This Article is From Dec 25, 2015

After $20-Billion M&As in 2015, India Inc Eyes $30 Billion in New Year

After $20-Billion M&As in 2015, India Inc Eyes $30 Billion in New Year
New Delhi: Corporate India's board rooms seem to have turned little quieter this year on deal-making with the value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) dipping to $20 billion, but experts foresee a bounce-back in 2016.

The value of deals has dipped more than 40 per cent from $33 billion clocked in the previous year 2014. Consultants and analysts are anticipating deals worth more than $30 billion in 2016.

Experts believe the much-needed impetus to M&A deal activity can come from the changes in the country's regulatory framework such as a new bankruptcy law, faster pace of approvals and the relaxed FDI norms for many sectors, including multi-brand retail, telecom, insurance and defence.

According to global consultancy major PwC, the M&A activity by value in 2015 stood at around $20 billion, as opposed to almost $33 billion in 2014.

The fall in deal value can be attributed to lesser number of domestic deals, stretched corporate balance sheets and costlier foreign assets, largely due to a depreciating rupee.

In 2014, domestic deal volumes had gone up significantly at around $19 billion with a number of big ticket transactions such as Sun-Ranbaxy and Kotak Bank-ING Vysya deals among others, but the case was different this year as it saw only $7.3 billion of domestic M&A transactions.

Though both inbound and outbound M&As witnessed an up-trend in 2015, they could not make up for the sharp fall in domestic deal activities.

According to global deal tracking firm Mergermarket, technology firms attracted an unprecedented level of activity in 2015 with 80 deals compared to just 45 in 2014, and with the value increasing to $5.1 billion as against $5 billion.

Other sectors that were highly active include transport and energy, mining and utilities.

Going ahead, the pipeline is looking strong for 2016.

"In 2015, inbound deals dominated the Indian M&A landscape with interest coming from US, German and Canadian bidders. As the country's economy shows slow but steady growth, this trend is likely to continue as companies seek growth in one of the largest and fastest growing Asian-Pacific markets," according to Kirsty Wilson, Global Research Editor and Anjali Piramal, Global Head of Content Development at Mergermarket.

Sectorwise, energy deals are likely to continue with large companies like Finland-based Fortum looking to reinvest in higher-risk energy markets after a series of divestments.

Financial services is a sector which has been seeing some momentum, especially in insurance and micro-finance. This is likely to continue next year, as per Mergermarket.