‘Demystifying Private Equity’ Seminars Launched by Review of Optometric Business


DALLAS—“Demystifying Private Equity and Its Role in Optometry,” a seminar series for OD-owners, was launched with a premier event in Dallas on July 20, 2019. The event, which was attended by about 40 OD-owners as well as about 15 representatives from PE-backed companies, was developed by Review of Optometric Business. Sponsoring the event was Acuity Eyecare Group, EyeCare Partners, Kavanagh Consulting, MyEyeDr., Total ECP (now Keplr Vision) and VSP Ventures.

The seminar provided an overview of PE investment strategies and opportunities for OD-owners to maximize practice value in an ownership transfer. The seminar also featured a workshop on how to compute practice valuation and prepare business documents required for a sale.

“As of mid-July, about 8 percent of practicing optometrists and 6 percent of ophthalmologists are involved in some form of consolidation with PE backing,” said presenter Richard Edlow, OD. “The opportunity to maximize the value of your payout is very real, and that’s a good thing for our profession.”

Presenter Ken Krivacic, OD, of Irving, Texas, advised OD-owners to establish a strong accounting basis and track the key indicators of profitability, two factors that he said are critical to maximizing practice value before any ownership transition.

“We spend our careers being the best clinicians we can be, but we also have to be CEOs of our practices,” Krivacic said. “We’ve got to know our net revenue and compute our EBITDA because those are common objective measures that any buyer looks at before making an offer.”

Drs. Edlow and Krivacic then walked participants through a workshop in how to compute practice valuation, followed by an application of multiples to determine potential sale price. Following that, participants met in one-on-one scheduled meetings with reps from the PE groups that are leaders in consolidating optometry practices.

Role of a Practice Broker
The role of the practice broker in facilitating a sale was presented by Jason Praeter, Managing Partner, Dallas, for Kavanaugh Consulting, LLC, which specializes in brokering practice sales.

“We’re here to guide you through a process that, frankly, a buyer goes through every day and a seller once or maybe twice in a lifetime,” Praeter said. “Having an advocate on the seller’s side can ensure that you get a better deal.”

“Demystifying Private Equity” grew out of an earlier series of seminars, “Private Equity Takes Root,” held at Vision Expo East and West that were developed by Vision Monday and Review of Optometric Business. An in-depth report from those events can be downloaded at www.reviewob.com under the Reports Section.

“We saw an overwhelming interest in the PE investment opportunity at our first two events,” said Al Greco, ROB’s publisher. “This led us to develop a more intensive, workshop-based program that equips OD-owners to explore transition opportunities in a highly informed manner—and to meet one-on-one with representatives of the leading PE companies.”

“Demystifying Private Equity” will next be held on Saturday, August 24, at the Hilton Rosemont O’Hare in Chicago. There is no charge to attend the event. Go to www.reviewob.com/pe to register for this event.

A post-seminar survey revealed a high level of satisfaction with the program, and registration is up for the Chicago event. Several other venues are being explored for Q4 of this year.