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Healthcare M&A Review 2022


We are pleased to release our review of M&A and private equity activity across the UK healthcare sector in 2022.


Despite a challenging economic environment, the sector has remained highly active, with both corporate acquirers and private equity actively seeking transactions.


Our report, which can be found below, highlights the most active sub-sectors, along with a month-by-month summary of the key deals across the market.

2022 overview

  • Despite some of the current negative macro-economic drivers which have impacted M&A activity in other sectors, investment into the healthcare market remained robust in 2022, with both private equity and corporate acquirers actively seeking transactions

  • With significant capital still to deploy, investors and acquirers view the resilient healthcare market as a “safe home” for their funding during these turbulent economic times

  • From a sub-sector perspective, there has been a focus on “essential services”, with strong underlying demand drivers and recurring/stable revenues

  • This has resulted in numerous transactions across clinical services into the NHS, dentistry and residential care – all of which continue to perform strongly

  • In addition, following the fast-tracked adoption of digital and remote solutions during the pandemic, digital health has continued to thrive throughout 2022

  • Digital health solutions (either supporting the NHS or offering services direct to consumers) have received significant investment across the year, as they seek to capitalise on the opportunities created by a greater acceptance of technology across the sector

Transactions by month

Private equity investments by sub-sector

Sectors to watch in 2023


Insourced / Outsourced Clinical Services

  • With NHS waiting lists at all time highs, clinical insourcing and community-based services will be key in addressing the mounting issues

  • We expect to see strong M&A activity across the sector as acquirers and investors seek to benefit from the significant growth within the market

Specialist Care

  • The continued resilience and essential nature of the specialist care market will make it attractive during these challenging economic times

  • Residential care for individuals with learning difficulties or mental health issues, along with complex homecare, will remain active segments

Healthcare Software & IT Services

  • COVID has fast-tracked the adoption of disruptive software and digital solutions across the NHS and social care sector

  • With significant government funding allocated to further digitalisation, this will drive appetite from both trade acquirers and investors in the sector

Dental Services

  • Despite being consolidated by a number of private equity-backed operators, the dental market continues to provide buy and build opportunities due to its fragmented nature

  • The sector will see further bolt-ons of single practices and small groups in 2023

Occupational Health

  • An increasing focus on employee health and wellbeing across employers is driving strong growth within the occupational health market

  • Marlowe have led the way in consolidation, but we expect to see operators from a variety of adjacent sectors entering the market through acquisition in 2023

Children's Services

  • Despite some negative publicity, there remains a significant requirement for quality private residential children’s homes across the UK

  • A number of private equity-backed operators will continue to consolidate the market in 2023

  • The SEN schools market will also remain highly active, with a movement towards day schools

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