In early 2002, an analyst, Tom Baumann, must propose terms for leasing one of his company's advanced factory-automation systems to a major customer. From the lessor's standpoint, the challenge is simply to design an annuity stream that yields a present value equal to, or greater than, the value of the asset being leased. Certain factors, however, serve to complicate the analysis. The tax exposure and debt rating of the customer are uncertain, leaving the analyst to estimate the impact of alternative lease terms under different tax and interest-rate assumptions. Also, the customer is considering leasing competing systems from companies in Germany and Japan; these competing proposals limit Primus's flexibility in tailoring its proposal. In short, the student's task is to design lease terms that exploit the lessee's tax and interest-rate exposure within constraints set by competitive terms.
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