Merger and Acquisition in the Banking Sector: A case study of ICICI Bank Ltd.


By looking at several elements of bank mergers, this paper seeks to understand the reasoning for the ICICI Bank and Bank of Rajasthan merger. A wide range of subjects are covered in this comprehensive analysis, including the financial implications, operational synergies, and strategic motivations. To assess the impact of the merger, the research compares the financial performance before and after the merger using key financial indicators including Return on Assets (ROA), Net Profit Margin, Net worth Ratio, and other relevant measures. By comparing these measures before and after the merger, the research aims to ascertain how effectively the merger enhanced financial performance and operational efficiency. The study’s findings demonstrate that both merging institutions have profited from the merger. This is demonstrated by the better profitability, stronger asset utilization, and increased net value of the improved financial metrics following the merger. These enhancements imply that the merger has accomplished its goals, creating a stronger and more competitive financial organization. Overall, the analysis highlights the value produced by strategic consolidation and synergistic integration, underscoring the advantages of the merger for ICICI Bank and Bank of Rajasthan alike. Through an examination of the financial performance during the various stages of the merger, the research offers significant understanding of the revolutionary impacts of these strategic endeavors within the banking industry.


Key words- Operational efficiency, strategic consolidation, synergistic integration


Statement of Problem

The banking business faces several obstacles during mergers and acquisitions (M&A), which must be successfully overcome for positive results. The intricacy of integration is a major obstacle. Smooth system and process harmonization is necessary when banks combine or acquire one another since they frequently have different systems and cultures. An M&A deal’s overall performance may be impacted by improper integration management, which can result in operational inefficiencies and unhappy customers. Bank workers worldwide face numerous challenges, including the deregulation of the financial system, the introduction of new firms and technologically advanced products, the globalization of the financial markets, shifting consumer preferences for more options and more affordable services, demands for shareholder wealth, and declining profit margins.

M&A’s are seen to be a reasonably quick and effective approach to introduce new technology and enter new markets. However, there are several indications that their success is far from certain. Conversely, most M&A’s don’t achieve the goals and objectives they claim to. Numerous studies attest to the necessity for businesses to approach a range of human resource-related concerns, tasks, and obstacles methodically while engaging in merger and acquisition activity. The news announcement dated May 20, 2010, which said that Bank of Rajasthan staff had started an agitation to protest the then-proposed merger with ICICI Bank Ltd., sparked the idea for the present article. From the perspective of the bank and the workers, this is a very serious situation. The inability of a disgruntled employee to provide services with efficiency and effectiveness is a common occurrence.

Review of literature

There are many factors that go into managing mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the banking sector, but one that keeps coming up time and time again is communication. In resolving employee concerns about layoffs, modifications to work regulations, pay, and pensions after a merger, scholars emphasized the need of efficient communication[1]. To successfully manage stress connected to mergers, they highlighted the necessity for preventative measures, a reevaluation of employee views, and professional assistance.

  • Cartwright and Cooper (1990):

In their exploration of the psychological elements of mergers and acquisitions, the study placed particular emphasis on the synergy between individuals and the merging of corporate cultures. However, they also pointed out that, as demonstrated by their research of middle managers participating in a merger involving the UK Building Societies, mergers may still be unpleasant for workers, even when there is cultural compatibility[2].

  • Appelbaum et al. (2000)

The study looked at how corporate culture, strategy, stress management, change management, and communication function in companies to affect mergers and acquisitions. They emphasized the difficulties that arise in M&A procedures due to employee opposition, organizational change, cultural differences, and communication barriers[3].

  • Schuler and Jackson (2001)

In their three-stage mergers and acquisitions model, this article placed special emphasis on human resources concerns and actions at every step of the procedure. They emphasized the function HR departments and leaders play in making sure M&A deals work out well and complement the company’s strategic objectives.

  • Paul (2003)

Researchers have shown that human resource management (HRM) is essential to the success of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), highlighting elements like workforce stability and organisational culture. They evaluated the impact of the Bank of Madura and ICICI Bank merger on share prices, value, and strategic fit.

