Industries – Life Science & Healthcare


Companies in the life science industry – consisting of MedTech, Pharmaceuticals and service providers in the healthcare sector – represent one of the main pillars of the Swiss economy. In recent years, they have even been the most important growth driver for Switzerland as a business location.


Christian Gätzi, CFA


MDR- Medical Device Regulation for CE marking

The Medical Devices Ordinance (MDR), published in May 2017 and mandatory from May 2017 onwards, has a major impact on the life sciences sector. In particular, many products and software that were not considered medical products before the introduction of MDR are now classified as such. The increased pressure on quality management and regulatory requirements will significantly increase costs in this area.

High activity among medical service providers

In the area of medical services, low interest rates, high leverage on transactions and a high level of funds available to investors led to sustained consolidation. Activity in this area was also driven by the high demand for non-invasive operations.


Some of the largest and most established companies in the industry were attacked by the WannaCry virus in the summer of 2017. Many healthcare institutions subsequently implemented more complex IT systems and increased the security of their software and hardware.

Capacity bottlenecks within the certification process

Due to the MDR, notified bodies are confronted with an increased number of cases. Therefore, smaller institutions in particular may run up against capacity limits. Due to the resulting lack of certification, we expect the wave of consolidation in the MedTech industry to continue.


Johnson & Johnson acquires Actelion

Johnson & Johnson acquired the Swiss company Actelion for USD 29.4 billion. Prior to this, Actelion spun off its drug development assets and other early-stage clinical development activities to the new Swiss biopharmaceutical company Idorsia Ltd.

Becton Dickinson acquires Bard

The acquisition of Bard for USD 24 billion complements Becton Dickinson’s oncology and surgery portfolio and additionally expands their equipment. This acquisition is another in a series of deals in the MedTech sector.

Gilead acquires Kite Pharma

Kite Pharma is a leading company in the emerging field of cell therapies, in which a patient’s immune cells are activated to fight cancer. The value of the acquisition is estimated at USD 11.9 billion. Prior to the transaction, Gilead’s focus previously has been on infectious diseases. Accordingly, the acquisition of Kite Pharma diversifies Gilead’s portfolio.


The following data have been compiled by Globalscope for the Life Science and Healthcare sector. Valuation trends for the past five years were analysed. The following graphs show average half-yearly transaction data, comparisons of individual sub-segments and data from listed companies as of mid-August 2017. The Total Market comprises companies and transactions in excess of USD 5 million. The Lower-Mid Market segment comprises companies and transactions in the range of USD 5 million to USD 150 million.

EV/EBITDA multiple of transactions in the Life Science industry

All Transactions
Lower-Mid Market

  • While the median multiple has increased steadily across all companies since 2013, mid-market transactions (transaction value between USD 5 and USD 150 million) increased only slightly.
  • At present, the median multiples across all companies is 16.5x and for Lower-Mid Market transactions 11.1x.

EV/EBITDA multiples of listed service companies by regions

All Campanies
Lower-Mid Market

  • With a median multiple of 18.6x across all companies, valuations in Asia are about 40% higher than in Europe (13.2x).
  • For companies up to a market cap of USD 150 million, EBITDA multiples in Europe, Asia and the USA & Canada are on very similar level at around 15x.

EV/EBITDA multiples of listed companies by industry

All Campanies
Lower-Mid Market

  • In the MedTech sector in particular, there are significant valuation differences between mid-market and the other companies.
  • In the BioTech sector, companies with a market capitalization of up to USD 150 million have an approximately 20% higher median multiple compared to all companies.