The year started off exceptionally slow for mergers and acquisitions in North America. Similarly, activity in the Pharma and Life Sciences sector took a breather from the robust levels of the fourth quarter of 2009, announcing 14 deals in the month of January.
Canadian companies accounted for two of the transactions: Australia-based Pharmaxis’ acquisition of Topigen Pharmaceuticals and US-based Inverness Medical Innovations’ acquisition of Epocal.
Of the 14 transactions, 57% (eight) were cross border. Five North American companies sold to buyers from Switzerland, Germany, Australia and Ireland, and three North American companies made investments in Korea, UK and Italy.
Private equity and venture capital funds were active on the sell side, divesting of four companies in the drug development and medical devices subsectors.
On a subsector basis, the level of activity was relatively equally divided with five transactions in each of the drug development and medical devices subsectors and four in the pharma services subsector.