  • Salama et al. (2003)

This article explored integration challenges and strategies for cross-border acquisitions, emphasizing corporate strategies, synergy maximization, and organizational learning. Researchers focused on knowledge-based acquisitions in the banking industry, noting the importance of knowledge codification, integration decisions, and capability-building mechanisms[4].

  • Zollo and Singh(2004)

It evaluated the consequences of the acquisition on the performance of integration decisions and techniques for boosting capabilities. It also researched the knowledge-based viewpoint of corporate acquisitions. Using a sample of 228 acquisitions in the US banking industry, they found that knowledge codification had a substantial and positive influence on acquisition success, in contrast to experience accumulation.

  • Saraswathi (2007) and Murthy (2007)


In their studies of bank mergers in India, this study emphasized the advantages of consolidation as well as the difficulties in managing clientele, human resources, and cultural differences. Procedural and informational fairness in value creation post-M&A were examined by scholars, with a focus on their influence on market position and financial returns[5].

  • In his discussion on HR takeaways from the health insurer merger, Cascio (2010) emphasized the significance of stress management and staff morale. Insights from a multinational post-merger integration effort were presented by Maire and Collerette (2011), who emphasized the need of organization, change management, and communication for success.

Overall, these studies underscore the multifaceted nature of managing M&A in the banking industry, with communication, HR practices, cultural integration, and organizational strategies playing pivotal roles in achieving successful outcomes and mitigating risks.

Objectives of the study

(1) To assess how the transaction may affect ICICI Bank’s financial results.

(2) To calculate the ICICI Bank’s short-term anomalous returns to shareholders following the news of the bank’s merger with the Bank of Rajasthan.

(3) To examine the ways in which Bank of Rajasthan and ICICI Bank differ and overlap strategically.

(4) To draw attention to the theoretical underpinnings and implications of ICICI Bank Ltd.’s financial performance before and after the merger.

(5) To present conclusions and recommendations in light of the research.


1.” ICICI Bank Ltd.’s merger and acquisition strategy is motivated by the goal of diversifying its product and service offerings, resulting in enhanced customer value proposition and revenue generation opportunities.”

This hypothesis posits that ICICI Bank’s M&A activities are driven by the desire to offer a broader range of financial products and services to its customers, aiming to strengthen customer relationships, increase customer loyalty, and capture new revenue streams.

  1. “Regulations affect ICICI Bank Ltd.’s merger and acquisition strategy, which aims to achieve compliance and regulatory clearance, guarantee a seamless integration process, and reduce legal risks.”

According to this hypothesis, regulatory factors include adhering to banking laws, getting required permissions from authorities, and handling the legal difficulties involved in mergers and acquisitions in the banking industry influence ICICI Bank’s M&A choices.

  1. The need for cost synergies and operational efficiency, which result in better financial performance, cost savings, and resource optimization, is what motivates ICICI Bank Ltd.’s merger and acquisition activities.”

According to this hypothesis, ICICI Bank looks for M&A possibilities in order to maximize resources, cut costs, simplify processes, and minimize overhead. These factors all work together to promote profitability, financial sustainability, and shareholder value generation.

Research questions

Q1. What strategic goals are guiding ICICI Bank Ltd.’s banking industry merger and acquisition activities?

Q2. In the banking industry, how does ICICI Bank Ltd. evaluate and choose possible targets for mergers and acquisitions?

Q3. What influence does regulatory compliance—specifically, banking rules and approvals—have on ICICI Bank Ltd.’s merger and acquisition strategy?

Q4. What are the potential financial benefits of mergers and acquisitions for ICICI Bank Ltd. in terms of increased revenue, cost efficiencies, and shareholder value?

Q.5 What are the critical success criteria in this process, and how does ICICI Bank Ltd. handles organizational alignment and cultural integration during mergers and acquisitions?

Q.6 What opportunities and difficulties does ICICI Bank Ltd. have when it comes to integrating newly acquired banks or combining with other financial institutions?

