Atlanta, Georgia-based private equity firm Roark Capital Group said it has acquired Great Expressions Dental Centers, one of the largest dental support organizations (DSO) in the United States, from Omers Private Equity.

For nearly 40 years Great Expressions has been a leader in preventative dental care, orthodontics and specialty care. The company provides comprehensive affordable dental services through its network of 269 affiliated practices staffed by more than 900 dentists and hygienists who care for over 600,000 patients per year.

The company was founded in 1982 and operates as a single brand with offices in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.

Great Expressions Dental Centers branded practices are independently-owned and operated in specific states by licensed dentists and their professional entities who employ the licensed professionals providing dental treatment and services.

ADG LLC provides administrative and business support services and licenses the Great Expressions Dental Centers brand name to independently-owned and operated dental practices. ADG does not own or operate dental practices, or employ the licensed professionals providing dental treatment and services.

Rich Beckman will continue to lead the business as CEO, and the company will remain headquartered in Southfield, Mich. “This transaction marks an exciting new chapter for the company,” Beckman said. “With our new partner, Roark, we look forward to accelerating our strategy of growth through affiliation with other high-quality dental practices.”

“Great Expressions is the branded DSO of choice for dentists desiring an affiliation and for consumers desiring consistent, quality care. It’s the perfect company to launch Roark’s entrance into retail healthcare,” said Roark’s managing partner Neal Aronson.

Roark focuses on franchised and multi-unit business models in the retail, restaurant, consumer and business services sectors. Affiliates of Roark have invested in 56 franchise/multi-unit brands which collectively generate $21 billion in annual revenues. Roark’s current brands include Anytime Fitness, Arby’s, Atkins Nutritionals, Corner Bakery, Driven Brands (the owner of Maaco, Meineke, CARSTAR, 1-800-Radiator and Take 5 Oil Change), FOCUS Brands (the owner of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Carvel Ice Cream, Cinnabon, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s), Il Fornaio, Pet Retail Brands (the owner of Pet Supermarket and Pet Valu), Primrose Schools, and others.

Mark Dolfato, managing director at Omers Private Equity, said, “Great Expressions has achieved impressive growth since our investment in 2011, and has further solidified its position as one of the preeminent DSOs. Under OMERS ownership, Great Expressions has entered three new markets and added 108 new locations.”

Michael Graham, senior managing director and head of North America for Omers Private Equity, said, “We are extremely proud of our affiliation with Great Expressions. Great Expressions is OMERS Private Equity’s third successful exit of 2016, following Give and Go and Marketwired, and our eighth exit in the last three years.”

Omers Private Markets (Omers Private Equity and Borealis Infrastructure), with offices ion Toronto, New York, London and Sydney, has $20 billion in assets under management invested globally in private equity and infrastructure on behalf of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension funds with net assets of CAD$77 billion.

Paul, Weiss and DLA Piper acted as legal counsel to Roark. Jefferies LLC served as financial advisor to Great Expressions. Jefferies LLC served as financial advisor to Omers, and Sidley Austin LLP acted as legal counsel.

Photo: Great Expressions Dental Centers, Atlanta, Georgia (by Carroll Morgan)



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