Healthcare M&A dollar value climbs

The dollar volume of merger activity during the second quarter of 2012 more than doubled compared to the prior quarter, reflecting larger transactions, according to a new report from Irving Levin & Associates.

Altogether, healthcare mergers and acquisitions totaled $61.2 billion during the quarter, up from about $30 billion during the prior quarter.

"The healthcare M&A market has been fairly steady, averaging just above 250 transactions a quarter, but it has been the dollar volume, impacted by the number of mega-deals, that fluctuates so much," Stephen M. Monroe, an Irving Levin partner, said in a statement Thursday.

However, the volume was down compared to the year-ago numbers, with the second quarter of 2011 dollar volume reaching $73.53 billion.

Hospitals transactions represented $4.55 billion worth of transactions in this year's second quarter, or only 7 percent of the total. But it was up significantly from the second quarter of 2011, when transactions totaled $3.53 billion.

The Fitch ratings service asserted earlier this month that consolidation in the hospital industry would continue to accelerate, driven by weaker levels of reimbursement and continued financial constraints.

To learn more:
- read the Irving Levin July 2012 report
- here's the July 2011 report
- read the Fitch statement