Denver, US; Baar-Zug, Switzerland; December 16, 2019
Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, has agreed to make a significant equity investment on behalf of its clients in EyeCare Partners LLC ("ECP" or "the Company"), the largest vertically integrated medical vision services provider in the US. Partners Group will become the majority shareholder, while ECP's management team and physician partners will continue to maintain a substantial equity stake. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, ECP has an extensive network of full-scope medical optometry and ophthalmology practices, with over 450 locations across 13 states throughout the US. The Company employs over 500 optometrists and 85 ophthalmologists who, together with over 4,400 clinic staff, offer patients end-to-end services covering medical optometry, ophthalmology and sub-specialties, and vision correction products. ECP's model provides an integrated network of services that cover the entire lifecycle of a patient's eye care needs, which results in increased patient and physician satisfaction and retention.
Following the investment, Partners Group will work closely with ECP's management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Kelly McCrann, on strategic initiatives to support ongoing organic and acquisitive growth. Key areas of focus for these initiatives will include the following: increasing the recruitment of high-quality ophthalmologists and optometrists; optimizing the network model; expanding and maximizing ambulatory surgical center utilization; enhancing administrative processes and operating efficiencies; investing in clinical technologies that enhance patient care; and pursuing select M&A partnership opportunities that provide world-class medical vision care and patient experience.
Kelly McCrann expresses the following: "Partners Group has excellent operational support capabilities and an extremely successful track record of working with high-growth companies to build critical mass in the highly fragmented US healthcare sector. We are thrilled to have found a long-term partner that shares our patient- and physician-centric outlook. We are very excited to work with Partners Group to both strengthen ECP's offering and expand our presence throughout the US."
Todd Miller, Managing Director, Co-Head Private Equity Directs Americas, Partners Group, states: "As the largest medically focused and integrated eye care services provider in the US, ECP is a market outperformer with strong momentum in a growing industry. We are excited to bring our operational experience with multi-site healthcare operations into partnership with ECP's talented management team and physician partners, who share Partners Group's focus on ensuring patient care remains at the forefront of operational decisions. We look forward to working together with Kelly and the entire team to enhance patient care, expand geographically, and build local density, among other things."
Remy Hauser, Managing Director, Head of Healthcare Industry Value Creation, Partners Group, adds: "Our Thematic Sourcing efforts over the past 24 months identified the medical vision segment as a highly attractive sub-sector within the healthcare sector, ripe for organic growth, expansion, and consolidation. ECP's vertically integrated model, offering the full spectrum of medical eye health solutions and one network for scheduling, billing and coordination, provides a competitive advantage as it creates a better experience, improved medical outcomes, and retention for patients, physicians and medical providers."
Kirkland & Ellis LLP represented Partners Group in the transaction.