Haas Nabs Third in Wharton Buyout Case Competition

A Berkeley MBA team took third place in the 2010 Wharton Buyout Case Competition finals on Feb. 26, placing ahead of 12 teams from such top US business schools as Tuck, Columbia, and NYU Stern.

The team consisted of Eric Flohr, Mehul Gandhi, Jonathan Groll, Josh Harrington, and Justin Owen, all MBA 11. Wharton placed first, followed by Kellogg in second place.

The competition simulates a real-life private equity buyout — the acquisition of an industrial company using equity and significant amounts of debt. The competition challenged students to develop an investment committee presentation based on more than 100 pages of information, including a confidential memorandum and a management presentation for the industrial services target company.

Owen says the team differentiated itself in the presentation and the Q&A by “thoroughly thinking through the risks of the target company and its end markets and developing mitigating strategies to implement after a potential transaction.”

“Key to our success was the multidisciplinary nature of our team, with experience in private equity, management consulting, investment banking, buy-side equity research, and industry,” adds Groll. “This broad skill-set allowed us to analyze the strategic, financial, and operational aspects of the case.”

The case was administered by Harris Williams & Co. and judged by eight private equity executives. The teams were judged on the investment thesis, buyout rationale, deal merits and risk considerations, proposed deal structure, financing and valuation.