ENSAE Paris - École d'ingénieurs pour l'économie, la data science, la finance et l'actuariat

Merger and Acquisition


Companies are modelled on the real life situations they solve for in their initial growth stages.  However, hypergrowth is becoming a clear norm for companies in the disrupted environment we observe (be it in relation to digital-, social- or energy-transitions).  And hypergrowth also means the ability to use the companies’ financial market capacities to expand strategically, through Mergers & Acquisitions (or M&A).

We have built modules to take you from the 1940-1960s economic thinking that framed the M&A hypothesis for some time to the more modern approaches that rose with the globalised economy.  We will span theoretical modelling as well as real life case studies and testimonies.

You will also have a look into the full process of M&A, down to the due diligence and the later stages of financing, as well as the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) implications on the company valuations.

Our intentions are :

  • To give the capacity to apply, in real world situations, the techniques (tools and models) that have been developed in corporate finance, use them on large existing models and observe whether they can apply  to new markets / disruptive companies (start-ups, platforms etc.);

  • To work on a wide range of cases. Case topics will include mergers and acquisitions and capital structure issues. This course will emphasize the central importance of financial analysis, valuation and modelling to guiding optimal decision making;

  • To meet professionals active in the M&A new markets (corporate leaders, top lawyers and bankers, audit partnersCEOs, bankers, practitioners).

The expectation is that, having studied the class and led/participated in group assignments, you will be fully briefed to join the strategy / financial division of a corporation, a financial institution or a research institute and be able to navigate the M&A opportunities.


  • Class participation: 10%

  • Presentation in groups (10 minutes): 25%

  • Feedback on presentation (to be submited to the professors): 25% 

  • Final Exam : 40%



Lecture 1 : A brief introduction
Lecture 2 : Valuation
Lecture 3 : Capital Structure and Capital Markets
Lecture 4 : Synergies – value creation
Lecture 5 : Extra financial impact on valuation 
Lecture 6 : Strategic decisions and conclusion



Bruner, Robert F., Applied Mergers and Acquisitions. Robert F. Bruner, APPLIED MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2004
Chingono, Brian and Rasmussen, Daniel, Leveraged Small Value Equities (August 1, 2015).
Damodaran, Aswath, “Applied Corporate Finance, 4th edition”, John Wiley & Sons
Damodaran, Aswath, “Damodaran on Valuation : Security Analysis for Investment and Corporate Finance”, Wiley
Jerayr Haleblian, Cynthia E. Devers, Gerry McNamara, Mason A. Carpenter, Robert B. Davison, Jerayr Haleblian, Cynthia E. Devers, Gerry
McNamara, Mason A. Carpenter,Robert B. Davison, “Taking Stock of What We Know About Mergers and Acquisitions: A Review and Research Agenda”, Journal of Management, Vol. 35 No. 3, June 2009 469-502
Sherman, Andrew J., « Mergers and Acquisitions from A to Z », American Management Association
Vernimmen, Pierre Quiry Pascal & 3 more “Corporate Finance : Theory and Practice” (3 nov 2017), Wiley