Students from Columbia Business School and the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business will receive cash prizes in the 2009 Carl Marks Student Paper Competition.
The competition administered by the Turnaround Management Association recognizes outstanding achievement in the study of corporate renewal. The winning teams consist of students in MBA or equivalent business-related master’s programs and both submitted papers in the Case Study category.
Carl Marks Advisory Group LLC funds the prizes and covers travel and lodging expenses for a team member to attend the TMA Annual Convention, October 7-9, at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix.
"Deciding which of these two fine papers deserved first place was difficult as both papers offered insightful analysis with reasonable plans for downsizing two very different troubled firms," said Ben Branch, a finance professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Isenberg School of Management, who led the judging. "We could have given each team first prize if that had been an option."
The winning papers and award recipients are:
$3,000 First Place Award
"Restructuring Pilgrim’s Pride"
Perched at the helm of the nation’s poultry producers, Pilgrim’s Pride filed for bankruptcy-court protection in 2008. It faced excessive debt following a $1 billion acquisition and difficult economic conditions affecting feed costs and chicken prices. This paper analyzes impacts on Pilgrim’s finances and recommends that the company reformulate its business model and sell some assets to reduce debt.
Authors: David Epstein, Steven Ostroff, Michael Sand, Satish Selvanathan and David Twerdun
Advisor: Professor Laura Resnikoff, Columbia Business School
$1,500 Second Place Award
"Salem Communications Corporation Restructuring Plan"
The Christian and family-themed radio broadcasting company expanded from 70 to more than 100 radio stations from 1999 to 2004 and propelled that growth mostly with debt financing. This paper discusses the likely prospect of financial distress when Salem’s debt comes due and puts forth a restructuring plan that includes divestiture of radio stations, asset sales and leasebacks, and a debt to equity swap.
Authors: Rodney Behm, Andy Bruno, Tom Nye and Kevin Urbani
Advisor: Dr. James K. Seward, University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Business
Turnaround Management Association, http://www.turnaround.org/, has nearly 9,000 members in 45 regional chapters who comprise a professional community of turnaround practitioners, attorneys, accountants, investors, lenders, venture capitalists, appraisers, liquidators, executive recruiters and consultants.
Carl Marks Advisory Group LLC, http://www.carlmarks.com/, with offices in New York, Vienna, Va., and Charlotte, N.C., provides a wide array of investment banking and financial and operational advisory services to the middle market, including mergers and acquisitions advice, sourcing of capital, financial restructuring plans, strategic business assessments, improvement plans and interim management.
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