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Rice MBA team wins First Place at Tulane's Finance Case Competition

Four Jones School students, Class of 2009, won first place in Tulane’s Business Plan Case Competition that was held the weekend of April 17th.  Jason Howard, Drew Laxton, Randi Martin, and Christopher Steddum succeeded over teams from schools including Vanderbilt, Emory, and other highly ranked competitors.
 
Six teams were selected as finalists from 86 business plan submissions representing 37 different schools including Northwestern, John Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania, among others.  The business plan competition also attracted internal participation from schools in countries such as India, Mexico, Canada, and Chile.
 
The case the students worked on involved a private company that had developed and held patents for specialized drilling technology that improved the process and success rate in off shore, deep water drilling.  The majority owner wanted out of the company, so the company needed to raise equity in order to achieve this.
 
The case occurred in 2006, at a time when IPOs were prevalent.  The students determined that an IPO would be the best choice and that the NYSE would be a viable market option.  “We were required to identify risks involved with this decision and also develop three recommendations including the reorganization of management,” stated Randi Martin.  She continued “in order to complete the analysis, we valued the company on both the NYSE and the Norway based Oslo exchange.  We used a blended WACC that involved the market recognizing the company as both an oilfield services firm and a technology driven firm.”  The team also looked at alternatives to the IPO to ensure that it was the most viable option.
 
The Rice team’s success in the competition netted $5000.  “It was a lot of fun and we were proud to have the opportunity to represent Rice” Martin said.