Susie: Fresh is a really exciting new investment we have made recently. It’s a dental platform in the Netherlands. Today, it has 23 clinics, as well as integrated labs, and an elderly dental care division.
Koen: We acquire and operate dental practices. Next to that, we provide our own practices, but also third parties with prosthetics and implants. We hired an advisory company to introduce us to parties that would have a good fit to us.
Susie: We invested in Portman and grew that to really a very large business with about 70 clinics. We sold that to Core Equity last year.
Koen: We’d love to learn from that experience, both with researching the markets, as well as their due diligence expertise. But above all, it’s having a personal fit.
Susie: Their relentless focus on quality and always putting the patients first, and clinical integrity, that’s definitely something that we absolutely believe in as well, and I think came across pretty clearly in our early meetings.
Koen: The relation between Livingbridge and Fresh is already very good. Already before closing during the last two weeks, we had Susie coming over quite a few times to talk with potential targets.
Susie: There have been a number of opportunities that have come up in terms of new clinic acquisitions, but actually some larger strategic questions around important hires and how we build out the central team.
Koen: You really have to listen to each other and to see the objectives that you both have. That really worked out during the process, so I’m convinced that will work out during the future as well.
Susie: Reputation of the firm and culture of the firm is really key we believe in attracting and being able to acquire clinics. There’s a real approach, which we’ve successfully used with assets, such as Witherslack and Helping Hands, and lots of other care businesses where you make sure you use data to drive the right performance KPIs around quality of care. Actually, that, in turn, drives profitability and value creation for us as investors. The Dutch market is only 6% consolidated, so there’s a huge amount of headroom in terms of where we can go just domestically within the Netherlands. There’s also obviously the immediate opportunities of the adjacent territories, so Belgium is very interesting. We’ve also started to look at Scandinavia and think how that might fit into the equation. The scale of ambition is quite large, and in terms of the growth from where we are today to where we think we’re going to be, it’s north of threefold in four years.
Koen: It’s a great future, and we are really looking forward to growing the organization to the size that we have in mind. I’m very excited.