PE Firm LLR Partners Forms Eye Health America and Announces Three Acquisitions

By


ATLANTA—LLR Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm, has formed Eye Health America, a practice management services firm established to support the expansion of leading eyecare practices in the Southeast through both organic growth and acquisition initiatives, according to an announcement on Wednesday. As part of the formation of the new management firm, Eye Health America announced the acquisition of The Eye Associates, Clemson Eye and Piedmont Surgery Center, all of which are leading providers of advanced eyecare and ambulatory surgery services.

Rod Roeser, an industry executive with more than 20 years of experience leading and integrating eyecare practices, will serve as chief executive of Eye Health America (EHA). Roeser most recently was chief executive of Thomas Eye Group in Atlanta, and he previously had served as chief executive of Horizon Eye Care in Charlotte, N.C., and prior to that as president and chief administrative officer of Cincinnati Eye Institute.

The initial holdings of EHA are: The Eye Associates, a premier eyecare practice in West Florida with six locations, including its main location in Bradenton, Fla., and an ambulatory center; Clemson Eye, a leading provider of eye health in upstate South Carolina for the past 40 years, providing comprehensive medical and surgical eye care, LASIK, optical and aesthetics services at its four locations; and Piedmont Surgery Center is an AAAHC-accredited ambulatory surgery center providing ophthalmology, pain and ENT services in Greenville, S.C.

“I am excited to launch Eye Health America in partnership with LLR and leading-edge organizations like The Eye Associates, Clemson Eye and Piedmont Surgery Center,” Roeser said in the announcement. “As a combined force, we have the unique opportunity to not only expand each practice’s geographic footprint, increase their patient volumes and drive utilization, but also enable physicians to thrive in a value-based environment.”

The Eye Associates, Clemson Eye and Piedmont Surgery Center will continue to operate under their current brands and patients will experience uninterrupted service, while seeing additional support and resources for enhanced care, the announcement noted.

As part of EHA, The Eye Associates, Clemson Eye and Piedmont Surgery Center gain access to additional management resources, administrative best practices, health system relationships and best-in-class technology, enabling their physicians to focus on patient care while strengthening both personal and professional opportunities for growth, according to the announcement. Eye Health America also will support the expansion of its members’ service offerings in areas like contact lens, optical and LASIK.

“We decided to partner with Eye Health America for their expert knowledge and support, and we look forward to expanding our range of services and convenient locations,” John Swencki, president of The Eye Associates, said. “Our existing management team, staff and doctors will continue to serve our patients with the same quality of comprehensive eyecare that they have come to expect.”

“We have a strong brand and loyal patient base in the Greenville area, but as we look to expand our reach and services, teaming up with Rod and LLR was the right next step in our growth strategy,” Clemson Eye chief executive officer Mary Lou Parisi said. “Their expertise in health care services and collaborative approach to working with physicians signaled that this would be a value-added partnership for our organization from the beginning.”

Sasank Aleti, a principal at LLR Partners, said the firm is excited about its investment in Eye Health America. “As the market continues to consolidate, EHA aims to be the partner of choice to like-minded practices throughout the region seeking to accelerate growth and bring best in class care to patients,” Aleti added.

LLR Partners was founded in 1999 and has raised more than $3 billion across five funds.