Healthcare services merger and acquisition activity dropped in the first quarter of 2004 compared with both the year-ago quarter and the last three months of 2003, according to Irving Levin Associates, New Canaan, Conn. A total of 83 deals were announced in the quarter in sectors including hospitals, managed-care, physician groups, behavioral health and several post-acute categories, compared with 102 deals in the 2003 fourth quarter and 98 deals in the year-ago quarter. Deals in healthcare technology, which includes pharmaceuticals, also fell in number to 118, from 132 deals in the fourth quarter and 131 deals in the year-ago quarter. The healthcare technology category accounted for 94% of the dollar value of announced deals for the quarter. -- by Vince Galloro
Mergers and acquisitions slow in first quarter
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