That’s right it’s our pleasure to tend to your teeth!
In the Media
September 10, 2015
As Pacific Smiles Group approaches its 50th dental centre opening across the east coast of Australia, co-founder of the dental giant Dr Alex Abrahams elaborates on the years of success and how he and his fellow dentists at the Group get a buzz out of tending to teeth.
The Daily Telegraph conveys how the success story began when he joined forces with fellow dentist Alison Hughes with the aim of developing a business model to give their profession more time to devote to oral care.
In 2003 they merged three Hunter Valley dental centres and centralised the back office, so the dentists could focus on the clinical side. Twelve years on, Pacific Smiles is a publicly listed company with a market capitalisation of $316 million, and 49 centres across the eastern states.
“The original ambition was to apply the simple philosophy that dentists should do dentistry, managers should manage, and ownership should be via shares. This was unusual for professional practice where the principal dentists would normally wear these three hats together,” Mr Abrahams said.
The company took on CEO John Gibbs in 2004 and soon acquired two nib dental centres, since building that number to seven. At the same time new Pacific Smiles centres were rolled out, some through acquisition, with 42 in total today.
“We moved away from that because we felt taking this consistent operations, consistent branding, consistent positioning approach is much more difficult when you acquire an individual practice that an entrepreneur … has run his or her way for 20 years.
“For that reason we moved more towards a rollout rather than a roll-up.”
As the company grew more shareholders were acquired and listing on the stock exchange became viable.
Mr Abrahams said: “As we got bigger we realised that the best way to unlock that value was a listing. There was the added benefit that the cost of capital in a listed environment was lower.”
Mr Gibbs said: “It wasn’t an opportunity for us to sell out.”
Shares debuted on the stock market at $1.30 and yesterday closed at $2.15, up 3.37 per cent up on the day amid the broader market lifting.
As for Mr Abraham, he still takes up the sterilised instruments on a regular basis — to keep up to date and show other dentists he is “one of them”.
“I also enjoy it and get a buzz out of helping patients in their dental needs. My parents were both doctors and I have patient care in my DNA.”
Going For Growth is a Daily Telegraph series, presented in partnership with NAB, championing Australian business success stories. The growth of Pacific Smiles Group isn’t showing signs of slowing any times soon with their brand Pacific Smiles Dental set to open an additional two centres in September! For further information please visit Pacific Smiles Dental website.