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

  • How should we assess the value creation potential and the risks in corporate development strategies?
  • What are the alternative mechanisms that can be used for corporate growth?
  • Under what conditions shall we prefer acquisitions over other mechanisms of corporate development?
  • 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?

Together, we will cover 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


Structure of the course and requirements

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

Specifically, lectures will present the main topics of the course. The suggested material covers only partially the discussion that will be developed in class, so the importance of slides, notes and class participation is paramount. Attendance is required for all sessions.

Cases will complement the explanation of the most relevant topics of the course. Each group will submit a max 2-page written report on assigned cases prior to each class discussion. It is mandatory to carefully analyze the cases and answer the questions the instructor will provide. We will then discuss the cases together in class.

A computer-based simulation of M&A integration will be held on April 8th, 2020. Please follow the instructions that will be provided in class by the instructor. Participation in the simulation is required.



15% Class participation

35% Group work (case study reports)

50% Final exam


Reference book

Puranam and Vanneste (2016), Corporate Strategy: Tools for Analysis and Decision-Making. Cambridge university press