UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSIN0111: Mergers, Divestments and IPO Analysis

Taught by
Masters, level 7
Yes, MSIN0149 Corporate Finance.
MSc Finance students only
Delivery method
3-hour lecture (x 5 weeks)
Group coursework 70%. Exam 30%
Previous Module Code

Course overview

Mergers, Divestments and IPO Analysis (MDIA) is a short postgraduate module covering selected topics relating to finance with a practitioner bent. It starts off with an overview of M&As and a discussion of the most recent merger waves. The module then moves on to the topic of merger valuation, using a discounted cash flows (DCF) approach, including the valuation of control and synergies. The module attempts to develop a segmentation of M&A deals to understand why most deals fail, and how to increase the odds of mergers succeeding. The discussion also extends to ways of value enhancement. 

The module then addresses divestments and de-mergers, and goes through the various types of divestments, such as spin-offs and split-offs.

The module also looks at pricing/valuing companies with an eye on an Initial Public Offering (IPO), and concludes with a short discussion of the IPO process. 

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Comprehend the cyclical nature of merger waves, and how knowledge of the four phases comprising each cycle may help improve acquirer M&A effectiveness and success
  • Develop a practical understanding of M&A deals, including what motivates them and how to value them
  • Learn how to value mergers, including synergies and control
  • Get a sense of how to enhance the value of a company, notably after a merger
  • Understand why most deals fail and how a deal’s success can be ascertained
  • Differentiate between divestments as de-mergers and exit strategies
  • Appreciate why the value of a company changes dependent on whether it is private or publicly traded (listed)
  • Recognize the steps involved in an IPO

Topics covered

• An overview of M&A

• Merger valuation, including valuing synergies / control ex-ante

• Value enhancement

• Deal success assessment ex-post

• Types of divestments and motivation: de-mergers vs exit strategies

• Valuation of private companies

• From pre-IPO valuation to IPO pricing

• Process of going public

Assessment summary

Group coursework 70%. Exam 30%

Current students should refer to Moodle for specific details of the current year’s assessment.

Essential reading


1. Clark, Peter and Mills, Roger: “Masterminding the Deal: Breakthroughs in M&A Strategy and Analysis”, 1/e | ISBN-10 0749469528 | ISBN-13 978-0749469528 | E-ISBN 978-0749469535 | ©2013 | Kogan Page | Paper, 352 pp | Published 3 August 2013.

2. Damodaran, Aswath: “Investment Valuation: Tools and Techniques for Determining the Value of any Asset”, 3/e | ISBN-10 1118130731 | ISBN-13 978-1118130735 | ©2012 | John Wiley & Sons | Paper, 992 pp | Published 20 April 2012.

Past versions of this module

MSIN0111 18/19

MSING072 17/18

Last updated Monday, 15 July 2019