and business activities will be conducted to the highest honest and professional standards".
This mission declaration demonstrates FedEx has a definite focus. (1) The main target is to bring comes back to stockholders. (2) They will emphasize adding value above and beyond just their service of carrying an object from one place to another. (3) Their focus of procedures will be logistics, transportation, and related information. This objective statement is focused enough to keep FedEx from diversifying into for example, food products; yet obscure enough to allow growth in all of these areas.
Federal Express holds a People-Service-Profit viewpoint. The 'People' goal is the constant improvement of management's command. The 'Service' standard is 100 percent client satisfaction. The 'Profit' goal is much like other company's goal, and is essential to long-term viability. This philosophy governs how FedEx works its business, and defines strategies.
Federal Express Five-Point Strategy
Federal Exhibit has five strategies that govern business methods. These are to improve service levels, lower product costs, build international authority and sustain profitability, get closer to the customer, and keep maintaining the People-Service-Profit Idea.
The unique FedEx operating strategy works seamlessly - and together - on three levels.
Compete collectively by standing as you brand worldwide and talking to one tone of voice.
Operate separately by concentrating on our independent sites to meet specific customer needs.
Manage collaboratively by working collectively to sustain dedicated relationships with this labor force, customers and investors.
People: We value our people and promote variety in our workplace and inside our thinking.
Service: Our absolutely, favorably spirit puts our customers at the heart of everything we do.
Innovation: We invent and inspire the assistance and systems that enhance the way we work and live.
Integrity: We control our operations, funds and services with credibility, efficiency and trustworthiness.
Responsibility: We champion safe and healthy conditions for the neighborhoods where we live and work.
Loyalty: We earn the esteem and confidence of the FedEx people, customers and traders every day, in everything we do
Transportation and logistics infrastructure within FedEx Corporation
FedEx began its operation by sending eight packages on the first nighttime, which 7 were trial run addresses from one employee to another. The business has since grown up to managing an astonishing 9. 8 million shipments each day.
An overview of FedEx's Infrastructure:
Handling 9. 8 million shipments per day
More than 700 aero planes,
Daily lift up capacity of 12 million kilograms
Servicing more than 220 countries through 375 airports
Workforce greater than 140, 000 long term employees worldwide
500, 000 telephone calls are dealt with professionally
With this Infrastructure and new ones being added as time passes, the Purple Offer of "I am going to make every FedEx experience remarkable" is achieved with the collection and delivery of every shipment.
Physical goods when carried over trucks on the highway usually travel the most frequented routes. But as more vehicles start traversing that highway, so that the travels become longer, plans get postponed, go astray, get there spoiled, or don't arrive at all. To solve this issue, faster, more attentive service providers with the own hardware and infrastructure happened: FedEx, UPS, Airborne Exhibit, etc. These new companies focus on speed, monitoring, billing, quality of service and automation. They also devised systems that didn't travel through the middle of town, aside from last delivery, and didn't change hands on the way. And finally, they offered a lot of optional services to make life easier for both shipper and receiver.
As part of Infrastructure enlargement plans of its U. S. delivery network, FedEx Corp. will add another 9 circulation hubs, delivering its total number of hubs to 39. In addition, a new home-delivery facility designed for Florida will be able to process more than 10, 000 deals each hour.
The three hubs that are under construction are in Dallas, Cincinnati and Hagerstown, MD, the fourth hub in Memphis, TN. The hub extension project will also increase the 30 existing hubs; this will almost double the company's average daily hub offer level capacity by the end of its 2010 fiscal season.
The expansion job will support a sharpened development in FedEx's shipments to consumers on behalf of online retailers. The new Florida satellite circulation centre, in Pompano Beach near Fort Lauderdale, will be 3 x the size of both existing facilities combined, and will start with a workforce of approximately 356 employees and independent contractors, an increase from the current combined shape of 200 employees and 3rd party contractors.
FedEx Smart Post's best-of-breed technology ensures swift program handling and delivery. This technology provides shipment presence throughout the delivery process of the packages while they can be en route with their destinations. This enables to learn always where the deals are and where they're going next.
Advanced control systems, complex automated sorters, and state-of-the-art data-collection devices permit FedEx to accumulate detailed information about every deal. Along with the highly proficient logistics team is completely equipped to sort thousands of packages each day.
