Top Mergers & Acquisitions Of The Year That Grabbed Eyeballs

Top Mergers & Acquisitions Of The Year That Grabbed Eyeballs

From the world’s richest man Elon Musk’s controversial Twitter deal to Tata Sons taking control of the debt-laden national carrier Air India after almost 69 years, the year 2022 saw many exciting acquisitions coming through. The deals were not only limited to the technology sector but also expanded to the financial and entertainment space which will lead to transformational changes in the sectors going ahead.    

Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As) activity in India also reached an all-time high of $148 billion in the first nine months of 2022. It was 58.2 per cent higher than in 2021, according to the data from financial solutions provider Refinitiv. Earlier, 2018 witnessed the highest value of M&A deals at $132 billion. The year 2022 saw the busiest first nine months ever, the report added.

Here are some of the deals in 2022 that forced us to sit back and take notice of the changing dynamics in the market.

 Air India Returns To Tata Fold

Business magnate Ratan Tata’s ambition to reclaim Air India was fulfilled this year. The airline founded by his predecessor JRD Tata as Tata Airlines in 1932 came back to the fold of Tata Group after the salt-to-software conglomerate outbid a consortium led by SpiceJet chief Ajay Singh.

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The national carrier once taken over from Tata Group via nationalisation has been officially handed over to the Tata Group in January this year after it bought the debt-ridden airline in October last year after it won the bid for Rs18,000 crore, higher by Rs2,900 crore from the bid made by the other conglomerate. Since then, Tata Sons has merged Air India with Vistara and Air Asia, to create a major entity in Indian aviation.

Air India also unveiled a comprehensive transformation plan called “Vihaan.AI”, which in Sanskrit signifies the dawn of a new era, with identified objectives for Air India over the next five years.

Elon Musk Setting The Twitter Bird Free

Tesla Chief Elon Musk, who described himself as a free-speech absolutist, acquired one of the largest social media platforms Twitter in October at his original offer price of $54.20 a share at a total cost of roughly $44 billion.

The acquisition saga full of twists and turns became one of the most dramatic takeovers that the corporate and tech world witnessed in a long time. As the largest shareholder with an over 9 per cent stake in the company, Musk offered to buy Twitter to later face resistance from the board and then exited the deal citing fake handles as a reason later to be dragged by Twitter to court to complete the acquisition.

Soon after the takeover, Elon Musk sacked top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. The company also fired close to 3,700 people this month via email as a way to trim costs post-acquisition.

Adani Becomes The Single-Largest Shareholder In NDTV

Gautam Adani-led Adani Group’s media arm acquired a 29.18 per cent stake in New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV).  The ports-to-energy conglomerate acquired the stake in NDTV by buying a company backed by the television network’s founders, Radhika Roy and Prannoy Roy. It made an open offer to acquire an additional 26 per cent from public shareholders. The conglomerate said that the acquisition of the media house will be indirect and will be made through Vishvapradhan Commercial Pvt Ltd (VCPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMG Media Network Ltd (AMNL), owned by Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL). NDTV’s promoters who tried to resist the bid finally resigned from the board paving way for the most talked about corporate takeover of a media entity in recent times.

PVR, INOX Script Mega Merge To Take On The Entertainment Sector 

This year also saw the merger of multiplex giants PVR and INOX Leisure to become the largest entertainment company in the country. The combined entity will be named PVR INOX Limited with the branding of existing screens to continue as PVR and INOX respectively. New cinemas opened post the merger will be branded as PVR INOX.

Adani Cements Position By Acquiring Ambuja Cements, ACC

Adani Group, which had no presence in the cement space become the second-largest cement maker in the country after completing the acquisition of cement players, Ambuja Cements and ACC from Swiss cement major Holcim.

Holcim closed the deal by selling its entire stake in Ambuja Cements at Rs 385 per share and in ACC at Rs2,300 per share. The cash proceeds aggregated to 6.4 billion dollars for Holcim. Holcim sold its entire 63.11 per cent stake in Ambuja Cements, which owns a 50.05 per cent interest in ACC, as well as its 4.48 per cent direct stake in ACC. Holcim sold its entire 63.11% stake in Ambuja Cements, which owns a 50.05 per cent interest in ACC, as well as its 4.48 per cent direct stake in ACC.

HDFC Ltd And HDFC Bank Merge To Create A Financial Behemoth 

Another merger that put to rest years of speculation was the mortgage financier Housing Development Finance Corporation merger with its subsidiary HDFC Bank creating a financial behemoth. HDFC Bank board approved the amalgamation of HDFC Investments and HDFC Holdings with HDFC and that of HDFC into HDFC Bank. The private sector lender said the current regulatory changes, including higher regulatory standards for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) at par with banks, reduction in SLR rates, and creation and deepening of priority sector lending (PSL) certificates market, have also created a case for the merger of the two entities.

The merger, expected to conclude in the second quarter of 2023, will give HDFC access to 16.7 trillion rupees ($202 billion) of funds comprising so-called low-cost current and savings account deposits and time deposits of the bank. That will let it continue expanding its assets, which stood at 6.9 trillion rupees at the end of September.

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