Smiles all round

Irish Dental chain is bought for €36 million

Irish dental chain Smiles Dental has been taken over by UK dental corporate Oasis Healthcare for a sum believed to be in the region of €36 million.

The takeover will see Oasis enter the Irish market for the first time and is expected to increase the group’s turnover from €193m to more than €250m. The number of practices in the new group has grown from 204 practices to 281.

Smiles Dental was established on South Anne Street in Dublin in 2005 offering tooth whitening and has grown to 77 practices in the Republic and the UK offering the full range of dental services. The practices in Ireland will keep the Smiles Dental name while those in the UK will be rebranded as Oasis Dental Care.

Justin Ash, CEO at Oasis Healthcare Group, said: “This is a transformational deal for Oasis and demonstrates our ability to drive growth and consolidation, building the only national brand in the fragmented dental market. “We believe this is outstanding news for the 2.5 million patients of the combined group and all patients seeking high quality, easy accessible dental care. We are also pleased to be extending our partnership with the NHS across the UK and to be providing care under the HSE in the Republic of Ireland.

“Smiles is highly complementary to our existing business and shares many of our core values, including a commitment to offering patients real choice, service excellence and transparent pricing. In its recent review the OFT called for improved competition, innovation and price transparency and we are proud to be bringing that to consumers in the UK, and now in the Republic of Ireland.

“We are very excited about this deal and the prospects for the larger group. We are well funded to continue our growth, and are actively seeking further complementary acquisitions, as well as new openings to at least double the size of Oasis.”

Emmet O’Neil, CEO at Smiles Dental, said: “We were looking for a partner to help Smiles reach the next level and had examined a number of options. When I met Sir Stuart and Justin Ash I realised that there was a shared approach and a matched ambition at Oasis.

“I am delighted to be joining their team and look forward to working hard not only to integrate our business, but to grow in future and to continue delivering a modern and innovative approach to dentistry. The team at Smiles both in the UK and Ireland have a huge amount to be proud of, and I want to take this opportunity to thank them for their loyalty, support and dedication.”