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Carl Marks Student Paper Winners to be Recognized at TMA Annual

September 05, 2014, 07:19 AM

Turnaround Management Association (TMA) will honor two winning teams from the 11th annual Carl Marks Student Paper Competition at The TMA Annual on September 30 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Ontario.

The Carl Marks Student Paper Competition recognizes outstanding student achievement in the field of corporate renewal, as well as provides research that may offer new insight into the profession and expand TMA’s university outreach. The program establishes building blocks for future relationships with those students who have submitted papers, some of whom may eventually enter the industry full-time.

Students enrolled in an MBA program or equivalent business-related Master’s Degree program at an accredited university were eligible to enter. The competition judges evaluate the papers based on established criteria, including relevance to issues pertinent to corporate distress, financial restructuring, and reorganization; well-written, clearly constructed, and thorough treatment of the subject; originality of the subject and its interpretation; and depth and quality of analysis.

First Place:
Connor Lynagh, Darryl Pinkus, Andrew Ralph, and Michael Sutcliffe from NYU Stern School of Business will be awarded first place in the Case Analysis category for their paper titled “The American Airlines Bankruptcy.”

This paper describes the events leading up to AMR’s bankruptcy, analyzing the company’s cost structure and Z-scores, and then focuses on the plan of reorganization. It analyzes the ownership structure of the new company and payouts based on the price of the new company. It then briefly describes the merger and determines that the outsized returns for the bondholders and shareholders were really the result of the merger and not necessarily the bankruptcy process. In conclusion, the paper argues that even though this bankruptcy was a strategic move to reduce labor costs, the decision to enter bankruptcy was the right choice for AMR. Read the full paper.

Second Place:
Raphael Charbit, Daniel Reagan, and Justin Siken, also from NYU Stern School of Business, will be recognized for second place in the Case Analysis Category for their paper titled “Lyondellbasell.”

Lyondellbasell was formed from the merger of Lyondell Chemical and Basell Polyolefins in 2007 in a leveraged buyout that created the third largest independent chemical company in the world. However, one year after the deal closed the collapse of the global economy and the company’s high debt load resulted in the firm filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The causes of the bankruptcy and the resulting reorganization are illustrative of many of the large LBO deals done at the end of the credit bubble. The +250 percent equity price return of the reorganized Lyondellbasell, the involvement of private equity firms in the reorganization, and novel legal efforts to claw back value from pre-merger equity holders all present interesting areas of analysis in this case. Read the full paper.

The Turnaround Management Association (TMA) is the leading organization dedicated to turnaround management, corporate restructuring, and distressed investing. Established in 1988, TMA has more than 9,300 members in 49 chapters worldwide, including 31 in North America. Members include turnaround practitioners, attorneys, accountants, advisors, liquidators, executive recruiters, and consultants, as well as academic, government, and judicial employees.

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