Average seller size by revenue was $676 million, well above historical averages for the first quarter and for recent year-end averages.
April 15, 2021 / Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor
The number of hospital and health system mergers and acquisitions saw a sharp decline in the first quarter of the year, but the average transaction size soared, finds new analysis from industry consultant Kaufman Hall. This trend is a reversal from Q1 2020, when COVID-19 first began to take hold in the U.S.
In total, there were 13 announced deals in Q1 2021, compared to 29 in 2020.
Average seller size by revenue was $676 million due to a pandemic-induced rise in “mega mergers” — involving two companies with over one billion dollars in annual revenue — and transactions with seller revenues between $500 million and $1 billion. The scale of Q1 transactions led to a high number of hospital facilities, 72 total, included in the announced deals.
There were a number of notable transactions recorded in the first quarter. OU Health, for example, signed a letter of intent to merge with the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine to create a fully integrated academic health system. And CommonSpirit Health announced the planned sale of 14 hospitals in North Dakota and Minnesota to Essentia Health — one tertiary hospital in Bismarck, North Dakota, and 13 critical access hospitals.
Meanwhile, UK HealthCare and King’s Daughters Health System announced a joint venture partnership that will expand access to tertiary-level services for residents of eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio. And Aspirus Health announced its plan to acquire seven hospitals in central and northern Wisconsin from Ascension Health.