Gryphon Investors has teamed up with dental industry veterans Steven C. Bilt and Bradley E. Schmidt to form OneSmile. No financial terms were disclosed. OneSmile will initially focus on buying existing dental practices in the western U.S.
June 3, 2015, San Francisco –Gryphon Investors (“Gryphon”), a San Francisco-based private equity firm, announced today that it has formed a partnership with Steven C. Bilt and Bradley E. Schmidt to establish OneSmile, LLC (“OneSmile”). The new company will initially focus on acquiring existing dental practices and groups in the western United States, as part of a strategy to build a comprehensive Dental Services Organization (“DSO”) platform.
Mr. Bilt, a seventeen-year veteran of the dental industry, is OneSmile’s CEO. He previously served as the president and CEO of Smile Brands, Inc., one of the largest providers of support services to general and multi-specialty dental groups in the United States. Brad Schmidt will be OneSmile’s CFO, a position he previously held at Smile Brands, Inc. Together with Gryphon’s financial backing, Mr. Bilt and Mr. Schmidt built that company from inception to over 250 locations with revenues of over $350 million before Gryphon sold a majority of its shares in 2005. The executives continued to lead the company for subsequent investors, eventually expanding it to more than 400 locations and over $500 million in revenues.
Mr. Bilt, who is a founding member and former director and president of the Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO), said, “There is a compelling opportunity to build a leading DSO in the Western U.S., and I look forward to working with Gryphon again in this exciting new venture. Their experience helping to build Smile Brands’ predecessor starting in 1998, along with their financial and operational support, will benefit us as we establish a unique model bringing comprehensive general, pediatric and specialty dental care and healthy, happy smiles to millions of people.”
Luke Schroeder, a principal in Gryphon’s Healthcare Group, said, “Gryphon has invested successfully in the dental sector in the past and we believe the opportunity in the space continues to be highly attractive. There are a number of compelling acquisition opportunities in this fragmented space, and with our investment in OneSmile, we are well-positioned to prioritize and pursue these investments.”
Nick Orum, Gryphon’s president, added, “We have known and worked with Steve and Brad for many years and we are excited to support these talented executives in building a dental platform once again. Gryphon has a long track record of backing professional executive partners and teams, with resources to build leading businesses through both acquisition and organic growth.”
About Gryphon Investors
Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors (www.gryphoninvestors.com) is a leading private equity (PE) firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. For numerous consecutive quarters and years, Gryphon has been ranked in Preqin’s prestigious quarterly PE report as one of North America’s top-decile firms based on consistency of strong investment returns. With approximately $1.4 billion of cumulative equity commitments, the firm has an extensive track record of leading equity investments of $35 million to $100 million per portfolio company with sales ranging from approximately $50 million to $400 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form proactive partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources and operational expertise.
Biographies of Key OneSmile Executives
Steven C. Bilt – Chief Executive Officer
Before joining OneSmile, Steven C. Bilt spent 17 years as president & CEO of Smile Brands Inc. and its predecessor BrightNow! Dental, then the largest provider of support services to general and multi-specialty dental groups in the United States with approximately $500 million in revenue. From 2005 to 2014 he also served as chairman and CEO of the Smiles for Everyone Foundation, a public non profit organization extending dental care to those in need both domestically and internationally. During his tenure with Smile Brands, Mr. Bilt oversaw growth from inception to over 400 clinics nationwide, including through the acquisition and integration of Castle Dental and Monarch Dental, as well as the opening of over 150 new locations. Earlier, he spent almost five years as a vice president of Finance at Vivra Incorporated, a public, multi-specialty healthcare service company, and before that, five years as manager – Assurance at Ernst & Young. Mr. Bilt received a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an M.B.A. from the George Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University.
Bradley E. Schmidt – Chief Financial Officer
Prior to joining OneSmile, Bradley E. Schmidt served as chief financial officer of Smile Brands Inc. from 2002 to 2014 and controller from 1998 to 2002. Before that, he served as divisional controller and corporate accounting manager for Furon Company, a $450 million international manufacturer of specialized polymer components. Earlier in his career, he was a senior accountant/auditor with Ernst & Young, where he worked with a wide range of private and publicly held companies. Mr. Schmidt earned a B.S. from Eastern Michigan University.