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Mergers and Acquisitions


Bettinazzi E.

Course director


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.