I can't stress how important the due diligence is. I have no hesitation in calling a deal "a dud deal" when the due diligence and figures don't stack, and neither should you.

I've found that successful acquirers view due diligence as much more than an exercise in verifying data. Due diligence dissects a business, reveals strengths and weaknesses and exposes unreliable assumptions that may affect the the end price. 

I'm happy to talk through the due diligence process in more detail but as a starter, you should focus on four basic questions:

1. What are we buying?

2. What is the target’s stand-alone value?

3. Where are the synergies—and the skeletons?

4. What’s our walk-away price?

Know your key rationale rather than deal fever and a momentum to just close the deal.