Oasis hires DC Advisory to look at ways to fund expansion plan

Marion Dakers
OASIS, the private equity-backed dentist chain, has hired DC Advisory to look at its long-term expansion options.

The firm hopes to buy existing branches and open new ones to double its number of outlets to 400, and has asked DC to size up fresh investment, further private equity involvement or a trade sale to fund the expansion.

The review is not expected to result in a quick sale, with those close to the firm expecting a decision next year at the earliest.

Oasis Healthcare is owned by private equity firm Duke Street and Partners Group, following a £77m deal to take the group private in 2007. Since then it has opened around 70 branches to take its total past 200.

The firm, which offers both NHS and private treatment, was set up in 1996 and now has 1.5m patients and 800 dentists on its books.

Oasis hopes to capitalise on a report from the Office of Fair Trading, which last week hinted at tougher regulations for dentists after it found that patients are often ill-informed about the treatment options available.

As the second-biggest chain of dentists in Britain, Oasis hopes to pick up smaller groups who are hard hit by the incoming rules.