Freeman Spogli buys Bright Now

The Los Angeles-based private equity firm has inked a deal for dental services company Bright Now Dental, for a reported $340 million.

Los Angeles–based Freeman Spogli has purchased Bright Now Dental from San Francisco-based Gryphon Investors for $340 million (€263 million), according to published press reports.

The purchase price represents about nine times Bright Now’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of a reported $37 million. Freeman will reportedly invest $130 million in equity.

Gryphon merged three existing dental practices in 1998 to form Bright Now, with a reported $10 million in capital. The firm has since expanded through acquisition, although it is unclear how much capital Gryphon expended to fund that growth.

Bright Now provides services to around 300 dental offices in 20 states. The firm has 4,200 employees.

Gryphon is a middle market private equity firm founded in 1995 by David Andrews, formerly managing director at Oak Hill Partners. The firm typically invests between $25 million and $75 million in companies in the business services, retail, industry and technology sectors.

Freeman Spogli’s latest fund, FS Equity Partners V, closed in 2004 on $1 billion has invested in wine distributor Winebow, warranty services provider N.E.W. Customer Service and video and appliance retailer H. H. Gregg. Since 1983, the firm has invested $2 billion in 37 companies.