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India attractive destination for mergers and acquisition activities: Ernst & Young
April, 02nd 2013

Favourable demographics and growth opportunities keep India an "attractive" destination for merger and acquisition (M&A) activities across diverse sectors including consumer goods and pharmaceuticals, according to global consultancy Ernst & Young.

"Catering to a growing, expanding and spending population is what every organisation wants to do. So there is a lot of interest from outside India to come inbound," E&Y global vice-chairman (transaction advisory services) Phillipa McCrostie told PTI in an interview.

"I don't think India's growth is based on one factor or bubble that has evaporated and gone away. It is exciting time in India for M&A growth," she said.

According to her, India's fantastic population and demographics are attracting a great deal of interest around industries such as consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, among others.

"I expect that India will continue to be an attractive M&A destination in a sustainable way going forward. I think there is widespread interest from the US, Europe and others," she said.

She noted that the country is becoming all the more attractive destination with reforms coming through.

McCrostie said risk and confidence probably were the determining factors for M&A activities in the last four years since the 2008 financial crisis.

"India has to be one of the most attractive destinations (for investment). Look historically, what India has achieved ... If you compare other countries, many don't have the population, stability that India has been trying to produce in the last ten years," she added.

In the wake of uncertainties and risks due to the 2008 financial meltdown, companies worldwide began to strengthen their balance sheets and over the subsequent years have also made cash piles.

McCrostie said that investor pressure is also steadily growing over the time on companies' growth strategies. "It is translating into what we see as green shoots for some more M&A activities. So to be clear, no boom activity, no bubble activity ... But a slow, steady increase in M&A activities is one of the means of achieving growth," she said.

The "green shoots" for M&A also depends on sectors as well as geographies, she added.

Going by E&Y, India is projected to be among the top five M&A destinations this year.

In 2012, BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations together accounted for about 15 per cent of global M&A market by value.

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