Fewer mergers, but higher valuations, during 2011 | M&A Roundup

January 6, 2012 by MassDevice staff

Merger & acquisition activity slowed last year, but valuations were higher, according to VentureSource; also, Covidien closes Barrx buyout; Henry Schein buys Oak Hill out of animal health division; Mediware, Cumberland Consulting & TriZetto ink buyout deals; Aetna buys iTriage maker Healthagen; and QuadraMed to acquire NCR's health care units.

MassDevice.com M&A Roundup

About 460 companies were bought for $46.4 billion last year, down 13% from 2010, but the deals were valued 30% higher, compared with the $35.6 billion spent in 2010, according to a Dow Jones VentureSource report.

The median price vaulted 77% to $71 million in 2011. Funding rounds were down 12%, to an average of $17 million raised before exit, reflecting lower start-up costs.

"Acquisitions of companies liquidating their assets were halved in 2011 and companies are benefiting from lower start-up costs by taking capital farther toward a larger acquisition," noted Jessica Canning, global research director for VentureSource, in prepared remarks.

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Medtronic's (NYSE:MDT) $800 million purchase of Ardian and Shire's (NSDQ:SHPGY) $750 million acquisition of Advanced BioHealing made the list of the year's biggest deals, according to VentureSource.