ICICI aims for 70% of India’s overseas M&A effort

ICICI aims for 70% of India’s overseas M&A effort


Mumbai: Reflecting the buoyancy in India Inc’s quest for global mergers and acquisitions, the country’s largest private lender ICICI Bank has said that it will have a role to play in 70% of the deals that are expected to be about $35 billion (Rs140,000 crore) in aggregate during 2007.

“Indian companies made overseas acquisitions worth $20 billion in 2006, a level crossed during the first six months of 2007 itself... this year even on a conservative note, overseas mergers and acquisitions are expected to reach $30-35 billion," ICICI Deputy Managing Director Chanda Kochhar told PTI in an interview.

“ICICI Bank’s involvement, be it advisory, lending or syndication of loans accounted for 70% of the deals in the first half of the year and we hope to maintain this market share," she added.

Kochhar, ranked 30th in the Fortune list of world’s most powerful businesswomen, said the bank also helped companies raise $24 billion in overseas borrowings last year. It was quite possible for ICICI to be counted among the top 25 global banks, she said.

“ICICI bank was the top banker in helping Indian companies raise syndicated loans through ECBs, a segment dominated by foreign banks till 2-3 years ago," she added.

While the Bank is gearing up to play a key role in Indian companies’ inorganic expansion, Kochhar said ICICI itself would pursue organic route for faster growth as she did not find any merit in buying small properties at this juncture.

“Globally we are too small. But any global step should be a big one. Before that the right strategy will be to grow organically till we reach the next level.