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M&A activity sluggish in September quarter

The report pointed out that total M&A values in Q32019 stood at $6.025 billion, compared to $13.185 billion in the same period last year.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) deal activity in the third quarter of calendar year 2019 witnessed a downtrend, with total values falling by more than half, compared to the same period last year, according to the Dealtracker report by Grant Thornton.

The report pointed out that total M&A values in Q32019 stood at $6.025 billion, compared to $13.185 billion in the same period last year. The downtrend was largely due to a 70 per cent fall in cross-border deal values, driven by a sharp fall in the outbound deal values that fell from $8 billion in Q32018 to $0.1 billion in Q32019. However, domestic and inbound M&A deal values retained their essence during the quarter. Volumes saw a drastic 28 per cent fall on the back of a 37 per cent fall in domestic deal volumes, the report said.

Though the M&A deal value levels in Q32019 did not match the levels seen through any of the quarters of 2018, the quarter recorded a strong 11 per cent increase in deal values compared to Q22019, which recorded deal values lowest in the last seven quarters. The start-up sector led the M&A deal values, driven by Ritesh Agarwal’s acquisition of OYO rooms worth $2 billion, the largest deal for the quarter. Q32019 was dominated by M&A deals in the IT and ITeS sector, pushed by consolidation in the software development and IT solutions segment.

Further, core sectors like energy, infra, banking, pharma and manufacturing have succeeded in executing high-value deals with a view to build synergies, pare debt, for inorganic expansion, market capitalisation and divestment of non-core businesses amid stiff competition and uncertainties.

Pankaj Chopda, director, Grant Thornton India, said that despite the government’s effort to revive sentiments, market performance remained muted due to global and domestic growth concerns. “Regardless of this drop (in M&A activity), it is encouraging to witness a steady pipeline of deals pushed by distressed asset acquisitions, acquisitions to accelerate topline growth through new and attractive market segments and new capabilities, and divestment of non-core assets or businesses, particularly in capital-intensive industries,” he said. —FE