The business of M&A, theory and practice of M&A use knowledge from several different fields such as strategy, management, law, and accounting. This course is about finance. That's why we call it the finance of merges and acquisitions. Because the focus is on the financial aspects that you need to know in order to successfully design and M&A deal. In the first MOOC, which I call valuing and pricing an M&A deal, we focused on how to value companies and how to use valuation tools in M&A deals. So we learn how to place values on acquirers, targets, and synergies and how to use these valuations to think about value creation in M&A. The current MOOC, which I call designing an M&A deal, is going to focus on other key issues that you need to know in order to fully determine the financial structure of an M&A deal. For example, we're going to talk about accounting, taxation issues. We're going to talk about means of payment or different ways that acquirers can pay for targets, which is part of a financial analysis of an M&A deal and then there is the optimal financing mix. How should they acquirer raise the cash to finance the acquisition of the target? These are also important aspects to be able to fully design a successful M&A deal, which is my learning goal, it's really what I want students to learn. Any student who takes both MOOCs, at the end of these two MOOCs, should be able to fully design a successful M&A deal on his or her own. We talked about valuation, pricing, in the first MOOC, now in the second MOOC we're going to talk about creating your own financial statements, merging financial statements, we're going to talk about means of payment and optimal financing mix and then you can put all of these together in order to fully design a successful M&A deal. The other objective of this MOOC, besides talking about these other aspects that are important for designing an M&A deal, we're also going to go beyond strategic acquisitions. In the first MOOC, we talked mostly about what we call strategic acquisitions, which is when an acquirer buys a target in the same industry or in a related industry. However, the world of M&A also has two important types of deals that I think we need to learn, we need to focus on. One of them is private equity leveraged buyouts. That's a very important part of the M&A world. We're going to learn in this MOOC how to build financial models of LBO. Then finally, we're also going to learn about spin-offs, restructuring activities, which again, is an important part of the M&A world and it's a topic of MOOC 2 as well. You might be asking yourself if you have not taken MOOC 1, can I take this MOOC? We don't really have requirements and prerequisites for this course, so it's up to you. You are welcome to take only the current MOOC, which we call designing an M&A deal, but I do recommend taking both. That's where you're going to get the full breadth of knowledge that you need in order to fully design the finance of an M&A deal and my other recommendation is if you can, it's probably better to take the first MOOC first. That's why it's the first MOOC; valuing and pricing an M&A deal. Take that first if you can before you take this one. That's my recommendation, but it's up to the student if you only want to take this MOOC on its own, maybe you already learned about valuation, etc. That's fine as well. This MOOC is divided again in four modules. In Module 1, we're going to be talking about accounting, taxation, and means of payment issues. We're going to learn how to merge financial statements when there is an M&A deal, tax implications of M&A deals, and we're going to learn how to think about the means of payment questions. So should the acquirer pay with cash or stock? There are some interesting arguments that we need to discuss here because again, that's part of the full design of an M&A deal. In Module 2, we're going to talk about financing. The acquirer needs to raise cash in order to pay for the target and as we're going to learn, it becomes a very important capital structure decision. It's one of the most important financing decisions that a company needs to make in its lifetime if you go through an M&A deal. Capital structure theory, financing models are very important here. Then in Module 3, as I said, we're going to go beyond strategic acquisitions and also cover private equity and leveraged buyouts, which is an extremely important part of the M&A world. As you're going to learn there, it's a part of M&A that I like to call heavy on finance. There is a lot of financial modeling involved in leverage buyout, so it's probably the best opportunity in these MOOCs to really stretch to learn more about financial modeling. Then we're going to end in Module 4 with a discussion about corporate restructuring, divestitures, spin-offs and carve-outs, which is also an important aspect of M&A that we cover in Module 4. Each module has several practice quiz questions as usual with solutions so that allows you to make sure you're understanding the concepts that you're learning and then there is an end of module quiz, which is basically a test that you have to pass in order to get your completion. To be able to complete the MOOC, you have to pass the end of module quiz as in other Coursera course. Then finally, there is another assignment that students can take if they want to go for the honors degree. The honors assignment is going to involve the full design of a private equity LBO. You're going to be able to apply everything you learn in this MOOC in order to fully design a private equity LBO, we're using real-world data, etc. I think that's going to be a good way to extend not only your knowledge of private equity, but also your financial modeling skills. I also like to talk about why take M&A. My view is any student who desires to increase their ability to understand and execute deals including entrepreneurs, consultants, bankers and investors, analysts, managers, marketers, strategies, deal makers of all types will benefit from taking this course because the finance of M&A is a very important part of the M&A world. In addition to that as I have been emphasizing, even if you are not planning to work on M&A in the near future, taking an M&A course is an excellent way to practice your financial modeling and capital structure skills. So if you took other finance courses, you talked about valuation. In our first MOOC, for example, what we can do in M&A is we can really use real-world examples to show you why valuation is so important. Also capital structure. As I mentioned before, financing an M&A deal is probably one of the most important financing decisions that a company has to make in its lifetime. It's a very good way to practice what you learned in other finance courses.