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India’s top 30+ M&A firms of 2017: AZB, SAM top mergermarket rankings as CAM drops, Luthra takes bottom rungs

Who are the busiest M&A firms in the land? This ranking gives a good idea
Who are the busiest M&A firms in the land? This ranking gives a good idea

AZB & Partners and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (SAM) acted on the biggest and greatest number of deals respectively, according to mergermarket (MM), which captured far fewer deals than both Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters databases that we had reported last week, in part due to its different deal eligibility criteria (see below).

Our report of the league table of international firms active in India will follow shortly.

While AZB led in terms of value amongst domestic firms, with 68 deals worth almost $29bn, in terms of volume it chased SAM by a whisker whose 71 deals led the charts, though its $25.49bn worth of deals came right after AZB in the charts.

In terms of growth since the last calendar year, SAM acted on 21 more deals and worth 141.1% more in value, while AZB shrunk by 6% in terms of value and 2 deals in terms of total number.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas also shrunk in terms of both value and volume since the last fiscal by 72% and 5 deals respectively, having missed out on a mandate of the giant $12.2bn Vodafone-IDEA merger that has dominated the M&A league tables since the second half of 2017, boosting five firms (.

Value

Trilegal followed AZB and SAM in terms of overall value with 37 deals worth $17.5bn and an improvement of over 528% since 2016.

Of CAM's submissions to MM, 54 deals worth $11.28bn were accepted, which followed AZB, SAM, Trilegal, S&R Associates, Vaish Associates, Bharucha & Partners and Khaitan & Co in terms of deal value.

By contrast, at the end of 2016's third quarter, CAM had already raked in more than $13bn from only 36 deals accepted by mergermarket.

S&R's 10 deals were worth $16.66bn, Vaish's 8 deals were worth over $13bn, Bharucha raked in over $13bn from just 2 deals and Khaitan's 58 deals were worth $11.45bn.

Bharucha & Partners saw a huge jump of 6900% in deal values of $13bn this year from only two deals, of which the Vodafone-IDIA merger contributed $12.2bn to its total.

Luthra & Luthra with its nine small reported deals worth only $643m in value was among the last seven firms on the chart in terms of deal value, just ahead of relatively young firm Veritas Legal, which advised on $430m from 4 M&A deals.

Volume

CAM fell behind SAM, AZB and Khaitan & Co in terms of deal volume too.

Trilegal, HSA Advocates, J Sagar Associates (JSA), Desai & Diwanji, DSK Legal, Nishith Desai Associates, S&R Associates and PDS Legal all had double-digit deal counts this year in MM's database.

DSK Legal had broken into the top 10 by volume from 26th the previous year (and by value, the firm jumped from 108th in 2016 to 16th in 2017 with $710m this year).

Luthra was the lowest-ranked firm amongst India's largest firms in the volume stakes too, with only 9 deals, ranking it in 13th position by that metric just ahead of Vaish Associates, IndusLaw and Tatva Legal (with 8, 8 and 7 deals to their name respectively).

Methodology vs Bloomberg

The Bloomberg league table had registered 83 submissions for CAM in 2017, while for AZB Bloomberg had tallied up 105 deals worth $48bn, and for SAM 55 deals worth $20bn.

Mergermarket's M&A league table only considers transactions with a minimum value of $5m submitted to the company or captured in its database otherwise. Deals with undisclosed deal values are included only where a target’s turnover exceeds $10m, and effective stake sales of less than 30% are only included if the deal value is greater than $100m. Mergermarket's full criteria are available here.

By value 2017 mergermarket league table

20172016

201720172016
RankRankFirmValue ($m)Deal CountValue ($m)% Val. Change y-o-y
12AZB & Partners28,9326930,616-5.50%
25Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co25,4957110,575141.10%
318Trilegal17,538372,792528.20%
412S&R Associates16,662103,965320.20%
516Vaish Associates13,05782,948342.90%
666Bharucha & Partners13,00421856929.20%
73Khaitan & Co11,4475817,422-34.30%
81Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas11,2825440,306-72.00%
96J Sagar Associates3,471238,849-60.80%
1020Desai & Diwanji2,546182,5280.70%
1123Nishith Desai Associates2,384131,96521.30%
1248Wadia Ghandy & Co1,3982494183.00%
1355HSA Advocates1,39519408241.90%
1479PDS Legal1,128101011016.80%
1510Herbert Smith Freehills1,10626,631-83.30%
16108DSK Legal71018302266.70%
1717Luthra & Luthra Law Offices64392,808-77.10%
1824Veritas Legal43041,953-78.00%
1925Platinum Partners41431,644-74.80%
2076Argus Partners2853133114.30%
2128IndusLaw27681,422-80.60%
2257Tatva Legal2637366-28.10%
23122Link Legal – India Law Services1735131230.80%

By volume 2017 mergermarket league table

20172016201720172016
RankRankFirmValue ($m)Deal CountDeal CountDeal Change y-o-y
14

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas

25,495715021
21AZB & Partners28,9326971-2
33Khaitan & Co11,44758553
42

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

11,2825459-5
56Trilegal17,53837343
65

J Sagar Associates

3,4712334-11
78HSA Advocates1,3951921-2
87Desai & Diwanji2,5461821-3
926DSK Legal71018711
1013

Nishith Desai Associates

2,3841314-1
1136S&R Associates16,6621046
1219PDS Legal1,1281082
139

Luthra & Luthra Law Offices

643920-11
1430Vaish Associates13,057862
1515IndusLaw276811-3
1616Tatva Legal263710-3
1775

Link Legal – India Law Services

173523
1824Phoenix Legal7757-2
1910Bathiya Legal69520-15
2035

Talwar Thakore & Associates

27541
2111Veritas Legal430419-15
2225

Economic Laws Practice (ELP)

4747-3
2320

Platinum Partners

41437-4
2496Argus Partners285312
2518

Krishnamurthy & Co

8339-6
26166

Indian Law Partners

37312
2734

Bharucha & Partners

13,00425-3
2823

Wadia Ghandy & Co

1,39827-5
29-

Chandhiok & Associates

1462--
3064

Jerome Merchant + Partners

122220
3173

Samvad Partners

116220

Data source: mergermarket

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