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Ben & Jerry's

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Ben and Jerry's Homemade has established itself as a high-quality manufacturer of ice cream products which uses innovative measures to meet and exceed social responsibilities. However, Ben and Jerry's Homemade also strives to deliver profitable growth and increasing value for shareholders. Not surprisingly, the company is faced with the difficulty of attaining all three of these goals and has found itself unable to meet shareholder expectations. Now, the company must decide how to appease shareholders, retain its corporate culture and continue to provide the super-premium ice cream its customers have grown to love. Ben and Jerry's Homemade has the option to sell the company or continue operating independently.

The board of directors could sell the company to one of four proposed buy out deals. Each buyout deal offers varying levels of company independence under the new parent, an increase in shareholder wealth and some reduction of existing social commitments and interests. Regardless of the proposal chosen, a buyout would result in the curtailment of the company's culture, thus reducing or eliminating the core values of Ben and Jerry's Homemade. This choice of action would result in the loss of the company's mission and therefore, should only be considered as a last resort in order to save the jobs of the employees and the investments of the shareholders.

Conversely, the company could decide to forego the buyout and seek alternative measures to reach its three fundamental goals. This would allow Ben and Jerry's Homemade to retain its culture and act unimpeded by a parent company. The company has made outstanding innovations in providing socially responsible corporate action. Using a solid foundation of creativity and innovation, the company could reduce its financial charity and instead focus on other means of serving the community. For example, the company has displayed a clear strength in developing alternative solutions to difficult issues as was demonstrated with its wastewater disposal tactics. These types of innovative solutions can allow the company to continue its social responsibility without sacrificing



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