The Wall Street Journal
The bump in Asia-Pacific healthcare transactions occurred despite turbulence from the Covid-19 pandemic. Overall, the healthcare industry outpaced other sectors in deal activity last year, showing record expansion and volume that exceeded the two preceding record-setting years, despite a 14% decline in the overall number of transactions across private equity globally.
“For the first time, we saw Asia-Pacific as the most active region,” said Nirad Jain, a Bain partner who co-leads its global Healthcare Private Equity and Corporate M&A practices. “We were predicting we’d have more deals in Asia. This was the year it came to fruition.”
A confluence of factors drove this growth, including a rising number of deals in China. The region’s “dominant geography” for private equity, China ended pandemic-related lockdowns earlier than governments in North America or Europe, Mr. Jain said. “That shorter period of lockdown really helped Asia accelerate this year.”
The quicker rebound was coupled with the maturation of some assets that were previously too small to attract private-equity backing to drive deal numbers higher, he said.
Large deals in the region included Bain Capital’s more than $1 billion acquisition of medical services company Nichii Gakkan Co. in Japan and the carve-out of Takeda Consumer Healthcare Co. by Blackstone Group Inc. in Japan, a $2.3 billion deal, according to the report.
Vikram Kapur, a Bain partner who leads its APAC Healthcare practice, said activity levels also have been bolstered by a new focus on the healthcare sector, hastened by the pandemic and buoyed by a positive regulatory environment and governments that support innovation.
Growth in areas like biopharmaceuticals and medical technologies helped support the increase in Asia-Pacific deals. In China, for example, the government has backed development of local businesses through incentives. China, Mr. Kapur said, has expanded reimbursement for innovative drugs and focused on domestic innovation in healthcare.