Senior Helpers Sold to Private Equity Firm

Senior Helpers, one of the largest home care franchise companies in the nation, has been sold to New York-based private equity firm Altaris Capital.

The purchase price was $125 million, a source with knowledge of the deal told Home Health Care News on the condition of anonymity.  That price would represent 12.5x EBITDA, the source noted.

The seller is Los Angeles-based PE firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP), which acquired Senior Helpers in 2012.

“LLCP has been a tremendous partner by supporting our growth and key strategic initiatives,” said Senior Helpers CEO and Co-Founder Peter Ross, in a press release issued Tuesday. “Their guidance and execution were truly invaluable to our company over the past four years. We will miss working with the LLCP team, but we are very excited to enter our next phase of growth with Altaris.”

Based in Timonium, Maryland, Senior Helpers was founded in 2001 and began franchising in 2005. It currently has 298 locations and annual system sales of about $244 million. It recently was named one of the top 10 home care franchises by Franchise Times, based on sales and number of locations. Senior Helpers touts its specialized programs for Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s care.

Altaris manages $1.5 billion of equity capital and focuses exclusively on the health care space. The firm closed its first fund in 2004 and now is investing out of its third fund. It has invested in about 30 companies; its portfolio includes HSS, a clinician staffing company, and CMP Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical products company that sells primarily through hospitals and long-term care.

Piper Jaffray & Co. served as financial advisor, and The McLean Group was a co-advisor. Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP served as legal adviser to Senior Helpers.

The year already has seen significant M&A activity in the private-duty home care franchise space. Home Helpers, Always Best Care, and Right at Home all have new private equity ownership as of 2016. PE investors have cited strong and growing demand and relative lack of regulations as making the space attractive.

Written by Tim Mullaney