As you can see, the trend toward consolidation continues- not good or bad, just is the new paradigm. Interestingly, the ‘buyer’ is in Canada also (remember Heartland’s buyout of probably around $1.3B to a Canadian teacher’s pension fund). It’s the ‘return on investment’ these funds are seeking.
Dental franchises show steady growth
Tom Walsh, Detroit Free Press 12:01a.m. EDT April 7, 2013
Great Expressions Dental Centers, which has 200 offices nationwide, is one example.
DETROIT -- At some 60 Great Expressions dental offices in Michigan -- and 140 more nationwide -- the profits from filling cavities and getting braces for the kids ultimately help to fund the retirement of hundreds of thousands of municipal workers in Canada.
Great Expressions Dental Centers, founded in Michigan and headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, is an impressive growth story, with about $275 million in annual revenue and a spot on Inc. magazine's list of America's fastest-growing private companies. About 600 of the firm's 2,300 employees, including dentists and hygienists, are in Michigan.
That growth is being fueled by a fast-moving industry trend toward consolidation of dental practices. Indeed, the Great Expressions track record was so attractive that OMERS Private Equity, a unit of the giant $55 billion Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, bought a controlling interest in Great Expressions in October 2011. The return on OMERS' investments is what pays for the
pensions of about 420,000 Canadians.
Rich Beckman, CEO of Great Expressions since 1998 when the firm had about 25 offices, said the evolving business model and growth strategy allows dentists and hygienists to focus full-time on patient care, while businesspeople like him handle the financial and administrative aspects of running a complex, highly regulated health care enterprise.
"We accept all insurance plans. We want to be the patients' dentist for life, we want them to come to us for all their family care, their kids' braces, and we do that by trying to have reasonable prices," Beckman said