Full Steam Ahead For UK Orthodontic Acquisitions

Oliver Brown, Associate Director, Christie & Co
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Despite the uncertainty and risk surrounding NHS orthodontic contracts, following a mixed national implementation of procurement processes over the past year, demand for orthodontic practices has seen a visible increase so far in 2021. Several of the larger corporate groups have employed dedicated orthodontic acquisitions managers tasked with securing more ortho-focussed practices and increasing their offering in the space.

The rise of popularity in aligners, notably Invisalign, cosmetic dentistry and the impact of video conferences / meetings over the last year, has led to an upsurge in the number of patients seeking straightening and whitening treatments. With dedicated orthodontic practices already being in short supply, the high ceiling for potential revenue increase and corporate interest has led to orthodontic practices consistently outperforming their asking prices on the open market.

So far this year, we have witnessed an increase in the number of larger dental companies looking to build specialist subgroups. One of the latest examples of this strong appetite for high-quality orthodontic practices is the sale of Dr Sanjay Kumar’s business, Plymouth Orthodontics, to a national operator back in March.

Christie & Co has also completed on the sale of Weybridge Orthodontics in Surrey. A six-surgery, private led orthodontic practice of exceptional quality, with the added benefit of an NHS orthodontic provision which attracted significant interest from a wide range of prospective buyers. The practice was acquired by a highly acquisitive national operator for an undisclosed sum.

The key to achieving the best result in selling a dental practice is using the most trusted agent, with a recent track record of successful sales. In the first half of 2021 Christie & Co has arranged over 300 viewings and generated over £250 million for clients in practice sales.

Over the coming months, we expect NHS tendering processes to be concluded across the country. As longer contracts are awarded, providing greater security to buyers and lenders, we anticipate a huge surge in appetite for orthodontic practices from all levels of the market.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Oliver Brown is an associate director within Christie & Co’s specialist dental team, advising those wishing to buy or sell a dental practice in the South and South West of England. He has been with Christie & Co for seven years and advises dozens of practice owners and buyers each year.

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