The customer tools are housed on the secure Internet site, customized to meet the unique needs of every customer. These tools provide well-timed access to deal delivery information, logistics evaluation, manifest aspect, and billing statements, as well as the capability to create necessary information needed in planning the package delivery strategy.
As a head in the package delivery industry, FedEx provides with data and confirming needed to study and enhance logistics operations on an ongoing basis.
Virtual information infrastructure at FedEx Firm.
Though FedEx started as an express air delivery company in the first 1970s, it includes successfully transformed itself into a built-in travel and logistics company. A major part of FedEx's success is directly related to its determined use of information technology (IT). IT hasn't only facilitated its business operations like operations, customer support and staff training but also included its information network get back of its clients to supply them with seamless logistic and offer chain alternatives.
Dennis Jones, former Chief Information Officer (CIO) of FedEx says -
"IT (it) is a function that has a tactical value because the fact of our business is going for a basic service and adding it services to enhance into a value added product. And that is very important. Any business can move freight from point A to point B. But the way you make it a valuable product to your customer is to cover it with intense it capabilities".
In the overdue 1970s, FedEx noticed a great benefit in using IT to simplify its business techniques. Smith got very early on understood that acceleration, reliability and customer service was an important factor for success in the global travelling industry.
FedEx had set up Interactive Video Instructions (IVI) that allowed employees to consider advantage of slack periods to train themselves at any time of the day. The program was used for training and test prep (Customer service employees at FedEx were examined twice per annum on job knowledge).
FedEx also used IT to improve upon its customer support, by monitoring various areas of a customer's transaction. The goal was to accomplish "100% accuracy and reliability, quality, and customer satisfaction" on all orders. One particular system that FedEx used was the Service Quality index (SQI) that quantified all of a business deal like "Was the bundle undamaged? Was the customer billed appropriately?"
The widespread use of the web from the first 1990s threw open up significant opportunities for FedEx. Since the company already had an EDI based mostly system which it had put in big money, FedEx decided to use a combination of Internet and the EDI. One example was the execution done for the purchasing of products. FedEx purchased something from a firm called Ariba. Ariba was a requisitioning system that was housed on the FedEx intranet. The system was create so that suppliers could maintain a databases of catalogs that could be utilized by any FedEx employee.
The company website hosts more than 6. 3 million unique visitors per month and handles on the average over 2. 4 million package tracking requests daily. More than 2 million customers linked with the business electronically every day, and electronic digital transactions accounted for nearly two-thirds of the more than five million shipments FedEx sent daily. FedEx functions one of the world's major computer and telecommunications networks- more than 75, 000-networked personal computers and thousands of hand-held personal computers that registered and tracked shipments. FedEx's data center processes more than 20 million information management system orders daily, more than other US company.
The company is involved with attaching 39 hubs throughout the world, functioning 677 planes and 90, 000 vehicles, monitoring 200, 000 employees and providing six million deals daily in 220 countries where every second was important. This is actually the 'FEDEX EDGE', that the company is well known for. FedEx altered both customer and business transportation model with higher rate, reliability, software of information technology, improved material controlling system and streamlined logistics network. The business popularized the concepts of 'just-in-time' and 'build-to-order' which reduced customer's lead time and increased productivity. Apart from venturing into 'logistics solution professional' the business was able to maintain its authority position in small package deal and light freight market through its unique 'hub and spoke' model.
The role it has performed in FedEx's strategy is fascinating. By using IT as a significant part of its business, FedEx has already reached an almost entirely new group of people. It has looked after its reputation and increased its business at the same time. IT has generated a greater chance for customers in the global market. They can now ask service, purchase that service, and track the package online. Customers no more need to talk with FedEx. They are now free to order as they want, twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. As a result of this, FedEx's strategy has modified. It really is now focused on the utilization of the web and other scientific innovations. Because this is undoubtedly a critical aspect of the strategy, the implementation of the strategy needed to be almost immediate. To contend with other major businesses in the industry, FedEx was required to give a service to customers that may be seen using technology. In addition they had to provide a package monitoring service. Because they developed this service, their reputation and business grew.
FedEx did several things using its value chain to build up new business. First they have got always recognized the need to have technology and IT work to connect the logistics that they run. They have developed internet systems that work simply and successfully to permit customers and vendors to work with FedEx as a go between. It has allowed many companies to assimilate FedEx technology into their own web sites for customers to use.
