Healthcare and pharmaceutical mergers lose steam in 2020: 165,000 million less than in 2019

The total value of these operations reached 227,572 million euros during the past year.

The value of mergers in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry falls 42% in 2020.

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on mergers in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Or at least this is indicated by the data collected by the consulting firm PWC, in which it is observed that the total value of these operations has fallen by 42% in 2020 compared to 2019. Or what is the same, 165,000 million euros less.

In 2019, the mergers of these sectors reached 392,793 million euros, while in the year of the pandemic, this value fell to 227,572 million euros.

The year in which the pandemic broke out began with a low volume of buying and selling operations. However, it recovered in the second half of 2020, even increasing by 25% compared to the first semester and 14% compared to the same period in 2019.

Second half

According to the consulting firm PWC, the total value of the agreements also showed an upward trend in the second half of the year, exceeding 100,000 million euros. An increase due, in large part, to five mega-deals for a total of 80,132 million euros.

Among these operations, the one of AstraZeneca, a company that Alexion acquired for 32,218 million euros ($ 39,000 million) last December. Too Gilead bought Immunomedics for approximately € 17.35 billion ($ 21 billion).

In third place is the process of acquisition of Varian Medical Systems by Siemens Sciences, which will pay about 13.55 billion euros (16.4 billion dollars). Behind is the agreement by which Bristol Myers Squibb It has been done with Myokardia, which they have closed at 10,820 million euros (13,100 million dollars).

Lastly, the operation of Johnson & Johnson for which it bought the company Momenta Pharmaceuticals for an amount of 5.37 billion euros (6.5 billion dollars).


The consulting firm has also analyzed which will be the most interesting business areas for companies and which will drive mergers and acquisitions in 2021. Thus, companies whose businesses are focused in cell therapy and oncology They will continue to attract the interest of Big Pharma.

Also those that use innovative technologies, including messenger RNA (used in some of the Covid-19 vaccines), will be attractive to laboratories looking to increase their portfolio and development capabilities through acquisitions.

Regarding the Private sanity, PWC expects a consolidation by 2021 after the difficulties the sector has gone through during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thus, the consulting firm foresees that large strategic players will continue to get rid of non-essential business units and focus on building specialized platforms. “As a result, we hope to see a Accelerated activity of agreements from the divestment of businesses focused on the consumer and the acquisition of specialized pharmaceutical manufacturers ”.