Ontario Teachers acquires control of Heartland Dental

Mon Nov 5, 2012 1:51pm EST
 
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By Soyoung Kim

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan said on Monday it has agreed to take control of Heartland Dental Care Inc in a deal that values the U.S. dental practice management firm at about $1.3 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Ontario Teachers, one of Canada's largest pension funds, is buying a majority stake in Heartland, while founder and Chief Executive Rick Workman will retain a minority stake along with management and employees, the two companies said in a statement.

Effingham, Illinois-based Heartland manages more than 375 affiliated dental practices in 21 U.S. states, providing dentists with administrative services such as personnel staffing, purchasing, and financial, marketing and technology support.

Ontario Teachers outbid private equity firms KKR & Co, Apax Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners, which had also pursued a buyout of Heartland and submitted final bids on October 22, the person familiar with the matter said.

Ontario Teachers did not disclose terms of the transaction, but the deal values Heartland at roughly 11 times the company's annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of around $120 million, according to the source.

"Having Teachers' as a partner will provide us with a stable platform to continue to grow by providing support services to other dental offices," Heartland CEO Workman said in a statement.

Heartland was advised by investment banks Jefferies and Moelis on the transaction.

(Additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio and Andrew Hay)