Minor Mergers and Acquisitions

Broadening minor
Minor code


Since the late 1990s and until the burst of the 2008–09 global financial crisis, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in both domestic and international mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Europe, the U.S. and in the rest of the world. Corporate finance theory suggests that takeovers and corporate restructuring can serve as an effective strategic tool for companies to respond to changes in the economic environment and, thus, create value for their shareholders. This course deals with mergers, acquisitions and other corporate restructuring activities in an international context. The course concentrates on the motives and strategic aspects of takeovers and restructuring, the valuation of firms involved in takeovers, the role of agency conflicts (between the management and the shareholders of a corporation) in takeovers, the effect of takeovers and restructuring on shareholder value and the practical aspects of the takeover process. It introduces the key principles and techniques of successful mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and leveraged buyouts. Next to taking a purely financial view, the course also looks at the psychological aspects of corporate restructuring transactions. For example, it has been shown that a lot of managers take over other firms simply because they are too confident about the value of the target, or because they want to boost their ego. The course discusses academic articles as well as anecdotal evidence about these irrational elements in M&A activity. Moreover, it discusses the impact of the 2008–2009 financial crisis on M&A and corporate restructuring activities throughout the world.

Learning objectives

  • Gaining a broad and solid understanding of all important aspects of M&A.
  • Having good knowledge of how M&A works from both theoretical and practical perspectives.
  • Being able to analyze a real-world M&A transaction rigorously and form an opinion about it.
  • Learning how to work in a team, and be able to “pitch” ideas in competitive environment .

Special aspects

This course is directed to a wide population of students from various backgrounds. There are thus no formal prerequisites for taking BKBMIN008. However, I advise you to have finished introductory courses of Corporate Finance and Financial Statement Analysis prior to starting with BKBMIN008.

Teaching methods

The course is taught through both lectures and workshops:

  • The lectures are intended to discuss topical M&A themes that are presented in carefully selected chapters of the required textbook and articles. Guest lectures from senior practitioners are usually also arranged.
  • The workshops are fully “Q&A” based and are intended to present and discuss the results of group assignments (case studies, discussion of academic articles, real-world deal analysis, etc.).

Teaching Materials

In this course we will cover selected chapters from the following textbook:

• Bruner, R (2004). Applied Mergers and Acquisitions (Wiley) – ISBN: 978-0471395348

In addition, the course will cover a selection of (approximately 15) articles.


Method of examination
Examination is based on group assignments and a written test:

  • Group assignments are related to specific M&A topics. Each group is required to turn in four group assignments, which are typically 4-5 pages long plus any supporting materials (e.g., tables and graphs). Group assignments are in turn discussed during the workshops. There is no re-sit possibility for the group assignment and therefore no minimum grade.
  • The written test is closed book. Test questions are related to the course material covered (lectures, workshops, textbook chapters and articles, plus anything discussed during the course). The test consists of 30 multiple choice questions and 2 open case questions. The re-sit written test has the same structure and format.

Composition final grade
The final grade consists of the four group assignments (40%) and the written test (60%). The minimum grade requirement for the written test is 4.5/10. The grade of each group assignment depends on the quality of both written report and in-class presentation and the four group assignments are equally weighted. Furthermore, the grade of each written report is given to the entire group, while the grade of each in-class presentation performance is given individually. There is no re-sit possibility for the group assignment and therefore no minimum grade.

Feedback will be provided online and during class.

Contact information

Dr. Thomas Lambert
+31 (0) 10 408 1450                                    
room: T08-40

Faculty website
Thomas Lambert

Broadening minor
Minor code
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
Study points (ECTS)
Instruction language
Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam


Please read the application procedure for more information.