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Merger and acquisition deal pipeline healthy; domestic deal outlook bullish: EY
May, 27th 2016

Merger and acquisition activity in India is set to retain its momentum through this year, as deal pipeline remains healthy and is likely to increase further in the next 12 months, says a survey.

According to EY's 14th Global Capital Confidence Barometer ( CCB ), 95 per cent of the Indian respondents affirm belief of M&A activity to remain stable or improve further through 2016.

The uptick in business sentiments with regards to M&A activity was driven by improving domestic macroeconomic fundamentals and expectations around distressed asset sales to gain strength despite concerns regarding volatility around commodity prices and currency fluctuations globally.

Moreover, Indian executives' positive outlook on credit availability and corporate earnings is also expected to encourage corporates to pursue inorganic growth with an eye on driving market expansion.

A healthy deal pipeline also contributed to this bullish outlook, with 54 per cent of the respondents citing that they currently have at least three deals in their pipeline. Besides, 50 per cent of the Indian respondents expect their deal pipeline to increase through the year.

"The previous year was stable for the M&A activity in India and that momentum is expected to accelerate this year," Amit Khandelwal, National Director and Partner , Transaction Advisory Services , EY said, adding that despite growth concerns around the global economy, Indian corporates remain positive about the domestic deal market.

As per the survey, majority of the Indian respondents prefer the domestic market for M&A.

India ranks as the top destination by choice for Indian companies, followed by the US and the UK, reflecting the strong expectations around domestic M&A over the next 12 months, the survey said.

The expected improvement in liquidity scenario, on the back of recent monetary policy easing by the RBI, should stimulate private investments in the country and encourage corporations to actively plan their acquisition strategy, the survey said.

"In the domestic market, we are also likely to see a spurt of divestment deals this year, as debt-ridden corporates will focus on deleveraging their balance sheets by selling their non-core assets," Khandelwal added.

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