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Amarchand, AZB at the top of middling M&A year

Bigger diet balanced by smaller slices
Bigger diet balanced by smaller slices

Amarchand Mangaldas maintained its lead as closer of the biggest M&A deals year-round while AZB & Partners replaced three-time leader Desai & Diwanji in closing the maximum number of M&As, according to data provider Mergermarket’s standings for 2013.

Deal counts set new records while deal sizes didn’t reflect the count, indicating that all firms are taking the middling deal route to bring in the dough.

Big pie, small slices

Deals sizes were smaller in 2013, with Amarchand’s 38 deals worth only $10bn – half the total value of 39 deals last year, and AZB’s spike of 19 deals since last year docketing lesser overall deal value than in 2012 ($3.3bn from 45 deals as compared to $4.7bn from 26 in 2012).

AZB’s overall deal value from 2013 is almost one-fourth of its 2011 figure – 31 deals worth $11bn.

AZB had docketed 21 deals and come up at the top of the league table by volume, by half-year, but the firm had dropped off the charts for the biggest deals. It recovered three places since then to take the third spot in the annual rankings.

Deal wise

The biggest deals for Amarchand this year were the $2.4bn Ambuja-Holcim merger, the $2.5bn Apollo-Cooper acquisition and the $2.475bn sale by Videocon of its stake in a Mozambique gas field.

Talwar Thakore & Associates (TTA), which acted on the biggest India-deal this year - Unilever’s $3.5bn buy in Hindustan Unilever – held fort since H1, on second place on the deal value rankings this year.

Khaitan & Co made a significant jump since H1, just about managing to climb onto the mixed rankings for Indian and foreign firms by deal value. It rose from 16 deals worth $938m since H1 to 27 reported deals worth $2.25bn by year-end, rising three places to take fourth spot among Indian law firms.

Q1 strong players DSK Legal and Platinum Partners were lodged after Khaitan on the value rankings. Both had acted on the largest transaction in the Pharma, Medical & Biotech (PMB) space this year - Mylan’s $1.6bn purchase of Agila Specialties.

Count wise

AZB, which was the annual leader by volume, acted on nine times more deals than the law firms figuring on the last three rungs of the 15-firm strong league table. Talwar Thakore & Associates, S&R Associates and Wadia Ghandy reported only five M&As – the lowest among the top 15.

The order remained the same for the top seven firms since H1 – Khaitan, Desai & Diwanji, Trilegal, JSA and Tatva Legal followed AZB and Amarchand.

Sectoral trends

The PMB sector in the Asia pacific region reported 38 deals worth $4.2bn – reflecting a 188.4% increase from 2012 (US$ 1.4bn, 30 deals) with eight more deal announcements. This represents a second consecutive annual rise by both value and volume, according to Mergermarket’s analysis.

However this includes deals on which foreign firms also acted. On the mixed rankings, Amarchand is separated from runners up TTA by the four-pack: Simmons & Simmons, Jones Day, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Linklaters. Slaughter & May and White & Case precede AZB, while a host of foreign firms are lodged before the 15th ranking Khaitan & Co.

Private equity buyers acquired 19 firms in transactions totalling $0.7bn in 2013, representing the most deals and the highest value on Mergermarket record for PEs since 2001, added the report.

Legal Adviser League Table by Value - 2013


Law firm

Value ($m)

Deal Count

1 Amarchand Mangaldas 10,149 38
2 Talwar Thakore & Associates 3,601 5
3 AZB & Partners 3,305 45
4 Khaitan & Co 2,246 27
5 DSK Legal 1,674 6
6 Platinum Partners 1,670 3
7 S&R Associates 1,479 5
8 Kochhar & Co 990 1
9 Trilegal 697 22
10 J Sagar Associates 693 17
11 Vaish Associates 627 6
12 Desai & Diwanji 617 24
13= Economic Laws Practice 379 1
13= Gagrats 379 1
13= Harish Salve 379 1

Legal Adviser League Table by Volume - 2013


Law firm

Value ($m)

Deal Count

1 AZB & Partners 3,305 45
2 Amarchand 10,149 38
3 Khaitan & Co 2,246 27
4 Desai & Diwanji 617 24
5 Trilegal 697 22
6 J Sagar Associates 693 17
7 Tatva Legal 219 13
8 Nishith Desai Associates 115 8
9 Rajani, Singhania & Partners 298 7
10 DSK Legal 1,674 6
11 Vaish Associates 627 6
12 Luthra & Luthra Law Offices 325 6
13 Talwar Thakore & Associates 3,601 5
14 S&R Associates 1,479 5
15 Wadia Ghandy & Co 359 5

Source: mergermarket

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