Ensign Adds SNF in California; Monarch Acquires Former Welcov Facilities

The Ensign Group (Nasdaq: ENSG) acquired the operations of the 99-bed Downey Care Center, a skilled nursing facility in Downey, Calif. The acquisition was effective March 1.

“It’s been many years since we have found the right opportunity to grow in Southern California,” Ensign President and CEO Christopher Christensen said in a statement announcing the deal.

With the acquisition, Ensign’s portfolio now includes 190 SNF operations, 24 of which also have assisted living. The Mission Viejo, Calif.-based company owns the real estate at 73 of its 246 health care operations.


Christensen reiterated that Ensign is actively looking for opportunities to acquire real estate and lease skilled nursing, assisted living and other health care related businesses, both well-performing and struggling.

“We are excited to see our local team of some of our most experienced operators and clinical leaders — many of whom have been successfully supporting transitions in other markets—transform an operation in their own backyard where they have nearly two decades of credibility with the local health care community,” Christensen said in the Downey statement.

Monarch Acquires Former Welcov Facilities in Minnesota

Monarch Healthcare Management, based in Mankato, Minn., acquired two facilities formerly owned by Welcov Healthcare, the Faribault Daily News reported. The properties — one assisted living community and one skilled nursing facility — changed hands on February 1, with Welcov closing down operations after dealing with an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.


The acquisition brings Monarch to a total of 11 assisted living and 27 SNFs in Minnesota, the Faribault Daily News reported.

Champaign County Board Approves Two More Loans for Nursing Home

The Champaign County Board in Illinois voted to authorize two more loans to the Champaign County Nursing Home in Urbana, Ill., The News-Gazette reported. It’s the most recent update in a long-running attempt to sell the home to private buyers.

In a vote held February 21, the board granted the county executive and treasurer the authority to cover any shortfall in the nursing home’s accounts payable for March with a loan up to $200,000, and authorized both executive and treasurer to use a loan to deal with any issues with March’s payroll.

The money to repay the first loan would come from either future nursing home revenues or proceeds from the sale of the home, which was originally planned to take place in August 2018; the board had approved the sale of the home for $11 million in May 2018.

The state of Illinois has set a deadline of the end of February to close the transaction, but regulators are seeking an extension to the end of March, the News-Gazette reported.

Florida Foundation Gets Grant for New SNF

The Pines of Sarasota Foundation, which raises funds for the non-profit nursing home of the same name in Sarasota, Fla., said the Esther & Harold Mertz Foundation will fully fund two new construction projects, including a new 90-bed SNF, the Herald-Tribune reported. Groundbreaking is expected in early 2020.

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