The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG – News), the parent company of the Ensign(TM) group of skilled nursing, rehabilitative care services and assisted living companies, recently announced that it has purchased four skilled nursing facilities in Texas and California for an aggregate price of approximately $10.4 million. The properties were acquired on October 28, 2008 from a long-time Ensign landlord by four separate Ensign holding subsidiaries. Together the facilities include 426 licensed skilled nursing beds. Ensign operating subsidiaries have been operating the three Texas facilities since 1999 and the California facility since 2001. The operating subsidiaries will continue to operate their facilities under new long-term leases with the acquiring entities. The prior lease agreements did not contain purchase options. Management expects the acquisitions to be immediately accretive to earnings.
“We are pleased to be able to fix our long-term occupancy costs and add to our portfolio of owned and financeable properties with this acquisition,” said Christopher Christensen, Ensign’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Christensen also expressed gratitude to the landlord, who “helped us get our start and has been a great supporter of Ensign from the beginning.” Five additional Ensign facilities are operated under leases from affiliates of the same landlord.
Proceeds of Ensign’s recent initial public offering were used to complete the transaction. Ensign affiliates currently operate 62 facilities in six Western states. This acquisition brings the total number of owned facilities in Ensign’s combined portfolio to 32, with Ensign affiliates holding purchase options on eight of Ensign’s 30 leased facilities. The four facilities are Northern Oaks Living & Rehabilitation Center, a 96-bed skilled nursing facility in Abilene, Texas, Wellington Place Living & Rehabilitation Center, a 140-bed skilled nursing facility in Temple, Texas, Salado Creek Living & Rehabilitation Center, a 120-bed skilled nursing facility in San Antonio, Texas, and Northbrook Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, a 70-bed skilled nursing facility in Willits, California.