Sentinel earns 5x return on dental company

Sentinel's sale of Metro Dentalcare to American Dental Partners has generated a 5x return and triple digit IRR. It is the second exit from the firm's third fund.

Sentinel Capital Partners has sold its stake in Metro Dentalcare to American Dental Partners, earning a return of 5 times its original investment and generating a triple digit internal rate of return, according to a spokesman.

The investment was made from Sentinel Capital Partners III, a $319 million fund that closed in April 2005. The fund has had six realisations to date, including two full exits, Metro and mining safety company Fasloc, both of which earned 5 times returns and triple digit IRRs. Sentinel has returned 70 percent of capital called down for the fund to date, the firm's spokesman said.

The New York private equity firm acquired Metro in May 2005, and proceeded to add new clinics and grow Metro's staff from 64 dentists to 90. The company generates $70 million in annual patient revenues.

Metro is Sentinel’s second exit in the dental care space. The firm paid $12.7 million for a majority stake in Castle Dental Care Centers in 2003, and sold the company to Bright Now! Dental in 2004 for $56 million, generating a 2.2 times return and a 189 percent IRR.

Metro also represents Sentinel’s sixth investment in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Partner Jim Coady called the region “a market we intently follow and like a great deal” in a statement.