Ares Puts Aspen Dental on The Block

PHILADELPHIA/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Private equity firm Ares Management has put Aspen Dental, a chain of dentistry practices, up for sale, sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

Ares, which made its initial investment in Aspen Dental in 2006, has hired Moelis & Co to auction the business, sources said.

Ares, Moelis and Aspen Dental could not be immediately reached for comment.

Aspen Dental has more than 230 locations in 20 states and plans to add more than 50 locations a year for the next two years, according to its website. Last year, the company handled about 2 million patient visits.

The business is likely to attract interest mostly from other private equity firms, but strategic rivals such as American Dental Partners Inc (ADPI.O) may also take a look, one source said.

American Dental, which has 267 facilities in 19 states, had first-quarter revenue of $71.9 million. American Dental could not be immediately reached for comment. (Reporting by Jessica Hall in Philadelphia and Megan Davies in New York, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)