Healthcare M&A 2024: Recent Deals and Trends


Written by Finalis

Last edited on May 03, 2024

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Tailored for healthcare enthusiasts, this article provides insights from experts on the dynamic landscape of healthcare M&A. Learn about the latest healthcare M&A deals and gain valuable insights relevant to investment bankers in the capital markets.

Key takeaways about healthcare M&A in 2024

  • Increased activity: healthcare M&A saw a notable uptick in Q1 2024, with 29 transactions recorded, indicating sector strength.
  • Biopharma dominance: biopharma remains the most active subsector, comprising 45% of deal volume, with a focus on oncology and inflammation & immunology.
  • Recent healthcare M&A deals: recent notable deals include Novo Holdings' acquisition of Catalent, CVS Health's acquisition of Oak Street Health, and Optum's acquisition of Amedisys.
  • Healthcare M&A challenges: rising inflation, interest rates, labor costs, and cybersecurity threats pose challenges to the healthcare M&A market.
  • Positive outlook: despite challenges, the overall outlook for healthcare M&A in 2024 remains positive, with experts anticipating a surge in activity as companies seek growth and sustainability.

Healthcare M&A activity by quarters

Kaufman Hall, a healthcare management consulting firm, reported a notable uptick in healthcare M&A deals in Q1 2024 compared to the previous three quarters. This finding was reinforced by an article from Leerink Partners, a prominent investment bank catering to healthcare and life science companies focused on innovation and growth. In their article published on April 16, 2024, Leerink Partners affirmed that Healthcare M&A activity maintained its strength in Q1 2024, with 29 transactions recorded, up from 28 in Q1 2023.

According to Dealogic data on healthcare M&A deals, within the 29 transactions recorded year-to-date in 2024, biopharma accounted for 13, services for 10, MedTech for 4, life sciences tools/diagnostics for 2, and healthcare information technology (HCIT) for none yet.

Top subsegments shaping healthcare M&A activity

The healthcare market is anything but straightforward. Over the years, the healthcare M&A landscape has evolved into various subsegments, each encompassing different aspects of the industry. These subsegments, which play a crucial role in healthcare M&A activity. 

Each subsegment plays a distinct role in shaping the healthcare M&A landscape, from drug development and technology integration to financial management and service delivery. In this short article you will find a short overview of each, allowing for a clearer understanding of healthcare M&A activity.

According to subsector analysis, experts note that biopharma was the most active subsector in healthcare, accounting for 45% of deal volume. However, healthcare services activity remained subdued despite significant transactions such as Novo Holdings’ acquiring Catalent at $16.5B on an enterprise value basis.


Retained their status as the most active sub-sector within Healthcare, comprising 34% of deal value and 45% of deal volume in Q1 2024 (compared to 63% of deal value and 21% of deal volume in Q1 2023). Within biopharma, two therapeutic areas garnered attention:

  • Oncology emerged as the most active therapeutic area, with 7 transactions amounting to $9B in deal value.
  • Inflammation & Immunology followed closely as the second most active therapeutic area, with 2 transactions totaling $4 billion in deal value.

Healthcare services 

Experienced a relative increase in activity compared to Q1 2023, recording 10 transactions totaling $28B in deal value in Q1 2024, up from 10 transactions totaling $17B in Q1 2023.

Life Sciences Tools / Diagnostics activity

Saw a decrease relative to Q1 2023, with 2 transactions totaling $1B in deal value in Q1 2024 compared to 5 transactions totaling $6B in Q1 2023.

According to experts, pharmaceuticals and life sciences (PLS) and healthcare services (HCS) subsectors remained resilient in 2023, attracting substantial investor interest. Dealmaking is expected to accelerate in 2024 as the macroeconomic and regulatory picture becomes clearer.

The surge in digital health (or commonly healthtech) funding during Q1 2024 is shaping the healthcare M&A landscape, with a focus on healthcare IT solutions enhancing value-based care, revenue cycle management, and precision data analytics. This trend is expected to drive consolidation among payers, providers, and pharmacy services.

Recent healthcare M&A deals

Some of the most relevant deals in healthcare 2024 YTD are:

  1. Novo Holdings' acquisition of Catalent
  • Transaction Value:$16.5B
  • Date: march 2024
  • Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, acquired Catalent, a pharmaceutical solutions provider, in an all-cash transaction. This acquisition was highlighted as a significant transaction in the healthcare services subsector, showcasing notable activity in this area despite overall dampened services activity.

  1. CVS Health's acquisition of Oak Street Health
  • Transaction Value:$10.6B
  • Date: february 2024
  • CVS Health, a large payer/healthcare service company, acquired Oak Street Health, a primary care provider. This deal is part of the trend of large payers leveraging M&A to gain scale or deliver care at a lower cost.

  1. Optum's acquisition of Amedisys
  • Transaction Value: $1.2B
  • Date: january 2024
  • Optum, the healthcare services division of UnitedHealth Group, acquired Amedisys, a home health and hospice provider. This acquisition is another example of the focus on scope deals, where companies are looking to acquire assets that can provide access to disruptive technologies or capabilities.

Healthcare cybersecurity as a main challenge 

Experts noted an uptick in Q1 2024. However, the healthcare M&A market is not without its challenges. Rising inflation, interest rates, and labor costs continue to put pressure on providers and suppliers. Additionally, cybersecurity threats remain a major concern, with healthcare facilities becoming prime targets for attacks that threaten patient care and result in costly lawsuits. With an average cost of $1.3M per cyberattack, the healthcare industry faces a critical need to enhance cybersecurity in 2024. Navigating these headwinds will be crucial for dealmakers in the year ahead.

Despite these obstacles, the overall outlook for healthcare M&A in 2024 remains positive. Experts anticipate a surge in activity as companies seek to bolster their capabilities, expand their reach, and position themselves for long-term growth and sustainability. Investment bankers in the US capital markets will play a pivotal role in facilitating these transactions and unlocking value for their clients.

By staying informed on the latest trends, regulatory changes, and industry dynamics, healthcare M&A professionals can navigate the evolving landscape and capitalize on the emerging opportunities. As the sector continues to transform, the ability to identify and execute strategic acquisitions will be a key differentiator for those seeking to thrive in the years ahead. Get in touch with Finalis to discover how you can leverage its ecosystem to access healthcare investment banking experts and explore available deals in this space.

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