Corporate India's merger and acquisition activity moderated by 46 per cent to 939 million in August compared to same month last year as firms adopted "wait and watch" approach amid GST rollout, says a report.
According to assurance, tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton, there were 48 M&A transactions worth USD 939 million in August, while in the corresponding period last year saw equal number of deals with value as high as USD 1.7 billion.
The 46 percent decline in August M&A value was primarily due to the absence of big ticket transactions. Moreover, cross-border activity fell by 65 percent compared to level recorded in August 2016.
"Though the number of M&A transactions remained stable, value of deals transacted declined by 45.81 per cent, primarily driven by reduced inbound transactions. It appears that the 'wait and watch' mode continued in August, primarily to check the progress on GST implementation," Grant Thornton India LLP Partner Prashant Mehra said.
Sector-wise, infrastructure sector led the deal activity by contributing over 27 per cent of total deal value.
This was primarily driven by Dilip Buildcon Ltd's stake sale in 24 road assets to Shrem Group for an enterprise value of USD 250 million, marking the largest transaction so far in this sector in 2017, the report said.
Moreover, increasing consolidation drove deal volumes in the startup sector.
The month also witnessed some big ticket deals worth over USD 50 million in sectors such as agriculture, media and entertainment, retail and e-commerce.
"Consolidation in the core sectors such as IT & ITeS, media and entertainment, retail and consumer and startups continue to be the focus in M&A," the report said.
On a year-to-date basis (January-August), there were 280 M&A transactions worth USD 32.19 billion, a 49 percent increase over last year, when it stood at USD 21.64 billion.
Telecom, e-commerce, energy, pharma and manufacturing sectors brought in large deals in the January-August period contributing over 88 per cent of total M&A values, while volumes continued to be dominated by the startup sector contributing 23 percent of M&A volumes.
Going forward Mehra said increasing application of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code will bring more companies on the transaction tables to reduce the debt burden and also to get a share of good assets at a reasonable price.