In the dealmaking business, sellers commonly request financial disclosure documentation. Does the buyer have the wherewithal to act on a negotiated arrangement? It is a straightforward tactic. Yet the Chinese buyer of AC Milan football club may have produced a forged bank statement to hasten the $825 million sale. The ambitious, if not audacious move was an apparent attempt to kick the deal further down the field, buying time for the investor group to find more financial support for the lucrative transaction. Such developments are unusual in the internet era. Information access, after all, is widespread. They are even more unusual in an undertaking of this dimension. From our perspective, the headline emphasizes a simple point about the role of due diligence: Believe, but validate. ■
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