Gryphon’s Smile Brands completes Midwest Dental acquisition

Smile Brands CEO Steve Bilt said the acquisition increases Smile Brands’ scale and footprint by over 50%.

Smile Brands, a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors, has completed the acquisition of Midwest Dental, a dental services organization. The combined company represents 650 offices and over 8,000 employees, including 2,200 dentists and hygienists operating in 30 states. Harris Williams provided financial advice to Midwest Dental.

PRESS RELEASE

Irvine, CA – December 2, 2020 – Smile Brands Inc. announced today that it completed the acquisition of Midwest Dental, a Dental Services Organization (“DSO”) with over 230 offices located primarily in the upper Midwest and New England regions. Smile Brands is a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors (“Gryphon”), a leading middle-market private equity firm based in San Francisco, CA. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The combined company is one of the largest DSOs in the country, representing 650 offices and over 8,000 employees, including 2,200 dentists and hygienists operating in 30 states.

Steve Bilt, CEO of Smile Brands, said, “Our combination with Midwest Dental is a game changer for Smile Brands, and highly impactful to our industry, increasing Smile Brands’ scale and footprint by over 50% while furthering our mission of delivering ‘Smiles for Everyone.’ Midwest Dental is a top-10 DSO nationwide and a long-standing market leader. We believe the combined company will continue to deliver best-in-class support to dental practices, and thereby patient care to individuals and families nationwide, and be ideally positioned for future growth.”

Midwest Dental, founded in 1968 and based in Mondovi, WI, provides general dentistry, hygiene, and specialty dental services through a network of over 230 offices. With a staff of 2,300, Midwest Dental operates in 17 states through four brands: Midwest Dental, Mondovi Dental, Merit Dental, and Mountain Dental. Smile Brands will retain Midwest Dental’s brand identity and strong company culture, and Smile Brands’ management is very excited to work with the talented leadership team at Midwest Dental to deliver best in class support to the Midwest Dental and Smile Brands clinical teams. The combined company will continue to provide full-service administrative support to the company’s affiliated dental practices, including recruiting, purchasing, payroll, accounting, IT, billing, facilities management, and marketing.

Dr. Robert Crim, Smile Brands’ Chief Dental Officer, added, “It has certainly been a challenging year globally. The early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted dental practices nationwide, including both Smile Brands and Midwest Dental. Both companies have instituted exceptional safety measures, which allowed Smile Brands and Midwest Dental to re-open rapidly following the initial stages of the pandemic and provide needed care to patients with acute dental needs. Dentistry is now correctly viewed as an essential service and vital component of the healthcare services landscape for American families, and we expect the industry to experience continued strong fundamentals and steady volumes.”

Luke Schroeder, Gryphon Deal Partner and Co-Head of Gryphon’s Healthcare Group, said, “The transaction is highly strategic for Smile Brands, which has a successful 20-year track record of growth through M&A. We believe that the pace of consolidation in the dental industry will quicken as a result of the pandemic, and Smile Brands is ideally positioned to support an increasing number of high-quality dental providers based on its unique history of successfully completing large corporate combinations.”

Kirkland & Ellis provided legal advice to Gryphon and Smile Brands. Harris Williams provided financial advice and Willkie Farr & Gallagher provided legal advice to Midwest Dental.

About Midwest Dental

Founded in 1968 and based in Mondovi, WI, Midwest Dental (www.midwest-dental.com) is a top-10 nationwide DSO with over 230 dental practices under 4 regional brands across 17 states. The company is focused on providing general dentistry, hygiene, and specialty dental services through four brands: Midwest Dental, Mondovi Dental, Merit Dental, and Mountain Dental.

About Smile Brands

Based in Irvine California, Smile Brands Inc. is one of the largest providers of support services to dental groups in the United States. Smile Brands provides comprehensive business support services through exclusive long-term agreements with affiliate dental groups, so dentists can spend more time caring for their patients and less time on the administrative, marketing, and financial aspects of operating a dental practice. The organization was founded in 1998 by a management team that included co-founder and CEO Steve Bilt and CFO Brad Schmidt and supports approximately 420 affiliated practices, with more than 700 dentists across 18 states. For more information, visit www.smilebrands.com.

About Gryphon Investors

Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors is a leading private equity firm focused on growing and enhancing mid-market companies in partnership with management. The firm has managed over $5 billion of equity investments and capital since 1997. Gryphon targets making equity investments of $50 million to $300 million in portfolio companies with sales ranging from approximately $100 million to $600 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form strong partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources, and operational expertise. For more information, visit www.gryphoninvestors.com.