Indian M&A space hots up, 54 pc cos upbeat on acquisitions

Indian M&A space hots up, 54 pc cos upbeat on acquisitions

According to E&Y's 'Capital Confidence Barometer', optimism is growing in the Indian Merger & Acquisition (M&A) space, with focus shifting again from divestments to acquisitions. "About 54 per cent of (Indian) businesses state they are likely or highly likely to acquire other companies in the next 12 months, almost double that of the number six months ago," the study stated.

"With greater liquidity, we are seeing companies more willing to make acquisitions that they had previously deferred. With the current environment, we are now observing that there are more potential buyers than willing sellers," Ernst & Young India Partner and National Director (Transaction Advisory Services) Ranjan Biswas said.

Confidence in the global economy as a whole is also improving. Forty per cent of respondents globally expect the downturn to end within 12 months, compared to 30 per cent last November, it added. The survey also revealed that 91 per cent of the respondents from India are more optimistic about the local economy, making India the second most optimistic country after Australia (93 per cent).

Interestingly, some of the Western developed markets were the least confident -- France (44 per cent), US (56 per cent) and UK (57 per cent), it found. In the global study, India had close to 60 respondents, and posted the fourth highest response rate at a country level. The study also said credit conditions in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries have improved significantly over the past six months compared to developed markets, which have experienced a marginal improvement.

Around 86 per cent of businesses in India are now focused on growth, compared to 76 per cent six months ago. Furthermore, 22 per cent of Indian respondents said funding major capital projects and acquisitions was not a problem for their firms, while 76 per cent of them were expecting it to become available in the next 12 months, the survey added.

Refinancing was a sought after method, with close to 40 per cent of the respondents likely to take this route in the next 12 months, it added. "Cash and debt were primary sources of funding deals for the past 12 months. While this will continue to be so, dependency on bank loans is expected to decline and equity will be more likely used as a source of funding," Biswas added.