Gryphon and Portfolio Company News

Gryphon Portfolio Company Smile Brands Buys California Dental Group‘s Port Hueneme Location

Irvine, CA -

PE-backed Smile Brands and Johnson Family Dental buys California Dental Group’s Port Hueneme Location

Smile Brands Inc. together with its affiliate Johnson Family Dental announced today the acquisition of the California Dental Group’s Port Hueneme location at 305 E. Port Hueneme Road.

Johnson Family Dental is a growing group dental practice with five convenient locations in Central California. The group provides comprehensive general and specialty dental care plus orthodontics to residents of Santa Barbara, Solvang, Ventura, Camarillo and now Port Hueneme. Founded in 1963, Dr. Steven Johnson purchased the practice from his father in 2001 and has rapidly expanded by adding new locations and services.

“Johnson Family Dental, in partnership with Smile Brands, is expanding to provide greater access to high-quality, affordable dental care throughout the Central Coast area,” stated Dr. Steve Johnson. “We see big opportunity in the growing Port Hueneme community and are thrilled to be able to offer residents full service care at this location.”

The practice will be rebranded Johnson Family Dental, but Port Hueneme residents can expect the same great care they are accustomed to from Dr. Joshua Barkhordar and his team. Additional services including orthodontics and financing options will make it easier for local patients to get the care they need.

Smile Brands launched their partnership with Johnson Family Dental in June, 2017 to provide business support services; including purchasing, payroll, billing, real estate, marketing and more. By partnering with Smile Brands, affiliated groups can accelerate their growth through add-on acquisitions, new locations and by leveraging the combined scale and operational expertise of Smile Brands and their supported groups.

Steve Bilt, CEO of Smile Brands, stated, “The Johnson Family Dental team reflects everything we look for in a partner; commitment to clinical quality, entrepreneurial spirit and a great employee-focused culture. Smile Brands is committed to supporting affiliate partners like Johnson Family Dental with the services they need to grow their business and deliver top quality care. We’re excited to be helping Johnson Family Dental expand services across their region.”

About Johnson Family Dental

Johnson Family Dental ( is a rapidly growing group dental practice based in Santa Barbara, California. Since 1963, Johnson Family Dental has been delivering quality care to Central California residents. With five convenient locations, Johnson Family Dental provides comprehensive general, specialty and orthodontic care in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Solvang, Camarillo and Port Hueneme. Driven by their belief that “a smile can change your life”, the Johnson Family Dental team is committed to delivering gentle and compassionate care at an excellent value. Johnson Family Dental relies on Smile Brands to provide world-class business support services so they can focus on delivering highly personalized patient care.

About Smile Brands

Based in Irvine California, Smile Brands Inc ( is one of the largest providers of support services to dental groups in the United States. Smile Brands Inc. provides comprehensive business support services through exclusive long term agreements with affiliate dental groups, so dentists can spend more time caring for their patients and less time on the administrative, marketing, and financial aspects of operating a dental practice. Smile Brands supports 350+ Bright Now!® Dental, Monarch Dental®, Castle Dental®, A+ Dental Care, OneSmile Dental, and Johnson Family Dental offices in 15 states, including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. Smile Brands is a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors (“Gryphon”), a leading middle-market private equity firm based in San Francisco, CA.

About Gryphon Investors

Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors ( is a leading private equity firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. Managing over $2.6 billion of equity investments and capital since 1997, the firm has an extensive track record of leading equity investments of $50 million to $200 million per portfolio company with sales ranging from approximately $100 million to $500 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form proactive partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources, and operational expertise. Gryphon closed its fourth private equity buyout fund, Gryphon IV, in November 2016 at $1.1 billion, and raised a $100 million captive mezzanine fund, Gryphon Mezzanine Partners, L.P., in August 2017.