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Healthcare dealmaking hits record fueled by Cigna, Takeda



Cigna CEO David Cordani
CEO David Cordani struck a massive deal this

David Grogan /

  • Healthcare dealmaking just hit a record of $398 billion in
    transactions so far this year.
  • The two biggest deals are very different. One combines
    international drugmakers
    , and the other
    merges a US health insurer
    with a company that handles
    prescription drug benefits.
  • A climbing stock market and low interest rates helped
    convince companies to strike deals.

Healthcare dealmaking just hit a record.

Big drugmakers, insurers and care providers have agreed to $398
billion in mergers so far this year, according to data provider
Refinitiv. The previous record, $397 billion, was recorded in

Low interest rates and a stock market that climbed for much of
2018 contributed to the dealmaking frenzy.

healthcare deals hit a record chart
Healthcare deals hit a
record this year.

Gal/Business Insider

The biggest takeover of the year was Takeda Pharmaceutical’s
billion bid for Shire
, which is best-known for making the
hyperactivity treatment Adderall. The combination will also set a
record for the largest deal by a Japanese firm for a non-Japanese

The No. 2 deal was health insurer Cigna’s
$68.5 billion acquisition
of pharmacy-benefits manager
Express Scripts. That deal helps Cigna gain more control over how
its customers buy and use prescription drugs. And by bulking up,
the combined company will have more leverage in negations with
customers and suppliers.

Read more: Waiting
for its Uber moment’: America’s biggest companies are shaking up
the healthcare system

Takeda Pharma
agreed to acquire Shire in the year’s biggest


The most recent healthcare deal, announced on Tuesday, was
medical device company Boston Scientific’s acquisition of British
firm BTG for $3.9 billion. BTG makes interventional medical
products, such as tiny coils that can be implanted in a patient’s
lungs. One of its top offerings is a treatment for rattlesnake

The tally from Refinitiv counts deals when they’re announced,
though not all transactions are ultimately completed. And the
dollars figures include debt held by the target companies.

See also:

Business Insider Intelligence Exclusive FREE Report: The 5 Ways AI Will Change U.S. Healthcare

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