Wharton - University of Pennsylvania
Menu Search

Mergers and Acquisitions

Program Overview

Numerous studies have shown that more than 50% of corporate mergers fail to create value, and that some mergers result in a significant loss of value. While the rate of mergers and acquisitions varies each year, corporate mergers and acquisitions continue to play a significant role in many companies’ value and growth strategies.

In Mergers and Acquisitions, an interdisciplinary team of Wharton professors makes sense of the complexities of this topic and helps you develop and implement successful strategies to support your company’s merger and acquisition activity.

Read more about the Experience & Impact »

Mergers & Acquisitions Program Highlights & Benefits

  • Determine a rationale, select and value acquisition targets, and evaluate the long-term potential of the partnership
  • Understand how to manage the complexities of the merger process
  • Identify acquisition strategies, execute and close deals, and integrate acquisitions successfully

Contact Us

Schedule a personalized consultation to discuss your professional goals:


June 11 - 16, 2017$11,800


January 14 - 19, 2018$11,800


Download the program schedule, including session details.

Tuition for Philadelphia programs includes lodging and meals. Prices are subject to change.

Featured Video

“Mergers and acquisitions are very complex and difficult to do right. We help executives navigate that minefield.”

Professor Bob Holthausen on Mergers and Acquisitions

Still considering your options? View programs within Finance & Wealth Management, Strategy & Innovation or use our Program Finder.

Experience & Impact

Participant Kent Matsumoto on the program’s highlights

Watch the video:

Participant Kent Matsumoto on the program’s highlights

Despite eight out of 10 mergers and acquisitions failing, the rate of M&A activity worldwide continues to break records. As businesses flush with cash look to consolidate in order to become more competitive, they view mergers as a way to reduce their costs of doing business while increasing their revenue from greater market share.

Through Wharton’s Mergers and Acquisitions program, you will interact with peers from around the world as you learn how to integrate the strategic, managerial, economic, and financial decisions that affect the execution of mergers and acquisitions. With many acquisitions now occurring across borders, Wharton offers a unique learning program that attracts global finance leaders. You and your peers will gain new insight into why acquisition strategy is related to all elements of the process, including valuation, negotiation, deal structure, due diligence, and integration.

Wharton faculty, led by Robert Holthausen, an expert on corporate evaluation who serves as editor of the Journal of Accounting and Economics, apply their field-based research and the latest strategic insights to help you navigate the complex minefield of M&A activity.

Faculty will facilitate discussions and case studies, and several real-world M&A simulations, enabling you to gain experience in successfully navigating a transaction while dealing with a whole array of issues from taxation to due diligence to anti-trust questions. Developed to improve your odds for success, Mergers and Acquisitions will teach you strategies you can hone and execute quickly for measurable results.

Session topics include:

  • Valuation Methods and Financial Analysis
  • The Strategic Rationale for Acquisitions
  • Strategies for Successful Due Diligence and Post-Acquisition Integration
  • Effective Negotiation

Overall, Mergers & Acquisitions will help you learn how to:

  • Think more from an investment banker perspective
  • Evaluate strategic acquisitions using a number of tools and frameworks
  • Effectively negotiate and manage strategic alliances
  • Gain more expertise in conducting due diligence and other steps in an M&A activity

This program is a complement to Driving Growth through Strategic Partnerships, which focuses on how to identify, develop, and sustain successful partnerships. Driving Growth Through Strategic Partnerships will also help you evaluate partnerships over time to assess their long-term potential for success.

Participant Profile

Participants by Industry

Mergers and Acquisitions participants by industry

Participants by Job Function

Mergers and Acquisitions participants by job function 

Participants by Region

Mergers and Acquisitions participants by region

Who Should Attend

Mergers and Acquisitions is designed for executives involved in devising and/or executing mergers and acquisitions, including business development officers, CFOs and executive directors of finance, senior business analysts, and division and unit heads pursuing acquisitions.

While this course assumes no previous experience in mergers and acquisitions, many participants have significant prior experience in M&A. The course requires a basic knowledge of accounting — i.e., familiarity with balance sheets, income and cash flow statements, and finance. A refresher on these topics is offered on the Sunday afternoon before the program.

Participants in this program are a diverse group of strategy leaders from varied industries, backgrounds, and geographies who share their biggest challenges with the class. Faculty tailor the program content to address these issues, so participants enjoy a learning experience that truly resonates with them and meets their learning needs.

Participants leave the program with an expanded peer network, plus specific tools and frameworks they can use to make a meaningful strategic impact within their companies or organizations.

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.

Plan Your Stay


Robert Holthausen, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Academic Director

EY Professor; The Nomura Securities Co. Professor; Professor of Accounting and Finance, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Effects of organizational structure on financial performance, management compensation issues, valuation

Harbir Singh, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Mack Professor of Management; Co-Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management; Vice Dean for Global Initiatives, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Corporate governance, corporate restructuring, management buyouts, strategies for corporate acquisitions

G. Richard Shell, JD   See Faculty Bio

Thomas Gerrity Professor; Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics and Management; Chairperson, Legal Studies & Business Ethics Department, The Wharton School

David Wessels, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Adjunct Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Gordon Bodnar, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Director, International Economics Program, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University

Research Interests: International finance, corporate finance


Participant Kent Matsumoto on peer diversity

Kent Matsumoto

Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Glatfelter

I lead a strategy and market intelligence consulting firm that serves the energy market in Calgary, Alberta. My focus is on helping my clients achieve their growth goals and targets.  While I have been involved in helping to identify potential acquisition activity, my role hasn’t been as hands-on as I would like.

Wharton’s program was very helpful in helping me establish my own frameworks for how I might go about doing the integration of a merger or acquisition. It’s a very complex process — Wharton helped to simplify the complexity of this process using actual cases of M&A transactions. The value of Wharton’s program comes from the thought process, frameworks, and research provided on each of the M&A elements — strategic intent, valuation and modeling, negotiation, due diligence, and integration.

There is a healthy M&A market for the energy sector right now. And it will always be one of the ways companies choose to grow. Wharton has given me a much better grounding into this important growth strategy.”

I’m a lawyer by training, so taking Wharton’s Mergers and Acquisitions program gave me a refresher on business issues such as valuation of companies, which has served me well in my role managing a family office, which includes 20 family members. The most relevant part of the program for me was the full-day negotiation workshop — it gave me insights that I could apply right away since negotiation is a big part of my job. Sometimes you have to find common ground among family members and sometimes you have to negotiate with other advisers. It can be stressful if you don’t have a method to follow. I have recommended Wharton to other managers and financial advisers for family offices because I believe they can get a lot out of these programs.”

This is without question one of the best programs I have participated in during my career. I left Wharton with a totally new perspective on how to grow our organization and create value through M&A activities. I acquired a template on how to differentiate long-term ‘strategic’ growth from ‘value-destroying’ activities. I strongly recommend this program to any senior executive responsible for business development, as well as mergers and acquisitions, in any business enterprise.”

John Wamugi

CEO and President, Finmetrics Technologies

I have already recommended this program to others because: 1) the combination of ‘strategy’ and ‘finance’ spans breadth of issues, 2) the focus on integration is crucial, 3) fellow classmates add a lot of value.”

Financial Analyst, Defense Agency

The course content is terrific. The faculty is extremely knowledgeable. The administration and day-to-day management of the course is very well done. The students come from all over the world; their knowledge and expertise level was very good. There were no bad sessions. In fact, making a choice of electives was difficult. I felt I missed out on ones which I did not attend.”

Director, Corporate Development, Industrial Gasses Distributor

Back to Top