The pace of healthcare deals held strong through the end of 2012, but fewer companies entered big-dollar megadeals.
The last three months of the year saw 358 deals compared with 350 in the previous three months, according to Healthcare M&A Watch, which is produced by Modern Healthcare. The disclosed value of $22 billion, however, represented a 40% drop from the $36.9 billion worth of third-quarter deals. And that followed a 27% drop from the value of deals in the second quarter. The dynamic signals that buyers and investors are focusing on transactions that fit into their strategic plans rather than making ambitious plays with multibillion deals, according to the report.
The figures show a similar pattern for the full year. Overall, 2012 saw 1,430 deals—a 22% increase—compared with 2011's 1,170 deals. The disclosed value of those deals, however, was 12% less than in 2011, falling to $126 billion from $157 billion. Vendors contributed the most activity in 2012, accounting for 53.6% of the deal volume. Pharmaceuticals, life sciences and biotechnology were a distant second at 23.6% of the 2012 deals. Providers accounted for 19.4% and payers for 3.4%. Pharmaceutical, life science and biotechnology companies saw the most growth in the number of deals at the end of the year, increasing to 97 in the fourth quarter from 78 in the third.