A source close to Portman Dental Care has confirmed that reports of a £300m buyout bid by a Swiss investor are untrue and the chain is simply refinancing.
Sky News reported that Jacobs Holding, which bought Southern Dental last year, was heading a pack of punters for the group set up in 2009 by Sam Waley-Cohen, the amateur jockey who stunned the horseracing world by winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup seven years ago.
But a source told Fine Words today: “There is a refinancing deal and we are going up a division in terms of our backers because you have to have the investors to match the ambition.
“Portman’s 1,400 staff received letters from Waley-Cohen explaining the situation, which is subject to non-disclosure agreements.”
Portman acquired its 63rdpractice in November, Whitby Dental Practice in Ellesmere Port, and won FMC’s Outstanding Business of the Year around the same time.
The dental practice market grew by 12.3% in 2017 according to Christie & Co, the strongest growth out of eight sectors it reported on. Consolidation has become a key trend.
Managing director of medical at Christie & Co Simon Hughes said: “Following a number of mergers and acquisitions affecting some of the largest providers, the sector experienced significant changes to its corporate landscape.”
Most notably that included Bupa’s takeover of Oasis, which had 380 practices, in an £835m deal in February last year.
Jacobs Holding owns Colosseum Dental which operates 150 clinics in Norway, Sweden, the UK, Switzerland, Italy and Denmark, and calls itself Europe’s fastest growing dental group.
If you currently own a practice and are considering your options why not talk to me — I am currently helping seven practice owners to optimise their exit.