Denver, US; 10 February 2022
- Forefront is the largest, most diversified dermatology group practice in the US
- The Company has a differentiated patient- and physician-centric culture
- Partners Group will continue to invest in Forefront's best-in-class support infrastructure, sustaining the delivery of world-class, exceptional-quality dermatological care
Partners Group, a leading global private markets firm, has agreed, on behalf of its clients, to acquire Forefront Dermatology ("Forefront" or "the Company") from OMERS Private Equity. Forefront's physician partners and executive team will remain significant shareholders. OMERS Private Equity will also continue to invest in the Company through a minority equity stake.
Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Forefront has over 200 dermatology clinics across 22 states. The group practice comprises over 400 board-certified dermatologists, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. The Company's mission is to offer patients superior access to world-class, board-certified care within their communities. In support of this, Forefront provides dermatologists with a wide range of central support services to reduce administrative burdens and allow them to focus on their patients. Forefront's physicians maintain clinical autonomy while remaining connected to an established Physician Board of Directors and board-certified dermatologist partners. Physicians provide care across all subspecialties of dermatology, from medical and surgical to cosmetic dermatology, all supported by Forefront's best-in-class dermatopathologists and dermatopathology laboratory.
Partners Group will draw on its extensive experience working with physician partners, multi-site healthcare practices, and executive teams to maintain Forefront's quality- and outcomes-focused culture, and support its differentiated patient- and physician-centric approach. Key value creation initiatives will include investing in physician leadership and ownership, improving operational excellence, and expanding Forefront's integrated dermatology ecosystem through investing in its technology, cosmetics service offering, and patient care.
Scott Bremen, Chief Executive Officer, Forefront Dermatology, comments: "Forefront always prioritizes patient care, quality, and outcomes. Our scaled central support services offering provides our board-certified dermatologists with best-in-class functional experts to reduce growing administrative burdens, which allows them to focus on patient care and quality. Partners Group has a track record of success across specialties in healthcare delivery and we feel fortunate to be partnered with a like-minded investor that puts patient care and physician support first."
Dr. Betsy J. Wernli, President and board-certified dermatologist, Forefront Dermatology, adds: "Our patient- and physician-centric culture, which includes the industry's largest group of board-certified dermatologists, differentiates our practice through its unique physician-executive leadership structure and an operating model that truly allows us, as dermatologists, to solve every problem we face as practicing physicians daily. We are excited to partner with an investor that values our culture and is eager to support the guiding principles establishing Forefront as the differentiated group practice in dermatology."
Piotr Biezychudek, Member of Management, Private Equity Health & Life, Partners Group, says: "We are proud to invest in Forefront alongside the Company's physician partners and executive team. Our highest priority is to maintain Forefront's unrivaled patient care and its reputation as a top choice for board-certified dermatologists. We are aligned in our goal of attracting and retaining the most respected dermatology specialists and advancing the field of dermatology through the development of a leading clinical research function. We are committed to continuing the long history of putting patients first, supporting dermatologists to minimize administrative constraints, improving clinical care, and driving best-in-class outcomes."
Ethan Matter, Member of Management, Private Equity Health & Life, Partners Group, adds: "From the start, we were excited about Forefront's ability to serve a patient's full spectrum of dermatological care needs due to its geographic reach, comprehensive services, and technology solutions geared toward offering top-quality, convenient, and accessible care. We are looking forward to partnering with Forefront's talented team, including dermatologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and central service and clinical support staff."
Ropes & Gray and Deutsche Bank advised Partners Group.