Senior Living Non-Profit Looks to Acquire Sears Methodist Post-Bankruptcy

Dallas-based Buckner Retirement Services, Inc. (BRS) may soon become the largest non-profit senior living provider in the state of Texas with plans announced Thursday to pursue a potential acquisition of Sears Methodist Retirement System, Inc.

The non-profit, faith-based ministry said it plans to pursue an affiliation with or acquisition of the Abilene, Texas-based Sears, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June. Specifically, the plan includes the acquisition of seven of Sears’ 11 communities.

The proposed acquisition would not only make the entities the largest not-for-profit senior living provider in Texas, but would also make it among the largest 20 in the U.S. with 2,568 total units, according to the LeadingAge-Ziegler 100 for 2013.


“We look forward to entering into negotiations regarding the final terms of a possible transaction, subject to required approvals by our BRS board of trustees and the court system,” said Albert Reyes, president and CEO of BRS’s parent organization, Buckner International, in a written statement.

For its remaining four properties, Sears plans to look for other sale opportunities on a property-by-propery basis, said Sears Methodist spokeswoman Melody Chatelle to SHN. 

Sears filed a voluntary petition in bankruptcy court June 10 seeking relief under Chapter 11 to handle funded debt obligations of approximately $160 million. 


The private not-for-profit company provides senior living for more than 1,500 residents in eight cities throughout Texas. Eight of its properties are senior living communities, while three are Texas State Veteran’s Homes. 

Buckner and Sears have a combined annual budget of more than $150 million. Both communities ranked #44 and #64, respectively, in terms of total senior living units in the LZ 100 for 2013, which ranks the largest non-profit senior living providers in the country. 

“[W]e are excited to explore the affiliation in order to extend our distinctive senior lifestyle services to a broader base of Texas elders,” BRS Senior Vice President Charlie Wilson said in a statement. “Sears has a strong brand recognition in Texas and complements our mission and culture.”

Buckner operates Texas senior living communities in Austin, Beaumont, Burnet, Dallas, Houston, Longview and San Angelo. An eighth community, Ventana by Buckner in North Dallas, is slated to open in 2018.

Among the Sears communities being considered in the negotiations are four CCRCs, including Wesley Court and Mesa Springs in Abilene, The Craig in Amarillo and Meadow Lake in Tyler. Also under consideration is the management of the Veterans Land Board homes located in El Paso, McAllen and Big Spring. 

“Sears’ leadership is extremely pleased with the possibility of becoming part of Buckner Retirement Services and to move ahead in a possible affiliation with, or acquisition of, certain Sears senior living communities and other related businesses,” said Chatelle in a statement.

Written by Jason Oliva

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