Home/ Companies / News/  Businessmen, dealmakers share top honours at Mint Investment Awards

Mumbai : Stars of India’s investment and corporate cosmos conglomerated at the Mint India Investment Awards 2023 in Mumbai, instituted to celebrate the best deals of the past year and confer the lifetime achievement award on a top corporate executive.

At the event held over 16 and 17 March, the lifetime achievement award was bestowed upon A.M. Naik, chairman of multinational Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) for his unwavering leadership, and for transforming the company into an engineering behemoth. The award was received by S.N. Subrahmanyan, chief executive of L&T, on Naik’s behalf.

“In honouring him, Mint is honouring the spirit of transformation and nation-building that has changed the face and future of the company and, of course, the country. We are also staying at the forefront of change with our focus on trending technologies. Behind all these efforts, old and new, the driving force is our chairman," said Subrahmanyan.

Nitin Gadkari, Union minister of road transport and highways, said in a video message that L&T is a professionally managed company and most importantly, one can be confident about its use of technology and quality of work. “It is doing a lot of things in the country and abroad. The vision of the company’s leadership is very important and A.M. Naik contributes his vision to the company," Gadkari added.

The other award categories were ‘Best M&A deal of the year’, ‘Best private equity deal of the year’, and ‘Best startup of the year’. For these categories, Mint’s and VCCircle’s research teams scouted for the top five deals in each category by size. The editorial team also added one wildcard entry to each category to account for below-the-radar candidates who made significant breakthroughs in 2022. The jury then decided on the winner after deliberating on the complexity of the deal; economic and social impact of the transaction; profitability of the venture and its corporate governance quotient.

The five-member award jury comprised Sanjeev Bikhchandani, founder and executive vice-chairman of Info Edge; Manisha Girotra, chief executive of Moelis India; Srini Nagarajan, managing director and Head of Asia at British International Investment Group; along with Satish John and Vivek Sinha, managing editors of Mint and VCCircle, respectively.

The ‘Best M&A deal of the year’ award went to HDFC Bank and the Housing Development Finance Corp. (HDFC) for their proposed $40 billion merger. The jury picked the transaction announced in April 2022 for the vision, boldness and complexity of the transaction. The deal gives HDFC Ltd access to cheaper capital whereas HDFC Bank gets a housing loan portfolio, and shareholders get a merged entity with a potential market cap of around $160 billion. The success of the merger will have a wider impact as it will influence the fate of other NBFCs looking to merge with banks.

“I know it has been spoken of for years, but finally when it did happen, it took everyone by surprise," said Conrad D’Souza, member of executive management and chief investor relations officer, HDFC Ltd.

Bhavin Lakhpatwala, executive vice-president (finance), HDFC Bank, said over the years, the two institutions have been working on the merger transaction, but the timing never was right.

The ‘Best private equity deal of the year’ went to Advent International and the Carlyle Group for their investment of $1.1 billion in private lender Yes Bank. The investors’ commitment to Yes Bank was fraught with regulatory risks and was a bold move, considering the legacy issues faced by the private lender. “We have been in India for about 18 years and it has been a very positive experience," said Amit Jain, managing director and head of Carlyle India Advisors.

Kapil Modi, managing director at the Carlyle Group and Pankaj Patari, managing director of Advent International, were also present to receive the award.

The ‘Best startup of the year’ award was presented to edtech platform Physics Wallah. The jury felt that the company bootstrapped until Westbridge Capital invested last year was not only growing at a faster clip than its peers, but was also profitable, a rarity in today’s startup universe, especially in the competitive and crowded edtech segment. Given the turmoil in the edtech segment, the jury felt that Physics Wallah was an outlier.

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Updated: 22 Mar 2023, 12:48 AM IST
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