Mergers and Acquisitions

FIE443 Mergers and Acquisitions

Autumn 2021

  • 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

    Students will obtain skills that are necessary 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 (listed under topics below)


    • Be able to value a target company
    • Be able to identify, structure and pitch an M&A transaction to a potential target or acquirer
    • Recognize key principles of successful negotiations

    General competencies:

    • 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 discuss your analysis of the assigned case and to show your calculations. I encourage voluntary 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 the first half of 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 the internet or other sources. I do not allow the use of electronic devises in class. Bring notes and printouts of your calculations to class.

    It will be possible to follow the course digitally.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    FIE 402 Corporate Finance

  • 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

    Class attendance is mandatory. If a student is prevented from attending class in person due to quarantine or for a medical reason, I require written notification (and, if applicable, a doctor's note) at least 24 hours in advance. The entire class will then be switched to online delivery. Attendance in an online class requires that you have your webcam on the entire class.

    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.

    This course will be closed for registration after the 3rd class session.

  • Assessment

    Assessment for this course will not be changed in spring 2021.

    The course is in English. The grade is based on a portfolio consisting of class participation (approximately 35%), quizzes (approximately 5%), a written term paper and the presentation of this term paper (approximately 50%), and a peer review (approximately 10%). One grade is given for the entire portfolio. Grading scale A-F.

    Class participation and quizzes are individual efforts. The evaluation of class participation will reflect the quality of a student's comments and insights, as well as the intensity of participation. 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 propose, structure, and analyze a potential takeover transaction. The presentation could take the form of a pitch, convincing the target or the bidder of the benefits of the transaction, or simply discuss the pros and cons of the transaction. The project presentations will take place in the first half of May. Students should attend the full day of presentations. I will invite a panel of industry professionals to help evaluate the presentations. The format of the final presentation (in person or in class) will be determined at least two weeks in advance.

    At the end of the term, students will evaluate 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. However, the evaluation of class participation for cases previously discussed will not improve. As the assessment in this course by its nature cannot be re-examined, the grades awarded may not be appealed.

    This course will be closed for registration after the 3rd class session.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale A - F.

  • Computer tools

    Microsoft office (Excel, Words, and Power Point)

  • Literature

    Mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructurings by Patrick A. Gaughan, 7th ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2017.

    Course package, containing articles and cases.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Offered spring 2021.

This course will be closed for registration after the 3rd lecture

Course responsible

Professor Karin Thorburn, Department of Finance, NHH.