Southern Dental circled by private equity bidders
Dentist chain looks set to become latest healthcare company owned by private equity as CapVest and Graphite compete for the business.
Dentist chain Southern Dental is close to joining the growing list of British healthcare companies in private equity ownership as a sale of the business nears.
Mid-market private equity firms CapVest and Graphite are understood to be fighting it out to secure a £100m deal for the company, which runs 74 dental practices across the south of the country.
The business was started Crawley, West Sussex by Dr Mazdak Eyrumlu in 2006 and has since grown to employ over 800 staff and dentists.
A sale will mean the latest move by private equity to move into the dental sector after Oasis Healthcare, the UK’s second largest independent dental chain was sold to Fat Face owner Bridgepoint for £185m last year.
CapVest was also involved in the bidding process for Oasis and is thought to be the favourite for Southern Dental.
The company grew its revenues by 35pc last year to £26m while it reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £5.6m for 2013.
Over 80pc of Southern Dental’s business comes from NHS treatments, which generate £21m in revenues, and £5m from private patients.
Southern Dental’s acquisition of rival private dental practices last year added £429,216 of operating profits to the balance sheet while it has debts of £22m.
The company looks after 600,00 patients in the UK offering dental implants orthodontic and minor oral surgery. There are 10,000 dental practices in the UK — 90pc of them are independent.
A sale of the company would add Southern Dental to the list of healthcare companies including Spire, BMI, Four Seasons, HCA, Southern Cross, Independent Healthcare and Partnerships in Care which have been owned by buyout groups.
CapVest, Graphite and Southern Dental all declined to comment.