India Inc's margers and acquisition (M&A) activity in the first 10 months of this year remained muted, with just 411 deals amounting to $25.48 billion, registering a decline of 17 per cent from the same period a year ago.
In the January-October period of 2012, India Inc had announced 493 deals (both inbound and outbound) while in 2011 this was as high as 518.
Moreover, in terms of deal value as well, there has been a significant decline in the last two years. In 2012, the January-October period witnessed transactions worth $30.56 billion and in 2011 it stood at $38.01 billion.
However, excluding internal mergers and restructuring deals, the M&A deal value so far this year increased by 32 per cent compared to the same period a year ago, according to global assurance, tax and advisory firm, Grant Thornton.
"There seems to be a pick-up in deals due to diligence activity (especially, inbound deals) but deals are taking longer time to close," Raja Lahiri, Partner, Transaction Advisory Services at Grant Thornton in India said.
Lahiri further noted that "government regulations relaxing FDI norms in sectors like retail, media and insurance as well as the recently proposed M&A policies for telecom sector, is good for the deal making environment."
According to Lahiri, the deal momentum "may not see upward trajectory soon".
Meanwhile, the month of October witnessed 34 M&A transactions worth $1.53 billion, down 36 per cent from the same period of last year when the 10th month of the year witnessed 55 deals worth $2.4 billion.
In the M&A space, October 2013 saw another large outbound deal in oil and gas space - the ONGC Videsh's 12 per cent acquisition of Parque das Conchas, Brazilian Oilfield, for $529 million.
Other major deals announced in October include Bupa Care services' acquisition of Quality Healthcare Medical Services for $355 million, followed by Jubilant Pharma's 100 per cent stake acquisition in Jubilant Life Sciences' active pharmaceutical ingredient and dosage's business for $185 million.
Landmark Housing Projects' buyout of Binny's 14.16 acres of land for $79 million and BIC Group's 15 per cent stake buy in Cello Group's Seven Entities for $45 million, were the other two major deals of October.
The top five M&A deals accounted for 78 per cent of the total M&A deal value, Thornton said.