LUFKIN, Texas, Jan. 5 The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG), announced today that it has acquired Southland Healthcare Center, a 150-bed skilled nursing facility in Lufkin, Texas. The transfer was effective January 1, 2009. The facility has been renamed Southland Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center.
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"This is a strategic acquisition, and adds to our growing critical mass in the important East Texas area," said Christopher Christensen, Ensign's President and Chief Executive Officer, noting that Southland is only 45 minutes from Ensign's successful Timberwood Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in nearby Livingston, Texas. He added that Ensign expects the newly-acquired facility, which had an occupancy rate of 56% at acquisition, to be accretive to earnings in 2009.
Ensign purchased the facility from an out-of-state operator who acquired the property in November 2006. Barry Port, President of the Ensign subsidiary that will include Southland, noted that the physical plant is in good condition and includes 18 highly-desirable private suites. He also noted that the operation is in good condition, adding, "We look forward to being a key addition to the Lufkin area's healthcare community, and to building upon the solid foundation that Southland's outstanding staff has established there."
A multi-disciplinary transition team took over the operation in the early morning hours New Year's Eve. Among other things, the facility's new local leaders are adjusting clinical systems and staff to serve a larger skilled nursing population. Renovations and other building improvements are planned as well.
Mr. Christensen reconfirmed that the company is actively seeking additional opportunities to acquire both well-performing and struggling long-term care operations across the Western United States. The Southland acquisition, along with the acquisition of a 156-bed skilled nursing facility in San Luis Obispo, California that occurred at the same time, brings Ensign's growing portfolio to 65 facilities, 33 of which are Ensign-owned. Ensign affiliates hold purchase options on nine of the 32 leased facilities.
The Ensign Group, Inc.'s independent operating subsidiaries provide a broad spectrum of skilled nursing and assisted living services, physical, occupational and speech therapies, and other rehabilitative and healthcare services for both long-term residents and short-stay rehabilitation patients at 65 facilities in California, Arizona, Texas, Washington, Utah and Idaho. More information about Ensign is available at http://www.ensigngroup.net.
SOURCE The Ensign Group, Inc.