The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG), announced that it has acquired three Utah skilled nursing facilities, South Valley Care Center in West Jordan, a suburb of Salt Lake City, Rock Canyon Rehab & Care Center in Provo, and Castle Country Care Center in Price. Ensign also announced that that it has acquired Golden Acres, an operating skilled nursing and independent living campus, as well as a separate hospice business, both in Dallas, Texas. Both acquisitions were effective October 1, 2009.
The physical plants of the Utah properites were in excellent condition and fit well with the Ensign’s existing Utah operations. The Price facility, with 80 operating beds, is one of only two skilled nursing facilities within a 50-mile radius. The West Jordan facility, with 116 operating skilled nursing beds, and the Provo facility, with 200 operating skilled nursing beds, are both located directly across the street from large hospitals.
"These strategic acquisitions offer tremendous potential operating synergies for Ensign’s existing operational base in Utah," said Derek Gasser of Ensign’s Utah-based Milestone Healthcare subsidiary. He added that staff, resident and community response to Ensign’s acquisition of the facilities has been overwhelmingly positive.
The Golden Acres acquisition, a 22-acre skilled nursing and independent living campus in Dallas, Texas, included a profitable and well-regarded hospice business, Custom Care Hospice. Although many Ensign facilities offer hospice services through third-party agencies, this is the first time Ensign has engaged in the hospice business itself.
"These strategic acquisitions strengthen Ensign’s existing operational base and broaden our service offerings in the pivotal Dallas market," said Barry Port, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ensign’s Texas-based Keystone Care subsidiary.
Mr. Christensen stated that Ensign is actively seeking additional opportunities to acquire both well-performing and struggling long-term care operations across the Western United States. The four acquisitions and one lease expiration bring Ensign’s growing portfolio to 73 facilities, 42 of which are Ensign-owned. Ensign affiliates hold purchase options on nine of the 31 leased facilities.