The purpose of due diligence in a merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction is to determine the appropriate purchase price to be paid by the buyer. In order to determine the purchase price there should be a thorough investigation and analysis of legal and financial risks, including the discovery of liabilities that may be deal-breakers. The due diligence process typically encompasses legal, financial, and commercial due diligence. Another aspect of due diligence is investigative due diligence, which utilizes a wide range of intelligence gathering techniques including covert activities that are used to perform thorough background checks on a target and its key employees. The investigative due diligence team should be an outside investigative firm that can offer an unbiased review of the potential target and expose any derogatory information such as a history of violating the law, fraud, bribery or any unethical behavior that can ultimately affect the purchase price or possibly terminate the transaction.