India deals worth $20b in bag, ABN wants more | india | Hindustan Times
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India deals worth $20b in bag, ABN wants more

If India is hot, it is probably hottest for ABN Amro. They are the dealmakers who advised the Tatas for Corus and Hindalco for Novelis and are now advising Suzlon for Repower, reports Suman Layak.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2007 20:34 IST

If India is hot, it is probably hottest for ABN Amro. They are the dealmakers who advised the Tatas for Corus and Hindalco for Novelis and are now advising Suzlon for Repower. Sources say that ABN Amro was also the advisor of one of the unsuccessful bidders for Hutch Essar.

With Hutch, the total India-centric deals cracked by the investment banker in a month would have been worth $40 billion. Even without Hutch, it is at $20 billion (Rs 88,000 crore).

The big ticket dealmaker Jitesh Gadhia, managing director of ABN Amro, who is based in London, along with Frank Hancock, the MD based in New Delhi and Neil Galloway, managing director based in Hong Kong, was in Mumbai this week, when Hindustan Times caught up with them for a chat.

Gadhia feels that this is just the beginning and there are huge areas still waiting for India to explore.

Hancock said: “The deals have happened now. However, we had started planning almost two years back. We had decided to focus on the cross-border mergers and acquisition in India.”

Halloway added: “We are a bank that can offer the Indian companies a total package. Not only will we come up with ideas, we are able to advise them on foreign markets and also arrange for funds and lend money too.”

Gadhia points out: “Indian companies need to acquire in order to get an access to new markets. Indian IT is still some way from getting a strong foothold in markets like France. Then there is eastern Europe, Russia and China to explore too.”

Both Gadhia and Hancock point out that there is a lot more to do in business process outsourcing too. “The entire middle-office of Europe is out there to be outsourced. India has only done the lower levels like call centres and the higher levels.”

Surely the fruits of the labour are there to see. Hancock says that ABN Amro is also advising on Indian companies that may get taken over, but stressed that there are much more foreign companies that Indians can take over than vice versa.

Past successes include the Matrix Mylan deal where ABN Amro advised the company being taken over, Matrix Laboratories. The other was of course the Holcim-Gujarat Ambuja deal.

Hancock said that India’s businesses that are still largely owner-managed are able to take on takeovers of such magnitude. The group is focussing on four areas, which are information technology, auto-components, pharmaceuticals and others. Tata Corus, of course, came out of the others.

Email Suman Layak:Sumanlayak@hindustantimes.com

First Published: Feb 16, 2007 20:34 IST