Ensign subsidiary acquires Horizon Home Health and Hospice


The Ensign Group, Inc., announced that an Ensign subsidiary acquired the operating assets of Horizon Home Health and Hospice, a well-regarded home health and hospice agency based in Meridian, Idaho. The Horizon purchase was effective May 1, 2010.

Founded in 1993 by Marcie Little, a fixture in Southwestern Idaho’s healthcare community, Horizon is being led by new CEO Daniel Walker, a longtime Ensign leader and a fellow native-Idahoan whom Ms. Little has hand-picked as her successor. "We are grateful that Ms. Little has entrusted us with her life’s work, and we are committed to growing and enhancing what she’s built," said Mr. Walker.

"This strategic acquisition broadens Ensign’s reach into the home health and hospice business, and further solidifies Ensign’s presence in Idaho," said Christopher Christensen, Ensign’s President and Chief Executive Officer. He added that he expects the transaction to be mildly accretive to earnings in 2010.

In a separate transaction on the same day, Ensign acquired Heritage Gardens Healthcare Center, a 140-bed skilled nursing facility in Carrollton, Texas, and Silver Springs Healthcare Center, a 144-bed skilled nursing facility in Houston, Texas.

The acquisitions were effective May 1, 2010. The two Texas facilities were acquired from a well-regarded long-term care operator that had operated them for several years. These purchases, like the Horizon purchase, were made with cash.

Mr. Christensen reaffirmed that Ensign is actively seeking additional opportunities to acquire both well-performing and struggling long-term care operations across the Western United States. The three acquisitions bring Ensign’s growing portfolio to 81 healthcare facilities, 51 of which are Ensign-owned, two hospice businesses and one home health business. Ensign affiliates hold purchase options on eight of the 30 leased facilities.