Dental practice management companies have been an increasing focus of private equity firms throughout the United States and Canada. As the cost of healthcare increases, small dental practices, like private medical practices, will soon be an anomaly. Thus, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the recent trend of dental practice management companies acquiring and running solo groups should continue. A growing trend is toward corporately owned or managed group dental practices. The factors driving this trend are increasing costs for dental education and enormous dental student debt. The cost for setting up and managing a dental practice and the expertise needed to negotiate dental insurance contracts has led many dentists to seek employment or affiliation with a corporate dental practice management company.
American Capital, a publicly-held private equity firm and global asset manager invests from $10 million to $300 million per company in the U.S. and €5 million to €25 million per company in Europe, has invested in Dental Practice Management Company. Arcapita Bank, a principal investing firm specializing in venture capital transactions that focuses on healthcare, information technology and industrial technology sectors has acquired FORBA, also known as Sanus Holdings, a leading dental practice management company that focuses on providing dental care to underprivileged children in the U.S. Freeman Spogli a private investment firm dedicated exclusively to investing alongside management in retail, direct marketing and distribution companies positioned for growth, has recently acquired a majority interest in Bring Now! Dental. Coast Dental Services has acquired SmileCare which is backed by Liberty Partners, a venture capital management firm that specializes in healthcare, IT, business processing outsourcing as well as internet technologies and services.