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Smile Brands Partners with Premier Santa Barbara-Area Group Practice

Smile Brands Inc., based in Irvine, California, announced today that it has completed an add-on acquisition, partnering with Johnson Family Dental (“JFD”). JFD is a leading dental group that has long-standing and deep community ties in the Central Coast of California.

Johnson Family Dental, which provides dental care through four locations in California’s Central Coast, has served greater Santa Barbara since its founding in 1963 by Dr. Gary Johnson. The group’s 11 general dentists and four specialists work together as a team to provide comprehensive dental care to patients in Santa Barbara, Solvang, Ventura, Camarillo, and the surrounding areas. JFD offers a full spectrum of preventative, cosmetic, restorative and specialty dentistry to children and adults. In addition, the company is a proud sponsor of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and hosts several free dental events every year to give back to its communities.

Dr. Steven G. Johnson, D.D.S. purchased his father’s practice in 2001 and now manages the group. He will remain in that role and will work with Smile Brands to bring JFD’s vision to other cities and towns along California’s Central Coast.

Steve Bilt, CEO of Smile Brands, stated, “We are proud to add Johnson Family Dental to our growing portfolio of supported brands which includes BrightNow!, Castle, Monarch, A+ Dental Care and OneSmile Dental. Dr. Johnson’s commitment to superior dental service, his service to the community and his belief that ‘A Smile Can Change Your Life’ aligns perfectly with our mission of ‘Smiles For Everyone®.’ We look forward to helping JFD expand and touch more lives in the Central Coast.”

Patrick Costello, Smile Brands’ Director of Business Development, added, “Johnson Family Dental is an ideal group practice for our acquisition strategy. We seek to identify and partner with best-in-class dental groups that provide high quality and affordable local service. Johnson Family Dental has a 50+ year track record of success in this area. We will support Dr. Johnson by leveraging the combined scale and operational expertise of Smile Brands to accelerate the company’s growth through making add-on acquisitions and opening new locations.”

Dr. Johnson said, “I am thrilled to celebrate this step to expand the scope of Johnson Family Dental. Our philosophy is an ideal fit with the Smile For Everyone® mission. My entire team has had the opportunity to interact extensively with the Smile Brands team and shares my excitement for the future.”

Smile Brands is a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors (“Gryphon”), a leading middle-market private equity firm based in San Francisco, CA. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

About Johnson Family Dental

Founded in 1963, Johnson Family Dental (www.johnsonfamilydental.com) provides comprehensive dental care to patients in the greater Santa Barbara area. The group’s 12 general dentists and four specialists work out of clinics in Santa Barbara, Solvang, Ventura, and Camarillo, providing a wide range of preventative, cosmetic, restorative and specialty dentistry to children and adults. JFD believes that “A Smile Can Change Your Life!” and it does everything it can to make that possible for each and every patient.

About Smile Brands

Based in Irvine California, Smile Brands Inc. is one of the largest providers of support services to dental groups in the United States. Smile Brands Inc. provides comprehensive business support services through exclusive long term agreements with affiliate dental groups, so dentists can spend more time caring for their patients and less time on the administrative, marketing, and financial aspects of operating a dental practice. Smile Brands supports approximately 400 Bright Now!® Dental, Monarch Dental®, and Castle Dental® offices in 15 states, including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

For more information, visit www.smilebrands.com.

About Gryphon Investors

Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors (www.gryphoninvestors.com) is a leading private equity firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. For five consecutive years, Gryphon has been ranked in Preqin’s prestigious quarterly private equity report as one of North America’s top-decile firms based on consistency of strong investment returns. With over $2.5 billion of cumulative equity commitments, the firm has an extensive track record of leading equity investments of approximately $50 million to $150 million per portfolio company with sales ranging from approximately $50 million to over $500 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form proactive partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources, and operational expertise.


Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc.
Caroline Luz, 203-656-2829
[email protected]