Be careful what you wish for

by Acquisitions, Buying & selling, Finance, News

CORRECTION JUNE 4 2019: this article implies that Henry Schein’s client received a 100% mortgage to include refurbishment and equipment, the originating piece stated that the team at Henry Schein will also work together with her on the next even more exciting phase of her journey, refurbishment and equipment financing which can be structured differently according to the client’s business plan. For more information on 100% mortgages click here.

Do you remember the halycon days of 100% mortgages? It’s hard to forget where they led. Apparently they’re back — that’s if Henry Schein Financial Services thinks you’re buying the right practice. Just be careful.

Maggie Andi worked as an associate for 15 years before bagging Mill Hill Dental Practice in north west London with 100% finance. She says: “The team at Henry Schein will also work together with me on the next even more exciting phase, the refurb and equipment financing! Thanks guys for helping me realise my ambitions.”

A practice and a refurb and new kit, that’s a lot of debt and a lot of interest at 100%. I wonder what margin she’ll be left with after her repayments in five years, when the excitement has ebbed away and she’s struggling with staffing and the myriad other challenges of running a practice. I’m sure Maggie will do well, I just hope she has a decent growth strategy.

One of the big pressures on margins in the next five years is coming from cheap tech disrupters like mail order orthodontics. The US teledentistry start-up SmileDirectClub, which has raised $380m since it was founded in 2014, moved into Canada last year and its first storefront in Australia launches in Sydney this week.

The UK gets its first one in July in London, with national expansion through 2020. Incidentally, SmileDirectClub also plans to open 1,000 clinics inside CVS Health stores in the US in a bid to attract millennial patients. Meanwhile Candid, another US teeth straightening start-up, just received $63m in funding. These businesses charge patients about half the fees of conventional dentists and orthodontists. They’re coming to take a bite out of your business.

Finally, a reminder that facial aesthetics are still exploding. A Telegraph piece about men getting “tweakments” featured some interesting news. Alice Hart-Davis, author of The Tweakments Guide: Fresher Face, told the paper: “Men usually make up about 10 per cent of the patient group at a clinic, but some doctors find that up to 40 per cent of their clientele is now male.”

According to a study published in the journal Body Image, less than a third of men say they’re satisfied with how they look, which probably explains why few of my peers but quite a few of my sons’ peers have had hair transplants.

JJF 10

“I wonder what margin she’ll be left with after her repayments”


Author: Jonathan Fine