Updated on 12 June 2013
The medical device industry observed several serious acquisitions (i.e. in the orthopaedics arena), mostly driven by foreign players looking to grab market share, and secure product portfolios suitable to the local market. This year would be a strong deal year in pharma/biotech, with a certain uptake of deals after the political leadership change. Overall, there are a few important strategic themes:
Domestic consolidation: The player landscape in drug production and sales will further consolidate, driven by Chinese players acquiring other domestic players. Those players' priority will remain within China for the time being, and will look at global targets in exceptional cases only.
Ready for the generics war: Finished preparation makers are further forced to play generic due to China's massive price cuts and the sheer overall market size of generic drugs. Although there may be no major deals between MNCs and domestic players in near future, many foreign players are looking to find bolt-on acquisitions for branded generics. On the intermediaries product, players will try to cherry-pick the local high-quality API makers either with a local play or via a local partnership.
Platform strategies: Chinese targets will less likely be interesting to foreign buyers because of the product portfolios they have to offer, but can serve as a platform for driving registration work for the import portfolio, as well as open up sales and distribution channels.
Bolt-on: Most players active in China are worried about their own relative thin product portfolio and launch pipeline, and look in to buying or in-licensing specific products that are made in China or elsewhere.