November 30, 2021
Unprecedented M&A Market for Healthcare & Life Sciences Consulting
For care and for cures, we move mountains. The healthcare and life sciences ecosystem has unique dynamics due to the inelasticity of our global demand. As we near the second year of the pandemic, the salient reckoning with our collective health has resulted in heightened demand for healthcare and life sciences in an already growing, robust market. The ability of businesses in these industries to quickly expand their technological, regulatory, operational and strategic capabilities to better meet the demand has been pivotal to the industry’s recent growth. The healthcare and life sciences consulting sector has produced a surge of M&A activity in recent months, as consultancies aid market participants to meet increased consumer demand and navigate complexity and uncertainty in an unprecedented time. According to Pitchbook, healthcare consulting and life sciences M&A has grown 68% from Q2 2020 through Q3 2021.
While COVID is one component of this growth, a confluence of longer-standing factors are impacting market activity and valuations. Generational trends, including the aging population juxtaposed with a prevalent millennial value on health and well-being, account for greater demand for volume and quality of services, respectively. The explosion of once unimaginable technological advancements making new therapeutics and forms of care possible, also continues to encourage an influx of capital into the sector. Constantly changing healthcare privacy and regulatory laws, rising costs paired with downward pricing pressure, operational diversification and globalization all lead market participants to seek the guidance of specialized healthcare and life sciences consultancies. These underlying market tailwinds have led to a proliferation of fast-growing healthcare and life sciences consultancies that are getting snapped up by strategic acquirers, keen to bolt on their offerings. Businesses providing strategic advisory and digital transformation services are finding it necessary to enhance their current healthcare and life sciences-focused offerings to keep up. We have seen this play out over the past nine months with the following landmark deals:
- The Dedham Group, a pharmaceutical and biotechnology-focused market access consultancy, acquired by Managed Markets Insight & Technology (MMIT) (April 2021)
- UDG Healthcare, a global healthcare, communications, clinical and packaging services advisory, acquired by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) (May 2021)
- CBPartners, a pharmaceutical pricing and market access consultancy, acquired by Trinity Life Sciences (October 2021)
- Huron’s Life Sciences Business, providing R&D, pricing and market access strategies, acquired by Oliver Wyman (November 2021)
Strategic acquirers are not the only firms making moves in the healthcare and life sciences consulting arena. Fueled by an influx of capital, relatively low interest rates and significant ROI on previous investments in the sector, financial sponsors are also capitalizing on the strong M&A market. In fact, Pitchbook noted the amount of private equity- and venture capital-executed transactions in the healthcare consulting and life sciences space has increased 97% from the beginning of the year through the end of Q3 2021. Notable recent transactions include:
- DAS Health, a healthcare IT and patient engagement solutions provider, recapitalized by Sheridan Capital Partners (May 2021)
- Parexel, a regulatory and market access strategy consultancy, acquired by EQT and Goldman Sachs (August 2021)
- Kymonax, a life sciences engineering, scientific, and regulatory compliance solutions provider, acquired by WestView Capital Partners (August 2021)
- Clearview Healthcare Partners, a life sciences strategy consulting firm and portfolio company of RLH Equity Partners, recapitalized by GHO Capital (September 2021)
High-end healthcare- and life sciences-focused professional services firms continue to attract interest from both premier strategic buyers and financial investors. We are seeing premium multiples in today’s climate in a few notable sub-sectors, including Medical Communications & Branding, Regulatory Affairs & Pharmacovigilance and Market Access. These specialties are particularly attractive as bolt-on acquisitions, allowing the acquirer or investor to enter a new market and augment their service offerings.
For more information on market trends or how to best position your business for a capital raise or acquisition, please reach out to Managing Director Greg Treger (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Vice President Tory Steel (email@example.com), leaders of Clearsight’s Healthcare & Life Sciences Consulting Practice.
Sources: 451 Research, Capital IQ, Pitchbook