Jackpot!

Cleaning Up

Kirk Huntsman & David Bogetz
Dental One & ABN AMRO Private Equity

Getting money is like pulling teeth. At least, it feels that way. Thankfully for Kirk Huntsman, 43, getting expansion capital for his dental practice consolidation and management company, Dental One, wasn't nearly that painful. When David Bogetz of ABN AMRO Private Equity in Chicago came looking for Huntsman, he offered more than just the financing Dental One needed; he also brought plenty of business savvy to the table.

Designed to relieve management headaches, Dallas-based Dental One takes over dentists' daily business matters, such as hiring employees and negotiating leases. After starting the company in 1995, Huntsman and his co-founders realized they had tapped into a huge market and, more important, that their business model was working.

As it turns out, Bogetz and ABN AMRO were on the lookout for a dental practice consolidation company to invest in. Bogetz contacted Huntsman after hearing about Dental One through a Dallas health-care lender. The company and its principals had all the markings of a good investment for Bogetz: a proven business model, great business sense, and a stellar vision of the future. "We really liked that Dental One was run by businesspeople who had dental practice experience," says Bogetz. "Kirk has lots of ideas and energy--and he's moving this business forward. It's better than having a CEO who has no ideas and no vision. I've [experienced] it both ways, and [Kirk's] way makes successful companies. The other way is how you lose your money."

Dental One and ABN AMRO began negotiations in 1999, which led to $4 million in financing in March 2000. By year's end, Dental One's sales were $45 million. Who'd have guessed pulling teeth could be so lucrative?

--Nichole L. Torres

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This article was originally published in the July 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Jackpot!.

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