Through the first three quarters of 2023, healthcare private equity transactions in eyecare exhibited a slowdown attributed to a rise in interest rates, an economic slowdown and other macroeconomic pressures. Throughout this time, several eye care platforms have focused on servicing their debt by creating efficiencies and focusing on organic growth opportunities.
Eye care is still experiencing strong M&A activity however, with over 30 transactions completed so far in 2023. The eye care private equity backed platforms are focused on partnering with quality practices that are leading with clinical excellence.
In recent years, several eyecare platforms have achieved substantial success in implementing their growth strategies, fostering widespread profitability, and facilitating equity growth for partner physicians. This has resulted in several private equity backed eyecare platforms experiencing a second sale recapitalization including EyeCare Partners, EyeSouth, and Vision Innovation Partners. At the same time, several platforms sold to a large pe-backed eye care platform inclusive of CEI Vision Partners, BlueSky Vision and Ocular Partners. We expect several other PE-backed platforms to experience a “second bite” in the near term, as well.
Private Equity Platforms Achieving Second Sale Since 2017
The eyecare market stands robust and maintains its status as a pivotal focus for private equity firms investing in healthcare. Despite notable consolidation across the country, owners should continue viewing private equity as an attractive option and we foresee favorable eye care M&A activity over the next 12-24 months.
Each pe-backed platform has its own strategy, with some experiencing more success than others. Therefore, in the process of evaluating and selecting a potential partner or buyer, the imperative lies in ensuring not only an agreement on economic value but also a cultural fit and track record, given the substantial divergence in these aspects among different platforms.
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