It hasn’t taken long for allied healthcare operator Healthia (ASX: HLA) to get the ball rolling in the new financial year, acquiring three new businesses in Queensland and Tasmania under their annual commitment to deploy $20m towards growth each year.
The acquisitions include two optometry businesses in North Queensland and one physiotherapy clinic in Tasmania. Between them, the three businesses are expected to contribute $2.2 million in revenue towards Healthia and $0.39m EBITDA.
Acquired for $1.48m by Australia’s fastest growing allied health company, they enter the Healthia network at an attractive 3.8x EBITDA multiple for shareholders given the average previously has been around 4.2x.
Although Healthia exceeded last year’s $20m acquisition commitment, primarily through their $43m acquisition of The Optical Company and its 41 optometry businesses, the company maintained discussions with prospective clinics. This has provided a handy pipeline of acquisitions to choose from over the coming months under their annual commitment budget.
“While we have been integrating the 41 acquired clinics onto Healthia’s national platform and support system, we have had keen interest from external optometry businesses enquiring about joining the Healthia network,” said Healthia CEO, Wesley Coote.
Through their acquisition of the Optical Company in October 2020, Healthia entered a new allied health market that opened up opportunities to target optometry and audiology businesses which generate $3.3 billion in annual revenue. The market is driven by the 13.2 million residents that suffer from a form of permanent eye disease as well as Australia’s aging population. It does, however, continue Healthia’s hugely successful model of consolidating fragmented industries where Specsavers and OPSM account for less than 25% of the 3,200 optometry businesses in Australia.
Now with more than 200 allied health businesses around Australia, clinic owners have been keen to join the Healthia network and capitalise on the marketing and support services. These services offered to clinics within the network were the drivers behind 14.5% organic growth for the Company in the Half Year ended 31 December 2020.
Since listing on the ASX in 2018, Healthia has gone from strength-to-strength with its underlying EBITDA up 91% to $11m for the Half Year, and Full Year results expected in August.
Keen to grow their business with Healthia’s industry-leading education and support services, clinic owners have been particularly interested in Healthia’s clinic class share program. This provides clinic owners with an equity stake in the success of their clinics while alleviating themselves of mundane back office duties that hamper small business productivity.
Having taken just a small bite of the $20m annual acquisition spend through these three new businesses, Healthia is well positioned for growth at a time when Australians are prioritising their health more than ever.
*Owners of this website are HLA shareholders