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Where are HealthTech's soft landing M&A deals in today's market?



Exec Summary:


The HealthTech M&A landscape is currently experiencing a shift, with "soft landing" deals becoming more prominent in today's market. Here's a breakdown of where to find these potential targets:


Strategic Acquirers:


  • Larger healthtech companies: Continuously seeking to expand their offerings and fill gaps in their portfolios. They might target smaller, innovative companies with niche solutions or complementary technologies at reasonable valuations.

  • Traditional healthcare players: Hospitals, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly acquiring healthtech startups to improve efficiency, patient engagement, and data-driven decision making. They might be open to deals offering specific solutions without needing to acquire the entire company.

  • Private equity firms: Still actively investing in healthtech, but with a focus on de-risked, later-stage companies with proven business models and clear paths to profitability. "Soft landing" deals offering attractive entry points could be appealing.

Target Companies:


  • Companies with strong fundamentals but facing challenges: Startups with solid technology, experienced teams, and loyal customer bases, but struggling with fundraising or scaling due to market conditions. These companies might be open to strategic partnerships or partial acquisitions.

  • Companies with niche technologies or expertise: Startups with unique solutions in specific areas like AI-powered diagnostics, remote patient monitoring, or telehealth platforms. Larger players might be interested in acquiring these capabilities without the burden of integrating the entire company.

  • Companies seeking strategic partnerships or exits: Companies looking for partnerships to access new markets, resources, or expertise, or considering strategic exits through M&A. "Soft landing" deals could provide a valuable pathway for them.

Market Dynamics:


  • Lower valuations: Compared to the heady days of 2021, HealthTech valuations have cooled down, making "soft landing" deals more attractive for both acquirers and targets.

  • Focus on profitability: Investors and acquirers are placing more emphasis on proven business models and clear paths to profitability, making "soft landing" deals with lower upfront costs more appealing.

  • Increased regulatory scrutiny: The uncertain regulatory landscape might encourage some startups to seek shelter within larger organisations through M&A, leading to more "soft landing" deals.


HealthTech M&A Soft Landing Areas:


  • Digital therapeutics: Growing demand for personalised, data-driven treatments creates opportunities for companies with proven solutions.

  • Interoperability and data analytics: Merging companies with expertise in connecting disparate healthcare systems and generating actionable insights can be valuable.

  • Telehealth and remote care: Continued adoption of virtual care models fuels demand for platforms and technologies that enable seamless remote consultations and monitoring.

  • AI and machine learning: Companies with advanced AI solutions for tasks like drug discovery, clinical trial optimisation, and personalised medicine can be attractive targets.


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  




Definition of "Soft Landing" M&A Deals


In the context of M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions), a "soft landing" deal refers to a transaction where the acquiring company actively facilitates a smooth transition and integration for the target company.


This contrasts with a more "hard landing" scenario, where the acquired company might experience disruptions, layoffs, or a loss of autonomy.


Here are some key characteristics of soft landing M&A deals:


Acquirer Support: The acquirer provides resources and support to the target company during the integration process. This could include financial assistance, operational expertise, access to new markets, and talent development programs.


Preservation of Target Culture: The acquirer respects and integrates the target company's culture and values into the combined organization. This helps to minimize employee disruption and maintain morale.


Continued Target Autonomy: The target company may be granted some degree of autonomy to operate independently within the larger organisation. This allows for continued innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.


Focus on Employee Retention: The acquirer actively engages with the target company's employees to address concerns and encourage them to stay with the combined organisation.


Benefits of Soft Landing Deals:


  • Reduced integration risk and costs

  • Improved employee morale and productivity

  • Faster realization of synergies

  • Enhanced shareholder value


It's important to note that not all M&A deals aim for a soft landing. Some acquirers may be more focused on cost-cutting or restructuring, which can lead to a more disruptive integration process. Ultimately, the approach will depend on the specific circumstances of each deal.



Where are HealthTech's soft landing M&A deals in today's market?


The HealthTech M&A landscape currently presents both challenges and opportunities for "soft landing" deals, where the acquiring company integrates the target without significant disruption.


HealthTech M&A Soft Landing Areas:


  • Digital therapeutics: Growing demand for personalised, data-driven treatments creates opportunities for companies with proven solutions.

  • Interoperability and data analytics: Merging companies with expertise in connecting disparate healthcare systems and generating actionable insights can be valuable.

  • Telehealth and remote care: Continued adoption of virtual care models fuels demand for platforms and technologies that enable seamless remote consultations and monitoring.

  • AI and machine learning: Companies with advanced AI solutions for tasks like drug discovery, clinical trial optimisation, and personalised medicine can be attractive targets.


Who are the potential acquirers delivering soft landing M&A deals in today's market?


Traditional Acquirers:


  • Large Healthcare Organisations: Established healthcare providers, hospitals, and health systems are still actively acquiring HealthTech companies to:

  • Improve operational efficiency and patient care.

  • Expand their digital health offerings.

  • Gain access to new technologies and data assets.

  • Examples: CVS Health acquiring telemedicine provider Aetna, Ascension acquiring teleICU company Aidiant.

  • Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Companies: These companies are looking for HealthTech solutions to:

  • Enhance clinical trials and drug development processes.

  • Improve patient engagement and medication adherence.

  • Develop personalized medicine approaches.

  • Examples: Johnson & Johnson acquiring digital health platform Abacus Insights, Roche acquiring AI-powered diagnostics company Aria Diagnostics.

  • Technology Companies: Tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are increasingly interested in the healthcare space and may acquire HealthTech companies to:

  • Expand their healthcare offerings.

  • Leverage data and analytics capabilities.

  • Develop AI-powered healthcare solutions.

  • Examples: Amazon acquiring telemedicine platform HealthLoop, Microsoft acquiring medical imaging company Nuance Communications.

Emerging Acquirers:


  • Private Equity Firms: With ample capital and a focus on high-growth sectors, PE firms are actively investing in HealthTech companies with strong potential. They can provide flexible deal structures and support for future growth.

  • Strategic Consortia: Collaborations between healthcare providers, payers, and technology companies can emerge as acquirers, seeking to develop and implement innovative HealthTech solutions.

  • Vertical Integrators: Companies within specific healthcare segments (e.g., mental health, oncology) might acquire HealthTech companies to offer more comprehensive solutions to their customer base.


Challenges for soft landing M&A deals:


  • Market volatility: Rising interest rates and economic uncertainty make it harder for companies to value targets accurately, increasing the risk of overpaying.

  • Increased scrutiny: Regulatory bodies are paying closer attention to M&A activity, particularly in areas like data privacy and competition, making deals more complex and time-consuming.

  • Talent retention: Merging company cultures and retaining key talent from the acquired company can be difficult, especially in a competitive job market.

Opportunities for soft landing M&A deals:


  • Strategic consolidation: Mergers between complementary companies can create scale, improve efficiency, and accelerate innovation.

  • Focus on niche markets: Smaller, niche players with unique technologies or established customer bases can be attractive targets for larger companies seeking specific capabilities.

  • Emphasis on synergies: Deals that demonstrate clear cost savings, revenue growth potential, or enhanced market access are more likely to succeed.

  • Creative deal structures: Earn-outs, staged payments, and stock-based compensation can mitigate valuation risks and incentivise talent retention.


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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