And in one fell swoop, Webster Equity Partners has formed a major physician group. The private equity firm announced in early March that it is acquiring and merging Retina Consultants of Houston, Retina Group of Florida, Long Island Vitreoretinal Consultants, and Retinal Consultants Serving Northern California to form Retina Consultants of America (RCA).

The platform has a $350 million investment to build on and will have EBITDA of $80 million and roughly 50 physicians, according to sources cited in PEHub. But tucked away in that price is a fifth transaction that we should hear about before the end of March. Further, Webster and RCA are planning to expand rapidly, adding more practices in future deals.

Retina Consultants of America will be the largest retina-focused physician group in the country. While it’s true that ophthalmology groups are one of the more popular targets for private equity, a platform solely focused on retina services is rare. They’re usually add-ons to larger platforms, as we saw with a slew of deals throughout 2019. Last year in January, CEI Vision Partners (CVP), a portfolio company of Revelstoke Partners, acquired Retina Vitreous Associates (RVA), a vitreoretinal surgical practice with nine ophthalmologists who specialize in medical and surgical retina disorders. That was the first of three mergers for CVP in 2019.

On the same day CVP announced its acquisition of RVA, ShoreView Industries, another private equity firm, purchased California Retina Associates, a leading retina surgery and ophthalmology practice. The group has 12 physicians that operate across three clinical sites and one ambulatory surgery center in San Diago and Imperial counties. 

And in September last year, EyeCare Partners, a portfolio company of FFL Partners, acquired Michigan-based Associated Retinal Consultants, one of the largest retina subspecialty practices in the United States. ARC serves more than 1,000 optometrists and ophthalmologists throughout Michigan and surrounding states.

According to data found in our Deal Search Online database, there were roughly 51 transactions focused on ophthalmology practices, with private equity or their portfolio companies accounting for 88% of the acquisitions.