PwC Sees Pharmaceuticals, Life Sciences in M&A Surge

18.05.2015 -

The pharmaceuticals and life sciences sectors saw 35 mergers and acquisitions worth $166.3 billion in the first three months of 2015, a value that eclipsed transactions from all of 2014, says Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) in its Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Deals Insights Quarterly.

According to PwC, the deal value amounted to four times the amount in the previous three-month period despite the fact that there were only four additional mergers.

By comparison, in 2014 as a whole, 161 transactions totaling $150.1 billion in value were recorded in those industries.

The analysis also did not include the 49 still-pending deals announced in the first-quarter. These would add another $76 billion.

In the pharmaceutical industry alone, PwC says the first quarter saw 18 transactions worth altogether $97.4 billion. Another 21 pharma deals worth $62.1 billion were announced in the three-month period, including takeovers of Pharmacyclics by AbbVie and Hospira by Pfizer.

PwC's analysts expect merger activity to remain robust throughout 2015 as companies seek stronger pipelines and expanded capabilities.

The report adds that company divestitures should open more acquisition targets as restructuring in generic pharmaceuticals proceeds. The strength of the dollar is expected to generate additional targets outside the US, while industry consolidation and asset swaps should remain prevalent.

PwC additionally lists disclosed mergers and acquisitions worth at least $15 million, involving US-based companies active in biotechnology, medical devices, medical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals or related services.