Berkshire Partners nears acquisition of Affordable Care: Reuters

(Reuters) — Private equity firm Berkshire Partners LLC is nearing a deal to acquire Affordable Care Inc, the largest U.S. denture services provider, from buyout firm American Capital (ACAS.O) for more than $800 million, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

Berkshire Partners has outbid other private equity firms in the auction for Affordable Care, the people said on Tuesday, asking not to be identified because the sale process is confidential.

American Capital and Affordable Care Inc. did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Affordable Care acquisition comes as dealmaking in the dental equipment space heats up. Earlier on Tuesday, Dentsply International Inc (XRAY.O) said it would buy peer Sirona Dental Systems Inc (SIRO.O) in a $5.56 billion all-stock deal, creating the world’s largest dental equipment maker.

Founded in Kingston, North Carolina in 1975, Affordable Care has 200 affiliated practices in 40 U.S. states. More than six million patients have received services from an Affordable Dentures-affiliated practice, according to its website.

American Capital invested in Affordable Care in 2006, and provided additional capital in 2008 to support the acquisition of a management services platform supporting five dental practices from Fields Dental Management and Piedmont Dental Center.

Boston-based Berkshire Partners, which has aggregate capital commitments of over $11 billion, has invested in over 110 middle market companies since 1986.

American Capital is a publicly traded private equity firm and asset manager that manages $23 billion. It provides senior debt, mezzanine and equity financing in a variety of transactions, ranging from buyouts to recapitalizations.

In April, American Capital sold portfolio company Mirion Technologies, which provides radiation detection products, to Charterhouse Capital Partners for $750 million.