Inbound M&A deal volumes surged by 30 per cent in 2011 over the previous year, while outbound M&A deal volumes dipped by nearly 35 per cent, said a study conducted by Venture Intelligence, a research service focussing on M&A deals and private equity in India.

Nearly 131 foreign companies acquired majority stakes in Indian companies last year, against 101 inbound deals in 2010. In 2011, values were announced for only 65 inbound deals, at $9.99 billion. There were 50 transactions with announced values of nearly $8.4 billion in 2010.

Indian companies' acquisition of overseas companies dropped by nearly 35 per cent in volume terms, to 127 from 194 in 2010. Among these, there were 62 deals with an announced value of $9.9 billion, against 104 such deals worth $23.7 billion during 2010.

Overall, Indian companies were involved in a total of 591 M&A deals (including both cross-border and domestic transactions) during 2011. This can be compared to the total of 632 M&A deals in 2010.The overall transaction value (announced) was $26 billion as against $66.4 billion in 2010, said the data from Venture Intelligence.

Median deal values in both outbound and inbound deals rose sharply during 2011.

Top deals

The largest inbound M&A deal by value announced during 2011 was Vodafone's March 2011 buyout of the Essar Group's stake in mobile phone services firm, Vodafone Essar, for $5.46 billion. The second largest was the acquisition of Intelenet, a BPO firm by UK's Serco Group for nearly $630 million.

Analysis showed that the top acquirers of Indian firms were US-based companies followed by English and Japanese firms.

Sought-after sector

As far as outbound deals are concerned, Mundra Port & SEZ acquired Abbot Point Coal Terminal in Queensland, Australia, for $2 billion. The second major outbound deal was of GVK Power & Infrastructure that acquired various Australia-based coal mines from the Hancock Group for $1,260 million, showed data from Venture Intelligence.

Manufacturing was the most active industry with regards to M&A activity. Top deals in the manufacturing industry include Aditya Birla Group's acquisition of a controlling 67 per cent stake in Columbian Chemicals and Hero Group's buyout of Honda from their two-wheeler joint venture.

IT was another sector which saw increased M&A activity in 2011. A top deal in this sector was iGate Global Solution's acquisition of Patni Computer Systems. Other sectors which also reported high M&A deals were Health care and Life Sciences, Energy and Banking.

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