Saint Mary's College Professor James Hawley was quoted in a business story in the Contra Costa Times about an investigation into allegations of possible improper payments by an InVision Technologies Inc. distributor that could imperil the proposed purchase by General Electric Co. of the bomb detection equipment maker.

During a time of heightened concerns about corporate governance and national security, intense scrutiny about any possible improprieties isn't a surprise, said Hawley, a director of the Center for the Study of Fiduciary Capitalism at Saint Mary's.

"Any mergers and acquisitions always require a lot of due diligence," Hawley said. "And now, companies need to be extra alert as to the implications of any kind of disclosure of an investigation. This scrutiny is extremely important."

In general, companies must become accustomed to taking more time to complete transactions, he believes.

"A problem affects the fundamental value, or potential value, of a particular company," Hawley said.

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