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Bloomberg vs Reuters M&A '17 league table special: AZB gains on S&R, SAM, CAM • Luthra nearly drops off

The top M&As and sectors of 2017 according to Thomson Reuters
The top M&As and sectors of 2017 according to Thomson Reuters

AZB & Partners was the busiest and fastest-growing law firm in India this year according to the number of deals law firms reported to Bloomberg (BB) and Thomson Reuters (TR) databases.

While we usually only cover the mergermarket M&A league tables, which are expected out shortly, this year we thought we’d also cast an eye over the other credible M&A league tables in the market to give some perspective on who captures what and who does well where.

One proviso with league tables, as ever, is that some firms that perform poorly in a given ranking may simply have less sophisticated public relations (PR) functions that disseminate deals, or may find themselves unable or unwilling to ask clients for permission to disclose deals. Of course, in some cases, they simply have fewer deals to report and in light of the large number of deals captured by many of the larger law firms in 2017, the figures seem a fairly useful indication of M&A strength.

According to the Bloomberg figures...

Having closed 105 deals worth over $48bn, AZB grabbed a 54.5% market share of 2017 M&A in India, growing that market share by almost 33 percentage points vis-a-vis its 2016 Bloomberg total deal values.

Of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas submissions, 83 were included by Bloomberg in 2017, which is nearly as many deals as AZB but a total deal sizes aggregating to less than 9% of the market share with $7.7bn in 8th position in the values league table.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, reported the next-largest number of accepted deals to Bloomberg at 55 but raked in the second-highest total deal values at $20.3bn, grabbing 23% of the market. The firm's total market share according to Bloomberg grew by more than 12 percentage points vis-a-vis 2016.

Trilegal did better than J Sagar Associates (JSA) and Khaitan & Co in terms of deal value and better than JSA in terms of deal volume this year, tapping a 5.1% market share by Bloomberg's count, with its 39 deals worth $4.49bn.

J Sagar Associates (JSA) registered 37 deals worth $2.6bn behind five Indian firms in terms of deal count and behind nine firms in terms of deal value for a 2.9% market share.

S&R Associates acted on 16 big deals worth $16.4bn, according to Bloomberg, growing its market share of total values by 4 percentage points.

Bharucha & Partners acted on 3 big deals and raked in a value of almost $14bn while Vaish Associates raked in over $13bn through only 2 deals.

HSA Advocates acted on 27 deals amounting to $1.4bn in total value.

Former AZB partner Abhjit Joshi-founded firm Veritas Legal came 9th in BB with 13 deals but did not crack the top 20 by value.

According to Thomson Reuters...

Thomson Reuters generally accepted and/or captured fewer deals and lower aggregate deal sizes than Bloomberg in its 2017 league table, either by virtue of its research process, qualification criteria (see below), firms' preference in where they submit their deal reports, or quite possibly a mix of such factors.

And while AZB still topped the Thomson Reuters league table with 108 deals worth a total of $30bn, Shardul Amarchand came only seventh in the values league table with $7.2bn from 35 deals.

Cyril Amarchand came 11th in TR league tables by value, with 8 deals and a value of $2.8bn.

The one major exception was Khaitan & Co, which while having had 67 deals recognised by both TR and BB, had a greater deal value with TR of $4.2bn ranking it in 9th place there (as opposed to $2.5bn and 11th with BB).

Luthra & Luthra too performed marginally better with TR than BB: while BB tallied 9 of Luthra's deal at a total of only $668m (which was not enough to even make the top 20 by value), TR counted 13 of Luthra's deals, allowing the firm to just crack the $1bn mark in 22nd place in the value tables (dropping from 12th in TR's table the previous year), behind Nishith Desai Associates (which was not included in Bloomberg's tally at all).

Top deals of 2017

The March 2017-announced Vodafone-IDEA merger on which at least 12 firms, including AZB and SAM, bagged roles, was the top rated deal done by Indian law firms this year, according to the Thomson Reuters rankings.

CAM and J Sagar Associates (JSA) had acted on the second-biggest Indian M&A - Adani Transmission’s buy in Reliance Infrastructure for $2.1bn - which snuck in just before the New Year.

Axis Bank's $1.78bn fundraising, on which AZB and SAM had roles, is also among TR's list of top deals.

Flipkart's funding from Softbank also finds a mention in the top 10, with roles bagged by AZB and Khaitan.

