Healthcare companies are trading at an all time high. Healthcare tourists that don’t focus on healthcare investing are driving the prices up, says Jonathan Lewis, a Managing Partner with Sheridan Capital Partners.
LEWIS: There are still a lot of tailwinds that are positive to celebrate. One is the fact that we have a very good dialogue in the country at the moment around who should be paying for these services. Patients are more engaged than they ever have been. The internet and access to information really has created more transparency in how care is delivered as well as outcomes and a focus on the patient experience. All those things are driving innovative ways to deliver healthcare and for patients to access it.
It’s quite competitive. Multiples are really trading at an all-time high in terms of [unintelligible 00:00:42]. A lot of that we’re seeing is driven by what we jokingly refer to as ‘healthcare tours’. These are groups who are generalist funds or perhaps have invested in other sectors, historically, but like some of the tailwinds in the healthcare market and have decided to start focusing on healthcare and investing in healthcare but ultimately, have not as much experience.
We’re seeing a lot of mediocre, and even sometimes poor assets trading for relatively high prices. A lot of that’s driven by groups that don’t have as deep of a bench or as much healthcare experience coming into the market and bidding up the assets. That, in turn, drives the valuations for the really attractive deals even higher.
I think, in the near term, they will continue to compete for and win deals because the perception of the attractiveness of assets merits the prices that are being paid. I think it will take a while for, ultimately, some of that to shake out in terms of which deals have turned out to be good. I think some of these so-called groups who are visiting the healthcare space will find that what they thought they bought isn’t exactly what they thought.