Further Acquisitions for Abano’s Dental business

Listed healthcare provider, Abano Healthcare Group Limited, today announced the continued growth of its dental business with the acquisition of a further three dental practices.

A fourth acquisition is expected to be announced later this month, and based on the current rate of acquisitions, the dental acquisition target is now expected to be exceeded for this financial year.

The three practices acquired are City Dental at Quay Park in the Auckland CBD, the Dental Rooms in Masterton and Five Cross Roads Dental Centre in Hamilton.

These three businesses are expected to contribute approximately $3.2 million to the turnover of the Lumino group.

Managing director of Abano, Mr Alan Clarke, said: “The Lumino network has grown strongly, particularly in the last two years. Historically, we have acquired six dental practices per year and we were expecting to lift this to between eight and 10 practices in 2008. However, based on the current rate of seven acquisitions being achieved in the first six months of this financial year, and the increasing number of opportunities under review, we would expect to exceed this target.

“The Lumino Dental business is now starting to reap the benefits of developing economies of scale. Acquisitions are providing an average EBITDA to revenue contribution of 20% and this is a key driver in increasing the overall earnings margin of the Dental business.”

City Dental at Quay Park is a leading top end Auckland dental practice, run by Dr Andrea Shepperson and provides a strong foothold for Lumino into the Auckland CBD. Dr Shepperson is widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s leading clinicians and entrepreneurs in the general dental field.

The Dental Rooms is a four dentist practice in Masterton which has been operating for over 30 years and has a loyal local customer base. It is run by highly experienced dentists, Dr Frank Sonntag and Dr Eric Marinovich. Dr Marinovich was one of the first general dentists to undertake implant surgery in New Zealand and is well regarded for this work in the wider Wellington region.

Five Cross Roads Dental Centre is a well established practice in Hamilton East. Lumino now has practices in both Hamilton East and Hamilton West. It is a large family based practice with four dentists offering general dentistry and orthodontic services.

Following the completion of these acquisitions, the Lumino network will have 31 practices by the end of November, up from the 24 practices as at the May 2007 year end.

“The continued acquisition of respected, high end and family based dental practices combined with an increase in the marketing of the Lumino brand will ensure that customers recognise the Lumino brand as the leading provider of quality dental services throughout New Zealand,” Mr Clarke said.

An update on Abano acquisitions and business growth will be provided to shareholders at the Abano Healthcare Group annual meeting at 10am on Friday 9 November, Ellerslie Convention Centre.