US, Vietnam, Canada ; Corporate India's favourite hunting grounds

Monday, 13 August 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: Corporate India, in its insatiable urge to swallow global companies, has made the US, Vietnam, Canada, Germany and Britain its favourite destinations for mergers and acquisitions.

With the US emerging as the most sought after destination, Indian companies have made acquisitions worth $5.1 billion during April-July 2007, said a study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).

The companies that closed the maximum number of deals in the US are the Tata Group, Essar and Reliance, which signed deals worth $2.13 billion, $1.65 billion and $300 million respectively.

"The equation of business relations with the Western countries is undergoing a significant change. Indian business leaders are aiming at inorganic expansion through the most industrialised country of the world," Assocham president Venugopal Dhoot said in a statement.

While India wrapped up deals worth $3.5 billion and $1.77 billion in Vietnam and Canada respectively, it signed deals worth $1.52 billion in Germany and $1.2 billion in Britain.

Vietnam emerged as the largest receiver of foreign capital. Tata Steel entered into a joint venture with Vietnam Steel with 65 percent stake for $3.5 billion.

Some of the other Asian companies that have become favourable hunting grounds for Indian corporates are Indonesia and Singapore.

In Indonesia, Tata Power Company acquired 30 percent stake in PT Kaltim Prima Coal and PT Arutim Indonesia for $1.1 billion. Golden Ace acquired RSH Ltd in Singapore for $151 million.

In the Middle East, Sun Pharmaceuticals acquired Israel-based Taro Pharmaceuticals for $454 million.

Europe, which ranked third in the list of most preferred destinations for mergers and acquisitions, received about $3 billion after North America and Asia -- $7 billion and $4.2 billion respectively.

The largest acquisition in Germany in the first four months of 2007-08 was that of Repower Systems by Suzlon Energy for $1.3 billion, followed by India's United Breweries acquiring Whyte & Mackay for $1.16 billion in Britain.

In Italy, corporate India closed deals worth $97 million and in Spain for $19 million. However, South America and Africa remained low on the acquisition radar with $6 million and $5 million deals during the period.
Source: IANS
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