New Service Lines, More Growth: What’s Next For Senior Helpers Under Waud Capital

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Three years after being acquired by Advocate Aurora Health, Senior Helpers has a new home.

The personal care company has been sold to Waud Capital, a Chicago-based middle-market private equity firm. Senior Helpers declined to disclose the transaction purchasing price.

The wheels for the acquisition began turning following Advocate Aurora’s merger with Atrium Health in 2022, Senior Helpers CEO Peter Ross told Home Health Care News.


“After Advocate and Atrium merged … they began working on a new strategic plan,” he said. “As part of that plan, they felt they’d rather work as a partner with their outside assets, [instead of] actually owning them. They made the decision, and Senior Helpers was one of those outside assets.”

Maryland-based Senior Helpers is a home care company that operates over 380 franchise locations in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Senior Helpers is one of the largest franchise companies in the home care space. In fact, the company earned the #172 spot on Entrepreneur’s 45th annual Franchise 500 rankings this year.

Once the decision to go to market was finalized, Advocate Aurora got the ball rolling quickly.


“Once they selected a banker in May of last year, the books were put together,” Ross said. “We went out to market, I think, in August. The books went out, initial bids came in, interest came in, and then management presentations were scheduled. We went through that in late September, early October. Then final bids and final candidates came in the November, early December timeframe. Then the final buyer was selected, probably in that mid- to late-December timeframe. Then came the final parts of due diligence, and everything else, before we got to yesterday’s closing.”

Ross pointed out that when it comes to acquisitions, the Waud Capital transaction isn’t Senior Helpers first rodeo. Before being purchased by Advocate Aurora, Senior Helpers was owned by the private equity firm Altaris Capital.

“The difference between the prior sales was that Advocate Aurora was the only strategic [buyer] that we’ve ever sold to,” Ross said. “The others, including this recent one to Waud Capital, have all been private equity firms, so the process is very similar.”

Though under a new owner, Senior Helpers will maintain a relationship with Advocate Aurora.

“Their decision to sell Senior Helpers with a decision of partner versus ownership, so we’re going to continue that,” Ross said. “When you’re part of a large health system — and I think Advocate would admit this as well — it’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s a lot of people that you have to educate within the health system, there’s a lot of layers to that. Navigating a large health system, it took more time, more patience. We did make some good inroads in some of the collaborations we did, it just didn’t happen as quickly as some of us hoped. At this point, we have a really good working relationship with Advocate’s care teams in the markets we’re in.”

Additionally, Senior Helpers believes that the company fits into Waud Capital’s overall ecosystem. The PE firm is no stranger to the post-acute care sector.

Waud Capital’s portfolio includes companies like Concierge Home Care, CarePoint Partners and PromptCare.

“[Waud Capital is] very focused on health care,” Ross said. “They’re looking at new avenues and service lines that can really help to expand Senior Helpers even further. They’re also very well-capitalized as a private equity firm. They’re really bringing a lot to bear for their resources and their capital to see what else Senior Helpers can be doing, what other types of business lines we can get into, to really help to grow. We’ve had significant growth over the course of our history, which is why we’ve been acquired four times.”

Though Senior Helpers’ time under Advocate Aurora was shorter than the company anticipated, Ross appreciates their time with the health system, and is excited for its next chapter with Waud Capital.

“I do really appreciate all that Advocate did for Senior Helpers, but we are energized for our next chapter with Waud Capital,” he said. “The team is energized, and our system is energized.”

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