Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity remained tepid in November, with deal values falling 27% to $2.3 billion, compared to the same period last year, according to the dealtracker report by Grant Thornton. Deal volumes too saw a decline of 31% to 27 deals in November. This diminishing trend can be attributed to an increased uncertainty on account of volatility in crude oil prices, delays with respect to closure of IBC cases, depreciating rupee and other factors driving the business risk premium, the report stated. The month recorded a 47% decline in cross-border deal values, while domestic deal values recorded a 21% increase despite a 44% fall in volumes. November witnessed one billion-dollar deal and four deals valued above $100 million each, together contributing 93% to the total deal values. The highlight of the month was the acquisition of Binani Cement by Ultratech Cement for $1.1 billion. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had approved UltraTech Cement\u2019s bid of $1.1 billion for stressed Binani Cement rejecting the $936-million offer made by Dalmia Bharat-Bain Piramal consortium Rajputana Properties, though it was earlier declared as the highest bidder by the Committee of Creditors. Since the beginning of the year, M&A deal values doubled to $82 billion, compared with the same period last year with a strong 12% increase in deal volumes. \u201cThis was primarily on account of revived domestic and cross-border deal activity, which multiplied around 5x in deal values,\u201d the report stated. The year so far has registered 14 deals in the billion-dollar category and 46 deals estimated and valued at\/over $100 million each, together capturing 95% of total M&A deal values. Pankaj Chopda, director, Grant Thornton India, said in a release that the writing on the wall indicates 2018 may be record-breaking year, both in terms of deal value and deal volumes, but the closing may not be so grand. \u201cAlthough the national elections and current global outlook will have their temporary impact, the underlying drivers for M&A transactions will be barrier breakers and carriers of strong deal trends going forward,\u201d Chopda said.