Boston Scientific's Drive To Add To Core Strength Continues With BTG Buy
When Boston Scientific chief medical officer Ian Meredith spoke in mid-2018 of the group's appetite for core M&A, there was a sense that more strategic moves were likely before the year was out. The inference was right, and a busy year for Boston Scientific got much busier when it made a cash offer for UK interventional medicine specialist BTG PLC. The bid values the target company at £4.28 billion, and completion is expected by mid-2019.
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Device fundraising in the fourth quarter totaled $1.5bn, a 42% decrease from Q3's $2.6bn. Q4 M&A activity reached $8.6bn. Q4 diagnostics financings brought in $1.2bn (a 32% increase over Q3) and M&As totaled $1.3bn (the second-highest quarter of the year).
Ground-breaking M&A deals were largely absent from medtech industry schedules in 2018 – Boston’s BTG deal aside – but that does not mean consolidation of the medtech industry is slowing down. M&A deal numbers have been steady of late, even if aggregate deal value has declined in recent years. Digital transformation is a catalyst for a growing number of sector-transforming transactions.
The relative absence of blockbuster M&A within medtech in 2018, compared with recent years, does not mean that consolidation of the industry – and of providers and payers – will not continue apace in 2019 and beyond. In fact, it is written – if not in the stars then possibly in digital coding – that there will be fewer and bigger entities at the top end of the ecosystem of medtech stakeholders. And rising demand will be met more and more by digital tools and functionalities.