Healthcare Information M&A Up 21 Percent
JEGI: Category saw 122 deals worth $7.3 billion last year.
While media M&A has slowed to a near standstill, healthcare information and technology may be a bright spot in 2009, according to a recent report from the Jordan, Edmiston Group. In 2008, this category saw 122 transactions worth a combined $7.3 billion, up 21 percent in deals and 83 percent in value, JEGI said.
Driving the activity is technology investments, such as electronic medical records; a focus on cutting costs (JEGI cited Elsevier buying MEDai, a predictive analytics company that improves the delivery of healthcare); the need to fill drug pipelines more efficiently; a shortage of medical professionals, particularly nurses; and the need to enhance revenue cycle management.
JEGI said several private equity firms have invested in healthcare companies, including ABRY Partners investing in Orion Healthcare; Betram Capital investing in PMG Partners and Austin Ventures investing in Revenue Cycle Solutions.
Several traditional publishers have been active in the healthcare category in recent years, including Hearst, which bought Zynx, a company that specializes in clinical decision support; Elsevier Health Sciences, which bought Gold Standard in 2006 and saw revenue and operating profit grow 5 percent and 10 percent respectively, in 2008; Thomson Reuter’s healthcare group, which saw a 4 percent increase in revenue last year; UBM, which has made five healthcare acquisitions in as many years; and Wolter’s Kluwer, which saw a 3 percent drop in revenue in 2008 but recently replaced the leadership in its healthcare division, and last year acquired UpToDate, an evidence-based, peer reviewed information resource.