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Independence Dental to revisit sale alongside Moelis, sources say

Independence Dental, the Firmament Group-backed dental services organization (DSO), has mandated Moelis to run an expected sale process, three sources familiar with the matter said.

The Dallas-based company has EBITDA in the mid-teens, according to two of the sources.

This news service reported last June that Independence Dental was in the later stage of a sale process via Cantor Fitzgerald and marketing itself off USD 40m in adjusted EBITDA, including acquisitions in its pipeline. No transaction was ever announced. Several large acquisitions did not move forward, bringing Independence Dental’s actual EBITDA to the current level, two of the sources explained for this report.

Independence Dental was founded in 2020 by CEO Lane Theriault in partnership with New York-based private equity firm Firmament Group. Unlike traditional DSOs, which typically charge a management fee of 5%-8% of collections, Independence Dental dentists pay only for the help and support they need. The company works with more than 50 dental practitioners, according to its website.

After a lull in M&A activity due to COVID-19 and subsequent turmoil in the capital markets, the highly fragmented DSO space continues to attract private equity and has seen several assets recently come to market. This news service reported on multiple processes in February, including Access Dental Management, Advanced Dental Brands, Lightwave Dental, Specialty1 Partners and HighFive Healthcare.

Mergermarket also reported that private equity firm HGGC paid roughly 11x-11.5x EBITDA in its January acquisition of Dentive.

Independence Dental and Firmament Group did not respond to requests for comment. Moelis declined to comment.