Universal Partners sold its shares in Dentex to Portman Dental Care (“Portman”) in a transaction which saw the merger of the two businesses. Part of the proceeds was paid in shares in Portman. The transaction was completed in April 2023
Portman was founded in 2009 by the CEO Sam Waley Cohen and is the largest private dental consolidator in the UK and one of the largest in Europe, with operations in Ireland, the Nordics, Benelux and France. Core Equity Holdings acquired a majority interest in Portman in 2018 and has supported the growth of the business to over 200 practices, taking the best learnings from retail, healthcare and digital businesses to transform the offering to their clinicians, patients and colleagues. Portman cares for in excess of one million patients per year.
The merged entity will form the largest privately focused dental group in the UK and be one of Europe’s pre-eminent dental platforms, with operations currently in 5 European countries and plans to expand further in future. In combination, the multi award winning groups will operate in excess of 350 practices, with more than 2,000 clinicians and more than 4,000 employees and provide dental care for over 1.5 million patients per year.
Justin Rodrigues represents Universal Partners as an invitee to the Portman board.
For more information about Portman visit www.portmandentalcare.com
Workwell (formerly JSA) is a contractor accountancy and payroll solutions business based in the UK.
Universal Partners acquired a significant minority stake in the business in May 2018 from existing investors. Andrew Goodman, the executive chairman and majority shareholder at the time of the transaction, is a recruitment industry veteran having founded, acquired, listed, and served on the boards of numerous recruitment and Professional Employment Organisation businesses.
Universal Partners has played a pivotal role in progressing the buy and build strategy and has assisted with raising debt facilities to fund the rapid expansion of the business.
In November 2021, Universal Partners committed to a longer-term investment horizon and increased its shareholding to become a majority shareholder in the business
Universal Partners is represented by Pierre Joubert and Justin Rodrigues who sit on the board of Workwell.
For more information about the company visit www.workwellsolutions.com
Xcede Group (formerly Techstream Group) is a global recruitment organisation that delivers technology and energy talent solutions that enable companies to innovate and grow.
After the introduction of Universal Partners as an investment partner in 2020, the group was formed through the merger of Techstream, Xcede and Etonwood, three of the UK’s leading recruitment businesses with a specific focus on technology, engineering, renewable energy, digital, data and automation.
Xcede is headquartered in London and has offices in London, New York, Hamburg, Singapore, Cadiz and Cape Town.
Xcede boasts an excellent management team with a clear strategy to grow the business both locally and internationally.
Universal Partners is represented on the board by Pierre Joubert and Justin Rodrigues.
For more information about the company visit www.xcede.com
SC Lowy was founded in 2009 by Michel Lowy and Soo Cheon Lee as a global banking and asset management group. It has a proven track record of delivering unique fixed income solutions to its investors and clients.
The asset management division of the company specialises in high yield, distressed, event driven and private structured credit.
SC Lowy owns two commercial banks – Choeun Savings Bank in South Korea (acquired in 2014) and Solution Bank in Italy, formerly known as Credito di Romagna (acquired in 2018).
The business is headquartered in Hong Kong, with a global team of investment professionals also working from offices in Seoul, Milan and London.
Universal Partners and Investec Bank co-led a consortium that invested in the business in December 2017.
Pierre Joubert represents Universal Partners as an observer on the board of SC Lowy.
For more information about the company visit www.sclowy.com
Propelair is a CleanTech company based in London. It manufactures the Propelair low-flush toilet – the world’s lowest water-flush toilet.
In 2017, the company received a significant round of investment from a consortium which included Investec Bank, Earth Capital Partners and Universal Partners. The growth capital provided helped the company to further develop the product and to accelerate its distribution.
Propelair works with numerous distribution partners and has a solid client base across the UK, South Africa and the Middle East.
For more information about the company visit www.propelair.com
Founded in 2016, Dentex is a private dental consolidation platform with a highly experienced management team.
The company has a unique co-ownership partner model with dentists: up to 20% of the purchase consideration for a practice is settled in Dentex equity, creating alignment through co-ownership whilst retaining clinical freedom for the dentist.
Universal Partners first invested in Dentex in 2017 when the company had only 3 dental practices. It partnered with management to grow the business into a respected player in the UK dental market, leading a number of capital raises and assisting with raising significant senior debt to fund the buy and build strategy and grow to over 160 practices. In August 2022, Dentex’s shareholders entered into definitive transaction agreements with Portman Dental Care (“Portman”), resulting in a merger of Dentex with Portman. The transaction was concluded in April 2023 and the merged entity now forms one of the largest dental care platforms in Europe.
Universal Partners invested a total of £32.3m over six years to support the impressive growth of the business. The transaction resulted in Universal Partners receiving back 94% of its invested capital in Dentex in cash, with the balance of its proceeds reinvested in the merged entity.
For more information about the company visit www.dentexhealth.co.uk
Yasa is a manufacturer of a range of electric motors, generators and controllers with superior performance characteristics – Yasa motors are smaller, lighter, easier to manufacture and deliver superior power and torque. These motors are used in the automotive sector by manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz, Ferrari, Koenigsegg and others. They are also used in the aviation sector, where they are supplied and supported by Yalium, a company spun out of Yasa.
YASA was incorporated in 2009 to commercialise research undertaken at Oxford University by founder and Chief Technology Officer, Dr Tim Woolmer. The initial funding for the business was provided by HNW individuals and EIS investors, led by Parkwalk Advisors.
Universal Partners made its initial investment in Yasa in August 2017 and went on to invest a total of £14.3m. In line with its commitment to being an active and value adding partner, Universal Partners was a very supportive lead investor. In addition to providing capital to help Yasa grow, we were also actively involved in formulating a successful strategy for the company.
In August 2021, Yasa was sold to Mercedes Benz AG, who had identified the company as a key pillar in their electrification strategy. Concurrent with the sale, Universal Partners also sold its shares in Yalium to a consortium of investors.
Universal Partners received total proceeds of £42.8m from these sales, which translated into a gross return of 3 times money invested, a gross IRR of 33% and a net IRR of 28%, after taking account of fees and carry payable to Argo.
For more information about the company visit www.yasa.com