Mumbai: Corporate India announced merger and acquisition deals worth USD 2.1 billion in August, taking the total value of M&A activities in the country in 2011 till date to over USD 30.5 billion, report by consultancy firm Grant Thornton said.

"The M&A activity has shown some improvement compared to the last two months," Srividya C G, Partner and Practice Head, Valuations, at Grant Thornton India said.

According to Grant Thornton's latest Dealtracker report, there were as many as 49 merger and acquisition transactions worth USD 2,181 million in August, while in the year-ago period, there were 42 deals worth USD 401 million.

Outbound deals, wherein Indian companies acquired businesses outside the country, were the flavour of the month, with 11 M&A deals worth USD 0.89 billion, as against 29 transactions valued at USD 0.29 billion in 2010.

Meanwhile, the total value of inbound deals in August, 2011, wherein foreign entities merged with or acquired Indian businesses, amounted to USD 0.47 billion by way of 11 deals, as compared to seven deals worth USD 0.02 billion in 2010.

The total value of domestic deals in August was USD 0.82 billion (27 deals), compared to USD 0.09 billion (19 deals) in the corresponding month of 2010.

A sector-wise analysis shows that telecom was the sector that accounted for the maximum deal value, mainly driven by Piramal Healthcare's acquisition of a stake in Vodafone-Essar. The other key sectors include mining, pharma & healthcare, oil & gas and infrastructure this month.

The other major deals of the month were GMR Energy's 30 percent stake acquisition in PT Golden Energy Mines for USD 550 million and Group Danone's acquisition of Wockhardt Group's Nutrition business for USD 355 million.

The top five deals accounted for 84 percent of the total M&A deal value in the month of August.

On the private equity front, there were 29 deals worth USD 0.36 billion in August, compared to 19 transactions worth USD 0.09 billion in the same period last year.