Indian firms M&A deals touch $14 Billion in 45 days in 2010

Date:   Tuesday , March 02, 2010

India companies have once again started to splurge this year, with the domestic firms announcing merger and acquisition deals worth a whopping $14 billion in just 45 days.

The way the companies have been shopping, it looks like the year 2010 is all set to overtake the M&A deal tally of 2009 by a huge margin. In just 45-days of 2010, Indian firms have announced deals worth $14 billion, while in the year 2009, it had made deals worth $11.9 billion.

According to the monthly deal report of VCCEdge, a financial research provider, the M&A deal value during January 2010 stood at $2.8 billion.Yesterday's $10.7 billion Bharti-Zain offer, wherein Bharti intends to buy Kuwait-based Zain telecom's mobile operations in Africa, takes the total kitty to over $14 billion.

In terms of deal size, the Bharti-Zain deal would be the third largest transaction involving an Indian firm after an estimated $13.5 billion offer by Reliance to get control of the bankrupt petrochemicals firm LyondellBasell Industries and the Tata Steel's takeover of Europe-based Corus for $12 billion. The Bharti-Zain deal could catapult Bharti Airtel in the league of world's top 10 telecom operators.

Some of the other mega M&A deals involving an Indian entity are -- the Vodafone Hutchison deal ($10.8 billion), the Hindalco-Novelis transaction ($6 billion), Daiichi- Ranbaxy ($4.50 billion), ONGC-Imperial ($2.80 billion) and NTT DOCOMO-Tata Teleservices ($2.70 billion).

In 2009, the global economic slowdown had forced corporate India to look largely within the country for merger and acquisitions, as domestic deals accounted for about 60 percent of the $12-billion worth of deals.

The trend seems to be reversing as Indian companies have started to venture out and have announced or are reported to have interests in some multi-billion dollar outbound deals, such as the estimated $13.5 billion takeover of LyondellBasell by Mukesh Ambani-led RIL and the recent Bharti-Zain deal.