Ensign Stays Buying Course With Acquisitions in California and Arizona

The Ensign Group (Nasdaq: ENSG) acquired four skilled nursing facilities in California and two post-acute retirement campuses that include skilled nursing units in Arizona, the provider announced Thursday.

The move continues Ensign’s active push for expansion, which the company touched on in its fourth-quarter earnings call. Ensign has seen strong growth from its opportunistic acquisitions, and it had several deals in the pipeline for the first half of this year, executive vice president Chad Keetch said at the time.

The four California acquisitions were effective May 1 and include the 172-bed The Hills Post Acute in Santa Ana, the 59-bed St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Fullerton, the 78-bed Villa Maria Post Acute in Santa Maria, and the 1,630-bed Mainplace Post Acute in Orange.

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“Together with Ensign’s existing operations in the Orange County and Santa Maria markets, these new additions strengthen our local clusters and will magnify our ability to provide top quality care to the patients and families we serve,” Christopher Christensen, Ensign’s president and CEO, said in a press release announcing the deal.

Ensign had added a California SNF earlier this year, the 99-bed Downey Care Center in Downey, Calif.

The skilled nursing provider also added two post-acute campuses in Arizona, both of which include SNF components. The acquisitions in Arizona included the 150-bed Vista Post Acute and Rehabilitation in Peoria, Ariz., and the 58-bed Alta Mesa Health and Rehabilitation SNF in Mesa, Arizona. Both the facilities are part of the retirement campuses, and Ensign has existing operations in both Peoria and Mesa, Christensen noted in the statement.

Both the Arizona campuses had been previously operated by a faith-based non-profit organization, and are positioned to grow occupancy and improve their service offerings, he added.

The Arizona acquisitions mark the most recent entries in a list of properties the Mission Viejo, Calif.-based Ensign has acquired in the Grand Canyon State. In April, it acquired the real estate and operations of the 130-bed Phoenix Mountain Post Acute SNF. In March, Ensign acquired a pair of SNFs in Arizona from the non-profit Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society.

With the acquisitions, Ensign brought its portfolio to 197 skilled nursing operations, 26 of which also include assisted living services, according to the company.

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