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The PE arms race — From the deal heard round the world to what's next in GI
On April 18, 1775, the shot heard round the world allegedly
began the American Revolution; 87,986 days later, Miami-based Gastro
Health partnered with Audax Private Equity, marking the first major
PE-investment in the GI space.
From 'bad idea' to the next big thing
Gastro Health was one of the first gastroenterology practices to
explore and the first to partner with a PE company, selecting Audax
Capital in 2016 after a two-year search process. The hunt for a PE
partnership started in 2014, when a few practices saw the benefits of
taking on a investor, Gastro Health President James Leavitt, MD said.
"I spoke to groups several times before we did our deal to see if
they wanted to join," Dr. Leavitt said. "A lot of people thought it was a
For Gastro Health and Dr. Leavitt, taking on a PE-partner was less
about doing a deal and more about implementing a strategy and a vision.
Gastro Health was already a prolific consolidation force, acquiring
several practices from 2006 to 2014, and growing from 27 physicians to
47 physicians, but Dr. Leavitt said he had a vision for more.
"Since [we closed the deal], we went from 47 physicians in June 2016
to more than 120 today," Dr. Leavitt said. "And we aren't just a group
of gastroenterologists. We're a platform company to delivery
gastrointestinal care. … We have everything you need to deliver
gastrointestinal care outside of a hospital."
Audax was one of the reasons Gastro Health was able to do this, Dr. Leavitt said. Read More