Ensign Announces Slew of Skilled Nursing Acquisitions Ahead of Earnings Call

The Ensign Group (Nasdaq: ENSG) on Wednesday announced eight facility acquisitions across six states – Utah, Arizona, Tennessee, Texas, Kansas and Iowa. The additions bring Ensign’s growing portfolio to 310 healthcare operations across 14 states.

Twenty-nine of these operations also include senior living operations.

Real estate in Arizona, River park Post Acute and Elmwood Senior Living was acquired by a subsidiary of Standard Bearer Healthcare REIT, Ensign’s captive real estate company. Ensign subsidiaries, including Standard Bearer, own 119 real estate assets.


“We are thrilled to be adding this operation in Arizona, which we have admired for years,” Ensign CEO Barry Port said in a statement. “This acquisition also provided another great opportunity to add to Standard Bearer’s growing portfolio.”

Of the seven other operations, four were also assets acquired by Standard Bearer.

The campus consists of 66 skilled nursing beds, 45 assisted living units and 119 independent living units in Chandler, Arizona.


“We look forward to working together with the local healthcare communities and an outstanding team of caregivers as we strive to exceed the clinical and social needs of each resident and the families we are honored to serve,” Forrest Peterson, president of Bandera Healthcare, said in a statement; Bandera is Ensign’s Arizona-based subsidiary.

Each of the facilities will be operated by an Ensign affiliated operator: Spencer Post Acute Rehabilitation Center in Iowa consisting of 82 skilled nursing beds; Hillside Village of De Soto Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Kansas with 49 skilled nursing beds and 38 assisted living units; 95-bed skilled nursing facility South Davis Specialty Care in Utah; and Western Peaks Speciality Hospital, a 43-bed long-term acute care hospital (LTACH) also in Utah.

The Utah acquisitions represent a milestone for Ensign, with Western Peaks being the first LTACH acquisition in the company’s history, Port said in a statement.

“We have been carefully reviewing this opportunity for some time and believe we have the leadership in place for a successful transition into a new line of business. We are extremely humbled and honored to have been chosen to continue the legacy of these well-respected operations,” he added.

Port noted that he’s excited Ensign will be growing again in Texas, one of the company’s most mature geographies. “This operation fits very well within our organization, both from a geographic and clinical standpoint,” Port added.

The Iowa addition is expected to be the “operation of choice in the market,” Dave Jorgensen, president of Gateway Healthcare, said in a statement; Gateway is Ensign’s Iowa-based subsidiary.

Ensign’s affiliates acquired the following operations which will be subject to long-term, triple net leases: Creekview Health and Rehabilitation, a 78-bed skilled nursing facility in Knoxville, Tennessee; Foothills Transitional Care, a 135-bed skilled nursing facility in Maryville, Tennessee; and Midlothian Healthcare Center in Texas, which offers 120 skilled nursing beds.

Acquisitions in Tennessee create Ensign’s first “cluster” in the state, said Port, when added to TriState Health and Rehabilitation Center in Harrogate, Tennessee.

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