Dental group aims to double footprint

A Scottish dental group says it is on target to double in size this year as it looks to step up its acquisition pipeline and increase its footprint to more than 50 practices.

Entrepreneur Jim Hall launched the Clyde Munro group in 2015. Picture: Ian Georgeson Photography.
Entrepreneur Jim Hall launched the Clyde Munro group in 2015. Picture: Ian Georgeson Photography.

Glasgow-based Clyde Munro Dental Group, which launched in 2015, operates 26 sites and is pursuing an ambitious acquisition spree, boosting its portfolio with four new practices in the past month.

The group is in advanced negotiations with a further 19 practices, as it aims to add 24 sites before the end of the year.

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Clyde Munro, which currently employs more than 100 clinicians and treats in excess of 200,000 patients, was launched by entrepreneur Jim Hall, co-founder of investment firm Kelvin Capital.

After buying the seven practices that made up the Clyde Group, Hall rebranded and refocused the business, raising an initial £20 million to fund its expansion plans.

The group is backed by private equity firm Synova Capital and Investec Bank, with Steve Duncan, former executive chairman of Alliance Boots’ health and beauty division, taking the chair role.

The company said its long-term goal is to become “Scotland’s local dentist” and has signalled its intention to continue its acquisition spree at pace, with new additions to the group retaining their own brand identity.

Founder and chief executive Hall said: “The feedback we hear continually is that dentists love the idea of an entirely Scottish-based and Scottish-focused dental group.

“We also hear repeatedly about the importance of retaining strong local roots and that is exactly what we are about, which explains one of the major reasons we are growing so fast.

“While we’ve come a long way already, we currently have another 19 practices on heads of terms and are in discussions with a number of others. We are confident that they will also be part of our group by the end of the year.”

Clyde Munro last month announced its relocation to new headquarters in Glasgow city centre, citing the expanded base as a “launchpad” to support its acquisition strategy.

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The group has appointed former Bupa executive Kirsty Dace as a new director, along with Scottish dentist Jacqui Frederick as group clinical director.

The duo join the senior management team, which includes Fiona Wood in the role of chief operating officer and Sheena Beckwith who is chief financial officer.

Hall said the group’s exclusively Scottish focus sets its apart from competitors. He added: “Another differentiator is that dentists who are looking to sell – whether they are retiring or simply refocusing – can deal directly with us.

“We are thrilled with the feedback we are receiving from the sector… we are seen as a company that invests in patients and communities, in training and in the advances of digital dentistry.”

He added: “There are up to 700 practices in Scotland which might fit the bill for joining Clyde Munro, so the scope for continued growth is outstanding. However, we will not become a ‘one size fits all’ corporate. We will continue to do what is right for each practice, each team and each community… that’s one reason why we don’t rebrand practices or force them to change name.”