Research methodology

Research is viewed as a voyage from the unknowable to the understood. The methodological approach is a systematic strategy to tackle the research challenge. For the purposes of this study, the primary source of information is the necessary secondary data. I have chosen to analyze data from ICICI Bank in this study. The ICICI Bank’s annual reports served as the primary source of secondary data. Data for this research was collected during 2007–2008 and 2016–17. The financial performance of the Indian banking industry before and after is also covered in a range of national and international journals, magazines, working papers, books, articles, theses, and dissertations. Group or descriptive statistics are utilized to evaluate the data’s reliability, and an independent sample T-test is employed to ascertain if two variables significantly correlate and to bolster the study’s hypotheses.



  1. Introduction
  2. Review of Literature
  3. Methodology
  4. Strategic Objectives of Mergers and Acquisitions
  5. Post merger consequences
  6. Financial Implications of Mergers and Acquisitions
  7. Conclusion
  8. References





Companies use mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as a strategic tool to accomplish a range of goals, including cost reduction, market growth, and competitive advantage. M&A is essential to the Indian banking industry’s ability to adjust to new technology and heightened competition. The classification of M&A into conglomerate, vertical, and horizontal mergers reflects the diverse strategic goals companies pursue through such activities. Vertical mergers in banking integrate supplier or customer ties, enhancing operational efficiency and customer service. Horizontal mergers consolidate market position within the same industry, fostering economies of scale and market dominance. Conglomerate mergers, on the other hand, facilitate diversification into unrelated industries, reducing risk and expanding revenue streams.

In the dynamic Indian banking industry, M&A activities contribute significantly to growth and competitiveness. They drive economic prosperity by facilitating capital flows and resource allocation. The strategic rationale behind M&A lies in synergies that create additional value beyond the sum of individual entities, ultimately benefiting shareholders and stakeholders. The classification of M&A patterns in the Indian banking sector highlights the complexity and diversity of transactions, reflecting strategic motivations and market dynamics. Understanding these motivations is crucial for stakeholders to navigate the evolving landscape effectively. This classification highlights the significance of comprehending the underlying motivations behind such activity and represents the heterogeneous landscape of M&A transactions within the banking sector. In the rapidly changing Indian banking industry, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) play a crucial strategic role in attaining scale, growth, and value creation. This has prompted additional study to examine the reasons behind these transactions.

Legal Framework

The legal framework surrounding mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the Indian banking sector is governed by several key acts and regulations, each with its specific provisions and implications.

The Banking Regulation Act of 1949[6] is foundational in enabling voluntary mergers among Indian banking entities. Section 44A of this act empowers the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to approve such mergers, providing a structured process for combining banking businesses. Notably, this act distinguishes between nationalized banks, State Bank of India (SBI), and other banking entities, applying different rules to each category.

The Industries (Development & Regulation) Act of 1951[7] intersects with M&A in limited ways, primarily concerning approvals and control mechanisms for industrial undertakings. While not directly focused on mergers, it outlines procedures for the Central Government to intervene in industrial operations, impacting merger activities that involve industrial entities.

The Companies Act 2013[8] provides a legal framework for compromises, arrangements, and reconstructions, enabling High Court approval for merger schemes. This act complements the Banking Regulation Act by addressing broader corporate mergers and arrangements, including those involving banking institutions.

Income Tax Act, 1961[9] Tax implications are crucial in M&A, as reflected in the Income Tax Act of 1961. Section 72(1) addresses the treatment of losses and depreciation in amalgamations, providing tax benefits for banking mergers under specified conditions. This incentivizes consolidation and facilitates financial integration post-merger.

The Competition Act of 2002[10] plays a vital role in regulating commercial combinations, including mergers and acquisitions, to prevent anti-competitive practices and promote market efficiency. By overseeing company combinations, this act ensures fair competition, protects consumer interests, and prevents the formation of monopolies or abuse of dominant market positions.

Section 45(4) of the Banking Regulation Act has a special provision known as the Compulsory Amalgamation, which gives the RBI the power to force amalgamations under certain conditions, most notably when a bank’s financial situation seriously deteriorates. With a focus on depositor protection and systemic resilience, this regulatory authority highlights the RBI’s responsibility for maintaining the integrity and stability of the banking industry.

