The IT sector is having a party on Deal Street. Domestic IT and BPO companies were involved in as many as 94 deals, largely cross-border in 2007, involving investment of over $2 billion. The momentum is expected to gain strength in 2008, with consolidation expected in the domestic arena and Europe likely to emerge as a key destination for outbound deals. Indian companies are using cross-border M&A to enhance their global service delivery capabilities, recognising the advantage it offers in better managing evolving customer requirements and providing end-to-end services, Nasscom said in its Strategic Review 2008.
Among the key deals in 2007 were Wipro’s $598.4-million acquisition of US-based infrastructure management firm Infocrossing – the largest by an Indian technology firm – and Firstsource Solutions’ acquisition of MedAssist Holdings for $330 million. Other key deals include Apollo Health Street’s $170 million acquisition of Zavata in the US, Subex Azure’s $164.5-million buyout of Canada-based Syndesis and the $148-million acquisition of US based Lason by HOV Services. The year 2008 is more likely to see Indian companies scoop up mid-sized acquisitions. “While the number of deals will go up in 2008, we expect reluctance towards bigger deals, considering both dollar and cost issues. Indian companies are more likely to look at mid-sized companies,” investment banking firm Avendus Advisors’ MD & CEO, Ranu Vohra, said. Europe is likely to gain prominence in Indian players’ M&A strategy. “The depreciating dollar has put more pressure on Indian companies to diversify to other locations. Moreover, in design and infrastructure management services, Europe offers more lucrative options,” Mr. Vohra added.