On behalf of EHL, I am proud to announce that a team of BOSC 5 students comprised of Savana Gfeller, Nour Moyi, and Joel Zgraggen, were recently awarded 2nd prize at the 2018 International Hotel Investment Forum’s Student Real Estate Investment Case Competition in Berlin, Germany.

This year’s challenge asked the students from different hotel and business schools in the USA and Europe to evaluate a specific hotel and office building investment opportunity in Budapest, Hungary, and to perform a detailed strategic and financial analysis for a private equity group’s potential acquisition, repositioning, and eventual exit as part of its first fully-discretionary European Hotel Investment Fund.  The students were required to satisfy the fund’s strategy of acquiring underperforming assets at an attractive price, developing a business plan to reposition and stabilize the assets, secure financing at an adequate debt-to-equity ratio, and holding the asset for the short to medium term to achieve opportunistic returns that provided a risk adjusted return of 15-20% leveraged IRR over a 3-5 year investment period.

The EHL team’s solution was to acquire the two buildings for 85 million Euros (versus the offered price of 95 million Euros), renovate the existing four star hotel into a dual branded Pullman and Mama Shelter, and convert the office space into a co-working concept operated and branded by Mama Works. The team was specifically recognized for its creative solution that provided a unique positioning in an increasingly crowded market, solid financial analysis, comprehensive strategic renovation plan, and effective presentation and ability to answer questions from the jury consisting of hotel development, banking and investment professionals.

The team members received complimentary passes to the IHIF (worth 2500 Euros each) and expressed their sincere gratitude to EHL for funding their trip and to the EHL Jury, consisting of professors Margarita Cruz-Barrientos, Prashant Das, Frederic Delley, Ian Millar and Nicole Rosenkranz, who selected them to attend the conference and provided additional advice prior to the competition.  As the team’s coach, and after having started this event at IHIF ten years ago, I can confidently state that the team’s performance was clear evidence of EHL’s ability yto help students apply their academic learning to professional challenges.

Demian Hodari

Associate Professor of Strategic Management.

Back to Top