West Street Capital Partners VII, the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), dove into the ophthalmology market with its $2.6 billion deal for privately held Capital Vision Services. If that name doesn’t sound familiar, its operating trade name might ring a bell: MyEyeDr.
The sellers were Altas Partners LP and Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), which paid $775 million to acquire the physician network in 2015. At the time, MyEyeDr had only 165 physicians in seven states. The company expects to have 575 practices in 18 states by the end of 2019.
Ophthalmology practices continue to be a hot commodity, especially for PE firms. The eye care focus has hit about seven deals so far this year, or about 12% of the total announced deals. Only the MyEyeDr transaction has an announced price, but more deals would be substantial if terms had been disclosed.
The phenomenon isn’t exclusively American. Over across the Atlantic, NORD Holding Unternehmensbeteiligung GmbH, one of the leading private equity asset managers in Germany, bought Zentrum Gesundheit from Waterland Private Equity.
Zentrum is an association of experienced specialist ophthalmologists that offers outpatient treatment and surgery for patients with cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic and age-related retinal diseases. It employs 30 physicians and 230 staff members. The deal gives NORD another physician medical group in Germany, expanding its presence in that country’s healthcare market.
Two firms actually reported two separate transactions this year, acquiring smaller physician groups. Omni Ophthalmic Management Consultants, a portfolio company of NMS Capital, bought Corneal Associates of New Jersey and Ludwick Eye Center, in January and April, respectively. The two deals will expand Omni’s market reach in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey and grow its physician count by 12. Two ambulatory surgery centers from Ludwick are included.
CEI Vision Partners, a portfolio company of Revelstoke Partners, acquired Retina Vitreous Associates and Virginia Eye Consultants, both in January. CVP gets a combined 20 physicians from those deals with new market territory in Virginia and Ohio.