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Health Techies, it’s Tuesday and summer is over – although forecasts in California and New York seem to indicate otherwise.

Situational awareness: Following discussions with Elliott Management, Cardinal Health recruits four new independent directors and forms a business review committee to assess its portfolio and operations.

1 big thing: Olympus acquires EyeSouth

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Olympus Partners last week agreed to acquire EyeSouth Partners from Shore Capital Partners, valuing the eye care services organization at just under $1 billion, sources say tell Sarah.

Why is this important: Turbulent funding markets have kept many large healthcare assets from trading this summer – but EyeSouth is bucking that trend.

Between the lines: Stamford, Connecticut-based Olympus seems determined to re-enter the health services arena in a meaningful way.

  • The EyeSouth deal follows the company’s investment in Onsite Mammography, a provider of medical imaging services for women, in December 2020.
  • Olympus’ history in healthcare services dates back to 2006, when it sold healthcare staffing company Club Staffing. He had previously taken AMN Healthcare public in 2001.

Catch up fast: Chicago-based Shore Capital engaged Jefferies several months ago to explore a potential sale of EyeSouth, Axios first reported in January.

  • Shore originally wanted to release Atlanta-headquartered EyeSouth in 2020 but put release plans on hold due to COVID, sources previously said.

By the numbers: EyeSouth provides non-clinical support services to 30 eye care practices comprising more than 240 ophthalmologists and 140 sites in 10 states.

  • The exact multiple of the deal is unclear, but sources initially cited more than $80 million in EBITDA.
  • A figure closer to $100 million has been marketed and a lower figure likely underwritten, sources say.

Yes, but: Numbers aside, Olympus is gaining a significant entry point into eye care, and now it can start buying and growing the platform.

  • EyeSouth has already gained momentum in the Southeast, and with a larger fund now behind it, its growth and follow-on M&As are likely to accelerate.
  • Partners Groups’ EyeCare Partners, which deployed the space, could serve as a model for EyeSouth.

State of play: Many healthcare service sales processes are on hold, while large-scale others are pushed back to 2023 launch dates. Other than EyeSouth, other exceptions include…

  • Apollo’s backing of the doctor-led takeover of GI Alliance in August (although, with a $785 million preferred and common stock investment worth $2.2 billion, the funding was not not a problem) is an example.
  • Revelstoke Capital Partners’ more than $700 million bet for Monte Nido & Affiliates, an eating disorder treatment provider, provides another.

Shore Capital declined to comment, while Olympus and Jefferies did not return requests for comment.