Deal value increased by over 80 percent to USD 110 billion, making 2018 a record-breaking year for mergers and acquisition activity in India, a report said on Friday.


The deal activity will be tepid for the first two quarters of the fiscal and should pick up later, Grant Thornton, a consultancy firm, said, adding a lot will depend on the continuing reforms, new policies and pace of reforms post general elections.


From a number of deals perspective, the growth was tempered at 1,258 deals in 2018 as against 1,149 in the year-ago period, suggesting an increase in deal sizes.


The domestic deal values surged to USD 34.21 billion from the USD 5.83 billion in the year ago period, it said.

Overall cross-border deal activity increased to USD 38.523 billion in 2018 from the USD 8.14 billion in the year ago period, it said, adding that this was majorly on the back of an increase in inbound deals.


The inbound deals increased to USD 25.741 billion in 2018 as against USD 5.962 billion in the year ago period, while the outbound deals catapulted to USD 12.782 billion as against the year-ago period's USD 2.178 billion, it said.


"The surge in the M&A deal activities was mainly driven by the objectives of consolidating by expanding the market share, buying technology and diversifying market presence," its partner Prashant Mehra said.


Under the head of mergers and restructuring, the country had a fall in activity to USD 17.474 billion as against USD 26.451 billion in the year-ago period, it said.


The deal activity involving the private equity funds was almost flat at USD 20.450 billion, it said.


Sectors such as telecom, e-commerce, energy, manufacturing, retail and agriculture contributed to high-value deals, while start-up, IT, pharma, banking and media sectors attracted the maximum deal activities driving deal volumes in 2018, it said.