Using information from the case study and your own research, critically evaluate the benefits and restrictions of Merger and Acquisition (M&A) strategies in the Global Transportation and Logistics Industry.
Discuss how FedEx Company monitored the acquisition of Caliber Systems in 1998, and determine whether or not the acquisition of Caliber Systems was a success or inability?
The Move and Logistics (T&L) sector is characterized by a significant level of privatisation, finance-raising and merger and acquisition activity. Ventures are often complex and influenced by the regulatory environment, competition issues, or dependence on contracted subsidies to aid operations.
We have witnessed many privatizations of bus companies, ports and airports which have created successful private sector communities that have sustained to expand via further acquisitions. In other sections there is ongoing global consolidation within and between operators from the courier, parcel, freight forwarding and agreement logistics arenas. Postal organizations and railway companies that have historically been more nationally oriented are actually seeking opportunities to develop into cross-border marketplaces driven by a far more commercial focus and liberal regulatory program.
The Transportation & Logistics (T&L) industry varieties the backbone of global supply chains. Postal providers as well as large logistics providers play a dominant role as key stakeholders in the T&L industry. In recent years some former nationwide Posts have undergone an extensive change to emerge as multinational providers of sophisticated logistics and financial services. These evolved entities face new competition in their core markets of mail delivery through the liberalization of markets and privatization.
At once, former Posts may be able to leverage their years of experience in collecting, producing, transporting and providing nationwide and international mail in order to formulate and provide a broader palette of logistics founded services, upstream with direct email activities and downstream with program delivery and repayment services. Further, many existing logistics and express companies have widened well beyond simple delivery services and are now managing all areas of the supply string. These ongoing trends have changed the facial skin of a business which has become increasingly centered on serving customers in every parts of the planet.
Mergers and Acquisitions: Three types
Merger: A exchange where two organizations agree to incorporate their businesses on a relatively coequal basis because they may have resources and features that along may build a stronger competitive advantage.
Acquisition: A transaction where one organization buys another organization with the intention of more effectively using a main competence by making the acquired company a subsidiary within its stock portfolio of businesses.
Takeover: An acquisition where in fact the target firm did not solicit the bid of the acquiring firm.
evaluation of target
focused on acquisitions
compared to expanding new products
Cost of new
Increased Market Power: Acquisition intended to decrease the competitive balance of the industry
Overcome Barriers to Accessibility: Acquisitions triumph over costly barriers to entry which might make "start-ups" financially unattractive
Lower Cost and Threat of New Product Development: Buying established businesses reduces risk of start-up ventures
Increased Speed to Market: Meticulously related to Obstacles to Admittance, allows market access in a far more timely fashion
Diversification: Quick way to go into businesses when firm presently lacks experience and depth in industry
Reshaping Competitive Range: Firms might use acquisitions to restrict its dependence on a single or a few products or markets
Only a "financial team" set up and they make "the decision" (should have two teams: one financial and one organizational - where in fact the organizational Team says "Yes" or "No"
Integration Complications: Differing financial and control systems can make integration of companies difficult
Inadequate Analysis of Goal: "Winners Curse" bid triggers acquirer to overpay for firm
Large or Remarkable Debts: Costly credit debt can create onerous burden on cash outflows
Inability to accomplish Synergy: Justifying acquisitions can increase estimate of expected benefits
Overly Diversified: Acquirer doesn't have expertise required to control unrelated businesses
Managers Overly Centered on Acquisitions: Professionals may neglect to objectively assess the value of outcomes achieved through the firm's acquisition strategy
Too Large: Large bureaucracy reduces development and flexibility
FedEx Corporation has made 31 acquisitions while taking stakes in 3 companies. FedEx Company has 22 divestitures during this period.
Reason for Merger: FedEx and Caliber think that the blend of the two companies will permit their customers to use good thing about a broader stock portfolio of services and alternatives at a level of brilliance unmatched by any competition. Stockholders of both companies will become stockholders of an $15 billion powerhouse in global transport and logistics.
