PE-backed Aspen Dental buys Sun Capital’s ClearChoice in $1.1bn-plus deal 

Aspen, one of the country's largest providers of non-clinical dental support services, is owned by Ares, Leonard Green and American Securities.

Three years into its investment, Sun Capital Partners is selling ClearChoice Management Services to private equity-backed dental support giant Aspen Dental Management Inc., according to people with knowledge of the deal. 

The buyer, ADMI, is owned by an investor group that includes Ares Management, Leonard Green & Partners and American Securities. 

The agreement values ClearChoice, which provides non-clinical support services to dental implant centers across the country, at more than $1.1 billion, the people said. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

Sources placed ClearChoice’s EBITDA at approximately $90 million, which suggests a more than 12x EBITDA multiple.  

Goldman Sachs and Jefferies provided sell-side financial advice on the sale process. 

For Sun Capital, ClearChoice looks like a clear home run – with the Greenwood, Colorado company’s valuation more than doubling over a three-year-period. 

The Boca Raton, Florida, firm bought the company in November 2017 from L Catterton for a total enterprise value of approximately $500 million, writing an equity check of $300 million, sources familiar with the matter told PE Hub

For ADMI, the acquisition boosts its footprint in the growing dental implant segment, adding ClearChoice’s network of more than 60 locations. ClearChoice, which specializes in fixed, full arch dental restorations for patients with missing or failing dentition, is growing at an annual growth rate of over 20 percent. 

ADMI, led by CEO Bob Fontana, is one of the country’s largest providers of non-clinical dental support services. ADMI supports more than 850 affiliated Aspen Dental offices across 42 states – the largest branded network of dental practices in the world.

Ares originally invested in East Syracuse, New York’s ADMI in 2006, while LGP acquired its stake in 2010. American Securities joined as an investor in 2015, and in mid-2017 Ares and LGP upped their investments in the business. 

Ares, Leonard Green & Partners, American Securities, Sun Capital, Goldman, Jefferies and Aspen Dental declined to comment.