India Inc recorded 161 deals in April this year, over twice the number of deals witnessed in the same month last year with a 50 per cent increase in the deal values totalling $13 billion, according to Grant Thornton’s monthly deal tracker. The month witnessed record Private Equity (PE) activity both in terms of deal values and deal volumes with 119 investments aggregating to $7.6 billion, the highest PE activity in any given month since 2011, underscoring the continued funding interest from global investors.

Compared with March 2021, April 2021 witnessed heightened deal activity both in terms of deal volumes and values. The surge in values was driven by increased high-value deals.

“Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) recorded 42 transactions totalling $5.5 billion. While deal volumes increased by more than twice the deal volumes compared to April 2020, values fell by 30 per cent owing to Facebook-Jio platform deal valued at $5.7 billion. However, barring this deal, April 2021 recorded a 2.5-time increase in deal values,” the report said.

Domestic deal activity

Domestic deal activity accounted for 91 per cent of overall M&A deal volumes and 76 per cent of deal values during the month. Achieving a market leadership position appeared to be the rationale for the big-ticket domestic transactions.

The month saw five start-up/ e-commerce companies join the esteem unicorn club, making a historic month for the Indian start-up ecosystem. IT&ITES, e-commerce, education, manufacturing and energy and natural resources were the transaction torchbearers for the month in terms of deal values. Deal volumes were driven by transactions in the start-up, e-commerce and pharma sectors.

“The impact of the second wave on the healthcare system and the domestic economy and reaction to it by the global stakeholders in the transactions ecosystem is expected to negatively impact the deal landscape in the short term. However, the short-term impact is also expected to create opportunities for more transactions going forward,” Grant Thornton said.