A number of home care franchisors have been acquired by private equity groups as of late—Homewatch International, franchisor of Homewatch CareGivers, among them. As part of the transaction, former CEO Leanne Reynolds stepped down from her position, and former COO and President Julie Smith took over the helm.
Homewatch CareGivers, which has more than 200 locations in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America, was acquired by Authority Brands, a portfolio company of PNC Riverarch Capital, for an undisclosed price.
Reynolds’ departure from the organization marks a significant turn for the nearly 40-year old home care company. Reynolds’ father, Paul Sauer, founded the company in 1980, and ownership has remained within the family. The private equity deal was an exit strategy for Reynolds and Sauer, Smith confirmed with Home Health Care News on Monday.
The deal also coincides with a period of growth for the company, which Smith has referred to as “aggressive.”
“It was perfect timing for the partnership,” Smith told HHCN. “We had done the fundamentals of the business, and, after four decades, what a way to honor the legacy [of Sauer and Reynolds] by signing [the deal] and expanding the footprint.”
Homewatch has already seen 15 franchise locations purchased over the last 12 months.
“We intend to fill out the white space and become one of the largest franchises in the country,” Smith told HHCN on Monday. “The acquisition by Authority Brands… completes our vision into growth. Our strength in the market as we accelerate our growth will be my focus.”
Authority Brands will also be there to help Homewatch CareGivers roll out its new technology, Care Plus, to its franchisees.
“Our owner is focused on growth,” Smith said. “We’ve already started rolling out our technology. Now, it’s a matter of moving it to the franchise partners.”
With the company’s growth plans and new technology rollout, Smith hopes to position Homewatch CareGivers as a core provider in the care continuum, and sees a strong position for private duty care in value-based purchasing initiatives.
“The capture is accelerated growth and formalizing our position as a trusted brand within the care continuum,” Smith said. “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be changing, but the outcomes-based and VPB care that it brings [is not].”
Written by Amy Baxter