Private equity firm FFL has made an investment in Clarkson Eyecare Inc.

Clarkson, headquartered in Ellisville, Missouri, is an optometry chain in the Midwest U.S. with 82 locations in Missouri, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky. In addition to ophthalmological and Lasik services, the company developed a proprietary software service that manages appointments, insurance verification, billing and inventory levels.

FFL plans to grow the business organically and through add-on acquisitions. The firm, headquartered in San Francisco, manages more than $4.5 billion in capital. FFL focuses on investing in consumer products and services, financial services, health care services and business services companies.

HPC Puckett & Co. is Clarkson's financial adviser, while Golub Capital provided financing for the deal.  

Physician groups have been merging for years, in part because of an influx of newly-insured patients due to the Affordable Care Act. Recent transactions include AmSurg Corp.'s (Nasadq: AMSG) deal for Radiology Associates of Hollywood PA, in March, and Mednax Inc.'s (NYSE: MD) acquisition of Memac Associates PC in January. For more on physician group consolidation, see ACA Reshuffles the Deck and watch our video interview with health care dealmaker Jeff Swearingen. 

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