Billion-dollar healthcare deals: 5 this year

Healthcare transactions have been on fire this year, with at least five billion-dollar deals made or in the works.

Here are the deals, ranked by value:

1. Microsoft said April 12 that it plans to buy Nuance Communications, a company known for its voice- recognition technology, to expand its healthcare offerings in a transaction valued at $19.7 billion. The boards of both companies have approved the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year.

2. Optum revealed plans in January to purchase Change Healthcare, a Nashville, Tenn.-based data analytics firm, for $13 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of the year, and Change Healthcare CEO Neil de Crescenzo will become CEO of OptumInsight.

3. Walgreens Boots Alliance said it would sell most of its Alliance Healthcare pharmacy unit to AmerisourceBergen for $6.5 billion in January. AmeriSourceBergen is a drug wholesale company. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the 2021 fiscal year.

4. Roche, a Swiss drugmaker, acquired GenMark Diagnostics for $1.8 billion, the company revealed March 15. GenMark, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based company, makes molecular tests that can be used to identify pathogens, including those causing COVID-19, from a single sample.

5. Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman purchased Cardinal Health's Cordis medical device business, for about $1 billion. Cardinal bought the business from Johnson & Johnson for $2 billion in 2015. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of Cardinal's 2022 fiscal year.

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