Gautam Adani has hired former investment banker Vinod Bahety to helm the Ahmedabad-based conglomerate’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) team as the group strengthens its strategy to grow through the inorganic route.

Bahety joined the Adani Group in February from YES Bank, where he was a senior president, said multiple sources. Bahety has confirmed his role in the Adani Group. The group has been the most active in India’s mergers and acquisitions circle.

M&As completed

Since 2014, it has completed 20 M&As across power, transmission, renewables, ports and logistics and airports.

To build scale

Gautam Adani has used the M&A route to build scale in most of his business units, helped, in part, by the stress facing many firms in the wake of the pandemic.

“Adani moves very quickly when he senses an M&A opportunity,” said a consultant who has advised him in the past.

Most large corporates are scouting around for acquisitions to grow their business at a time when many small- and medium-sized companies are finding it tough to stay afloat. Last year, Mahindra Group appointed Amit Raje for leading M&A and Investor Relations. Raje joined Mahindra Group from Goldman Sachs, where he was the Managing Director in the Principal Investing Area. In 2017, Tata Sons had hired a veteran investment banker and former Aditya Birla Group’s chief strategy officer, Saurabh Agarwal, as the chief financial officer. Since then Tata group has done a number of acquisitions, especially in the digital space.

Mergers and acquisitions activity in India reached a three-year high of $55.1 billion in the first half of 2021, a 37.4 per cent increase in value compared to the first half of 2020.

The average deal value during the first half of 2021 totalled $101 million, up 12.2 per cent year-on-year, as 11 deals above $1 billion were announced in the first half of this year.

“Driven by ample liquidity, robust demand and investor appetite, as well as relatively low-interest rates, deal-making activity involving India sustained its momentum. Second-quarter volume this year grew 6.8 per cent in value and 13.5 per cent up by the number of announced deals, compared to the first quarter of 2021, pushing overall India M&A activity to reach a three-year high with $55.1 billion during the first half of 2021 – a 37.4 per cent increase in value from a year ago,” said Elaine Tan, Senior Analyst, Deals Intelligence at Refinitiv, in a recent report.