Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are the catalysts that redefine the business landscape, ushering in a new era of growth, innovation, and competition. India, with its rapidly evolving economy, has witnessed numerous M&A deals that have left an indelible mark on the corporate world in 2023.
In 2023, the Indian business landscape underwent a radical metamorphosis fuelled by a record-breaking M&A spree. The year witnessed a staggering 72 per cent increase in deal volume compared to 2022, according to Deloitte's findings.
A merger consolidates two companies under one banner and creates a new enterprise. In most mergers, the original companies cease to exist, and a new one is created.
An acquisition also known as a takeover, entails one company’s explicit purchase of the other. The acquired company often becomes a subsidiary of the acquiring company, maintaining its legal and operational independence.
From behemoths to telecom titans, from e-commerce giants to retail moguls, these M&A deals have not only changed the face of Indian businesses but have also mirrored the nation’s trajectory on the global stage.
Air India’s merger with Tata
In November 2022, Air India, which is wholly owned by Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of Tata Sons, announced a merger with Vistara, which is a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines Limited. According to a press release by Tata Sons, this merger is expected to be finalised in March 2024.
Adani Group & NDTV, IANS
Billionaire Gautam Adani now owns the majority of stake in the news channel – NDTV (New Delhi Television Ltd.). Earlier in 2022, they announced that they hold 27.26% stake in NDTV group for around Rs 600 crore. But in the year 2023, Adani group announced that they acquired additional shares about 1.76 crores of NDTV for Rs 602 crore, from its co-founders Radhika Roy and Prannoy Roy.
Later in December, 2023 Adani acquired a 50.5 per cent stake in newswire agency, IANS India Pvt Ltd, further consolidating its presence in the media sector, according to a regulatory filing.
PVR and Inox Leisure Merger
PVR Pictures, the leading multiplex operator, underwent a significant transformation, merging with Inox Leisure and adopting the new identity, PVR INOX Pictures in May 2023.
As per a CNBC report, with the merger of the two top multiplex chains in India, the new entity, PVR Inox Pictures aims to expand its network up to 1500 and tap into markets in tier 3, 4, and 5 cities.
Swiggy enters goods, grocery retail with LYNK Logistics’ acquisition
Swiggy forayed into the food and grocery retail market by acquiring FMCG retail distribution company LYNK Logistics. While the foodtech giant did not disclose the financial details, reports pegged the deal at $39 Million.
Liberty Global acquires stake in Vodafone
Liberty Global has invested 1.2 billion euros to acquire 1,355 million shares, representing 4.92 per cent of the outstanding share capital of UK-based telecoms giant Vodafone Group, according to a report by the Economic Times, on February 14, 2023. Liberty Global clarified that it won't seek board representation and emphasised its diverse investment portfolio across content, technology, and infrastructure.
LIC buys stake in Bata
State-run Life Insurance Company (LIC) acquired Footwear Retail company, Bata India Pvt. Ltd. for 108 crore. In March 2023, LIC through open market transactions bought additional shares of 6.88 lakhs equity. This helped the Bata firm to be in the limelight in the entire footwear sector. Also making their stake prices rise from 4.47 per cent to over 5 per cent.
Paytm Buys Alibaba Stake
Alibaba sold its entire stake in Paytm in a block deal in February 2023. A total of 3.4 per cent equity or 2.1 crore shares changed hands in the block. With the stake sale, Alibaba is no longer a stakeholder in Paytm. The company had sold 3.1 per cent of the 6.26 per cent equity in Paytm in January.
CarTrade Tech acquires Sobek Auto India
CarTrade Tech entered into a share purchase agreement with Sobek Auto India Private Limited and OLX India BV, acquiring a 100 per cent stake in Sobek for ₹537.43 crore in July 2023. The transaction, outlined in a regulatory filing, underscores CarTrade Tech's strategic moves in the automotive sector.