Mergers & Acquisitions

Covid-19 And M&A In India - Navigating Risks And Understanding Opportunities 

As the Covid-19 crisis deepens, and the number of positive cases and casualties continue to mount rapidly, governments across the world are enforcing stringent lockdown and social distancing measures. With the engines of economic growth grinding to a halt, the pandemic has mutated into an economic crisis, plunging the global economy into an unparalleled recession. India is no exception[1], and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in India is sure to sniffle, snuffle and sneeze, at least in the short-term. From a legal standpoint, we believe that there will be consequent changes and fundamental shifts in the M&A landscape.
Continue Reading COVID-19 and M&A in India: Navigating Risks and Understanding Opportunities

Control Premium: Analysis of Recent Top Deals and What 2020 is Likely to See

While of all us are getting used the to the new normal and are hoping that the worst will be behind us soon, we thought it would be great to share with you (i) our analysis of control premium paid in top takeover transactions of publicly traded companies in the last three financial years, and (ii) our thoughts on the way pricing trends will shape up in 2020 and what regulators should do about the current pricing regime for M&A transactions.

Part A deals with our analysis of ‘control premium’ paid in top 20 control deals (involving tender offers) in each of the last three financial years, aggregating to a total of top 60 control deals. Part B deals with the broad parameters of the way regulatory regime should change to allow pricing flexibility and exemption from open offer so that the regime is more contextual to enable deal making in the current market situation; we call it the ‘Deal Freedom’.
Continue Reading Control Premium: Analysis of Recent Top Deals and What 2020 is Likely to See 

Global trends in private M&A

This guest post is by Jaya Gupta, Head of India Desk, Corporate at Allen & Overy LLP
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In 2019, global M&A activity switched down a gear although it was still the third-strongest year in a decade in terms of value and transaction volume.

With macroeconomic issues such as continuing trade wars between the US and China, tensions in the Middle East and, to some extent, Brexit, impacting cross-border activities, many investors resorted to strategic domestic megadeals.


Continue Reading Global Trends in Private M&A

Cross-border demergers – lack of legislative intent?

In the matter of Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited, the Ahmedabad bench of the NCLT has ruled that Section 234 of the Companies Act, 2013 and the FEMA Cross Border Merger Regulations, 2018, do not permit cross-border demergers. Sun Pharma sought to demerge two of its investment undertakings in India into two overseas resulting companies, based in the Netherlands and the US. Being a listed entity, it obtained prior approval of SEBI through the relevant stock exchanges and the requisite corporate consents of its shareholders and creditors. The RBI granted its implied deemed approval by stating that the demerged company is required to abide by the applicable rules and regulations, which it had undertaken that it would. None of the other stakeholders to whom notices were issued by the tribunal, including the Registrar of Companies (ROC), objected to the demerger on the ground that it was not permitted by law.
Continue Reading Cross-border Demergers – Lack of Legislative Intent?

 Control deals Tender offers 2019 - Takeover regulations

Control deals are gaining popularity because of the ability of the incoming controlling shareholder to control the ‘when’ and ‘how’ of the functioning of the business that is housed in the company. Additionally, the stigma associated with promoter’s relinquishing control of their companies is on the wane in India. Despite the market conditions, 2019 saw a fair deal of control transactions in the country. For such category of deals, calendar year 2019 was comparable to calendar year 2018 in number and value terms.

In this blog, we are sharing with you our analysis of control transactions in which exit was offered to public shareholders through the tender offer route in 2019[1], under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011 (Takeover Regulations). We will be sharing a detailed report on the 2019 activity of such transactions separately.
Continue Reading Control Deals Involving Tender Offers: Flashback 2019

Contract Enforcement Laws

The Ease of Doing Business rankings released annually by the World Bank currently ranks India at 163 in Enforcing Contracts.[1] The importance placed by the Modi Government on these, and India’s overall dismal performance has forced the government to take several measures, especially in the field of enforcement of contracts.

The Indian Contract Act, 1872 (Contract Act) and the Specific Relief Act, 1963 (Act) are the two primary legislations governing the enforcement of contracts between parties. While the Contract Act lays down the general principles governing contracts and levy of damages for breach thereof, it also provides for an exception of awarding specific relief in the form of specific performance of contracts.
Continue Reading Contract Enforcement – Ushering In an Era of Performance

 Tender offers in India 2018

January to December 2018 was a more active year compared to 2017 for tender offers made under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011 (Takeover Regulations).

Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) saw a particularly high number of tender offers. These included tender offers for Tourism Finance Corporation of India Limited, Pranami Credits Limited and LKP Finance Limited. But while the NBFC space may have had the greatest number of tender offers, the highest tender offers in terms of size/value were in banking (IDBI Bank Limited), healthcare (Fortis Healthcare Limited), pharmaceuticals (Merck Limited), and cable & broadband (Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited and Den Networks Limited) sectors.
Continue Reading Tender Offers in 2018: The Year That Was

The use of digital technology in the education sector is growing at a remarkable pace in India. With news reports giving Byju’s, a Bengaluru based learning app, a valuation of over USD 2 billion in its latest round of investments, the investors’ interest in the education technology (edtech) sector is on the rise.
Continue Reading M&A Trends in the EdTech Sector

In the case of Wiki Kids Limited[1], the NCLAT upheld the order of the NCLT rejecting a scheme of amalgamation, as it resulted in undue advantage to the promoters of the amalgamating company.

Facts

Background

In the instant case, a non-listed company Wiki Kids Limited (Transferor Company), wished to amalgamate with Avantel Limited, a listed company (Transferee Company). For the aforesaid purpose, these entities (collectively referred to as Appellants) had proposed a scheme of amalgamation (Scheme) and approached the Andhra Pradesh High Court, seeking directions with respect to the meetings of the shareholders, and secured and unsecured creditors in the Scheme.

Pursuant to the directions of the High Court, the Scheme was approved by the shareholders of the Transferee Company. In the meantime, in view of a notification of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs dated December 7, 2016, the case was transferred to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The Appellants, accordingly, filed a second motion before the Hyderabad Bench of the NCLT. The NCLT, on perusal of various documents including the share exchange ratio and the valuation report, rejected the Scheme on the ground that it was beneficial to the common promoters of the Appellants and no public interest was being served.


Continue Reading NCLT Can Reject a Scheme of Arrangement if it is not in Public Interest

M&A activity in India has reached USD 46.5 billion in 2017 and is predicted to hit USD 52.8 billion in 2019.[1] There are many reasons for this spike, and one important reason is consolidation among domestic players. The potential opportunities driving consolidation among domestic players are as follows:

  • Expansion of customer base

Post the proposed Vodafone-Idea merger, the combined subscriber count of the merged entity is expected to be around 39 crores with 35% of the market share, making the combined entity the largest operator in India and the second largest in the world.[2] Its nearest competitor, Bharti Airtel, currently has 24.21% of the market share.

The acquisition of BSS Microfinance by Kotak Mahindra Bank led to Kotak’s entry into the micro-lending sector and provided it access to approximately 271,000 customers of BSS.

In the pharma sector, the recent acquisition of Strides Shasuns’ drug brands in India by Eris Lifescience will enable Eris to break into the league of top 25 companies that have a market share of more than 1% in the pharmaceutical sector[3].


Continue Reading The M&A Activity Spike: Consolidation Among Domestic Players