In May 2019, Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons (NEOES) and Ohio Eye Care Consultants (OECC) partnered with Alpine Investors to form Midwest Vision Partners (MVP), a new ophthalmology platform in the Midwest. Physician Growth Partners (PGP) served as the transaction advisor to NEOES and OECC during the 6-month process. PGP’s unique approach of education and direct involvement of the senior partners led to a smooth process. PGP was able to drive interest from more than 50 parties, all of whom had deep experience in the healthcare services sector or were currently investing in the ophthalmology vertical.
Competitive Process Drove Outsized Result for Shareholders
The complex process included two separate practices, multiple shareholders, and holdings that included practice operations, surgical facilities, real estate, and equipment. Given the robust infrastructure and strong growth potential of the practices, PGP was able to position the group as a preeminent ophthalmology platform not only in Ohio, but across the Midwest. PGP included a select group of healthcare private equity firms and all relevant private equity-backed ophthalmology groups. PGP’s selection criteria is focused on alignment between the practices and the partners to optimize the long term success of the platform without sacrificing value. The result of this competitive process yielded an outsized outcome for the shareholders and a new platform investment for Alpine Investors establishing the first private equity backed ophthalmology platform in Northeast Ohio.
New Platform Building Out Key Infrastructure to Support Scaling
Since closing, the newly formed MVP has moved quickly to build out scalable infrastructure as well as making key personnel investments to facilitate rapid growth, including seasoned executive leadership hires of Joseph Giles (CEO, formerly the Chief Operating Officer of Athletico), Jorge Lopez (COO), Sean McMillen (CFO), and Jonathan Jean-Pierre (VP of Strategic Programs). The executive team, along with the lead shareholders, will be responsible to develop Midwest Vision Partners into a leading ophthalmic network in the Midwest.
Cornerstone Acquisitions Driving Geographic & Patient Service Expansion
Separately, since the establishment of the platform, MVP has made two additional platform acquisitions. These include an expansion of its presence in Ohio through the acquisition of the Cleveland Eye Clinic and entrance into the Michigan market with the acquisition of Michigan Eye Institute along with Specialty Eye Institute. These cornerstone acquisitions represent significant steps toward the goal of becoming the dominant platform in the Midwest.
Strong Partner Well Positioned to Replicate Success
Alpine Investors has an excellent track record of building healthcare businesses and is focused on the expansion of the current team’s capacity. Alpine has demonstrated an appetite and willingness to build around its investment through the completion of trophy acquisitions in new markets.
Physician Growth Partners expects that this partnership will contribute to enhanced competition among eye care investors in the Midwest while providing sellers an attractive alternative to platforms already established in the market.