This article from Reuters highlights the danger of overpaying for assets in the current India M&A frenzy.Perhaps its point about the overall of over-confidence is valid, especially given that previous deals were small scale. Other Indian companies, following Tata Steel’s lead, are starting to bid the big league. Integrating small acquisitions to add value is one thing, but multi-billion purchases are another. Just ask Dow Chemical that ended up destroying value after buying Union Carbide.
And on the subject of Dow, will they won’t they? The deluge of stories about Reliance and Dow continues with the latest suggestion that the pair are heading for an alliance rather than Reliace buying DowPlus, as you can see from the first Reuters link, Reliance are being linked with a stake in Carrefour.
Is this an unsustainable M&A bubble that could all go horribly wrong if purchase prices are too high? We are still in a global economic upcycle despite recent stock market collapses. What happens when the real slump does arrive and companies are left with assets purchased during oone of the strongest economic upcycles in history, coinciding with a period of exceptionally cheap credit?