Mergers & Acquisitions

Regulatory Considerations for M&A Investors During COVID-19 Era

CAM authors collaborate for this article with our Guest Authors –  Michael J. Cochran, Partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton and Gabrielle Gollomp , Associate at Dentons

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The COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding economic volatility has dramatically impacted the US and the Indian M&A market. While many high-profile companies have abandoned proposed deals, various other companies have expressed or maintained interest in pursuing strategic acquisitions during this time. This article discusses the regulatory changes that parties should consider when contemplating M&A events in the Indian and the US markets in the wake of COVID-19.
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USING SPAC VEHICLES AS A MEANS OF LISTING OUTSIDE INDIA

An overview 

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (“SPACs”) have made a comeback on the Wall Street. SPACs are essentially investment companies backed by sponsors to raise capital from the public in an initial public offering (“IPO”) in the USA for the sole purpose of using the proceeds to acquire targets that are to be identified after the IPO. The eventual objective is to list the target. As of July 31, 2020, SPACs have raised close to USD 24 billion globally this year. The buzz around SPACs with available funding has reached Indian shores on the possibility of Indian companies being potential SPAC targets or Indian companies teaming up with SPACs to potentially list themselves in overseas markets.
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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.
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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’.
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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.


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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.
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 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.
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 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