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New Delhi, Feb. 9

MERGERS and acquisitions are off to a flying start in 2006, with more than 30 M&A deals struck in January itself.

Jet Airways's $500-million takeover of Sahara Airlines, Malaysia's Maxis Communication picking up majority stake in Aircel for $800 million, and Swiss cement giant Holcim buying 14.8 per cent equity in Gujarat Ambuja Cement for $476 million were among the most talked about M&A deals during the month, according to Assocham.

In terms of sheer numbers, however, M&As were dominated by automobile and software companies, with both categories witnessing seven deals each.

The banking sector followed with four transactions, according to an Assocham Eco Pulse (AEP) analysis.

In the auto sector, Mahindra & Mahindra took over UK-based forging firm Strokes Group Ltd, while Taiwan-based Sanyang Industry company picked up 11 per cent stake in Kinetic Motors, and Bajaj Auto acquired 27 per cent stake in Maharashtra Scooters.

In the IT and ITeS sector, Tata Interactive Systems bought out Tertia Edusoft AG in Switzerland and Tertia Edusoft Gmbh in Germany.

SiRF Technology Holding invested $15 million in Impulsesoft, while Integreon, a Mumbai-based BPO, clinched a $7-million dollar deal with New York-based BPO, Browne.

"The way global developments are taking place and keeping in view the current trend, M&As in India will be a common phenomenon," said Assocham President, Mr Anil K. Agarwal.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 10, 2006)
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