India Inc’s merger and acquisition activity registered a growth of 55 per cent year- on-year in November with deals worth $3.2 billion, powered by big-ticket transactions and revival in cross-border activity, says a report. According to assurance, tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton, cross-border deal tally logged an over a seven-fold increase in value terms in November. The month recorded four cross-border transactions valued at over $100 million compared to only one such deal in November 2016. In November, there were 39 M&A transactions worth $3,217 million while in the same period last year, there were 45 deals worth of $2,074 million. “Aggregate value of M&A transactions increased by over 50 per cent despite a minor dip in transaction volumes. This increase was primarily driven by a couple of cross-border transactions in telecom, pharma, healthcare and biotech sectors aggregating $1.9 billion,” said Prashant Mehra Partner at Grant Thornton India LLP.
Compared to October 2017, the M&A deal space in November has been encouraging with an 8 per cent jump in volumes while the value dropped by 15 per cent on account of reduced big- ticket transactions. November did not see any deal in the billion dollar category compared to one in October. In January-November, there were 389 merger and acquisition deals worth $39.86 billion, registering a 7 per cent decline in value terms and 20 per cent fall in terms of number of transactions over the equivalent period last year. Sector-wise, pharma and healthcare led the counter in November, accounting for 42 per cent of total deal value, driven by Fortis Healthcare’s acquisition of Indian portfolio of RHT health trust for $715 million.
November also witnessed Torrent Pharma’s biggest acquisition till date with Unichem Laboratories’ Indian and Nepal businesses for $554 million. Its last big-ticket acquisition was in December 2013 valued at $322 million to acquire Elder Pharma’s India and Nepal businesses. IT and ITeS and start-up sectors led the deal volume tally, taking a 36 per cent share, mainly a result of revived domestic investor interest in the IT solutions and fintech space, respectively, the report said.