June 19, 2009

Indian firms acquire U.S. firms

Indian firms, spurred by the economic boom in their country, acquired more than 140 U.S. firms in the past two years, a study said.

These acquisitions, made possible through increased U.S. engagement with India, helped save many American jobs during the downturn, the Times of India reported.

The study, prepared jointly by Ernst & Young and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the U.S. acquisitions during 2007-08 and 2008-09 ranged across various sectors, the report said.

The total value of the acquisitions was not given but an Indian central bank report said all outbound investments of Indian companies totaled $18 billion in 2007-08. The bank said about $19 billion were cleared for similar overseas investments in the first half of 2008-09.

Tata Chemicals, Wipro, Reliance Communications and Firstsource Solutions were some of the top Indian entities that bought into the U.S. companies, the study said.

Most of the deals were debt financed with cash the main mode of payment.

This trend probably extends from India Inc.'s traditional preference for cash transactions in the domestic merger and acquisition space, the study said, adding the Indian economic boom has made these companies cash-rich, giving them better access to capital.