From Tatas to Mahindras, all looking for right acquisitions

As the WEF annual summit ends here, a large number of corporate leaders including at blue chip firms like TCS, M&M, Kotak and Tech Mahindra say they are on the lookout for potential acquisitions and will take the plunge if right targets emerge.

Most of these firms are keen on foreign expansion, largely through acquisitions, and would also expand domestically through both organic and inorganic routes.

This assumes significance in the wake of government leaders from a number of countries, including the UK, other European nations, African countries and even India, announcing here at the Davos that their respective economies offer robust business environment and want greater level of investments.

A number of Indian CEOs and other top executives held a series of private meetings including to explore M&A deals here on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum summit.

According to various sources privy to such discussions, about 10-15 such prospective deals can fructify in coming months including in sectors like IT, pharma, energy, healthcare, education and manufacturing.

Talking to PTI on the sidelines of WEF, many top executives, however, said any acquisitions would be carried out only at the right time and right value.

Natarajan Chandrasekaran, CEO and MD of India's largest IT company, TCS, with a revenue of over USD 11.6 billion, said the company believes in strategic acquisitions and it would not take the plunge just because of its cash position.

"Our strategy for acquisition is more to do with buying the right company, as we look for strategic acquisitions, we are not for buying companies for revenues. So, it will not depend on how much cash we have and it will rather depend on whether we find some strategic assets," he said.

Asked whether anything was on radar right now, he said, we are always on the lookout, but anything like this would most likely be outside India.

Another Indian IT major Tech Mahindra's Vice Chairman Vineet Nayyar said that acquisitions were a way of life and a part of business growth at the company.

"Either you grow organically or inorganically. But it can not be a major milestone in any fashion. These decisions are similar to multiple business decisions that the management takes," he said.

Asked whether there was anything on the radar at the moment, he said: "There are always possibilities, but they would lead to what and when that we don't know. So, at times it could take months and it can take even two years. Nothing can be said."

"Organically everything is going great and we are hopeful that we will get the expected results," he added.

Financial services conglomerate Kotak group chief Uday Kotak also said he was open to acquisitions, including in the banking space.

"I am very open if I get the value. In non-banking businesses also, we are always open to acquisitions at right value and right time," he added.

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