Consultants expect M&A tempo to continue

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GSK, Novartis, Lilly play musical chairs
M&A activity has felt like a sprint for the first half of this year

M&A activity has felt like a sprint for the first half of this year. Consulting firm PwC anticipates that the year's second half will also see some notable deals, but the firm's first-half analysis shows that the numbers behind the recent noise can be a little misleading.

Among the consultancy's findings: while the number of second-quarter pharmaceutical industry deals (11) was about the same as the number of deals that closed during the second quarter of 2013, the value of the more recent deals fell 54.6%. Biotechnology M&A showed a similar result: the number of this year's second-quarter deals inched past those of 2013, but the value of these deals were 28% less.

PwC notes that divestitures—worth around $7.7 billion—fed this year's run of mergers and acquisitions and anticipates additional ones “are likely to continue to fuel the M&A activity in the upcoming quarters.”

Among PwC's list of this year's notable transactions so far: The Novartis-Lilly-GSK swap, Forest's Furiex Pharmaceuticals purchase, Bayer's Merck OTC sweep, and Merck's Idenix buy.

The firm notes that 20 deals that were announced during the first six months have yet to close and represent around 61.9% of the total value of deals announced during the second quarter of this year.

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