Private equity in ophthalmology and optometry: a time series analysis from 2012 to 2021
Main Article Content
To identify temporal and geographic trends in private equity (PE)–backed acquisitions of ophthalmology and optometry practices in the United States from 2012 to 2021.
In this cross-sectional time series, acquisition data from 10/21/2019 to 9/1/2021 and previously published data from 1/1/2012 to 10/20/2019 were analyzed. Acquisition data were compiled from 6 financial databases, 5 industry news outlets, and publicly available press releases. Linear regression models were used to compare rates of acquisition. Outcomes included number of total acquisitions, practice type, locations, provider details, and geographic footprint.
A total of 245 practices associated with 614 clinical locations and 948 ophthalmologists or optometrists were acquired by 30 PE-backed platform companies between 10/21/2019 and 9/1/2021. Of 30 platform companies, 18 were new vis-à-vis our prior study. Of these acquisitions, 127 were comprehensive practices, 29 were retina practices, and 89 were optometry practices. From 2012 to 2021, monthly acquisitions increased by 0.947 acquisitions per year (P < 0.001*). Texas, Florida, Michigan, and New Jersey were the states with the greatest number of PE acquisitions, with 55, 48, 29, and 28 clinic acquisitions, respectively. Average monthly PE acquisitions were 5.71 per month from 1/1/2019 to 2/29/2020 (pre-COVID), 5.30 per month from 3/1/2020 to 12/31/2020 (COVID pre-vaccine [P = 0.81]), and 8.78 per month from 1/1/2021 to 9/1/2021 (COVID post-vaccine [P = 0.20]).
PE acquisitions increased during the period 2012-2021 as companies continue to utilize regionally focused strategies for acquisitions.
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