Healthcare M&A reached $546 billion in announced deal value in 2015 – a 2.5 times increase over the previous decade’s average annual value. Several industry-specific trends further fueled the healthcare M&A boom. Firstly, demand for healthcare is surging given the rise of chronic and lifestyle diseases, aging populations in many developed markets and a growing middle class in many developing regions. As a result, there will be continued pressure globally to contain healthcare costs, which have consistently outrun GDP growth. Innovation is bringing new drugs, devices, technology and analytics to market, and new government regulations are aiming to improve quality and increase access to healthcare. Taken together, these trends are shifting the way that healthcare is delivered across the globe, triggering consolidation along the value chain as firms position themselves to emerge as winners.
For healthcare PE-investors, 2015 was a strong year for buyouts and exits, but headwinds emerged in the second half of the year. Asia-Pacific turned in another record-breaking year for deal value, with strong activity in the provider and biopharma.