FIN41480 Mergers & Acquisitions

Academic Year 2023/2024

Mergers and Acquisition is the seen as the sexy side of corporate finance. One of the best business narratives ever written is Barbarians at the Gate the story of how KKR took over RJRNabisco. As a topic, Mergers & Acquisitions integrates all of the business disciplines. Often thought of solely as a finance topic (witness the module code) this is the ultimate integrative topic. To successfully execute an M&A transaction requires an understanding of Finance (valuation & financing), Strategy (rationale), Project Management (execution), Leadership & Change Management (People) and Legal (Regulatory). You also have to be able to chunk information form the lowest level of detail to a C-suite presentation.

In our time together we can only scratch the surface of many of these topics. As you all have strong finance backgrounds we will cover the financial aspects of M&A and “hang” the other material on the financial hooks. As a finance expert you will be expected to value the target and the synergies that will be realised in the transaction. To do this effectively – you need to understand the rationale (strategy) for the transaction.

In addition to learning about M&A, you will be reacquainted with business strategy (which you probably did in your undergraduate days) and a little bit of project management.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Understand the key principles driving corporations, of all sizes, seeking growth though mergers & acquisitions.
Understand, the strategic imperatives behind M&A activity.
Compare the differences between a "trade buyer" and a PE buyer.
Identify the unique financial dynamics of early stage ventures compared with established companies.
Articulate the rationale of mergers and acquisitions, and explore the specific valuation and strategic fit challenges by which an early-stage venture will be acquired by a larger corporation.

Indicative Module Content:

The topics we will cover:
• Finding Candidates
• Preliminary Negotiations
• Advisors
• Integration Planning
• The Target
• Valuation (we will expand on the book material)
• Negotiation
• Sale & Purchase Agreements
• Strategy

Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Online Learning




Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

You are expected to be familiar with Finance as a discipline. An understanding of management accounting would be useful (for estimating cash flows). Students undertaking one of the Finance MSc degrees will meet this recommendation.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: Your final assignment is a 1,500 word (±10%) essay on a mergers & acquisition topic you have agreed with the lecturer. The paper should contain at least 3 references and a recommendation. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded Yes


Group Project: The group project is a presentation on a topic assigned to you by the lecturer. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire: MCQ Objective tests run on Brightspace. This assessment is designed to test your recognition of the module comntent. The timing of the test will be advised in the module. Unspecified n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be given on a group basis for group assignments. For individual assignments, individual feedback will be given. In line with academic regulations, no feedback will be given for the final assignment of the module. Grade feedback will not be given.

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