Dental Giant Smiles On Banks For £1bn Float
Britain's biggest privately-owned dental chain has lined up investment bankers to spearhead a stock market listing that could value it at more than £1bn.
Sky News has learnt that Integrated Dental Holdings' (IDH) main shareholder has hired Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs to work on the flotation, which if successful would catapult the business into London's FTSE 250 index.
IDH, which has a network of 570 dental practices in England, Scotland and Wales, is majority-owned by The Carlyle Group, one of the world's biggest private equity investors.
IDH calls itself the biggest dental corporate organisation in Europe, focusing primarily on NHS patients but with private and specialist practices as an increasingly important revenue stream.
In a statement posted on the company's website, it said: "IDH and its major shareholders are exploring the possibility of a listing on the London Stock Exchange. At this stage no decisions have been made [and] all options remain open to the group."
According to bondholder filings for the final three months of 2013, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the financial year to date rose by 21% to £48.7m.
IDH was founded in 1996 by Luke Johnson, the entrepreneur who previously owned Pizza Express and who is floating Patisserie Valerie on the London Stock Exchange.
Mr Johnson and his partners sold IDH in 2006 for just over £100m, with the private equity arm of Merrill Lynch among its subsequent owners.
The company was created in its current form from the amalgamation of IDH and Associated Dental Practices in 2011, and now treats millions of patients each year.
IDH's biggest rival, Oasis Dental Care, is also owned by private equity funds having been bought by Bridgepoint last year in a deal worth £185m.
Carlyle is examining flotations for a number of its investments, including the RAC breakdown recovery service, which Goldman Sachs is also working on.