Given the $1.8 billion merger of Kindred Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE: KND) and Gentiva Health Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: GTIV), it’s no surprise health care M&A activity broke records in 2014.
The home health and hospice sectors, alone, saw a 27% increase in deals — from 15 in the third quarter to 19 in the fourth quarter — while their year-over-year acquisition activity ticked up 6%, according to the latest M&A data compiled by Irving Levin Associates.
The segments join the ranks of many within the health care industry as a whole, whose M&A activity shattered records in 2014 and exploded in the fourth quarter.
Health care M&A activity reflected investors’ growing appetite, with at least 345 transactions announced in the fourth quarter, up 1% compared with the previous quarter. Health care spending reached $138 billion, a 119% increase from the third quarter.
The previous record for fourth-quarter deal volume was set in December 2012, which had 318 transactions. The previous peak for spending was $82.2 billion, set in the fourth quarter of 2006.
Full-year totals for 2014 health care M&A activity soared past record-highs, representing nearly 1,300 announced transactions and reaching up to $387.4 billion. The new record far surpasses the prior one, set in 2006 at $268.5 billion.
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Written by Emily Study