Undergrad Competition Tests Merger Strategies

A team of Haas undergraduates won the 12th annual Investment Banking Case Competition by proposing the immediate sale of Alameda-based tech firm Wind River to semiconductor giant Intel.

Three finalist teams presented their cases to a panel of judges Oct. 6. The winning team consisted of Wynne Chyou, BS 10 (Business and Bioengineering); Jordan Xu, BS 11 (Statistics); Yi Yu, BS 11; and Yew Khor, BS 11 (Material Science and Engineering).

The team based their decision on Wind River’s hold on 18 percent of its software optimization market, its involvement with Google’s Android software for mobile devices, and a growing interest among hardware companies in buying software companies. The team recommended a sale price of $10 per share to $11.50 per share.

The recommendation affirmed Intel's actual acquisition of Wind River, a software optimization firm, in July for $11.50 per share.

“I learned a good amount about valuation techniques, the tech industry, and general M&A strategies, but something I wouldn't be able to learn without this type of case competition is what 'team synergy' is really about,” says Chyou. “Each member brought a unique strength to the group in order to cover all bases.”

The competition was judged by Wind River CEO Ken Klein and CFO Ian Halifax; Lev Finkelstein, a vice president in Goldman Sachs' investment banking division; Nick Giovanni, a managing director in Goldman Sachs' investment banking division; and Haas Lecturer Steve Etter. The competition was hosted by Goldman Sachs and the Haas Undergraduate Program.