Most healthcare mergers and acquisitions (M&A) professionals see a positive outlook for healthcare and life sciences deals next year, even as political uncertainty will be the biggest factor to upend transactions, according to a recent Merrill Insight poll of global M&A professionals.
According to the poll, which included more than 200 respondents from the Americas and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), 52% of respondents believe that the M&A market is headed in a positive direction in the next year. This is a 12% jump from the results of the November Merrill Insight poll, where 40% of respondents anticipated a positive outlook and 48% believed the market was headed in a neutral direction.
The positive outlook is tempered by 35% of respondents citing political uncertainty as the most likely factor to sink healthcare deals in the next year. This concern came ahead of investor confidence (22%), data privacy (21%), antitrust / competition (14%) and national security regulations (6%).
Health IT Biggest Opportunity in Sector
The poll finds that 44% of respondents said healthcare IT represented the richest investment opportunity in the sector, ahead of next generation sequencing (22%), medical marijuana (20%) and both point of care delivery and immunotherapy (19%). Technology will drive the most opportunity in population health and precision medicine, according to 25% of respondents. Other areas of opportunity included diagnostics and devices (24%), biosensors and trackers (20%), telehealth (18%) and infrastructure and operations (10%). However, 40% of respondents said data connectivity is the greatest obstacle to harnessing the technology opportunity, followed by technology and healthcare collaboration (23%), lack of user experience focus (14%), technology-as-a-cost-center culture (12%) and the technology talent gap (10%).
“This aligns with the steady stream of transaction activity we are seeing from our healthcare and life sciences clients,” said Rusty Wiley, Chief Executive Officer of Merrill Corporation. “The number of projects we are managing is up almost 12% compared to the same time last year. The shift to a technology-based business environment is pushing life sciences and healthcare companies to acquire or form partnerships to build better data and customer-centric capabilities.”
“The healthcare landscape is becoming increasingly difficult for dealmakers to navigate, as the U.S. enters a major election season and questions still surround the details of Brexit,” said Wiley. “On top of this, the healthcare industry is still grappling with how to operationalize and protect vast amounts of data, as well as how to attract the technology talent needed to capture that opportunity.”
美林( Merrill Insight )最近对全球并购专业人士进行的一项调查显示，尽管政治不确定性将是影响交易的最大因素，但多数医疗并购专业人士认为，明年医疗和生命科学交易前景乐观。
调查显示，52%的受访者认为，明年并购市场正朝着积极的方向发展。这比11月美林透视( Merrill Insight )的调查结果高出12%，40%的受访者预计前景乐观，48%的人认为市场走向中性。
调查发现，44%的受访者表示，医疗保健 IT 是该行业最大的投资机会，领先于下一代测序（22%）、医用大麻（20%）以及护理服务和免疫疗法（19%）。25%的受访者表示，科技将推动人口健康和精准医疗领域的最大机遇。其他机会领域包括诊断和设备（24%）、生物传感器和跟踪器（20%）、远程保健（18%）以及基础设施和运营（10%）。然而，40%的受访者表示，数据连接是利用技术机会的最大障碍，其次是技术和医疗合作（23%）、缺乏用户体验焦点（14%）、技术成本中心文化（12%）和技术人才缺口（10%）。
“这与我们从医疗和生命科学客户那里看到的稳定的交易活动流是一致的，”美林公司( Merrill Corporation )首席执行官拉斯蒂•威尔伊( Rusty Wiley )表示。“与去年同期相比，我们管理的项目数量增长了近12%。向以技术为基础的商业环境的转变，正推动生命科学和医疗公司收购或结成合作伙伴，以建立更好的数据和以客户为中心的能力。”