The art of the deal: making sense of co-ownership

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What is it about Dentex’s vision for co-ownership that sets it apart? We take a closer look at the deal structure to find out why it’s worth considering

Dentex isn’t like other dental businesses. When you join, for example, you don’t sell out: you become a partner. In the same way, it’s not corporate dentistry: it’s co-ownership. They are positive-sounding words, but what do they actually mean? Thankfully, they are more than just snappy branding. The concept is simple, but unique – and it’s designed from the ground up to create a network of inspired, passionate, and committed dental professionals.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

There is one fundamental difference to Dentex, and it is written into the very heart of the business. As a partnering principal, you’ll take 80% of the value of your practice as an up-front payment, immediately realising much of the equity in your practice. The remaining 20% is invested into Dentex shares at group level – in effect, making you one of the owners of the business that you and your practice have just joined. Day to day, you will carry on as the clinical lead of the practice. You will take a percentage of the work you carry out, operating as a self-employed associate. But because you’re also a shareholder in the wider business, you benefit from the growth of Dentex as a whole. Based on the recent market activity, even conservative forecasts suggest that the equity value in Dentex could more than triple in the next five years.* There’s nowhere else in dentistry in the UK where you can invest in the dental company you work in. Business owners profiting as the company grows is nothing new – but because Dentex’s principal dentists are also shareholders, the value created by the business goes back to those who have been involved in it clinically.

WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM?

At the moment, Dentex has £30m of equity already in the business. That’s not through loans: it is a group of investors who have invested in the concept. Those shares hold the same economic benefits as the ones partnering dentists get when they join the group. Dentex CEO, Barry Lanesman, explains: ‘We’re creating a business that’s unique. It’s very culture based, so the ethics of the business are at the heart of what we do. ‘We can keep Dentex independent, unique and different for shareholders that want to keep driving value in dentistry – we don’t have to sell it out.’ In a dental landscape dominated by corporate buyouts… doesn’t that sound like something that’s genuinely different?