Private equity firm the Vistria Group has sold hospice provider Agape Care Group to Ridgemont Equity Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal follows a period of accelerated growth for Agape, which has completed multiple acquisitions in its own right since Vistria purchased the company three years ago.
Agape’s footprint covers 45% of Georgia in addition to 46 counties in its home state of South Carolina. The company has pursued a three-pronged growth strategy in the Southeast focused on same-store admissions, de novo locations and acquisitions. Agape has additional acquisitions in its pipeline for 2021 and 2022 that include entry into a number of new states.
“The Agape team has accomplished a lot over the last three years, including tremendous enhancements around clinical quality and compliance, robust investments in empowering technology, and the build out of a patient and family experience-driven culture,” Agape Care CEO Troy Yarborough told Hospice News. “Thoughtful alignment of these building blocks, coupled with a dedicated focus on patients and employees, has resulted in significant strides in the business that gave us the opportunity to explore a recapitalization earlier than some may have expected.” The buyer, PE firm Ridgemont Equity Partners, has a diverse portfolio that includes companies in the health care, tech, industrial growth, environmental, power and infrastructure-related industries. The firm has invested more than $5.5 billion in more than 160 companies since 1993.
Ridgemont pursues transactions in which they will acquire majority ownership or be the lead minority investor that involve full or partner liquidity in private companies of corporate divestitures, as well as new platforms with proven business models. Ridgemont pursues deals with valuations as high as $250 million.
Harris Williams and Cain Brothers served as financial advisors and Winston & Strawn LLP served as legal advisor to Agape Care and The Vistria Group on the transaction.
“Investors continue to be highly interested in the sector given favorable macro industry trends that include an aging population, increased hospice utilization, patients’ preference to age in place and the cost advantage of care in the home relative to alternative settings,” said James Clark, a managing director at Harris Williams.
Agape’s more than 1,000 employees care for 2,100 patients daily. This census is up from 700 three years ago when Vistria acquired the hospice provider.
Agape’s most recent acquisitions include the purchases of Integrity Hospice and Serenity Care, both in Georgia. Financial terms of those transactions were confidential. Agape first expanded to Georgia with a de novo location earlier this year.
“We are proud of the work Troy [Yarborough] and his team have done to grow Agape Care over these last three years,” said David Schuppan, Senior Partner at The Vistria Group. “These accomplishments have enabled the company to provide superior care over a larger geographic footprint and created value for individuals, families and the broader health care system.”