1. The M&A frenzy continuedThis was another year of big M&A deals in the medical device industry. New payment models have U.S. health providers merging, and medtech companies, in turn, are combining to better compete. Companies supplying and consulting with the OEMs are merging, too.
Will the larger companies remain innovative? Will it become even more difficult to start a medical device company because there are fewer prospective future buyers out there? Time will tell.
The year’s most significant deals included:
- Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) in April closed on its $6 billion purchase of the medical supplies business Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) picked up when it paid $50 billion for Covidien in January 2015.
- Abbott (NYSE:ABT) in January completed its $25 billion buy of St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ). Later in the year, Abbott wrapped up its $5.3 billion buy of diagnostics giant Alere (NYSE:ALR).
- Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) announced in October that it had inked an up-to-$300-million deal to purchase Apama Medical and its radiofrequency balloon catheter system designed to treat atrial fibrillation.
- Stryker (NYSE:SYK) in September announced the close of its previously announced $700 million acquisition of fluorescence imaging technology developer Novadaq Technologies (TSE:NVDQ).
- Private equity giant Kohlberg & Co. bought specialty plastics manufacturer Pexco and merged it with its PPC Industries holding to create Spectrum Plastics Group.
What is the next M&A deal going to be? There was some speculation early this year that Intuitive Surgical might be an acquisition target. The robotic surgery company has one of the best-performing stocks of 2017.