Friday, June 19, 2009

News: India Inc buys 143 US cos in 2 yrs

The greater engagement of US with India seems to have benefited the former during the economic downturn as thousands of Americans managed to save their jobs when Indian corporates went on a major acquisition drive in the US.

During the last two years, Indian companies acquired 143 US firms across various sectors. While 94 deals were concluded in 2007-08, in the following year when the economy was on the downturn, Indians bought as many as 50 US entities that were on the verge of closure, saving thousands of jobs.

A study, jointly conducted by Indian industry association FICCI and Ernst & Young, said Tata Chemicals, Wipro, Reliance Communications and Firstsource Solutions were some of the top Indian entities that were involved in bailing out US companies in the red.

The report released on Thursday said IT & ITeS, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals were the prime sectors in which most of the deals were formalised. Indian companies from the IT sector have over the years been aggressively expanding in the US market.

The deals were predominantly debt financed with cash being a popular mode of payment. "This trend probably extends from India Inc's traditional preference for cash transactions in the domestic merger and acquisition space," the report observed.

The Ernst & Young report says the boom in the Indian economy in the last three to four years made the domestic companies cash-rich which provided them with access to more capital than in the past.

Interestingly, one of the key factors, as the report cites, behind more acquisitions has been the liberal policies introduced by the government and RBI for overseas investments.

According to RBI data, in 2007-08 the total outbound investments of Indian companies amounted to $18 billion. In the first half of 2008-09, at least 2,000 proposals valued at $9 billion were cleared for overseas investments in joint ventures and wholly owned subsidiaries.

Source: ToI

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