Bank mergers in India

The historical narrative around mergers and acquisitions (M&As) within the Indian banking sector demonstrates how strategic attempts at consolidation have changed throughout time in order to foster development and resilience. It begins with earlier mergers, such as Punjab National Bank’s 1993 acquisition of New Bank of India and ICICI Bank Ltd.’s 2001 integration of Bank of Madura Ltd. Going on to more recent developments, the Indian government unveiled an ambitious proposal in August 2019 to merge 10 Public Sector Banks (PSBs) into 4 bigger businesses in an attempt to boost the nation’s economy and offer them a greater competitive edge.

These mergers served a crucial purpose in developing next-generation banks that can successfully navigate the complexity of the contemporary financial environment; hence there was a strategic need behind them. The objective of the project was to strengthen the sector against global economic risks, improve efficiency, and streamline operations by lowering the number of PSBs from 27 to 12. In addition, the mergers were expected to serve as accelerators for market share consolidation, with industry heavyweights such as SBI and PNB emerging as major entities with considerable sway over the direction of the sector[11].

Certain mergers like the one that created the nation’s second-largest nationalized bank by combining Punjab National Bank, United Bank of India, and Oriental Bank of Commerce, had a significant revolutionary impact. Through this strategic partnership, the combined company was positioned as a strong rival on the international scene in addition to increasing revenue and branch network. The Indian banking industry is known for its dynamic nature, which is exemplified by its strategic mergers and acquisitions that facilitate sustainable growth, resilience, and global competitiveness that are in line with the country’s economic goals[12].

History of ICICI Bank

From its founding as a development financial institution in 1955 to its evolution into a provider of varied financial services and its incorporation as ICICI Bank in 1994, ICICI Bank has a very long history. The original purpose of ICICI, which was founded with backing from the World Bank, the Indian government, and industry representatives, was to offer medium- and long-term project finance to Indian enterprises. ICICI contributed to the development of numerous industrial ventures by concentrating mostly on project finance up till the late 1980s[13].

An important turning point was the liberalization of India’s banking industry in the 1990s. In response to this economic turmoil, ICICI evolved from being a development financial institution to a diversified financial services provider that provides a greater range of products and services. This change was in line with India’s growing integration into the global economy and its shift toward a market-oriented economy. India’s market-oriented economy and connection with the global economy present new chances for ICICI. By taking advantage of these chances, ICICI broadened the range of services it provided and increased its clientele, so profiting from the market’s rising demand for financial goods and services. ICICI’s NYSE listing marked a significant milestone for the company, as it became the first bank or financial institution from outside of Japan Asia and the first Indian corporation to do so. In reaction to shifting economic conditions, ICICI underwent a strategic evolution that resulted in its successful transformation from a development financial institution to a provider of diversified financial services and, through strategic initiatives like its listing on the NYSE, a globally recognized organization[14].

Merger between ICICI and Bank of Rajasthan

The merger between ICICI Bank Ltd. and Bank of Rajasthan was driven by strategic imperatives and regulatory pressures. Initially, Bank of Rajasthan faced challenges due to governance and compliance issues, leading the RBI to intervene and mandate a reduction in the Tayal Group’s shareholding. These regulatory actions highlighted governance shortcomings and necessitated reorganization within the bank.

ICICI Bank’s strategic interest in acquiring Bank of Rajasthan stemmed from its goals to expand market presence and leverage synergies between the two entities. The merger presented an opportunity for ICICI Bank to strengthen its position in the banking industry while providing Bank of Rajasthan a pathway to address operational and regulatory challenges.

The approval of the merger and the established swap ratio signaled a significant milestone in the consolidation process, indicating regulatory endorsement and paving the way for integration efforts[15]. The no-cash agreement and estimated transaction value underscored the strategic nature of the merger, focusing on value creation and operational synergies rather than financial considerations alone. By acquiring Bank of Rajasthan, ICICI Bank strategically extended its footprint in northern Rajasthan, utilizing the acquired client base and branch network to enhance market reach and competitiveness. This strategic move exemplifies growth initiatives aimed at solidifying market position and leveraging collaborative advantages for mutual benefit and value creation[16].

