JPMorgan Sees More Mergers in Health-Care Sector

Tuesday, 27 Sep 2011 05:24 PM

 

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The U.S. health-care law and budget cuts will drive consolidation in the industry as companies compete for fewer dollars and to protect profits, said JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jim Woolery.

“Budgetary constraints around health care, say over the next five years -- that’s a headwind on profitability,” Woolery, JPMorgan’s co-head of North American mergers and acquisitions, said Tuesday at the Bloomberg Dealmakers Summit in New York. “It’s a major catalyst for consolidation.”

Companies in the health-care industry will need to get larger to combat those challenges, Woolery said. JPMorgan advised Medco Health Solutions Inc. on the $29.1 billion deal announced in July in which St. Louis-based Express Scripts Inc. would take over Franklin Lakes, New Jersey-based Medco. The acquisition, which requires approval from U.S. antitrust regulators, would create the biggest U.S. pharmacy benefits manager.

Large drugmakers also need to look to deals to gain new products, said Frederick Frank, vice chairman of Peter J. Solomon Co.

“The big pharma companies, if you look at history, are not good at R,” Frank said today at the summit, referring to the research half of research and development. He cited Paris-based drugmaker Sanofi’s $20 billion purchase of Genzyme Corp. this year.

“Those guys are good at R, but not very good at D,” Frank said. “They can’t afford it. So, there’s a natural relationship here.”

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