When FedEx announced in Oct 1997 that it was buying Caliber System for $2. 4 billion, observers warned that the merger could disrupt FedEx's already profitable express shipping and delivery business. Observers were incorrect. FedEx finalized its Caliber System merger in January 1998, and by the finish of that season, the new company, FDX, was posting a seven percent increase above the same quarter the year before. Home income grew 30 percent that period, from $168 million to $217 million. The company said that its hard cost settings and low fuel prices contributed to the short-term expansion. FedEx subsidiaries that originated from Caliber Systems also grew. RPS, the largest subsidiary besides FedEx, grew 14 percent for the time, while Viking Freight grew seven percent.
In the long-run, the merger strengthened FedEx's general health. UPS typically rebounded from a crippling 15-day strike in 1997, and now the two companies be competitive head-to-head for the express-shipping business in most markets. While FedEx will battle, several smaller companies continue their reliable service for market marketplaces, such as logistics operations, business-to-business transportation, international shipping and delivery, and small package deal delivery. FedEx has ensured its long-term success by buying several of these smaller companies. Following the Caliber System merger, FedEx included six operating divisions: FedEx; RPS, the second-largest small-package shipment business; Roberts Express, the world's most significant express trucking company; Viking Freight, a respected regional trucking company; Caliber Logistics, a logistics outsourcing organization; and Caliber Technology, an order fulfillment operation.
Using appropriate cases from FedEx Corporation, critically evaluate FedEx's financial and non-financial performance in the framework of trends in the "Internet market and e-tailing" up to the January 2000 reorganisation.
FedEx has an impressive performance record. In 1998 that they had earnings of $15. 9 billion produced 15 percent from 1997. Sales have been growing continuously for days gone by five years. The net income, though, isn't that impressive. It even dropped in 1997, from the increasing fuel costs throughout that yr. However, in 1998 it grew from $200, 000 to $500, 000. That could be from reduction in functioning costs, or from the acquisition of the subsidiaries which had lower operating costs compared to Federal Express.
FedEx's financial statements demonstrates its assets have never been utilized as well as other organizations in their industry, but their success is preferable to other industry firms. Still they need to decrease advertising and administrative bills while increasing sales. Many of their technological developments have been financed primarily with inside cash, which diminishes long-term debt. Future belongings possibly and really should be committed to the international market and new businesses, while still making an investment a decent ratio for technological breakthroughs. Today FedEx has a competitive benefit over other companies and if they continue the procedures that they have in the past, while also checking to new ideas, FedEx will stay a powerhouse in the package deal delivery industry.
The financial ratios for FedEx obviously show that it's the market innovator in this industry, have exceptional sales, a healthy income, and a safe amount of debts. These ratios as time passes show a steady increase, aside from calendar year 1997, where fuel prices harm FedEx deeply.
In this section we will discuss FedEx's talents and weaknesses as a business, opportunities and dangers.
S. W. O. T. Analysis
Company Talents and Resource Functions:
Globalism: Federal Express operates on a worldwide size in 211 countries. They offer services that appeal to almost all of the globe, realize tremendous earnings and also achieve global economies of size.
Innovation: Federal Express required airplanes and pickup trucks and used them diversely than every other company before them. This is innovation. They may have first-mover advantage in name identification for that reason innovation. This has helped them to remain the industry head since 1973.
Technology and Communication: Federal Express uses and persists to find new technology. They allow spending of $1billion yearly, 10% of total revenues, for information technology. That commitment keeps customers from switching to other providers. Government Express also offers excellent communication with the customers. They use monitoring devices on all shipments, and customers will get out where their shipment is through numerous strategies including a user-friendly Internet site. Federal Express customers are assured that FedEx will be together with technology.
Strategic Perspective: Federal Exhibit' will always have competent top managers in charge of strategic path. Frederick Smith built a business leader, and placed it for the reason that position since 1973.
First-Mover Advantages: Federal Express has already established first-mover advantage in several areas. (1) Being truly a global express travelling company. (2) Advanced technology and communication throughout the business's operations. (3) Including smaller companies with similar operations under its belt to synergize and control more of the marketplace.
Strong Brand Image: In 1990, Government Exhibit became the first company granted the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the service category. In 1994, National Express became the first global express transportation company to acquire simultaneous system-wide ISO 9001 qualification in international quality benchmarks. Federal Express in addition has developed their own quality system that complements their customer's requirements.
Company Weaknesses and Tool Deficiencies:
Rising Prices: Government Exhibit' prices are above their competition'. This can be a weakness if their customers do not understand a notable difference between Federal Express and its competitors' services.
