Can a Little Fish Eat a Big Fish: The Acquisition Strategy of Vodafone

vodafoneA corporate strategy article by Thunderbird students Edyette Key, Kara Nguyen, Cole Augustine, Ilan Fehler, Giff Bloom and F. Trevor Rogers

Economies and industries go through periods of consolidation; from the bust of the .coms, recent restructuring of the banks and even the funneling of the beer industry. In some cases these consolidations aren’t because the biggest player in the market is gobbling up all the little ones, but rather the lean and agile end up with more capital and are able to buy into a controlling position of a much bigger and strapped for cash giant. One such example is the acquisition of miller brewing company by the South African Brewery that has propelled SAB to be one of the top three breweries in the world. The communications industry is no different and many companies seek to enter new markets through acquisition. This article dissects the motivations of Vodafone’s further acquisition of Verizon and its potential to weaken Vodafone’s current global growth momentum.

Analysis of Angola: Probability of Falling Victim to the Resource Curse

angola2A research paper by Thunderbird students Christian Lorentzen and Anthony Petrunin

Executive Summary: To determine whether Angola is at risk of falling victim to the resource curse we chose to implement a framework developed by Paul Stevens and Evelyn Dietsche (Stevens and Dietsche, 2008) based on their careful study of leading academic writings on causes of the resource curse. The framework employs three main factors to determine whether a country is likely to experience the resource curse:
1) Is there the existence of historic well-functioning institutions already in place?•Considering that Angola’s present leadership came to power through a civil war in which the institutions left by the Portuguese were destroyed and new centralized systems were created, there is risk that Angola’s leadership is not dependent on a system that would lead them to make decisions in the best interest of the country.
2) Is the relative value of the resource rent high or low?•Angola is dependent on high-rent oil exports. The oil royalties are high enough to satisfy the national budget without the necessity of additional revenue streams. As a result the leaders lack motivation and incentive to develop other sectors of the economy.
3) Is the natural resource harvested across large or small geographic areas?•Oil has a small geographical footprint that does not require local support systems or labor. Therefore Angola’s dependence on oil is unlikely to create cluster economies.
By analyzing these three questions in the context of modern day Angola, we came to the conclusion that Angola is at a high risk of becoming a resource cursed country.

OkCupid & Match.com: A Branding Strategy

okcupid-matchA corporate marketing article by Thunderbird students Noah Emery, Kate Gillette, Megan Groves, Roger Li, Christian Lorentzen, Ullas Rameshappa and Amanda Roberson

Executive Summary: In this paper, we will provide an overview of the existing and growing online dating market as it pertains to the United States. Focusing on two brands, Match.com (Match) and OkCupid, we will explore options for Interactive Corporation, the holding company for both dating sites, to simultaneously grow the online dating market and increase visibility and profitability of newly acquired OkCupid, a much younger brand. After analysis of product, promotion, placement and pricing as well as segmentation, targeting and positioning of each brand, we recommend the following: a dual-branding strategy that capitalizes on Match’s industry experience in order to grow the market and maximize OkCupid’s potential value.

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