Bridgepoint buys Oasis Healthcare

Wed, 03 Apr 2013 | BUSINESS SALE

The Oasis Healthcare business has been bought by private equity group Bridgepoint in a deal worth around £185 million.

Oasis is the biggest provider of private dental care in Britain and operates more than 200 practices around the UK, with around 800 dentists and a total of some 2,000 staff.

Bridgepoint is buying the firm from Duke Street Capital, which delisted the firm from AIM in 2007. Duke will maintain a minority stake in the business in return for a portion of the proceeds.

Justin Ash, chief executive at Oasis, explained that a sizeable amount of the price tag will be put towards the purchase of more practices. Mr Ash told the Times: “We have a good pipeline of independents [dental practices] that are looking to merge with us and become part of a bigger operation.”

Oasis has already been following an acquisition strategy of its own. Last year it bought up three new practices at the cost of around £1.7 million. But the company is hoping to set up some new practices as well as buying existing properties, particularly in the London area.

Mr Ash explained that the industry is split between NHS and private patients, with around 60 per cent of Oasis's business made up of NHS contracts. However, he added that the private side of the business is also steadily growing.

The business was initially put up for sale by Duke Street Capital last June with a price tag mooted of around £250 million. The drop in price is a sign of changes in the market but Bridgepoint's acquisition looks set to propel Oasis to a faster rate of growth through acquisitions.

The dental market itself is worth in the region of £7 billion, with corporate operators controlling around 10 per cent and the remainder accounted for by independent operators.
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