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Medical group tweaks plan for national buy-up

Business

Strong growth in the skin and cosmetic treatments market is prompting an emerging medical group to inject $20 million to acquire a string of new clinics around Australia.

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Aura Medical Group (AMG) last year acquired its first clinic in Adelaide along with three in Brisbane offering a range of non-invasive treatments including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, and non-surgical brow lifts.

Founder Chantelle Pior, a former personal trainer who saw her clients turn to “tweakments” after transforming their physical health through exercise, says the Australian non-invasive aesthetics market is worth $5.4 billion and is forecast to reach $7.8 billion by 2024.

The 27-year-old entrepreneur says she has $20 million in backing from private investors to acquire another tranche of clinics and revolutionise the clinic business model.

“There has been an enormous cultural shift around the attitude to aesthetic treatments,” she says.

“The US and UK are already experiencing this kind of growth which is why consolidation in the cosmetic medical, dermatology and other associated industries is taking off so successfully.”

AMG claims to be Australia’s first consolidator of cosmetic medical and dermatology clinics.

The privately-owned company says this initial investment to acquire more clinics is part of a longer-term plan that will see it invest further to continue its expansion of the doctor-led clinics.

Under Aura’s acquisition model, clinics will maintain their brands and will continue to run everyday operations with existing staff. However, Aura will oversee business activities and financial responsibilities while providing marketing, HR and admin support.

AMG’s South Australian outlet, Epiclinic, is in Wakefield St in the city while its three Brisbane Skin clinics are scattered across the suburbs.

The company is led by Adelaide-based chief executive officer David Taylor, 53, an expert in domestic and international healthcare consolidations.

Sydney-based Pior says the Aura model allows clinicians to focus on treating and supporting patients while AMG takes care of everything else.

“We identify clinics owned by doctors who are starting to think about long-term succession planning or how to grow their business, but they don’t have the time or resources to bring it to fruition,” she says.

“We build synergies through bulk buying, better deals on procurement, cross referrals, in-house marketing, accounting and HR services, as well as data insights gained from nationwide consumer information.

“Not only does this make the clinic a more attractive option to that of its competitors, but by joining a group, numerous other benefits are unlocked as a result of synergies and economies of scale.”

The expansion plans follow the success of Adelaide-based national beauty therapy chain SILK Laser Clinics.

The listed company, which now has 119 clinics in Australia and New Zealand following the acquisition of Australian Skin Clinics Group in August last year, recently posted a statutory net profit after tax of $4.09 million for the six months to the end of the 2021 calendar year.

SILK was founded in Adelaide in 2009 and offers laser hair removal, cosmetic injectables, skin treatments, body contouring and skincare products.

The company has a market capitalisation of about $168 million and a share price last week of $3.18.

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