Indian mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deal value surged in the first quarter of the calendar year, driven by the telecom sector, according to global deal tracking firm Mergermarket.
Deal value rose to $17.9 billion in January-March, from $9.2 billion in the year-ago period, Mergermarket said in its report on quarterly M&A trends. The number of deals fell to 76 from 110 in the same period last year.
The telecom sector alone witnessed three transactions worth $13.6 billion in the quarter, compared to just $60 million from two deals a year ago.
The top telecom deal in the quarter was Vodafone Group Plc.’s merger of Vodafone India Ltd with Idea Cellular Ltd in a $12.7 billion transaction that accounted for 70.6% of the total deal value in this quarter.
Another major deal in the telecommunication sector was global private equity fund KKR & Co Lp’s $948 million investment in Bharti Infratel Ltd for a 10.3% equity stake.
The second best performing sector in M&A was energy, mining and utilities (EMU), in terms of deal value, recording 11 deals worth $1.5 billion in the quarter. Across the 11 deals, six were in the renewable energy space and were valued at $419 million, the report noted.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd’s acquisition of an 80% equity stake in the KG-OSN-2001/03 field from Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. Ltd for about $995 million topped EMU sector deals, and was the second-biggest after the Vodafone India-Idea Cellular merger.
Inbound M&A activity declined by 28.2% to $2.7 billion in the quarter compared with$3.8 billion in the year-ago period, despite strong foreign interest in the renewables sector. The number of inbound M&A transactions also fell to 39 from 51.
Domestic M&A activity increased 181.2% from a year ago with deals worth $15.3 billion.
Also, it was the third-highest first quarter by value for private equity buyouts since 2001 by Mergermarket records, with 19 deals worth $2 billion.
India’s share of the Asia-Pacific deal value in the first quarter came to 13.2%— the highest across all quarters since 2013.