Purpose of the merger

Between 2002 and 2010, Bank of Rajasthan had several difficulties and regulatory demands that had a big influence on its governance and operations. The bank purchased properties in Mumbai in the early 2000s through Mr. P K Tayal, the promoter’s close cousin. Concerns regarding possible conflicts of interest and transparency were brought up by this transaction. The bank thereafter came under increased regulatory scrutiny starting in 2009, especially from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The Tayal Group, which owned Bank of Rajasthan, was forced to cut its stake from 28% to 10% by the RBI, raising concerns about concentrated ownership and the requirement for better corporate governance.

When the RBI fined Bank of Rajasthan 25 lakhs in 2010 for a number of infractions, the situation got worse. Among these infractions were unethical property transactions, disregard for anti-money laundering regulations, erasure of company documents, anomalies in corporate group accounts, and exceeding overdraft limits. Inadequate corporate governance procedures and shortcomings in credit committees were also mentioned. The bank’s governance structures and operations were found to have systemic problems as a result of these sanctions and breaches.

Amid these difficulties, ICICI Bank expressed interest and stated that it would be ready to pay more than the Bank of Rajasthan’s market assessment. This interest may have been motivated by strategic goals like reaching new markets or gaining access to particular clientele. Overall, Bank of Rajasthan had a turbulent ride between 2002 and 2010, defined by demands for financial restructuring, oversight errors, regulatory constraints, and possible interest from other financial institutions in acquisition or investment prospects[17].

The goal of ICICI Bank and Bank of Rajasthan’s merger, known as C’merge, was to improve customer-centric services and market presence by utilizing BoR’s strong brand and wide branch network, particularly in Rajasthan. With 294 branches and a 9.3% market share in deposits, the combination put ICICI Bank in a strategic position to strengthen bonds, boost revenue, and enhance offerings in certain regional micro markets.

Analysis of the merger

In the Indian banking industry, the 2010 merger of ICICI Bank and Bank of Rajasthan was a momentous occasion with several ramifications.

  • Deal Value and Swap Ratio: In order to ease the merger, a swap ratio of 25:118 was established, meaning that for every 118 shares of Bank of Rajasthan, shareholders would receive 25 shares of ICICI Bank. The magnitude and financial consequences of the combination were demonstrated by the deal’s total value of 30.41 billion[18].
  • Regulatory clearance and Integration: The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) August 13, 2010 clearance was a significant milestone that indicated regulatory confidence in the merger process[19]. This clearance would allow the integration process to move forward without hiccups. A swift integration and transition strategy was suggested by the intention to have all Bank of Rajasthan branches function under the ICICI Bank name starting on August 13[20].
  • Strategic Implications: The deal gives ICICI Bank a substantial footing in northern Rajasthan in addition to increasing its asset base. This calculated action was probably taken to increase ICICI Bank’s market share and client base in a crucial area.
  • No Cash Deal: This merger’s no-cash nature points to a calculated choice to maximize the capabilities and resources of both institutions while avoiding substantial financial outflows. In terms of capital management and post-merger financial stability, this strategy could be advantageous[21].
  • Pre and Post Merger Performance measurement though Profitability ratios

Improved profitability was indicated by the overall net profit margin (546.77 billion) following the merger, which was higher than the pre-merger performance (110.30 billion). The return on assets rose to 10.71 times after the merger, a substantial rise from the pre-merger level of 3.2 times, demonstrating enhanced asset utilization and efficiency. Furthermore, the return on equity following the merger was significantly larger than the return prior to the merger, indicating increased shareholder profitability. Higher than their pre-merger peaks, the highest post-merger ratios—net profit margin in 2015–16 (111.75 billion), ROA in 2015–16 (1.86 times), and ROE in 2014–15 —show that the merger improved ICICI Bank’s financial performance in all important profitability metrics[22].

