KKR backs Spanish dentist with €200m unitranche product

The US firm has supported Dentix’s international push with the facility and signals a growing trend of debt funds looking to finance sponsorless transactions.

A Spanish private dental company is embarking on an ambitious plan of international growth after receiving backing by KKR with a €200 million credit facility.

Dentix, headquartered in Madrid, manages 251 clinics in four countries and is now planning to expand its presence into the UK, Chile and Peru in the new year.

The investment is KKR’s latest foray into Spain after it provided finance to Sarquavitae in 2015. The instrument is a bespoke unitranche facility.

Mark Brown, director at KKR, said: “The company’s model of owned clinics and its vision for the sector’s future have delivered impressive results over the last five years in Spain, and we are convinced of its potential to export and adapt this model into other international markets.”

BBVA assisted Dentix in its search for financing. PwC, Ropes & Gray and Linklaters provided advice on tax and legal affairs pertaining to the transaction.

Angel Lorenzo, founder of Dentix, said: “Growth of the company in other countries has demonstrated that the ‘Dentix method’ works and that our business model – delivering quality dentist services to all – is well received anywhere”.

The sponsorless transaction further signals a growing trend in the private debt industry of asset managers providing finance to companies without private equity backers. While it takes longer to source and structure a deal without a sponsor, the returns can be handsome. Last month, EQT and CVC Capital Partners combined to provide a £110 million ($137 million; €128 million) unitranche facility for UK-based card processing company Paymentsense.

KKR recently completed the final close on its real estate debt fund after collecting $838 million in commitments for its US-focused vehicle. So far, 55 percent of the capital has been deployed. In Europe, the firm completed two direct lending deals at a combined value of $275 million. The borrowers were Dutch holiday parks operator Roompot and UK advertising company Exterion Media.

Since 2014, KKR’s European private credit platform has deployed more than $1 billion across the region and supported over a dozen financial sponsors in the process.