January 2021 – Health care transactions top January M&A activity

February 12, 2021

CityBusiness February 8, 2021 https://bit.ly/3qFqaJq

By: G. F. Gay Le Breton and Ryan Gerton 

An active January saw 19 merger and acquisition transactions in Louisiana, with four of those in health care.

Last month, Shreveport-based Seaside Healthcare announced its ninth and tenth acquisitions since 2017. With the purchase of Simple Intervention and Second Chances Comprehensive Services, the company expanded its mental health care delivery system into Virginia, adding six facilities with a combined $8 million in annualized revenue.

Simple Intervention, founded in 2014 and serving central Virginia, provides behavioral health services, including mental health skill building, mentoring and behavior aid, medication management and therapy. Second Chances, a 12-year industry veteran, supports individuals and families in their struggles with addiction and mental health issues via its broad range of mental health and substance use treatment services.

Seaside is backed by private equity firm Pharos Capital Group, which made an initial investment in 2014. Seaside now has a presence in six states across the South through its acquisitions and program development. The company has five locations in the Greater New Orleans area.

Also in the behavioral health space, Dallas private equity firm Latticework Capital Management made a strategic investment in Beacon Behavioral Hospital, formerly known as Synergy. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, Beacon is one of the largest mental health treatment providers in Louisiana, with more than 300 employees, four inpatient treatment programs and eight outpatient treatment programs throughout Louisiana, including New Orleans.

Beacon is looking to use Latticework’s experience to help the company expand its capabilities and execute upon their vision for growth. Latticework is a growth-oriented firm managing about $140 million in capital. Beacon represents the fourth platform investment for the fund.

In the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) space, Natchitoches-based Southern Scripts LLC announced that it has received a capital commitment of $100 million from Chicago health care specialists Water Street Healthcare Partners. Water Street’s investment will further Southern Script’s goal to expand its transparency-focused PBM model, which delivers significant savings to employers and maximizes its members’ access to medications.

Southern Script’s CEO and founding partner LeAnn Causey Boyd said that Water Street was attracted to the company’s focus on “clear-cut pricing, no hidden costs and disclosing and passing through 100% of drug rebates to our customers. Our partnership with Water Street is the next important step toward fulfilling our mission of being the leading disruptor of the PBM industry.”

According to Water Street partner Ned Villers, “Southern Scripts plays a critical role in addressing rising prescription drug costs, one of the most severe health care pain points for U.S. employers.”

Southern Scripts was founded in 2011 by Boyd and Stephen Boyd, both pharmacists, to simplify and streamline costs incurred by U.S. employers for pharmaceutical drug benefits. The company received an investment from Employers Health Network Holdings LLC in 2015 to jumpstart its growth and now serves over 1,000 employers. Dr. Boyd and the management team will continue to lead Southern Scripts.

Finally, Fresenius Medical Care sold its Laplace dialysis facility to Cove Capital Investments and is now leasing and continuing to operate the facility. Laplace is one of Fresenius’ over 2,400 facilities nationwide treating renal disease. In this sale lease-back arrangement, Fresenius is able to free up its capital for other purposes. Cove Capital makes investments in real estate which it believes will provide durable income streams.

G.F. Gay Le Breton is managing director for Chaffe & Associates Inc., responsible for the merger and acquisition activities of the firm. Ryan Gerton is financial analyst for the firm. Investment banking services are provided by Chaffe Securities Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. For more information, visit http://chaffe-associates.com.