Course Title: fbe 460: mergers, acquisitions and restructuring

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% of Grade

TESTS Mid-Term



Final Exam



M&A PITCH BOOK (group project)












Final grades represent how you perform in the class relative to other students. Your grade will not be based on a mandated target, but on your performance. Three items are considered when assigning final grades:

  1. Your average weighted score as a percentage of the available points for all assignments (the points you receive divided by the number of points possible).

  2. The overall average percentage score within the class.

  3. Your ranking among all students in the class.

Midterm and Final Exam (Midterm 25% of your grade; Final 35% of your grade)

The midterm and final exam will be closed-book, closed-notes. The final exam is cumulative from the beginning of the course. Laptops or any hand-held device with email capabilities cannot be used. You should bring a calculator to perform calculations.

M&A Pitch Book (20% of your grade)

This group project demonstrates your progress towards one of the key learning objectives of the course: “Develop a concept, design a deal, and present a proposal for a merger and acquisition transaction.” By the end of the first week of the semester, students will divide themselves into “teams” of four-to-eight students each to play the role of a publicly-traded company seeking to make an acquisition. Each team selects a real publicly-traded company it wants to represent, identifies a potential target (also a real publicly-traded firm), and prepares a “Pitch Book,” the purpose of which is to obtain CEO approval to commence negotiations. Key learning objectives include (1) M&A strategy, (2) target company selection, (3) value creation in an M&A transaction, (4) deal structuring, and (5) risk assessment and (6) ability to prepare a term sheet. This project will count 20% of your grade, the ground rules and deliverables for this project are stated on pages 8 and 9 of this syllabus.

Peer Evaluation on M&A Pitch Book (10% of your grade)

Study groups provide a valuable learning experience – how to work effectively and efficiently in groups (a common practice in Corporate America), learning from others, and sharpening a student’s ability to communicate with others. However, human nature being what it is, some students are tempted to relax and let others carry their load. In order to provide an incentive for all students to make maximum contributions to the team project, students will be asked to grade each team member’s contributions on a 10-point scale.

This evaluation is to be submitted by email to the Instructor before the last day of classes. Any team member who does not email his (her) evaluation of team members will be deemed to have given a 10-point score to each member of the team.
Class Participation (10% of your grade).
Attendance and participation are essential for success in this course. Students are expected to actively participate in the class discussions. Class meetings will involve discussions of the assigned readings assigned cases from text, and current events. Preparation for each class is essential. In absence of active participation, the professor will call on students.
In evaluating your class participation, I will consider the quality and frequency of your participation, with a clear emphasis on quality. Students are required to display their name cards in each class. I will have no other way to determine who is present and participating.

Academic Integrity

USC seeks to maintain an optimal learning environment. General principles of academic honesty include the concept of respect for the intellectual property of others, the expectation that individual work will be submitted unless otherwise allowed by an instructor, and the obligations both to protect one’s own academic work from misuse by others as well as to avoid using another’s work as one’s own. All students are expected to understand and abide by these principles. SCampus, the Student Guidebook, ( or contains the University Student Conduct Code (see University Governance, Section 11.00), while the recommended sanctions are located in Appendix A.

Students will be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards for further review, should there be any suspicion of academic dishonesty. The Review process can be found at: . Failure to adhere to the academic conduct standards set forth by these guidelines and our programs will not be tolerated by the USC Marshall community and can lead to dismissal.
Student Disability

Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to be as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776. For more information visit

Technology Policy

Laptop and Internet usage is not permitted during academic or professional sessions unless otherwise stated by the professor. Use of other personal communication devices, such as cell phones, is considered unprofessional and is not permitted during academic or professional sessions. ANY e-devices (cell phones, PDAs, iPhones, Blackberries, other texting devices, laptops, iPods) must be completely turned off during class time. Videotaping faculty lectures is not permitted, due to copyright infringement regulations. Audiotaping may be permitted if approved by the professor. Use of any recorded material is reserved exclusively for USC students registered in this class.

Add/Drop Process

If you are absent six or more times prior to September 14, (the last day to withdraw from a course with a grade of “W”), I may ask you to withdraw from the class by that date. These policies maintain professionalism and ensure a system that is fair to all students.

Retention of Graded Coursework

Final exams and all other graded work which affected the course grade will be retained for one year after the end of the course if the graded work has not been returned to the student (i.e., if I returned a graded paper to you, it is your responsibility to file it, not mine).

Class Notes Policy

Notes or recordings made by students based on a university class or lecture may only be made for purposes of individual or group study, or for other non-commercial purposes that reasonably arise from the student’s membership in the class or attendance at the university. This restriction also applies to any information distributed, disseminated or in any way displayed for use in relationship to the class, whether obtained in class, via email or otherwise on the Internet, or via any other medium. Actions in violation of this policy constitute a violation of the Student Conduct Code, and may subject an individual or entity to university discipline and/or legal proceedings.

Emergency Preparedness/Course Continuity

In case of a declared emergency if travel to campus is not feasible, USC executive leadership will announce an electronic way for instructors to teach students in their residence halls or homes using a combination of Blackboard, teleconferencing, and other technologies.

Please activate your course in Blackboard with access to the course syllabus. Whether or not you use Blackboard regularly, these preparations will be crucial in an emergency. USC's Blackboard learning management system and support information is available at

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