Executive Education

Mergers and Acquisitions

This interdisciplinary program gives executives the analytical framework and tools necessary to successfully execute mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructuring.

The forces of globalization and technological change have created a highly competitive and dynamic business world where mergers and acquisitions are increasingly used to seek competitive advantage and maximize value for shareholders.

Engaging in M&A activity is not a low-risk endeavor, so it is imperative that executives know how to navigate this landscape. At Chicago Booth, you will learn not only from M&A successes but also from M&A failures to better evaluate risk and put frameworks and tools to practice in a risk-free environment.

During this program, you will:

  • Develop a strategic plan for M&A activity.
  • Analyze strategic alternatives to M&A.
  • Understand the M&A due diligence process and develop your due diligence skills.
  • Understand business valuation techniques.
  • Implement a strategy for integration and restructuring.
  • Structure the deal to minimize tax consequences.
  • Learn how to best protect shareholder value during M&A.
  • Understand the use of M&A by large public corporations, privately held middle-market firms, and private equity firms.
  • Learn a playbook of M&A best practices.

Chicago Booth, Gleacher Center, Chicago IL

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Merle Erickson

Professor of Accounting

Merle Erickson is a professor of accounting at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1996. Professor Erickson teaches graduate level courses on taxes and business strategy.

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Laura M. Born

Adjunct Professor of Finance

Laura M. Born held the title of managing director of investment banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co. She is the Chair of the board of trustees for the Columbia Acorn and Wanger Mutual Funds, member of board of directors and chair of the audit committee of Carlson Inc., and member of the advisory board of directors for Driehaus Capital Management. She holds an MBA in finance and accounting with honors from Chicago Booth.

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Gregory D. Bunch

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Greg Bunch brings years of practical experience as a general manager and entrepreneur to his classes. He is the founder and president of Masterplan International Corporation. Bunch works with Fortune 50, family, and start-up businesses in the areas of innovation and strategy. He was also a partner at Brandtrust, a brand strategy consultancy. Some of the companies he has worked with include: American Express, Danaher, ETS, Harley-Davidson, Hewlett-Packard, Kimberly-Clark, McDonalds and YUM!

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Stephen Morrissette

Adjunct Associate Professor of Strategic Management

Steve Morrissette's career includes large corporate experience in mergers & acquisitions and banking as well as entrepreneurial projects as an investor and founding CEO of several start-up businesses. In addition to 25 years of practitioner expertise, his academic career includes 10 years of full-time teaching and extensive scholarship on entrepreneurial finance including a comprehensive study of angel investors published in the Journal of Private Equity, numerous articles on the banking industry, as well as presentations and journal articles on M&A.

The learning and networking experienced during the M&A Program at Chicago Booth has been invaluable for my career. The Chicago Booth program provides a broad range of cases and tools that I have been using on a daily basis.

- Gabriel Gosalvez T, Senior Manager, Deloitte LLP

The tenor and pace of the class, the very relevant and up-to-date materials, and most importantly the very diverse global make-up of the participants and teachers made my entire experience at Booth an exceptional week. I have recommended multiple courses to my colleagues and associates and plan to attend more courses relevant to my job in the future. I have stayed in contact with several of my classmates and intend to continue to do so in the future.

- Tom Heiser, Vice President & General Manager, Hitachi High Technologies America, Systems Products Division & New Business Development

The Chicago Booth M&A program was excellent and provided many insights which I now apply in my day-to-day work. The faculty was highly rich in industry experience and used case studies to elaborate principles. I believe this M&A program is one of the most practical and professional available for senior leaders to improve their competencies around M&A. I do not hesitate to recommend this program to any participant who wants to improve his/her knowledge of M&A.

- Sanjeewa Samaranayake, CFO, Group Finance, Hemas Holdings Plc

The Chicago Booth M&A program is ideal for practitioners involved in any facet of a transaction. I benefited form the quantitative evaluation of a deal, its tax implications, and approaches to ensuring a successful integration.

- Girish Rishi, Executive Vice President, Tyco


The program invigorated me. Quality of the professors was fantastic with real world experience that I valued. I really feel the content will help me tremendously in my day-to-day.

