'India Inc's deal activity rises in March quarter'

Mumbai: India Inc's deal activity increased to $13.3 billion year-on-year in the January-March quarter this year, in terms of the number of transactions and value, a report said on Monday.

There were 608 deals worth $13.3 billion in the first quarter this year compared to 408 transactions entailing an amount of $12.1 billion. However, when compared to the preceding December quarter, there was a 9 per cent fall in deal volumes and a 27 per cent decline in deal values, the report by the consultancy firm Grant Thornton said.

"Despite headwinds from the pandemic and other uncertainties, dealmakers in India are notably optimistic about the prospects for a stronger economy in the current year and therefore, we expect the momentum of deal activity to continue in the coming months of 2022," its partner Shanthi Vijetha said. Vijetha added that demand for new technological capabilities and underlying innovation is anticipated to grow, which will boost deal activity.

The reporting quarter witnessed 167 M&A (merger and acquisition) deals valued at $3.9 billion, the report said, adding that deal volumes witnessed a significant 53 per cent increase, driven by a 64 per cent rise in the domestic deals.

Top M&A deals included Google's $700 million acquisition of a 1.28 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel during the quarter, it said. PE investments drove the overall deal values in the March quarter, with 441 deals valued at $9.4 billion, the highest number of deals recorded in the opening quarter of any given year, the report said. Startups, e-commerce and IT sectors led the deal activity in the quarter, resulting in 479 deals valued at $8.5 billion, which account for 79 per cent of overall deal volumes and 64 per cent of deal values, it added.

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