Vision-care group NJRetina eyes deal with PE

  • NJRetina posts ~$10 mln of Ebitda
  • 20 doctors; 15 locations in central, northern New Jersey
  • Strong interest from sponsors anticipated

NJRetina, a doctor-owned group specializing in retina surgeries across New Jersey, is exploring a potential sale, four sources told Buyouts.

William Blair has scored the mandate to advise on a process aimed at private equity, two of the four sources said.

NJRetina, which lists 20 doctors on its website, provides diagnostic tests and various treatments including surgery for retinal disease. The group also runs clinical trials and participates in eye-research studies.

The Union, New Jersey, provider has 15 locations in Northern and Central New Jersey. NJRetina’s patient referrals stem from other ophthalmology groups in the region, one of the sources noted.

Sources expect NJRetina to field significant sponsor interest, fueled in part by the group’s strong cash flow and rates with insurers.

Two of the sources placed Ebitda at about $10 million, though they cautioned that the figure will depend partly on the level of cash flow assigned to a newly created management-services organization, which is what a sponsor would technically invest in.

At the same time, the margins on the actual procedures outweigh the margins on the drugs that are injected into patients’ eyes, they said.

The ophthalmology universe has seen tremendous interest from PE groups, but NJRetina represents the first retina-only group to conduct a formal auction, one source said.

Platforms that have done sizable retina deals include EyeCare Service Partners, which Harvest Partners, preempting a Jefferies-run sales process, bought from Varsity Healthcare Partners in May 2017. Shore Capital PartnersEyeSouth Partners also includes treatment for retinal disease among its various services.

A William Blair spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment. Tony Gigante, COO and CFO of NJRetina, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Action Item: Learn more about NJRetina here: www.njretina.com/about-us/

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