Netherlands, Utrecht

Understanding and Managing Mergers and Acquisitions

when 23 July 2018 - 27 July 2018
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1.5 EC
fee EUR 875

Many executives say they use M&A as a means to consolidate or expand the market position of their firm or increase its production efficiency. Most mergers and acquisitions, however, fail to create value, leading to the so-called ‘merger paradox’. By adopting a multidisciplinary and institutional perspective, this course aims to increase the understanding of merger determinants and effects, discusses key topics for value creation, and concludes with policy assessments. In addition, the participants will work on their negotiation skills during a workshop.

This course deals with the economic, legal and financial aspects of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A). The lectures will be given by reputable professors, as well as private equity fund managers, investment bankers and lawyers who are specialized in M&A.

According to the merger market, the global M&A deal volume reached a 7-year high of $934.2 billion in the second quarter of 2014, resulting in a 64%-increase compared to the same period last year and a 70%-increase compared to the second quarter of 2012 (Bloomberg M&A Financial Advisory League Tables, 2014). Major M&A transactions often catch newspaper headlines. Just recently, the unfriendly takeover bid of Mexico’s América Móvil for the Dutch telecom provider KPN and Apple’s successful acquisition of Beats Electronics (partly owned by rapper/producer Dr. Dre) for 3.2 billion dollars were extensively covered by the media. Moreover, smaller M&A transactions are part of the daily business life of many executives. They say that they use M&A as a way to consolidate or expand the market position of their firms or to increase their efficiency. Yet, most mergers and acquisitions repeatedly fail to generate economic value. This is why some experts talk about the ‘merger paradox’.
The explosive growth in the number, size, and complexity of mergers and acquisitions during the latter part of the 1990s and between 2003-2008 has demonstrated how ingrained this way of doing business has become in the global business community. Interestingly, an M&A outburst is always followed by a similar move, but in the opposite direction: downwards. Many acquirers subsequently pursue spin-offs or split-ups. These dynamics form the frame of a course that contributes to understanding the position of firms as well as authorities.

Day one of this course starts with an introductory presentation by the course leader Prof. Wilco Oostwouder about the legal playing field. The next introductory presentations of Prof. Hans Schenk will cover the full range of M&A economics from merger dynamics to merger policy.The second part of day one Prof. Luigi Pinna will deal with the valuation of (assets of) companies. In the following four days the lecturers will deal in a multidisciplinary and interactive way with topics that are key to managing M&A. The second day focuses on pre-acquisition requirements such as due diligence investigations, letter of intent and future organisational,, legal structuring of the target or even parent and strategy. The Share Purchase Agreement, post-acquisition governance of the target, successful exit strategies (with the help of instruments like “sweet equity” and “ratchets”) are taken up on the third day. With the knowledge gained in the first three days, the participants of the course will be well-prepared for the lectures about the bigger fish in the pond, the larger than 100 million euro transactions: public takeover bids (day four). In the morning of the last day the students will participate in a negotiation training workshop following the Harvard Principled Negotiation method. The afternoon of the last day will be reserved for student presentations of their papers on major M&A transactions in their home country and for the exams for students which need a mark.

The summer course will be concluded by the distribution of certificates and a canal tour through the old city of Utrecht, and drinks.

Course leader

Prof. dr. Wilco J. Oostwouder

Target group

Ambitious bachelor students (from economics, management, business, or law backgrounds) who are keen to appreciate a non-mainstream, multidisciplinary and interactive approach to M&A and who are interested in improving their negotiation skills.

Course aim

To give bachelor students (Law, Economics) an insight into the causes and the effects of rules, or the lack of these, on the (European) economy and vice versa, to help them write a concise academic paper on Financial Law & Economics and to make them familiar with career opportunities after a Master in Law & Economics or Economics & Law. This course is also an excellent introduction to the course Public Law & Economics of the Master Law & Economics of Utrecht University.

Credits info

1.5 EC
Certificate of Attendance

Contact hours daily: 4-5 hours (lectures, group assignments)
Self-study daily: 4 hours (preparation and research)
A final written exam will be part of the course for students who need a grade in order to obtain ECTS at their home universities. Grading is based on a 10-point scale on the weighted sum of different elements.
The other participants will be required to give a group presentation based on a group paper on a notable topical case related to the subject of the course. Every group will have 3 to 5 members. The best group presentation and the best group paper will be awarded by a special certificate and a bottle of wine for each member of the winning groups (the ‘professor’s wine price’).

Fee info

EUR 875: Course + course materials + housing
EUR 675: Course + course materials


Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course.

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