Although the value of global private equity deals in the healthcare sector fell by more than half over 2013, investment in Asia is booming. Between 2011 and 2013, the volume of investment in Asia-Pacific healthcare grew 130%, with India and China leading the way.
In the first half of 2013, there were more than 100 mergers and acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific healthcare industry, an increase of almost 30% over the first half of 2012. China saw about 40 mergers and acquisitions in the first half of 2013, worth $2 billion. Although India had fewer deals — approximately 17 — these were collectively valued at $1.6 billion. Overall, Asia-Pacific merger and acquisition activity in the first half of 2013 totaled more than $6 billion.
Pharmaceutical companies were the main targets, involved in almost 50 deals valued at $4 billion. Biotech investment also increased four-fold, reaching almost half a billion dollars. Multinational pharmaceutical companies have been focusing on mergers, acquisitions and alliances in Asia over the past decade. This allows them to more easily enter local Asian markets via a partner’s established relationships, facilities and distribution channels. For instance, over the past 6 years, GlaxoSmithKline has expanded its presence significantly in Asia through alliances with local companies in China, Korea and Japan.