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January 26, 2012

Inbound M&A deal volumes surge by 30% in 2011

The pace of outbound deals however was muted, reveals a Venture Intelligence study

Foreign companies acquired majority stakes in 131 Indian companies during 2011, registering a 30% rise in such transactions as compared to the previous year, according to a study by Venture Intelligence, a research service focused on Private Equity and M&A transaction activity in India. Of these Inbound deals, there were 65 deals with an announced value of $9.99 billion. In comparison, 2010 had witnessed a total of 101 inbound deals, of which, there were 50 transactions with announced values totaling almost $8.4 billion.

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 inbound deal during the year was the acquisition of BPO firm Intelenet by UK’s Serco Group for an estimated $630 million, followed by International Paper’s acquisition of a 75% stake in publicly listed Andhra Pradesh Paper Mills for $388 million. US-based companies, followed by English and Japanese firms, were the leading acquirers of Indian companies during 2011, the Venture Intelligence data showed.

The volume of outbound deals – i.e., Indian companies acquiring overseas companies/assets - dipped by about 35% year-on-year to 127 deals in 2011 compared to 194 such transactions in the previous year. Among these, there were 62 deals with an announced value of $9.9 billion (against 104 such deals worth $23.7 billion during 2010). In the largest outbound deal, Mundra Port & SEZ acquired the Abbot Point Coal Terminal in Queensland, Australia for $2 billion. In another major outbound acquisition GVK Power & Infrastructure acquired various Australia-based coal mines from the Hancock Group for $1,260 million.

The domestic segment witnessed 333 deals during 2011, compared to 337 such deals during 2010. Of these, there were 108 deals with an announced value of $6.1 billion during 2011 compared to 142 deals worth $34 billion during 2010.

Overall during 2011, Indian companies were involved in a total of 591 M&A deals, including both cross-border and domestic transactions. Of these, 235 deals whose announcements included the transaction value, totaled $26 billion ($25,919 million). The volume of transactions was lower when compared to 2010, which witnessed a total of 632 M&A deals (including 296 deals with an announced value of $66.4 billion). Median deal values in both outbound and inbound deals rose sharply during 2011, while that in the domestic segment remained flat.

By Industry

Led by Aditya Birla Group’s acquisition of a controlling 67% stake in Columbian Chemicals for $875 million, Manufacturing companies emerged as the most active dealmakers (including both cross-border and domestic deals) during 2011. Some of the other top deals in this industry included Hero Group buyout of Honda from their 2-wheeler Joint Venture (for $854 million), Essar Group acquiring Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Corporation ($750 million), International Paper acquiring Andhra Paper Mills ($388 million) and MAN Truck and Bus’ buyout of its Indian JV partner in MAN Force Trucks ($202 million).

Led by iGate Global Solution’s acquisition of Patni Computer Systems for $1,200 million, the IT & ITES segment emerged as the second most active industry for deal making in 2010. Publicly listed Fortis Healthcare’s acquisition of two of its promoter owned entities – the international hospital chain Fortis International (for $665 million) and diagnostics chain Super Religare Laboratories (for $211 million) - dominated Healthcare & Life Sciences that emerged as the third most active industry during 2011.