Mergers and Acquisitions

Jun 12, 2016 - Jun 17, 2016Philadelphia, PA$11,800
Jan 22, 2017 - Jan 27, 2017Philadelphia, PA$11,800

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 make sense of the complexities of this topic and helps you develop and implement successful strategies to support your company’s mergers and acquisition activity.

You will learn to:

  • 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.

Impact & Experience

Learn a clear process for integrating the strategic, managerial, economic, and financial decisions that affect the execution of mergers and acquisitions, and understand why the acquisition strategy is related to all elements of the process, including valuation, negotiation, deal structure, due diligence and integration.

Through discussions with Wharton faculty and a high-caliber group of peers, case studies and computer simulations, you will gain experience in handling mergers and acquisitions from start to finish. Developed to improve your odds for success, Mergers and Acquisitions will teach you strategies you can hone and execute quickly for measurable results.

Mergers and Acquisitions session topics include:

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

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

Who Attends This Program

This program 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
  • 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.

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


  • Robert Holthausen, PhD

    Academic Director

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

    Research Interests: Effects of organizational structure on financial performance, management compensation issues, valuationSee Faculty Bio

  • Harbir Singh, PhD

    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 acquisitionsSee Faculty Bio

  • David Wessels, PhD

    Adjunct Associate Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

    See Faculty Bio

  • G. Richard Shell, JD

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

    See Faculty Bio

  • Gordon Bodnar, PhD

    Director, International Economics Program, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University

    Research Interests: International finance, corporate financeSee Faculty Bio

Program Logistics

Tuition for Philadelphia programs includes lodging and meals. Prices are subject to change. Contact a member of the Wharton Executive Education Client Relations team for more information on course specifics and to discuss how this program can meet your professional development needs. Please contact them by email or by phone at +1.215.898.1776.

Plan Your Stay


Nevine Booth

“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.”
Nevine Booth, President, OnPoint Research Group, a management consulting firm in Canada. 

Rafael Escalante

“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.”
Rafael Escalante, Director of Batis Corporation Family Office Services, Mexico City

"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 on ones which I did not attend."
Director, Corporate Development, Industrial Gasses Distributor

"Most people don't understand the basics, and this program nails them. All of the topics covered are crucial to understanding the process. The course was run very professionally, the faculty members were very helpful, the course material was extremely relevant, and the facilities were great. Thank you for an excellent job!"
International Commercial Banker

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