Pacific Smiles Group is Australia’s third largest dental group operating 109 dental centres across NSW, ACT, Victoria, Queensland and WA, currently with a market capitalisation of $375m.
While still a private business, TDM acquired a large minority equity position in the business in 2012. As part of this transaction, TDM Partner Ben Gisz was appointed to the board. Pacific Smiles transitioned to the public capital markets a little over 2 years later.
From the first meeting we knew the company had something special. What struck us was how the founder and executives had focused so much on ALL their key stakeholders from day one. Often fast growing private companies are so busy doing the day to day growing, that they overlook the critical importance of the value of a high quality board and full disclosure to shareholders. Pacific Smiles combined great governance with a strong passion for looking after employees and practitioners.
We were also struck by the ultra long-term perspective of the board and management team – this was a business being set up for decades of growth and success.
A large part of our initial partnership with Pacific Smiles revolved around transitioning the business from being a private company to listed on ASX – which took place in October 2014.
Specifically, this involved being very hands on in relation to helping draft and execute management incentive plans, the recruitment of non-executive directors and a raft of other pre-IPO readiness considerations such a drafting a prospectus.
Since IPO, TDM remains a substantial shareholder and is active on the board, providing insights in international best-practice, strategy, as well as guidance on shareholder communications. Hilton Brett, as part of the TDM Operating Advisory Committee, joined the board in August 2018.
Currently, TDM’s investment is valued at over 5x the initial investment (excluding dividends). Most importantly we continue to be long-term supportive shareholders, further supporting the business in the public markets – an IPO for us is seen as just another event in the growth of a business and not as an “exit strategy”.
‘’As a growth focused company, having TDM partner with us on our strategic thinking, capital management, international insights and maturing our investor relations capability has been critical to our efforts to build a world class business. I see them as a valuable partner who we can rely on through thick and thin.’’