Industry mergers and acquisitions barreling along into 2012
The Business Handshake - 16.32 Kb
If mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are signs of health within a given industry, the healthcare products-and-services sector is in fighting condition despite a punishing economy; and the medical device segment is leading the way.

According to a new analysis from investment research firm Irving Levin Associates, 2011 saw at least 980 deals worth $227.4 billion in the sector, a 9 percent increase over the $207.7 billion recorded in 2010. The volume of deals showed a dip, but the report, issued in Levin’s newsletter "The Health Care M&A Monthly," speculated that the number will rise once all final regulatory filings are made public by March.

Among individual healthcare segments announcing 100 deals or more in 2011, medical devices led the field with 170 deals. Long-term care followed with 161; then came pharmaceuticals with 115 and physician medical groups with 107. The two least robust sectors were rehabilitative care (14 deals) and behavioral health (12).

The services category as a whole accounted for 56 percent of the total deal volume (545 deals), topping technology’s 435 deals.

“Despite apocalyptic headlines in the media about the end of the euro, the dollar, the economy and the world, deal makers readily utilized the M&A market to grow their businesses,” said Levin in the newsletter. “Despite the financial wringer through which the economy has lurched, capital remains available for the M&A market.”