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  • Lloyd Price

Healthtech M&A multiples softening in 2024



Exec Summary:


Healthtech M&A multiples are softening in 2024 compared to the previous year, driven by a confluence of macroeconomic, market-specific, and company-level factors.


Macroeconomic headwinds:


  • Rising interest rates and inflation are increasing the cost of capital and making future cash flows less predictable, dampening investor enthusiasm.

  • Recessionary fears are pushing investors towards safer bets and reducing their appetite for riskier Healthtech plays.

Healthtech market dynamics:


  • Maturation and saturation: Some segments might be nearing saturation, leading to decreased investor interest and lower valuations.

  • Shifting investor focus: Investors are prioritising established, profitable companies with proven track records, leaving less room for unproven startups.

Regulatory landscape:


  • Increased scrutiny: Heightened regulatory scrutiny creates uncertainty and deters investors from certain segments.

  • Evolving regulations: Continuous regulatory changes add complexity and compliance costs, making acquisitions less attractive.

Internal company factors:


  • Unproven business models: Companies lacking clear paths to profitability are less attractive to investors seeking stable returns.

  • Execution challenges: Companies facing execution issues like slow adoption or product delays see their valuations suffer.

Impact:


  • Reduced access to capital for some Healthtech companies.

  • Potential consolidation as larger players acquire smaller ones.

  • Increased pressure on Healthtech companies to demonstrate profitability and viability.

The future:


  • The long-term impact is still uncertain, but these trends are likely to shape the Healthtech M&A landscape in the near future.


Corporate Development for Healthcare Technology companies in EMEA


Healthcare Technology Thought Leadership from Nelson Advisors – Market Insights, Analysis & Predictions. Visit https://www.healthcare.digital 


HealthTech Corporate Development - Buy Side, Sell Side, Growth & Strategy services for Founders, Owners and Investors. Email lloyd@nelsonadvisors.co.uk  


HealthTech M&A Newsletter from Nelson Advisors - HealthTech, Health IT, Digital Health Insights and Analysis. Subscribe Today! https://lnkd.in/e5hTp_xb 


HealthTech Corporate Development and M&A - Buy Side, Sell Side, Growth & Strategy services for companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Visit www.nelsonadvisors.co.uk  



Softening Multiples:

  • Market correction: The overall tech market slowdown and broader economic uncertainty might be dampening investor enthusiasm for high valuations in specific sectors like Healthtech.

  • Maturing sector: With Healthtech becoming more established, investors might be demanding clearer paths to profitability and stronger fundamentals before paying premium valuations.

  • Scrutiny of inflated valuations: Concerns about inflated valuations in some Healthtech sectors due to the 2021-2023 boom might be leading to more cautious investor behaviour.


HealthTech Nuances:


  • Not uniform: It's crucial to remember that this softening isn't uniform across the entire Healthtech landscape. Specific sub-sectors with high growth potential or proven profitability might still attract strong valuations.

  • Long-term potential: Despite the current moderation, the long-term outlook for Healthtech M&A remains positive due to factors like:

  • Aging population: Increasing healthcare needs due to the aging population are expected to drive demand for innovative Healthtech solutions.

  • Technological advancements: Continued advancements in areas like AI, robotics, and data analytics are likely to fuel further growth and investment in the sector.


Examples of the softening:


  • Decreased deal activity: The number of M&A deals in the Healthtech space has declined compared to 2023, particularly for larger transactions.

  • Lower valuations: The multiples paid for Healthtech companies in M&A deals have generally come down compared to the previous year.

  • More scrutiny from acquirers: Acquirers are conducting more thorough due diligence and being more selective about the targets they pursue.


Impact on the HealthTech Industry:


  • Reduced access to capital: The softening of M&A multiples could make it more challenging for some Healthtech companies to raise capital, potentially hindering their growth and innovation.

  • Consolidation: There could be an increase in consolidation within the Healthtech industry as larger players acquire smaller ones to gain market share and expertise.

  • Focus on profitability: Investors might become more focused on profitability and proven business models, putting pressure on Healthtech companies to demonstrate their financial viability.


Looking ahead:


The softening of Healthtech M&A multiples is likely to continue in the near term, but the long-term outlook for the sector remains positive. Companies that can demonstrate clear paths to profitability and address regulatory concerns are likely to be the most attractive to investors and acquirers.


 It's important to note that the picture is not entirely negative:


  • Continued interest: There is still significant investor interest in the Healthtech sector, driven by long-term trends such as digitalisation, aging populations, and the increasing importance of personalised medicine.

  • Strategic deals: M&A activity is likely to continue, but with a focus on strategic deals that bring together complementary technologies or expertise.

  • Public market impact: The softening in M&A multiples could also put pressure on valuations in the public markets for Healthtech companies.


Corporate Development for Healthcare Technology companies in EMEA


Healthcare Technology Thought Leadership from Nelson Advisors – Market Insights, Analysis & Predictions. Visit https://www.healthcare.digital 


HealthTech Corporate Development - Buy Side, Sell Side, Growth & Strategy services for Founders, Owners and Investors. Email lloyd@nelsonadvisors.co.uk  


HealthTech M&A Newsletter from Nelson Advisors - HealthTech, Health IT, Digital Health Insights and Analysis. Subscribe Today! https://lnkd.in/e5hTp_xb 


HealthTech Corporate Development and M&A - Buy Side, Sell Side, Growth & Strategy services for companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Visit www.nelsonadvisors.co.uk  

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