Case Options

Important Dates and Deadlines

Eligibility and Team Composition

The Challenge is open to all Chicago Booth students in the Full-Time Program (first year and second year) and Evening and Weekend Programs. Executive MBA students are not eligible.

Teams must consist of exactly five students. All teams must have at least one student without prior experience in private equity. All students on the team must be available to attend the interview round, semifinals, and finals.

If you are looking for teammates, please fill in your details on the Google spreadsheet next year and check frequently for updates.


Application Components

Teams may use any widely-available resources (e.g. company data and equity research reports) to develop their application, which must include the following information and be emailed to Erika Mercer or Cerise Miller. In their analysis, teams should ignore the company’s share price and focus instead on how the company would be valued in an LBO context.

Team member resumes

Include all team resumes including team alternate if included.

A presentation (not to exceed 25 slides) to include:

  • Executive summary (investment rationale/key conclusions)
  • Investment Thesis (key merits and key risks)
  • Company description (location, history, etc.)
  • Market overview (growth drivers, value chain, customers, suppliers, key players, etc.)
  • Business overview (business model, competition, etc.)
  • Historic financial analysis
  • Business plan/growth drivers
  • Strategy for growth and value creation opportunities; 100 day plan
  • Forecast financials (including key assumptions)
  • Debt/capital structure (including credit stats)
  • Valuation/multiples (comparables, LBO analysis, etc.)
  • Exit options and target buyers
  • Returns (money multiple and IRR, sensitivities to the business plan, breakdown of IRR drivers amongst EBITDA growth, debt pay down, and change in purchase multiple)
  • Key areas to diligence
  • Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues
  • SWOT analysis

A financial and valuation model, which includes:

  • Operational assumptions
  • Operational model and forecasts
  • Valuation
  • Returns (money multiple and IRR, sensitivities to the business plan, breakdown of IRR drivers amongst EBITDA growth, debt pay down, and change in purchase multiple)

Application Deadline: the 2017 application is now closed. The 2018 application deadline will be posted shortly.