India Inc inked 252 merger and acquisition deals worth $ 15.8 billion during January-March quarter, registering a rise of 23 per cent over last year, mainly driven by the Vodafone and Idea deal, says an EY report. The merger between Vodafone India and Idea Cellular for over $ 11 billion, accounting for nearly 74 per cent of the total disclosed deal value in the January-March quarter. However, another consultancy Grant Thornton had pegged the Vodafone-Idea mega merger to be around $ 27 billion, which primarily contributed more than 80 per cent of the total deal value of the January-March quarter.
Barring this mega deal, the total deal value was $ 4.4 billion for the quarter, the EY report said. According to EY’s Transactions Quarterly, in the January-March period last year deals worth $ 12.9 billion were announced. “The deal environment looks conducive on the back of a strong economic outlook, and healthy capital markets, accompanied by the Indian Government’s increasing focus on improving infrastructure and expanding digital reach across the country,” EY Partner and National Director, Transaction Advisory Services Amit Khandelwal said.
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Khandelwal further said though global buyers are expected to be selective, owing to ongoing global geopolitical issues, their interest in Indian businesses will remain alive as they look for growth opportunities outside the US and Europe.Regarding the Vodafone-Idea deal, the report said this is a reflection of the ongoing consolidation wave, especially in the telecom industry.
Other sectors that witnessed consolidation include diversified industrial products, technology and retail and consumer products, it said. While domestic deal activity was dominated by Vodafone- Idea deal, cross-border M&A activity slowed in the first quarter of this year, both in deal value and volume terms. While, the deal value (cross border) declined to $ 2 billion in the January-March quarter from $ 7.7 billion in the year ago period, deal volume weakened to 83 deals from 104 deals.