During this year's LeBow College of Business Philadelphia Cup competition held Friday, Feb. 8, six teams - representing six different LeBow College MBA programs - worked on a mergers-and-acquisitions finance case study where they were charged with this very same scenario. Only one team — One-Year MBA students Warren Bloom, Ryan O'Malley, Jason Weber, and Manavdeep Singh Khind - had the winning strategy.
They will now go on to compete against other business schools in the region at the annual Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Philadelphia Cup in April, a competition sponsored by KPMG.
"I thought it was exciting to see the other teams present, see what strategies they used, and it was interesting to see how they evaluated it differently than we did," said Bloom. The teams had a wide range of advice for the equity investors, he said, explaining that there really is not right answer or set of numbers because it is subjective.
Teams were given financial statements and industry analysis transactions of the companies, and had two weeks to run this information through different models to arrive at what they determined to be the best advice. At the competition, the teams gave presentations to a panel of judges, which included a mix of faculty, alumni and industry reps, who determined the winners.
O'Malley said that the judges gave great feedback. He said that the teams couldn't exactly prepare for judges' questions, so this experience was more of an open-dialogue forum, making it "more of a real-world experience than a class presentation."
Faculty members from the Finance Department worked with students to prepare them for the competition. The four-judge panel provided questions and feedback to the teams, which benefited not only the winning team as they advance their project in hopes of winning the ACG Cup, but all of the teams as they move forward with other projects.
"This event was a great learning experience for our MBA students," said LeBow College Dean George Tsetsekos. "This is a great example of how our Drexel MBA programs foster real-world learning experiences that give them an edge in real-world situations."
Launched last year, the ACG Philadelphia Cup is a highly realistic private equity/investment banking case study contest that will present a total of $25,000 in awards to MBA students representing some of the top MBA programs in the Greater Philadelphia area. CN8, the Comcast Network, will follow the progress of the students as part of the ACG competition.
In last year's ACG Cup competition, LeBow's team tackled a real estate investment trust case study and placed second in the seven-team competition, coming in behind only the Wharton School.