This Acquisition Has to Be Made

This Acquisition Has to Be Made


Students enrolled in the International Finance program, managed by Stefano Caselli, undertook the delicate task of effectively presenting to the board the pros and cons of the acquisition of GrandVision, a new brand. As part of the EssilorLuxottica challenge, they had to be ready and thorough in answering possible questions and objections presented by some board members. It was one of the planned activities among those of the EssilorLuxottica Professorship in Leadership, led by Massimo Magni. Around 130 students were involved, divided into teams and helped by professors Stefano Caselli, Leonardo Etro, Gimede Gigante and Marta Zava. After battling it out, the top three teams faced off on Tuesday 6 February after a selection by the EssilorLuxottica-Bocconi mixed jury. At the end of the presentations, the jury declared the winners – the team comprised of Giulia Argento, Philip Timothy Harry Urbano Lagus Andersson Bettencourt, Tommaso Casavecchi, Alessandro Gisco, Alberto Santel, Chloe Marie Marguerite Semeria-Soucail, Luciano Spinelli and Sofia Timpani.

“We were already used to competing with each other,” explains Alberto Santel – first-year CEMS student – on behalf of the winning team. “This competition was different, though, compared to the others, as we found ourselves in front of a real example – an acquisition that took place a few years ago. This detail affected our strategy and, I think, those of the other teams as well.” As mentioned earlier, the assignment was to make the case to EssilorLuxottica’s management for the reasons in favor of and against acquiring GrandVision, explaining how to overcome the latter. This was to be done through an analysis of the market and competitors, as well as of potential risks. “We worked well together, each of us contributing something and partaking in the decision-making,” continues Alberto Santel. “The thing I find most educational in this kind of work, though, is when we all have different opinions on how to proceed. Debating each other and finding common ground gives us a preview of what we will have to face everyday in the professional world.”

“We are pleased to have been given, once again, the opportunity to collaborate with Bocconi University,” says Luca Barbieri, M&A Director di EssilorLuxottica. “We believe that the challenge is an effective tool in enabling students to measure themselves through a high-profile task, not only by applying the academic knowledge acquired during the finance program, but also by harnessing their business flair, creativity and presentation skills. The quality and content of the presentations we reviewed were remarkable, beyond our expectations given the complexity of the topic at hand. This demonstrates that the students took on the challenge with the utmost commitment and a genuine interest in the business evaluation.”

by Davide Ripamonti
Translated by Rosa Palmieri

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