In January 2003, Mr. Ho Kwok Ping (KP), the cofounder and chairman of Singapore-based Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, was debating whether to take his privately held company public. The company developed and operated several boutique resorts and spas around Asia. What set the company apart in the marketplace, and was an integral part of the Banyan Tree brand, was its strong commitment to protecting the environment, both physical and human, driven by its leaders' passionate belief in behaving ethically and responsibly. The company had major plans for expansion in Asia and around the world. These expansion plans required financing, and one obvious option was to take the company public through an IPO. But KP had his doubts about an IPO. Would investors feel as passionately as he did about the company's pro-environment values and initiatives? Or would he and his managers have to compromise their values to deliver acceptable returns to the company's shareholders? In the current economic climate in Asia and globally, was it the right time to go public?
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