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As M&A markets tank, Desai&D, Khaitan win volume race; AZB, TTA, S&R, A&O, Links dominate biggest deals in league table

The M&A pie has been shrinking this year
The M&A pie has been shrinking this year

Desai & Diwanji has again reclaimed its throne as the busiest M&A firm in India having acted on 33 deals in the first three quarters of the year with Khaitan & Co also laying down improved M&A figures, while AZB & Partners, Talwar Thakore Associates and S&R Associates harvested the biggest value deals, also benefitting Linklaters and Allen & Overy.

The data that was compiled by data analytics company mergermarket, shows a significant slow down in M&A activity with most of the record momentum from the first quarter of 2011 accounting for positions. In the first three quarters of this year, Indian M&A activity fell by 42 per cent compared to the same time period last year, although Q3 of 2011 showed an improvement over 2011’s Q2, up from $3.7bn to $8.3bn.

The $7.2bn BP-Reliance gas contract made up the lion’s share for the top firms, contributing to AZB bagging 24 deals worth more than $11bn, while Linklaters and Allen & Overy (A&O) had seven and three deals to their name respectively worth $9bn and $8.7bn. Linklaters best friend Talwar Thakore Associates (TTA) improved its position from third to fourth place with $7.9bn worth of deals.

AZB saw a collapse of 62 per cent in the values of deals against the same period last year, mirrored by Linklaters’ 26 per cent decline, 60 per cent by A&O and 26 per cent by TTA.

S&R Associates made its mark in the table with the now $5.46bn Vodafone buy of a 33 per cent stake in Essar.

A volume game

While Desai & Diwanji led with a massive 33 transactions by volume, in the value stakes it only came in 13th place with $2.5bn.

The number of deals decreased for most firms, except for Khaitan & Co and J Sagar Associates (JSA) in the top six. This made Khaitan & Co the fastest riser, climbing by value from 17th to 11th place with 12 more deals than last year to hit 23 deals worth $3.9bn, which puts the firm in third place by volume behind AZB.

Amarchand Mangaldas and JSA came in fourth and fifth place by volume, with 15 and 10 deals respectively, each aggregating just under $4bn.

Trilegal had 10 M&A deals to its name with an aggregate worth of only $611m, just above DSK Legal’s tally of seven M&A Deals worth $273m.

Nishith Desai Associates and Tatva Legal both advised on six M&A deals, in total worth just under $200m. ALMT Legal was on four M&As.

Busy-ness: Legal Advisers to Indian M&A by volume (Q1-Q3 2011)

Q1-Q3 2010

Q1-Q3 2011

Firm

Q1-Q3 2011 Value (US$m)

Q1-Q3 2011 Deal Count

Q1-Q3 2010 Deal Count

Count Change

2

1

Desai & Diwanji

2,571

33

35

-2

1

2

AZB & Partners

11,167

24

50

-26

6

3

Khaitan & Co

3,913

23

11

12

3

4

Amarchand

3,994

15

21

-6

9

5

J Sagar Associates

3,305

10

5

5

5

6

Trilegal

611

10

11

-1

11

7

Linklaters

9,039

7

4

3

12

8

S&R Associates

7,150

7

4

3

15

9

DSK Legal

273

7

4

3

16

10

Talwar Thakore Associates

7,901

6

3

3

7

11

Nishith Desai (NDA)

592

6

8

-2

4

12

Tatva Legal

189

6

13

-7

39

13

P. H. Bathiya

168

4

2

2

18

14

ALMT Legal

165

4

3

1

10

15

DLA Piper

52

4

5

-1

High worth: Legal Advisers to Indian M&A by value (Q1-Q3 2011)

Q1-Q3 2010

Q1-Q3 2011

Firm

Q1-Q3 2011 Value (US$m)

Deal Count

Q1-Q3 2010 Value (US$m)

% Value Change

1

1

AZB & Partners

11,167

24

29,763

-63%

3

2

Linklaters

9,039

7

12,158

-26%

2

3

Allen & Overy

8,693

3

21,770

-60%

5

4

Talwar Thakore & Associates

7,901

6

10,724

-26%

28

5

Vinson & Elkins

7,200

1

815

783%

8

6

S&R Associates

7,150

7

9,332

-23%

6

7

Herbert Smith/Gleiss Lutz/Stibbe

6,239

2

10,700

-42%

8=

Conyers Dill & Pearman

5,460

1

-

-

8=

Slaughter and May

5,460

1

-

-

11

10

Amarchand & Mangaldas

3,994

15

6,268

-36%

17

11

Khaitan & Co

3,913

23

3,214

22%

43

12

J Sagar Associates

3,305

10

324

920%

21

13

Desai & Diwanji

2,571

33

1,447

78%

55

14

Kirkland & Ellis

2,411

3

164

1370%

19

15

Wadia Ghandy & Co

1,846

3

1,801

3%

Source: mergermarket

Methodology: mergermarket included announced transactions over $5m in value from 1 January to 31 September 2011. Deals with undisclosed values were included if the target's turnover exceeded $10m. Deals where a stake of less than 30 per cent is acquired were only included if the value exceeded $100m.

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