Urgent Cares of America, a North Carolina-based owner/operator of urgent care facilities, founded in 2001, was acquired by The Comvest Croup in November 2010. The transaction was brokered by Plutus Capital Partners LLC. Three months following that transaction, Urgent Cares of America Holdings, LLC, announced the acquisition of Tri-City Express Care, PLLC, expanding the company’s holdings into the Arizona market.

Urgent Cares of America, now FastMed Urgent Care, launched its new corporate identity in May. CEO John Randazzo, stated “Launching our new brand identity and plans to consistently upgrade our clinics is another important and very tangible step…to build a family of urgent care clinics that is driven by quality, convenient and personal care…”

The Comvest Group is a private investment firm that focuses on providing both equity and debt capabilities to lower middle-market businesses. The firm is comprised of “seasoned, senior-level operating executives at all levels who partner with managers and owners of companies to grow businesses and create long-term values.” Comvest has invested over $2 billion of capital in more than 160 public and private companies since 1988. They recently announced the closing of their fourth private equity fund, Comvest Investment Partners IV (Comvest IV) with capital commitments of over $580 million, surpassing their goal of $550 million.

Plutus is a boutique advisory firm with offices in New York City and Nashville, providing global banking investment services. The company supports clients with investment banking services on capital raises as well as advisory services on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and licensings. Their main areas of expertise include healthcare, technology, business process outsourcing and financial services.

Urgent care chains have been attractive targets for private equity funds. According to Urgent Care News, “Private equity firms that make purchases of this size usually plan to invest $100 million to more than a billion dollars over the course of five years. Thus, in the next few years, one might expect the emergence of several large chains with hundreds (maybe thousands) of clinics in the USA.”

Other recent transactions in the field of urgent care include: MedExpress, which was owned by private investment firm Excellere Partners, was purchased by global growth equity firms General Atlantic, LLC and Sequoia Capital (September 2010) and Concentra, which was purchased by Humana (November 2010)for $790 million.

One challenge for investments in the urgent care sector is the availability of large platform companies for investment. Many funds seek a platform with at least ten to fifteen locations with positive cash flow. As the urgent care space continues to mature, it is likely that additional funds will snap up new platform investments.