Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan
Royal Institute of Technology
Industrial Economics and
Development of a Project Management
Methodology for Supporting
Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)
Politecnico di Milano
FABIO SOTTILI CHAVES
Thesis ID: 2012:141
Supervisor: Javier Sánchez
7th Edition 2010-2012
Master of Science Thesis
Politécnica de Madrid
Stockholm, Sweden 2012
Escuela Técnica Superior
de Ingenieros Industriales
We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover
what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he, who never
made a mistake, never made a discovery.
- Samuel Smiles
Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are strategic tools at disposal of CEOs to accelerate growth and
achieve objectives faster, as long as they are successfully implemented. In the last 100 years,
plenty of examples both of successful and failed M&A attempts are available in the literature.
Professionals in the area agree the best way to conduct M&A is through a project. Conducting a
project requires a solid, purpose-build methodology to significantly increase the chances of
success. Despite this fact, publicly available management methodologies for M&A projects are
rare, as most methodologies are proprietary, thus owned by consulting firms and not openly
available. This gap motivates the development of a project management methodology tailored to
M&A undertakings. Such methodology is intended to serve both professionals already active in
the area as well as beginners willing to get familiar with the fantastic realm of M&A.
This work proposes a methodology based on a framework which presents, in one single picture,
all the knowledge areas involved in conducting an M&A project. Besides, the project is split in
phases and stages set in a temporal dimension and obeying dependencies to set the sequence in
which processes in each knowledge area are applied. Each knowledge area and phases are
extensively explained along with real examples to facilitate learning. Phases and stages are also
The result is a simple, yet comprehensive methodology to support the undertaking of M&A
projects. It is generic enough to be further developed and tailored to more specific needs.
Notwithstanding, it is a great source of knowledge in the area for those interested in having a
high-level overview of what M&A are about.
The major implication of this work is delivering a publicly available Project Management
methodology tailored for M&A undertakings, serving as a comprehensive overview of what
Mergers and Acquisitions are, best practices in the field and how such an undertaking can be
successfully carried out.
Keywords: Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Project Management, Marketing, Finance, Project
Management Office (PMO), Corporate Strategy
Development of a Project Management Methodology for Supporting M&A
Behind any great contribution there are great people who agreed to sacrifice their own interests
and wishes to make this work possible. I am immensely grateful to each one of them for their
contribution, small or big, on the personal or professional sphere to support me through this
I´d like first of all to thank my parents, Sérgio R. Chaves and Elisabete Sottili Chaves and my
brother Rafael Sottili Chaves for their continuous and unconditional support, for cheering me up
to continue despite so many uncertainties and difficult moments in my life. For my grandparents,
Pedro G. Sottili, Enely Sottili, Maria Chaves and Bernardino Chaves (in memoriam) for being
proud of my achievements. For all my uncles, aunts and cousins, especially Luiz Carlos Sottili (in
memoriam) and Victor Sottili (in memoriam) for living long lasting memories in our family and
who always believed in my capacity.
I had the pleasure and opportunity to have met outstanding colleagues and professionals who
inspired me to grow and acted as mentors and gave me the guidance and courage to get through
good and bad moments: John Elder, Ehab Rofaiel, Onfrej Benjik, Noel Peberty, Gus Finucci, Aly
Shawky and Anna di Stasio. My special thanks to Duncan Curd and Kayomars Bajina for their
mentorship and availability whenever I needed them.
Thanks to the many friends whom I had to l