The private equity industry wrapped up another strong year for U.S. healthcare exits in 2013. Going back to the start of 2010, PE firms have completed a total of 267 exits in the industry, a 73% increase from the four-year stretch of 2006 to 2009, according to the PitchBook Platform. 2013's final tally of 60 exits was a bit down from 2012's 77, a figure that remains the high-water mark for the industry over the last ten years.
Secondary buyouts remained a popular off-ramp for the PE industry in 2013. Breaking down the healthcare exits by type, pass-the-parcel exits' percentage of the activity surged last year compared to corporate acquisitions and IPOs, increasing to 45% of 2013's exits from 38% of 2012's and 34% of 2011's. However, the number of secondary buyouts in 2013 was essentially unchanged (27 in 2013 and 29 in 2012), so the change in share size is the result of portfolio company sales to corporations taking a breather rather than an actual increase in secondary buyout activity. Investors offloaded just 31 companies to strategic buyers in 2013, a 35% drop from the 48 recorded in 2012. In fact, 2013 saw the lowest amount of corporate acquisitions in the healthcare industry since 2009.
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