Healthcare sees busy M&A activity

The amount of money poured into healthcare mergers and acquisitions totaled more than $143 billion during 2012, a significant drop from the prior year, concluded a new report from Irving Levin Associates.

Despite the drop in invested capital, 2012 was still among the busiest years for healthcare M&A in the past decade, according to the Norwalk, Conn.-based firm. Altogether, there were 1,053 deals consummated last year, up from the 1,004 that took place in 2011.

In the hospital sector, 94 deals occurred last year, up 2.2 percent from 2011, when 92 deals took place. However, the amount of money invested totaled only $1.9 billion--down 77 percent from 2011, when the amount invested in M&A was $8.3 billion.

"The fact that the number of M&A transactions was so high, despite the drop in dollar volume, indicates a strong case of market breadth with buyers going after more strategic deals and not the blockbusters," Stephen M. Monroe, a Levin Associates partner, said yesterday in a statement.

One recent example may be the decision of Connecticut's Saint Francis Care to join Ascension Health, reported NBC Connecticut. Although Ascension joined forced with Oak Hill Partners in 2011 to create a nationwide network of Catholic hospitals, it has mostly been focused on regional deals such as the pending Saint Francis Care transaction.

For more:
- read the Irving Levin statement
- read the NBC Connecticut article