My sojourn into the Spider's Web
China raised a storm of controversy in the U.S. earlier this year when its cash-rich corporations announced their intention to acquire several American companies, including oil producer Unocal Corp. and appliance maker Maytag Corp. (MYG ). But while China was bidding for -- and losing -- overseas acquisitions, another big Asian country, India, was also investing abroad, but with a minimum of rancor.
Indian companies, which had a very small presence in foreign locales just a few years ago, have inked 62 overseas deals worth $1.38 billion so far this year, buying up a variety of foreign outfits, from engineering design house INCAT International in Britain to Valeant Pharma in the U.S. That compares with just $202 million in deals in 2002. The Indian purchases have flown under the political radar because most of them are small -- the average price of recent Indian acquisitions is just $30 million -- and they usually don't involve big-name companies.