The new M&A report by HBM Partners, who focuses on venture, growth and buy-out financing of private companies as well as investments in public companies, suggests that 2019 is on track to become a record year for biopharma M&A.
US & European transactions announced during the first half of 2019 reached a total deal value of $190 billion. This high number was driven by the two “mega-transactions” BMS/Celgene ($89 billon, announced in January 2019) and Abbvie/Allergan ($65 billion, announced in June 2019). “Smaller” deals announced in the first half of 2019 include Pfizer/Array ($11.4 billion), Lilly/Loxo ($8 billion) and Roche/Spark ($4.3 billion).
Including the Takeda/Shire acquisition ($59 billion, announced in May 2018 and closed in early January 2019), the last 1.5 years have seen three pharma mega-mergers.
HBM's review of six previous mega-mergers  suggests that companies involved in mega-deals usually become less active in pursuing further acquisitions for at least four years after the transaction. But deal making does not stop completely and selected acquisition opportunities are still pursued. Taking into account that Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Roche already made large acquisitions in 2019, we expect a slow-down of biopharma M&A during the second half of 2019.