(Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. is hiring Cyril Besseddik from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to lead coverage of health-care companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for its investment bank.

Besseddik is set to join Citigroup’s banking, capital markets advisory group in May and will be based in London, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News. He was most recently co-head of EMEA health-care investment banking at JPMorgan. 

The banker was with JPMorgan for more than seven years and previously did stints at UBS Group AG and Merrill Lynch, according to his LinkedIn profile. A representative for Citigroup confirmed the contents of the memo. 

“Going into 2023, it really feels like corporate M&A is back and activity levels are picking up,” Chuck Adams, who is vice chairman and global head of health-care, consumer and retail banking at Citigroup, said in an interview Monday. 

“We are seeing a lot of interest from companies in the sector—whether its the pharma names or medtech or services companies—a clear desire to look at M&A to pursue their growth objectives,” he said.

Besseddik will report to Adams, as well as into Jens Welter and Ignacio Gutierrez-Orrantia, co-heads of Citigroup’s BCMA business in EMEA.

Citigroup will continue to selectively expand its health-care team in Europe, according to Adams, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker who joined the firm in 2021.

“Some of the larger European pharmaceutical companies have been relatively quiet when it comes to M&A and we expect that to change as they look out for growth,” he said. “We think that activity from European majors is only going to increase, and we are beginning to see examples of that.” 

Citigroup combined its global health-care investment banking business with its consumer and retail team in 2021, creating a “super group” to help win more mandates in those sectors. Health care has been one of the most prominent industries for dealmaking in recent years, though soaring valuations and a worsening economy have led to a slowdown in activity. 

Some large transactions are still moving ahead, including Amgen Inc.’s $27.8 billion acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics Plc and Pfizer Inc.’s $11.6 billion deal for Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co. 

European health-care majors are on the lookout for deals to bolster their pipeline and are also pruning their portfolios as they seek growth. Merck KGaA has as much as €20 billion ($21.6 billion) of dealmaking firepower and is “scanning the market permanently,” Chief Executive Officer Belen Garijo said recently in Davos. 

Dentsply Sirona Inc. is exploring options including a carveout of bladder and bowel-control product unit Wellspect HealthCare, while Qiagen NV is weighing the sale of a minority stake in its bioinformatics division that could value that business at more than $1 billion, Bloomberg News has reported.

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