- David Bethoney, Senior Finance Director, Experian

The class afforded me the opportunity to see how the financial team views M&A as well as get more comfortable with their terminology. I appreciate the tools I’ve received to focus and hone my financial and business teams in our M&A activities.

- Adelle Mize, VP, Associate General Counsel, Freeman

It's been my experience that most of us involved in deal making tend toward the bias that purchase price and precise valuation outweigh all other components of the deal. This class has changed my thinking to be more balanced and given me tools to prove that strategy and integration are equally or more important than valuation in creating value.

- Tyler Jones, Business Development Manager, Performance Technologies, LLC

Great use of strategy and self-reflection, which drive M&A decisions, coupled with which tools can advantage you once you have made the decision to proceed.

- Chris Chrisafides, Sr. Commercial Director, The Dow Chemical Company

I was hesitant to return to academia, even for a week, but I found the course to be interesting, relevant, and highly collaborative. I would recommend it to colleagues.

- Valerie Matena, Senior Analyst, M&A, The Babcock & Wilcox Company

Such a great program that covers the essentials of strategy, valuation, tax, and integration. An absolute must for successful M&A execution.

- Rob Vassel, Director of Business Development, The Clorox Company

The course 110% met my expectations. It was very well done with the big picture always in mind. It was well worth the financial and time investment.

- Christopher Alsip, Director of Strategic Planning, Tyson Foods, Inc.

Overall I am extremely satisfied and enthusiastic about the experience. The quality of the faculty (and overall program management) is extremely high. I hope to be back soon for other programs. This course gave me a consolidated view of the M&A process and put all the pieces of the puzzle together in a very practical and pragmatic way. This week exceeded my expectations. Thank you.

- Denis Jaquenoud, Vice President of Operations, Richemont North America

This program is designed for senior and upper-middle level executives who are now or will be involved in M&A activity. CFOs, CEOs, and general counsel considering or currently involved in M&A activity will find this program immensely valuable.

Titles include: C-suite, general manager, vice president, director of business development, director of finance, strategic planner, business unit manager, general counsel, and analyst.

Program Outline

Optional Accounting / Finance Refresher Online

Prior to the program, participants gain access to a web-based, learner-driven program to help them refresh important accounting and finance concepts. Each module features self-tests, allowing participants to tailor their learning and focus their time on the concepts least familiar to them. This multi-media tool is used as a way to establish a baseline of knowledge to make the time in the classroom as productive as possible.

Strategy Formulation

  • Create competitive advantage through acquisition, merger, divestiture, or alliance
  • Determine attractiveness and fit of a candidate
  • Analyze the alternatives to M&A such as strategic alliances or joint ventures

Investment Decisions and Financing

  • Understand valuation methods in evaluating M&A prospects
  • Consider capital structure and financing choices and understand/compute pro forma metrics
  • Review an LBO transaction and financing structure
  • Understand market reaction to transactions

Tax Implications

  • Understand tax implications of various tax structures for both the buyer and seller
  • Structure transactions to maximize the seller's after-tax wealth and to minimize the buyer’s after-tax cost
  • Become familiar with various valuation implications of tax planning for mergers, acquisitions and divestitures

 M&A Strategy and Target Identification, Deal Phase, and Due Diligence

  • Develop an end-to-end process view of corporate development and M&A
  • Obtain tools to identify and prioritize acquisition targets
  • Test and validate a potential deal thesis
  • Learn due diligence activities necessary to test an investment thesis
  • Develop synergy estimates
  • Identify key risk issues to be investigated in due diligence
  • Develop a due diligence plan

Postdeal Integration

  • Develop a strategy for successful integration
  • Manage post-merger integration with focus on shareholder value
  • Understand the decisions and processes that impact the new organization's strategy, structure, and culture

Upcoming Courses

Date Fee  
March 23-27, 2020 $10,950 Register Now »
August 10-14, 2020 $10,950 Register Now »
November 16-20, 2020 $10,950 Register Now »

Fee does not include accommodations.

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