UK-based Synova Capital has sold healthcare business dbg to The Carlyle Group and Palamon Capital Partners. Terms were not disclosed, but Synova said the deal represented a 5.8x return on its original investment.
Synova only invested in the business – originally known as The Dental Buying Group – just over three years ago, in March 2010, backing a buyout led by chief executive John Rochford. Kanesh Khilosia, who joined the company at the time of Synova's investment, has since taken over as chief executive, with Rochford moving to become a non-executive director.
Based in Cheshire, the company provides support services like training, compliance and equipment maintenance to a range of healthcare providers. It operates on a membership model, where customers pay an annual fee to access dbg's services.
In a statement, Synova managing partner Philip Shapiro said the company had more than doubled its membership base under Synova's ownership. It now counts more than 10,000 dentists as members – more than half of all the dental practices in the UK – as well as GP and veterinary surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals. Profits have trebled during this period, Shapiro added.
Carlyle and Palamon are buying the business using the investment vehicle that also holds Integrated Dental Holdings, a business that Carlyle bought in 2011 and subsequently merged with Palamon portfolio company Associated Dental Practices. However, Carlyle managing director Eric Kump said dbg would continue to operate as an independent entity.
Synova is a lower mid-market firm founded in the UK in 2007. This is the first exit from its debut fund, which closed on £100 million that year and has since made five investments.