What you'll learn

  • Identify key stages of a deal, critical decisions in each stage, and the major legal and other constraints on those decisions.
  • Create strategies to mitigate risks and leverage opportunities to successfully navigate each stage of deal.
  • Identify the motives for and parameters of a range of deal types, including large and small, domestic and cross-border, public and private target, friendly and hostile, whole company and partial acquisitions.
  • Understand the M&A process from different perspectives including strategy, finance, negotiations, law, tax, and operations to better steer your organization (and/or clients) through future deals.

Course description

Mergers and Acquisitions: Structuring and Leading Deals provides participants with an overview of the M&A process through multiple lenses including strategic, financial, legal, and operational. The program is designed to provide participants with in-depth analysis of the components of mergers and acquisitions. Participants will explore:

How M&A can be a core component of firm strategyHow targets and synergies are valuedHow M&A transactions are sourced, initiated, and pricedHow deals are structured and designedWhat kinds of disputes and potential lawsuits arise over the course of an M&A transactionHow targets are integrated after the deal is formally complete

Course outline

  • Curriculum Topics
    • Strategy– When to do a deal and how to assess if a deal is good
    • Courtship– Who to partner with and what elements to include in NDAs, Letters of Intent, and other contracts
    • Finance– Identifying the financial implications of a deal
    • Legal Negotiation– Having discussions centered around structure, tax, anti-trust, and regulation
    • Negotiation– Executing and completing the deal
    • Integration– How to work between the two entities once the deal is complete


  • Faculty Chair, Mergers & Acquisitions: Structuring and Leading Deals; John F. Cogan, Jr. Professor of Law & Economics, Harvard Law School; Research Director, Center on the Legal Profession and Vice Dean for Finance and Strategic Initiatives, Harvard Law S
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