Former Oasis owner looks to get teeth into £700m dentistry chain IDH
A former owner of the Oasis dentistry business is in pole position to clinch a £700m takeover of IDH Group, one of Britain’s biggest chains of dental practices.
Sky News has learnt that Bridgepoint, the private equity firm, has become the preferred bidder for IDH, which runs about 595 surgeries across the UK.
Bridgepoint has seen off competition for the business from Bestway, the family-owned conglomerate best known for its cash-and-carry operations.
A finalised deal remains some weeks away, partly as a result of the complex shareholder structure that exists between IDH’s current owners, Carlyle and Palamon.
Banking sources indicated that Palamon could seek to retain part of its stake under a new ownership structure.
It is unclear whether the current shareholders will see a meaningful return from a sale because of the level of debt within IDH.
Bridgepoint sold Oasis to Bupa in 2016 for more than £800m, and is understood to have examined other acquisition opportunities in the sector since.
Dental practices have seen their productivity and revenues impacted by the coronavirus pandemic because of measures imposed following the outbreak by Public Health England.
In quarterly results published this week, IDH said it had seen a fall in private revenue during the three months to the end of December.
Bridgepoint and Carlyle both declined to comment.