5 major ophthalmology practice and ASC acquisitions in the West

Acquisition activity in the West is concentrated in a few cities with new networks looking to expand, but private equity has yet to reach several promising areas, according to PhysiciansFirst Healthcare Partners.

1. EyeCare Services Partners (Dallas). In July 2015, EyeCare Services Partners moved West by acquiring Hemet, Calif.-based Inland Eye Specialists, an ophthalmology practice with seven offices and an ASC in Southern California. EyeCare Services Partners expanded into the greater Denver area by acquiring Omni Eye Specialists, Madison Street Surgery Center, Spivack Vision Center and Colorado Eye Center. In May 2017, private equity firm Harvest Partners recapitalized ESP and acquired Varsity HealthCare Partners' majority ownership interest in the company.

2. EVP EyeCare (Denver). In December 2017, private equity firm Cortec Group recapitalized Denver-based Icon Eyecare and re-named it EVP EyeCare. Icon Eyecare, had operated 11 offices and five ASCs in Colorado and Texas. Cortec Group announced intentions to grow EVP EyeCare organically and through ophthalmology practice acquisitions. EVP EyeCare's July 2017 acquisition of Phoenix-based Swagel-Wootton Hiatt Eye Center included two clinics and a surgery center.

3. American Vision Partners (Tempe, Ariz.). Private equity firm HIG Capital acquired Phoenix-based Barnet-Dulaney-Perkins Eye Center and Mesa, Ariz.-based Southwestern Eye Center to form American Vision Partners in April 2017. Barnet-Dulaney-Perkins Eye Center had 15 locations, while Southwestern Eye Center, had 24 office locations.

4. Comprehensive EyeCare Partners (Henderson, Nev.). Comprehensive EyeCare Partners was established in February, when private equity firm Gauge Capital took ownership of Nevada Eye Physicians, New Eyes of Southern Nevada and Shepherd Eye Center, all in Henderson. All together, the practices include over 30 ophthalmologists, 16 clinics and two ASCs.

5. Nvision Eye Centers (Aliso Viejo, Calif.). Tom Tooma, MD, founded Nvision Eye Centers in 2010. Nvision acquired eight TLC Laser Eye Centers in Southern California and now includes more than 30 centers. Nvision is not backed by a private equity firm but is highly active in the ophthalmology acquisition space.

Read part one, part two and part three of PhysiciansFirst Healthcare Partners' series exploring ophthalmology practice and ASC acquisitions in the U.S.

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