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Aalto University School of Business

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About the course

Best Practices in Strategic M&A

The Mergers and Acquisitions program approaches M&A from a strategic, financial and change leadership perspective. The program focuses on M&A as a tactic to implement company strategy and deepens participants’ understanding of different phases of the M&A process, from M&A strategy and the deal-phase process to post-merger integration and leading change.

The objective of this program is to add significantly to your ability to perform and contribute when participating in an M&A process. It provides you with advanced skills and tools for using M&A to accomplish your strategic goals.

You will learn both up-to-date information on corporate practice relating to mergers and acquisitions, and the most significant academic research on the topic.


During this program you will ensure your organization is prepared for an M&A process. You are able to identify and develop tools for different phases of the M&A process for your company. You will enhance post-merger integration and ensure continuance in business and customer relationships.

  • Enhance your understanding of M&A process models and best practices
  • Gain understanding of the M&A due diligence process and develop your due diligence skills
  • Acquire a toolkit and models for testing, validating and valuating a deal
  • Deepen your understanding of the post-merger integration process at an organizational and individual level
  • Identify and develop tools for different phases of the M&A process for your company
  • Enhance post-merger integration and ensure continuance in business and customer relationships
  • Ensure your organization is prepared for an M&A process

Contents and Schedule

The program will be taught through a mix of lectures, exercises and case discussions.

Industry guest speakers will invited to the program to share their experiences and learnings on M&A process and integration.

M&A Strategy and Comparables-Based Valuation


September 17, 2018


Aalto EE premises in Helsinki

Analyzing the risks and opportunities of mergers and acquisitions. We will discuss various strategic logics of successful acquisitions and how these are translated into concrete revenue and cost synergies. Multiples-based valuation methods are applied to provide a framework for quantitative analysis of a transaction.

  • Key concepts in M&A
  • Strategic questions in M&A
  • Comparables based valuation

Instructor: Sami Torstila, Professor, Aalto University School of Business

Discounted Cash Flow Valuation and Negotiations


September 18, 2018


Aalto EE premises in Helsinki

We will deepen our analysis of shareholder value added in acquisitions by applying discounted cash flow based valuation method to acquisition business plans. We continue with discussion of acquisition deal-making, including negotiations, deal structuring, and legal considerations.

  • Discounted cash flow based valuation
  • M&A negotiations
  • M&A process types, due diligence
  • Legal and accounting issues in M&A, goodwill

Post-merger integration


September 19, 2018


Aalto EE premises in Helsinki

Post-merger integration is one of the keys to success or failure in M&As, but it involves daunting managerial challenges ranging from value creation to human resource issues, cultural dynamic and identity-building. The third day of this module is designed to help to make sense of these challenges and to develop an understanding of integration plans as means to manage integration work.

  • Integration approaches and strategies
  • Value creation in integration
  • Human resource issues
  • Communication in M&A

Capturing Value through Integration Capability, incl. Business War Game Simulation


November 1, 2018


Aalto EE premises in Helsinki

This module will deepen your understanding on M&A integration, and give you tools and frameworks for leading the post-merger phase.

  • Bringing organizational cultures together
  • Having the management system right
  • Business War Game simulation - understanding competitive dynamics in M&A situation

In the afternoon we will apply Business War Game simulation in M&A context. War Game method can be used as a tool to test strategies, forecast competitive actions, and gain an improved understanding of the range of strategic alternatives and possible outcomes in M&A situation

Reaching Strategic Agility


November 2, 2018


Aalto EE premises in Helsinki

  • Cultivating changeability through structures, processes and culture
  • Enhancing resource fluidity
  • Redesigning the company boundaries and utilizing virtual structures

Who should attend

Companies applying or investigating acquisitions as a part of their growth strategy Division level executives, CFO office, strategic development, corporate lawyers, HR, communication and other experts participating in an M&A process

Trust the experts

Marcus Alexander

Professor Marcus Alexander is a strategy professor at London Business School, an Associate Fellow at Oxford, a Visiting Professor at Vlerick Business School in Belgium, a Director of the Ashridge Strategic Management Centre in London, and a regular contributor to courses at the Danish Technical U...


Pekka Mattila

Dr. Pekka Mattila serves as a Professor of Practice at the Aalto University School of Business. He works frequently with both European and Asian executive audiences on themes of strategic management and agility, strategy co-creation, business model innovation, executive leadership, top team dynam...


Jukka Luoma

Jukka Luoma is an Assistant Professor in Marketing since 2015, specializing in strategic marketing. His teaching and research focuses competitive dynamics, market-oriented strategies, and the use of models and data in organizational decision making. CURRICULUM VITAE TEACHING 2017, 2016 Global...


Sami Torstila

Peer-reviewed scientific articlesJournal article-refereed, Original researchStock ownership and political behavior Evidence from demutualizationsKaustia, Markku; Knüpfer, Samuli; Torstila, Sami2016 in MANAGEMENT SCIENCE (INST OPERATIONS RESEARCH MANAGEMENT SCIENCES)ISSN: 0025-1909Is there a futur...


Debbie Wrench

Debbie Wrench leads the Swedish Post Merger Integration team. Wrench has over 15 years of experience in working on mergers, integrations and separations. Wrench has hands-on experience of planning and implementing integrations and separations in the UK, USA, Europe and Chile. Wrench has worked o...


Tapio Koivumäki

Tapio Koivumäki is Leader of Operational M&A Advisory in Finland, including integration, separation and operational due diligence services for corporate and private equity clients. Koivumäki has worked on numerous complex deals over the last 10 years in TMT, E&R, IP&S, Chemicals, Sec...


Marko Pöllänen

Marko Pöllänen is Partner and the leader of Deloitte’s Transaction Services team in Finland and he is specialized in M&A advisory including financial due diligence engagements in both buy-side and sell-side transactions. Pöllänen has long experience from developing strategy, executing M&...


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