Bloomberg (BB) & Thomson Reuters (TR) 2017 M&A league tables combined (and sortable)

Click in the first row to sort by that column

Firm BB Value ($m) BB Deal # BB Value per Deal ($m) TR Value ($m) TR Deal # TR Value per Deal ($m) TR Change in Deal # vs 2016
AZB & Partners 48034 105 457 29953 108 277 -10
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co 20260 55 368 7212 35 206 -40
S&R Associates 16420 16 1026 14866 4 3716 4
Slaughter and May 13985 6 2331 13591 5 2718 3
Bharucha & Partners 13883 3 4628 12241 2 6121 1
Allen & Overy LLP 13472 5 2694 11827 2 5914 -2
Vaish Associates 13272 2 6636 11627 2 5814 2
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas 7717 83 93 2751 8 344 -13
Trilegal 4492 39 115 1869 12 156 -21
J Sagar Associates 2570 37 69 4975 38 131 -15
Khaitan & Co 2549 67 38 4160 67 62 -4
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP 2221 3 740        
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 2021 1 2021        
Economic Laws Practice 1859 1 1859        
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP 1760 4 440 1760 4 440 3
Allen & Gledhill LLP 1626 3 542        
HSA Advocates 1445 27 54        
Mayer Brown LLP 1421 1 1421        
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP 1421 1 1421        
Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira SLP 1421 1 1421        
Luthra & Luthra Law Offices LLP 668 9 74 1031 13 79 -4
Veritas Legal 657 13 51        
White & Case LLP 609 4 152 654 4 163 -3
O'Melveny & Myers LLP 570 7 81        
Jones Day 501 6 84        
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP 231 4 58 451 4 113 3
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 136 6 23        
Krishnamurthy & Co 108 5 22        
Goodwin Procter LLP 85 4 21        
Latham & Watkins       3646 4 911 -5
Baker & McKenzie       2063 5 413 0
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati       2028 2 1014 1
Kirkland & Ellis       1730 2 865 -3
Cravath, Swaine & Moore       1274 1 1274 0
Appleby       1274 1 1274 1
BLC Robert & Associates       1274 1 1274 1
Herbert Smith Freehills       1103 3 368 1
Nishith Desai Associates       1099 2 550 -3
Borenius Ltd       654 1 654 1

Full league table from Bloomberg

Full 2017 Bloomberg India league table
Full 2017 Bloomberg India league table

Full league table from Thomson Reuters

Full 2017 Thomson Reuters India league table
Full 2017 Thomson Reuters India league table

Criteria & methodology

Thomson Reuters states the following as its criteria:

  • Announced league tables include all deals that were announced between January 1, 2016 and December 29, 2017 and of which Thomson Reuters was made aware. All current data and previous year's data is as of 5:00pm EDT on December 29, 2017.
  • League tables include rank eligible mergers, acquisitions, repurchases, spin-offs, self-tenders, minority stake purchases and debt restructurings.
  • A tender/merger transaction is considered to be effective at the time of consummation of the merger or the date on which it is declared wholly unconditional.
  • Deals with undisclosed dollar values are rank eligible but with no corresponding Rank Value. Non-US dollar denominated transactions are converted to the US dollar equivalent at the time of announcement of terms.
  • Financial and legal advisors receive full credit for each deal on which they provide financial or legal advisory services, unless they represent minority sellers or advise on only a portion of the transaction or Thomson Reuters has not been made aware of their participation in that transaction. For pending transactions, advisors to targets of multiple bids receive credit for the transaction agreed to or, in the absence of an agreement, the value of the highest offer.
  • Any Involvement league tables include deals where the target, acquiror, or either ultimate parent are domiciled (nation of headquarters) in the specified region or nation.
  • League tables, commentary, and charts citing announced activity are based on Rank Date and include intended, pending, partially complete, completed, pending regulatory, and unconditional transactions. Rank Date is defined as the earliest public announcement of when a value can be applied to a transaction.

Bloomberg has noted the following for its listing criteria:

Announced Global League Tables are based upon announced total values, unless otherwise stated in the title. Non-US dollar values are converted to US dollars at the time of announcement.

Credit will be given to transactions in which Bloomberg classifies as mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, self-tenders, or spin-offs.

Regional and industry League Tables will be based on the country of risk and industry of the ultimate publicly traded parent of a privately held company where applicable.

Advisors to any member of an investor group, consortium, or joint venture are eligible for full credit.

Advisory fees hold no weight over advisory credit.

Announced Global League Tables are based upon announced total values, unless otherwise stated in the title. Non-US dollar values are converted to US dollars at the time of announcement.

Credit will be given to transactions in which Bloomberg classifies as mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, self-tenders, or spin-offs.

Regional and industry League Tables will be based on the country of risk and industry of the ultimate publicly traded parent of a privately held company where applicable.

Advisors to any member of an investor group, consortium, or joint venture are eligible for full credit.

Advisory fees hold no weight over advisory credit

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