Hospital M&A ended 2010 at a torrid pace

Hospital merger and acquisition surged in 2010, particularly during the second half of the year, reports Healthcare Finance News. Deal Search Online, a database operated by Irving Levin Associates, reported that 77 hospital-related deals took place during 2010, a nearly 50 percent increase from the 52 deals consummated in 2009. That's the highest total reported since 82 deals in 2001.

The total dollar amount committed to those transactions totaled $12.6 billion, more than six times the $1.8 billion worth of transactions in the prior year. Although that's the second-highest dollar amount committed to hospital M&A since tracking began, it still pales to the highest total: $35.5 billion in 2006.

However, the report counts Community Health Systems' $7.3 billion offer for Tenet Healthcare among the deals. Tenet to date has rejected the CHS offer and activated a poison pill defense against a hostile takeover. The largest consummated deal was Vanguard Health's acquisition of Detroit Medical Center for $1.3 billion.

Among the 2010 transactions, 48 took place during the second half of 2010, indicating the sector was rapidly picking up steam heading into this year. Irving Levin officials suggested the pace would continue at a fairly rapid clip in 2011.

For more:
- read the Healthcare Finance News article
- read the Becker's Hospital Review article