Labor Disputes with Pilots: Government Exhibit pilots have formed the Fedex Pilots Association. This corporation demanded changes in the pilots' earnings, retirement benefits, and the actual fact that Federal Express outsources some overseas flights rather than offering their own pilots the work. The pilots have an internet site where news is put up and emotions are discussed. Through the busy Xmas season in 1998, the pilots threatened to reach. Federal Exhibit and the Fedex Pilots Connection have developed a tentative arrangement, which is published on the pilots' Internet site. However, the pilots do not consider this agreement fully meets their prospects. This dispute is certainly an interior weakness for Federal government Express, considering they may have 3, 500 pilots employed with them. Their procedures would undergo if there were hits. When UPS employees continued strike in 1997, Federal government Express took the extra 800, 000 shipments per day. If Federal Exhibit employees went on strike, their competition could gain an edge.
Running Subsidiaries Independently: FDX has intentionally chosen to keep their companies independent. In FDX's 1998 Annual Report, CEO Frederick Smith expresses, "Simply layering the unique reference and operating requirements of any time-definite, global, express-delivery network onto a day-definite, floor small-package network would surely result in reduced service quality and increased costs. Beneath the FDX umbrella, we will leverage our shared strengths while working each delivery network independently, with each focused on its respective markets. " Frederick Smith is self-assured this will be a strength, rather than a weakness. Time will notify.
Expansion Globally: Federal government Express can continue to expand globally, like the others under FedEX.
Expansion Internally: Federal government Express can continue to acquire more companies, and increase into new solutions or areas in their industry.
Run Subsidiaries Collectively: If FDX doesn't profit from operating the subsidiaries separately, they can change to integrating their functions to achieve better synergies and economies of level.
Contracts with Large Organizations: To stay the industry head, Federal Express should form contracts with companies who'll add cost-saving or value-adding benefits to their services.
Joint-Ventures: Federal Exhibit can form joint endeavors, such as already with Netscape and American Express, to enjoy the progress of integrating their customer bases.
Expansion of e-commerce: Federal Express already has a major presence of transport online. They ought to keep finding Internet companies to contract delivery of the products. Since the development of e-commerce is speedy now, Federal Express could enjoy both income and brand recognition out of this kind of growth.
Y2K Problem: If Federal government Exhibit' communication and tracking systems aren't actually Year 2000 ready, they will experience lost shipments, lost customers, and lost revenue. This is a threat for each business, but a global company will be affected on a larger scale.
Community Responsibility in the U. S. : Federal Exhibit might be at the mercy of community disapproval in growth within the United States. Right now, Federal Express has ideas to build a second super-hub in Greensboro, NC. The airport terminal is supportive, however the citizens of the community are not. Government Express has to decide whether the community support or building the guts is more important.
Relations with Foreign Countries: Through Government Exhibit' expansions globally, they are subject to regulations of all foreign countries. There could be major problems in this area, stunting progress and elevating costs. Already, THE UK will not let Federal Exhibit fly their own planes for shipments. National Express must either insert their cargo on to United kingdom planes, or use ground transportation. That is very inefficient for Federal Express; however, it will keep competition out for Uk Air Transport companies. Everywhere Government Express will go, they are at risk for laws that impede their businesses or efficiency.
Economic and Political Conditions: Federal Express is subject to the whole world's monetary and political condition in the regions of fuel prices and supply, customer purchase of their services, and relationships with overseas countries. As a global company, these are subject to much more risk than home companies.
Industry Leads and Overall Attractiveness
A pattern among Air Freight shippers is to use the Internet for communication with customers and even obtaining transport agreements with companies retailing on the Internet. This alliance with the fastest-growing industry will bring exponential progress to the Air Freight industry, far beyond what they would normally have came to the realization without this. This industry would continue to be attractive, with concentration on competition for market share, service differentiation, and brand image.
Based on the company history, company evaluation, industry examination and performance research, we have this particular recommendations for National Express.
Ensure that the employees, especially pilots, are well paid out. Since Federal Express is a service company, employees are critical to its success. Place pilots' earnings at or above the industry average. They have to maintain a strong presence on the web, in case of a shakedown, and find ways to make their e-commerce user-friendly and profitable. They have to keep prices within 10 % with their opponents prices, or ensure that their customers view their service as worthwhile the purchase price.