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Life science M&As in Q4 of 2017: notes and trends

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PAUL D’SOUZA
Pharmaceutical Industry Analyst

INTRODUCTION

During the fourth quarter of 2017, Cortellis Deals Intelligence registered 122 new mergers and acquisitions (M&A) with a total disclosed deal value of $92.3 billion as part of its ongoing coverage of M&A activity in the life sciences sector compared to 121 and $30.1 billion in the third quarter and 111 and $22 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 (Figure 1). 

The reported deal dollars in the fourth quarter of 2017 were helped by pharmacy and insurance provider CVS Health’s $69 billion approach for health plan and dental coverage provider Aetna following the large reduction in total fourth quarter deal value in M&A activity in 2016. It was the largest reported M&A since Pfizer’s $160 billion approach for Allergan in 2015, which had ended following a review of U.S. tax implications. Other M&As with large disclosed values for the year-end quarter focused on pharmacy distributions, health insurance, dialysis services, medical devices, nutritional supplements, radioligands and personalized treatments for cancer, mostly in the clinical phase.

High-value M&As worth $0.5B or more

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