M&A deal tally falls to 8-month low in August

Corporate India's merger and acquisition activity fell to an eight-month low in August with 33 deals aggregating to $0.6 billion, lar­gely owing to the absence of big ticket transactions, says a Grant Thornton report.

According to the latest Deal Tracker report, on a year-on-year basis, the deal values dropped 32 per cent, while there was also a fall of 31 per cent in terms of number of transactions.

“Lack of conclusion on large ticket IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code related) transactions and other domestic or cross-border tr­ansactions impacted the de­al report card in August. Pharma, healthcare and bio­tech and media and entertainment sectors witnessed the maximum activity,” said Pankaj Chopda, director, Grant Thornton India.

In August, the startup sector accounted for 37 per cent of deal volumes as established corporates targeted them to digitise their operations, leverage operatio­nal efficiencies expand consumer base. The media and entertainment sector saw 4 deals, of which two were in the entertainment (multiplex and gaming) space.

The top deal in August was Constellation Alpha Capital Corp’s acquisition of Medall Healthcare for $212 million—the largest investment in an Indian diagnostics company to date.

Notwithstanding the fall in August deal value, the Ja­n­uary-August M&A deal tally recorded a robust 2.3 times rise on a year-on-year basis, primarily on account of revived domestic and cross-border deal activity.

The year so far has registered 12 deals in the billion-dollar category and 33 deals valued at and over $100 million each compared with only two deals in the billion-dollar category and 23 deals valued at and over $100 million each in the corresponding period last year.

Going forward, deal activity is expected to be bullish in sectors like BFSI, consumer and retail, manufacturing, IT&ITES and pharma, healthcare and biotech as these segments are closely related to consumer consu­mption trends and lifestyle. Further, lack of relief to po­wer firms facing insolvency suits under IBC law, will also drive M&A tra­ns­actions in the sector, Chopda noted.