LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - Private equity group Bridgepoint has bought Britain's biggest independent dentist, Oasis Healthcare, from buy-out firm Duke Street for 185 million pounds ($281 million), the companies said on Sunday.
Oasis, which was founded in 1996, operates over 200 dental practices in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, employing 2,000 staff including 800 dentists. It provides services to private and NHS patients.
Bridgepoint said it would provide funding of 60 million pounds to help the business expand its presence in the UK dental market, which is estimated to be worth 7 billion pounds.
"We will be strongly positioned for further profitable expansion. We have a successful track record of acquisitions and new openings, and plan ongoing and rapid expansion," Oasis Chief Executive Justin Ash said in a statement.
Duke Street, which acquired the business for 77 million pounds in 2007, will retain a minority stake in the business.