  • Pre and Post Merger Performance Measurement through Liquidity Ratios

In the context of ICICI Bank Ltd.’s prior to and post-merger financial performance, the examination of liquidity measures, such as the current ratio, acid test ratio, and cash ratio, shows a noticeable improvement in liquidity after the merger. The total current ratio after the merger was 2.71 times higher than it was 1.14 times before, indicating improved short-term liquidity and a more efficient capacity to pay current commitments. Better liquidity management was seen in the greatest post-merger current ratio (1.33 times) in 2016–17, which was considerably higher than the pre-merger top (0.90 times) in 2007–08[23].

In a similar vein, the acid test ratio significantly increased after the merger (84.28 times) as opposed to the pre-merger level (18.4 times), suggesting a better capacity to satisfy short-term obligations without significantly relying on inventories. The pre-merger peak (6.42 times) in 2008–09 was much surpassed by the greatest post-merger acid test ratio (15.86 times) in 2011–12, indicating increased financial strength and liquidity reserves.

Additionally, better cash reserves and liquidity management were highlighted by the fact that the cash ratio after the merger (0.557 times) was greater than the performance prior to the merger (0.281 times). The pre-merger peak (0.107 times) in 2007–08 was surpassed by the highest post-merger cash ratio (0.106 times) in 2010–11, indicating effective cash flow management after the merger[24].

  • Pre and Post Merger measurement through Leverage Ratios

In light of ICICI Bank Ltd.’s pre- and post-merger financial performance, an examination of leverage measures, such as the debt ratio, debt-equity ratio, and interest coverage ratio, reveals a notable improvement in leverage management following the merger. The total debt ratio after the merger was 48.09 times greater than it was before the merger (9.14 times), suggesting a larger share of debt in the capital structure but also maybe more chances for investment and expansion.

The debt-to-equity ratio was much higher after the merger (45.47:1) than it was before the merger (23.76:1), indicating a greater reliance on debt financing after the merger. This could point to the use of strategic leverage to effectively finance corporate projects and expansion. It’s crucial to remember, too, that greater debt levels also entail higher interest costs and financial risk. This implies more stability in the financial system and a lower chance of default because of interest payments[25].

Findings of the study

The recommendations made for the research centre on a number of crucial areas to enhance the efficiency and results of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the banking industry:

  • Policy Liberalization: Pressuring the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Indian government to liberalize its M&A rules will enable more bank transactions. Using economies of scale and synergy may increase profitability.
  • Training and Awareness: Banks should place a high priority on educating their employees about mergers and acquisitions. Programmes for increased training and retraining, particularly for management personnel, can improve management effectiveness and guarantee a more seamless merger transfer.
  • Legal Insurances: In the Indian environment, protecting banks from post-merger litigation is essential. Legal complications can occasionally result from mergers, therefore obtaining the right insurance helps reduce risks and safeguard the combined company’s interests.
  • Liquidity Management: Following a merger, banks should concentrate on improving their skills in this area. For financial stability and operational continuity, appropriate methods for maintaining a strong liquidity position must be developed and put into action.
  • Risk analysis: Analyzing the financial results before and after the merger is crucial, particularly in terms of how problematic loans are handled. Banks are seriously threatened by bad loans, and a careful examination may help identify possible hazards and create effective mitigation plans.

The Reserve Bank of India approved the merger of ICICI Bank and Bank of Rajasthan on August 13, 2010, marking a significant milestone in the banking sector. It has been determined that the post-merger earnings are acceptable, indicating that ICICI Bank would gain. ICICI Bank’s improved profitability and liquidity situations are among the major post-merger benefits. This can be linked to a number of synergies and efficiencies—like more market reach, simplified processes and optimal resource utilization—acquired throughout the merger process.

However, problems with human resources (HR) are prevalent complications of banking industry mergers. One of the main concerns is how the merging companies’ employees—in this example, Bank of Rajasthan (BOR) employees—will be affected. Conflicts between organizational cultures to possible layoffs and reorganizations are examples of HR problems. It is imperative that merging companies properly address these issues by providing equitable transition plans, being upfront about communication and providing support for employees during the integration period.

Notwithstanding difficulties in HR, the merger has resulted in a number of improvements. The expansion of branches and ATMs, which suggests a greater regional presence and better consumer accessibility, is one important advantage. Both banks stand to gain from this development as it improves their clientele, range of services, and competitive standing in the industry.

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