Mergers and Acquisitions

FIE443 Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Topics


    Value creation in mergers

    Choice of payment method


    Valuation of contingent payments

    Incentive effects of deal financing

    Deal protection devices

    Governance issues in M&A

    Merger arbitrage

    Bidding strategies

    Merger negotiations

    Leveraged buyouts

    Hostile takeovers and defensive tactics

    Minority buyouts

  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    Students will obtain skills that are neces¬sary to structure a deal or form an opinion about a proposed takeover transaction. Upon completion of the course, students shall:

    • Have obtained a deep understanding of key issues in M&A
    • Know how to quantify synergies and compute a valuation range for a target
    • Understand the implications of different payment method choices and deal structures
    • Be able to identify, structure and pitch an M&A transaction to a potential acquirer
    • Recognize key principles of successful negotiations
    • Be used to work with a team to manage a large work load in a short period of time
    • Have gained confidence in presenting and defending their analysis in front of a large group




  • Teaching


    This is a case based course, supported by lectures and visitors. While the readings are extensive, the emphasis of the course is on the analysis of the assigned cases.

    Students have a responsibility to come well prepared and participate actively in the classroom discussion. You should be ready to dis¬cuss your analysis of the assigned case and to show your calculations. I encourage vol¬untary participation, but may call on any student.

    At the beginning of the term, I will assign teams of four students. I expect you to prepare for class and do the term project assignment together with your team.

    The course is taught relatively intensively from mid-January to mid-March. The term projects are due and will be presented by students in May. For a detailed course outline, email

    You may not use notes or other material from any previous offering of this or a similar course, or discuss the material with students who have already taken the course. This restriction extends to case-related information obtained from other sources. I do not allow the use of electronic devises in class. Bring notes and printouts of your calculations to class.

    Spring 2017 there will be two groups and students has to register for one of the groups on Studentweb when signing up for the course.

  • Required prerequisites

    Required prerequisites

    Students are required to have taken a master-level course in corporate finance, such as FIE402 or equivalent, and be familiar with excel and words.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Requirements for course approval

    Class attendance is mandatory. Students should attend every class, also those with visiting speakers. While I may grant permission to miss a class for personal reasons, you need to ask for permission in advance. A student missing more than two classes without prior approval will fail the course.

  • Assessment


    The course is in English. The grade is based on class participation (40%), a term paper (50%), and a peer review (10%). Grading scale A-F.

    Class participation is individual effort. The grade reflects the quality of a student's comments and insights. There is no makeup for a missed class.

    The term project is a group assignment, with a written term paper and a presentation as deliveries. The assignment is to structure and analyze a potential or recent takeover transaction. The presentation should take the form of a pitch, convincing the target or the bidder of the benefits of the transaction. The project presentations will take place in May. Students should attend the full day of presentations. I will invite industry professionals to comment on the presentations.

    At the end of the term, students grade the contribution of his/her team members. The peer review requires you to behave in a responsible and respectful manner. If I deem a student to deviate from such behavior, I may overrule the peer review.

    Since this is a case-based course with several cases reappearing year after year, students can take the course only one time. It is possible to retake the course only if a student fails.

    Only the overall course grade will be presented on the transcript and the diploma.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading Scale

    Grading scale A - F.

  • Semester



  • Literature


    Mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructurings by Patrick A. Gaughan, 6th ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2015.

    Course package, containing articles and cases.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Course responsible

Professor Karin Thorburn, Department of Finance