NEW CANAAN, CT. (PRWEB) JANUARY 18, 2022 – Health care merger and acquisition activity soared in the fourth quarter of 2021, hitting a record 733 deals, according to new acquisition data from LevinPro HC. Activity in the fourth quarter was 22% higher than the third quarter when 601 transactions were announced; it’s a sharp increase of 42% compared with Q4:20 when only 517 deals were announced.
Activity in sectors such as Physician Medical Groups and Long-Term Care drove much of the volume, with 138 and 122 deals, respectively, but there was a notable 40% jump in activity in the Other Services sector. Demand for healthcare real estate, such as medical office buildings and properties, helped drive the increase especially. Activity in the Home Health & Hospice and Behavioral Health Care sectors remained stable thanks to tailwinds in each market. More and more patients are seeking alternatives to facility-based care, turning toward home health services, and anxiety caused by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is causing a surge in individuals seeking mental health treatment and services.
Even the Hospital sector saw a slight increase, with 17 deal announcements in the final stretch of 2021. There were notable transactions from every corner of the industry: publicly traded health systems like HCA Healthcare, large REITs and not-for-profit academic medical systems all announced deals last quarter, highlighting a strong market despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Activity in the technology sectors remained healthy despite the slight 5% drop in total transactions compared with the third quarter. M&A activity in the eHealth sector remained level, with 86 deal announcements. Although M&A demand for telehealth providers has softened compared with 2020, we’re seeing increased activity for providers specializing in care coordination and patient engagement as the industry moves to a value-based care system.
Deal value in the fourth quarter totaled $120.6 billion, a decline of 11% compared with the $135.5 billion spent in the third quarter, based on disclosed prices. The spending in Q4:21 was 2% lower than the $123.6 billion disclosed in the fourth quarter of 2020. The largest deal of the fourth quarter was Oracle Corporation’s $28.3 billion acquisition of Cerner Corporation, an electronic health record and software provider for hospitals and healthcare organizations.
“It has been a historic year for healthcare M&A, with more than 2,500 deal announcements, largely driven by private equity activity across a variety of sectors,” said Dylan Sammut, Editor of Health Care at Irving Levin Associates, which publishes the data on its LevinPro HC platform. “But strategic buyers and investors from other industries are moving in fast, especially big tech and retail giants. These players have big ambitions to transform the healthcare landscape, so expect another wild year in 2022.”
All quarterly results are published in The Health Care M&A Report, which is part of the Irving Levin Associates and LevinPro investment research source. For information, or to order the reports, call 800-248-1668. Irving Levin Associates is celebrating more than 70 years of delivering exclusive M&A intelligence to its sophisticated audience of seniors housing and healthcare investors. The company was established in 1948 and has offices in New Canaan, Connecticut and North Bethesda, Maryland. The company publishes research reports and newsletters and maintains databases on the healthcare and senior housing M&A markets.