More M&As in pipeline after Cairn-Vedanta, BP-RIL deals

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More M&As in pipeline in foresight
The Indian energy space is set to witness a number of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) in the coming months on the back of the government's nod to the high profile $9 billion Cairn-Vedanta deal and its strong backing to the proposed $7.2 billion BP-Reliance pact.

State run oil explorer, ONGC is also in discussions with Italian major ENI and the BG group for a 30 percent stake sale in its KG basin to either of these parties.

The approval of the Cairn's 40 percent stake to Vedanta, which was stuck due to disagreement over royalty payments, has dispelled any doubts that international firms had about investing in India's oil assets.Futher, the Centre's likely approval to the BP-RIL deal for the sale of RIL's 23 oil and gas blocks to the British oil giant, is giving positive cues for more investments in this sector.

Many Indian firms are also scouting for petroleum assets in foreign countries including the African continent and Eastern Asia. As international oil majors, look to encash their investments in the exploration, retail and distribution assets of these firms, it gives an opportunity to the Indian oil firms to expand their business globally.

Indian energy explorer Essar Energy recently acquired a 50 percent shareholding in Kenya Petroleum Refineries from Shell, Chevron Corp. and BP, and in another deal, it acquired a UK refining company Shell's Stanlow for $ 350 million.RIL is also looking to sell a minority stake in its privately owned gas business, Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure (RGTIL).

Analysts expect that the total value of India bound large oil exploration deals in the next couple of years to be over $1 billion, while smaller deals in the sector would be in the range of $ 300-500 million. Oil related segments such as engineering, drilling and leasing of oil rigs, would also see a number of M&As in the next couple of years.

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