Boston leads in healthcare M&A

The top city for healthcare mergers and acquisitions is Boston, according to an analysis by Mergermarket and Acuris.

From 2015 to 2018, Boston reported 93 healthcare deals. With three cities on the top 10 rankings for number of deals, California came in at No. 1. The West Coast state reported 399 deals over that time period in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

"Last year was an almost record year for healthcare M&A in the US, which reached 531 deals valued at USD 71.9bn," Lana Vilner, Mergermarket head of research, Americas, told HealthExec. "The last (and only) time we had seen such high number of deals was in 2015 (560 transactions)."

Here were the top 10 cities for healthcare M&A from 2015 to 2018:

  1. Boston––93 deals, $43.4 billion value
  2. San Francisco––86 deals, $49.1 billion value
  3. Dallas-Fort Worth––73 deals, $6.5 billion value
  4. Miami––61 deals, $2.8 billion value
  5. Chicago––57 deals, $85.7 billion value
  6. Los Angeles––55 deals, $18.2 billion value
  7. Minneapolis––50 deals, $38.4 billion value
  8. Nashville––50 deals, $30 billion value
  9. Atlanta––50 deals, $4.2 billion value
  10. San Diego––45 deals, $19.2 billion value

"Boston Scientific was actually the most active buyer of US targets in 2018–it acquired eight U.S.-based firms for a total of USD 1.9bn, including Augmenix (USD 500m), Millipede (USD 325m), VENITI (USD 160m), and Claret Medical (USD 220m)," Vilner said. "However, its largest purchase was outside of the U.S.–it was of London-based pharmaceutical company BTG for USD 4bn."

The report comes as 2018 was a hot M&A year for the healthcare industry, marked with several megadeals, such as CVS Health’s $69 billion takeover of Aetna and Cigna’s $67 billion purchase of Express Scripts. The massive deals ongoing in the space are contributing to the overall high M&A activity, according to a July 2018 report. However, the space did see overall transaction value dip in 2018.

"What we observed in 2018 was the absence of what we call mega-deals (deals over USD 10bn) in the healthcare sector," Vilner told HealthExec. "In fact, the largest transaction was the buyout of Envision Healthcare by KKR at USD 9.4bn. While some other sectors, including PBM, registered a number of mega-deals, healthcare was relatively quiet."