Washington Post deal could signal influx of nonclinical partners

The company whose newspaper broke the Watergate scandal 40 years ago is getting into the hospice and home healthcare business, part of a trend toward non-traditional entities moving into healthcare, reported American Medical News.

The Washington Post Company's acquisition of Pennsylvania-based Celtic Healthcare for an estimated $50 million could signal far more such deals, according to the article.

"It's tempting," Sheryl Skolnick, managing director and senior healthcare analyst with CRT Capital Group, told the publication. "There's tremendous change coming, and with great change comes great opportunity."

Meanwhile, Berkery Noyes, an investment banking firm that follows mergers and acquisitions activity, noted that M&A volume in the health IT sector alone was up 19 percent during the first three quarters of 2012. Financial buyers--those involved in equity and not necessarily directly in healthcare--represented 65 percent of the transactions, according to the company.

"Both strategic and financial buyers are looking to acquire companies that are experiencing rapid growth," Tom O'Connor, a Berkery Noyes managing director, said in a statement issued by the firm.

Home healthcare, a sector the Post Company is positioning itself to enter, is expected to grow globally at a compounded rate of nearly 8 percent per year, according to a new report from Transparency Market Research.

For more information:
- read the American Medical News article
- here's the Berkery Noyes statement
- read the Transparency Research announcement