India's Tata Steel has won the bidding war for Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus Group with an $12.1 billion auction offer that trumped Brazilian rival Companhia Siderurgica Nacional.
What this means to Tata Steel?
with the trade barriers having been lowered, though not eliminated, most businesses have to align/ benchmark themselves against global practices. National beliefs, markets and boundaries have a role in shaping corporate strategy. But there are other forces as well - customers, technology, investors ! For many of the people in these the national borders, increasingly just mean additional/ specific documentation to be undertaken
For the tata’s this would mean that they would have about 50% of their revenues come from international customers/ operations. For a group which is as diversified and integrated into India as Tata, this is a significant change in their perceptions of business opportunities. Being a global company, does have advantages, but also different benchmarks and expectations. The next 5 years would show whether they have been able to graduate from an Indian Group to a Global group, keeping their core-values intact.
What this means to India?
A decade back, when pessimists thought that opening up of Indian economy will lead to the opposite result - all Indian companies being bought out by maruding foreigners but for the past few years, India Inc. has been looking abroad and lots of great buys have happened.
Tatas themselves have led the pack (with the acquiring of Tyco, Tetley, Daewoo’s Truck business and now Corus), like how they did in the last century - whether it be starting a premier institution - IISc & TIFR or starting aviation industry, steel production, Motors, Sofware services/Outsourcing (TCS)
It seems the phenomenon is spreading throughout, whether it is Pharma, Software/ITeS, Steel, Electronics, Beverages/FMCG… Even public sector companies like IOC and ONGC are refreshingly aggressive in this business. In the future, I would like to see mammoth companies like Indian Railways, SBI (and other group of Indian banks are much healthier than most Asian banks), BSNL, Power Corporations to be removed off their Shackles and enter the world economy in a big way.
and Interesting trend to notice.. Now, India's FDI outflow is MORE than inflow. For long, Indians have obsessed about the amount of inbound FDI, especially when compared to China (India has received less in FDI inflows since 1991 than China will receive this year alone). Interestingly enough, with Tata-Corus deal and if Videocon takeover of Daewoo Electronics does go through, India’s FDI outflows will, for the first time, exceed FDI inflows. Effectively, the projections for 2006 are that India will receive $9 billion in inflows while outflows stand at $19 billion, spread across 100+ deals, turning India into a net exporter of capital (to be precise though, a lot of the external acquisitions are not funded by domestic capital, but from foreign sources). At the very least, the investment bankers among you, especially those working on outbound M&A deals, can expect a big, fat bonus this year.
We have just started as a trickle and it doesnt take a long time to become a flood, as all the individual droplets are getting bigger and their distance is getting smaller. I hope the Indian govt doesnt do any stupid things, as often as they do in the past, and be a silent pusher of Indian companies into the global arena.
Certainly interesting times ahead both for Tatas and India.