Dealmakers in India should expect another strong year for mergers and acquisitions as investors and firms diversify into the South Asian nation, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
India sealed its busiest M&A year ever with about $191 billion worth of transactions in 2022, bucking a global slump in deal activity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While it’s unlikely for the country to repeat such a high mark this year, there will be decent deal flow to keep the bankers busy, said Nitin Maheshwari, JPMorgan’s head of M&A for India.
“More capital will continue to flow into India which is the biggest market for some global sponsors,” Maheshwari said in an interview. Various trends could work in favor of the South Asian country, he said, such as competitive markets in Australia and Japan as well as the challenges of capital deployment in China.
India — and its fast-growing economy — has emerged as a big bet for global financial firms, even though recent troubles at billionaire Gautam Adani’s business empire have dented the allure. At the same time, China is struggling to attract capital after the nation’s protracted Covid Zero policy and a crackdown on private enterprise, including on its biggest tech firms, stunted the economy over the past years. Meanwhile in Japan, global private equity firms have been figuring out ways to be part of deals.
In India, Blackstone Inc. for example is seeking minority stakes in companies to capture technological advances in the country.
Smaller transactions will drive deal flow in India this year with the majority being in the range of $500 million to $2 billion, Maheshwari said. Healthcare, energy & infrastructure, specialty manufacturing and technology are expected to be fairly active, he added.
“Corporate clarity, financial sponsors and switch from public to private track will likely be the three key drivers for M&A this year,” he said.