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Gryphon Investors Acquires Smile Brands From Welsh Carson

Smile Brands Group Inc. in Irvine has been acquired by private equity firm Grpyhon Investors in San Francisco on undisclosed terms. Smile Brands provides services to dental offices. Gryphon backed a predecessor firm to Smile Brands—Bright Now! Dental Inc.—between 1998 and 2005. Bright Now! Dental Inc. was cofounded by Steven Bilt and Bradley Schmidt, who later parted ways with the company. Gryphon, Bilt and Schmidt last year formed a company, OneSmile LLC, to buy dental practices. Bilt and Schmidt will return as chief executive and chief financial officer, respectively, of Smile Brands.

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