India’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity was near-stagnant between 2009-10 and 2017-18, shows data collated by PwC India. The data was part of a report released at an event organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

M&A deals worth 1.32 trillion were completed in the last fiscal year, which is among the lowest in the past nine years. Of course, a few large deals can make a large difference in annual trends, the fact remains that M&A activity has been more or less in the same range for nearly 10 years. This is particularly true if we look at the total deal value in real terms, after adjusting for inflation.

As the PwC report adds, the level of M&A activity is linked to macroeconomic activity, which means the data doesn’t provide great confidence about growth prospects.

It must be added here that the current fiscal year has started on a much better note, with large deals, such as Walmart’s purchase of Flipkart, and some other large deals in the stressed assets space, resulting in a jump in activity. Note here that the data tracked by PwC is only for deals where 100% of the equity has been acquired. As such, the Flipkart-Walmart deal won’t count when the calculations are done for FY19. Still, with four deals already completed in the insolvency process and more to come, things are expected to pick up on the M&A front.

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