India M&A activity saw a robust start in the first quarter of this year with the value of deals doubling to $17.9 billion, says a report. In the corresponding three months a year ago, the deals were valued at $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 $13.6 billion from three deals in the January-March period, as compared to only $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 $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) $948 million investment in Bharti Infratel Limited for a 10.3 per cent stake.
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Energy, Mining & Utilities (EMU) was the second biggest M&A sector by deal value with $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 $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 $597 million announced during the first quarter of this year, 10 were made by foreign investors. These 10 deals contributed $332 million in total to inbound M&A in India, up 3.2 times by value from $105 million from only two deals in the same period last year.