December 04, 2017

Ateneo de Manila University once again emerged as victors in the 2nd annual staging of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 2017 Mergers & Acquisitions Challenge against a much bigger and formidable field of universities all over the Philippines. Team Wise Girls of the Ateneo de Manila won the Silver Award in the Final Round of competition held at The City Club, Alphaland Makati Place last Tuesday, 21 November 2017. It was a closely contested battle for the top honors against Team HTML of UP Diliman (Gold Award). Getting the Bronze Award was Team APEX Consultancy from Mindanao State University. The three other finalists were Team Defourmity of Bicol University, Team Paradigm of De La Salle (Dasmarinas) and Team Weyfield Intl of UP Visayas. The Final Round started at 9AM and ended at 9PM after the dinner and Awarding Ceremonies.

This year’s theme was on Divestitures as opposed to last year’s theme on Acquisitions which makes it even more challenging as the teams were made  to look at existing conglomerates and recommend not only which part of their business they should divest but included also the recommended valuation for the sale and the proposed buyers and the rationale behind these. There were three rounds of competition starting last August 2017. In the Preliminary Round, there were a total of 142 teams from 51 universities who entered. Ateneo de Manila fielded a total of 6 teams. From these entries, a total of 20 teams coming from 12 universities were selected for the Main Round and Ateneo de Manila had 2 teams. Competition began in September and culminated in October with the selection of 6 Final Round teams from 6 universities. Finalists were required to submit written proposals in Nov. 7 and then make an Oral Presentation to a Panel of Judges complete with a Q & A portion last Nov. 21. Completing the Panel of Judges were the three top Executives of PwC (Chairman, Vice Chairman and Managing Partner for Deals) plus two independent judges consisting of the Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commissioner of the Phil. Competition Commission (PCC).

Team Wise Girls of the Ateneo de Manila University consisted of the top ME seniors students lead by Anna Carmina Tayag, Tanya Anastacio, Alessandra Narciso and Gabrielle Regine Yap. Their Coach was Professor Hector Guballa, who was supported by subject matter experts who were either alumni or faculty members of the Ateneo de Manila. The winning Ateneo de Manila team last year consisting of JB Capucao and Raynard Lao also provided very valuable inputs,  competition tips and moral support by their presence in the mock presentations and in the Final Round.

The PwC 2017 M&A Challenge, being the first M&A –focused business case competition for university students in the Philippines, has successfully given students who are aspiring to enter the worlds of private equity and professional services a taste of building and pitching their own M&A case which is important as the Philippines is at the cusp of sustainable economic growth supported by a young and growing population and increasing investment interest from within the ASEAN region and the rest of the world.