The healthcare and life sciences (HCLS) sector remained particularly active throughout 2020. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, deal activity was very strong in the first half of the year — with notable transactions including Asklepios’ US$1.3 billion takeover of listed Rhön Klinikum AG. The second half of the year saw continued deal activity in HCLS, including Siemens Healthineers US$16.4 billion acquisition of Varian and the sale of German-Spanish pharmaceutical producer Neuraxpharm.
International players have shown increasing interest in HCLS — including, in particular, major private equity investors. This trend, which was evident before the outbreak of COVID-19, has only accelerated during the pandemic, due to the disproportionately large impact the virus has had on certain other sectors of the economy (e.g. Logistics, Real Estate, Automotive, Hotels/Traveling). Major hospital and nursing home operators, telehealth, online pharmacies, lab diagnostics, and similar services are likely to see continued increased investor focus also in 2021. Acquirers will also place increasing importance on scalable internet-driven business models.