India M&A activity saw a robust start in the first quarter of this year with the value of deals doubling to USD 17.9 billion, says a report. In the corresponding three months a year ago, the deals were valued at USD 9.2 billion. According to global deal tracking firm Mergermarket, notwithstanding the significant rise in the value of deals, the number of transactions declined to 76 in January-March this year from 110 in the year-ago quarter.

Moreover, India’s market share grew significantly in the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) region comprising 13.2 per cent of the total regional deal value, the highest proportion across all quarters since 2013, Mergermarket India M&A trend report Q1 2017 said.

The telecom sector attracted deals worth USD 13.6 billion from three deals in the January-March period, as compared to only USD 60 million from two deals a year ago. The top deal this quarter was Vodafone Group’s merger of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular, contributed USD 12.7 billion to the sector, which accounted 70.6 per cent of the total value.

Another noteworthy deal in the sector was Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co’s (KKR) USD 948 million investment in Bharti Infratel Limited for a 10.3 per cent stake.

Energy, Mining & Utilities (EMU) was the second biggest M&A sector by deal value with USD 1.5 billion in January-March, attracting 11 deals.

This sector featured the second largest deal of the quarter: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited’s USD 995 million for 80 per cent stake of KG-OSN-2001/03 from Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Limited.

Although inbound M&A has shrunk to a three-year low, Industrials & Chemicals, fuelled by the government’s ‘Make in India’ ambition, stood out and continued to attract interest from overseas investors.

Out of the 14 deals worth USD 597 million announced during the first quarter of this year, 10 were made by foreign investors. These 10 deals contributed USD 332 million in total to inbound M&A in India, up 3.2 times by value from USD 105 million from only two deals in the same period last year. – Financial Express


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