Ernst & Young today released its 2021 EY M&A Firepower report, revealing a staggering dip in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in medtech.
Life sciences M&A activity totaled $159 billion in 2020, according to the report — a plunge to nearly half of the 2019 total of $306 billion, representing one of the lowest levels EY has observed since 2014.
Only AstraZeneca’s $39 billion acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals qualified as a “megadeal” while it made up about a quarter of the total M&A activity in the space.
EY addressed the obvious difficulties of making deals during the COVID-19 pandemic, both financially and logistically (virtual negotiations, etc.), and also noted that persistently high valuations for biopharma and medtech targets kept would-be buyers away from making purchases that were already made difficult by the pandemic.
Biopharma acquirers refocused on all…