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Mergers and Acquisitions


Objectives and contents

Mergers & Acquisitions are fundamental tools to grow their business. However, realizing the expected value through M&A has proved to be far from obvious. On average 2 acquisitions out of 3 destroy, rather than create, value for the acquiring organization and/or for its shareholders.

In this course, we explore what are the factors that may determine success and failure in M&A. In doing so, we will join our forces to address the following questions:

  • What alternative mechanisms can be chosen for corporate growth?
  • Under what conditions shall we prefer acquisitions over other mechanisms of corporate development?
  • How should we assess the value creation potential and the risks in acquisitions?
  • What are the critical factors that could translate the value creation potential into actual value?
  • What different approaches that can be used in the post-acquisition phase? How can we select among them?
  • What are the implications beyond shareholder value creation/disruption?

We will cover together the topics of the course and we will apply frameworks and notions to specific M&A cases.


By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • select among different alternative mechanisms of growth
  • assess acquisition opportunities using appropriate tools
  • evaluate value creation potential and develop plans to realize this potential
  • identify the most appropriate post-acquisition strategies to implement



The course uses a mix of frontal teaching and participative learning. We will use lectures, interactive discussion on cases, group projects, presentations and simulations.



15% Class participation

35% Group work (case study reports)

50% Final exam.



All needed material will be distributed.

Optional readings:

  • “Managing Acquisitions: Creating Value Through Corporate Renewal”, P. Haspeslagh and D. Jemison, 1991, Free Press
  • “Mergers: leadership, performance and corporate health”, D. Fubini, C. Price, M. Zollo, 2006, Palgrave McMillan.
  • “Build, Borrow, or Buy: Solving the Growth Dilemma”, L. Capron and W. Mitchell, 2012, HBR Press
  • “Corporate Strategy: Tools for analyses and decision-making”, P. Puranam and B. Vanneste, 2016, Cambridge university press.




Bettinazzi E. L. M.

Course director

Additional information

Academic year
Master of Science in Economics in Management, Elective course, Track in Strategy and Entrepreneurship, 1st year
Master of Science in Management and Informatics, Elective course, Lecture, 1st year
Master of Science in Management and Informatics, Elective course, Lecture, 2nd year