In 1991, the Indian Economic Reform Movement opened up a lot of challenges and opportunities both at the domestic and the international arena. Corporate India soon began to realize the importance of mergers and acquisitions in order to stick around the global market. It was not until 2000 that Indian companies started their foray in acquiring companies around the globe. The quest began when Tata Tea took over a company twice its own size, Tetley Tea in 2000. From 2003 onwards, the trend of taking over other companies by Indian companies gained substantial pace.
Let us have a look at the valuable global acquisitions done by Indian companies so far-
1. Tata acquired Corus: Undoubtedly the father of all acquisition deals in India, Tata Steel took over the Anglo-Dutch firm Corus Group in 2006 to create the fifth largest steel company of the world. The deal was worth $7.6 billion (Rs. 36,650 crore) at that time, and is the biggest acquisition in the history of India.
2. Hindalco acquired Novalis: Aditya Birla Group’s Hindalco Industries Limited, India’s largest non-ferrous metals company, acquired the Canada based firm Novalis in an all-cash transaction for $6 billion. Following the transaction Hindalco, along with Novelis, was the world’s largest aluminium rolling company, one of the biggest producers of primary aluminium in Asia, and India’s leading copper producer.
3. Tata acquired Jaguar and Land Rover: Tata shook the automobile market once again in 2008 when it snapped Britain’s most famous automobile manufacturers, Jaguar and Land Rover, in a $2.3 billion deal with Ford, their American owners. The deal showed India’s growing global ambition in owning the best brands.
4. Essel Packaging acquired Propack: Subhash Chandra’s Essel Packaging Ltd (EPL) acquired the Swiss tube packaging major Propack, and joined hands to become the world’s largest in laminated tubes. This deal was made way back in 2000 and an Indian MNC became the World No.1 because of it.
5. Ranbaxy acquired 3 European drug-makers: In 2006, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. (RLL) created quite a stir when it announced the acquisition of 3 drug-makers in Europe, all within a week’s time. Allen S.p.A, a division of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Italy, Romania’s largest independent generic drug producer Terapia and drug maker Ethimed NV in Belgium, three of these firms were acquired by the Indian firm. This deal consolidated Ranbaxy’s position after losing to rival Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories in a bid for German drug maker Betapharm earlier.
6. Wockhardt acquired Negma Laboratories: In 2007, Pharmaceutical and biotechnology major Wockhardt bought the fourth largest independent, integrated pharmaceutical group in France, Negma Laboratories. At a deal of $265 million, Wockhardt became the largest Indian pharmaceutical company in Europe with more than 1500 employees based in the continent.
7. Times Group Acquired Virgin Radio: Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd, India’s largest media group and the holding company of the Times of India group, bought Virgin Radio in the UK in a £53.2 million (Rs 445cr approx) deal with SMG Plc. in 2008.
8. Mahindra & Mahindra acquired Schoneweiss: Mahindra & Mahindra acquired 90% stakes of Schoneweiss, a leading company in the forging sector in Germany. The deal took place in 2007, and consolidated Mahindra’s position in the global market.
9. Sterlite acquired Asarco: Sterlite Industries, a part of the Vedanta Group signed an agreement regarding the acquisition of copper mining company Asarco for $ 2.6 billion in 2008. The deal surpassed Tata’s $2.3 billion deal of acquiring Land Rover and Jaguar. After the finalization of the deal Sterlite would become third largest copper mining company in the world.
10. ONGC acquired Imperial Energy: Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) took control of Imperial Energy Plc. for $1.9 billion in early 2009. About 96.8% of London-listed firm’s total shareholders accepted the takeover offer.