Ensign Reveals Spinoff Details; SAVNA to Merge with Home Care Advantage

Ensign announces spinoff date

The Ensign Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG) has revealed additional details for its planned home health and hospice spinoff.

In May, the Mission Viejo, California-based Ensign announced it planned to spin off its home health, hospice and senior living businesses into The Pennant Group, a separate publicly traded company. Currently, The Ensign Group’s portfolio includes 26 home health agencies, 28 hospice agencies and nine home care businesses in more than a dozen states.

In addition to its home health and hospice assets, Ensign also oversees a vast network of rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) plus assisted living communities. The company has roughly 258 health care facilities in its network overall.

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Broadly, Ensign’s spinoff plans are meant to maximize the value of its small but quickly growing home health and hospice businesses while giving investors more clearcut options and the ability to shy away from post-acute care segments sometimes perceived as less attractive.

“There are people that don’t really like our profession, that don’t like our industry — and they like our model and they like the results we achieve,” Ensign CEO Christopher Christensen previously said, referring to the SNF space. “This gives them a chance to invest in Ensign and what we believe in and how we operate and the fundamentals and the way we acquire — the contrarian acquisition model we tend to follow. It gives them a chance to do that without necessarily coming into an industry that they’re uncomfortable with.”

Ensign plans to carry out the spinoff by distributing shares of Pennant common stock to Ensign’s stockholders on a pro rata basis. The distribution will be made to Ensign stockholders of record as of close of business on Sept. 20, the record date for the distribution.

The effective date of the distribution will be Oct. 1, 2019; the company expects it will take a distribution agent acting on behalf of Ensign up to two weeks after the distribution date to fully distribute the shares of Pennant common stock to Ensign stockholders.

In the distribution, Ensign stockholders will receive one share of Pennant common stock for every two shares of Ensign common stock held as of close of business on the record date. No fractional shares will be distributed in connection with the spinoff. A cash payment will be made in lieu of any fractional shares.

Following the spinoff, Ensign will continue to be listed on Nasdaq under the symbol “ENSG,” while Pennant expects to list its common stock on Nasdaq under “PNTG.”

Daniel H Walker — who currently serves as president Cornerstone Healthcare, Ensign’s holding company that manages its home health and hospice assets — is set to become the chairman, CEO and president of Pennant.

SAVNA expands

Salem Area Visiting Nurse Association (SAVNA) is merging with Home Care Advantage Inc.

SAVNA is a nonprofit home health agency located within the city limits of Salem, Ohio. SAVNA currently provides services to all of Columbiana County and the lower five townships of Mahoning County.

Founded in 1994 and also based in Salem, Home Care Advantage Inc. is a nonprofit provider of non-medical home health aide services, in addition to personal care, meal planning, companionship and housekeeping services.

Home Care Advantage Inc. currently employs 57 individuals, according to a press release announcing the news.

According to reports, SAVNA and Home Care Advantage have agreed to merge together as a single nonprofit corporation in order to combine their services and provide better care throughout their shared markets.

“Home Care Advantage is the area’s premier home health care agency,” SAVNA Executive Director Brenda Kays said in the press release. “Its long-term success, sound management, and [Joint Commission] accreditation make it stand out amongst providers of home health care services.”

New Mexico home health company rebrands

Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Home Care/OnPointe is changing its name.

Moving forward, the home health company will now operate under the name Corus Health, according to Albuquerque Business First. The change is meant to better represent the company’s commitment to staying relevant in the constantly evolving health care landscape.

Family-owned Corus Health has over 175 employees, according to a press release announcing the news.

“By offering personal care, home health care and hospice in one agency, we’re able to meet the needs and stages of nearly every patient, wherever they consider home in the Albuquerque metro area,” said Chief Innovation Officer Reynold Bunzel.

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