Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Varsity Fashions Eye Care Practice through Acquisitions

Varsity Healthcare Partners (VHP) acquired Katzen Eye Group, an integrated ophthalmologic and optometric practice, and it will create EyeCare Services Partners Holdings Llc. (ESP). It seems only to be a first move into the field and the region. ESP and VHP reportedly are scanning ophthalmologic and optometric landscape looking for independent practices in Maryland, Delaware, and other areas that can be acquired. An announcement from ESP said: "ESP will consolidate locally dominant, clinically differentiated vision care services practices and affiliated surgical centers in selected geographies, leveraging the technology platform, managerial infrastructure, and clinical processes of Katzen Eye Group." ESP did not disclose the transaction's terms (see next paragraph). CEO Michael Fricke, formerly CEO for Sante Pediatric Serices, OrthoRx, and various positions with Lincare, will run ESP from Baltimore. Former Katzen execs will join him: Dr. Brett Katzen as ESP’s chief medical officer, Richard Edlow as its president, and Melissa Pitchford as CFO. Read more.

"Varsity Healthcare Partners struck its maiden investment by acquiring Katzen Eye Group, an ophthalmologic and optometric services practice, as part of a plan to consolidate other vision-care practices through the firm's new platform, EyeCare Services Partners Holdings LLC." That's how DowJones.com wrote up the deal. "Varsity said it made the investment in Katzen from its Varsity Healthcare Partners I LP, a $240 million vehicle the firm raised from five U.S.-based family offices and multifamily offices. Terms of the transaction weren't disclosed. Varsity targets companies with up to $10 million in annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and deploys a minimum of $50 million of equity capital." Read more.

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