Year-Ender 2023: Top 10 mergers and acquisitions that are reshaping industries across India

Top M&As in 2023: Deloitte highlights a 45 per cent jump in M&As within the consumer sector, driven by Reliance Retail's strategic acquisitions like Ed-a-Mamma. Bain & Company emphasises the growing prominence of digital content play with Saregama's Pocket Aces acquisition.

First Published18 Dec 2023
Top M&As of 2023
Top M&As of 2023

Top M&As in 2023: In 2023, the Indian business landscape underwent a radical metamorphosis fuelled by a record-breaking M&A spree. The year witnessed a staggering 72 per cent increase in deal volume compared to 2022, according to Deloitte's findings. The total value exceeded a colossal USD 150 billion, according to Bain & Company. Many aspects contributed to this growth. EY attributed this surge to factors such as rising investor confidence, robust corporate cash reserves, and the government's pro-consolidation policies.

From aviation's landmark Tata-Air India reunion to the birth of the cinema behemoth PVR-INOX, these mega deals redefined industries. Notably, Deloitte highlights a 45 per cent jump in M&As within the consumer sector, driven by Reliance Retail's strategic acquisitions like Ed-a-Mamma. Bain & Company emphasises the growing prominence of digital content play with Saregama's Pocket Aces acquisition.

However, the picture isn't solely rosy. EY warns of potential headwinds like rising interest rates and global economic uncertainty. Nevertheless, the sheer momentum of 2023's M&A bonanza will have a lasting impact on the Indian economic landscape. Mint takes a look at the top M&As that happened in 2023.

1. Adani Enterprises' subsidiary AMG Media Networks acquired majority stake in IANS

Adani group announced on December 15, 2023, that it has acquired a 50.5 per cent stake in newswire agency, IANS India Pvt Ltd for 5.1 lakh, further consolidating its presence in the media sector, according to a regulatory filing. Adani Enterprises -- the firm that holds the group's media interest -- said its subsidiary AMG Media Networks Ltd has bought a 50.50 per cent stake constituting equity shares of IANS India Pvt Ltd.

2. Reliance Retail Ventures acquired majority stake in Ed-a-Mamma:

Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) finalised a joint venture agreement to acquire a 51 per cent stake in Ed-a-Mamma, a kid and maternity-wear brand founded by actor Alia Bhatt, in September 2023. This strategic partnership aims to expand the brand into new categories, including personal care, baby furniture, children's storybooks, and an animated series.

3. CarTrade Tech acquired of Sobek Auto India

CarTrade Tech has entered into a share purchase agreement with Sobek Auto India Private Limited and OLX India BV, acquiring a 100 per cent stake in Sobek for 537.43 crore in July 2023. The transaction, outlined in a regulatory filing, underscores CarTrade Tech's strategic moves in the automotive sector.

4. Saregama acquired majority stake in Pocket Aces Pictures

Music label Saregama, under RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, has acquired a majority stake of 51.8% in digital entertainment company Pocket Aces Pictures Pvt Ltd for 174 crore, in September 2023. The deal includes a provision for Saregama to acquire an additional 41 per cent stake in the next 15 months, solidifying its presence in the digital entertainment landscape.

5. Kotak Mahindra's acquisition of Sonata Finance

Kotak Mahindra received approval from the Reserve Bank of India to acquire Sonata Finance for 537 crore, in October 2023. With the completion of the transaction, Sonata Finance will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the bank, marking a strategic move in the non-banking finance sector.

6. HDFC Bank sold stake in Softcell Technologies

HDFC Bank has executed an agreement to sell its entire 9.95 per cent equity stake in Softcell Technologies Global Private Limited for 9.94 crore. The transaction, set for completion by February-end, is part of HDFC Bank's strategic realignment of its investment portfolio, according to a report by The Hindu Businessline.

7. Liberty Global acquired stakes in Vodafone

Liberty Global has invested 1.2 billion euros to acquire 1,355 million shares, representing 4.92 per cent of the outstanding share capital of UK-based telecoms giant Vodafone Group, according to a report by the Economic Times, on February 14, 2023. Liberty Global clarified that it won't seek board representation and emphasised its diverse investment portfolio across content, technology, and infrastructure.

8. National Investment and Infrastructure Fund's stake acquisition in Hindustan Ports

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of up to 25 per cent stake in Hindustan Ports Pvt Ltd (HPPL) by the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), in February 2023. The regulatory approval also included the merger of Hindustan Infralog Pvt Ltd (HIPL) into HPPL, marking a strategic move in the infrastructure sector.

9. PVR and Inox Leisure Merge, rebranded as PVR INOX Pictures

PVR Pictures, the leading multiplex operator, underwent a significant transformation, merging with Inox Leisure and adopting the new identity, PVR INOX Pictures in May 2023. The merger, following the closure of certain cinema screens, positions the combined entity with 361 cinemas and 1,689 screens across 115 cities in India and Sri Lanka.

10. Adani Group acquired Ambuja Cements and ACC

In February 2023, Adani Group acquired controlling stakes in both Ambuja Cements and ACC from Holcim for a combined value of $10.5 billion. This single transaction catapulted them to become the second-largest cement producer in India. The Group has now become the second-largest cement player in the country. Holcim closed the deal with Adani Group by selling its entire stake in Ambuja Cements at 385 per share and in ACC at 2,300 per share. The cash proceeds aggregated to $6.4 billion for Holcim.

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