Industries – Life Sciences & 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.


Fabian Forrer, CFA


Personalisation of medicine

The ongoing digitalisation in the Healthcare sector offers new opportunities. The interaction between Healthcare service providers and patients can be simplified by technical tools. In the future, new diagnosis and care options are to be created in this way. On the one hand, patients can be monitored cost-effectively, while on the other hand the high availability of personalised data opens the possibility for more individualised treatments.

Consumer Goods Manufacturers become Medicals

Informed consumers are driving real change in the healthcare ecosystem and we are seeing a new era of consumer-centric health systems emerge. Patients are becoming consumers of healthcare devices and services which is driving demand for more convenient, transparent, and personalised healthcare services. The established firms are adapting through innovation and acquisitions. However, the changing consumer behaviour has also provided opportunities for new entrants in the Life Science sector as e.g. consumer companies such as Nestlé.

Big Data und AI become commonplace

Big Data and analytic capabilities will be essential for success in the pharma, healthcare and medtech industry as it enables more efficient diagnostics, helps to understand diseases, and supports to train artificial intelligence engines within healthcare institutions to increase physician efficiency. Recent collaborations between pharma and tech companies show that life science companies are actively seeking partners in the tech industry.


Siegfried acquires production facilities in Spain

On 29 September 2020 Siegfried group reached an agreement with Novartis to acquire two pharmaceutical production facilities in Spain. This will considerably expand capacity and technological capabilities of Siegfried and thereby increases the potential for profitable growth of the group. At the same time, Siegfried has agreed a close cooperation with Novartis.

Nestlé acquires Aimmune Therapeutics

On 10 October 2020 Nestlé announced the successful takeover of Aimmune Therapeutics. Aimmune Therapeutics is specialised in the development and marketing of drugs to counteract life-threatening food allergies. Nestlé already held a stake in the company before the transaction.

Vifor Pharma sells subsidiary

Vifor Pharma sells OM Pharma, among others, to Etienne Jornod, the long-standing CEO of the Galenica group. OM Pharma is mainly active in the field of microbial-derived immune-therapeutics. The sale of the division is part of a portfolio streamlining and continued focus on the group’s core activities in the field of nephrology.


Exclusive financial advisor to the sole shareholder of VITARIS in the sale to CHROMOS Group

On 16. May 2023, the two companies VITARIS AG and CHROMOS Group AG announced a forward-looking transaction. The Swiss CHROMOS Group AG takes over the specialist supplier of innovative laboratory equipment and high-quality consumables for the Swiss Life Science market. The foundation of the acquisition was based on a match in company philosophy and business model. This integration into an international group of companies provides VITARIS AG with the basis for additional growth and for further development in existing but also new business areas.
IFBC supported the founder and owner of VITARIS AG as exclusive financial advisor in the development of strategic options for the future of his company. In dialogue, a long-term solution was developed and jointly implemented. In the subsequent sales process, IFBC as M&A advisor searched for the ideal buyer, developed the transaction structure and accompanied the contract and purchase price negotiations.

VITARIS AG was established 20 years ago through a management buyout. In 2015, the CEO Marius Kleger became sole owner and, together with his team, ensures the continuous growth and ongoing success of the company. The selective choice of brands from international leading manufacturers focuses on applications in cell culture, microbiology, molecular biology laboratories as well as general laboratory supplies in the Swiss market. VITARIS AG is headquartered in Baar and employs more than 20 people.


The following graphs analyse the life science and healthcare industry over the past five years. The graphs show the development of the average semi-annual transaction multiples as well as a comparison between the trading multiples of listed companies in individual sub-sectors and per region as of the end of June 2020. The analysis is based on the Bloomberg database. In terms of size, a distinction is made between companies/transactions with a market capitalization of below (low-mid market) or above (large companies) USD 150 million.

Time series of EV/EBITDA multiples of listed companies

Low-Mid Market
Large Companies

  • The trading multiples shown are based on the enterprise value (EV) at the reporting date and the forecast EBITDA for the following 12 months.
  • Over the last five years, the average trading multiple in the lower-mid-market (market capitalisation < USD 150 million) included an average discount of about 28% compared to the average trading multiple of large companies (> USD 150 million).
  • The increase in the first half year of 2020 is likely to be due to the currently low forecasted EBITDA level.

EV/EBITDA multiples of listed companies split by region as of 30.06.2020

Low-Mid Market
Large Companies

  • Among companies with a market capitalisation of more than USD 150 million, Eastern European companies have the highest average median trading multiple (17.0x).
  • The lowest median multiple is found in the Middle East and Africa region (large companies: 11.4x, lower-mid-market: 4.4x).

EV/EBITDA multiples of listed companies split by subindustry as of 30.06.2020

Low-Mid Market
Large Companies

  • Among the sub-sectors, the MedTech sub-sector shows the highest average trading multiples as of 30 June 2020, with 19.8x for large companies and 15.1x for the lower-mid-market.
  • The relatively high valuation level indicates that investors have, at least partially, priced in the expected margin improvements and growth expectations in the MedTech sub-sector.

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