Deals cut by Reliance Industries helped overall mergers and acquisitions (M&As) activity grow 33 per cent in 2020 to $36.9 billion, a report has said. The number of deals came down to 357 from the 443 in 2019, indicating a surge in average ticket sizes, the report by advisory firm Grant Thornton said. It pointed to the combined $10.1-billion stakebuy in Reliance Jio by Facebook and Google as an illustrative case.
The year also saw nine other deals value over $1 billion each, it said, adding that the top deals accounted for nearly two-thirds of the overall activity. There were 35 deals of over $100 million but under $1 billion, down from 47 in the year-ago period, it said.
Cross-border deal volumes fell 19 per cent compared with the previous year but the deal values jumped two times over 2019 to $21 billion, it said.
Indian firms with strong balance sheets have shaken off the shock from the pandemic to chase overseas acquisitions, coming back strong after recording the lowest quarterly deal volumes in the second quarter of 2020 since 2011, it said. Cross-border transactions between India and the US dominated in both the inbound and outbound segments.