PE Firms Reportedly Strike $1.4B Deal for Wellspring’s Help at Home

The M&A rumor mill is starting to heat up in the home-based care space.

On Friday, reports surfaced that Centerbridge Partners and Vistria Group are teaming up on a $1.4 billion deal for Wellspring Capital Management’s Help at Home. The rumored deal is valued off of EBITDA in the $110 million to $120 million range, according to PE Hub, which broke the news.

Neither Wellspring nor Help at Home responded to a request for comment from Home Health Care News. Vistria and Centerbridge also did not respond to a request for comment.

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Founded in 1975, Help at Home provides a range of medical and non-medical services to seniors and individuals with disabilities. The Chicago-based provider currently operates in 13 states, serving about 67,000 clients across 155 locations.

New York-based private equity firm Wellspring acquired Help at Home in 2015. Over the past 23 years, Wellspring has invested in over 35 platform investments and completed over 60 add-on acquisitions across the globe.

An agreement was reportedly signed earlier this week, according to PE Hub, citing discussions with sources familiar with the matter. The PE outlet detailed that Wellspring will “roll equity in the deal, retaining a minority investment.”

With offices in New York and London, Centerbridge Partners is a PE firm founded in 2005 with approximately $26 billion in capital under management.

Vistria Group is a Chicago-based PE firm focused on middle-market companies in health care, education and financial services industries. Vistria has been an active player in the home-based care and hospice markets, with St. Croix Hospice, Hospice Care of South Carolina and Civitas Solutions currently listed in its portfolio.

Vistria had previously worked with Centerbridge to acquire Civitas as part of a $1.4 billion deal that closed in March 2019. Civitas is a large provider of home- and community-based services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well other needs.

“We look forward to working with Civitas’ management and Centerbridge in supporting the company’s continued growth, while remaining focused on delivering exceptional care and making a positive impact on the lives of individuals that Civitas serves,” David Schuppan, a partner at Vistria, said at the time.

M&A activity across home health, hospice and home care has slowed down over the past several months, but dealmaking appears to be picking up once again.

Earlier this week, The Pennant Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PNTG) announced it had acquired CMS Home Health Care in Texas, for example. Earlier in September, home health provider Jet Health Inc. similarly acquired Carrington Hospice Care Inc.

AccentCare also announced plans to form a new post-acute care business with Fairview Health Services on Sept. 1.

Help at Home previously operated as Oxford HealthCare, Excel Home Care, Coastal Home Care, and Altrus in certain markets.

In July, the former Excel Home Care told HHCN that it would distribute the entirety of the CARES Act relief funds it received from the state of Pennsylvania — $6 million — to its caregivers for their service during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“The caregivers and the administrative support teams are counted on by vulnerable citizens,” Regional Vice President Josh Drebes told HHCN at the time. “We wanted to give back and support their health and well-being.

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