Linden Is All Smiles With Its Latest Deal –

Despite the cliche about true beauty being on the inside, popular culture seems to say otherwise. Television programs such as The Swan and Extreme Makeover are reinforcing the notion that outer beauty is what really matters. Indeed, the breadth and depth of beautification products on drugstore shelves is evidence that there are vast numbers of people playing the home versions of these primetime programs.

A particularly busy niche within the self-beautification and cosmeceutical sectors is the oral care market. Looking to capitalize on consumer demand, Linden LLC, a healthcare and life science-focused private equity firm, acquired Ranir/DCP Corp., a private-label and contract manufacturer of end-user oral care products. The company was renamed Ranir LLC upon closing of the transaction.

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., Ranir manufactures and markets tooth-whitening strips and gels, toothbrushes, dental floss, travel kits and accessories for customers based mostly in North America. Its products include national brand equivalents, private-label items and exclusive store brands.

“The oral care market is driven by strong cosmetic use, demographic trends and research discoveries,” Tony Davis, a managing director at Linden, told Buyouts. “For example, the Surgeon General’s first-ever report on the category highlights the growing body of evidence linking oral care to overall health. We expect Ranir to continue to capitalize on these opportunities to introduce products that serve the growing oral care needs of its customers.”

Davis said that Ranir’s current management, including CEO Christine Henisee and CFO Joe Townshend, will stay with the company and that no layoffs among its workforce of approximately 250 employees are planned. Ranir’s former owners will maintain a minority investment in the company.

“Ranir is well-known in the oral care industry for their high-quality products, experienced management team and the superior service they provide to their customers. We plan to build on those strengths going forward,” said Eric Larson, a founder and managing director at Linden.

The Chicago-based firm is already exploring one add-on acquisition as well as a dental accessory product line acquisition for Ranir, Larson said.

Linden typically makes investments in healthcare and life science businesses in the small middle market. For deals requiring substantially larger equity investments than Linden can make independently, the firm has an exclusive co-investment alliance with Madison Dearborn Partners that covers deals valued up to $2 billion.

A source close to the firm confirmed that Linden is currently raising its debut buyout fund and that it will likely hold a final close by year-end. Linden Capital Partners LP, the source said, has a targeted capitalization of $150 million and the senior partners at Madison Deaborn are counted among the vehicle’s limited partners.

LaSalle Bank provided an undisclosed amount of financing for the transaction.