Mergers & Acquisitions

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

January to December 2017 saw 56[1] tender offers/open offers made under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011 (Takeover Regulations), 41 of which have been completed. This compares to 63 open offers made in the calendar year 2016.

For 2017, the total value of open offers made to the shareholders was Rs. 2,015[2] crores as against Rs. 9,676 crores for 2016. In 2017, no open offers were made by a private equity fund as compared to three made in 2016.[3]

Companies in the non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) space saw a particularly high number of open offers (11 in all). Some of these were open offers for Upasana Finance Limited, Capital India Finance Limited, Dhanvarsha Finvest Limited, Golden Goenka Fincorp Limited, Lark Trading and Finance Limited, Chokhani Securities Limited and TRC Financial Services Limited. However, some of these have not closed, probably due to delays in receiving regulatory approval for change in control of the NBFCs.

Continue Reading Tender Offers – 2017: The Year that Was

Mergers are compared to marriages. As a union of companies, they require patience and understanding, but they also involve a large amount of paperwork. Mergers, like marriages, can flourish with the right synergies, but if there are differences between the entities, the arrangement can often collapse. The recent breakdown of the Snapdeal – Flipkart transaction, can provide a useful context to understand the reasons for the success/failure of M&A transactions.

The success of a deal depends on the companies, the individuals, the business climate, as well as the different regulators involved in the transaction. A few common reasons for deals breaking down are – valuation differences, different expectations between the parties involved, regulatory roadblocks or a lack of consensus regarding the exit horizons.

While these are reasons general to any corporate transaction, there are some requirements specific to M&A deals that must be met in order for the deal to survive.

Continue Reading When the Engagement Ring Doesn’t Fit – Why M&A Deals Fall Apart