From Public to Private: Winners of CVP Competition Announced
Students in David Brophy's private equity finance class learn about buyouts and what it takes for public firms to go private.
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Glencoe Capital and the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance (CVP) at the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business have announced the winners of the Michigan Private Equity Investment Competition at the Ross School.
The winning team includes MBA students Greg Janus, Tony Pandjiris, Don Sechler and Wally Smith.
The competition was inaugurated this academic year in Professor David Brophy's private equity finance course. Student teams vied for the chance to make their case to Glencoe about investing in a public-to-private transaction with a company of their choosing.
"Students couldn't ask for a better opportunity to learn about how buyouts are considered and deals executed," said CVP Director Brophy, who has taught private equity and venture capital investing at U-M since 1983.
"The winning team showed a terrific grasp of the fundamentals that drive value in a buyout situation," said David Evans, chairman of Chicago-based Glencoe Capital, a $950 million buyout firm. "They conducted exhaustive research, built a strong case and argued convincingly for the acquisition."
The competition carries with it the annual $10,000 Gelband Scholarship prize from U-M and Ross Business School alumnus Alan Gelband, president of New York investment-banking firm Alan Gelband Company Inc. Winning team members will split the $7,500 top prize and runners-up will share $2,500.
"This competition is terrific," said Gelband, who also addressed Brophy's students as part of the course. "My goal was to allow students insight into how private equity and the stock market really work. Students gain experience in the way private equity people think."
In all, 13 teams in Brophy's class went head-to-head to find a public company with the potential to generate wealth if it were acquired and turned private. The two top teams presented their proposals to Glencoe's Investment Committee in Chicago.
Each four-student team identified a target company, compiled a financial analysis, developed an investment thesis and proposed a capital structure for the deal. Teams submitted detailed proposals before making preliminary presentations to a judging panel.
"Having highly seasoned private equity professionals scrutinize our pitch and provide insightful feedback was an invaluable experience," said Janus, the lone first-year student on the winning team. "Dr. Brophy and Glencoe Capital created a real-world experience by diligently reviewing our investment idea and subjecting it to intense pressure-testing in the board room."
"We learned a tremendous amount about the buyout process and saw first-hand the internal dynamic at Glencoe," said winning-team member Pandjiris. "The competition was a one-of-a-kind learning experience."
Brophy said the project was valuable for all the teams, including those that were not selected to pitch their deal to Glencoe.
"Students in the class received incredibly valuable insights into the private equity business and its processes," he said. "We're grateful to Glencoe and Alan Gelband for helping make this happen, and we look forward to growing the competition next year."
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