Long-established Falkirk dental practice sold to UK corporate operator
Grahams Road Dental Surgery is a mixed-income practice with six fully equipped surgeries, three hygiene surgeries, and circa 19,000 registered patients. It occupies the ground floor of a traditional style property in a prominent location on Grahams Road, close to Falkirk town centre.
The location has been home to a dental practice since the early 1900s, with the business expanding over the years to meet growing patient demand. Significant investment in the 1970s enabled the practice to expand, offering five surgeries, with a dedicated denture laboratory as well as employing two full-time hygienists. More recently, in 2008, further expansion allowed for a sixth surgery and a third hygiene surgery.
The practice had been operating with four principal partners (Damian Carey, John Arthur, Christopher Black and Stephen Kean) who were keen to ensure a smooth transition and continuity for their patient base, whilst considering their exit strategy. After discussions with Christie & Co, the partners recognised that a buoyant market would provide a great opportunity to transition the business to new ownership.
Grahams Road Dental Surgery, which was brought to the market on a confidential basis in May 2021, received significant interest from a wide range of buyers, with over 20 enquires in the first 24 hours alone. With the high level of interest, a closing date was set just a few weeks after launch. Multiple competitive bids were received on the day, with the partners accepting an offer from Portman Dental Care, one of the largest corporate operators, who they felt would be able to continue the growth of the business, whilst upholding the reputation for delivering the highest quality patient care.
Speaking on behalf of the exiting partners, Damian Carey comments, “There were numerous reasons why we decided to sell, however, I’d heard a lot of things about Portman Dental Care – it sounded like it would be a happy and supportive environment to be a part of. Since acquiring the practice, Portman have improved the management structure and have provided the staff with a great deal of support, with some exciting improvements in the pipeline too.”
“With regards to Christie & Co, I couldn’t speak highly enough of you all. The advice and work Christie & Co, and especially Paul, put into the deal was brilliant. The value of the deal I think couldn’t have been achieved otherwise, and I always felt Paul was pushing for us to reach a great result. I’m really grateful for all the effort put in and especially the patience! I was always confident that we could trust in Christie & Co to give us the best possible advice and direction.”
Selina Alexander, mergers and acquisition manager at Portman Dental Care, comments, “This is a really exciting partnership that we have established with the Partners at Grahams Road. Whenever we look for practices to join us, we are adamant that they share the same values that we uphold throughout the entire business and family of practices – the team at Grahams Road do just that. That family element is also key; we’re not simply buying a practice, we want them to feel as if they’re joining our family, bringing their individual skills and competences to enrich our group further.
“A big thank you to Damian, John, Christopher and Stephen at Grahams Road for making the process so enjoyable, rewarding and straightforward for everyone. You’re joining the business at an extremely exciting time, and I am excited to see the future of Grahams Road as a Portman practice.”
Paul Graham, head of dental at Christie & Co, who handled the sale, comments, “It has been a pleasure to assist Damian, John, Christopher, and Stephen with the sale of their practice. This deal was a particularly interesting one, with all four Partners having different plans post-sale. We first met to discuss an exit plan that was suitable for everyone and, after a confidential marketing process, we were delighted with the result. We received a plethora of interest which is a testament to the excellent reputation the sellers have built together over the years. Thanks to all involved, particularly the sellers for the opportunity to be a part of this sale.”
Grahams Road Dental Surgery was sold for an undisclosed price.