In the competitive market of corporate control, developing the skills of negotiation and deal making is essential for successful mergers and acquisitions.

Monday 4 May–Friday 8 May 2020
1st Floor MBA Suite
Jo Danbolt; Baillie Gifford Chair in Financial Markets and Head of Accounting & Finance Group


This course is no longer available. If you have any questions, please contact

The course will give participants a good appreciation of the theoretical, practical, and institutional aspects of mergers and acquisitions, focusing particularly on some of the financial aspects of such deals.

Every day companies worldwide announce merger and acquisition transactions, and such deals form a major part of the corporate finance world in which we live today. Yet, a high proportion of acquisitions fail to deliver value. How can company managers identify a potential opportunity, understand the financial issues involved, structure a proposal, and then negotiate a successful deal? What are the pitfalls, and how can we avoid these?

Join us for this highly interactive 5-day course, where you will explore:

  • The intricacies and potential pitfalls of the merger and acquisition business
  • How to approach company valuation
  • Issues relating to negotiating and structuring the deal
  • How to assess the financial impact of acquisitions on the companies involved

Aims and Outcomes

The course aims to promote an understanding of the business environment and the tools to facilitate structured thinking about a business problem making special reference to mergers and acquisitions.

On completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Understand and critically discuss some of the main strands of theory and the latest trends in research on which mergers and acquisitions depend
  • Critically evaluate merger motives
  • Understand and critically discuss discuss how firms make mergers and acquisitions and how they structure and finance them
  • Critically evaluate how mergers and acquisitions affect company performance and how investors react to them
  • Understand and critically discuss some of the key success factors of mergers and acquisitions

Course Content

This is an intensive yet accessible course that utilises a variety of teaching methods including lectures, interactive discussions, case study analysis, and role play exercise.

An Introduction to Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Definitions and theoretical framework
  • M&A and the market for corporate control
  • Merger activity and trends

Target Company Valuation

  • Valuation methods
  • Issues and challenges in target company valuation
  • Target company valuation exercise (Takeover game—assessment one)

Merger Motives

  • Critical evaluation of alternative merger motives, including:
    • Shareholder vs managerial motives
    • Economic vs questionable motives

The Merger Process, Negotiating, and Deal Structure

  • Takeover strategies and the acquisition process, including:
    • Bid strategies and tactics
    • Financing and structuring the deal
    • Hostile acquisitions and takeover defences
    • Due diligence and post-acquisition integration
    • Negotiating the deal (Takeover game—assessment one)

Evaluating M&A Outcomes

  • Do M&As work? How do we know?
  • Different approaches to evaluation—operating performance vs share returns
  • Analysis of long-term operating performance following takeovers and mergers
  • Event study analysis of firm performance around and after acquisition
  • Evaluating M&A outcomes—the empirical evidence
  • Exercise in evaluating M&A outcomes (Deal analysis—start assessment two)

Assessment and Credits

Participants are required to attend every session throughout the week and to take part in all activities and submit all assessments. On successful completion, they will receive a certificate and 10 credits which can be used towards a University of Edinburgh MBA/EMBA programme.

This programme will be assessed by two group projects.

This is an intensive course with teaching based on a 09:00–17:00 working day however there will be group work, assignments and reading outside these hours. There will also be some pre-course reading and tasks to complete before the first session.

Project 1

Takeover game consisting of a group presentation and written group report which will be completed during the course.

Project 2

Critical evaluation of completed acquisition, including assessment of merger motives and impact of acquisition on shareholder wealth.

Course Fees

Course fees include all tuition and course materials, but excludes any textbooks that may be required. Catering and accommodation are not included.

There is a 20% discount for University of Edinburgh Alumni and Staff.

The deadline for applications is Monday 6 April 2020.


For entry requirements please see our EMBA entry requirements.

Please email us if you would like more information:

Further Information