India-involvement announced M&A activity grew 4.4 per cent in January-June 2024 to touch $37.3 billion, latest LSEG Deals Intelligence Data showed.

This is the highest first half period activity since 2022 when M&As had hit a record level of $ 129.77 billion. In the first half last year, India-involvement M&A deal value stood at $35.74 billion.

However, the number of M&A deals for the first half this calendar year fell 18 per cent to 1,262 (1,546). The latest deal count is three-year low with number of deals in January-June 2022 coming at 1,374.

After hitting a three-year low in 2023 in value terms, India-involvement announced M&A activity made a strong comeback in January-March 2024, surging 31 per cent to $18.96 billion ($14.50 billion).

Elaine Tan, Senior Manager at LSEG Deals Intelligence, said that mid-market deals, or transactions valued up to $500 million and where most of the volume takes place outside of the mega-deal category, declined 19 per cent by deal count - the slowest activity since H1 2021. 

Unlike the previous year, the first half 2024 witnessed at least six deals above $1 billion including the $3.1 billion merger between Walt Disney and Reliance Industries Ltd’s Indian media assets, as well as the $3.0 billion merger between Data Infrastructure Trust and ATC India, Tan added.

Majority of the deal making activity involving India targeted the High Technology sector, which totaled $ 5.8 billion, a 13.2 percent increase in value from the comparative period last year

Indian-involvement deals targeting Technology, Media & Entertainment, and Telecommunications (TMT) sector reached $ 14 billion, more than double the deal value announced during the same period last year. 

“India’s strong economic growth, supportive government initiatives and thriving Indian equity markets has created a favorable deal-making environment and providing growth opportunities in sectors related to technology, renewable energy, infrastructure, materials, and healthcare”, Tan said.

Equity capital markets 

India’s equity capital markets hit record levels during the first half of 2024, raising $29.5 billion in proceeds – more than double the amount raised during the comparative period last year ($12 billion). 

Follow-on offerings grew 156 per cent year-on-year by proceeds and 56 per cent in terms of number of issues. 

This was driven by a record number of block trades which raised $ 16.4 billion during the first half of 2024, up 117 per cent compared with the same period last year. IPOs from Indian companies raised $4.4 billion, up 98 per cent from a year ago as number of IPOs also grew 71 per cent year-on-year. “The combination of buoyant secondary markets, supportive government policies and strategic corporate actions continue to encourage new listings and additional share sales in India’s equity capital markets”, Tan added.

Meanwhile, on M&A activity, the target India M&A activity reached $34.4 billion, up 8.0 per cent compared with last year. Domestic M&A activity totalled $ 17.2 billion, down 8.8 per cent from the first half period last year. Inbound M&A grew 32.4 per cent from a year ago and totaled $17.2 billion. Outbound M&A activity reached $ 2.7 billion, down 29 per cent year-on-year, the lowest first half total since 2019. 

United States was the most active nation doing cross-border deals with India – both as target for outbound and acquiror for inbound activity.

PE-backed M&A slumps 

In January-June 2024, private equity-backed M&A in India amounted to $5.7 billion, down 33.7 per cent from a year ago, and the lowest first half total since 2020, latest LSEG Deal Intelligence data showed. 

It maybe recalled that private equity-backed M&A in January-March 2024 stood at $1.2 billion, down 64.9 per cent from a year ago and the lowest first quarter total since 2014.