A team of Opus College of Business MBA students recently won the ACG (Association for Corporate Growth Minnesota) Cup case study competition, beating a team from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. The Opus team, comprising Bennett Celichowski ’21 MBA, Amy Davis ’21 MBA and Kevan Sheehy ’21 MBA, received a $4,000 prize.
The ACG Cup is a case study competition designed to give students from MBA programs insights into mergers and acquisitions (M&A), investment banking, financial advisory and private equity.
In the first round of the competition, the teams were presented with a fictitious scenario: A medical device company wants to pursue growth through the purchase of a patent or competitor. In the second round, the scenario involved the same company deciding to acquire a competitor and needing help valuing the opportunity, structuring the purchase and positioning themselves as the best buyer.
The students had to analyze and then provide recommendations on valuation, capital markets and M&A advice for the company to a panel of investment professionals from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
“We succeeded by finding a win-win solution for the case and communicating that solution in a compelling way,” said Davis. “The ACG Cup was a great test of not just technical finance skills, but also business communication and overall business acumen. The full-time MBA program prepared me well for the competition.”
Teams from Opus and the Carlson School of Management competed in the first rounds Feb. 2-3, with finalists advancing to the final round Feb. 11.
“My experience in the Aristotle Fund coupled with the investment banking class I took this past fall allowed me to feel extremely prepared for the variety of strategic, modeling and valuation challenges the ACG Cup presented,” Celichowski said. “The tangible experiences provided by both classes carried over into the competition and differentiated our team’s final deliverable from the competition. Our team had a complementary set of skills and I am proud of our ability to overcome the challenges of working together in an all-remote setting.”
The purpose of the competition is to give students real-life experience in M&A, investment banking, private equity and strategic alternatives.
“My experience in the Aristotle Fund along with Professor Brian Reagan’s investment banking class and Ben Etzkorn’s investments class really helped prepare me for this competition. Professors Reagan and Mary Schmid Daugherty do a great job of challenging your assumptions and getting you to think about situations or concepts from different perspectives, and Professor Etzkorn is a modeling guru that is a huge benefit to all the students in the Aristotle Fund,” Sheehy said.