Leonard Green Sinks Teeth into Aspen Dental

Leonard Green & Partners has agreed to purchase Aspen Dental from Ares Management for around $500 million, peHUB has learned. The deal is expected to close shortly.

Aspen Dental specializes in dentures but also provides dental services, like checkups and filings, to customers. It has 240 locations spread through 20 states, with headquarters in Syracuse, New York.

Ares acquired the company in 2006, and in May hired Moelis & Co. to run a sale process.

For Leonard Green, this deal comes close on the heels of its offer to acquire publicly-traded Prospect Medical Holdings Inc., an operator of five community-based hospitals in Los Angeles, for $363 million. Once closed, both Aspen and Prospect Medical would come out of a $5.3 billion fund, Green Equity Investors V, that was raised in 2007. Other portfolio companies in the fund include B.J.’s Wholesale Club and Whole Foods Market. About 60% of fund V is invested.

The dental industry is attractive to PE shops because it is not as regulated as other aspects of healthcare, a person says. “As the population ages, there will be a need for more dental services,” the source says.

Ares and Leonard Green both declined to comment.