3i has vision for Ultralase

3i, a global private equity firm, has acquired Ultralase, a UK laser clinic group, for £174.5m (US$258m).

Corporacion Dermoestetica, Spain’s largest plastic surgery provider, sold the business at the end of December. Exclusive talks with 3i were conducted in November of last year.

The transaction provides a return to private equity ownership for Ultralase, which was bought by Granville Baird Capital Partners in January 2000 for total investment of £5.5m. Following a tenfold increase in revenues and expansion of clinics from two to twelve, Granville sold the company to Corporacion Dermoestetica for £30m in May 2005. That exit provided a 3.8 times return for Granville and the current £174.5m sale should generate a strong profit for the Spanish group.