Henry Schein Inc. and partner Internet Brands have completed the creation of a joint venture to create and market software for the global dental market, the companies announced Monday.
Analysts have said that practice-management software is crucial in cementing Henry Schein's supplier relationship with dentists as online providers such as Seattle-based Amazon.com enter the market.
The joint venture, named Henry Schein One, incorporates Henry Schein's practice-management software for dentists, including Dentrix and Easy Dental, with Internet Brands' web-based programs such as Demandforce and DentalPlans.com.
Financial terms of the deal, announced April 3, were not disclosed.
Melville-based Henry Schein, which distributes products to clinics and the offices of dentists, physicians and veterinarians, owns more than 70 percent of the joint venture, which is based in American Fork, Utah.
Morningstar analyst Vishnu Lekraj said in an April research note that the software, along with sales and maintenance of dental equipment, acts to further "lock customers" into Henry Schein's ecosystem.
Stanley M. Bergman, chairman and chief executive of Henry Schein, said in an interview Friday the company began offering dentists Henry Schein branded software in the early 1990s.
That business has grown in importance, he said, with the proliferation of electronic medical records and the need for "interoperability" on computers and mobile devices.
"We want to become the iPad for the dentist," he said.
James A. Harding, who formerly served as the chief technology officer of Henry Schein, is the joint venture's chief executive.
If the joint venture had existed in 2017, it would have had sales of about $400 million, with three quarters attributed to Henry Schein.
El Segundo, California-based Internet Brands runs consumer websites in the areas of health, automotive, legal and home and travel, including WebMD and Fodor's Travel.
Internet Brands is owned by private equity firms KKR & Co., based in Manhattan, and Temasek, based in Singapore.
Shares of Henry Schein climbed close to 1 percent Monday to close at $73.34. The shares sold for almost $91 12 months ago.