UP-Diliman team wins PwC 2017 M&A Challenge

November 2017

UP-Diliman team wins PwC 2017 M&A Challenge

The winning team from UP-Diliman, starting from third from left: Assistant Professor Mark Asinas (team coach), and 5th year BS Business Administration students Kenneth Hung, Michelle George Tan, Marco Mauleon, and Sheena Ann Lorenzo. They are flanked by PwC Philippines’ Deals Manager Darwin Saribay (far left), Chairman and Senior Partner Alex Cabrera (second from left), Deals Managing Partner Jade Divinagracia (third from right), Vice Chairman and Assurance Managing Partner Rick Danao (second from right), and Deals Associate Santiago Gabriel Fernandez (far right).

Emerging as the grand prize winner of the country’s only Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Challenge was the HTML team from the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman during the final round held recently at the The City Club, Alphaland Makati Place, Makati City.

The HTML team, composed of Kenneth Hung, Michelle George Tan, Marco Mauleon, and Sheena Ann Lorenzo, went home with a trophy and a cash prize of PHP100,000, plus PHP50,000 for the faculty.

In recognizing the finalists after the grueling simulated M&A process experience, Atty. Alexander Cabrera, Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC Philippines, said: “The PwC 2017 M&A Challenge is our contribution to connecting what the academe provides with what the industry needs. It gives students a taste of the real thing—the actual questions that should be addressed in real M&A transactions.”

Jade Divinagracia, PwC Philippines Deals and Corporate Finance Managing Partner, notes: “The Philippines remain to be an attractive investment destination as it continues to post strong economic growth, supported by a young domestic population, growing middle class and higher capital investment. Given the increasing number of M&A transactions in the country, we’d like to encourage more students to join the M&A profession once they graduate.”

The judges were Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairperson Teresita Herbosa; Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) Commissioner, Atty. Amabelle Asuncion; Atty. Alexander Cabrera, Jade Divinagracia, and PwC Philippines Vice Chairman and Assurance Managing Partner Roderick Danao.

Named first runner-up was the Wise Girls team from Ateneo de Manila University. The team was led by Hector Guballa (coach) with Tanya Anastacio, Alessandra Narciso, Anna Carmina Tayag, and Gabrielle Regine Yap as members. They won PHP50,000 and a trophy.

Second runner-up was APEX Consultancy team from Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, winning PHP25,000 and a trophy. Led by their coach Rey Joseph M. Redoblado, the team is composed of Christian Lucila, Lea Andrea Saunar Luna, Mar Sulit, and Almera Dio Dino.

The other three finalist teams (De Fourmity team from Bicol University, Paradigm team from De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, and Weyfield International team from UPVisayas) were awarded PHP10,000 each.

Special awards were given as well to the De Fourmity team of Bicol University for Best Final Report, and to the HTML team of UP-Diliman for Best Presentation. The Coach of the Year award, carrying a PHP50,000 cash prize, was given to UP-Diliman’s HTML team’s coach, Mark Asinas.

The competition mounted by PwC Philippines is now on its second year. It ran from August to November 2017, with 142 teams participating from 51 universities. It involved preparing a divestment transaction case based on assigned domestic conglomerates. To familiarize the contestants on real business, PwC subject matter experts hosted a webinar series covering industry research, due diligence, information memorandum preparation, valuation, accounting, and tax.

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