M&A In Medical Devices: A More Robust Climate? Yes & No
Over the last three years, deal values in medical device M&A have hit all time highs, with more big deals done than ever before. Still, even with deal values soaring, device M&A remains a small-stakes game. IN VIVO looks at dealmaking in medtech by therapeutic and industry segments.
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A look back at the biggest devices stories of the decade, in capsule form.
Notwithstanding an occasional blip, the environment for medical device companies has never been stronger, with robust technology development, company creation rewarded with high levels of private and venture investment, and strong M&A activity all supporting a business model that was born out of the doldrums that device companies found themselves in a decade ago. Still, there are pressures that are straining the current model and raising legitimate concerns, including physician conflict-of-interest charges; regulatory pathways that are trickier and a climate of evidence-based medicine that leads to longer, more expensive trials; and a robust M&A environment that is sustainable only if a next-generation of acquiring companies steps up. Part one of a two-part series.
The first quarter of 2008 saw a dearth in financings for both the medical device and in vitro diagnostics segments. In the former, volume fell short of the billion dollar mark while the latter failed to reach the success the previous quarter had witnessed, despite completing an equal number of transactions. M&A in medical devices didn't look any more promising, bringing in $1.6 billion, a huge slide from the impressive $10 billion total of 2007's fourth quarter. However, there was one bright spot: acquisitions within in vitro diagnostics/research reagents substantially increased to $3.1 billion from the $370 million spent in the previous three months, led by Inverness Medical Innovations' $1.1 billion takeover of Matria Healthcare Inc. Also noteworthy: oncology diagnostics alliances grew slowly and steadily thanks to increasing attention from larger companies.