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M&A round-up April-May: Foreign firms reap outbound harvest

M&A deals
M&A deals

AZB & Partners was the busiest Indian M&A firm in the months of April and May advising on a total of seven takeovers, followed by Trilegal and Amarchand Mangaldas but foreign firms picked up by far the greatest slice of Indian M&A mega-value deals benefiting from increasing Indian outbound activity.

According to data intelligence provider mergermarket's data, AZB advised on seven M&A transactions in the months of April and May worth a total of $822m (see table).

Trilegal advised on four worth $257m while Amarchand took home three deals with a disclosed value $1.16bn.

The sale of Piramal Healthcare to Abbott Laboratories for $3.7bn netted rewards for Indian firms Crawford Bayley and Luthra & Luthra, but particularly also for international firms Baker & McKenzie and Stephenson Harwood.

Indeed, a number of foreign firms advised on the lion's share of the largest M&A transactions with an India element in the last two months.

Total Indian M&A deals and volumes (April & May 2010)
Firm Total deals Total value ($m)
AZB & Partners 7 822
Trilegal 4 257
Amarchand Mangaldas 3 1,157
Allen & Overy 2 1,721
Universal Legal 2 47
J Sagar Associates 2 146
Khaitan & Co 2 undisclosed

Discounting the Piramal deal, Allen & Overy (A&O) led the pack with two deals worth $1.72bn, according to mergermarket deals data.

One of these was the two months' second largest deal, as the Hinduja Group acquired Luxembourg bank KBL European Private Bankers from Belgium-based financial services company KBC Group for $1.70bn.

The deal involved exclusively international advisers with A&O advised the seller, while independent Benelux-international firm Loyens & Loeff bagged the mandate for the Hindujas.

A&O's second deal, on which it advised jointly with Trilegal, was its instruction on the $24m CLSA buy of Equitas Micro Finance India, which had instructed Universal Legal.

Universal Legal also acted for another microfinance company, Bhartiya Samruddhi Finance, in which AZB-advised US venture capital firm Matrix Partners took a $23m stake.

Another massive India-related deal without Indian law firm involvement was the $1.34bn purchase of Anglo American Zinc by Hindustan Zinc.

Irish firm A&L Goodbody and Linklaters advised the seller Anglo American with Dewey & LeBoeuf and African firm Corpus Legal Practitioners stepping in for Hindustan Zinc.

The $339m purchase of a 40 per cent by Reliance Industries in the US natural gas field Marcellus Shale owned by Atlas Energy, also involved only non-Indian firms: Jones Day, Ledgewood Law Firm and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz for the target and Vinson & Elkins for Reliance.

The largest purely domestic deal was Paras Kuhad Associates' client Bank of Rajasthan getting bought out by Amarchand client ICICI Bank for $618.

Other sizable deals included Alstom and Schneider Electric buying of Areva T&D for $429, on which Amarchand advised the bidders; as well as Godrej Consumer Products' buy-out of its joint venture with Sara Lee Corporation, where Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Trilegal shared the mandate.

AZB also assisted the National Stock Exchange of India in its 5 per cent stake sale to Temasek Holdings for $175m.

J Sagar Associates (JSA) meanwhile bagged the $104m Glodyne Technoserve buy of US-based IT support services company DecisionOne and the $42m acquisition by Essar Group of networking company AGC Networks.

[UPDATE:] Kirkland & Ellis and Rajani Associates acted as corporate counsel to Glodyne.

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