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With 267 deals, mergers and acquisitions
December, 19th 2009

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) crossed a little over $10 billion with a total of 267 deals for the period January-December (till December 13) this year. Of these, 142 were domestic deals (with a value of nearly $6 billion) and 125 cross-border deals (pegged at over $4 billion), which include both outbound and inbound investments.

Domestic M&As have sustained the momentum and were pegged at $5.8 billion during the January-December period, while outbound and inbound deals have reduced, and together totalled $4.23 billion. This is because there have been several large restructuring deals and significant consolidation in many industries.

More than half of the cross-border deals 64, were outbound deals where domestic companies acquired businesses overseas, according to preliminary analysis by global consultancy firm, Grant Thornton. The outbound deals were pegged at $1.12 billion.

It may be noted that there will be some changes in the M&A data over the next fortnight with a couple of deals in the offing. These deals including DLFs acquisition of DLF Assets will further boost deal values this year.

PE investments including qualified institutional placements (QIPs) were pegged at $11.17 billion during January-December period. Overall the total value of deals (M&A and PE) during the year almost halved at $21.20 billion, as against $41.54 billion and $70.14 billion registered in 2008 and 2007 respectively.

Deal volumes (M&A and PE-QIP together) dropped in 2009 as against the previous year, even though there was a revival in the second half of the year. There were 766 deals in 2008 as compared to 488 this year.

After the economic crisis in 2008-end, slowly there has been a revival with companies reporting better earnings, stock markets improving and the deal activity going up. Now there is a renewed interest in QIPs and fund raising plans by corporates.

Says CG Srividya, partner Grant Thornton, The year has also seen significant consolidation activities with domestic dealmakers outdoing their cross-border counterparts in M&A deal activity. After a gap of three years, we are seeing domestic M&A being higher than both inbound and outbound deals put together.

The value of cross-border deals (both inbound and outbound) reduced by nearly 84% from 2008. The Russian governments acquisition of a strategic stake in Sistema-Shyam Telecom for $676 million was the largest inbound deal during 2009.

While there is clearly an increase in deal activity recently compared to the initial few months of the year, India Inc requires much more confidence, risk appetite and the urge to grow rapidly before we get back to the peak activity levels of 2007 and most parts of 2008, analysts said.

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