Healthcare M&A is a shot in the arm for independent advisers

Evercore Partners and Guggenheim Partners occupy the top two spots for announced healthcare deals so far in 2016, according to Dealogic – a ranking helped by their roles on the latest big transaction.

Both firms have roles on Pfizer’s $ 14 billion agreed acquisition of biopharmaceutical company Medivation, announced on August 22. Pfizer hired Guggenheim and fellow independent Centerview to work with it on the deal, while Medivation turned to Evercore and JP Morgan.

It is the largest M&A transaction announced so far in 2016 where the buyer has shunned big banks in favour of an independent-only advisory line-up, according to analysis of Dealogic data.

The healthcare sector – the third busiest sector so far this year with deals worth $ 228 billion globally – is unique in favouring independent advisers. No other industry on Dealogic’s table of the 10 biggest sectors for deal value this year has an independent firm among the top three advisers.

Over the past five years independent firms have built a strong track record in the industry. Since 2010 healthcare deals have topped the value ranking of Evercore’s transactions by industry. At Guggenheim the industry ranks second during the same period to telecoms and at Centerview it ranks second to food and beverage.

Other big healthcare advisory wins for Evercore in recent months include advising Abbott Laboratories on a $ 30 billion purchase of medical equipment manufacturer St Jude Medical, as well as working with MultiPlan, a healthcare services provider, when it was bought by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman.

Guggenheim advised St Jude Medical on its sale to Abbott as well as helping Pfizer on its May acquisition of Anacor Pharmaceuticals for about $ 5.1 billion.

Centerview and Rothschild are also in the top 10 of healthcare advisers, at numbers seven and 10. The highest placing full-service investment bank is JP Morgan in third place.

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