As many as 70 – 90% of deals fail to create value for acquirers. The majority of these deals were the subject of commercial or strategic due diligences (DDs). Many DDs are rubber stamps – designed to motivate an investment to shareholders. Yet the requirements for a value-adding DD go beyond this.

Strategic due diligence must test investees against uncertainty via a variety of methods that include scenarios, probabilised forecasts and stress tests to ensure that investees are value accretive.

Firms that invest during downturns outperform those who don’t. DDs undertaken during downturns have a particularly difficult task – how to assess the future prospects of an investee when the future is so uncertain.

There is clearly an integrated approach to successful due diligence – despite the challenges posed by uncertainty.

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