Sterling Partners has partnered with Grand Rapids Ophthalmology (GRO), based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. GRO is a leading integrated eye care provider offering ophthalmology, optometry, and retail services. Sterling Partners is a private investment firm focused on partnering with healthcare services, education, and business services firms. GRO represents Sterling Partners’ platform investment in the consolidating eye care market.
Cascade Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to Grand Rapids Ophthalmology on the transaction.
Bob Wolford (00:02): My name is Bob Wolford, and I’m the Executive Director for Grand Rapids Ophthalmology. I joined Grand Rapids Ophthalmology in 1985 when the practice was four doctors in a single office. Today we’re much larger. Before the transaction we have over 350 employees, and since the transaction that number is over 500.
Bob Wolford (00:24): The reason that we started looking at options, having been a doctor-owned and run practice for many, many years, was the fact that there was movement in the whole industry. I will add to that that the complexity in healthcare and the growing level of even Washington not being able to get a handle on running health care, caused doctors to think that there might be value in taking on a financial partner. I think all of our doctors and I were pretty impressed with Cascade. We were impressed that their outlook and attitudes seemed to be more collaborative.
Bob Wolford (01:05): I can’t tell you how many times doctors would walk into my office and say, “I’m so glad we chose to work with Cascade.” The level of their work was second to none, and I say that because throughout the due diligence process, Cascade was extremely helpful and worked hard, and part of it was not hard work. Part of it was a level of intelligence, and the people that we worked with there clearly had that. They knew how transactions worked, and Cascade brought a certain level of tenacity to the table that was excellent.
Bob Wolford (01:37): I actually would select Cascade Partners again if I ever were to do this. I will tell you that I have recommended them to others who have called.