The ability to undertake corporate restructuring and M&A through private or statutory arrangements has served as a touchstone in deal making globally. Statutory arrangements, at times, offer several advantages over contractual/ private arrangements. There are, however, several commercial, legal and tax considerations that have to be considered before opting between a statutory and private arrangement. The speed and ease with which a business can undertake an arrangement also plays an important part in such decision-making. In India, private arrangement is more popular than statutory arrangement for undertaking M&A as the latter is contingent on receipt of regulatory authorisation. Statutory arrangements in India were initially permitted only by way of National Company Law Tribunal (“NCLT”) approval.Continue Reading Mergers on a Fast-Track
While some Indian corporates have been bold acquirers in big-ticket overseas acquisitions, such transactions are rare, often complex, and risky. Indian acquirers have typically used internal accruals or resorted to overseas debt to finance offshore acquisitions due to regulatory restrictions preventing them from using their stock as consideration for the acquisition. Recent liberalisations in the overseas investment framework suggest that this constraint may be going away. While these regulatory changes may provide additional structuring options for cross-border M&A/ restructuring, decisions of certain tribunals on these (relatively recent) amendments may play spoilsport.Continue Reading Cross-Border Demergers: Navigating muddy waters
Convergence of the Indian Accounting Standards (“Ind AS”) with the International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) can be regarded as the most significant milestone in the Indian accounting paradigm, which has fundamentally altered the rules for the preparation and interpretation of financial statements (“FS”) as also the ground rules for structuring M&A deals.Continue Reading How crucial is knowledge of Ind AS while negotiating an M&A deal?
The concept of promoter and promoter group of a listed company finds a mention in the SEBI regulations, and assumes significance as it impacts a wide range of M&A transactions involving listed companies. After closing in a change in control deal, one needs to follow the conditions prescribed in Regulation 31A of the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (LODR Regulations), to re-classify the outgoing promoter. The conditions in Regulation 31A are onerous, cumbersome, and not in consonance with the way the transacting parties and market participants think. We will also explain below how Regulation 31A is not in consonance with the SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011 (Takeover Regulations), and does not reflect the realities of deal making and therefore, needs a change.Continue Reading Fresh Look Needed for Re-Classification of Promoters
SEBI has been progressively tightening the regulatory regime surrounding transactions impacting listed entities – beginning with the implementation of the Kotak Committee recommendations on related party transactions (RPTs) through amendments to the LODR Regulations on May 9, 2018. Shortly thereafter, in November, 2019, SEBI constituted a Working Group (WG) to re-examine the RPT provisions of LODR Regulations, which resulted in the markets regulator notifying amendments on November 9, 2021, which took effect from April 01, 2022. These amendments brought about a paradigm shift by making the RPT approval and disclosure requirements applicable to listed companies in India very expansive and stringent.Continue Reading Proposed Amendments to LODR on Agreements Affecting Listed Companies – Swatting Flies with a Sledgehammer?
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”), after much deliberation, replaced the 2009 SEBI Delisting Regulations with the SEBI Delisting Regulations in 2021. The current delisting regime is essentially under two routes, (i) voluntary delisting by the exiting promoters under the SEBI Delisting Regulations, and (ii) delisting by non-promoters/ third party acquirers under Regulation 5A of the SEBI Takeover Regulations.Continue Reading Need for Amendments to the Delisting Regime in India
In recent years, investors and customers alike have been gung-ho about ESG, so much so that it has found its way into day-to-day commercial lingo. The term ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance and refers to three key factors when measuring sustainability and the ethical impact of an investment in a business or company.Continue Reading Interplay between ESG and M&A transactions: Key factors to consider
It was a buzzing year for control deals in India. Year 2022 saw 93 control deals in the listed space, implemented through the tender offer route under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011 (Takeover Regulations). This marks the highest number of tender offers in the last five years.Continue Reading Takeover of Publicly Traded Companies: Flashback 2022
The year 2021 saw 81 tender offers aggregating to INR 43,602 crore for acquisition of shares of publicly traded companies in India under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011 (Takeover Regulations). This is higher in terms of both value and number when compared to the pandemic-hit 2020 and the pre-pandemic 2019. During this period, strategic players took centre-stage in driving deal activities, making 78 out of 81 tender offers.Continue Reading Takeover of Publicly Traded Companies: Flashback 2021
The SEBI (Delisting of Equity Shares) Regulations, 2021 (“2021 Regulations”), were notified on June 10, 2021. The new regulations do not substantially deviate from the SEBI (Delisting of Equity Shares) Regulations, 2009 (“2009 Regulations”). However, certain incremental changes are introduced that further refine and streamline the delisting process. The key changes effected by the 2021 Regulations, with specific reference to voluntary delisting offers, are as follows:Continue Reading SEBI Delisting Regulations, 2021