We’ve recently been seeing at first hand the rise in medical and healthcare sector mergers and acquisitions both domestically and internationally, with Dublin-based Clanwilliam Group’s synergetic acquisition of Cheshire-based NHS technology provider Medisec (brokered by Benchmark International) the most recent example.
Greater private sector involvement in the NHS has long been predicted thanks to a competition-opening process begun way back by the Blair administration and further strengthened by the Health and Social Care Act, but the snap-up rate in the industry is still striking.
Led by M&A in the domiciliary care sector, which has after all been dominated by private equity since the late 1980s, the NHS has seen increasing government promotion of private-sector models alongside a more positive environment for outsourcing services and for consolidation and M&A.
The ongoing digitization of the NHS is also a factor behind the UK sector’s M&A readiness, with Medisec being part of a wider movement towards acquisition for synergetic expansion. Digitization is really helping drive innovation across the healthcare sector, and here mergers and acquisitions are playing an important role.
While risks associated with the general medical and healthcare sector include tight legislation around pharmaceuticals sales and patent expirations, these are off-set in the larger companies by the famously deep pockets of ‘Big Pharma’.
In smaller companies and start-ups, however, M&A often presents a real opportunity to bolster pipelines to market and to improve efficiency. That’s what we’ve been seeing here at Benchmark, and it’s a great example of mergers and acquisitions helping drive growth in the UK.