Mergers and Acquisitions

Stanford Graduate School of Business

How long?

  • 6 days
  • in person

What are the topics?

Stanford Graduate School of Business


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Who should attend

  • Senior-level executives and entrepreneurs with at least 10 years of management experience whose businesses are potential acquirers or targets for acquisition by other companies
  • Examples of appropriate functions and titles: business development, corporate development, finance, chief executive officer, general manager, strategic planner, and banker
  • Previous M&A experience not required

About the course

Tackle the entire M&A process through an interdisciplinary curriculum and a hands-on, weeklong team simulation project.

Through a dynamic mix of lectures, case studies, class discussions, hands-on learning, and visits from guest speakers, this program provides critical insights and powerful tools for the successful formulation and execution of an M&A strategy — one that creates true value for your organization. At the end of each day, you’ll put classroom learning into action, applying key concepts to a simulated merger deal.

By combining the expertise of Stanford’s strategy, finance, accounting, and organizational behavior faculty, Mergers and Acquisitions offers an interdisciplinary overview of the major elements of M&A transactions.

You will examine all of the key aspects of a merger: target selection, alternative valuation and pricing models, deal design, negotiation strategies, accounting and tax planning, and post-merger integration planning and execution. And you will cover these essential concepts in a sequential order that simulates the M&A process.

Key Benefits

Learn the strategic, financial, legal, organizational, and cultural factors to consider in order to execute a successful merger or acquisition.

  • Enhance your financial valuation skills.
  • Formulate M&A strategies.
  • Increase your awareness of the common pitfalls of failed M&As.
  • Develop the critical competencies needed for successful post-merger integration and performance.


Why do the majority of M&A transactions fail to provide the expected benefits? How do you formulate and execute an M&A strategy that creates real value for your organization?

Stanford’s Mergers and Acquisitions program tackles the entire M&A process from beginning to end.

Program Highlights

Below are just a few of the sessions you’ll attend as part of the program.

M&A Team Simulation Project

The M&A team simulation project has been designed around the unique needs of executive-level participants.

This Stanford GSB proprietary project spans the entire program and provides hands-on experience with all aspects of an M&A deal, giving you the opportunity to implement the tools acquired. At the end of the program, teams will present their decisions and outcomes to share their learning.

Negotiation: Getting (More of) What You Want

The process of negotiation requires that each participant understands both his own and his counterpart’s interests and preferences.

Many negotiators do not give sufficient consideration to identifying what they want. And many more negotiators do not have sufficient insight into the perspectives of their counterparts to put forward value-creating proposals.

This session will explore strategies to follow and pitfalls to avoid, enabling participants to get more of what they want out of negotiations by improving the quality of their planning and preparation processes.

M&A Tax Planning

The choice of a particular structure for an M&A deal can have major income-tax implications for both the buyer and the seller, which is why it’s imperative that even non-financial executives understand the fundamentals of successful M&A tax planning.

During two class sessions, you will gain familiarity with several basic tax structures for M&A deals, understand the circumstances under which particular structures are more favorable, and recognize how a carefully planned tax strategy can help maximize the potential value of a particular deal.

Post-Merger Integration

Before an M&A deal is done, the planning for the successful integration and management of the newly combined organizations should be well underway. Using research and business cases as references, you will analyze and discuss the structural, cultural, and social implications of combining organizations.

You will identify the core components of a post-merger integration model to capture and deliver the potential value of merger opportunities and learn practical tools for cultural integration.


Margaret Ann Neale

Research Statement Margaret Neale’s research focuses primarily on negotiation and team performance. Her work has extended judgment and decision-making research from cognitive psychology to the field of negotiation. In particular, she studies cognitive and social processes that produce departures ...

Hayagreeva Rao

Research Statement Professor Rao studies collective action within organizations and in markets. His research and by implication, his teaching, revolves around scaling up mobilization, innovation, and talent in organizations. Teaching Statement Professor Rao teaches courses on Scaling up Excellenc...

Ron Kasznik

Research Statement Ron Kasznik’s research focuses on examining the strategic use of accounting and financial information by market participants, particularly firm managers. Within this broad area, he focuses primarily on issues related to the provision of financial and non-financial information, ...

Peter DeMarzo

Research Statement Professor Peter DeMarzo’s research is in the area of corporate finance, asset securitization, and contracting, as well as market structure and regulation. Recent work has examined the optimal design of securities, compensation mechanisms, regulation of insider trading and broke...

Wesley Hartmann

Research Statement Professor Hartmann's research empirically analyzes questions in marketing and economics. He studies advertising, pricing, reward programs, social interactions, switching costs and vertical integration. Academic Degrees PhD,Economics, UC Los Angeles, 2003 MA, Economics, UC Los ...

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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