Healthcare dealmaking remained steady entering this year, with the first quarter headlined by mammoth buyouts targeting sizable companies such as Australian private-hospital operator Ramsay Health Care and cloud-based health IT vendor Athenahealth.
Even amid a series of macro headwinds, private equity firms poured billions of dollars into healthcare assets during that period, extending a string of mega-deals that started last year.
If inflationary pressure continues to take a toll on economics and erode corporate margins, PE firms are expected to rotate out of consumer-facing businesses into more defensive assets such as healthcare and energy, according to a recent PitchBook analyst note.
High-profile US PE deals in the first quarter include the $17 billion buyout of healthtech company Athenahealth by Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman, as well as Clearlake‘s rollover of Symplr, a healthcare governance, risk and compliance company.
Other investors are looking for ever-larger acquisitions. A KKR-led consortium offered to buy Ramsay Health Care for A$20.1 billion (about $15 billion), which would rank as the largest PE-backed buyout in Australia if the takeover becomes successful.
Meanwhile, healthcare-focused funds appear to be gaining traction with limited partners—even amid ongoing market turmoil.
And heavyweights have been back on the fundraising trail this year to pitch new buyout funds targeting healthcare assets. TPG is seeking $3.5 billion for a fund focused exclusively on healthcare deals, while Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe also has doubled down on the sector with a plan to raise $5 billion.
Here are the most active PE healthcare investors globally by deal count since 2017.
Featured image by Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images