LTC tops healthcare services sector in mergers and acquisitions

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The long-term care industry's 25 deals led the healthcare services segment with the most mergers and acquisitions for the fourth quarter of 2004. This, despite a 4% dip in deal volume from the previous quarter, according to Irving Levin Associates.

During the third quarter of 2004, long-term care merger and acquisition deals totaled 26. The number for the most recent quarter was 25, identical to the same quarter a year earlier.

"Just as distressed properties were disappearing from the market, quality properties and portfolios emerged during the past two quarters to take their place," stated Stephen M. Monroe, managing editor at Levin Associates. "With capital flowing back into the market and cap rates declining, some of the prices paid were the richest we have seen in five years."

Deals in the healthcare industry as a whole fell 3% to 211 transactions in the fourth quarter of 2004, compared to 218 in the previous quarter. The number of deals dropped 9% compared to 233 deals in the last quarter of last year.