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Erasmus University Rotterdam

Advanced Valuation and Strategy - M&A, Private Equity, and Venture Capital

Erasmus University Rotterdam via Coursera


Hi and welcome to this course! Would you like to learn about the latest valuation methods that may help you to make better business decisions? Then 'Advanced Valuation and Strategy – M&A, Private Equity, and Venture Capital' by Erasmus University Rotterdam is the right course for you! This course is helpful for executives that need to value complete strategies and for all students interested in corporate finance and strategy. We present the latest tools and show you how to apply them! We will revolutionize your way of decision making, by extending static techniques from corporate finance with dynamic methods to quantify strategic thinking. Traditionally, we assess the attractiveness of an investment as a mature business, where future cash flows mainly result from past decisions. But, in an ever-changing world, strategic decisions determine the firm’s long-term success and market value. Yet managers often have to consider these long-term implications using intuition and experience alone, with little guidance from structured, quantitative analysis. Our treatment goes far beyond the use of standard valuation analysis. We introduce the expanded NPV, which brings together DCF, real options, and game theory. Thinking in terms of options, games, and adaptive strategies may help managers address strategic questions such as: How do you value a leveraged buyout? How can you value a high-tech venture with negative cash flows? When should you invest in new ventures in stages? How can you incorporate rival bidders in the analysis? The tools we provide can improve your decisions in business and in daily life. * Who is this class for? We hope that our course appeals to (graduate) students in finance, economics, and business, as well as to high-ranking professionals and a general audience. This course is particularly interesting for venture capitalists, private equity investors, investment bankers, CEOs, CFOs, and those who aspire these affiliations. We offer this MOOC at 3 levels: 1.Executive Summary: This 1-week module provides critical insights into the principles of corporate valuation and strategy. This is accessible for time-constrained executives and the general audience without any prior knowledge. 2. Student Level: This level involves an understanding of the technical details. This level requires basic knowledge of concepts in corporate finance, e.g., the time value of money, financial statement analysis, capital structure, and the relation between risk and returns. Learners of this level can skip week 1. 3. Honors Level (honors certificate): This level is challenging, engaging, and compelling to an intellectually rigorous student.


  • Executive Summary
    • Welcome! My name is Han Smit, I am Professor of Corporate Finance at Erasmus School of Economics. I will be your lecturer, and together with my team, Dyaran Bansraj and Nishad Matawlie, we are going to take you on a fascinating journey that may change the way you make strategic investment decisions. This executive level course consists of a series of accessible animation videos. Step by step we develop the conceptual frameworks and new valuation principles for strategic investments that are difficult to value with traditional tools. These new valuation methods can be particularly interesting for venture capitalists, private equity investors, investment bankers, CEOs, and CFOs. This executive level course is meant for those who want to be updated on the latest insights in corporate strategy and valuation techniques. You can walk through the fundamentals of the course in less than a week! If you wish to follow the student level, you can skip this week (don't worry, you won't miss out on anything)!
  • Discounted Cash Flow Analysis
    • We show you how to apply DCF approaches and provide case applications illustrating the powerful potential of this valuation methodology. We consider historical analysis, the estimation of free cash flows, various DCF approaches, and multiples valuation. In the assignments we consider specialized topics such as the valuation of leveraged buyouts. After this module you will be familiar with DCF approaches and will be able to relate them to strategy.
  • Corporate Strategy
    • This module closes the gap between traditional corporate finance and strategic planning by linking corporate strategy to the market value. We can assess the value of a company through the expanded NPV criterion, which is able to capture the value of the firm's growth options. We review various strategic paradigms that analyze the underlying sources of this growth option value, focusing on industry analysis, firms' internal resources and dynamic capabilities. After this module you will be able to recognise the strategic growth option value in the market value of a company.
  • Corporate Real Options
    • This module reviews the basic concepts and valuation principles of real options. Real options theory quantifies decision making under uncertainty and stresses the importance of wait-and-see flexibility, suggesting that managers should wait until major uncertainties are resolved and the project is more clearly beneficial. Since it recognizes that investments tend to be sequentially related over time, real options analysis is particularly suitable for valuing strategies in addition to isolated projects. After this module you will be able to quantify the flexibility component of the strategic growth option value. This is an important capability when valuing high-tech companies.
  • Option Games
    • This module provides an overview of the basic principles of game theory, which are essential for our understanding of strategic decisions. Strategic investment decisions are often made in a context in which decision makers must consider the deliberate (re)actions of rivals. Combining real options with games helps us to understand competitive behavior under uncertainty. Practical examples of option games include: competitive bidding in acquisitions and new product development decisions (in car manufacturing, mobile phones and consumer electronics). After this module you will be able to quantify the strategic component in the strategic growth option value. This is important for understanding strategic decisions of companies with high growth option value.

Taught by

Han Smit, Dyaran Bansraj and Nishad Matawlie


1.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.6 rating at Coursera based on 1203 ratings

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  • Anonymous
    Week 1 Assesment is full of uncertian.It's really hard to understand what the question are asking?If it would like other assessment it would be good.

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