New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) Corporate India’s deal tally including merger and acquisition and private equity amounted to USD 60.5 billion in 2017 driven by big-ticket consolidation, and the outlook for this year looks bullish too, says a report. Also Read - Monsoon Session Day 2: Lok Sabha Passes Essential Commodities Bill to Raise Farmer Income, Boost Agri Sector | Highlights

According to assurance, tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton, there were 1,147 deals (M&A and PE) worth USD 60.54 billion in 2017 against 1,485 such transactions worth USD 57.85 billion in 2016. Also Read - 'Jammu And Kashmir to Reopen For Tourism Soon', Says J&K Administration

“This momentum was largely driven by big ticket consolidation across sectors as companies divested distressed assets in an effort to reduce debt. On the other hand, corporates with strong balance sheets drove acquisitions to capture the market share and increase competitiveness,” Grant Thornton India LLP Partner Prashant Mehra said. Also Read - COVID-19: Centre Announces Guidelines For Unlock 2, Lockdown Till July 31 in Containment Zones

On the M&A front, the year saw 411 deals valued at USD 40 billion, continuing the declining trend after peaking in 2015.

The fall in the deal tally is mainly due to the absence of multi-billion-dollar deals.

The telecom sector led the M&A deal activity in terms of total deal values, with six deals in the USD 100 million club which cumulatively contributed to USD 25 billion, capturing over 60 per cent of total M&A deal values.

While core sectors like banking and pharma also garnered big-ticket deals contributing 14 per cent to deal values. Tech sectors including start-ups and IT & ITeS witnessed highest consolidation in 2017, capturing over 40 per cent of volumes.

Meanwhile, Indian PE activities recorded a growth of over 45 per cent over 2016 with deal values clocking USD 20.3 billion from 736 investments, recording the highest yearly investment value so far with more big-ticket investment rounds as compared to 2016.

“With political stability continuing, economic reforms on a fast pace and macro-economic factors looking positive, 2018 will perhaps be one of the best years for M&A with transaction activity closing at an even higher level than 2017,” Mehra said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.