Jordan Co. Buys Dental Device Biz

Target: Zest Anchors Inc.

Sponsor: The Jordan Company LP

Seller: Zest Anchors Inc.

The Jordan Company LP has bought Zest Anchors Inc., an Escondido, Calif.-based company that makes attachments used to secure dentures and other dental implants, as Buyouts first reported.

New York-based Jordan Company purchased a majority stake, while Paul Zuest, the president of the company, and other shareholders will retain a 25 percent stake. Zuest declined to discuss how large the investment was and executives at Jordan Company declined to comment. Equity for the investment will come out of The Resolute Fund II LP, a $3.6 billion fund that closed in February 2008.

Zuest said he sold the company in part because he plans to retire in about six months and wants to take some money off the table for himself and his family. Zuest’s father, Max Zuest, developed the original Zest Anchor attachment in 1972 in his San Diego-based dental laboratory. The company’s products include small screw-like components that are used with various kinds of dental implants. The implant industry has grown to generate annual sales of $3.1 billion in 2008 compared to $900 million in 2000, according to a statement from Jordan Company.

Zuest and other managers began shopping the company in January 2009 with the help of Gary Hochman, the company’s accountant. About 15 groups expressed interest in the company, but Jordan Company offered the most money, Zuest said. The deal closed Dec. 31, he said.

Jordan Company is led by Jay Jordan, a dealmaker with more than 35 years of experience. The firm, which manages $6 billion, practices a classic buy-and-build strategy. Including add-ons to existing portfolio companies, the firm has made more than 400 acquisitions.

Zest Anchors marks the first platform investment Jordan Company has made since August 2008, when the firm paid $500 million to acquire Harvey Gulf & International Marine, a Harvey, La.-based owner of towing vessels that operate in the Gulf of Mexico. In a June 2009 interview with Buyouts, Jordan said the firm had been cautious in part because sell-side expectations had not sufficiently come down. “We’re cautiously optimistic we’ll be able to make some deals over the next two to three years,” he said.

In that same interview, Jordan said the Resolute Fund II was about 20 percent invested.