MScFinance P58836 Finance and Accounting Research Project

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MSc Finance

P58836 Finance and Accounting Research Project


According to Statista (2016) “the value of global M&A transactions grew from approximately 1.71 trillion U.S. dollars in 2009 to approximately 4.28 trillion U.S. dollars in 2015”.  Such activity is often predicated on the basis of increasing shareholder returns yet empirical research in finance indicates that this is not the case (Tuch and O’Sullivan, 2007), which raises the question of why this is pursued as an increasingly popular corporate growth strategy.



  1. Determine the range of motives for engaging in merger and acquisition activity.
  2. Critically review the empirical literature on Mergers and Acquisitions to establish the extent merger and acquisition activity provides positive returns to shareholders in acquiring companies in both the short-run and in the long-run.
  3. Assess the importance of bid characteristics on performance, including:
    1. The mood of the acquisition
    2. Method of payment
    3. Relative Size of Target and Bidder
    4. Industrial Relatedness of the Bidder and Target
    5. The role of Pre-Bid Performance
    6. Other factors
  4. Evaluate the extent that merger and acquisition activity adds or destroys value to society in general

You should illustrate your arguments with evidence from corporate examples where appropriate.


Statista (2016). Value of merger and acquisition deals worldwide from 2007 to 2015 (in trillion U.S. dollars).  Retrieved on May 25th 2016 from:

Tuch, C. and O’Sullivan, N. (2007). The impact of acquisitions on form performance: A review of the evidence, International Journal of Management Reviews, 9(2):141-170.

Assessment criteria

  • Presentation: this includes consideration of general presentation issues (such as page layout, use of paragraphs, accurate spelling, and compliance with presentation instructions) but, more importantly, the presentation of citations in the text and accurate referencing, in the correct format. Please ensure that you consult the very detailed instructions on this provided in the module handbook: all the necessary information is provided there. If you cite sources in the text and do not include them in the list of references, the assumption will be made that you have not in fact consulted these sources but have copied material from another text which included them. This is plagiarism and attracts severe penalties. It is therefore essential that you check your text very carefully to ensure that all citations are listed as references [10 marks].
  • Use of literature Under this heading the extent and quality of your sources will be assessed. You are expected to demonstrate that you have undertaken an independent literature search so your list of references should include more than the sources to which you have been directed by the suggested reading. You are also expected to be able to distinguish authoritative sources: these are books and journal articles which have academic authority. Professional magazines, newspaper articles and web sites may be referred to if particularly relevant but should not comprise the majority of your references [20 marks].
  • Problem solving, application of theory to issues and practice: under this heading, your ability to demonstrate understanding of issues raised in the literature, including methodological issues, will be assessed, primarily in your approach to answering the question set. Your discussion of the issues posed in the question should reflect your understanding: you should be able to present an argument, outlining alternative views (derived from your reading) and presenting evidence that supports these and arriving at a conclusion which you have justified from the literature and from examples. Your answer to the question should be clearly focused: read the question carefully and refer back to it frequently while writing your answer to ensure that you are not wandering off the point and including irrelevant material [50 marks]
  • Critical approach to sources: under this heading your ability to reflect on the literature you have read will be assessed. You should be able to identify similarities and differences between authors’ arguments and methods and to use such comparisons to support your arguments. You should be able to demonstrate your own thinking where the questions set require this by presenting an argument and supporting it by reference to evidence that you have collected [20 marks]

Presenting coursework for assessment

Assignments must be presented in the following format:

  • Assignments must be word-processed in 11 point Arial font and double spaced
  • All pages must be numbered
  • Margins must be as follows: Top: 1 inch, Bottom: 1 inch (2.5 cm), Left: 1.25 inches, Right: 1.25 inches (3.2 cm)
  • Harvard referencing must be used

Assignments not complying with this format will be returned to students unmarked.

Assignment length

The length of this assignment is limited by a set number of words (max. 8000) to contribute towards the development of writing skills and to ensure all work is assessed equitably. We therefore require you to complete your assignments within the number of words specified in the assignment brief.

You will need to think carefully about how best to explain your case within the permitted number of words (8000), using, for example, an appropriate mix of text, drawings, diagrams and tables, where relevant, supplemented by information contained in appendices, if applicable.

The specified word count (8000) refers to the main body of the report and does not include front cover, title page, contents page, executive summary, reference list, bibliography or appendices.  The word count does include headings, tables and in-text citations, but not equations or diagrams.

Appendices themselves will not be marked. However, inappropriate use of appendices will be taken into consideration when awarding the final mark.

Words that exceed the maximum allowed will not be marked. If in doubt, you should discuss this with the Module Leader before submission.

Submission of Assignment

You should submit your assignment in the appropriate inbox in the Moodle VLE site for the module.  All assignments will be anonymously marked.  Please do not include your name anywhere in the file or file name.  To ensure that your file is traceable to you in the remote event of system failure you must include your student number in the header of your file and in the file name, using the following format: Student number_P58836_Assignment 2.

The deadline for this assignment is Tuesday 13th September 2016 at 23.59.

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