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COMPANY FINANCE, OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT





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Text organization.

The statements below express the main ideas of the text. Number them so that they are in the same order as the ideas in the text. The first one is given for you:

  Statement Order
a. In most established industries there is only room for two or three major companies.  
b. In most markets there is a definite market leader: the firm with the largest market share.
c. The majority of companies in industry are merely market followers.  
d. In many markets, there is often a distinct market challenger, with the second largest market share.  
e. Many market followers concentrate on market segmentation.  

8Viewpoint:

Can you name companies that are leaders, challengers, and market followers in the market?

Lead- in: How do companies raise money for their operations?   Key words and phrases 1. to raise money –дiставати гроші 2. ordinary shares (equity) –простi акцiї 3. advertising –реклама, рекламна справа 4. to run a business –керувати, управляти пiдприємством, вести дiло 5. savings and profits –заощадження та прибуток 6. stocks of raw materials –запас сировини 7. fixed capital –основний капітал 8. bank overdraft –банкiвськiй овердрафт 9. managerial skills –талант, здiбностi управлiння 10. sole trader –одноосiбний торговець 12. limitless liabilities –необмежена юридична вiдповiдальнiсьть 13. small-scale enterprise –малий бiзнес (пiдприємство)

Companies raise the money they need for their operations from internal and external sources. Profits are the major source of internal finance; they may also be an important condition for raising external finance from borrowing of various kinds. External funds consist mainly of bank borrowings and raising loans from other sources, in both the short and long term. Another source of external funds is from the issue of ordinary shares, often called equity(known as common stock in the United States). The way in which a company finances itself, sometimes known as capital structure, has a profound effect upon the ownership and style of management of the company. Picture a small-scale manufacturer of toys, mainly hand-made and using the minimum amount of equipment. The toys would probably only be sold locally through market stalls or small shops. There would be little or noadvertising. Such abusiness may well be runby only one man – a sole trader – who finances the business entirely from his own savings and profits. If the toys are particularly good and the business prospers, he may require extra finance. This may be needed for working capital – additional stocks of raw materials and components or additional labour to meet rising demand. Alternatively additional funds may be needed for fixed capital – extra equipment or an extension to the workshop.



At this point the extra finance may be beyond the internal resources of our one-man firm. Short-term funds such as a bank advance or overdraftmay be sought. These are short-term because they may be repaid at notice from the bank or over a short period. A further source of short-term finance might be trade credit. Practically every firm both gives and receives a certain amount of finance in the form of trade debts. This form of finance may be rather expensive. Although short-term finance is fairly flexible and not too difficult to arrange, it has clear disadvantages.

In addition to the problem of finding a more stable source of finance than short-term loans, the owner may find that he has other difficulties such as, for example, additional managerial skills to cope with the increased workloads. Extra managerial skills might be needed on the buying or selling side of the business, which becomes more important as trade grows. One way of solving both these problems is to form a partnership. The legal form of Sole Trader and Partnerships varies between countries but they frequently have unlimited liability. The owners are liable for any debts of the business, even if it means selling their homes and family possessions to meet these obligations. If one or more of the partners cannot pay their part of the debt then the others will be liable.

This arrangement is both a source of strength and of weakness. It ensures that the owners pay the closest attention to the running of the business. On the other hand, because the mistakes of one partner may involve the others in limitless liabilities, there may be a great reluctance to enter such a business. So long as each of the partners knows his colleague well and understands what is going on in all parts of the firm this need not be a problem, which explains why partnerships are usually restricted to small-scale enterprise. Some countries set a legal limit on the number of partners. In the UK the maximum, with certain exceptions, is twenty.

ØComprehension:

1. What are the sources companies raise money from?

2. What do we call short-term funds?

3. What is a characteristic feature of a partnership?

4. Could you name strengths and weaknesses of a partnership?

5. What is the maximum number of partners in the UK in Ukraine?

 

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